What kind of oil to fill in hydraulic bicycle brakes

operating errors of hydraulic disc brakes

In order to safely roll through life, you need a good reaction, observation and, most importantly, reference brakes.

kind, fill, hydraulic, bicycle

We have already told you what you need to know before choosing hydraulic disc brakes, which are considered the most in demand in terms of quality. And when you buy disc hydraulics for your iron horse, you should know what mistakes you should not make when using them (by the way, some of these principles can be applied to mechanical disc brakes).

So, a number of rules, following which, your rotors will last you longer and will require a little attention.

Never touch the braking surface of the rotor.

  • Firstly, after intensive braking, the rotor is very hot and you will definitely burn yourself.
  • Secondly, (KEEP ATTENTION!), Grease from the fingers can stain the rotor, which is fraught with a decrease in braking efficiency and the appearance of extraneous sounds during braking.

If oil accidentally gets on the rotor or pads, this will lead to much more serious problems. If you notice that oil has dripped onto the rotor, for example, when inaccurately lubricating the chain with lubricant in aerosols or when pumping the hydraulic line), you need to carefully remove the wheel and wipe the rotor with a degreaser. At the same time, it is important that the oil does not get on the pads, because they have a spongy structure and willingly absorb oil and you cannot get rid of it with any degreaser. If oil does get on the pads, the brake will brake very badly, while making such sounds in which the pedestrians in front of whom you brake will rush into the loose without looking back. In this case, it is best to replace the pads.

True, there are a couple of “collective farm” methods that have a low percentage of success. If a little oil gets in, then you can try to grind the brake surface of the pads by removing a small layer of contaminated material, but a simpler and more effective method is to heat the pads. When exposed to high temperatures, oil trapped in the block will begin to burn out in the form of smoke or even a small flame. But here it is important not to overdo it. if the pads are heated too much, the braking surface can crumble.

Do not press the brake lever with the wheel removed. If you do this with hydraulic brakes without a rotor or spacer between the pads, the pistons will push until the pads close together and no longer go back on their own just enough to lock the rotor into place. Fortunately, this is easy to avoid: insert a special spacer instead of the rotor when removing the wheel. This spacer always comes with the brakes, but if you do not have one, then you can do with improvised means: use instead of the spacer, for example, an unnecessary plastic card or cardboard bent in half. But if your pads still “come together”, you can remove the pads and try to gently dilute them with a flat screwdriver. If you spread them more than was necessary, then put the pads back in place, put the wheel and push the brake lever a little. the pads will take their place.

Remember to check the thickness of the brake pads. Although disc brakes have a long service life, the pads and rotor will still gradually wear out. If you see that the brake pad material is thinner than 2.5 mm, then it is time to change the pads. The rotor has outlived its life when its thickness becomes less than 1.5 mm.

Use the right tools and supplies if you intend to service your brakes yourself. Never confuse brake fluids. If your brakes use mineral oil, then in no case should you pump them with a pillbox and vice versa (which brake fluid is used in your brakes is usually indicated on the brake lever. see the picture).

If you make this mistake, you will fatally ruin your brakes. Do not line bent rotors with bare hands and you know why (remember the point). There is a special tool for this. Observe the correct tightening torques for the fasteners recommended by the manufacturer. To do this, you need a torque wrench.

Want to learn how to properly service your brakes? Consult our bike mechanics at:

  • m. Beresteyskaya, st. Degtyarevskaya, 51V 38-050-388-29-11
  • m. Poznyaki, st. Prince Zaton, 11 38-050-388-29-12

How to replace the brake fluid in hydraulic bicycle disc brakes. (Tutorial 002)

Or take the first course “Basics of Bicycle Mechanics” in our School of Bicycle Mechanics and service the braking system of your bike yourself.

Mineral oil or pillbox?

Hydraulic disc brakes use a special brake fluid to transfer force from the brake lever to the brake pistons of the caliper. In the process of evolution of bicycle braking systems, manufacturers have come to two standards for “brake”. DOT and mineral oil.

  • DOT (US Department of Transportation). has become the generic name for working brake fluid in vehicles (not just bicycles). The key feature of DOT is the high boiling point of the liquid. At the same time, the boiling point drops as the bunker starts to absorb water, so ideally change the bunker every 12-18 months.
  • Mineral oil. made from petroleum and is a mixture of hydrocarbons separated from gasoline. It is used in various industries (including cosmetology), including used as a brake fluid. Fluid compression levels and boiling point are roughly similar to DOT.

All other things being equal, the boiling point of mineral oil and bunker is approximately the same, but the “mineral water” has one important nuance. it does not absorb moisture, but accumulates it in the hydraulic system. If the accumulated water in the bunker reduces the efficiency of the brakes, then in the mineral water at a high operating temperature of the brakes, the water evaporates and leads to the failure of the system. Similarly, brakes on “mineral water” are not recommended to be used in the cold season, since the water accumulated in the system expands during freezing and the rubber bands of the pistons in the caliper or brake lever can simply squeeze out. Having accelerated and started to brake, you can find that there are no brakes, therefore, when using the bike all year round, it is recommended to use the brakes on the bunker or change to mechanical analogs.

Which brakes to choose?

Rim or disc? Or maybe the foot brake will be enough? Every cyclist asked himself such a question, first when choosing a bike, then when replacing or improving it. In principle, this question can be answered rather briefly.

The foot brake is great for leisurely city rides and parks where simplicity is most important and power is not required at such low speeds. Also, this type of brake is installed on most children’s bicycles, because children have more leg strength than small fingers on their hands.

Rim brakes have come a long way in design redesign. It all started with cantilever brakes, but as the width of the tires increased, the shape of the rim brakes also needed to be changed. For a while, U-brakes were installed, but in the end they came to V-brakes. Now these brakes are mainly installed on budget mountain bikes and hybrids. “Vibrakes” are the easiest to set up and maintain, because the whole mechanism is quite simple. A steel cable runs from the brake handle to two levers, on which the brake pads are attached, which in turn clamp the wheel rim together. Road bikes, including most professional road bikes, still use rim brakes. These high-level brakes have low weight and good performance on narrow wheels, although disc brakes have recently been installed on road bikes.

Disc brakes have long been used in cars and motorcycles, but bicycles were not introduced until the late 90s of the last century. At the same time, initially they were only hydraulic and were installed on the most expensive professional-grade bicycles. It was immediately clear that disc brakes are the most effective and require the least amount of force applied by the cyclist. This is especially noticeable in bad weather conditions. The main disadvantage of this type of brake has always been weight. Indeed, in addition to the handle and the brake mechanism, a brake disc is also required. a rotor. Some manufacturers, such as Shimano, make Centerlock rotors, but the majority of the rotors are six bolted to the hub.

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It is worth noting the difference between disc mechanics and hydraulics. The mechanical system is powered by a steel cable with its pros and cons. Tourists prefer mechanical brakes just because of their reliability, especially on a long journey, replacing the cable is much easier than bleeding the hydraulic system.

However, mechanical brakes require more force to brake well, which is why hydraulics are commonly used in racing. Hydraulic disc brakes on the bike allow you to spend less force on braking, as well as clearly modulate braking on difficult terrain.

Positive and negative sides

Hydraulic disc brakes have several distinct advantages:

  • Speed ​​of response;
  • Reliability;
  • Accuracy of work.

Such systems allow you to easily stop transport at the right time or on a difficult section of the road. The main thing is that for effective work they need to be pumped and configured on time. Modern companies offer a large selection, which makes it possible to purchase a ready-made kit. The quality of the devices is at a high level, you can put the equipment on the bike yourself.

Bicycle brakes of this type also have negative aspects. For many riders, the cost of disc brakes is a deciding factor. It is quite high and the repair of transport can significantly hit the In addition, the device of braking systems has its own difficulties and not every owner will be able to properly set up the work. In this case, you will have to turn to professionals for help, which, again, will lead to certain financial expenses.

Break-in of new hydraulic disc brakes

Novice cyclists who are not versed in all the intricacies of a bicycle and caring for it, probably faced with questions about the operation of the brake system. All new disc brakes, brakes after overhaul, or partial replacement of components require a break-in period. It doesn’t matter if they are mechanical or hydraulic.

During the break-in period, the efficiency of the brakes is reduced, so it is not advisable to jump from place to place and use the brakes to the fullest. Particular attention should be paid to new brakes when both the brake disc and the pads are not rolled in at the same time. Do not forget about running-in when replacing brake pads. in this case, the running-in duration is reduced.

During the break-in period, 2 important things happen. First, the smooth surface of the new brake pads should become rough. Second, the material of the brake pads must get into the surface of the brake disc. Thanks to running-in, the work of the brakes is improved. braking becomes smoother, the efficiency of the entire system increases, vibration and extraneous sounds disappear.

When running in brakes, you can do a set of measures:

  • Make 3-4 stops a little harder than normal braking. This will warm up the rotors so that no thermal shock occurs during running in.
  • Perform 8-10 hard brakes without stopping completely, for example from 35 km / h to 5 km / h.

In the process of braking, you may feel that the brakes have become “wadded”. this is the norm, because they are very hot. After braking, ride for 5-10 minutes so that the rotors can cool off from the incoming air flow.

Main manufacturers

Various companies, such as Shimano, offer a huge selection of disc brakes. They all have a certain quality, popularity and value. It is worth noting the Shimano brand, if only for the fact that their products are of excellent quality, and they rarely need repairs, the pads do an excellent job with their functions. Shimano’s latest series of system models have good clamping, but require careful selection. The set of this brand is quite acceptable and meets the criterion of “price-quality”.

The quality of CLIM 8 CLARK’S hydraulic brakes is also at a high level, but during installation it is necessary to carefully match the pads to the discs. Unlike Shimano, this brand of braking systems has an interesting handle design, but this is not for everybody, the main thing is convenience.

The braking device can be selected in any price category. The quality of the braking systems will be at the appropriate level, it is just that repairs will be made less often for models that have proven themselves from a good side.

The text was prepared by Roman Borisov. Published: May 13, 2020. Sources: bb30.ru, velodrive.ru, yvelo.ru. Headings: Selection, Repair and maintenance.

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  • v-brake
  • bicycle
  • disc brakes
  • brake
  • road bike

What fluids are suitable for bicycle brakes?

What fluids are suitable for bicycle brakes?

Brakes are one of the most important elements of a bicycle. They can be mechanical. this is when a cable is used to transfer energy from the handle to the braking mechanism, as well as hydraulic, in this version, brake fluid is used. (how to bleed hydraulic disc brakes)

Basically, each manufacturer recommends their own hydraulic brake fluids, Shimano produces a special mineral oil and does not recommend using anything else. Hope recommends using DOT 4 or DOT 5.1 automotive brake fluid.

Easiest Way to Add Fluid to MTB Hydraulic Disc Brakes | 4k

High requirements are imposed on liquids:

1) The liquid should not cause corrosion of metals, as well as destroy oil seals and seals;

I filled my mountain bike brakes with baby oil for a year and here are the results!

2) Liquids must be resistant to low temperatures, must not thicken and freeze;

3) It should also be resistant to high temperatures, should not expand and boil when heated;

4) Must be able to chemically bind water that enters it (water in the hydraulic brake system not only causes corrosion, but can also boil when the caliper heats up).

Some of the existing brake fluids:

There are two fundamentally different types of fluids that are poured into brakes. these are mineral oils (Magura, Shimano) and DOT3 / 4/5 brake fluid (Hayes, Hope, Formula).

Since these liquids have different bases, they should never be mixed or replaced. Brake fluid has a more aggressive effect on metals and seals, therefore, in brakes designed for mineral oil, “brake fluid” must not be filled!

Automotive brake fluids.

DOT3. glycol base boiling point. 205C stability viscosity at 40C. 1.5 ultra-high hygroscopicity, service life. 10-12 months

DOT4. glycolic base boiling point. 230C (actually. about 260) stability viscosity at 40C. 1.5 high hygroscopicity, service life. 24 months

DOT5. silicone base boiling point. 260C (in reality. up to 300) stability viscosity at 40C. 1.5 practically zero hygroscopicity, high lubricating properties, with a complete absence of anticorrosive properties; service life. up to 15 years

DOT5.1. glycol base boiling point. 250C (actually. about 280) stability viscosity at 40C. 1.5 highest fluidity, low hygroscopicity, service life. up to 5 years properties of slurry are provided by synthetic additives

Mineral oils for hydraulic brakes:

What kind of oil to fill in hydraulic bicycle brakes


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  • READ  How to choose mountain bike pedals

    This article focuses on modern bicycle disc brakes and the brake fluids they use. In this material, we will not touch directly on the mechanical part of the brakes, but consider only the hydraulic systems.

    For over 20 years, modern mountain bikes (and more recently road bikes) have used hydraulic disc brakes as one of the most efficient braking systems. Bicycle disc hydraulic brakes can use 2 types of hydraulic brake fluids. mineral oil and DOT brake fluid. Usually a liquid of at least DOT 4.1 standard is used.

    What does DOT 4.1 or other standards (DOT 5, DOT3, etc.) mean? This is the unified standard for hydraulic brake fluids for auto, motorcycle and bicycle equipment. The higher the specified value, the higher the boiling point of the specified brake fluid. For example, in the DOT5 standard, the boiling point is about 260 degrees. This means that there is no better fluid for extreme cycling styles such as freeride, downhill or enduro. Simply put, your brakes will not fail on long descents if you have sufficient control technique. DOT brake fluids are used in disc brakes such as Sram, Hayes. When using your bike, it is necessary to periodically carry out preventive maintenance of the brake system based on POT fluid, since these types of brake fluids can absorb moisture or “air”, despite the fact that the system is sufficiently tight. When this happens, the brakes lose their properties and this threatens with unpleasant consequences for the cyclist. When moisture gets into the torium system of a bicycle, the boiling point of the brake fluid decreases and, accordingly, the risk of brake failure during prolonged use increases. If air enters the system. the brake lever fails and the braking efficiency disappears, up to a complete failure of the hydraulics.

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    Shimano brakes use mineral brake oil. Let’s take a look at the benefits of mineral oil-based braking systems. Mineral oil has a slightly different structure and properties than DOT fluids. For example, it is less susceptible to moisture and its absorption from the external environment. But in any case, it is impossible to make the system hermetic as much as possible. Hydraulic brakes on mineral water can also “collect water”. In this case, with a mineral brake system, this water will not dissolve in the liquid, but will partially settle in the caliper, thereby lowering the boiling point of the liquid. And thereby violating the standard properties of the braking system. In this case, Shimano mineral oil based brakes need to be serviced more regularly than POT fluid based brakes. But at the same time, mineral oil bicycle brakes will have a softer modulation and clarity of operation.

    There are many types of fluids to choose from to service your disc brakes, but knowing the basic type is key. DOT or mineral water. For home bleeding of brakes, a brake fluid of 100-200 ml is sufficient, depending on the volume and number of brakes being pumped. If you want to take brake fluid for a workshop. the best solutions will be brake fluids in liter containers.

    What you need to know when choosing an oil for Toyota

    When choosing motor oils for the lubrication of engine parts from the huge Spectra synthetic oils, there are a few things to know.

    First, some Комментарии и мнения владельцев about synthetic oil. This oil has fewer impurities than conventional engine oil. In addition, it often has better high temperature properties, marginally better viscosity, and is generally more wear resistant than other engine oils. It would seem, obviously, that synthetic motor oil is better for your engine. But don’t jump to conclusions.

    The choice of synthetic motor oil depends on several things:

    The first reason is your engine oil change interval. As we have already said, synthetics can work in rather harsh conditions, which means, as a result, such oil quickly loses its properties as the load on the engine increases. But unlike mineral water, such oil, thanks to the modifiers included in it, does not give a single chance of damage to an engine part. Simply put, the synthetic kit provides you with some safety net.

    View description and tolerances of synthetic oils here

    On the other hand, the use of such oil is pointless when you change the oil regularly or do not use the engine in extreme conditions.

    Low vehicle mileage. As with the high drain interval, synthetic oil gives you the advantage of extended drain intervals, so if your mileage is 5 digits on the odometer, then this oil is right for you. Unlike conventional motor oil, synthetic oil, under normal conditions, can work without losing its properties for more than 6 months before it becomes less effective.

    Aggressive driving. As mentioned earlier, synthetic oil is more resistant to adverse conditions and will perform better under these conditions than conventional mineral motor oil. This is especially important when the engine temperature is always high or always low. If, when leaving for work, you leave your engine idling, without air cooling of the engine, then again synthetics will suit you.

    For example, service workers, such as couriers, taxi drivers, are constantly in this situation, and even drivers are no exception. The engine experiences the most terrible suffering in the desert or in the mountains. Being in the desert or at high altitude (2000-3000 meters above sea level) will force your engine to work in an enhanced mode, thereby warming it up.

    For these situations, synthetics again stand out a bit because they can withstand these extreme conditions better than conventional motor oils.

    Cold climate. If you live in a country where temperatures can drop to 30 Celsius or lower, then mineral water will not save you. Here only one and only synthetics will come to your aid.

    When using mineral water in such cold weather, it will destroy the engine faster than if the engine would have been running without oil at all. We can say with confidence that your car will not be constantly used in the same conditions, such conditions include: off-road driving, decent acceleration on the highway, long standing in traffic jams. Such activity of the engine, slowly leads to its breakdown.

    Personal choice. There are many theories: where, how, when to use synthetic oil. Some experts recommend it for all types of cars, but this is not entirely true. Rather, the question should be formulated like this: “Where to use engine oil?” Imagine a situation, although you constantly meet with it, that you, in fact, live in a traffic jam, and your engine, then gives gas, then sharply brakes, and so it repeats cyclically. So the use of synthetics in cities with such traffic is just a waste of money.

    There is also a theory that short trips with synthetic oil are better than other types of motor oil. This is a controversial point, since the engine in this case never receives the full lubricant layer and oil stroke cycle. No oil will bring you significant results.

    Synthetic blends, Buyer, be careful!

    There are several different grades of oils, and only a few are suitable. This means that such oils can have a “tricky” volume. You need to take a close look at what is called the mixture in the canister. Sometimes cunning entrepreneurs write that the oil is completely synthetic, although in fact there is no more than 40% synthetic fibers. When filling with such oil, your “left synthetics” can leave you for money, since a system used to work in difficult conditions cannot take all the potential from such engine oil.

    Synthetics for Toyota. to pour or not to pour?

    The recommendations in this article will help you understand this often difficult issue.

    Synthetics for Toyota.

    Toyota has the following recommendations for synthetic motor oils: Only Toyota vehicles requiring a 0W-20 grade (for 2TR-FE and 3UR-FBE engines) are approved for extended oil drain intervals of 15,000 kilometers or 1 year.

    Below is a line of oils for Toyota engines

    However, you should continue to check the oil level regularly and top up as needed. This will help you get the full benefit of your synthetic motor oil.

    Cars that use mineral oil still require six-month oil change intervals, or 7,000 kilometers, even if used. Cars with oil change intervals of 15,000 kilometers are subject to technical inspection every 10,000 kilometers. The traditional 5,000 kilometers of maintenance will still be needed and fluid levels (such as brake fluid) will need to be checked and adjusted.

    If the car meets the criteria, namely “special working conditions”, such as: driving off-road, on dirt roads; towing a trailer, then the engine oil must be changed every 5-7 thousand km, regardless of what type of oil is used. 2TR-FE (4Runner / Tahoma) and 3UR-NEP (Flex Fuel Tundra / Sequoia) are exceptions; these engines have not been approved for the 15,000 km interval. 11,000 kilometer or half year oil change intervals are still required for these vehicles. In addition, Flex Fuel 3UR-FBE requires a spacing of 3,750 kilometers when operating on the E85.