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Old 07-20-04, 09:01 PM   #1
bg4533
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No power out of Avid Mechs...

I recently upgraded to an Avid mech in the front with Avid AD3 brake levers. I am using Aztec Powerline brake housing and cable and it feels very smooth and consistent. Overall, braking seems very consistant when compared to Vbrakes, but I dont really seem to have any braking power. It seems like the power I get is applied directly by my hand and I have no mechanical advantage. Regardless of how hard I pull I cannot lock up the brakes. I can stop fairly quickly, but it requires a lot of strength and my hand gets tired quickly.

Any idea as to what the problem is here?

I think the brakes are set up properly, but these are the only discs I have played with. I have not touched the braking surface of the rotors. I would say I have put on 100-150 miles since I have had these brakes, so they should be broken in.

Thanks.
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Old 07-20-04, 10:04 PM   #2
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My brakes (Ordered from Jenson) came with defective pads. I called Avid about it, and apprarently some pads were produced in a super soft compound. They sent me new pads and I haven't had any problems since.
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Old 07-21-04, 01:16 AM   #3
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I just sent an email to Avid asking if they had any ideas. If I have bad pads I will be a bit irritated, but if the brakes work well after replacement I will be happy.
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Old 07-21-04, 05:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bg4533
I recently upgraded to an Avid mech in the front with Avid AD3 brake levers. I am using Aztec Powerline brake housing and cable and it feels very smooth and consistent. Overall, braking seems very consistant when compared to Vbrakes, but I dont really seem to have any braking power. It seems like the power I get is applied directly by my hand and I have no mechanical advantage. Regardless of how hard I pull I cannot lock up the brakes. I can stop fairly quickly, but it requires a lot of strength and my hand gets tired quickly.

Any idea as to what the problem is here?

I think the brakes are set up properly, but these are the only discs I have played with. I have not touched the braking surface of the rotors. I would say I have put on 100-150 miles since I have had these brakes, so they should be broken in.

Thanks.
Yes, they should be broken in by now with those miles. I'm sure you have been through the routine, but I will talk through some things you should at least look it and double check.

Make sure the inboard pad is dialed in (using the red knob closest to your spokes) so that it is up close to your rotor. The outboard pad sits a little bit away and pushes up against the rotor slightly bending it or deflecting it in towards the spoke side pad. This is normal and should provide plenty of power. Experiment with different distances from the rotor to get it set right. Others have had good performance by keeping the inboard pad dialed with a little more distance from the rotor to cause more rotor deflection. Try it both ways to see what works best for you.

Double check the trueness of your calipers.

It also sounds like you might have too much cable slack - or at least that would be another area to check when going over everything to make sure you have it all dialed in correctly. I only say this because you mention no matter how hard you pull you cannot lock up the brakes. That should not be the case with the Avids. You ought to be able to lock them up quite easily by pulling that hard.

Lastly, as you ride with the Avid brakes - you will have to continue to adjust the pads in towards the rotor as pad wear is normal. Sometimes during a long ride you will have to do this during the ride by simply stopping, rotating the red knobs in a click or two and then continuing on down the singletrack.

I've been using the Avid 185mm's for nearly 2 years. I have them on 2 bikes and my wife/son uses the 160mm's on their shared bike.

You should have the ability with your brake levers to set them up for one finger braking which will give you more mechanical advantage. With my 185mm's, I can lock up both wheels with no problem and send myself flying over the bars if I wanted to by grabbing a handful of brakes.

There is a brake forum over at MountainBikeReview.com that has oodles of discussions over the past 2 years on Avid Mechanical Brakes and all matters related to them.

BB
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Old 07-21-04, 02:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceBrown
Yes, they should be broken in by now with those miles. I'm sure you have been through the routine, but I will talk through some things you should at least look it and double check.

Make sure the inboard pad is dialed in (using the red knob closest to your spokes) so that it is up close to your rotor. The outboard pad sits a little bit away and pushes up against the rotor slightly bending it or deflecting it in towards the spoke side pad. This is normal and should provide plenty of power. Experiment with different distances from the rotor to get it set right. Others have had good performance by keeping the inboard pad dialed with a little more distance from the rotor to cause more rotor deflection. Try it both ways to see what works best for you.

Double check the trueness of your calipers.

It also sounds like you might have too much cable slack - or at least that would be another area to check when going over everything to make sure you have it all dialed in correctly. I only say this because you mention no matter how hard you pull you cannot lock up the brakes. That should not be the case with the Avids. You ought to be able to lock them up quite easily by pulling that hard.

Lastly, as you ride with the Avid brakes - you will have to continue to adjust the pads in towards the rotor as pad wear is normal. Sometimes during a long ride you will have to do this during the ride by simply stopping, rotating the red knobs in a click or two and then continuing on down the singletrack.

I've been using the Avid 185mm's for nearly 2 years. I have them on 2 bikes and my wife/son uses the 160mm's on their shared bike.

You should have the ability with your brake levers to set them up for one finger braking which will give you more mechanical advantage. With my 185mm's, I can lock up both wheels with no problem and send myself flying over the bars if I wanted to by grabbing a handful of brakes.

There is a brake forum over at MountainBikeReview.com that has oodles of discussions over the past 2 years on Avid Mechanical Brakes and all matters related to them.

BB

Thanks for the tips. I have more or less tried all of this, but I will continue playing with them. I don't think I have too much cable slack, I can easily squeeze the lever 60% or so of the way in, beyond that it gets quite hard. I am going to take a look at the MTBR stuff now.

BTW, my email to Avid keeps getting bounced back to me...
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Old 07-21-04, 02:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bg4533
Thanks for the tips. I have more or less tried all of this, but I will continue playing with them. I don't think I have too much cable slack, I can easily squeeze the lever 60% or so of the way in, beyond that it gets quite hard. I am going to take a look at the MTBR stuff now.

BTW, my email to Avid keeps getting bounced back to me...
My Avids work quite well, and I'm sure you will be able to get the glitches ironed out. These are great brakes. One thing that may not have been mentioned that I have had problems with in the past is rotor contamination. I don't think it's just an Avid thing, but mine are next to useless if they have any oil from hands, lubes, whatever on them. The reccomended course of action is to wipe the rotors down with alcohol, but I save that for drinking and just use automotive brake cleaner. Then I will scuff the pads with a piece of emery, around 120 grit or so, just to remove any contamination that may be on the pads. Try this if you haven't yet, and let us know how you do.
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Old 07-21-04, 02:32 PM   #7
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The recommended course of action is to wipe the rotors down with alcohol, but I save that for drinking .
You drink Denatured Alcohol? Umm eww
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Old 07-21-04, 02:49 PM   #8
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You drink Denatured Alcohol? Umm eww
Well, now that you mention it, it all depends on what I have around the house...
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Old 07-21-04, 02:50 PM   #9
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Well, now that you mention it, it all depends on what I have around the house...
Good answer
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Old 07-21-04, 07:58 PM   #10
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Denatured alcohol,no, Good Natured Alcohol, YES!

L8R

What does denatured mean anyways? It's be removed of all nature? hmmmmm.
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Old 07-21-04, 08:28 PM   #11
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Denatured alcohol is actually ethanol. Rubbing Alcohol is isopropanol. It has a completely different molecular structure than ethanol and often contains up to 30% water.


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Old 07-21-04, 08:40 PM   #12
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Denatured alcohol is only part ethanol. What makes it denatured is that there are other additives (e.g. benzene or methanol) which make it poisonous.
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Old 07-22-04, 01:43 AM   #13
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upgrade to deore m555 hydraulics! i use avid mech b4 nd im not satisfied (rotors bend easily after 2 mos use and the pads easily worns out)... since we dnt have warranties in the philippines id rather hav another gud set of brakes... i sold it anyway to an acquiantant. my bike is a hardtail wd marzocchi drop off triple dual crown fork and a whollata dh/ fr components. and uses it for aggro trail, jump, dh racing and it rocks!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by bg4533
I recently upgraded to an Avid mech in the front with Avid AD3 brake levers. I am using Aztec Powerline brake housing and cable and it feels very smooth and consistent. Overall, braking seems very consistant when compared to Vbrakes, but I dont really seem to have any braking power. It seems like the power I get is applied directly by my hand and I have no mechanical advantage. Regardless of how hard I pull I cannot lock up the brakes. I can stop fairly quickly, but it requires a lot of strength and my hand gets tired quickly.

Any idea as to what the problem is here?

I think the brakes are set up properly, but these are the only discs I have played with. I have not touched the braking surface of the rotors. I would say I have put on 100-150 miles since I have had these brakes, so they should be broken in.

Thanks.
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Old 07-22-04, 10:10 AM   #14
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upgrade to deore m555 hydraulics! i use avid mech b4 nd im not satisfied (rotors bend easily after 2 mos use and the pads easily worns out)... since we dnt have warranties in the philippines id rather hav another gud set of brakes... i sold it anyway to an acquiantant. my bike is a hardtail wd marzocchi drop off triple dual crown fork and a whollata dh/ fr components. and uses it for aggro trail, jump, dh racing and it rocks!!!
My neighbor recently ebayed a bike that had incorrectly setup Avids (unknown to him). He had a bike with Hayes hydros on it, and told me how much the Avids sucked, he didn't think I was in my right mind because I liked mine so much. I set his up for him, (had shifter cable housing instead of brake housing) and now he absolutely swears by them, prefers them over the Hayes. Maybe yours weren't set up correctly, hmm?
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Old 07-22-04, 02:01 PM   #15
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My neighbor recently ebayed a bike that had incorrectly setup Avids (unknown to him). He had a bike with Hayes hydros on it, and told me how much the Avids sucked, he didn't think I was in my right mind because I liked mine so much. I set his up for him, (had shifter cable housing instead of brake housing) and now he absolutely swears by them, prefers them over the Hayes. Maybe yours weren't set up correctly, hmm?
SHIFTER housing? You're frigging kidding me! What kind of Nerf brained imbecile installed them that way? <shakes head in disgust> Takes all kinds I guess. I'm glad you sorted that out for him. You're a good egg Buzz
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Old 07-22-04, 03:29 PM   #16
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[color=blue]SHIFTER housing? You're frigging kidding me!
No kidding! It was a real drag...
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Old 07-27-04, 04:48 AM   #17
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it was already sold anyway...
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