Seizing Houffalize

As the second World Cup finished, I was busy fighting against a crappy Formula R1 caliper. These brakes are great on paper, they're light and powerful but have proven to be nothing but problems. With next to no clearance between the pads and rotor, they also need additional shims between the calipers and post mounts or adaptor so the rotor's rivets don't hit the pads, they are hard to setup. Once they are, the piston always stick so they pretty much always rub, the two piece rotors develop some rattling looseness. But today, the rear caliper seized shut, grabbing the rotor with all it's power and not letting go. WTF? I had to take the brake off the bike to keep on pedaling so I only did a 3km ride.

It seems in their quest to make the lightest brakes, Formula threw away some of the best features they had before, namely ease of use/setup and reliability.

End of rant.

It was a nice race in muddy Houffalize today. Funny man Hermida won by catching on the last lap a fast Manuel Fumic who piloted his Flash solo from the start until one lap to go. He couldn't hang on to Hermida but had enough left for second. Wolfman Kurschat surprised by finishing third, he always suffer as soon as their are technical difficulties. Surprisingly, Schurter, Stander and Fontana finished far, Absalon had a badly timed flat but fought his way back to 7th.

The women's race was thrilling too. With Willow 'face on the bar' Koerber again at the front, swapping he lead with Fullana, Osl and eventual winner Lechner all race long. Marie-Hélène Prémont was strong and fast, hanging with the leaders until she had mechanicals, Fullana banging into her rear derailleur. She did not finish but showed she's back in form this year to hopefully be a contender at the World Championships in her backyard.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dan,
About the R1's. I had the same problem. I took off the brake pads and put some Dot4 oil on the exposed pistons. Then, I pushed the pistond back in and repeated this a couple of times. I don't have any sticky pistons any more now. There is indeed next to nothing clearance between the pads and the rotor, but they do not rub against the rotor any more.
Good luck

Dan Gerous said...

I'll have to service throughly. In the meantime, I have a set of Avid XX brakes to try.