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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have Shimano Dura-Ace Levers grouped with Ultegra Calipers. Both are about 3 seasons old. I cannot seem to fix the spongey feeling at the lever and wondered what maintenance I could do to help this. I have changed the cable and housing recently, but that didn't really make a difference. Is there a part that wears out in the caliper or lever mechanism?
 

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What does spongy mean?

Slow to snap back to position when applied and released? Squeeze but nothing really happens? You didn't mention what you did about pads, if they are original Shimano pads, replace them with some Koolstop Salmon colored pads. Brakes calipers, own the main spring that pushes the caliper back away from the rims and the spring in the levers pushes them back to open. Unless something is really bent in the lever, little to no maint to be done as long as the cables are sliding smoothly through the housing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
hm

Lone Gunman said:
Slow to snap back to position when applied and released? Squeeze but nothing really happens? You didn't mention what you did about pads, if they are original Shimano pads, replace them with some Koolstop Salmon colored pads. Brakes calipers, own the main spring that pushes the caliper back away from the rims and the spring in the levers pushes them back to open. Unless something is really bent in the lever, little to no maint to be done as long as the cables are sliding smoothly through the housing.

They are mainly slow to snap back, the stopping power is ok. I replaced the shimano pads with the koolstop pads. I did have a crash where one lever got pretty hammered, but since the same thing is happening in both levers, I don't think that's the cause. Maybe it's just the spring in the lever? Another way of describing the fault is that I can't seem to get the cable tight. It feels tight, but then when I pull in the lever, it engages the brake further than I want it. I'm already running the pads as close as I dare...It's almost like the cable is stretching. But they are brand new- and good ones (if there are such things) Any thoughts?
 
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Do you know exactly which model of caliper it is? The newer shimano calipers allow you to adjust the tension on the caliper spring. That will make it harder to apply the brakes, but will force the caliper open faster when you release the lever, and force the lever back quicker too.

Check it out. See if there is a little set screw through the caliper arm , contacting one end of the caliper spring on the other side.
 

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before getting DA10 I had about 50k miles on DA9 and the last year or so I experienced that same situation. When compressed, the brakes wouldn't snap back quick enough. My problem was the cable adjuster at the top of the caliper. Theres a plastic liner that helps guide the cable through the top which got scratched and gunked up. This prevented proper return of the cable after squeezing the levers. The fix for me was to replace this little clear tube. I never had the problem again and the brake and shifter set is enjoying a nice second life on my trainer bike,
 

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mr meow meow said:
before getting DA10 I had about 50k miles on DA9 and the last year or so I experienced that same situation. When compressed, the brakes wouldn't snap back quick enough. My problem was the cable adjuster at the top of the caliper. Theres a plastic liner that helps guide the cable through the top which got scratched and gunked up. This prevented proper return of the cable after squeezing the levers. The fix for me was to replace this little clear tube. I never had the problem again and the brake and shifter set is enjoying a nice second life on my trainer bike,
Agreed. It sounds like a cable/housing issue. Also make sure the housing is properly seated in the lever.
 

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two8616 said:
They are mainly slow to snap back, the stopping power is ok. I replaced the shimano pads with the koolstop pads. I did have a crash where one lever got pretty hammered, but since the same thing is happening in both levers, I don't think that's the cause. Maybe it's just the spring in the lever? Another way of describing the fault is that I can't seem to get the cable tight. It feels tight, but then when I pull in the lever, it engages the brake further than I want it. I'm already running the pads as close as I dare...It's almost like the cable is stretching. But they are brand new- and good ones (if there are such things) Any thoughts?
did you try cleaning the caliper mechanism? I've had gunk in there that have had mine do what you're describing. I didn't take anything apart, I just covered the brake pads with plastic baggies and poured some alcohol in the caliper from above and let it run clean. lube the pivots afterwords as well.
 

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two8616 said:
They are mainly slow to snap back, the stopping power is ok. I replaced the shimano pads with the koolstop pads. I did have a crash where one lever got pretty hammered, but since the same thing is happening in both levers, I don't think that's the cause. Maybe it's just the spring in the lever? Another way of describing the fault is that I can't seem to get the cable tight. It feels tight, but then when I pull in the lever, it engages the brake further than I want it. I'm already running the pads as close as I dare...It's almost like the cable is stretching. But they are brand new- and good ones (if there are such things) Any thoughts?
If your stopping power is good but your return is bad, something's sticky. Given that it's winter, and cold now, it could be that the lube in your cable housing, calipers or levers has thickened up--old lube seems to me to do this more noticeably than new stuff. Clean and re-lube all joints and clean your cables/housings with something thin (like tri-flow?) and see if that helps.
 

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Sounds like ferrules on the housing might do the trick.

two8616 said:
Another way of describing the fault is that I can't seem to get the cable tight. It feels tight, but then when I pull in the lever, it engages the brake further than I want it. I'm already running the pads as close as I dare...It's almost like the cable is stretching. But they are brand new- and good ones (if there are such things) Any thoughts?
This description sounds to me like when you squeeze the levers really hard you're compressing the ends of the cable housing. Ferrules, the little caps that go on the ends of the housing, usually take care of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i think that took care of it

Yes, I do have the adjustable caliper, and i messed with that a little. It seemed to help but I think that cleaning and relubing it well will do the trick. Thanks alot
 
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