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  1. #1
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    Bled My SLX brakes "Avid Style"

    I recently bought the Jagwire HyFlow Bleed Kit for mineral oil (shimano, magura, tektro, etc) disc brakes on a whim. I've always used Shimano's "top to bottom" bleed method, and though it works just fine, I wanted to experiment with another system. I'll take any chance i can get to fiddle with my bike....

    Unfortunately, the HyFlow bleed kit is a total POS, largely due to the cheap hand pump used to push mineral oil from the caliper up to the lever. It has a very poor action and is prone to pumping air into the pvc tubing if you push it too fast. There are some other problems with the system as a whole, but the bottom line is Its not worth buying. I spent about an hour playing around with it before i finally gave up.

    The one thing the Hyflow kit had that I did like was a little metal bleed nipple collar that slides over the pvc tubing and then securely pinches the tubing onto the bleed nipple. Simple but effective. With this collar in hand, I found a decent plastic syringe on ebay and made a simple bleeding tool to replace it crappy Jagwire one.

    The syringe reminded me of the Avid bleed kit syringes. So I instinctively tried bleeding my shimano brakes like avid brakes. The big difference in the procedure is that you don't have to use a syringe to pull air out of the lever/reservoir, just out of the caliper. I would refer anyone to a video tutorial of bleeding avid brakes if you haven't see it before.

    I was very surprised with how much air I pulled out of my SLX brakes that I had just recently bled well (as far as I knew) with the normal Shimano method. I tried the new method on an old pair of M486s that were replaced by the SLX brakes with similar results. The ability to pressurize the caliper with the syringe makes it a lot easier to pull tiny bubbles out of the caliper and lines. I don't know if there's naturally some air bubbles in fresh mineral oil, but, either way, the normal Shimano bleeding method doesn't really allow you to pressurize the system and pull the little guys out. I also pulled the entire brake off my bike so I could fully manipulate the caliper and brake hose, which helped a lot too.

    Once you get all the air you can out of the caliper, you can just release the brake lever and push fluid back into the (open) reservoir to top it off, and you're done.

    In the end, using a syringe is cheaper then buying a fancy bleed kit, more effective, and potentially less messy. My brakes were considerably crisper after the bleed too. Obviously, there are many bleed methods for Shimano brakes (including their bleed kit) that all seem to get the job done, but so far I have found this method to be the best.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/57227690@N04/5388339594/" title="DSCF0192 by spencer.callahan, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5014/5388339594_179d557463_b.jpg" width="675" height="507" alt="DSCF0192" /></a>

    The bleed nipple fitting circled in this photo is the only worthwhile piece of the whole kit, as far as I'm concerned.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/57227690@N04/5388366388/" title="89235 by spencer.callahan, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5097/5388366388_4ae51830f2_z.jpg" width="637" height="427" alt="89235" /></a>
    Last edited by Slurry; 01-25-2011 at 12:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'd be very interested in some pictures, I spent 3 hours yesterday bleeding my XT brake, trying to get it to stop being spongy but I think I just made it worse.

    I used the top to bottom method: Fill reservoir, pull lever, hold it while opening bleed nipple, close nipple, release lever, fill reservoir etc.

  3. #3
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    shimano has their own bleed kit that works great
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=17561

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    shimano has their own bleed kit that works great
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=17561
    I am familiar with their $70-80 bleed kit as mentioned in my first post.

    I will take some pics of the simple setup tomorrow

  5. #5
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    i have used that fancy shimano bleed kit and i think it works but you can do just as easy with 2 syringes. best for shimano bleed is bottom to top, squeeze fluid from caliper to lever.
    tap the line to loosen any bubbles, pull the lever also.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCRIGID
    i have used that fancy shimano bleed kit and i think it works but you can do just as easy with 2 syringes. best for shimano bleed is bottom to top, squeeze fluid from caliper to lever.
    tap the line to loosen any bubbles, pull the lever also.
    how do you use a second syringe? just to suck fluid out of the open resivoir?
    the thing I like about the shiamo kit is the clamp and bottle that fit over the resivoir and catch all the fluid, their syringe is cheap plastic but it does the job. way overpriced in the US its over $100 but CRC has it for $60, still too expensive but its worth it for a clean floor

  7. #7
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    @ Olijay - did you pump the lever mulitple times before holding? I just bled my Shimano's top to bottom with my mityvac and some 1/4" tube. With suction on the bleed valve you don't have to pull the lever. Pump worked so good I pulled the fluid down in the resivoir and had to re-bleed the back! Both feel great now btw.

  8. #8
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    I simply attach a catch bottle to the caliper, then bleed just like a car... Hasn't failed me yet!
    Bike to Work,
    Work to Live,
    Live to Bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    how do you use a second syringe? just to suck fluid out of the open resivoir?
    the thing I like about the shiamo kit is the clamp and bottle that fit over the resivoir and catch all the fluid, their syringe is cheap plastic but it does the job. way overpriced in the US its over $100 but CRC has it for $60, still too expensive but its worth it for a clean floor
    yup i just remove some from the res then push some through, and repeat. takes me about 10 minutes per brake.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCRIGID
    yup i just remove some from the res then push some through, and repeat. takes me about 10 minutes per brake.
    I updated my 1st post with a picture. It's not the greatest, but it works.

    The point of my post was to illustrate how much more air I was able to get out of my lines using a syringe to pressurize the system and then draw out tiny bubbles. Other methods work just fine, but they take longer and/or don't get as much air out.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rate View Post
    @ Olijay - did you pump the lever mulitple times before holding? I just bled my Shimano's top to bottom with my mityvac and some 1/4" tube. With suction on the bleed valve you don't have to pull the lever. Pump worked so good I pulled the fluid down in the resivoir and had to re-bleed the back! Both feel great now btw.
    I have a Mityvac for my car. I'm going to try this on my Zee brakes too.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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