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Old 05-18-06, 05:23 PM   #1
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Front Disc brake not working well? Why?

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?

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Old 05-18-06, 07:40 PM   #2
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Change the housing and cable out for new. If it is still hard after that, the caliper is completely messed and will likely need replacing.
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Old 05-19-06, 03:16 AM   #3
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Check the pads, if they are resin, they can sometimes wear down extremely quickly in muddy/wet conditions if not burnt in properly (within hours).

Could also be the caliper alignment relative to the rotor, or the pad distance to the rotor which can be adjusted fairly easily.
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Old 05-19-06, 04:24 AM   #4
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If its hard to squeeze, then definatley replace cables/housing. The pads COULD be a problem aswell as mentioned above.
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Old 05-19-06, 06:51 AM   #5
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Look at the caliper/rotor from above and observe while squeezing the lever...Does the rotor appear to twist or bend with contact from the pads? Caliper may be misaligned and the mounting bolts arent secure. If no, then possibly friction in cable housing from mud/crud. Maybe dripping lube onto the bare wire near caliper with bike upside down (allowing lube to run down wire into housing) will loosen it up some. If it does then Id consider replacing it with new to bring the original feel back.
Seriously doubt its the pad wear after only 250miles esp. since you say the lever is hard to squeeze.
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Old 05-19-06, 07:01 AM   #6
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Take it back to you LBS for warranty service.
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