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  1. #1
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    Default front brake grabs too hard too fast...

    I recently put new bars on my sporty and got a little too aggressive trying to bend a section of hard line on my stock brake hose. Not knowing my line was compromised I sent a stream of DOT 5 jetting across my garage like a purple laser when i pulled the brake lever. Needless to say, my brake hose was trashed and I needed a new one. I went to a local rubber and hose supply store and they made me a pretty sweet braided stainless hose the exact size I needed and went on my way to my first lesson in HD brakes.

    It took me about 4 hours to install my new line and get the brakes bled which is an entirely different story altogether but I'm fairly confident it will never take that long again. The main thing is that I have front brakes again and they grab hard... a little too hard and a little too early in the lever pull. They engage so early that the brake light sensor won't even trip until I completely lock up the wheel.

    Is there anything I can do to soften up the brakes a bit so I can get my light to work? My pads are quite worn and ride very close to the rotor now and I think that when I eventually replace them they'll touch. Maybe crack the bleeder and push the pistons in??? I don't know much about this stuff and am just learning as I go so any ideas would help. I'm wondering if it just has something to do with my new hose being small in diameter and not having much give to it. Whatever the cause is... it definitely doesn't feel right how it is now so I'm hoping some of you out there can help me.

  2. #2
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    I think you should probably read up a little on hydraulic brake systems so you have a better understanding of what's going on.

    Assuming that you sill use the stock switch housing. There's a soft metal tab that is on the lever section of the lever and perch. While the lever is released it depresses the brake switch into the switch housing. When the lever is pulled, it releases the switch to activate the light. This tab is soft and can be tweaked to some degree to meet your needs.

    I'm guessing that the brakes were probably mush before you replaced the line. It sounds like you have a fresh clean setup and it just seems "grabby" by comparison. Hard to say when we're just talking rather than riding it. They should be crisp when you pull the lever as there shouldn't be play in the lever.

    Lastly, the pads should be touching the rotor at all times. Yes, there can be light in spots or sometimes a side if the pressure settled enough. The piston will only depress as far as the highest point of the rotor pushes it. If the pads weren't touching the rotor than you'd have a ton of slop. Think about a bicycle. There's a ton of play when the pads are out of adjustment and are far from the rim.

  3. #3
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    right on man... thanks for the info and reassurance that they're working just fine. I definitely need to learn more about brakes along with pretty much everything else on my bike. I do still have the stock switch housing and know about the little tab. I'll adjust it now that I know there's nothing wrong.

    My old hose was mush in comparison to my new setup and it just threw me off a little being so different. It's my first dealing with hydraulic brakes as you probably already figured out. thanks again for your help.

  4. #4
    xllance
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    I'm no brake expert by far but I think you need to go back to the original diameter of hose.

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    Is the ID the same size? Also, a braided line won't have the flex of a rubber line and will give a stiffer more direct feel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xllance View Post
    I'm no brake expert by far but I think you need to go back to the original diameter of hose.
    I agree. It sounds like maybe the ID is too small, making your brake feel too "grabby" as you stated. Ive replaced a few, from rubber to stainless and they never felt much different.

  7. #7
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    the stock hose and my new one are pretty different from each other as far as the materials and the general design goes. I'm not sure about the inside diameter on my new hose but I'm guessing it is narrower. The stock one was made up of about 50% hardline crimped on to a couple sections of what I guess you would call regular rubber brake hose. It was was also 21 years old so maybe the rubber sections had degraded over time and stretched out. I don't really know about any of that but I'm with you guys in thinking the new "grabby" nature of my brake has more to do with my new line having a small ID and being surrounded by stainless steel mesh that doesn't have much give. It doesn't really bother me how it now; kinda reminds me of the brake on my old dirt bike i used to have. As long as I can adjust the tab to get my brake light working it shouldn't be that hard to get used to. I'll have to wait a couple weeks to do that though since I just started my hitch back at work and am currently surrounded by miles of barren tundra and frigid arctic winds.

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    I can't really see them using a ID line that is smaller or much different. Really, I don't think it would make much of a difference anyway. I say that because it's just a different volume of fluid. It's pushing the same piston from the same master. Now, if the master was different or the caliper was a different design than you would see variance.

    Just my opinion of course.

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