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    • I was descending a long, steep hill yesterday and could feel the back brake lever getting perilously close to the grip, making me perilously close to crashing. I could only supply so much brake to the front wheel.

      I used to have a car where the brake pedal slowly went to the floor unless you pumped the brakes periodically. So I pumped the brake lever and just like that the brake handle returned to being a reasonable distance from the grip, which is why I am not all scraped up today.

      But as I kept squeezing the brake handle, it would slowly sag toward the grip and I'd have to pump it. Here's a pic without pumping:

    • Sounds like maybe air in the tubes. Hydraulic fluid doesn't compress under pressure, but air does, which could cause the behavior you're describing where it takes multiple pumps to generate enough pressure to engage the brakes.

      I don't know much about bike brakes, but there should be some way to bleed the air out of the system, which would solve your problem.

    • This is usually caused by air bubbles trapped in your hydralic system. As @yaypie pointed out, the solution is to rebleed the brakes. You could pick up a bleed kit from a local bike shop and do it yourself. Here is a tutorial video on how it is done in 10 mins. Otherwise you can have your local bike shop do it for you.

    • Sounds like you need to bleed your brakes. In general, I find mtn bikes require a great deal of maintenance. I encourage you to find a convenient shop that can easily check out your bike on a regular basis. It is bad news when you have a break down in a remote area so I find preventative maintenance pays off. Key tip, change your chain frequently as it gets stressed a lot, and can wear down your cogs and front rings.

    You've been invited!