A Quick Brake Change

Still not quite as quick as a Formula 1 pit stop. However, I think it’s the quickest I’ve changed a set of brakes and discs on a bike. Oh and the handlebars for good measure.

At the weekend, I received a text from Josh asking if I’d like to go for a quick blast around Sherwood Pines. He also mentioned that it would be good fun to get out on the Hardtails. We agreed the time of 10:30. I had roughly an hour and 15 minutes before I needed to leave. Luckily it only takes me 15 to 20 minutes to get there.

My hardtail is probably one of those bikes that’s worth more to me emotionally than its value. I have to say that it tends to be a little bit more of a garage queen and because of that, it doesn’t get as much attention as it should.

I’d been having issues with the Shimano SLX brakes that were on it for some time. And, because I had another mountain bike that I’d prefer to ride, I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to sort them out. Clearly, the scenario I needed to give my hardtail some attention was for my other bike to be out of action, which it was. And for a text from Josh to say let’s take the hardtails out for a spin, which I got.

Que to workshop music. I got to the garage, opened the door and started to set up my work stand. I roughly cleared my workbench, I may have just piled everything up in a corner, and set about sorting the bike out. Before getting to the garage I had already decided that I would change the brakes instead of trying to get the current ones working.

I had a set of Sram XO Trail brakes that I’d stripped from my old Specialized Stumpjumper that I no longer have. The idea was that I was going to sell them, I’m quite glad I didn’t. Removing the old brakes wasn’t too bad, although I did have to start removing the grips to slide them off the end of the handlebars. At this point, I thought I’d also change the handlebars to a set of wider ones. Because I obviously have lots of time to do this.

I’m glad I did though because the hoses for the XO brakes we’re longer than the SLX ones I was removing and the wider bars meant that I didn’t have as much spare hose flying around in front of the bike.

20190203_093857Next up was the disc rotors on the wheels. I believe my other brakes didn’t work because fluid had leaked from the callipers, onto the pads and discs. Best to be safe than sorry. I grabbed a spare set of disc rotors I had, they were by no means brand new, but they were the same size. Plus they looked cool.

The last thing to do was to set the cockpit up. I’m quite pernickety about this bit. I have to get it to exactly right. Otherwise, I’m constantly thinking about the fact that the brake levers need to move to the right a bit more, or the shifter needs to rotate around a little so that I can rest my thumb on the trigger more easily. Happily, it didn’t take me long to get the handlebar in the right place, the brake levers and shifters were also where I wanted them.

A last quick check over the bike, including the gears, and she was good to go. I checked my watch, 5 minutes left for me to get changed, get the bike in the car and head off. Ok, so I was a couple of minutes late arriving, but still not a bad effort.

I think I need to find some time to give the bike a proper service and a bit more tender loving care.

How quickly have you had to change components on your bike before a ride?

Until next time.




Mountain Biking
The Weekend Ride: Sherwood Pines
Home Workshop
Bikes Tell You When They Need Some TLC



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