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  1. #1
    Senior Member broomhandle's Avatar
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    CODA "Cannondale Disc brakes... what gives?

    ok, i have some CODA "cannondale" Expert hydro disc brakes, and i swear i cant get them to work right. i have bled the brakes and filled it up with dot3. they do not respond right. abut work with these brakes? or is there an adjustment in missing?

  2. #2
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broomhandlde
    ok, i have some CODA "cannondale" Expert hydro disc brakes, and i swear i cant get them to work right. i have bled the brakes and filled it up with dot3. they do not respond right. abut work with these brakes? or is there an adjustment in missing?
    Woops, wrong fluid in there. Codas use mineral oil only.
    Dan

  3. #3
    Senior Member vw addict's Avatar
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    Then suck anyway, and now that the wrong fluid is in there you midas well stick them where the belong, the garbage.

  4. #4
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I have these and they work well for me. One thing I had to do is adjust them correctly (not terribly hard - use alien key) but the biggest was to unbolt them, and get inside and clean out the junk. They were hanging up inside on dirt, etc.

    You haven't described yet what exactly isn't working - discribe - "they don't respond right?"

  5. #5
    Senior Member broomhandle's Avatar
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    yes, i just discovered that. Cannondale fluid. how dumb. well, one brake is fully closed, im assuming its a fluid thing. and the 2nd one dosent open enough, but works fine. when i put the rim in, its like a tight fit. is there any way to adjust the pads? and is there any other fluid i can use besides CODA's NASA fluid?

    i have hayes on my other Cannondale... man thoose are so much better. but i wantt o tackle these, there has to be a reason why they were even made!! haha

  6. #6
    lover ....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart
    Woops, wrong fluid in there. Codas use mineral oil only.
    Dan
    Yep, big ooops!

    You'll need to completely flush these with hydraulic mineral oil now. Several times, as dot fluid will eat away the rubber seals in mineral oil hydraulic brakes.

    1. Ideally you would fully flush and bleed the system with mineral oil (lowest viscosity is best with CODAs - some of the heavier weight mineral fluids tend to make the pistons "sticky" - Magura oil is good but expensive, Shimano will work). It would be good to do this a couple of times.

    2. Activate the levers and therefore get the pistons working (to ensure that all dot fluid is flushed out of the calipers).

    3. Drain all the mineral oil from the system (as it will have traces of dot fluid in it).

    4. Fill the system again and re-bleed. All should be fine.

    The CODAs unfortunately had a bad rep because:

    a) mechanics put the wrong oils in them, usually too thick (resulting in "sticky" pistons), and
    b) they were a brake sold when hydros were new to cycling and most mechanics had no idea how to bleed brakes properly.

    Other tip: some people here in Oz used sewing machine oil in their CODAs with some great results - mineral oil, low viscosity, and really cheap. I have never done so, but it makes some sense to me.
    Riding a bike is not a fashion show

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  7. #7
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broomhandlde
    yes, i just discovered that. Cannondale fluid. how dumb. well, one brake is fully closed, im assuming its a fluid thing. and the 2nd one dosent open enough, but works fine. when i put the rim in, its like a tight fit. is there any way to adjust the pads? and is there any other fluid i can use besides CODA's NASA fluid?

    i have hayes on my other Cannondale... man thoose are so much better. but i wantt o tackle these, there has to be a reason why they were even made!! haha

    Did you remove the pads and fully retract and block the piston before filling and bleeding? It is also important not squeeze the lever until the pads and rotor are in place as this may make the piston travel too far, and you may have difficulty making it retract again.
    My experience with Codas is with the dual piston competition model, but the proceedures are the same.
    Also, because it is a closed system, the adjuster on the master cylinder must be turned fully counter clockwise before filling.
    The Coda is not a bad brake. The competition model works great when properly set up, and I don't think the expert was a bad design either.
    Dan Burkhart

  8. #8
    (Grouchy)
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    first off, CODA brakes use "magura blood," which is a type of mineral oil. it's thicker than the mineral oil that shimano uses, which is thicker than the mineral oil that you can buy in the supermarket. plus, it's a nice irridescent blue color, which looks really cool in the syringes when you're bleeding them.

    since you put dot fluid in there, you will have to replace the seals. since those brakes are no longer made, i would like to congratulate you on your impending purchase of a new braking system, be it hydraulic, or cable actuated. the seals have most likely already absorbed enough of the dot fluid to become completely worthless. it doesn't take long, and the effects are permanent, and irreversable.

    if it's any consolation, you're not the first, nor will you be the last to put the wrong fluid into your braking system.

    on the up-side, cannondale offers a credit toward a new brakeset through an authorized dealer. on the downside, the credit is barely enough to cover the cost of new brakes, let alone new wheels (because modern disc brakes use 6 bolts, instead of 4, or use shimano centerlock standard).

    the only reason they were made in the first place is because C-dale wanted to make yet another proprietary, and inferior component that they could inflate the price on. unfortunately, the "egg brake," as it's sometimes called, was rotten. even when new, they didn't work very well. the dual piston version was a little better, but not by much. the coda's were manufactured by magura, like the cartridges in early headshok forks. as far as i know, the genuine magura equipment functions flawlessly (i'm running HS33's on my XC bike and i love 'em). the egg brake was an early design that was just not up to snuff.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    Some might disagree with me on this one, but I have used red transmission fluid in my mineral oil brakes for years on the racing circuit without trouble. No durability issues and good heat tolerance(racing gets em warm enough).
    Aviation Mechanic, Bike racer, Fitness Equipment Restorer

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