Sram Rival 22 HydroR disc brake problem

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  • Hi all. I've been using these hydraulic disc brakes for a couple of months. Bought new, and installed to a new bike. The rear is working fine, however the front brake is not. Overtime the lever pulls more into the handlebars, and stopping power decreases. I've had the system bled twice now by a professional mechanic. Both times it works fine for a while, but gradually pulls into the bars again. There is no signs of any dot 5.1 fluid leakage anywhere, so air must be getting into the system. Currently it's got so bad again, there is no braking power at all.

    Does anyone know if there's a fix for this? Or do I have to strip the bike down and send the parts back to the supplier? Thanks in advance.

  • Wait for the recall.

  • I found that my RH lever was not returning fully to the original position after using the brake lever because the shifter paddle was working lose and preventing a full range of movement.

  • Yeah, there's lots about Sram recalling their original product, but they claim to have re-designed them after hours of testing, new version made available in 2016.

  • For air to cause issues either fluid is getting out or the bleed was really poor and the air is already present in the system.

    Do you hang the bike up by any chance?

  • Yes, exactly this. There's a reach adjustment grub screw between the two levers. It works its way loose over time and you need to keep tightening to push the lever away from the bars.

  • Hi Howard. Thanks for that. I don't hang the bike. It sits inside the garage overnight, and in the office at work during the day. There is definitely no fluid leaks anywhere, so maybe a poor bleed? That would be good news if so, means I won't have to go through the agro of sending parts back.

  • If the issue has returned twice after being bled at the same shop - I would take it to another shop, just to rule that out.

    That said, I found I had similar experience with a rear disc brake on a MTB, which was basically due to shit pads, making me drag the brake more and more, eventually glazing the pads leading to no stopping power. So I would also have a look at the pads and give them a good working over with sandpaper and see if that makes any difference

  • Branwen - yes I will do exactly that. I took it to Cycle Republic in Purley. Maybe a pro road bike shop mechanic would do a better job? I did bleed it myself initially too, I had to cut the hose to size and install the barb and olive, when building the bike - same thing happened.

  • I'd have it all checked out by someone good at this stuff. My suggestion would be Mario at Soho Bikes. Ask them to fit a new hose with new fittings, check the system and completely empty and refill then bleed. if that doesn't sort it, warranty job, but at least that's something soho might be able to help you with.

  • I've never used them for any disc brake stuff but soho bikes are excellent. Whilst they're great with road bikes, they do a lot of full on mountain bike stuff too so I suspect they're well versed in the language of hydro brakes.

  • Thanks guys. I'll be off to soho bikes then
    asap 👍

  • Check that grub screw first!

  • Hello mate. My rear brake lever has started to do this. It's got to the point where I have to adjust the screw to push the lever away almost every time I ride it. Have you found a fix? Thanks

  • I have exactly the same with my rival Rh (front) brake lever. If you take the pads out and pull the lever you can see that the pistons never progress beyond a few mm out, fine with new pads but it doesn't self compensate as the pads wear down. I've bled the system three times but it seems to be an inherent fault in that either there isn't enough reservoir capacity, or the piston doesn't have enough stroke, even if I adjust the reach to maximum (which then means I cant actually get my fingers round the lever when in the drops). I have taken to making up shims which I insert behind the pads mid ride as they wear to take up the slack. basically it's sh!t and I should take it back to the suppliers but it was a mail order Mason and I can't be bothered with the faff. Having been disappointed with every SRAM road groupset I've owned for one reason or another, I shall be switching to Shimano (105 or ultegra) as soon as I have a spare weekend. Shame as I liked the rear clutch mech for bumpy off road jaunts

  • I've never had the problem to that extent. Did you check the aforementioned grub screw is still in there and doing its job?

  • Same issue here but think it's now sorted. Rival 1 brifter with leaking master cylinder seals. New piston purchased for £20 but noticed that there was significant slack between the pushrod and the retaining plate such that significant lever movement was required before the pistons even moved. Retaining plate removed and a small rubber O ring fitted to the pushrod to take up the slack once it was refitted. Now the pistons move as soon as the lever is moved as it should.
    Regarding the reach adjustment screw working loose, a dab of thread lock solves that.
    Hope this helps someone.

  • Regarding the reach adjustment screw working loose, a dab of thread lock solves that.

    Hope this helps someone.

    Will probably help anyone with Rival HRD, everyone I know with it has had that problem.

    Also do you have a photo of your mod?

  • Great, must get the loctite out later.

  • Sorry, no pictures. Easy enough job to dismantle though. Remove the C clip on the inside of the brake lever pivot, draw the pin and un-thread the reach adjust pushrod from the lever. This will give you a clear view of the master cylinder. A steel plate holds the master cylinder piston in its bore which is fastened by a single screw in one corner. Before removal, check the pushrod for slack as it sits in the master cylinder cup. Any lift in this will result in wasted lever movement - try and note how much lift there is as this is the thickness of the O ring or washer you'll require to tighten things up. If lift is present, remove the plate retaining screw whilst keeping pressure on the plate to stop the piston springing out.

    With the plate removed, check the piston moves freely and isn't stuck in the bore resulting in insufficient oil being sent to the caliper by operating it with the pushrod. If not OK then you'll need a new piston kit from SRAM (£20). Push the spacing O ring or washer onto the pushrod so when reassembled it sits between the retaining plate and the head of the pushrod. Reassemble and test.

  • same for me as user91170, the piston was sticking in the bore such that it would not return to its rest position when the lever was release. In turn meaning not enough fluid was forced down to the calliper even with the level travelling through its full range of motion. Fixed it temporarily but will move back to shimano as soon as a cheap groupset comes up

  • same for me as user91170, the piston was sticking in the bore such that it would not return to its rest position when the lever was release.

    I have a similar issue with the SRAM Guide brakes on an MTB. Until things warm up, the front leaver just flaps around the dead travel. Still works fine though.

  • Yup, I am now in this boat (with Rival levers). Any advice on what to do if the piston doesn't want to pop back out of the cylinder? Force fluid in via the bleed port?

  • Need more pressure than that. Block all other pistons and force the stuck one out by pressing lever.
    SRAM stuff seems to have a lot of stiction.

  • Ah sorry - piston in the master cylinder, i.e. inside the lever.

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Sram Rival 22 HydroR disc brake problem

Posted by Avatar for taylorandy @taylorandy

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