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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am BRAND new to MTBR and have been wanting a MTB for.. well, years now. Finally saved up enough money and bought a 2010 Cannondale U.S. made RZ120 4 (The guys at my LBS said it was a 3.. but, based off pictures, it looks like a 4.. anyway to find out for sure?) and it rides like a DREAM compared to my horrible walmart junk! :D

Anyway, the only thing I was kinda eh about was the brakes! I don't know MTB parts like 90% of the people on this forum, but I'm learning over time. I have Shimano BR-M486's and when I was going downhill, they seemed.. sub par. In fact, it seemed like they performed just as well as my old crappy V-brakes from the walmart bike. If these are hydro brakes, why don't they seem like a massive improvement? Are these Shimano's just junk in the first place, should I upgrade? Should I bleed them? Why wasn't I able to stop quickly/easily with these brakes?

Thanks
 

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They may need to be bled. Maybe however, the pads just need to be bed in. To bed the pads in tap the brakes shortly but firmly as you ride with some speed maybe a dozen or two times.

If that doesn't help take it to the bike shop you bought it at and explain the problem to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alrighty then, I'll try that. Do you know by chance how the 486's handle in general? Are they generally a well respected brake system, or mediocre? If I upgraded, would there be a difference?
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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A friend of mine has them on his 2009 Anthem X3 and they seem to work pretty good. He's had the bike long enough to wear out a set of pads on the 486's. He may have had them bled once too IIRC.

If you bought the bike new recently, I would take it to the shop and let them do it as a warranty item.
 

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I have the m486 brakes on my Fisher hardtail and agree w/ the above posts about letting the pads bed in. Mine felt weak the first few times I rode it, but after that they really worked well. Just do as mentioned above, get some speed the apply the brakes firmly, but not so firm that you lock up the wheels. Do this 12 to 15 times and your pads should be set. It's also easier to do this on the street rather than on a trail.
 
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