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Hayes Stroker Carbons - Poor feeling/spongy help pleez.

stevekozstevekoz Posts: 103
edited November 2012 in MTB workshop & tech
Hi,

Just had a set of Hayes Stroker Carbons i bought off ebay a while ago and fitted to a new bike by my LBS and he bled them for me. But they just don't feel right.

Right side front feels very spongy, like there is some soft resistance in the lever, when i press it there is a spongy resistance and when i let go it returns fairly slowly. The Left lever rear feels almost like there is almost no resistance and pulls back freely and then flicks back straight away to its normal position. I replaced a set of Tektro's with these having had some Hayes before and thought they'd be a good upgrade, starting to think i was wrong. They just don't feel as tight or as strong.

As i say i've had them bled but no joy. I don't know whats up with them. Has anyone had any experience of this and know how to fix it. Adjusting the lever reach has some very minor positive effect but they are wound almost all teh way out of reach at that point.

What could be the issue?

cheers all

Posts

  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    Are the pads advanced? that is can you see them move at all when you pull the lever? (they shouldn't).
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • stevekozstevekoz Posts: 103
    Hi cheers for the reply.

    Yes if i look at the caliper when depressing the lever i can see the pads move and bite the disc

    Do i need to remove and push back the pistons and then replace or is it something else?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    No, you either need to advance them by removing the wheel and pulling the lever 'just enough' so that retracted they are closer to the disc than they are now, or do the 'max out the reach adjust and elastic band the lever to the basr overnight' trick.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • stevekozstevekoz Posts: 103
    The second option, i'm assuming just set the levers to a maximum reach then put a number of elastic bands round the levers clampign them as far down as possible so that over night it slowly pushes the pads in as far as they should go? Might give that a go tonight and then if that doesn't work try option no 1 with more time tomorrow. Hoping it does else i'm a bit stumped. Cheers for the help Beginner. appreciate it.
  • stevekozstevekoz Posts: 103
    Right. tried the option of tying the the brake levers back to the handlebars and its done a fair bit to alleviate the spongy feel in the front break as its advanced the pads that bit. I think i could maybe do with new pads i think and all should be square.

    cheers for the help.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    It can still take a while for them to stay out, sometimes you have a caliper that's just a bit of a pig and is reluctant to play ball.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • jamojawjamojaw Posts: 89
    Hi mate, i had similar problems with my hayes. I searched for advice and heard all kinds of fixes. I was told sometimes the rubber seal around the piston at the lever swells and causes some stiction. I was told there is a service kit for it and that they use to give these out for free on the earlier models for you to sort. Another guy said he used KY jelly on it :lol: I wouldnt bother though. I used fenwicks suspension lube and it worked. Might be worth a try.

    p.s this helped the lever return not so much with anything else
  • bennett_346bennett_346 Posts: 5,029
    All of these are workarounds and not ideal.

    You say you've had them bled, you can try changing all the seals and rebuildings the entire system, see if that works. If not they likely are flubbered and need replaced.

    Don't just wind the reach adjust all the way out either, sort them out properly.
  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    jamojaw wrote:
    I was told sometimes the rubber seal around the piston at the lever swells and causes some stiction.

    It also gets dirty (causing pistons to stick a bit), and needs cleaning, every so often. This costs practically nothing to do yourself - remove disc, advance pistons, carefully wipe off dirt from side of piston (clean rag wrapped around a screwdriver works for me, be very careful not to scratch the side of the pstons) and lubricate with a few drops of brake fluid, then push pistons back in.
    jamojaw wrote:
    Another guy said he used KY jelly on it :lol: I wouldnt bother though. I used fenwicks suspension lube and it worked. Might be worth a try.

    I seriously doubt suspension lube is compatible with DOT 5.1 brake fluid. And ky jelly, erm, barking up the wrong tree there. As hayes use DOT 5.1, best stick to using the same (ie DOT 5.1 brake fluid) for lubricating the pistons.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    Don't just wind the reach adjust all the way out either, sort them out properly.
    Winding it out to get them to advance and then putting it back isn't a work around, it's a perfectly valid way of doing it.....
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • bennett_346bennett_346 Posts: 5,029
    How? It's a temporary fix at best.

    Wanna explain the logic behind it?
  • jamojaw wrote:
    I was told sometimes the rubber seal around the piston at the lever swells and causes some stiction.

    It also gets dirty (causing pistons to stick a bit), and needs cleaning, every so often. This costs practically nothing to do yourself - remove disc, advance pistons, carefully wipe off dirt from side of piston (clean rag wrapped around a screwdriver works for me, be very careful not to scratch the side of the pstons) and lubricate with a few drops of brake fluid, then push pistons back in.
    jamojaw wrote:
    Another guy said he used KY jelly on it :lol: I wouldnt bother though. I used fenwicks suspension lube and it worked. Might be worth a try.

    I seriously doubt suspension lube is compatible with DOT 5.1 brake fluid. And ky jelly, erm, barking up the wrong tree there. As hayes use DOT 5.1, best stick to using the same (ie DOT 5.1 brake fluid) for lubricating the pistons.
    Yes i think your right in what you suggest, The fenwicks spray was for lever end not caliper end by the way. The service kit for the lever end was actually grease for the seal at the lever end. But yes KY, amazing what some people have in their sheds ( that was from the mouth of a bike mechanic by the way )
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    jamojaw wrote:
    But yes KY, from the mouth of a bike mechanic by the way
    That is both scary and weird.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    How? It's a temporary fix at best.

    Wanna explain the logic behind it?
    Do you understand what advancing the pads is about, it sounds like you don't....

    When using the brakes they are retracted slightly by the seals to stop (excesive) rubbing, if the pads start a long way from the disc it can take a while for the seals to adjust so they are starting in the right place and therefor retracting the pads the right amount, once you've got them correctly advanced they then adjust fine in normal usage, this is only usually an issue when the pads have been pushed right back in. So using this technique to speed the advancing is not in any way shaper or form temporary is it, once done they are done, it can be an issue on brand new setups or 10 year old ones, there is nothing to 'fix'.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • jamojaw wrote:
    Yes i think your right in what you suggest, The fenwicks spray was for lever end not caliper end by the way. The service kit for the lever end was actually grease for the seal at the lever end.

    ok, fair enough
  • kjakja Posts: 259
    I had a set of Stroker Trails, which are virtually the same as the Carbons. I bought them second hand and had a few issues getting them right, but I found them to be a superb brake so it's worth perservering a bit.

    Firstly I'm suspicious as to whether your bike shop has bled them properly. Strokers have a slightly different bleed process to other systems, in particular you press the pistons into the cylinders and don't insert a spacer block as with many other brakes. In my experiance it would take several attempt to completely remove air from the system. Bleed instructions here:
    http://www.hayesdiscbrake.com/wp-conten ... ishWeb.pdf

    Strapping the levers back overnight pressurises the system and causes trapped air to rise into the master cylinder (lever). Over time this air can work it's way back into the system, which is why it's often only a temporary fix, especially if you have a leak somewhere and air is getting in as was happening with mine.

    I used the 'Hayes Stroker Slow Lever Kit' to rebuild both master cylinders as it's the cheapest way of getting all the bits you need http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=24686

    I also rebuilt the front caliper as the pistons and seals were damaged. http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=20012 - You might need to check that these are compatible with the Stroker Carbon, but I think they are.

    Then of course I bled them, repeating the process until I was satisfied all the air was out. I'd suggest making sure you've flushed all the old fluid out of the system as it may well have some water in it.

    Finally - a set of Superstar Sintered pads properly bedded in as per Superstar's instructions.

    Hope that helps, bit of a faff, but like I say they are really good once sorted.
  • stevekozstevekoz Posts: 103
    wow thanks for all the responses guys, i haven't been online in a while so didn't know that so many had responded after my initial replies.

    But anyhow, update. Brakes are definitely back to feeling spongy. I did strap the levers back and they felt better for a ride or two but back to old habits now.

    They must def still have air in them and i'd be annoyed if my LBS has not done the bleed properly we had conversations before hand about the hayes and he knew all about them - got me to try and buy avids as he preferred those but i was adamant i'd stick to my hayes. Maybe he just didn't bother. I don't know. So i'll do the bleed myself. My only issue is the angle of the bike as i don't have a bike stand. but i can jerry it i guess one way or another.

    The rebuild not attempted that before but links provided seem to indicate its easy enough so if a further bleed/rebleed doesn't work then i'll opt for that.

    Hope i can get them sorted asap. Right now i've swapped back to the oem discs brakes - Tektro Auriga Comps and they feel much tighter. Actually not that bad really, i didn't think they'd be up to much but actually with larger discs and superstar pads they are quite good. Not much modulation but sure stop you well enough - just a little review for anyone.

    Anyhow cheers guys. I'll try this at the weekend whilst attempting to fit my new rear shock too. I thought i was bad when it came to fettling with cars but bikes are just as bad!
  • Stevekoz wrote:
    My only issue is the angle of the bike as i don't have a bike stand. but i can jerry it i guess one way or another.

    I can't remember 100% but I think its the angle of the lever that is important with hayes, so you maybe just need to loosen the lever and turn it upward.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    Ideally for the rear ONLY you want to raise the front as it improves the angle of the rear caliper........the front caliper already being upright (near as makes no odds).

    No issues when I've done Hayes in the past......
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
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