So I just bought a new bike and decided to take a risk in buying a bike with Shimano Deore LX hydraulic disc brakes (BR-M585). I've only repaired and tuned simple wire-brakes in the past (cantilever, v-brakes etc.), but never disc brakes and certainly not hydraulic. Can anyone give me any pointers or references so I could manage to maintain the brakes in top condition for as long as possible.
The salesman at the bikeshop said that they are virtually care-free, but that sounds too good to be true, and I think he was referring to something like "come back when there's a problem and we'll fix it... for the right price".
Anyway the basic structure seems simple. There's a pin in the brakes that locks the brake-pads in place. I assume that by removing that pin I can just grab the pads and replace them? Should I pay attention to anything special? The guy at the store said that if I have to change the tire or something I should be careful not to pull the brake-lever, but didn't really explain why. The bike came with two weird plastic parts that are intended for placing between the brake-pads when the wheel (and therefore the brake-disc) is not in place. At least that's what I think they're for, haven't figured out how they would go into the brake-unit.
I recommend you go to the Shimano web site and download the installation sheet and parts list for these brakes. They will tell you the details you need to understand their operation and care.
The reason you don't pull the brake lever with the wheels (and rotors) off the bike is that the caliper pistons won't have anything to stop them and they can pop out of their bores.
I thought I had already checked that site, but didn't notice the SI-document. Sorry for the trouble and thanks a million!