Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What to do when your brake fails right before a ride

Last Thursday Oct 25 I was finally going to ride with my friend Mark and his friends. I met them at Java Hot, Fairfax. To my surprise, my front brake was not working at all. I was surprised because the night before I checked the bike and didn't notice my front brake was losing pressure.

Oh well, I went home bummed but determined to fix my brake myself. I thought the oil loss happened because some days ago, I had a rattling loose brake leveler after an over the handlebar crash I had in Tenderfoot.

I knew what to do to fix it because a couple of years ago at Sea Otter Classic, I stopped by the Magura Brakes stand to ask them to fix a rattling brake leveler. Jude and Jeff were there ready not only to fix the leveler for me but to spend hours teaching me how to maintain my brakes including how to bleed them, how to lubricate the pistons, how to replace brake pads, how to calibrate them, etc. Since then I always work on my brakes of my three bikes which I equipped with Magura Marta brakes. They are great brakes.

So back in my house I was trying to remember what Jude did to fix the leveler. I was afraid of messing up with the leveler. I went to the Magura website and found some helpful directions that served me as a refresher so I decided to go ahead and do it.

This is me. Yes, I am a total dork. I am wearing my over-forty-help-your-vision equipment for bike mechanics: good reading glasses and helmet with your night riding halogen light.

The most critical thing is to hold the central piston locked up so when you take the leveler off the piston doesn't retract. If that happens, the whole meachanism can jump off and you will need to mail the brake to Magura for them to take care of it.

The perfect tool to hold the piston for me was a giant needle I have to saw with big thick yarn. Very handy! and it works way better than the allen wrench Magura recommends.

I was with all screws out and the piston locked, but still afraid of pushing the two barrels out to release the leveler. And it was then when I called Magura to find Jeff on the line! Jeff patiently reviewed step by step the whole process, told me how to take the barrels out, bend the leveler and put everything back together. The brake is working perfectly!!! And not only that, when I told him that the piston was loosing oil he set me up with a new front piston set that should be coming in the mail soon. I didn't know Magura offers lifetime guarantee for their parts!

Thank you Jeff! And than you Jude!!

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