Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Help! Spongy brakes after storage!

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Help! Spongy brakes after storage!

Old 06-09-23, 04:50 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,532
Liked 44 Times in 34 Posts
Help! Spongy brakes after storage!

I could really use sone help here! I havenít ridden my road bike with hydraulic discs for a couple of months, itís just been hanging on the wall (one of those pedal type hangers, so it sits parallel to floor, but at a slight angle to the wall). Last ride the brakes were tight and responsive. Anyway, I pulled it down today and the brakes are super spongy! It takes at least 1/2 a pull before I feel the pistons engage. Any remedy for this short of a brake bleed? I donít have the equip for that handy, and was hoping for a DIY solution. Otherwise, itís off to the shop!
Plainsman is offline  
Old 06-09-23, 07:48 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,757
Liked 1,124 Times in 776 Posts
A trick that can sometimes work if you don't have too much air in the lines is to leave the bike in a parallel position to the floor which is probably OK with your wall storage setup. Squeeze the brake lever and strap/tape it down and let the bike sit for at least 12 hours. Flick the brake line with your finger at least a couple times in that 12 hours to loosen any air bubbles. After the 12+ hours, undo the strap and let the lever quickly snap back. Sometimes this can allow the air bubbles that have migrated to the lever to get past the plunger and escape the lines. It's no cost, no wrenching, easy and worth a try. You might have to do it twice depending how much air might be in your system so try this first and if no luck you might have to do a proper bleed.
Crankycrank is offline  
Likes For Crankycrank:
Old 06-09-23, 08:06 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,532
Liked 44 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by Crankycrank
A trick that can sometimes work if you don't have too much air in the lines is to leave the bike in a parallel position to the floor which is probably OK with your wall storage setup. Squeeze the brake lever and strap/tape it down and let the bike sit for at least 12 hours. Flick the brake line with your finger at least a couple times in that 12 hours to loosen any air bubbles. After the 12+ hours, undo the strap and let the lever quickly snap back. Sometimes this can allow the air bubbles that have migrated to the lever to get past the plunger and escape the lines. It's no cost, no wrenching, easy and worth a try. You might have to do it twice depending how much air might be in your system so try this first and if no luck you might have to do a proper bleed.
This is great stuff! I tried strapping them down overnight last night, but missed some steps. My bike was upright (not lying down parallel to the floor as you indicate), I didnít flick the lines, and so didnít let them snap back quickly. Iíll try again tonight. So the bike needs to be on its side on the floor for this to work? Thanks!
Plainsman is offline  
Likes For Plainsman:
Old 06-09-23, 08:23 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,757
Liked 1,124 Times in 776 Posts
Oh no, sorry, I meant the bike should be upright and parallel to the floor. The idea is to have the levers at the highest point in the system so air rises to the top.
Crankycrank is offline  
Likes For Crankycrank:
Old 06-09-23, 09:03 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,532
Liked 44 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by Crankycrank
Oh no, sorry, I meant the bike should be upright and parallel to the floor. The idea is to have the levers at the highest point in the system so air rises to the top.
Okay, that makes more sense! I have it on a floor stand so it is perfectly upright. Iím hoping last nightís fail was due to lack of flicking of the lines, and not quickly releasing the levers.
Plainsman is offline  
Likes For Plainsman:
Old 06-12-23, 05:29 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
oldbobcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 4,464

Bikes: '80 Masi Gran Criterium, '12 Trek Madone, early '60s Frejus track

Liked 479 Times in 361 Posts
Originally Posted by Plainsman
I could really use sone help here! I haven’t ridden my road bike with hydraulic discs for a couple of months, it’s just been hanging on the wall (one of those pedal type hangers, so it sits parallel to floor, but at a slight angle to the wall). Last ride the brakes were tight and responsive. Anyway, I pulled it down today and the brakes are super spongy! It takes at least 1/2 a pull before I feel the pistons engage. Any remedy for this short of a brake bleed? I don’t have the equip for that handy, and was hoping for a DIY solution. Otherwise, it’s off to the shop!
All the air in the systems just floated to the levers where it's more noticeable. So all you have to do is bleed them, and since the air is already in the levers a simple top bleed should be sufficient.

So hanging your bike this way didn't cause a problem. It helped you find one that was there all along. Often, when I know the brake fluid isn't old or contaminated, I'll just pick the bike up by the handlebars and bounce it on the rear wheel. That will float the bubbles to the levers to make for an easy top bleed. When I'm done I'll do it again. If it holds, great. If it doesn't, well, then I do a full system bleed.

Last edited by oldbobcat; 06-12-23 at 05:36 PM.
oldbobcat is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.