Home Mechanic Week continues. On the stand before me is a Cannondale Flash 29er with Avid Elixir hydraulic disc brakes. The customer got mad when the rear brakes acted up out on the rail trail, so he ripped the pads out and flung them into the undergrowth. He also managed to lose the screw that secures the pads in the caliper.
He had tried to make things work better by blasting both brake calipers and the bottom bracket area with spray white lithium grease. Wasn't I just talking about grandpa grease?
People feel free to mess with their bikes when they wouldn't dream of ripping into their car, their electronics, or the plumbing in their house, because bikes are kid stuff. Has anyone told the bike industry this? That whole Tour dee France thingie is just a bunch of overgrown kids in short pants who have figured out how to get paid not to grow up. It ain't a real man's sport, like football, or NASCAR.
The customer says he only rides on the path. I will recommend that he ditch the hydraulics completely, in favor of a mechanical system less vulnerable to abuse. Grandpa grease will still contaminate the pads, but he won't have to worry about caliper pistons. I'm having to reseat the pistons and bleed the system as a result of whatever was wrong in the first place, compounded by his completely unhelpful intervention.