Avid Mechs on Superlight- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Avid Mechs on Superlight

    I'm running Avid Mechs on my Superlight. Has anyone else had problems with lever travel issues assoc. w. the rear brake when adjusting the brake with the bike in the stand and then trying to ride and there is a lot of distance in the the lever. If you "preload" the cable the brake drags in the stand. Not sure how to deal with this. Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    conjoinicorned
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    i'm assuming that you feel the brakes are set up correctly in the stand, and then act differently on the trail.

    make sure the caliper is on straight, then use the pad adjusters. next try reach adjustment on the levers, and leverage if you have it. try setting them so they engage very quickly in the stand, and you should have some give on the trail.

  3. #3
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinca
    I'm running Avid Mechs on my Superlight. Has anyone else had problems with lever travel issues assoc. w. the rear brake when adjusting the brake with the bike in the stand and then trying to ride and there is a lot of distance in the the lever. If you "preload" the cable the brake drags in the stand. Not sure how to deal with this. Thanks for any suggestions.
    What do you mean by "'preload' the cable"? You should just take the slack out of the cable, never have tension that moves the brake arm without the brake lever moving.

    Check that your housing is the correct length - not too long or too short - and is routed as straight and smoothly as possible.
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  4. #4
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    More info

    I didnt realize my first message was so incoherent until I re-read it. Sorry.

    Let me try and elaborate a little more...
    The brakes are setup correctly and work very well. The thing that bothers me is, if I set up the brakes in the stand for the front and rear to engage at the same time, when I put my a$$ in the saddle, the rear brake has a longer pull to engage. So, if I set the rear to engage sooner in the stand, it is prone to drag both while in the stand, and if I lock out the suspension. My real concern is what is happening when the rear tri is moving up and down and riding speed and I'm trying to brake, I assume the pressure applied to the brake is variable. (Maybe it's a cable length thing?) I never considered this being a problem when I went for the mechs. I see now, how the hydros would not experience this same problem.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.

  5. #5
    On MTBR hiatus :(
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    Two options...

    The two options I can think of are (1) to experiment with cable routing, keeping an eye on tight bends or straight sections under tension near the pivot location, or (2) getting ahold of compressionless brake housing such as Avid Flak Jackets or Jagwire (MAC? Rattler? I don't remember which off hand). The compressionless housing should do the same thing for your brakes that SIS housing does for index shifting.

    Gotta say though that I've stuck to generic brake cable housing with all my Avid setups and haven't experienced the same troubles you're reporting, so I'd be inclined to look at the routing first.

  6. #6
    www.derbyrims.com
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    Set the rear brake to contact with a slightly longer lever throw. That will help bias the braking power even more to the front for best handling and hard braking power. And the longer lever throw helps reduce any brake drag problem. I ran my Avid Mech's cables the same as my previous V rear brake, with just a longer cable to reach the caliper. As I remember on my old Superlight the brake cable was rather straight from the frame to the upper tube of the swingarm when fully extended. Discs sure help reduce the tendency to skid the rear tire easily when braking which really improves the handling and confidence.

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  7. #7
    Riding free's the mind
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    Return springs on Avids weak

    My experience with Avid mechs in the rear point to a couple things... The cable routing needs to be as straight as possible to make up for a rather light return spring on the brakes. Don't forget you can adjust this spring tension to be stronger.

    Honestly I still haven't gotten the lever feel to be as crisp and snappy as my old v-brakes let alone hydraulics I've tried. I'm even using Jagwire Macs, and a straighter routing.

    I find that once I'm on the trail and flying down a single track, all the these nuances go away. I'll probably go Avid Juicy hydraulics as soon I save enough pennies!

  8. #8
    Flyin Canine
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    My wife has a superlite juliana with avid mechs and I have not had this problem. It sounds like the cable section between the top tube and the rear swingarm is too short. Also how did you attach/hold down the cable housing to the swingarm. Too tight on a zip tie might cause a similar drag problem if you used one. Do you have a picture of the cable routing?

  9. #9
    Dain Bramaged
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    My stab at this

    My first reaction is to say it sounds like you need to adjust your lever throw (if possible). Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of adjustable throw levers (or "reach") is to
    1 - Allow the lever blade to be moved closer or further from the bars for various hand sizes
    2 - To allow you to set the pad engagement point to be the same for front & rear

    I assume the pressure applied to the brake is variable. (Maybe it's a cable length thing?) I never considered this being a problem when I went for the mechs. I see now, how the hydros would not experience this same problem.

    Actually, after performing my first full bleed and pad change on my XT hydros, I had to mess with lever throw quite a bit to get my front & rear levers to feel the same and contact at the same point. I also think the feel at the rear for your mechs has a lot to do with cable & housing length.

  10. #10
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    Why Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    What do you mean by "'preload' the cable"? You should just take the slack out of the cable, never have tension that moves the brake arm without the brake lever moving.

    Check that your housing is the correct length - not too long or too short - and is routed as straight and smoothly as possible.
    "preloading" the cable" heh heh - that's an interesting term. I knew instantly what it meant even though I've never heard anybody use it before...

    Anyway I run into instances where I get better (or at least "desired") performance by preloading the cable to increase tension. Mostly at the rear derailleur, but I have been known to do it at the brake caliper a tiny bit occasionally. In fact, I just installed an Avid mech on the front of my hardtail last night and had to very slightly "preload" the cable. But for me that's to overcome the lack of return springs in my Paul levers and give me better lever feel, or at least faster engagement.

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