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  1. #1
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    Bleeding Avid Elixir CR Brakes - Tips!

    I am new to hydraulics but an experienced bike mechanic otherwise. I recently got my first set of hydraulics, Elixir CRs, and the front hose was way long, the rear a bit long (though I wouldn't have bothered if the front wasn't so long). Here is some feedback from a first time hydraulic brake bleeder. It will take you 2-3 hours the first time through. Considerably less if you have bled hydraulics before (car brakes don't count).

    1.) Get Avid bleed kit. There isn't much to it, some syringes, a couple fittings to adapt the syringes to the calipers and levers, fluid, crush thingie (not copper crush washer like car brakes) necessary for shortening the line, and bleed blocks for all the avid brake models (your brakes came with them anyway). Worth the money... you couldn't do this without it or build your own without the real kit in your hand, the syringe to brake adapters are the key component, but not nearly as important as the DIRECTIONS.

    2.) Read the directions front to back.... really... I hate directions, and never read them before I start... I usually go step by step and it works out. It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you follow these EXACTLY. So give them a pass through before you touch your bike. It will only take 2 minutes.

    3.) Follow the directions step by step starting with the front brake, it is the easier one. Take your time, read each step twice. If you miss one you will be starting over.

    4.) Switch to the back brake. Don't get cocky like I did and try to do it from memory since the front went well. If you miss one silly step or do things out of order like I did, you will be doing them again. It will not be fun, and you will feel like a jackass while you are doing it.

    I know this thread is silly since it pretty much just says to read the avid instructions over and over, but this is the recipe for success. The bleed will work perfectly, and your brakes will feel better than factory, but if you miss one word of one step you'll have to start over.

    Time Saving Tip: don't get too insane on the degassing step. Pull sorta hard on the syringe, and give it a few good flicks. Repeat a few times. You quickly reach a point (3-4 repeats) where the number of bubbles stays the same every time you do it - if you try to get them all out you will literally be there forever.

    Hope this helps someone!

  2. #2
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    Me, hopefully... my Elixirs are rubbish out of the box, and the fronts have a huuuge bubble in them somewhere. I have a bleed kit that's a year or so old - does this matter?
    Cheers,

    Robbo

    Eat my shorts, build a bridge and get over it - Devil

  3. #3
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    For me, watching this video helped make the steps in the instructions a bit clearer.

  4. #4
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    Having done my first Elixir bleeding this weekend, I found there were slight inconsistencies between the info in the manuals vs the video. Kind of annoying, as with the BB7s I found the Avid instructions to be the way to go. Looking around mtbr I see TNC found the same inconsistencies in the Avid instructions and has an excellent idea with the back and forth flow between syringes here in post # 4 here Avid Elixir CR air/bubbles/arrrrgggh, that's what I'm going to try on the next bleed.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  5. #5
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    i just finished my first avid brake bleed today..

    the original poster is right on about reading the instructions.. i started with the rear and bled it three times before i was happy with the squeeze and grab. the video is also a great supplement.

    i am very happy with the stopping power of fresh pads and bleed.

  6. #6
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    well to be honest I has been working with hydraulic systems since some years, one thing which is constant is that any fluid will scape were the easiest way it could find. I has been using this theory with all my brake systems. The Juicy and Elixir are pretty same, so what I do is:

    1- fill half one of the syringes with the DOT fluid (bleed any air), it will be in the top (lever point).
    2- fill one full syringe with the DOT fluid (bleed any air), it will be in the bottom (caliper point).
    3- keep the top syringe in vertical position (to avoid air coming inside the lever).
    4- push the bottom syringe (allow the 90% of the fluid go to the top syringe or until it be full), you will see air coming from the system.
    5- push the top syringe (allow the 90% of the fluid go to the bottom syringe or until it be full), you will see air coming from the system.
    6- with both syringes half filled after do 2 or 3 times the previous process, just pull the lever as you were breaking (you will see air coming out and fluid moving from side to other).
    6- repeat 2 or 3 times step 5.
    7- remove the syringes and put 1 or 2 max drops of fluid in the bleeding ports and close them with the cap.

    done, you have the system ready!

    cheers

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kroe
    I am new to hydraulics but an experienced bike mechanic otherwise. I recently got my first set of hydraulics, Elixir CRs, and the front hose was way long, the rear a bit long (though I wouldn't have bothered if the front wasn't so long). Here is some feedback from a first time hydraulic brake bleeder. It will take you 2-3 hours the first time through. Considerably less if you have bled hydraulics before (car brakes don't count).

    1.) Get Avid bleed kit. There isn't much to it, some syringes, a couple fittings to adapt the syringes to the calipers and levers, fluid, crush thingie (not copper crush washer like car brakes) necessary for shortening the line, and bleed blocks for all the avid brake models (your brakes came with them anyway). Worth the money... you couldn't do this without it or build your own without the real kit in your hand, the syringe to brake adapters are the key component, but not nearly as important as the DIRECTIONS.

    2.) Read the directions front to back.... really... I hate directions, and never read them before I start... I usually go step by step and it works out. It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you follow these EXACTLY. So give them a pass through before you touch your bike. It will only take 2 minutes.

    3.) Follow the directions step by step starting with the front brake, it is the easier one. Take your time, read each step twice. If you miss one you will be starting over.

    4.) Switch to the back brake. Don't get cocky like I did and try to do it from memory since the front went well. If you miss one silly step or do things out of order like I did, you will be doing them again. It will not be fun, and you will feel like a jackass while you are doing it.

    I know this thread is silly since it pretty much just says to read the avid instructions over and over, but this is the recipe for success. The bleed will work perfectly, and your brakes will feel better than factory, but if you miss one word of one step you'll have to start over.

    Time Saving Tip: don't get too insane on the degassing step. Pull sorta hard on the syringe, and give it a few good flicks. Repeat a few times. You quickly reach a point (3-4 repeats) where the number of bubbles stays the same every time you do it - if you try to get them all out you will literally be there forever.

    Hope this helps someone!
    hey, old thread i know, but what did you use to cut the brake lines? will a sharp scalpel be ok? and i know for some brakes that your supposed to replace any compression olives and barbs (not sure about barbs though), do i need to do this on my elixirs?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by joehspicer@msn.com
    hey, old thread i know, but what did you use to cut the brake lines? will a sharp scalpel be ok? and i know for some brakes that your supposed to replace any compression olives and barbs (not sure about barbs though), do i need to do this on my elixirs?
    When I cut my hoses I used my Shimano housing cutter, worked fine; did replace the compression fitting and barb as recommended by Avid (and came with the bleed kit). Don't think I'd want to re-use them but no experience...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

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