I rode my mountain-bike with a bicycle trailer attached. Three kids (age 4 to 8) were inside the trailer (trailer made of steel). We went down from about 500 m above sea level to 150 m above sea level with an inclination of around 15 to 20 %.
My hydraulic disc brakes (Avid Juicy 3 with 180 mm discs) got very hot and something began to smoke and stink. When I was at about 250 m above sea level I stopped the bike, because the kids were complaining about the bad smell.
When I wanted to continue the ride, the front brake didn’t work at all. I could easily pull the brake lever with no resistance! As if the cable was broken and the fluid inside was gone. I stopped again. It was in the evening (dark), and I couldn’t find anything.
I continued the ride very slowly, only using the rear brake, pulling the front brake lever again and again to understand the problem. The more often I pulled the lever the resistance to pull it grew and the brake started to work again.
To summarize the problem: The brake stopped working completely after I had stopped the bike (but before it was working like a charm, only with a bad smell). And started to work again, when I pulled the lever a few times.
Now the questions:
- What happened?
- Since then the brake is working as usual again. How is that possible?