Brakes can be a real drag, literally. Over time, the hydraulic pistons that were once snappy and responsive can become sticky and sluggish, resulting in everything from noise to brake drag to uneven pad wear. If you’re one of the millions of riders who has suffered from this condition, we can offer some help. There is a quick and easy procedure that can breathe new life into those tired old stoppers, and it doesn’t even require a bleed, any special tools or even much time. It’s called the “brake reset.” This, according to the Shimano multi-service crew, is the most common repair they do for riders and racers when they’re at an event. We can teach you how to do it by yourself.
• 5-millimeter Allen wrench
• 3-millimeter Allen wrench
• Plastic tire lever
• Isopropyl alcohol
• Handful of Q-tips
• Brake-pad spacing chip (specific to your make/model of brake)
• Rotor truing tool, or crescent wrench in a pinch
• Shimano mineral oil (if working on Shimano brakes)
10-Once cleaned and lubed, check to see that the pistons are extending equally by pumping the brakes one to two times without the pads, wheel or rotor in. If they look like this, with an equal amount of piston showing after the couple of pumps, you’re ready to re-assemble.
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