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Rotor Alignment on Thru Axle

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Rotor Alignment on Thru Axle

Old 08-11-22, 09:41 AM
  #1  
Hypno Toad
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Rotor Alignment on Thru Axle

EDIT: If the only reason you plan to post on caliber vs caliper .... feel free to move along, it's been covered below. I left the OP as posted so the relevant posts in this thread make sense in context, but enough has been said on the topic... and the issue has been resolved (see post 8).

I've been riding with disc brakes for nearly 20 years, I'm very familiar with re-aligning calibers. But here's my rub (see what I did there ) my 2021 Bianchi Infinito is my first bike thru axle bike and I thought the joy of a thru axle was the rotor/caliber would always be aligned. However, after a bike cleaning, the caliber is rubbing the rotor on the outside. The rotor is true, and I've removed the wheel, recleaned dropouts, and reinstalled ... still out of alignment.

I'll re-align the calibers later today, no big deal, but I just didn't expect I'd need to do this with a thru axle ... did I have unrealistic expectations?

For reference, the bike has 2,500 miles on it


Last edited by Hypno Toad; 08-12-22 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 08-11-22, 09:53 AM
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Did you push the pads out before reinstalling the wheel? Even a little bump on the brake lever could've moved the pads inward.
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Old 08-11-22, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Did you push the pads out before reinstalling the wheel? Even a little bump on the brake lever could've moved the pads inward.
Good question! I did a full brake service, removing pads and exercised the pistons (I had a lazy seal issue). The pistons were fully pushed back before installing pads and wheel. It seems possible that the caliber mounts where just loose enough for the force of pushing the pistons could have move the caliber. Visual inspection makes it look like the caliber body is too far in-bound, lot of pad showing on the outside and very little to the inside.

reference - lazy seal fix:

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Old 08-11-22, 11:09 AM
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Might it have been rubbing prior to the removal and cleaning?
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Old 08-11-22, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Good question! I did a full brake service, removing pads and exercised the pistons (I had a lazy seal issue). The pistons were fully pushed back before installing pads and wheel. It seems possible that the caliber mounts where just loose enough for the force of pushing the pistons could have move the caliber. Visual inspection makes it look like the caliber body is too far in-bound, lot of pad showing on the outside and very little to the inside.

reference - lazy seal fix:

https://youtu.be/vQXFFgRButo
Sometimes when it seems like the pads have been pushed all the way back in, they're not quite there. And yeah, as I'm sure you know, once in a great while you might have to re-align the caliper -- which is a two-minute job, max.
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Old 08-11-22, 12:45 PM
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Some TAs do better than others and there's also a little bit of variance with torque; I've been using axles from Robert Axle Project, which need to be fastened with hex bits to a specific torque spec, and they've been great.
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Old 08-11-22, 01:54 PM
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I've had that happen. Nothing goes together exactly the same way twice in this universe.
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Old 08-11-22, 02:05 PM
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welp ... my issue was really silly-basic, when I went to loosing the caliber mounts, the top bolt was barely holding. I must have shifted the caliber mounts when working the pistons. It's all aligned and torqued down and happy again. Note to self: check the mounting the bolts when servicing the brake system.

Leave it to this Toad to overthink an issue while missing the basic solution.
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Old 08-11-22, 02:18 PM
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*caliper
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Old 08-11-22, 02:27 PM
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Have the same ride and out of a moment of stupidity and complete inattention hit one of those blue reflectors in the center of the road indicating a fire hydrant. Ever since I get that annoying ting sound when the rotor strikes the pad. Have watched the vids on how to true a disc but the tolerances are too small even when I use the business card trick to reseat the caliper. Frustrating.
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Old 08-11-22, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I've been riding with disc brakes for nearly 20 years, I'm very familiar with re-aligning calibers. But here's my rub (see what I did there ) my 2021 Bianchi Infinito is my first bike thru axle bike and I thought the joy of a thru axle was the rotor/caliber would always be aligned. However, after a bike cleaning, the caliber is rubbing the rotor on the outside. The rotor is true, and I've removed the wheel, recleaned dropouts, and reinstalled ... still out of alignment.

I'll re-align the calibers later today, no big deal, but I just didn't expect I'd need to do this with a thru axle ... did I have unrealistic expectations?

For reference, the bike has 2,500 miles on it
20 years and you haven't realized they're CALIPERS, not calibers? If your caliper is indeed rubbing on the rotor your brake is wayyyyy out of adjustment. You sure it's not just the pad? The wheel will go into the bike exactly the same every time so there's something else happening here. Either the brake is getting set up incorrectly or it's not tight. Neither is possible for me to see through the internet. Also this is a mechanical question and should be posted in the proper section, not here in GS.
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Old 08-11-22, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
20 years and you haven't realized they're CALIPERS, not calibers? If your caliper is indeed rubbing on the rotor your brake is wayyyyy out of adjustment. You sure it's not just the pad? The wheel will go into the bike exactly the same every time so there's something else happening here. Either the brake is getting set up incorrectly or it's not tight. Neither is possible for me to see through the internet. Also this is a mechanical question and should be posted in the proper section, not here in GS.
I'll come to you for spell checking before I post anything, thank you for your help.

And also you very accurate, the pad is rubbing and the caliper is out of alignment.

But if you read the thread, the issue was resolved without you input.

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 08-11-22 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 08-11-22, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
*caliper
I'm embarrassed. But it's a life-long thing, I grew up with dyslexia. Too often I can't see the error until long after ... But that's also how I get better at proofing my own stuff.

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Old 08-12-22, 04:39 PM
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apologies if my comment was taken to be as snarky as the one that directly followed, was not meant to be. Cheers
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Old 08-15-22, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
apologies if my comment was taken to be as snarky as the one that directly followed, was not meant to be. Cheers
You're all good!

There is another comment in this thread that was bordering on trolling ... but it was some very weak tea stuff, so NBD.
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Old 08-15-22, 09:09 PM
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No pulsing in the brake lever when stopping? You can make a runout tool with a piece of metal wire, wrap it around the fork, then bend the wire until the tip almost touches the rotor, if the wire touches the rotor at any point while the wheel is turning, it isn’t true. I had a similar issue with one of my bikes, it turned out that there was a high spot on the hub flange where the rotor is bolted on. A little filing got it back into spec.
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