You probably fixed this by bleeding but fluid with alot of moisture might cause this.
I figure moisture wouldn't be an issue until the fluid got quite hot (air resulting from the lower boiling point of the moisture-rich fluid).
Don't think you can change the pedal travel notably by doing simple stuff like the stainless braided brake hoses that many people like to do.
Stainless lines might help the feel a little. While it might not solve the whole problem, it likely wouldn't hurt anything.
It's like taking a 16-bit audio signal but only using 1-2 bits of that, and leaving the other 14-15 bits there to do nothing. If you're trying to record music, it will sound like crap because of super high distortion because the recording didn't take advantage of the precision of using all 16 bits.
To use an audio/bit example... think about the frequency range. If I'm recording something with minimal base, but lots of distinct treble tones (ie. a flue solo)… I'd rather use my bits of resolution to focus on the treble than full spectrum of frequencies. Yes, there would be additional distortion at the lower frequencies… but I'm sacrificing that for the increased resolution in the more desirable range.
Applied to the brakes… I'd rather have less resolution at lower braking levels (0%-25%) if it results in greater resolution… and greater precision… at higher braking levels (25%-100%).
"short travel" does not equate to "binary brakes" unless the driver is incapable of modulating how much pressure they apply to the pedal.
Agreed 100%. When I was looking into brake pads for the track I was a little surprised to see "for experienced drivers" listed at a caution on some pads. After reading more about initial bite it became more obvious... the high initial bite produces a greater stopping force, but it takes an experienced driver to properly modulate the pressures. Based on your experience, and description of the current feeling, it sounds like you're more comfortable with the greater stopping force by a braking setup with high initial bite with minimal initial peddle travel (as I would describe as having a "firm" peddle) than one with less initial bite and more peddle travel (as I would describe as having a "soft" or "squishy" peddle).
I just think it's really strange that releasing and immediately re-applying the brake makes them feel like they should. I'm deeply familiar with how braking systems and their boosters work, but that's a head-scratcher to me.
Agreed… it's almost like you're having to rebuild pressure. Almost like a "slow leak" (I don't know if that's even possible though) more so than lines, fluid, etc.
I wonder if you flushed your fluid and changed to stainless lines if that would improve things enough? Then again, at that point you're part way into the labor of swapping calipers.