Brake lever feels spongy.
** This brake has been designed to allow full lever stroke, i.e., you should be able to mash the lever all the way to the tape.
**A new disc brake becomes firmer in feel with extended use. This is because the pads seat within the first 200-400 miles (see Chapter 4). Optimal brake feel cannot be obtained until the pad is readjusted after proper seating.
** The brake needs to be adjusted; see chapters 2-4. In the meantime do not tighten the cable. While tightening the cable will make the brake feel firmer (more like a cable-actuated brake), it will disrupt the self-regulating hydraulic system's ability to compensate for temperature and atmospheric pressure. An over-tight cable will ultimately cause the system to fail.
My brake rubs or locks up with use.
** The cable is too tight; this prevents the heated brake fluid from expanding into the expansion chamber. The heated brake fluid will expand despite the lack of an appropriate reservoir, and will force the pads against the rotor, even though you haven't squeezed the lever.
** If the pads continue to rub even when the cable is completely slack, either the pads are too tight, the rotor is warped (Chapter 11) or the caliper is out of alignment (also Chapter 11). Since the pads cannot tighten themselves, unless you've just tightened them, you should refer to Chapter 11.
My brake doesn't develop enough stopping power.
** Lever feel does NOT equal stopping power. Many mechanics, however, will tighten the cable to improve feel while neglecting pad adjustment. The result - good lever feel and abysmal braking. Read and follow the instructions in Chapters 2-4 to solve this too-common problem.
** A brake with new pads will have diminished stopping power until the pads have been adequately seated through as much as 200-400 miles of use. Full power is obtained when the pad is readjusted after proper seating (see Chapter 4).
** The disc or pads may be contaminated; always be careful when using spray lubricants - they are the enemy of stopping power. If you suspect your brake is contaminated, you'll need to clean the disc with rubbing alcohol and remove and clean the pads using emery cloth.
I have carefully readjusted the brake and cleaned it as noted above, and the brake still performs poorly.
** Find a comfortable chair and reread Chapters 2-4. 95% of the time we receive a phone call from an understandably frustrated customer or dealer we learned that they have skimmed the material and attempted to adjust the brake before fully understanding how simple this system really is. Without this understanding, it is far too easy to skip a necessary step. While there are a half-dozen ways to adjust a rim brake or derailleur, and two or three ways to adjust any other disc brake, there is just one way to property adjust this brake. While the brake system is neither fussy, nor difficult to adjust, the necessary steps must be performed in the proper order.
** There is air in the system. Because air is compressible (and hydraulic fluid is not), even a tiny amount of air in the system will prevent the hydraulic fluid from fully actuating the caliper. If you have already rechecked the adjustment of the system and the condition of the pads, you will need to "bleed" the system in order to remove the air. Follow the instructions found in Chapters 6 & 7.
When to cry for help
** Technical support is available from Santana 8-4:30 weekdays: (909) 596-7570. Should you feel that the brake is not responding to your best efforts, you may want to put your tools down, take this manual into the next room and reread this section. If you have no epiphanies as a result of this experience, don't hesitate to pick up a phone to call us. We've always been able to walk our customers through the adjustment process to get their bike ready for the next day's ride.
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