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  1. #1
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    Avid brakes - Pad Contact adjustment & brand bleeding procedure recommendation

    Fellow Avid users who have bled your brakes which have that Pad Contact adjustment feature. Pad Contact, not Reach Adjustment!

    Earlier today I've tried to bleed my rear Juicy 7 from 09', it had started feeling mushy a couple months ago. Things went great, went for a ride, nice feel, seemed acceptable. Unfortunately when I hanged the bike onto the wall after coming home the lever became soft. Guess I've left a pretty amount of air somewhere inside. Going to re-bleed it later tonight.

    Comes in handy though case during the first bleed I started thinking about the following.

    Some Avid brakes, current models, as well as older models as the Juicys feature the Pad Contact point adjustment. Avid says that isn't a real pad contact point adjustment but more like an adjustment as to where the brake really engages in the lever travel. In real life what it does is that it moves the pistons and therefore the pads in or out the caliper body allowing for an earlier or later bite feel, which translates as having an earlier or later engagement point in the lever travel.

    For the bleeding procedure Avid recommends turning the Pad Contact dial all the way out. That means the pistons will be set at their full extension outwards from the caliper body.

    My bleed was done with a bleed block, so they were "locked" and didn't come out as much as if they would if there wasn't the block. This however doesn't imply with what I'm having second guesses about.

    Lets assume the bleed goes all well, no air in the systems and everything is perfect. Remember Avid said to set the Pad Contact all the way out. Now you assemble the wheel, disc, center the caliper and go for a ride.

    As you've bled your brake with the Pad Contact adjustment all the way out, that means you can't do any more adjustments OUT. That means all the Pad Contact adjustment you can do now is the way IN. That means the only adjustment you'll be able to do is having to use more travel on the lever in order to reach the engagement point.

    Wouldn't it make much more sense bleeding the brake with the Pad Contact adjustment set, lets say, halfway through? That way after bleeding and having everything set right you would be able to set the brake either ways. IN or OUT. Having more or less lever travel.

    Personally I enjoy the shortest engagement possible.

    When I received this Juicy set, (the front one still has its factory oil and feels great) the Pad Contact adjustment had a similar amount of turns available to each side which allowed me to set the brakes with a shorter or longer engagement (read bite point). They didn't come from factory with the Pad Contact all the way out.

    If the idea for such feature is to allow user customization of brake feel, why does Avid recommend the bleeding procedure to be done with the dial maxed to the outer position only allowing for inward adjustment post bleed?

    I've been devouring Avid pdfs about bleeding and looking on Youtube about anything about this particular subject. I haven't read anywhere that not having the Pad Contact adjustment all the way out could cause problems.

    I'm tempted to bleed my brakes later on with the adjuster set halfway through so that after I'm done bleeding I'm allowed to have a finer tuning of my bite point.

    I reckon I could achieve the same taking out the caliper from the bike, pressing the lever, resetting the pads back till I get the nice feel I want. But I should I have all that work if the brakes have an adjuster to do exactly that work for me?

    Can anyone shed some light as to why I shouldn't do this? Will I somehow be jeopardizing my brakes? I know they're old. Older that most folks here keep their stuff. But they've been working great and have caused me no griefs so I can't justify shelling out for a new set.

    Sorry for the wall of text but since this is a very specific matter I feel theres no other way I could express myself.

  2. #2
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    I've bled Avids every which way possible. Pads dialed in, out, halfway. Does not make a huge difference short of possibly having to release some fluid from the system if contact is too close. There is no reason why you cant bleed them successfully with the contact dial wherever you want. I believe the reason they want those dials all the way out...(opposite the arrow), is to allow the lever to be bled fully.

  3. #3
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    But the dial being all the way out reduces the actual reservoir size. That is what makes the pistons push the pads out.

    Since no one answered and I had a short window to perform the service I bled them carefully with the dial set halfway. I'll try them tomorrow. Had to change the wheel and tire too and didn't have time.

  4. #4
    HME
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    Quote Originally Posted by BustedBearing View Post
    But the dial being all the way out reduces the actual reservoir size. That is what makes the pistons push the pads out.

    Since no one answered and I had a short window to perform the service I bled them carefully with the dial set halfway. I'll try them tomorrow. Had to change the wheel and tire too and didn't have time.
    So, how did it turn out?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HME View Post
    So, how did it turn out?
    The threads I open usually are about subjects I can't find any info about.

    And I hate when I find something posted about and afterwards theres no closure/resolution. To avoid doing to others the same I always try to put some closure to my threads.

    I haven't done so here yet because the brake is still resting on my workbench. I've been riding the FS these last weeks, time has been scarce (as patience) to do work on the SS.

    Plus, I've discovered my rear hub needs maintenance (I reckon it is shot), I'll have to change the wheelset till I sort it out. The current one assembled has one wheel flat. As I'm going back to road tires that doesn't matter but the gearing will need to be changed too and to top it off the chain needs replacement. All together has been disencouraging me

    Having the FS perfectly tuned with summer temperatures makes me want to take all the free time I have riding it.

    But as soon as I have the results I'll post them. On the bench the brake seemed to worked nicely. Only with use though I'll be able to assert if the tweak poses any problem.

  6. #6
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    I would like to share my experience. When I follow all the youtube and service manual from Avid regarding bleeding Avid XO brake with pad adjustment. I can't get a good feels on brake since it was set out all (counter arrow) the way and there's no possible adjustment anymore.

    Then after much finding, I tried to set my pad adjustment contact HALF WAY. And try to do usual bleeding procedure. The feels is totally different and much better. Especially when your pad had worn out.

    Now my problem is still finding the best way to bleed Avid XO lever to get a good feels on that.

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