Avid Mech Disc power loss in the wet...- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Say Car Ramrod!!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,779

    Avid Mech Disc power loss in the wet...

    It seems when ever i am riding in the rain or something i lose a substantial amount of power. i have to pull so hard on the levers that its not even funny.

    i was just wondering if anybody else experiences this as well. i have an 8 inch in the front and a 7 inch in the rear and the bike weighs 43lbs if it makes a difference.
    I wish my grass was emo so it would cut itself...

  2. #2
    bpuodt
    Reputation: Robot Chicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    710
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude
    It seems when ever i am riding in the rain or something i lose a substantial amount of power. i have to pull so hard on the levers that its not even funny.

    i was just wondering if anybody else experiences this as well. i have an 8 inch in the front and a 7 inch in the rear and the bike weighs 43lbs if it makes a difference.
    It's because your rotors are dirty. Clean them off with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol or water.

    You should clean them before every wet ride for max braking. The residu from the pads gets baked onto there and creates a wet layer of gunk that makes noises and weakens braking.

    This happens to just about any disc brake in the rain.

    When clean, the avids should brake very well in the wet.

  3. #3
    CNC Dude
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    97
    My advice-

    Sell them (or give them to your little sister) and make a down payment on some Hope M4's. Cable actuated brakes have no place on true DH/Freeride bikes.

    This comes from great amounts of frustrated experience...

  4. #4
    Stand back
    Reputation: dbabuser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,204

    Is that so?

    Quote Originally Posted by shopvet
    My advice-

    Sell them (or give them to your little sister) and make a down payment on some Hope M4's. Cable actuated brakes have no place on true DH/Freeride bikes.

    This comes from great amounts of frustrated experience...
    Avids mechanicals work great for downhilling and freeride, wet or dry. This comes from 3 seasons of riding, one season racing.
    Apparently, they are affected by your ability to follow the setup instructions...
    To the original poster: soak the pads in isopropyl alcohol overnight, clean the rotors with it as well. Reassemble once the pads are dry. Follow the directions on centering the calipers, and there shouldn't be any issues. Snow/ mud/ rain/ dry, mine work the same - awesome.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Golden Bike Park

    Golden Connector Trails need your support!

  5. #5
    CNC Dude
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser
    Avids mechanicals work great for downhilling and freeride, wet or dry. This comes from 3 seasons of riding, one season racing.
    Apparently, they are affected by your ability to follow the setup instructions...
    .
    Nice sarcasm, and the reason I avoid forums like the plague.

  6. #6
    JMH
    JMH is offline
    Sugary Exoskeleton
    Reputation: JMH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    4,659

    Pot, meet Kettle

    When someone asks how to improve the performance of his brakes and you only tell him to dump them and spend a lot of money on something else, you aren't really helping. I doubt the OP read your post and said "sweet, thanks for the hot tip, all I have to do is throw down $400 for new brakes"

    Being offended by someone questioning your ability to set up mechanicals doesn't have anything do with your first post not being very helpful. Lighten up.

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by shopvet
    Nice sarcasm, and the reason I avoid forums like the plague.
    [QUOTE=shopvet]My advice-

    Sell them (or give them to your little sister) and make a down payment on some Hope M4's. Cable actuated brakes have no place on true DH/Freeride bikes.

    This comes from great amounts of frustrated experience...

  7. #7
    CNC Dude
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    97

    praps ur rite

    OK, OP et al-

    Cleaning one's disc is definitely a good idea, especially if the rotor has been contaminated by, say, fork oil or brake fluid. Generally, though, cable actuated discs are less subject to this kind of problem. Most discs get hot enough on a regular basis to stay free of small amounts of oil/fluid contamination. If your fork oil seals are leaking, there's a good chance some got on the rotor and has caused your problem. If there's no evidence of this, however, the trouble with your mechanicals lies in one of these two areas:

    One - as the pads wear, the "fixed" side must continually be readjusted for maximum effect, and the moving side similarly adjusted to compensate. Most problems with Avids come from the user not understanding that the lever barrel adjuster is largely useless. In fact, I generally advise folks not to ever touch it. The red knobs on the caliper are the only proper way to account for pad wear. As the pads become thinner, you absolutely MUST dial in the knobs to maintain proper pad-to-rotor spacing. As the fixed side wears farther and farther away from the disc, simply taking up slack with the lever barrel adjuster will cause degradation of braking performance because a)eventually enough cable slack is taken up that the caliper lever reaches the end of its travel arc before the pads clamp the disc, and b)because even if the caliper actuating lever hasn't run into a mechanical constraint, the energy applied goes to flexing the disc into the fixed pad, causing an out-of-parallel condition which cannot achieve proper braking force. (ie pads and rotor look like this > I/I ).
    All that being said, in order to solve your braking problem, first fully screw in your lever barrel adjuster, then back it out say, a turn-and-a-half. Lock it there with the knurled locknut. Next, using the inner red knob, dial the fixed pad as close to the disc as you can get it without rubbing the rotor when you spin the wheel. Now - loosen the cable clamping bolt at the caliper and let the actuating lever spring to its fullest extension. Dial your moving pad in at this point until it is close enough to the disc that it will touch when the actuating lever is no more than halfway thru its arc (manually actuate it to check this). Pull the slack out of your cable and reclamp it to the caliper actuating lever. Check your lever feel. If it is too close or too far from to the bar when clamped, DO NOT TOUCH the barrel adjuster. Instead, dial in the moving pad's (outer) red adjusting knob in or out to get the feel you desire. NEVER USE THE BARREL ADJUSTER with Avids. If your brake lever begins to get too close to the bar, revisit the red adjusting knobs - first the fixed (inner) side, as its distance to the rotor is critical. Then the moving (outer) side - to achieve desired lever feel. This will always work, UNLESS:

    The second problem with Avid (and all other mechanicals) is that they STILL USE A CABLE. All problems you ever used to have with the cable part of cable brakes still occur. If much of your riding is in the wet, they will inevitably get foreign matter in the housings, which in turn create undesirable friction. This friction between the cable and the inside of the housing will have a greater effect the harder you pull on the lever. If your brakes are set up as per above, and you are still having problems, especially attaining ultimate stopping power (ie hard to do nose wheelies, hard to drag your rear wheel thru switchbacks, etc), the problem is likely cable contamination. Disconnect the cable from your properly-adjusted caliper and remove it from the housing. Flush the housing with your favorite spray lube (NOTE WD-40 IS NOT A LUBRICANT!), until no more mucky crud comes out the bottom end. I like the Pro-Link for this. It's a good time to put on a new $2.00 cable, but if you choose not to, then wipe the cable down as best you can with the same lube on a clean rag. Reinsert the cable through the housing, reattach it to you caliper as described above, and go ride. Problem solved until the next time it rains.

    Apologies for the short answer before. It rains about 150 days/year here. All our descents are steep, and every ride has a creek crossing or four. Every serious descender I know who lives in this type of climate has tried and abandoned mechanical disc brakes. Avid pads are definitely softer than hydraulic disc brake pads, which is why they work so well in the dry, but it means they will (and DO) wear out much quicker in our wet/muddy climates (often in a single three-hour ride). Between the constant maintenance, frequent pad changes, and the ongoing limitations of cables, mechanicals just don't seem to make much sense.

  8. #8
    10001110101
    Reputation: marsb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    497
    Now THAT was helpful! Thanks for your feedback, this should benefit a lot of Avid mechanical users...

  9. #9
    Glad to Be Alive
    Reputation: SHIVER ME TIMBERS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    42,929
    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser
    Avids mechanicals work great for downhilling and freeride, wet or dry. This comes from 3 seasons of riding, one season racing.
    Apparently, they are affected by your ability to follow the setup instructions...
    To the original poster: soak the pads in isopropyl alcohol overnight, clean the rotors with it as well. Reassemble once the pads are dry. Follow the directions on centering the calipers, and there shouldn't be any issues. Snow/ mud/ rain/ dry, mine work the same - awesome.

    um just get new pads...that is the BEST solution...then center pads ...all good
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  10. #10
    Stand back
    Reputation: dbabuser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,204

    bubonic?

    Quote Originally Posted by shopvet
    Nice sarcasm, and the reason I avoid forums like the plague.
    Also take a bit of sandpaper to the pads every so often, to keep the glaze caused by heat down.
    Full length cables help keep the muck out of cables as well.
    And for better answers on brake questions, go to the brake forum. There's a FAQ there that covers everything I've mentioned.
    Golden Bike Park

    Golden Connector Trails need your support!

  11. #11
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
    Reputation: scrublover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    8,846
    Quote Originally Posted by shopvet
    OK, OP et al-

    Cleaning one's disc is definitely a good idea, especially if the rotor has been contaminated by, say, fork oil or brake fluid. Generally, though, cable actuated discs are less subject to this kind of problem. Most discs get hot enough on a regular basis to stay free of small amounts of oil/fluid contamination. If your fork oil seals are leaking, there's a good chance some got on the rotor and has caused your problem. If there's no evidence of this, however, the trouble with your mechanicals lies in one of these two areas:

    One - as the pads wear, the "fixed" side must continually be readjusted for maximum effect, and the moving side similarly adjusted to compensate. Most problems with Avids come from the user not understanding that the lever barrel adjuster is largely useless. In fact, I generally advise folks not to ever touch it. The red knobs on the caliper are the only proper way to account for pad wear. As the pads become thinner, you absolutely MUST dial in the knobs to maintain proper pad-to-rotor spacing. As the fixed side wears farther and farther away from the disc, simply taking up slack with the lever barrel adjuster will cause degradation of braking performance because a)eventually enough cable slack is taken up that the caliper lever reaches the end of its travel arc before the pads clamp the disc, and b)because even if the caliper actuating lever hasn't run into a mechanical constraint, the energy applied goes to flexing the disc into the fixed pad, causing an out-of-parallel condition which cannot achieve proper braking force. (ie pads and rotor look like this > I/I ).
    All that being said, in order to solve your braking problem, first fully screw in your lever barrel adjuster, then back it out say, a turn-and-a-half. Lock it there with the knurled locknut. Next, using the inner red knob, dial the fixed pad as close to the disc as you can get it without rubbing the rotor when you spin the wheel. Now - loosen the cable clamping bolt at the caliper and let the actuating lever spring to its fullest extension. Dial your moving pad in at this point until it is close enough to the disc that it will touch when the actuating lever is no more than halfway thru its arc (manually actuate it to check this). Pull the slack out of your cable and reclamp it to the caliper actuating lever. Check your lever feel. If it is too close or too far from to the bar when clamped, DO NOT TOUCH the barrel adjuster. Instead, dial in the moving pad's (outer) red adjusting knob in or out to get the feel you desire. NEVER USE THE BARREL ADJUSTER with Avids. If your brake lever begins to get too close to the bar, revisit the red adjusting knobs - first the fixed (inner) side, as its distance to the rotor is critical. Then the moving (outer) side - to achieve desired lever feel. This will always work, UNLESS:

    The second problem with Avid (and all other mechanicals) is that they STILL USE A CABLE. All problems you ever used to have with the cable part of cable brakes still occur. If much of your riding is in the wet, they will inevitably get foreign matter in the housings, which in turn create undesirable friction. This friction between the cable and the inside of the housing will have a greater effect the harder you pull on the lever. If your brakes are set up as per above, and you are still having problems, especially attaining ultimate stopping power (ie hard to do nose wheelies, hard to drag your rear wheel thru switchbacks, etc), the problem is likely cable contamination. Disconnect the cable from your properly-adjusted caliper and remove it from the housing. Flush the housing with your favorite spray lube (NOTE WD-40 IS NOT A LUBRICANT!), until no more mucky crud comes out the bottom end. I like the Pro-Link for this. It's a good time to put on a new $2.00 cable, but if you choose not to, then wipe the cable down as best you can with the same lube on a clean rag. Reinsert the cable through the housing, reattach it to you caliper as described above, and go ride. Problem solved until the next time it rains.

    Apologies for the short answer before. It rains about 150 days/year here. All our descents are steep, and every ride has a creek crossing or four. Every serious descender I know who lives in this type of climate has tried and abandoned mechanical disc brakes. Avid pads are definitely softer than hydraulic disc brake pads, which is why they work so well in the dry, but it means they will (and DO) wear out much quicker in our wet/muddy climates (often in a single three-hour ride). Between the constant maintenance, frequent pad changes, and the ongoing limitations of cables, mechanicals just don't seem to make much sense.


    aaaaand a lot of those problems can be alleviated by running a good set of full housing with stainless cables. i've never had problems you describe with my avids, and i've got them on 3 bikes that see some pretty good muck/rain sometimes. i live in the dry now, but never had problems even when i was in the wet of the east coast.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  12. #12
    V10 Freerider
    Reputation: Frankenschwinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    752
    The only problem I have ever had in wet conditions was when I did not run full housing from the lever to the caliper. Gunk infiltrated the housing and really affected the performance. Solution. Full housing like the previous poster said if you do not already have full housing that is.
    The Super T you have is really a very good fork. I'd take that fork over a Fox 40 or a Boxer unless i was entering a fashon contest instead of a race

  13. #13
    bpuodt
    Reputation: Robot Chicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    710
    Quote Originally Posted by shopvet
    Apologies for the short answer before. It rains about 150 days/year here. All our descents are steep, and every ride has a creek crossing or four. Every serious descender I know who lives in this type of climate has tried and abandoned mechanical disc brakes. Avid pads are definitely softer than hydraulic disc brake pads, which is why they work so well in the dry, but it means they will (and DO) wear out much quicker in our wet/muddy climates (often in a single three-hour ride). Between the constant maintenance, frequent pad changes, and the ongoing limitations of cables, mechanicals just don't seem to make much sense.
    Pad wear has nothing to do with mech vs. hydro. Avids used to have a problem with wet weather because they speced them stock with a soft organic pad. They now come with better metalic pads that last forever.

    I used to ride near a rain forest that was just as wet as any where else. My metalic avid pads managed to live through 1 year of nasty grits, pure big 15 mile DH runs 2-3 times a week. Gee, talk about a maintenance nightmare...

    The only bike of mine to ever have hydros will be my new DH ride. Other than that, it's avids.

  14. #14
    Disco-Superfly
    Reputation: Jake_HT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    4,850
    mechanicals CAN be set up to work really good... I useHMX2s set up properly and I have had nothing but good braking for 2 seasons now... I dont plan on getting new brakes becuase I dont need them....

    I hear avid mechs are better too
    Jake
    Yeti 303 WC 25th

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Moody
    Didn't you read the sticker on that shock? It said not to do whatever you did.

  15. #15
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
    Reputation: scrublover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    8,846
    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    mechanicals CAN be set up to work really good... I useHMX2s set up properly and I have had nothing but good braking for 2 seasons now... I dont plan on getting new brakes becuase I dont need them....

    I hear avid mechs are better too

    yep. the only thing a very well/meticulously set up pair of avids are really missing compared to hydros is really modulation. it's something you get used to though, and learn to brake differently with.

    avid mechs with full housing runs, good pads, stainless cables. well setup, hsould last/work a long time before you have to mess with them. and they are way cheaper than any hydro that will give the same performance. but setup is finicky. if you don't take the time to set them up well, they'll suck.

    mine on both bikes are setup with Paul Love levers. like buttah. the Speed Dial feature of Avid levers rocks to fine tune your feel/setup/modulation, if you want to. the downside is the avid lever (except for the insanely spendy high end set) all get sloppy at the pivot more than i can put up with. thus the Paul levers. very easy to adjust the slop/feel at the lever.

    i'd say i've got about half the money invested in my mech setup that i'd have to spend to get the same feel and performance that i like out of hydros.

    i'd love to get some juicys, but once i got them on one bike, i know i'd love them and want them on all three......and that is more money than i want to spend on brakes right now. my mechs work very well, and aren't broken. if i ever have big problems or breakage, i'll likely go hydro. but until then, why spend the money?
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.