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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: fishercat's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    Avid Elixir Brake bleeding

    I thought my brakes needed bleeding, as there was quite a bit of pull in them before they engaged. I went through the bleeding process as carefully as I could, and at the end when I had the spacer in the caliper and pulled the brake levers the pull felt great, it engaged much earlier than before (less pull), but after putting the brake pads back in the pull feels the same as before the bleed. This was my first time doing a brake bleed. I bought a professional kit, and am generally pretty good at wrenching, but I am concerned that maybe the bleed did not take. I am hesitant to bring the bike to lbs and pay for a bleed if maybe I can fix it myself or maybe I just need new brake pads that engage sooner. I dont think my avids have an engagement adjustment. They are Elixir R brakes, I can adjust the distance of the lever to the bar but not the engagement point. Please help if you can. thanks !

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gmats's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Aloha, reading your post I think two things came to mind.

    First one, when doing your bleed, how far away are you levers from the bars (reach adjusted)? I've found with my "small hands", if I bleed my brakes with the levers too close to the bar, I don't get a good bleed. I don't think this is your problem but I thought I'd just mention that.

    2nd one: Try putting new pads in. See, it sounds like the only time you are experiencing this is when you have your old pads in and the pistons must extend out further to have the pads engage the rotor. Imagine your car, as the pads wear, the fluid in the reservoir takes up the extra volume of the worn pads. You still have pad material but eventually, the "brake light" on your dash can illuminate. Most people just "add fluid" but not fix the real problem of "why did the light go on in the first place".

    Sometimes, I have seen with Avid brakes that by bleeding the brakes with the reach adjust set with the lever further away, there is more volume in the lever (these were mostly the ones with the contact adjustment though). Therefore, this condition (bleeding with lever away) could help the 2nd condition of the worn pads because there could be more fluid in the lever (master cylinder) to compensate for the pad's wear.

    Good luck with that, hope you find the culprit soon. Post up and let us know what you find.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: client_9's Avatar
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    Apr 2009

    Turn the Pad Contact all the way IN

    try this:
    How I fixed my mushy Avid levers (Elixir and Juicy)

    Remember, Turn the Pad Contact all the way IN before beginning.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2014
    With my Elixir 9s, you need to turn the contact point adjustment opposite the direction of the arrow all the way. Then, you need to adjust the lever reach adjuster so that the tip of the lever is 75 to 80 mm from the center of the handlebar. If it's too far out, you can't put fluid in, and if it's too far in, I think (guessing) it will cause the problem you're having.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: EatsDirt's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    One thing I do to check the bleed or see if it needs a bleed (Avid Elixir R) is hold my bike up vertical on the back wheel and pump the brakes... If there's too much air the levers mush to the bars.

    Not sure if this is common knowledge, or only specific to my brakes, but I figured I'd mention it.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2007
    Hey everyone - searched through a few threads but couldn't find an answer.

    I have a set of Avid Elixir 1's - there is a lever adjustment screw on the inside of the lever. Does this change how much fluid is in the system? If so, which way do I turn to get the most fluid in?

    These brakes are infuriating - I keep bleeding them per the instructions on the SRAM website with no improvement. The lever travel is huge, although it's the same as the floor models at the LBS so maybe i'm just getting them as best as they can be.

    I tried skimming the material from the bleed block too. Maybe remove more?

    I have Shimano SLX's on my hardtail - and I haven't touched them in a year, gone through a few sets of pads and they perform better. So stupid. Never buying another SRAM product again.

  7. #7
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    The lever adjust on Elixirs won't affect how much fluid you can fit in the system. And although shaving the bleed blocks will affect how much fluid you can put in, it may not have the expected results. I've noticed a trend regarding Elixir brakes. Either people are happy with them, or they aren't. The folks who are happy with them like the way they feel, and get good stopping power out of them. The folks who don't like them dislike the feel and claim the brakes don't work well or that they lack confidence in the brakes. There is very little in between, and the solution for the folks who don't like them is buy some shimano brakes. For myself, I have a set of the new Guide brakes, a set of Elixir XO's and a set of Elixir 1s, and basically do nothing but flush/bleed them once a year, and replace the pads when needed, and they're all fine. However, I cannot stand the way XT's feel - like the suddenly click on - especially when I'm riding something sketchy. So, the best thing, if you like your other Shimanos, just get more, and don't waste your time with the Avids. There's certainly nothing wrong with SRAM products, any more than there is Shimano products.

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