Elixir 5's grinding and poor stopping power- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Elixir 5's grinding and poor stopping power

    I have a 2011 Trek Hifi Deluxe. I have had it 1 month. The bike has been good except for these brakes. The brakes start to grind heavily after about the first mile and then continue to grind for the rest of the ride. On steep downhill trails (not anything like you would see in the X Games or anything), the brakes just dont stop me forcing me to change the way I ride. It affects my riding tremendously. My rim brakes stopped 10X better than these Elixirs. I have taken the bike to the LBS and they told me that there is nothing that can be done. They have told me that there is not an adjustment for the weak braking. They have attempted to bleed the brakes multiple times. What is you opinion on this? If it werent for these brakes, this bike would be amazing!

  2. #2
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    Those brakes are very powerful, even the smaller rotors. If the LBS bled them, and they say that is good, your pads are fouled. Buy new pads, clean the rotors with alcohol, and then be careful about fouling them again.

    That is my internet quarterbacking suggestion.

  3. #3
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    I appreciate the reponse. That leads me to ask though, what does one do to get pads fouled. I clean my bike after every ride and stay away from the pads with any kind of cleaner. All I basically do is ride and keep it clean. I have had the bike less than a month and the pads started grinding on the second ride (after 6 miles).

  4. #4
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    You need to "bed" in your brakes before they will reach there full stopping power. This might take 50 stops.
    Pedal up to a high speed, brake firmly to slow you to a fast walking pace. Ride around till everything cools down. Repeat.

    Without seeing your bike it is hard to say what the problem is.
    The post about fouled pads seems like a reasonable one with the information you have given.
    Is it both the front and rear your not happy with?
    I find that new pads often rub because they are a little too big but it normally goes away quite quickly.
    New brakes are well new brakes Everything is new and fits together tightly and needs to be used before everything moves freely. Maybe the piston that pushes the brake out is sticking a little and not fully retracting. Maybe clean the caliper and piston with brake cleaner. Maybe the bit of the piston you can see needs to be lubricated.

    Really a Bike Shop should be telling you this.

    They have attempted to bleed the brakes multiple times
    Reallly if you know what you doing you should be able to do it the first time.

    Maybe time for a second opinion from another shop?
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  5. #5
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    Maybe this will help. The poster is a bike mechanic in a shop and a keen MTB rider too
    Ah, the old sticky-piston syndrome. Wheel & pads out, squeeze the lever a few times to push the pistons out a bit. Wrap a rag over a small screwdriver & wipe the sides of the pistons clean. Lubricate with a light spray grease if you've got some handy, or even just a bit of wet chain lube.Push the pistons back in with either a flat screwdriver or a 10mm open-end spanner - the latter especially if you have Hayes or Avid brakes which have a central post on the pistons to locate the pads. Pushing on this post is likely to bend it, then your pads will be out of whack.

    Give the lever a few pumps to make sure the pistons move freely & equally. If one moves more, brace against it with your screwdriver or spanner while you pump the lever. This should free the sticky piston. Once they're working nicely, push the pistons back in, clean up any excess lube & replace the pads & wheel. Pump the lever a few times to settle the pad contact gap, loosen the the caliper mount bolts to allow the caliper to centre when you squeeze the lever, hold it on & tighten the bolts & you're set to ride again.
    .
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

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