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  1. #1
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    Am I getting ripped off? Mech says I need new brake kit.

    Hi.

    I have an issues with brakes on my recently purchased second hand Scott Spark 50. Wondering if anyone can give me more incite. Basically 2 mechanics have done a bleed on them. Once said they were fine, the other says I need a new brake system.

    Back story.
    This bike was purchased second hand. Before installing the wheel when I was to test the bike the previous owner squeezed the front brake lever closing the caliper. Hence we had to go to the bike shop and get it fix.
    Now while at the bike shop the Mech 'bled' the brakes with new fluid or so I told. Everything seemed fine, the bike was in amazing condition and I made the purchase.

    The brake started making noise the next day. I then took it to the local mech and they said it needs to be bled. I was like WTF is was done a few days ago. Any case they found out the pads where mashed as well. Missing chunks from the pads and there was a problem with the bleed. The mech said he could bleed the brake in one direction but not the other. IE the fluid traveled one way up the system but not the other. Then ended to determine that the lever was at fault and that I need to buy a new one.

    The problem:
    The issue I have with this is
    1. Why did the first mech who bled the breaks not say anything? I could see the fluid was clean during the second bleed so it looks as if it was bled. I would have assumed they would have found a similar error and said something. However maybe the person selling the bile kept it to himself. Also why did the mech not mentioned the brakes were mashed. Apparently he is a reputable mech.
    2. I have just sat through 2 details tutorials on how to bleed the avid brakes. They both had the same procedure and it did not require to push the fluid through the lines in both directions. Hence leads me to believe that maybe the second mech was not bleeding the brake correctly and it is just how they are. Hence not requiring a new set.

    Note: even though the brake were quite tight and didn't let the wheel spin freely they still worked fine when I road the bike to the second mech.

    Question
    Do I need a new brake kit?
    It seems strange to me that the line is blocked in one direction. I 85% sure that the blocked direction was from the caliber to the lever. As the fluid came out the hose when the lever was removed, but not through the lever when it was attached.
    Is this just how the systems works? Can anyone give me any incite as you what is happening and which mech is at fault. 1 bled the brakes and said they were fine, the other tells me he can't do it cause the line is blocked in one directions. I do not want to buy a new kit if it is not required.

  2. #2
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    So after the first bleed the only problem was noise? rubbing? They just needed a little more adjustment probably. They should only need a rebleed if the lever is soft or pulling to the bars.

  3. #3
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    The brakes were rubbing and making an noise. I think it also had something to do with it was wet and the pads were not in good condition. When the front wheel was lifted a spun by hand it did not spin freely. You could tell the pads were engaged. Still I need to know if I should cancel the order.

  4. #4
    cowbell
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    It sounds like you're being ripped off and need to either 1) learn to work on the bike yourself or 2) find a different, hopefully more trustworthy shop. If the pad was dragging or "engaged" on the disc when you spun the wheel, it doesn't need bleeding, just adjusting. It's a 5 minute job that can be done by anyone with the ride sized hex key.

  5. #5
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    They did try to adjust the caliper. Thats the first thing they did. The attempt was made twice in the second shop. Is that what your referring to?

  6. #6
    At Work
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    Mechanic either is trying to screw you or just does not know what he is doing. . The little round things the bolt to the larger round thingy's sometimes get warped. You know, bent. Just remove and straighten. Odds are against them being totally trashed. But it could happen.
    2009 Titus FTM

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  7. #7
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    The rubbing could be the result of improper bleeding...if the pistons are not fully retracted in their bores when the system is bled, it can be overfilled during bleeding, If the system has too much fluid, it will cause the pads to constantly rub. The good news is if this is the case, you can usually remove a bit of fluid from the system without bleeding (make sure the lever bleed screw is higher than any other part of the system, put a rubber band around the bar/lever to put constant force on the lever, and slowly open the bleed screw until some fluid escapes - if your system uses DOT fluid, be sure to keep it off painted surfaces and your skin).

    Do note that unless fluid escaped the system when the lever was pulled without the wheel installed, the fix is to simply pry the pistons back into their bores. Because brake pads wear over time, hydro brakes are designed to self-adjust to maintain a consistent lever feel as the pads wear; if they did not do this, the lever would travel closer and closer to the bars as the pads wore. Needless to say, the rotor needs to be between the pads for this to work right. When the lever is pulled with no rotor between the pads, it essentially tricks the system into thinking the pads are very worn and thus the pistons will get adjusted outward and stay there until they are manually pushed back in. The safest way to do this is with old, junk pads installed so you are prying on the junk pads and not on good pads or the pistons themselves.

    Good luck,
    Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  8. #8
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    I've been weighing up some of my options and I'm not too sure whats the best. To get a bleed kit is around 30 Euro. Then I would been to go through the pain stacking process of the bleed. I've bled brakes in the past and it is irritating. I could just buy another brake kit and bolt it on. Hence I do not have to deal with all this back and forwards with the mechs. Plus if the off chance it is busted I haven't wasted my time. Also I can upgrade. There are a few ex demo models on CRC that I could upgrade. Even so the price of a New Elixir 5 is the same as they will charge me for a 3. Doesn't matter about the rotor as they are fine. Can I just bolt any Avid brake on the bike as a replacement? Is there anything I should/need to check?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snype View Post
    Avid
    and therein lies you're problem. Friends don't let friends use Avid. Seriously, they suck.

  10. #10
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    So if I'm going to get a replacement kit what should I get?

  11. #11
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    Shimano end of story. From there really just depends on you budget and intended use. Sounds like you on a semi tight budget. I would go with the SLX or of you can find them at a good price the xt's

  12. #12
    FM
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    Your mechanics job is to make money for his shop, to pay his wages. So he's not ripping you off, and if he could fix your brakes in 1 hour, or put new brakes on in 10 minutes, the end cost to you will probably be a wash after labor.

  13. #13
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    I'm not too familiar with brake systems. I can just buy any set of levers and calipers? Are there any other requirements? Looks like most of them come with the bracket to fit both mounting types.

  14. #14
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    Sounds like an issue with the bleed process, not the brakes. The lever needs to be ~80mm from the tip of the lever to the bar to properly bleed; ie: the reach adjust needs to be set in the proper place.

    Then, following the proper procedure, push fluid from the caliper to lever, close the clamp at the lever, and then pull the lever to bar. Suction the caliper until it stops producing large bubbles, pressurize the system from the caliper until the lever blade is fully extended. Remove the syringe from the caliper bleed port, replace screw. Head up to the lever, release the clamp, and repeat the suction process, with some taps on the lever body to release bubbles. Remove syringe, replace bleed screw.

    I find it difficult to believe that the system bleeds one way, but not the other. Maybe the mechanic was tired and made a mistake with setting the reach adjust, maybe it was his first time working on hydros (or Avids).

    For what it's worth, noise is not necessarily a measure of needing a bleed; with elixirs, the pad spring can vibrate, or the cutouts of the rotor can cause issues (especially the G2/3 clean sweeps). It may also be pad or rotor contamination from a poor bleed job, ie: hydro fluid on either or both.

    Don't jump on the replace it bandwagon until you've worked out that it's actually broke.

  15. #15
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    In the end I took the bike to a 3rd mechanic and they had the same issues with the lever assembly. So that pretty much confirmed that the lever was damage. So the fluid could go one way but not the other.

    So I just purchased a new set of Shimano XT's breaks for the bike. So I've opted to upgrade all the brakes as in general it seem that the Avids Elixir 3's were a pretty average brake system and hard to maintain.

  16. #16
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    Avids are POS brakes, no exception.
    [Know someone with Juicy 5's IIRC, Constant rubbing even when dry]

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