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I picked up some Louise Freeride's a couple of months ago, and I really like them. I was wondering though if they need to warm up when using them. I notice when I first get on the bike the brakes aren't very grabby. My usual ride starts with a long climb, and when I get to the top I usually take a breather. I've been noticing that when I just grab the lever while stopped, it doesn't hold the bike well. They grab, just not great. Mind you I haven't even touched the levers until this point. Once I get to bombing down the hill the brakes come alive, giving great 1 finger control. The levers don't feel spongy, but I was wondering if this is common, or if I might need a bleed.

Thanks,
Ken
 

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As you describe, the brakes get better once they are warm... I think that happens to all types of brakes. So I think that somehow it is "normal" behavior.... since the brakes work great once warm, I think you are all set...
 

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Ditto on what Crisillo said...

We've been riding in 0 degree weather here and my hydros have been squealing and been not as powerful the first half of a ride. After a few applications, they work better but still not as good as when it's warm. I'm thinking that the mineral oil (and maybe DOT) viscosity is affected by super-cold temps (they seem to work fine at 20 degrees and above).
 

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Replace your semi-metalic brake pads with resin pads and you will see a big difference. Those of you in the cold climates right now I would advise to do the same, it is not the brake fluid that is causing the lack of power it is the pad itself. Semi-metalic pads need to get warmed up in order to have full stopping power it is just the nature of the material. Resin pads don't need to heat up as much to provide excelent stopping power, however because of this trait when they get real hot they will start to fade. Because of the hot fading they are usualy more suited to XC type riding rather than DH, FR or rides that have enough down hill to really heat up the brakes.
 
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