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Jere_h

Issues with my new Echo

10 posts in this topic

Been stalking this forum for ages and finally it's time to sign up and post, now as I consider myself as a trials rider.

I've been pretty much breathing trials the whole summer and so incredibly stoked to feel the progress. Started last summer and used few months learning rear wheel hops and pedal kicks on a Nukeproof hardtail which gave me pretty solid base to start with a more trialsy bike this summer (custom built Monty 230 urban). However now after few months intense training and quick progressing to a certain level, I had to admit that the Monty isn't the easiest bike for a beginner even though I kinda love it still as it's pretty cool build. It certainly seems like these geometry things affect a lot more than I wanted to think before, main problem being the 405mm chainstays. Now finally two weeks ago I decided to buy a new bike to get rid of the chainstay issue and boost my learning as the summer is too short really. Definitely not saying that I couldn't learn with the Monty, but it's unnecessarily exhausting and the sport itself is already hard and scary enough for sure even with a good equipment.

After realizing that the new Hex frames (the bike that I actually want) are not going to be available before the real shitty weather comes, I made a quick decision and ordered the cheapest Echo Pure, just to try how it feels and if I like it or not (bicycle trials in Finland is a very rare thing so couldn't ask to try one). Still as a more saddle bike guy my main concern wasn't the pogo geometry at all nor the lack of seat, as I actually ride 99% natural stuff all the time and wanted to learn solid trials skills. The worst crisis for me was mostly the rear rim brake thing, after getting used to MT5 from the beginning.

After four days on the Echo I'm starting to notice the advantages of a pogo geometry, and actually really liking it (disliking the disadvantages at the same time). Now what I seriously don't like is the rim brake, but not in a way I first imagined.

So here are the issues:

1. The echo TR rim brake lever feel is very heavy compared to disc brakes. It's almost getting me an arm pump even though I got plenty of motocross background. The brake doesn't feel faulty, it just feels like there's a tight spring in there. I've been thinking if HS33 has a similar feeling or is it more like MT5? Or is this just a rim brake thing and they are all heavier to squeeze?

2. The brake slips occasionally, of course in the worst situations.. The reason is the rim (Echo double wall, quality grinded by the shop) that has a short bend right where it's joined together. I've built a wheel for my Monty and noticed the Jetset rim had a similar bend around the seam that was impossible to get rid of by truing and had quite a lot of elevation (didn't bother me because of disc brake). The Echo rim looks like there is no visible seam though so it's probably welded, but the bend is still noticeable and making the brake horribly inconsistent where the spot is. Is this just the Chinese cheapo issue or maybe a common problem with trials rims? This is seriously moving me back to disc brake frames as I've completely lost my confidence after nearly slipping to death three times in a row today.

3. The echo 108 click freewheel sounds a bit creaky (brand new) and has a bit of play sideways, I guess this is normal? I have a Hope pro4 trials hub on my Monty and the whole drivetrain actually feels quicker engaging and more solid than the Echo with more clicks.. This may be also due to the lack of sprung tensioner in Echo though, so the chain is always running a bit slack.

Would be definitely cool to hear some knowledge about these issues!

 

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1. Rim brakes do tend to feel a bit 'heavier' than disc brake levers do.  That's why quite a few riders switch to water/antifreeze/Trialtech fluid/similar as it gives them a much lighter lever feel than the standard mineral oil.

2. Is it definitely the join that's causing the issue?  Not sure which pads you've got on there, but it may be worth upgrading them to something that's got a bit more bite/hold.  There are plenty of really good pads out there and they'll probably make a big difference.  Every rim is bound to have some inconsistency (to varying degrees) at the seam, but it shouldn't really be enough to affect the braking performance unless the rim's pretty much falling apart.

3. Some side-to-side float on the freewheel is fairly normal as they're open bearing.  If that float wasn't there the freewheel would feel like it was binding a lot.  In terms of responsiveness, with a rear freehub/freewheel you gain more engagement points at the cranks due to the gear ratio.  If you were running the same gearing on your Monty as you have on your Echo, you'd be running 18/15, so your rear sprocket is moving 1.2 times the amount you rotate your cranks.  The Pro 4 has 88 engagement points, so you're getting 105.6clicks at the pedals.  The chain tension will play a part in that though.  It doesn't have a sprung tensioner, but you should still be able to use the integrated Echo tensioners to get good tension in your chain and avoid having much slack at all in there.  Sometimes you'll need a bit due to the concentricity of the sprocket/freewheel, but from memory the newer splined Echo drivetrains are pretty good for that so you should be able to run your chain nice and tight.

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Also make sure your brake pads are set up square to the rim. My Echo Mk4 had quite a bit of precession in the freewheel, but your chain should still have very little slack when set up correctly. Once your chain tension is right, then check to make sure those brake pads are square. 

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Thanks for the great responses, solved a lot of things.

To the brake slip issue.. I believe now it was due to several reasons, the rim being only the main cause. Yes it seemed like the joined section was the major problem as the rest of the rim looks true enough. Checked it out and clearly the outer edge had more elevation than the inner, making quite a difference to the contact surface angle in that spot. So actually the angle was more the problem rather than elevation change I guess. Tried to carefully bend it outwards to line up with the pad and it's way better now. So far I was able to ride fine without any surprises today.

I also realigned the pads to make sure they're ok, not sure how much this affected. The pads are the original Echo cnc yellow ones. I think it definitely feels like their hold could be better, meaning I seriously have to squeeze the lever over the bite point every time to make sure they really hold. By the way it's getting colder around 5 to 10 celcius here and definitely not sure if they are good enough for cold and slightly wet weather. Probably need some sort of softer pads for winter?

However now it seems to work at least more consistently. Just feeling that I need to separately think about the brake to lock it up properly every time, or it may slip at some point of the rim where things are not 100% aligned.

With the chain tension, I've just tried to keep it as tight as possible with a healthy amount of slack. It certainly has some precession though, of course on the front foot side lol.

 

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Feeling stupid now.

So the slipping issues have been back for a while more or less and certainly the rim is now straight enough so I can't suspect it anymore. I think Mark was right so it wasn't the rim at all or just part of the problem. 

I've now noticed that during a series of hops and continuously holding the brake locked pretty tight it just suddenly "modulates" at let's say 5th hop. So of course this got me thinking the easiest possible cause which is air. Even though the lever feel is actually really solid..?

However the left slave cylinder has clearly leaked behind the pad. Actually suspected this because the left piston was very lazy to move and came always late. Sometimes it doesn't move at all if the right one is not pushed against. Not sure though if air is the reason for pistons not moving equally, but there is certainly a leak. A new brake that is leaking right out of the box or some days later, happens to me basically every time for some reason. How can quality be so bad in these things.

I think I'm going to try a hs33 now, also because of the ability to use water based fluid, but probably will like the lever ergonomics more who knows.

 

 

 

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Riding trials requires nursing brake issues a large percentage of the time it seems. Don't be afraid of brake issues, just get to know your brakes inside and out and learn to nurse them appropriately. And there's always new brakes. Good luck!

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21 hours ago, Jere_h said:

Not sure though if air is the reason for pistons not moving equally...

Piston movement will be effected by the amount of adjustment you have dialled in on the TPA (the bite point adjuster).  If you have the TPA screwed in quite far then typically one piston will either stick out more than the other in general, or they will move un-evenly.  The way to solve this is to wind the adjuster out, then move the cylinders in to suit.

Once the adjuster is wound out, you can also tell easily if the brake has any air in it.  If you put a very small amount of pressure on the lever, it should move the brake pads straight away.  If it doesn't then you will have air in the system.

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I usually prefer the bite point closer to handlebar so the TPA has been quite far out. However because of these issues I've screwed it more in to avoid the lever sinking too far sometimes. Mainly these cold weathers seems to cause more wandering, with disc brakes as well.

Screwed the TPA fully out. Now it seems that there's a fair bit of slack (feels like air) in the lever until the left piston starts moving, but that slack occurs only when the right piston is pushed against. But when I try it other way around (keeping the left piston pushed in), the slack is gone and the right piston is moving right from the start as should. So to me it seems like there has to be air trapped in the left slave cylinder somehow if that is possible with these?.. The one that is leaking.

Of course would be nice to try bleeding it but I only have Royal blood at the moment for the disc brakes to keep their warranty, which would be stupid expensive to waste to refill the rim brake, especially knowing it leaks.

Edited by Jere_h

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When I ran rim brakes I always set them up with no TPA  adjustment used. My logic was that if you wind the pistons out to get your desired bite point then the whole set up inevitably becomes more flexy and less direct feeling.

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At least theoretically sounds very true. Doubt if one could really tell the difference though. Probably a similar thing when thinking about the lever geometry curve, as it's a circular movement in the end that is pushing the piston rod, and bite point adjustment in a large scale will affect to in which part of the curve the brake pads will bite.

Digging pretty deep into the rocket science really.. Currently I can't even notice the spoke flex too badly with the Monty's disc rear end, that actually felt unrideable for the first few minutes when I tried it after getting used to rim brake for weeks. Mind will adapt to things.

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