Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    40

    First Ride and broke my Elixir 1 lever

    Took out my new ride (Giant XTC Comp 3) for her maiden voyage on Sunday. First time riding trails in 8 years and, as expected, it was a huge difference from an aluminum 26er with rim brakes.

    So, long story short, the bike is fast and carries an insane amount of momentum into turns. I was pushing it and slid out on some loose pine straw. My left Avid Exlir 1 lever caught a tree and the lever was wrenched from the housing such that I can't simply replace the lever. I think the whole housing must be replaced (LBS said the same).

    Since this is my first experience with hydraulic brakes, my questions are:

    (1) Can I just replace the housing or will I end up needing to replace the lines? FWIW, the pads, rotors and everything else are brand new and not damaged.
    (2) If the answer to #1 is "just the housing", is that something I should special order or try to find on Ebay/Craigs?
    (3) If I do replace just the housing, will I need to bleed the lines? (I am hoping I don't.)

    Anything else I should be thinking about?

    On an unrelated note, when both brakes were working, I found the rear brake to be a bit "squishier" than the left. It felt looser and like I had to squeeze the lever farther to engage the rotor. The brake worked fine. On an old mechanical brake, I would adjust the cable tension or replace the cable. What's the fix on hydraulic brake? I would think it would have to be related to (a) the lever position or (b) the fluid?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    168
    I'm not sure about replacing the lever, but I assume that is something you could order through your local bike shop (LBS) or ebay. There shouldn't be any reason to replace the line or caliper, but if somebody else says differently take their word over mine.

    As for the rear brake feeling softer, it is could be due to there being a little bit of air in the line from the factory. This is relatively common with Avids, and a lot of riders recommend bleeding brakes when installed new to ensure they are properly bled. The easier to fix alternative is that the pads have not been properly broken in yet on the rear. You might want to do a quick google search or search the forums to find a procedure for properly breaking in brake pads. Make sure to do this before going through the hassle of a bleed.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    40
    fatcamper,

    THanks. Re: Bleeding. I have read the Avid manual and watched a couple instructional videos. Do you think it is worth learning to do it or having it serviced through my LBS?

    One issue is that I bought the bike off Craigs and not from a LBS. So, the service costs can get to be a bit pricey. I also like working on a bike. There is a shop near me that rents shop space for fairly cheap ($60 for an entire year) so I would have access to a proper stand & tools.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mitzikatzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,811
    avid-elixir-1-disc-brake

    shimano-deore-m596-disc-brake

    might be cheaper to buy new brakes
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    40
    I thought about that it have a bid on something on Ebay. My question is if I buy the "whole" brake, can I just replace the lever and housing without having to bleed the lines?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    168
    As long as the lines are cut to the right length there shouldn't be any reason you'd need to bleed the lines. Even if they're too long you can use them, but extra hose looks a bit silly and could potentially snag on something.

    Bleeding isn't too bad and is a maintenance skill worth learning and tooling up for. Shops charge quite a bit for it and a lot of money can be saved doing it yourself. Ebay has some cheap avid bleed kits available.

    After saying all of that, $40 to simply bolt on the new brake seems like a good deal too. No way you would escape the LBS without paying at least that much for the fix.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    40
    Sorry I am such a rookie but:

    (a) If I replace the entire brake (minus the rotor), I will still have the bleed issue, correct?

    (b) I bid $25 for a new brake on Ebay. My plan was to just use the lever, housing, etc. to attach to the existing tube. Is that even possible? And, if so, bleed issue?

    I am going to buy a bleed kit at some point. Just trying to figure out if I need it for this.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    168
    If you replace everything, besides the rotor, you shouldn't have to bleed it as long as everything is working properly. If you remove an item from the brake system you will lose your seal and introduce air, thus the need to bleed.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    40
    Okay. Makes sense. Of course, that assumes the brake ships from Avid in working condition which, from what I have read, isn't a sure thing.

  10. #10
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,649
    Let me see a pic?
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    40
    Here is the housing. You can see where the lever cracked the housing. To be honest, I was a little surprised. It wasn't a "bad" crash at all.

    Name:  Lever_2.png
Views: 230
Size:  203.2 KB

    Another view:

    First Ride and broke my Elixir 1 lever-lever_3.jpg

    And the mangled lever.

    First Ride and broke my Elixir 1 lever-lever_1.jpg

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    40
    So, any takes on this:

    (a) I won an auction last night on Ebay for a 2012 Elixir 1 front brake. $36 out the door
    (b) I have a friend with a set of Elixir 3s that he will part with for $100
    (c) I could pick up a Shimano 596 (see the link above) or even a 795 for $60ish


    At this point, I think my plan is just to go with the 2012 I bought and upgrade to Shimano's when these wear out. From what I have read, the 2012 and later Avids are much improved.

    THoughts?

  13. #13
    cowbell
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1,748
    Thoughts:

    Stick with the one you bought on ebay for now. Learn to bleed your own brakes. It doesn't matter if you have Avid, Shimano, Hope, or whatever else you end up with, you WILL have to bleed your brakes eventually. You should also service them by changing the fluid every so often, just like in a car. In the long run, it will pay to be able to do this yourself rather than paying someone else to do it.

    On that rear brake, check the manufacture dates on it. It might just need bleeding, but since you didn't buy the bike from a bike shop, seek out the service bulletin on Avid brakes from last year, and see if your rear brake falls into the date range for that bulletin. If it does, and it's one of the brakes they were looking for, no amount of bleeding will help it. But they will give you some new brakes, IF that's what the problem is.

  14. #14
    Rogue Exterminator
    Reputation: kjlued's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4,866
    I'd buy new brakes and slap them on with no worries about bleeding.
    I have the Elixir 1's and they are ok but nothing I would stuff money in for fixing to save a dollar over upgrading.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    40
    Allright. So, the Ebay vender let me off the hook for the 2012 Elixir 1. I am going to buy the Elixir 3s from my friend since he is local and I can pick up the brakes today and be riding this weekend.

    Plus, he is a solid wrench and told me he would help with the bleeding.

    Now, the question is do I replace the rear Elixir 1 with the new Elixir 3?

    Ahh, the joys of being back on a bike.

  16. #16
    Rogue Exterminator
    Reputation: kjlued's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4,866
    Elixir 3's are better so yes I would replace them and save the salvageable stuff in case you have another mishap.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    40
    Thanks everyone. They are Elixir's 5 not 3. Picking them up tonight!

  18. #18
    Another Monster.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    60
    Massively rate shimano brakes over avid, for power, control and ease of bleeding, but I'd get a pair if you were getting them, that way you only need mineral oil to bleed them, rather than dot for the avids and mineral for the shimano.

    This is purely from my personal experience with shimano (which I currently run on my bikes) and avid brakes (which I've run in the past, juicy and elixir).

    Also run hope which I'd also recommend, even if my tech m4s were a pain to prevent rubbing. Old mono minis were a doddle to do, but not quite enough power for what I wanted.

Similar Threads

  1. broke hayes dyno sport lever
    By JBerry3rd in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-19-2013, 05:07 AM
  2. Maxle Lever broke, can I still ride?
    By Boilermaker in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-17-2013, 09:51 PM
  3. Elixir 3 - bad lever?
    By Earthpig in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-27-2011, 09:39 AM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-15-2011, 04:16 PM
  5. Broke my friend's XX brake lever mount...
    By bauhaus in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-02-2011, 09:29 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •