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.
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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