1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Avid Elixir 3 Owner Help: Rear Brake Lever Feeling Mushy/Engages Too Early

    Hi guys,

    I have an Elixir Avid 3. The front brake lever feels fine but the rear brake lever feels mushy (not sure if term is correct) and engagement is too early compared to front brakes.

    Basically, the rear brakes would engage by just pulling on the lever a little bit (maybe only 10% of the way down). You know how normally, the brake lever feels very easy at the first half of engagement or 1/4 of engagement and becomes stiffer as the brakes bite more... The rear brakes bite right from the beginning, making it almost impossible to fully pull the lever like how I could with my front brake.

    In summary, my front brake engages at 1/2 way down, but the rear brake lever engages at not even 1/4 way down. How do I fix this, or is this normal with Elixir 3 rear brakes? Sorry for my lack of terminology.
    Last edited by BobaX; 09-15-2013 at 08:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    If it feels mushy it lacks of power, sounds like your problem is due to the amount of throw in the rear lever. There is a screw on the inside of the lever you turn to adjust the throw/ where in engages at. Just turn it out some to make it even with your front one. If it lacks power and feels mushy its from having a air bubble in the line that compresses unlike the brake fluid so it engages but never firms up or feels very strong.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pruitt1222 View Post
    If it feels mushy it lacks of power, sounds like your problem is due to the amount of throw in the rear lever. There is a screw on the inside of the lever you turn to adjust the throw/ where in engages at. Just turn it out some to make it even with your front one. If it lacks power and feels mushy its from having a air bubble in the line that compresses unlike the brake fluid so it engages but never firms up or feels very strong.

    Do you mean reach adjustment? If so, that just adjusts the reach, but it still feels mushy/stiff when I pull on the lever. Or if you meant another screw, please let me know. I can't find it and I think Elixir 3 doesn't have the pad contact adjustment feature.

    Another member mentioned his buddy had the same brakes with same issues, took it to lbs and turns out they put too much brake fluid in. So they just let some fluid out and it worked fine. I'm hoping I don't have to go that route...

  4. #4
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    The reach adjusts the plunger in the master cylinder on my elixir's. Turn it in for more volume in the master cylinder or turn it out for less. If it wont adjust your plunger you must have another adjustment on it some where, Otherwise when your pads wear down you will never be able to fine tune it and you would have so much travel your brakes wouldn't have enough pressure to work properly.

  5. #5
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    Avid Elixir 3 Owner Help: Rear Brake Lever Feeling Mushy/Engages Too Early

    Not every brake offers a pad engagement adjustment. Not every brake even offers a reach adjustment.

    Sounds like a bleed is necessary here.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, How crappy. My bushings in my rear is holding the lever from adjusting the reach out so when I screw my reach out it pushes the plunger in just like pad engagement, My front works as should. Guess I should have looked mine over befor I commented.

  7. #7
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    How do we manually adjust the brake's engagement point if there's no pad contact adjustment available?

    And if mine engages too early, do I really need a bleed? The bike is brand new

    By the way, the pin/clamp for the brake pad bolt snapped so I'm not using it. Is it a safety hazard?

  8. #8
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    how old is the bike? working in bike shops for the past few years, I have observed that Avid hydro brakes often feel crappy right out of the box. if the bike is somewhat new, your LBS should take care of it for you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    how old is the bike? working in bike shops for the past few years, I have observed that Avid hydro brakes often feel crappy right out of the box. if the bike is somewhat new, your LBS should take care of it for you.
    Bike is 100% brand new. What sorts of adjustments can I expect them to tweak? I've basically tried everything (which is just adjusting the lever reach lol) except bleed the brakes...

  10. #10
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    sounds like you have air in your hose, which means they need to bleed the system. if the bike is that new, they should not charge your for it. if it continues to be a problem, have them ring up SRAM to get it fixed or replaced. I have seen a LOT of bikes with Avid hydros get free upgrades after a few weeks because the Elixir 3's are garbage.

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