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  1. #1
    mb3designs
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    New question here. Elixir R pad clearance question

    Having clearance issues, tried just about everything I can think of The inside pad on the front will not retract completely causing it to drag the rotor. When I remove the front wheel and insert the pad spreader, problem solved. But, when I re-install the front wheel and engage the lever the pads do not retract completely. Any thoughts?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    TNC
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    Did you read some of the posts where people described freeing up slightly sticking pistons? There are some great suggestions in some of them. I'm taking that you're saying that the sticky piston will actually retract back into the caliper but only when you force it back with the brake puck.

    I like the one that uses the method of pushing out the sticky piston with lever pressure, and then applying a tiny bit of brake fluid around the circumference of the piston at its interface with the caliper. I'd use a small paint brush or toothbrush to gently clean away dirt and brake dust before applying the brake fluid. Wipe off all the excess brake fluid you can with a rag before reinstalling the pads. This lightly lubricates the piston seal which is usually the problem. And obviously be careful not to push those pistons out too far, as you know what will happen. Oh...and don't reuse the toothbrush for its intended purpose.

  3. #3
    mb3designs
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    Thanks TNC. That did help a little bit, but the inside piston will still not fully retract without pushing it back, the front rotor continues to drag. I have bled the entire system, played with the positioning of the caliper, I even switched out the rotor. Oh, forgot to mention that the brakes are brand new and have never even been riden on. Will the piston eventually seat itself after a few rides? Do I have too much brake fluid in the system? Any advice or suggestions welcome.....PLEASE!

  4. #4
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    I just installed a set of Elixir Rs. Holy Pad Clearance, Batman, or should I say lack of pad clearance. I don't know if I can describe my pistons as sticky or not but it took a lot of trial and error to have my wheels rotate relatively padrub-free.

    #1---I tried the "loosen caliper bolts, clamp lever, retighten caliper bolts" and the result is about what you have.

    #2---I tried the "take off wheel, spread pads, put wheel back on, loosen caliper bolts, put a business card on either side of the rotor (hardly even enough room for that!), clamp lever, tighten caliper bolts. One piston always wanted to rub.

    #3---Then #2 as above, only this time put both business cards on the "dominant" piston side. Same result. Pretty frustrating, right?

    #4---Well, f!ck it, let's just make up a solution. I very slightly loosened the caliper bolts after #3, held a flashlight under the pads and very gently tapped the caliper away from the closest pad...not until I could see light coming through because I swear there was so little clearance to be had I just went by "is it rubbing now or not?" Eventually I got the wheel to rotate "freely" even though I'm dammed if I can actually see clear daylight down there.

    I've had three longish rides now and the pads are staying away enough from the rotors that I'm satisfied, even though I sure would love to be able to see daylight down there, like 3 business cards' worth of space either side of the rotor. I took off BB7s to put on these Elixir Rs and I still have BB7s on my other bike. I'm the kind of rider who has stayed away from hydros because I HATE PAD RUB AND WILL NOT STAND HAVING ANY ON MY BIKES so for me to say that I'm "satisfied" doesn't mean my wheels are still dragging to a stop because of pad rub but I'm choosing to ignore it, they actually do spin freely.

    But, dam again, I sure would love to see some daylight down there. It's crazy that in the instructions for the Elixirs Avid sez "position the calipers. Check for pad rub. Re-position again if necessary" or something like that...as if that's the solution. Hah! I've talked to a lot of hydro owners who say the "tap the caliper over as needed" method is the only one they use. And I'm trying to avoid bleeding these puppies. I instinctively reach down to dial the pads back, like I still have BB7s on.
    Last edited by xcguy; 06-11-2009 at 06:17 AM.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  5. #5
    TNC
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    For my 2 sets of Elixirs and those through the shop, we haven't had any serious rub issues like this. When we do on just about any brand, I find you can bleed a tiny bit of excess fluid by cracking open either the caliper or master cylinder bleed port a tiny bit with the brake puck fully jammed between the pads at max width. Make sure the port is pointed straight up and have a rag ready. Don't foul the pads if you do this at the caliper. This should be done quickly, as excess fluid should be expelled within a seconde or two.

    Obviously this is done only when you've determined you don't have a sticky piston or just an adjustment issue.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    For my 2 sets of Elixirs and those through the shop, we haven't had any serious rub issues like this. When we do on just about any brand, I find you can bleed a tiny bit of excess fluid by cracking open either the caliper or master cylinder bleed port a tiny bit with the brake puck fully jammed between the pads at max width. Make sure the port is pointed straight up and have a rag ready. Don't foul the pads if you do this at the caliper. This should be done quickly, as excess fluid should be expelled within a seconde or two.

    Obviously this is done only when you've determined you don't have a sticky piston or just an adjustment issue.
    Elixir/hydro owners seem to be split into three camps: one camp has never had a squeaky rotor or pad clearance issues, has never bled their brakes and all is good. Another camp has had pad clearance issues, groaning rotors, has bled their brakes in frustration but eventually got their pads to clear enough and completely reject the idea that bleeding a few drops out will magically open up the pads. "I've never heard of that" they say. "That just won't work" they say. TNC and others are in the third camp: "yeah, just bleed a couple of drops out of the system and your pads will magically retract".

    This is a crazy wacky world, this Hydro World.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  7. #7
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    My rotors and pads have been fine out of the box. My levers though... Sometimes go to the bar. After some riding they return to normal. 90% of the time they act like they should.

  8. #8
    mb3designs
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    For my 2 sets of Elixirs and those through the shop, we haven't had any serious rub issues like this. When we do on just about any brand, I find you can bleed a tiny bit of excess fluid by cracking open either the caliper or master cylinder bleed port a tiny bit with the brake puck fully jammed between the pads at max width.
    I ended up taking the brake puck and pushing back the stingy inside piston with the caliper bleed port open, of course I had the pads removed. Re-installed the caliper bleed port screw and cleaned up the excess brake fluid. I inserted the brake puck into the caliper with a thin piece of cardboard to fill the tiny gap between the puck and the stingy piston, then re-bled the entire system according to Avid specifications.

    All I can say is HELL YEAH

    I ended up getting the clearance I needed for the rotor not to rub. Turns out there was just too much fluid in the system.

    Thanks TNC, and thanks to everyone else as well!

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