Troubleshooting SRAM Rival Force eTap AXS Disc Brake Issues

When it comes to delivering unparalleled power and feel in the road braking universe, SRAM hydraulic disc brakes stand out distinctly. However, like every mechanical equipment, even these high-performing brakes might show signs of wear, inefficiency, or technical hiccups. Don't worry, though. With a little elbow grease and know-how, you can make your brakes feel as good as new again.

In this blog, we’ll walk through some of the common problems you might face with your SRAM Rival Force eTap AXS disc brakes and offer solutions to rectify them. Let’s jump right in!

1. Sticky Pistons, Pad Rub, or Uneven Pad Advancement

Problem: Over time, pistons can become sticky, leading to an uneven pad advancement. This not only affects the efficiency of your brakes but also causes the dreaded pad rub.


  • Clean the pistons using isopropyl alcohol and a soft brush. Push the pistons back into the caliper gently.
  • Apply a small amount of silicone-based lubricant on the piston edges. Ensure you don’t get any lube on the brake pads or rotor.
  • Reassemble and test the brake. If the problem persists, consider replacing the seals or the entire piston.

2. Lever Pulls to Handlebar

Problem: If your lever pulls close to or touches the handlebar, it's an indicator that there might be air in the brake system or a lack of hydraulic fluid.


  • Begin by checking the hydraulic fluid level. Top up if necessary.
  • Perform a brake bleed to remove any trapped air from the system. Always use SRAM’s recommended brake fluid and follow their bleeding procedure.

3. New Brake with No Power

Problem: Sometimes, a brand-new brake might feel spongy or lack the required stopping power.


  • Check for proper rotor and pad alignment.
  • Ensure the brake pads are not contaminated with oil or grease. If they are, replace them.
  • Perform a brake bed-in procedure. This helps in establishing a uniform layer of pad material on the rotor surface, enhancing brake performance.

4. Brake Noise

Problem: Squealing or grinding noises when you apply the brakes can be annoying and indicative of a potential problem.


  • Clean the rotor using isopropyl alcohol and a clean cloth.
  • Ensure the brake pads are not worn out or contaminated. Replace if necessary.
  • Check for proper caliper alignment. Adjust as needed.
  • If your brake pads are glazed, roughen them slightly with fine-grit sandpaper. do not grit paper rotors use scotch brite pad.

In Conclusion

Your SRAM Rival Force eTap AXS disc brakes are designed for performance and durability. However, like all things mechanical, they require a bit of TLC from time to time. With the right maintenance and troubleshooting, you can ensure they remain in top-notch condition, delivering smooth, powerful stops on every ride.

If you continue to experience problems, don't hesitate to reach out to our brake specialists. They handle these situations daily and are always eager to assist. Contact number provided below.

Gorilla Brakes Limited, 
Alston House,
White Cross Business Park,
Phone: 0800 772 0937 - Landline 01524 297 046