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The front brake on my bike suddenly is not very responsive. Have about 34K miles on it. When using the foot pedal, both front and rear brakes seem to work well. About two weeks ago, I noticed significantly decreased braking response when using the hand lever only. Is bleeding the line a possible solution?
 

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What exactly do you mean? Is there increased travel at the lever, or does it feel the same, but the brake just does not work as well?
 

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When I apply the brake using the hand lever, the brake seems to work, but only slightly. In the past, applying the brake using the hand lever would provide very good, quick, responsive braking.
 

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I believe the lever only controls the left front brake on your bike. If the lever travel is still the same, it is not the fluid, and not likely the master cylinder of caliper, with the remote possibility that something has gotten plugged up in the master cylinder, and is not allowing it to exert fluid pressure on the caliper pistons. But I would first check the pads and the rotor. Your symptoms sound exactly like a glazed rotor and/or pads. If you have plenty of pad material left, take a piece of about 150 grit sandpaper, lay it on a flat surface, ad rub each pad across it several times, removing a tiny bit of pad material. Then take some brake parts cleaner and a Scotchbrite pad, and clean both sides of the rotor. Glazing makes the pads and rotor slippery, and does not allow enough friction to develop so the brake can work properly.
 

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Your thought about a glazed rotor or pad makes sense. A day or so before I noticed this problem my wife and I were riding two up when I had had to stop really, really hard using the foot pedal and hand lever. Thanks for the suggestion, JerryH. I'll try that this week!
 

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Is the brake are oily? A bad fork seal will run fork oil down and contaminate the brake shoes. Once contaminated they don't brake worth a darn.
 

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If the lever feels much stiffer than usual , check the left front caliper for seizure. Put bike on mainstand and raise front wheel , pull lever normally and try to rotate wheel , if wheel moves rebuild caliper . To double check , have a bud pull lever and look at caliper to see if pad is moving as it should.
 
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