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 !
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.
Turn the Pad Contact all the way IN
How I fixed my mushy Avid levers (Elixir and Juicy)
Remember, Turn the Pad Contact all the way IN before beginning.
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