I've had my new Gary Fisher Piranha for about a month or so. It has Hayes HMX-2 Mechanical discs and they have worked great for the ~250 miles that I've put on the bike. I went on a long ride this week that had some very muddy areas. The front brake didn't work very well after the muddy stretch and now, days later, isn't any better. I hosed the bike down after the ride and oiled the chain, but, of course, didn't get any oil near the front brake at all...I know that fouls the pads.
How is it responding? I'll try to explain. Pulling on the lever seems to take too much force, first of all, to get any braking power. Much more than the rear brake, which is smooth as silk. And to try and stop the bike using only my front brake (for experiment sake), it takes a serious squeeze...way too much. I can't make my rear tire pop off the ground at all with my front brake, when before, I could easily have done this.
I'm fairly new into mtn biking and learning every step of the way. It seems to me that either the brake pads are screwed, or the brake cable got some gunk up in it, or a combo of both? Should I lubricate the pivot on the hayes brake occasionally? What could the mud/water have done?