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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,153

    How often do you have to adjust your brakes?

    It seems like almost every ride after some hard braking, I end up with rubbing on my brake pads from the rotor. I could probably adjust my brakes before (after) each and every ride if I was (more) anal about it. My feeling is that all brake rub noise is working against me, and I need all the help I can get these days. :-)

    Is this standard? Do y'all have the same thing going on? If not, what am I doing wrong? I'm not thread-locking the caliper bolts, my wheels could probably use a true (although the nipples are buried under tubeless tape), and my rotor could probably be trued a little also. Am I gonna die?

    Seth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    53
    rear or front rubbing? sounds like you may need new pads and rotor, also check the washers on the brake assembly mount. If the rotor is warped it will rub

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    9,652
    Shimano XTs. 3 years old, finally broke down and bled them, other than changing pads. Nada.

    Fun fact. the Hope pads I had left laying around work just peachy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Southeast New York
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    5,927
    I go weeks or even months without adjusting my brakes. I can usually replace the pads without having to do anything other than push the pistons back before inserting the new pads.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    san diego
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    974
    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    I go weeks or even months without adjusting my brakes. I can usually replace the pads without having to do anything other than push the pistons back before inserting the new pads.
    Same here. Usually if they rub it is from worn pads or bent rotor. Rotor you can usually tell by the sound, and it can usually be bent back easy enough. Occasionally I'll reposition the caliper. Bleed brakes whenever necessary. Maybe every month or two.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars
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    3,161
    I never adjust my brakes. I put in new pads when the old ones are done and ride. I adjust the reach on the lever usually once shortly before the pads are worn out but that's it.
    You are what you eat.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,153
    Hmm. Definitely doing something wrong. Feel free to critique my method:

    Spin wheel(s), listen for rubbing.
    Adjust caliper until no rubbing is heard.
    Go ride.
    By middle or end of ride, rubbing is once again observed. I never stop mid-ride to adjust.
    Rinse, repeat.

    Seth

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
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    I almost never touch the calipers. I'll fuss with contact point and reach occasionally as the pads wear down.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    cow hampshire
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    2,854
    Quote Originally Posted by sethschmautz View Post
    Hmm. Definitely doing something wrong. Feel free to critique my method:

    Spin wheel(s), listen for rubbing.
    Adjust caliper until no rubbing is heard.
    Go ride.
    By middle or end of ride, rubbing is once again observed. I never stop mid-ride to adjust.
    Rinse, repeat.

    Seth
    What kind of brakes? Once I went Shimano I never had problems again. I don't touch mine unless I tweak a rotor. Try to bend back as best as can or swap it out.


    Edit - ^great link

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,153
    Shimano XT...I think the M785s. Great link to the park site. Thanks for the input all.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using TGR Forums mobile app

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Summit North
    Posts
    5,066
    I run Shimano XT's on my trail bike as well...
    4 seasons on this set, several pairs of pads, two bleeds, and a rotor tweak now and again.
    As the pads wear, I adjust the lever throw a little, that's it.
    Alpental Indigenous

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    In a van... down by the river
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    1,750
    I think yuse gots sumthin' wrong with yo' brakes, yo!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    50 miles E of Paradise
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    7,427
    My first thought was "OP has Avid Elixers". So much for that theory...
    Like everybody else here with XT brakes, its a no muss no fuss relationship for me. Three years, never bled, no issues

    Guessing you have a warped rotor that goes more out of true when it gets hot.
    Or, if only teh front rubs and you have QR hubs, you may not have the wheel correctly seated in the dropouts.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Aspen
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    7,604
    I bleed my XTs once a season. Never mess with the calipers. Occasionally mess with the reach.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
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    I used to have lots of trouble with the original hayes from back in the day, the juicy's were a cut above and now the latest shimano are a cut above again , beginning this season all i did was adjust lever reach and that was it

    unless there is a reason that air got in the system/spongy lever I don't bleed brakes ... how often do you need to bleed the brakes in yer car?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    19,279
    Yeah, Shimanos shouldn't need that much maintenance. Are you taking the wheel off? Even then, I understand it's not a big deal with thru axels.
    You can go a year without bleeding Shimanos, but oh boy do they feel good when you bleed them. (Maybe the sintered pads make them more sensitive to the bleed).
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    lake level
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    1,078
    Maybe a sticky piston that isn't retracting all the way? Yeah, brakes shouldn't need to be messed with more than every few months.
    I really lack the words to compliment myself today. - Alberto Tomba

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    The Fish
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    Its possible you are doing something wrong but its more likely you're just being anal about a little rub (no offense meant). Way more than half of the shimanos I see at the shop are touching a little. Its generally undetectable while riding as they are pretty quite brakes. Some very lucky people do get brakes that don't get a sticky piston here or there and never get brake rub.... In my expereance its far from the norm. Guides tend to rub a little more frequent because they are quad piston brakes and you are doubling the chance of a sticky piston. I have found the average rider can't see or hear worth a shit.... either that or they don't care.
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,153
    Thanks for the input. I spun the wheels again last night and they aren't rubbing right now. The idea that they may be warping a bit when hot seems to be likely. That said, I'll try to find time to true them over the weekend and see if I can find a zero point for the setup so I can leave the calipers alone.

    I think there's also real truth in the idea that I might just be a little too anal about it (no offense taken). :-)

    Seth

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    691
    I get rub every so often. I ignore it every single time, and by the end of the next downhill lap i have no more rub. Being a big dude, and grabbing a handful of brakes numerous times on the way down seems to adjust the pistons/pads/rotor whatever enough that the minor rub never lasts very long. Actually, whenever my lady had a little brake rub i just told her to do some sweet skids, and the rub went away.

    FWIW, i have XTs that have never been bled (and can get real sporty at the end of long downhills) and my wheels are both a little out of true. But the above strategy has worked on all my bikes over the years unless something is truly, truly bent or messed up. YMMV.

    I also know mechanics who tell you to drip a little brake fluid on the pistons and work it in to prevent a sticky piston. So maybe that will help you.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Whistler
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    1,346
    Are you using the bleed block AND pad spacer when bleeding and setting up the brakes?
    Both of these tools are important in getting the pistons and pads spaced evenly.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Missoula, MT
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    If you're getting a lot of warping, you can bend the rotor back, but you may want to try cleaning them with alcohol and a clean rag or paper towel first. If it's dusty up by you now, and you're riding a lot, your rotors may be picking some of that up over time and getting unnecessarily hot. I believe resin pads can also be very easily contaminated by that.
    After cleaning, you may wanna ride around the block a couple times dragging the brakes to get them bedded back in.
    If you have resin pads, you may want to hit them up with some 220 grit sandpaper, especially if they look shiny. Then get some sintered metal pads when they wear out. If you don't have XT rotors, get those. They seem to be super stiff (there's a lot of aluminum in there?) so they don't warp much to begin with.
    If all that's happening is it touches a little bit when it's hot, don't worry about it. Especially if it's not making much noise. Also, it seems maybe some full suspension designs may make more rear brake rub than others? Could also be a thing.

    edit to add 1 more thing: It's been really hot lately. Makes a difference.
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chamonix
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    907
    Push the rotor over to the side that's rubbing and pump the lever a few times to push the pistons back a little on that side. Park/Pinkbike had a video on it in the last year or two. Don't be scared to push the rotor hard; it won't stay bent.

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