The introduction of hydraulic disc brakes was a game changer for cross, but we are finding that many people have not been thinking about servicing them.

2nd + season bikes are probably the most in need. If bleeding hasn't improved things, your calliper pistons are not returning fully or there is play/slack in your lever before the brake bites, then you'll probably need to lube your brake pistons... 

Once done, you'll love the feel of your brakes - this is the disc brake equivalent of new cables on your old canti bike. 

Calliper lubing is super simple, take a look at the 2nd video by Hope. You'll need to use some SRAM DOT Grease or for Shimano use Mineral Oil but otherwise the process is identical.

If you are happy to bleed your own brakes then lubing the SRAM lever piston is simple too - if not find someone to do it for you because you'll need to bleed the brakes after. 

We haven't been able to find a resource for Shimano lever piston lubing. Perhaps the Shimano users will say that is because Shimano doesn't need it... Perhaps Shimano wants you to buy new levers... Either way if anyone has a link please let us know and we'll update this article. 

Once your pistons are lubed - for the best way to set up your callipers, follow the process in our article Lose the Rub.

Take a look at our other articles here