Sunday, November 27, 2016


I've been taking some of the mystery out of bike maintenance by figuring out the disc brakes on my Elephant NFE. Thanks to the University of YouTube, I found some tutorials on replacing the pads of my Avid BB-7 disc brakes. The rear brakes went smoothly. I thought the front did too, until a couple miles into my test ride and the left pad fell out.

Fortunately, I heard the pad clatter onto the pavement so I was able to retrieve it. I went home, put the bike back on the stand, and reinserted both pads.  I was okay for a short while until I took the NFE on a trail ride on Thanksgiving morning. On the way back my front brake made an awful noise as I slowed while on a long and fast descent. Sure enough, the left pad had fallen out. I had no idea where it was so I limped on home. The nasty noise I heard was the piston hitting the disc.

I put in a  new set of pads while paying careful attention and finally figured out what I had done wrong. The pads were not completely inserted into place. I used a small screwdriver to apply pressure and they finally clicked in tight. The rear brake pads did not need as much convincing. So I'm happy I fixed it. But now the front brake surges when I pull the brake lever. I probably damaged the disc when I applied the brakes with one pad missing.

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