I prefer stiff, touchy, on/off, brakes. When I was using mechanical disc brakes, I always adjusted them so that the pads were almost touching the rotor. This provided the short lever travel I was looking for, as well as great stopping power: I could lift the rear wheel if I pressed the front brake hard enough.

Now, I just got a bike with hydraulic disk brakes (SRAM Apex 1). They are rather soft by comparison. The pads don't touch the rotor until the lever has moved significantly. I can pull the front brake lever all the way to the bar, and I still do not get nearly as much stopping power as I did with the mechanical brakes with half the lever pull.

The modulation is great, but I would really like more stopping power and a firmer lever. Is there a way to adjust this?

In other words, I'm looking for something more like the third scenario in this image, and less like the second.

brake modulation

TLDR: Are there any adjustments for hydraulic road disc brakes (SRAM Apex 1) like there are for their mechanical counterparts?

  • 1
    Have you taken the time to break in (bed in) your brakes? You may be noticing a difference just because the brakes are new and haven't reached their full potential yet. Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 5:48
  • I have done a couple hard stops, but I have not followed any specific bedding procedure. That being said, I don't think bedding in the brakes would change how much the lever travels, would it?
    – gman
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 15:50
  • Not per se, no. But it would greatly affect the stopping power you get for your pull, so it does affect the modulation. Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


There is no adjustment for modulation on the Apex hydro brakes, but make sure the lever reach hasn't been set too far in, which could screw things up. Also soft feel, lack of stopping power, and ability to pull the lever easily to the bar can always just mean they need to be bled.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.