How To Get More Power From Your Brakes | Mountain Bike Maintenance

October 16, 2019

– When it comes to
brakes, there’s one thing that I really like, and I’m
super pernickety about this. I like them to be absolutely
rock solid, really firm, and when it comes that
bite point, they’re grabby. They dig into the ground,
and really slow you down, but it can be really
hard to actually do this, and in this video I’m gonna
talk exactly about that, how to get your brakes dialled, bled, and feeling super strong. (upbeat music) So, the tools that you’re gonna need are a range of allen keys, bleed
systems specific to your brake, some zip ties, and then some cable snips. Okay, so I can tell that
the brake actually needs a little bit of attention,
because when I actually go up to the lever and
pull the brake in itself, the lever goes straight to the grip. If I pump it a few times,
(bike handle clicking) then it goes rock solid again. So, there’s obviously
some air in the system. The first thing that I’m gonna do is do a full bleed of the system, but we’ve already got a
video on how to do that. So, let’s get to it (snapping fingers). So, that’s the brake all bled. Now, I’ve got a little bit of air actually come out of the system. So, hopefully that’s just
cleaned the whole thing out, got that air up towards it, but it’s still not 100% firm, and this is really where my top tips are gonna come in. The first thing that I want you guys to do is I want you to loosen off
that calliper right here. Just tighten it so you can actually wiggle it back and forth
on the brake body itself. Okay, so with that calliper loosened off, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna
come up to the brake lever, pump up a few times, and I’m gonna send to the calliper onto the disc itself, pulling that in, and then
just gonna tighten this up, and hopefully that’s
gonna line up perfectly, cause what I’m trying to do here is make sure that all
the pistons are working evenly, independent of each other. I’m gonna take a look down
into the brake rotor now. I can actually see that
it’s not quite centred. So, I’m gonna have to
adjust this one by hand. Gonna undo the bolts again. Come back in, and then just do it by hand looking right through
the brake pad itself, making sure that I can see a gap between the rotor and the pads, and then once I’ve got that centred, gonna hold it down and tighten up loosely, and then do that exact same thing for the other side until I’ve got it perfectly. You might not get this first time. So, it might just take a couple of goes. Okay, so now that we’ve got this centred it’s just a case of making
sure that that rotor is actually running free,
and it’s not catching on the disc pads themselves. We’re looking good there,
and then one final check is just squeezing that lever. We’re gonna make sure that
they’re both working evenly. I can see straight away that they are. So, we’re good to get onto the next step. So, before we go on to really
making that brake feel solid, there’s one final check
that I want you guys to do, is to check all these little bleed nipples where the hose mount onto the calliper, and also up in the brake lever that all these bolts are really tight, they’re done up, and that no air can actually get into
them, causing the brake to actually build up a little bit of air, and that is what is gonna cause that brake to come into the bite, cause
there’s air in the system. So, if you haven’t
already, you’re going to have to put on this sort
of bleed bucket right now. Now, the Shimano brake takes this one. Pop in a little bit of fluid. If you’re running a
slightly different brake then just check out the
manufacturer’s recommendations. All you’ll want to do is pop
a tiny little bit of fluid, and then this is when the
hack starts to happen. Okay, so now what you want
to do is get that allen key, and you’re just gonna
start pumping the brake. Pump it quite a lot, and
then you’re just gonna go around every part of
the brake just tapping it, making sure that there’s
no air actually trapped behind pistons, sort of
any of the assembly part of the hose, and we’re just gonna do that all the way along the hose
right up to the lever, and just keep going until we start to see some little tiny air bubbles
coming up through this bucket. Okay, so once you’ve done
that a number of times, just keep going back and forth, or working all the way from the calliper right up to the lever, and make sure, it’s one of the, this is one key point, you want to have that
calliper below the lever, and then we’re gonna get onto this, and we’re just gonna get a zip tie. Zip tie it actually around
the lever onto the grip, and we just locked it
up, keep it in place, and then we’re just gonna
do the whole procedure of just actually tapping
it right from the bottom all the way up to the top again. (plastic knocking) And, then we’re just gonna
leave it for five minutes, and go make a brew. How are we looking? Let’s cut that cable tie off and see if there are any bubbles. We’re looking pretty good. What you basically want to find is that when you pump that lever there are absolutely no bubbles coming
up through the system. That ensures that it’s
gonna be really firm, and that you’ve actually got them all the way from down at the piston, all the way up through the lever, and it’s running pretty damn clear. Okay, there we go. So, some of my very favourite hacks to get the brakes feeling
absolutely super strong. If you guys have got
any, then please leave em in the comments down below. We love checking that stuff out. We’re gonna take that
off, put the cap back on, and then I’m ready to ride. Don’t forget to subscribe to GMBN, because you’ll never miss a video again, and if you want to watch some more videos about braking, then make
sure you hit down there for how to bleed your brakes. Hit just there for braking effectively, and give this video a thumb up like. All that remains is to drink my tea. Oh, and if you want to get a mug, then just click up there to the shop and you’ll get one just like this. (gulping) Ah, right on.

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