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  1. #1
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    Avid juicy 3 long term report.

    Our first set in now 3 years old. We have another set on another bike that is almost 1 year old.

    When new, squealing and turkey gobbles galore. Broke them down, sanded the pads. Gobbles and noise came back after two rides. Cleaned the pads, same thing. Sprayed the back of the pads with disc quiet, a rubber like coating, gobbles gone, for good. Squealing occasional issue.

    Squealing presents itself when bikes is washed. I blast the pads and wipe the rotors with brake cleaner when bike is washed. Need to burn brakes a bit. Squealing gone for good.

    Last week, oldest set had front disc rub problems. Some light squeal when moving slow. Loosened the calipers, pressed the brake lever, aligned caliper and tightened mounting screws. Let the lever go and torqued to 65 pounds. Cleaned the pads and the rotors while at it with brake spray. Good as gold.

    Why post a long term report? Im surprised how reliable these much maligned brakes are. Took a little work figuring it out, but once you know what to do, its a 10 minute fix. What Ive found out for myself, break in is much longer than expected. Think of what you expect break in times should be, times 10 A little tlc helps too while the break in is going on. No rubber tubes, no washers, no nothing. I started riding a popular trail and i saw and heard a few guys coming downhill, from three hills away. I would hate to be those guys Can't even stand a slight gritty feel when braking

    Havent bled. Not once in 3 years. Dont plan to until its starts feeling weak.
    Last edited by bing!; 02-01-2011 at 08:03 AM.

  2. #2
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    You hit the nail on the head.
    The simplest solution is often the correct one.
    I have had several set of different Avids ( and other brands) over the years. Some made noise...that was very fixable. Only 1 lever had a seal problem....that was very fixable.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing!
    .snip..........

    Havent bled. Not once in 3 years. Dont plan to until its starts feeling weak.
    Probably not a bad idea to give them a "bleed" and fresh brake fluid after three years.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi
    Probably not a bad idea to give them a "bleed" and fresh brake fluid after three years.

    Think so? I will consider your advice. Worried I might open a can of worms.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the report, I have a set i was going to use temporarily on my 29er project but you have inspired me to give them a try and i will also do your tricks before installing.

    And i agree with opening a can of worm's and try to go by the "if it is not broke do not fix it" philosophy.

  6. #6
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    its funny I never had a problem with juicy 7's, still have a 3 year old set going strong, never made a sound, reliable never leaked. I wish it had more power though. I also have elixirs and had lots of problems. They are powerful, GREAT feeling brakes when they work, but the seals in the lever are crap had to get them warrantied 3 times in 2 years, always either leaking fluid out or air in. When bleeding if you pull the plunger up more than a freaking millimeter air will break past the crap seals. Rear caliper vibrates like crazy on my frame, had to use a hayes mounting bracket, disc brake quiet on the back of pads, and inner tubes wrapped around the chainstay to deadedn the vibration. Now the right lever isn't holding a bleed, im going a different direction and orddered some saints (and keep the juicies as my backup set). I wish Avid never changed the lever design but kept the old design but made it more powerful. Oh, and you really should replace the fluid after 3 years.

  7. #7
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    I can't really speak for power, as these are generally good for the trails around us. I am sure there are better more powerful units for tougher terrain.

    I'm on the fence about bleeding. I'm not debating the point, I get it, but I am also thinking it through myself.

    The system is sealed. Brake fluid needs to be replaced because of water absorption. I live in Southern California, which is a pretty dry climate. If there is a lot of water in the system, I am supposed to have power issues or fluid boiling causing piston expansion when the brake system is hot. I have none of that. If I were to replace the fluid, the Zinn book says to only use a newly opened bottle. Otherwise, whats in the system is probably better than one thats been open for more than a couple of days.

    The Juicy Manual and the Avid Bleed Guide do not recommend a bleed schedule. I do my own preventive maintenance on the bike at scheduled times. Never did the brakes cause they never said so, and the car seems to work alright with 8 year old fluid I'm not lazy, really
    Last edited by bing!; 01-31-2011 at 10:43 AM.

  8. #8
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    J3 for 2 years I think on the front, without a issue, when the bikes inverted it gets the air into the hose but some hose flicking generally gets the air back to the top where it's okay pretty quickly.

    It's been good it's cheap, J's of all kinds are generally super fussy on bleeding, but if there isn't excessive lever travel then I'd just leave it be cause there a git and you NEED the £20+ bleed kit.

    Water in the fluid will create brake pump as it heats up exanding the water if you've not got this then all is good.

  9. #9
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    Never bled my J5's in 4 years, lots of UK rain and mud but no problems apart from noise when wet.

  10. #10
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    Over time dirt and moisture get past the seals and contaminate the brake fluid. Ultimately this leads to a drop in braking performance and corrosion can occur inside the brakes. If you save the fluid that you flush out of your brakes and compare it with new fluid it is often much darker in color. Many recommend flushing brakes yearly but YMMV.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  11. #11
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    pretty much same experiance. took like a month for them to bed in and now they have ok feel. power is passable, not great, but considering the price they aint bad.

  12. #12
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    Ordered the bleed kit and will do the deed.

    I dont expect a bump in performance, but will do it as preventive service.

    Thanks for those that gave advice.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the review on these and a bit of a vote of confidence. I ended up getting a slightly used set of juicy 3s a few weeks back for my current build and am excited to see how they are. I wanted to get the BB7s since it was going from v-brakes but the J3s should serve me just as well.

  14. #14
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    Did the first bleed today on the 3 year old set. Feels firmer. Lever bottoms more solid. Gonna miss the slight squish. Kinda felt like more modulation. Will do the other one after tomorrows ride. Thanks agin.

  15. #15
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    My Juicy 3's were mostly maintenance free all of this past season. They need to be bled now, but overall I am really happy with them.
    Matt

  16. #16
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    learned something new today, I hate bleeding brakes.

    degassing fluid is a pita.

    juicy 3 reach adjustments are a pita to rotate.

    forgot to put the brake block one time bleeding the lever and over extended the piston had to redo the whole front.

    I can't take the pads off and put in the blocks without removing the caliper, had to align both calipers.

    if you take out the avid mounting washers, its trial and error to get them to sit right again.

    Each bike took me 1 hour and 40 minutes including aligning the calipers.

    Good thing this is a once a year deal. I might wait for a couple before I even think of it again.

    brakes feels better, a touch sensitive.

    signing out.

  17. #17
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    I am about to try and get the wife's Juicy3's to play quietly again...they have been nothing but hassle! Power is good and modulation is fair for a basic brake but the front in particular makes lots of noise and the pistons are sticky as hell. The rear is better, or at least responds to some light-TLC once in a while.

    I might try a thin layer of plasti dip on the back of the pad to stop some of the noise...great tip!

    I guess removing and cleaning the pistons / seals might help them retract and drag less but I *hate* bleeding Avids! Guess I was spoilt working in UK bike shops with wall to wall Hope C2 and M4's

    I'll wait until the Italy v Ireland match is over and give it a go!

    SSP
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
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    Otis Guy talking about klunkers c1976

  18. #18
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    Wrap a innertube tightly around the brakeside seatstay and/or
    chainstay. This can help deaden the brake vibration resonating with
    the frame. Also, plasti-dip (or spray on permatex disc-brake quiet)
    the side of the brake mounting bracket that faces the frame, and the
    hub- facing side of the rotor where it mounts to hub. (careful not to
    get any on the braking surface, cover it!) I had to do all of these to
    quiet my elixirs. I just replaced them with saints, dead quiet with
    none of that nonsense

  19. #19
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    Another observation from a long term Juicy user:

    When the brakes are about three years old and one or other piston stops retracting despite cleaning etc - get a piston and seal kit and do both front and rear calipers. Good to go for another three years...

    Reliable brake and easy to work on IMO. I don't see the need for constant/periodic bleeding. Unless the system has air in it and bad lever feel, leave it alone.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis
    Another observation from a long term Juicy user:

    When the brakes are about three years old and one or other piston stops retracting despite cleaning etc - get a piston and seal kit and do both front and rear calipers. Good to go for another three years...

    Reliable brake and easy to work on IMO. I don't see the need for constant/periodic bleeding. Unless the system has air in it and bad lever feel, leave it alone.
    yep. 40 bucks is better than a 250 dollar upgrade to shimano.

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