Author Topic: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes  (Read 7666 times)

Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #50 on: January 22, 2020, 06:32:14 pm »
i like and use hydraulic brakes on one of the bikes, they work fine and don't require attention. as for "adventure" cycling, i'm not yet convinced they are the most suitable option (for me).

Coincidentally, I am the opposite. I have one bike with hydraulic brakes, and that is my adventure bike. My experience with cable discs on hilly off-road rides was that it would become very tiring on the hands towards the end of a day, and the prospect of multi-day races was not one that I wanted to contemplate with the Spyres. I have found the hydraulic brakes work much better for such terrain, and aren't tiring.

On the road, the Spyres have been fine. Stopping power is more than sufficient for even the most hilly or rides, and I have not suffered the same fatigue as I would get off-road. If I were to choose a new setup for a road-oriented bike, it would be a close call. I would just be careful to service the hydraulic brakes before any particularly big event, or series of events.

Eddington: 130 miles

Phil W

Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2020, 11:36:47 am »
Yep hydraulics are pretty reliable and I've yet to have any fail in 17 years of use.  Sure there's edge cases out there but there's edge cases like your frame failing.  Some on here seem to have a magnified sense of the likelyhood of them failing.

Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2020, 09:10:04 pm »
Things I've learnt from three years of using shimano hydraulic brakes (RS505 levers,  BR-RS785 brake calipers)

The hydraulic fluid port screw is really easy to lose,  I have bought spares as there's never a good time to lose one of those screws.
It pays to remove the brake calipers and give them a clean from time to time,  dust and grit can sit around the pistons, cleaning these will help ensure they perform better when in service.
The first time I bled the brakes I managed to leak fluid everywhere,  I now keep paper towels handy in case.
I wipe the discs with a dry paper towel to remove contamination from time to time, this improves braking and reduces noise and also it's a good opportunity to check the disc for wear and damage.


bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #53 on: March 08, 2020, 05:25:55 pm »
Just had a very disappointing day. I hadn't used the posh bike with the discs on it for a few weeks and wheeled it out for an audax this morning. Headed off down the road and was very alarmed that the levers were barely operating the brakes. I was pulling them right to the bar and they would barely function.

Shimano 105 hydros put on in late November.

Immediately emailed the organiser to say I was dnsing. I was sure that they could be relied on but this has really fucked me off. I hope the lbs would sort me out but this has left me pretty fed up. Never had this happen with my trp spyres obviously.
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2020, 05:29:13 pm »
Immediately emailed the organiser to say I was dnsing. I was sure that they could be relied on but this has really fucked me off. I hope the lbs would sort me out but this has left me pretty fed up. Never had this happen with my trp spyres obviously.

Do you have the ability to bleed them yourself?

When did you last ride the bike?

J
--
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http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2020, 05:43:42 pm »
Was the bike stored horizontally?

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #56 on: March 08, 2020, 05:45:48 pm »
No I don't have bleed stuff. My understanding was that a bleed was normally done once or twice yearly not after 3 months!

Last ride on the green bike was 1/2/20. I did pump the brakes for a while hoping they might suss themselves out, including about 2 minutes of riding up and down and slowing, but no changes.

Bike was stored vertically, front wheel up. It's how I prefer to store a steel frame so that it drip-dries.
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #57 on: March 08, 2020, 05:51:07 pm »
No I don't have bleed stuff. My understanding was that a bleed was normally done once or twice yearly not after 3 months!

Given the cost of the bleed kit is only about €20, wouldn't it be a useful thing to have in the tool box.

Quote
Last ride on the green bike was 1/2/20. I did pump the brakes for a while hoping they might suss themselves out, including about 2 minutes of riding up and down and slowing, but no changes.

Bike was stored vertically, front wheel up. It's how I prefer to store a steel frame so that it drip-dries.

What servicing has the bike had since you got it?

J
--
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http://b.42q.eu/

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #58 on: March 08, 2020, 05:59:17 pm »
Quote
What servicing has the bike had since you got it?
Got the bike in November 2018 https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=111306.0

In late November 2019 I had worn out a lot of the components on it to a horrible degree and so decided to just pay the LBS to upgrade to 105 since I like the frame a lot. In so doing they fitted:

New BB

100% Shimano 105 hydraulic groupset

New Hope Pick'N Mix headset

I picked this up from them in the 3rd week of December and did the festive 500 on it. According to Strava (I track the components as I swap them on and off) I have done less than 1500 km on it since the rejig.

I did mean to get round to getting a bleed kit at some point and learning to use it but ffs surely 3 months is a bit soon!
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #59 on: March 08, 2020, 06:05:43 pm »
Quote
What servicing has the bike had since you got it?
Got the bike in November 2018 https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=111306.0

In late November 2019 I had worn out a lot of the components on it to a horrible degree and so decided to just pay the LBS to upgrade to 105 since I like the frame a lot. In so doing they fitted:

New BB

100% Shimano 105 hydraulic groupset

New Hope Pick'N Mix headset

I picked this up from them in the 3rd week of December and did the festive 500 on it. According to Strava (I track the components as I swap them on and off) I have done less than 1500 km on it since the rejig.

I did mean to get round to getting a bleed kit at some point and learning to use it but ffs surely 3 months is a bit soon!

If you had put brand new cable operated brakes on, a few weeks or a few hundred km later you would be wanting to check they have bedded in correctly and adjust them. Same as you do when buying a new bike. Not unreasonable to expect something similar needing to be done to hydraulic brakes.

J
--
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http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #60 on: March 08, 2020, 06:24:50 pm »
if the brakes had been bled properly, correct fluid used, no road salt lurking in the piston bores and no contamination with the wrong oils etc that might have got onto the seals,  the brakes shouldn't need anything doing to them yet.    So I'd suspect that your brakes were/are deficient in one or more of the above respects.

Of course there's no way to be sure what happened, not without more diagnostic work. However I'd be suspicious that as the bike was last used in December, there might be contamination in the caliper bores, and that this might have caused corrosion and therefore leakage of hydraulic fluid and/or air. It happens often. 

cheers

Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #61 on: March 08, 2020, 06:25:04 pm »
Mine needed bleeding after about a week. The shimano ones come in a handy prefilled set up with a one time seal so they can be assembled at a bike shop without messy liquids and bleeding. It does not appear to always work perfectly.

I had a bit of a catastrophic failure last week - one in a million, picked up some debris off the road - (ironically some wire that looks like it might be a brake cable) and need a new calliper. I rode (gingerly) the last 40km on just the rear brake and it was fine. I am therefore now on my old bike whilst waiting for parts. The first trip out I thought the brakes weren’t working but now I have mentally adjusted and rim brakes seem just fine.


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bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #62 on: March 08, 2020, 06:59:46 pm »


If you had put brand new cable operated brakes on, a few weeks or a few hundred km later you would be wanting to check they have bedded in correctly and adjust them. Same as you do when buying a new bike. Not unreasonable to expect something similar needing to be done to hydraulic brakes.

J
pads were bedded in fine. Made sure to do that as soon I picked it up and they performed fine for the rides I did until march.

I had used the bike since December - last did a recorded ride on Strava with is 1 February.

Will keep yacf abreast of what's gone on after I hand it in tomorrow...
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Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #63 on: March 08, 2020, 07:00:40 pm »
Bleeding brakes feels a bit daunting, I'm a newcomer to it, bought the Epic kit and followed their instructions, brakes now working better than when the LBS fitted them, plus it feels a lot less daunting, and of course I have the kit.
https://epicbleedsolutions.com/

Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #64 on: March 08, 2020, 07:22:28 pm »
The shimano ones come in a handy prefilled set up with a one time seal so they can be assembled at a bike shop without messy liquids and bleeding.

I've just checked and the instructions for the easy hose system includes topping up the fluid via the funnel and burping out any bubbles.

 If you skip this step the system will still work initially but won't have enough fluid in it to allow for brake pad wear, and might have a load of air in the reservoir. Which would cause a complete failure if it migrated into the hoses.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #65 on: March 08, 2020, 08:12:19 pm »
Just had a very disappointing day. I hadn't used the posh bike with the discs on it for a few weeks and wheeled it out for an audax this morning. Headed off down the road and was very alarmed that the levers were barely operating the brakes. I was pulling them right to the bar and they would barely function.

Karma, isn't it?

Setting off to do a ride on a bike that hasn't been touched for ages is second only to using one where you've fettled something important the night before and not had an opportunity to test it.

(Yes, that was me at the 20km point yesterday slowly joining the dots between the loose front mech pivot bolt that I'd tightened and the inability to shift into either the big or - as it thankfully transpired before the grind up the Malverns - little ring...)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Phil W

Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #66 on: March 08, 2020, 08:29:46 pm »
^^^^^ agree with this

To be clear both front and rear brakes not working?

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #67 on: March 08, 2020, 09:20:44 pm »
Karma, isn't it?

Setting off to do a ride on a bike that hasn't been touched for ages
I mean by my standards it isn't unreasonable to think that a bike's braking system should be unaffected by it being left alone for a few weeks. I cleaned and lubed the chain the day before, gave the tyres a look at and checked the gears were functioning....  ::-)

Rear one seems to have a fair bit of play in it but it's definitely not nearly so ineffective.

A cautious ride to the shop is on the cards tomorrow...
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bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #68 on: March 08, 2020, 09:29:27 pm »
The shimano ones come in a handy prefilled set up with a one time seal so they can be assembled at a bike shop without messy liquids and bleeding.

I've just checked and the instructions for the easy hose system includes topping up the fluid via the funnel and burping out any bubbles.

 If you skip this step the system will still work initially but won't have enough fluid in it to allow for brake pad wear, and might have a load of air in the reservoir. Which would cause a complete failure if it migrated into the hoses.
This is a shop with just two mechanics that has been setting up hydraulic braked bikes for years, I'd really hope they wouldn't miss something like that.... Here's hoping...
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Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #69 on: March 08, 2020, 10:00:39 pm »
Try tieing the levers back to the bars, leave it for a couple of hours, tapping the hoses from time to time.  Do this with the bike the right way up.
If there's some air in the system and you're storing your bike without the reservoirs being the highest point, that air is going to end up in the hose or caliper.

Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #70 on: March 09, 2020, 08:21:29 am »
Try tieing the levers back to the bars, leave it for a couple of hours, tapping the hoses from time to time.  Do this with the bike the right way up.
If there's some air in the system and you're storing your bike without the reservoirs being the highest point, that air is going to end up in the hose or caliper.

if you tie the levers back to the bars the compensation port will be closed and any air in the pressure circuit will remain in that circuit.  Bubbles may rise to the top of the circuit but they won't do so any faster than normal and they won't be able to escape into the reservoir.  NB transporting a bike with badly bled brakes is likely to go better if the levers are tied back, but there you are closing the compensation port to stop air in the reservoir (which shouldn't be there in the first place) from migrating into the pressure circuit.

IME it is much more effective to remove the disc (and/or pads) from the caliper, use the brake lever pump the pistons out (carefully, not too far) , and then (with the bike tilted if necessary eg in a workstand so the hose run (including the transfer ports in the caliper) is upwards all the way and the reservoir is uppermost) push the pistons back.  Repeat if necessary.

The above will temporarily restore function to a brake that had air in the reservoir (i.e. it was never bled properly in the first place) and where that air migrated into the main part of the circuit , but still has intact seals and sufficient fluid (for the current state of pad wear) to at least fill the pressure circuit.  Because you need no tools you can do this by the roadside if necessary, eg if the bike has been in a car or laid on its side and the brakes have gone bad. 

If you use the same procedure but with a funnel attached to MC reservoir, and top it up with fluid as you go, you can add more fluid/remove air from the system. No need to break open the hydraulic circuit lower down, and/or use syringes etc, which can work fine, but also gives more opportunities to add air as well as remove it.....

If your brakes 'need bleeding after a week' , go bad after the bike has been hung up or turned upside down, or whatever, unless the fluid has escaped somehow (leaked out)  it only ever means  one thing; they were never bled properly in the first place.

cheers

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #71 on: March 09, 2020, 09:27:00 am »
Well I've survived my trip to work - will carefully get it to the shop at lunch time... No magic improvement in braking overnight.
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Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #72 on: March 09, 2020, 06:12:42 pm »
As phil w said. Have had hydraulic brakes for ages probably 20years. Started with magura's now deore/xt, went down the Great Divide in 2001 so new touring bikes, went continental style touring. Mtb with front and rear racks no problems with the hydraulic brakes Everything improved when the metal pots changed to composite, no heat transfer to the seals or plastic tube. Early Hope disk brakes were a nightmare, but every part was available as a spare. 😀 If you are worried about things going wrong, make up a rear hose weights nothing a small syringe and a little mineral oil. That's all we take on tour. Most problems are air in the system, even flying never had to bleed the brakes.

Phil W

Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #73 on: March 11, 2020, 05:24:40 pm »
Well I've survived my trip to work - will carefully get it to the shop at lunch time... No magic improvement in braking overnight.

Verdict from the shop that fitted them?

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Let's talk Hydraulic brakes
« Reply #74 on: March 12, 2020, 10:49:21 am »
I wasn't able to pick the bike up this morning as I rode in to London on the other one for morning laps but popped in for a brief chat.

They've done a bleed and flushed the air out. But couldn't tell me how it had happened. I will go back tomorrow morning to pick it up try to get more detail. That will also give another 24 hours of it sitting there 'fixed' so I can be more sure that the problem is resolved.
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