Hands on: Stoppers seized? Here’s how to overhaul your bike’s calipers

If you use your bike during winter you can’t avoid exposing it to the worst road conditions.

The damaging effects of rain and filth will be catalysed by road salt, resulting in a perfect environment for corrosion to thrive.

The only way to combat this is by diligent cleaning, which is often tricky to keep on top of if you’re using your bike as a daily commuter, meaning that it’s all too easy for brakes to start binding as a result – and some models seem more prone to winter stiction than others.

The task of replacing caliper seals is within the capabilities of most hands-on owners, but the process can also uncover other challenging issues, such as excessive corrosion or broken bleed nipples, which can’t be
tackled so easily at home.

I recently had a problem with a vintage caliper, so I put my hands up, admitted defeat and handed it over to the guys at Powerhouse (powerhouse.uk).

They deal with both trade and retail and have everything in-house to completely refurbish brake calipers.

They will also supply you with high quality parts such as seals etc, with super-fast turnaround times…

So, here’s our how-to guide for freeing up your brakes:

  1. The parts that perish

They’re in the front line when it comes to getting caked in crud, so your brake calipers need proper care. When used in winter, salt and moisture can cause the moving parts inside to bind, and servicing is the only way to cure it. Serviceable parts are the dust and fluid seals, and the O-ring/s that seal the two halves of the calipers.