I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been having issues with the brakes on my Genesis Day01 Alfine bike. I’m not the only one, I was first made aware of a potential issue by another owner. Fortunately for him, his bike was fixed by his local bike shop but unfortunately for the rest of us he was unaware of how the issue was fixed.
The issue seems to be caused by the non-standard disc rotor. The brakes are Tektro Lyra’s but the rotors are Shimano CL rotors. This means the brake pads don’t sit perfectly over the disc when you put them on. Unfortunately this is hard to see and is noticeable after some use and the dirt on the disc brake shows where the pad runs.
The front brake is an interesting one. As with any steel fork and a disc brake, there is some flex when you apply the brake. But what i experienced was far from some flex. The brake pad overlapped the edge of the disc by quite a bit. At least 1cm of the pad was running on the rotor arms. This meant that there was a constant shudder when you used the brake, due to the pad gripping on the rotor arm and the brake experiencing more friction at that point. This judder traveled through the forks and into the handle bars, it was disconcerting but did not affect performance in a manner which was bad.
The rear brake was the one with a problem. For some unknown reason, I would pull on the brake and feel it bite, I would start to decelerate. Apply a little bit more pressure and all of a sudden the brake would just let go and you would stop decelerating. I couldn’t get my head around it, I looked into how mechanical brakes worked, did lots of reading in books and online but could not figure out why the brake would suddenly let go.
Back when I first found out these issues, I contacted Genesis to try to get some help with this issue. Unfortunately they where not much help and said that it was natural for steel forks to behave in this way.
It came to the point where I could take it no more, and I took my bike back to Evans and got them to look at it for me. They saw the issue straight away and added some spacers and longer bolts onto the brake attachment thingy majig (can you tell that i don’t know what it is called?). This meant that the pads no longer rubbed on the rotor arms and braking was smooth and powerful.
The problem with this is finding the issue in the first place. It’s hard to see this issue when you are putting the bike together in a work shop. And testing it is impossible without taking the bike out on the road. This is because pulling the brake whilst the wheel spinning in a stand will nearly always stop it but what we want to test is how it acts when there is more weight behind the bike.
I did notice the issue with the front fork when I test rode the bike but as with all disc braked bikes, beading in is always the excuse.
Fortunately for me, the braking issues are resolved and the brakes are sharper than ever. Hopefully this is read by other users of the day01 and they can easily get it resolved.