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  1. #1
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    Pad adjustment on Elixir CR?

    I am sorry if this has been covered, but the search brings up a lot of stuff about Avid brakes making noise no matter how I search, so I finally just decided to start a new thread.

    I have Elixir CR brakes on my singlespeed and I am about ready to throw them in the lake. I have adjusted these things every way I can think of and bled them a half a dozen times, but the pads still drag on the rotors all the time.

    I have everything adjusted now so that the wheels roll free when the bike has been sitting. I can ride for about 6 or 8 miles with no problems, but much further than that and the brakes start dragging. They must rub just enough to start building a little heat which leads to expansion and more pronounced rubbing.

    I rode a 12 mile loop last night and by the time I got home there was constant squealing from both wheels and noticeable increased effort to pedal. I went out after dinner and the bike had sat for a couple of hours and rode down the street. No noise and no brake drag.

    I have had these brakes on 2 different bikes and had 2 different sets of wheels on this bike. Tried different rotors, different bleeding procedures, different adjusting procedures. They have always howled or vibrated when applied. I have always been able to get the noise under control, but now they are dragging too.

    I have owned 6 sets of Avid hydraulic brakes and a couple sets of Avid mechanical discs. I have had assorted minor problems with the Juicy 7s making noise and vibrating but I have always been able to solve it.

    These Elixirs are pissing me right off. I really don't think I will buy another set of Avid brakes if I can't sort this out.

    Has anyone had this problem or have any ideas? Is there a way to adjust the pads so they have some clearance from the rotor?
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you may...

    have too much fluid in the system. Try this, remove the wheel, open the bleed port on the master cylinder and tie a rag around it to catch any excess fluid. Push pistons back into their fully retracted position by inserting a screw driver (flat blade) and carefully pushing against the pads. A gentle twisting motion with the screw driver will work. While still applying pressure to the pads close the bleed port. Reinstall the wheel and pump the lever a few times to reset the pistons. If there is a bit to much fluid in the system it can result in the symptoms you descibe. If that don't do it, then I'm at a loss.

    Good Dirt
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  3. #3
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    Yeah as Squash said, it could be too much fluid.

    Here's a couple of snippets which might help you out. One is how to correctly align the pads to the rotors, the other is adjusting the brake fluid.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply's guys. I am no stranger to hydraulic discs and I have been through the things you suggest. I have never had a set of Elixirs before and thought maybe there was something I was missing.

    Normally, my first assumption for something like this would be that the system is overfull or it has air in it. I guess I should try bleeding them again, but I didn't get any bubbles the last time I went through them. I think I will order some seals to rebuild the calipers so I can take them apart and see if there is a something not assembled right.

    Not very impressive. These are not cheap brakes. I really don't think the end user should have to struggle with nagging problems like these brakes seem to have. There are lots of posts here about them. Probably not a large percentage of the total sales numbers have chronic problems, but Avid should be ashamed.
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  5. #5
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    Bravo I agree. My elixor R's have been nothing but trouble. After brake bleeds, pad changing, caliper positioning, pad spacing and all that nothing seems to make them work consistently well. Maybe I just got a bad set. Dunno

  6. #6
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    Yeah, my Elixir CR's have a similar problem. When I first installed them, I didn't have enough fluid, so the lever came to the bar. So I repeated the bleed procedure and made sure to top off the fluid. Now the lever feels great but they drag. I can adjust the caliper to minimize drag, but the moment I have to fix a flat they drag again.

    My '01 Hayes discs never caused a problem in 7 years of use. I'm pretty irritated also at these CR's.
    Have fun!

  7. #7
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    Let me know if you guys end up selling those Elixers CR's cause I know someone who would be interested in taking them off your hands. Just send me a PM.

  8. #8
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    Don't forget to bleed them with the big red knob unscrewed all the way.

    I currently have some and they are the best brake I ever had, I experienced the brake drag you are talking about. It was simply because i've put the pad contact a bit too tight. Loosen the red knob and it will give you much more pad clearance.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megaclocker
    Don't forget to bleed them with the big red knob unscrewed all the way.

    I currently have some and they are the best brake I ever had, I experienced the brake drag you are talking about. It was simply because i've put the pad contact a bit too tight. Loosen the red knob and it will give you much more pad clearance.
    Except that the pad contact adjustment doesn't actually affect the pad position, or at least it's not supposed to...it's actually just a bite point adjustment for the lever.
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  10. #10
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    Had drag. Let a tear-drop or 2 of oil from the caliper. No drag. Great brakes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    Except that the pad contact adjustment doesn't actually affect the pad position, or at least it's not supposed to...it's actually just a bite point adjustment for the lever.

    You are correct.

    They are self adjusting for wear, so the pad to rotor clearance always returns to the same dimension after the lever is applied a few times. Removing the pads and sanding them down a little to get some clearance did nothing. The added clearance from the thinner pads was gone after a few brake applications.

    It just seems that some sets of brakes stabilize at a tighter clearance than others. I am becoming more convinced that the problem has something to do with the calipers. It is either the way they are made or the way they are assembled.

    It is great that some people have good luck with these brakes. It cannot be overlooked that some people have nothing but problems. There must be some quality control problems like tolerance stacking issues or different sub contractors making parts to the wrong dimensions or using the wrong materials. In my many years of mining equipment maintenance I have run into stuff like this a few times. It can often be very difficult to pinpoint the root cause of the problems when the failure rate is low or the failure mode is inconstant. I have seen examples where failures only occurred when parts from various vendors were assembled in a certain specific combination. I once saw unexplained failures traced to a single shift at a raw material producer.

    Regardless of the reason, first rate companies stand behind their products and burn the midnight oil to solve these problems. They don't just keep selling the crap product and hope the customer either gets by with it or better yet figures it out for them.

    As I said before. Avid should be ashamed.
    Last edited by 11 Bravo; 09-29-2009 at 10:03 PM.
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  12. #12
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    Personally am a short term Elixir CR user. No real issue on pad rub before I got the caliper truly centered over the rotor, which CPS and the caliper's side/side tolerances weren't able to resolve without me altering things with spacers and a bit of filing. I someday expect the one side sticky piston thing, and I won't like it. Hydraulics simply aren't as friendly in adjustments as a BB7, no matter what the fanbois say. Bleeding is somewhat a pain, too. While hydraulics may be more user friendly on auto or moto applications, think there's still some improvement needed on the super light needs of bicycle applications...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_e
    Had drag. Let a tear-drop or 2 of oil from the caliper. No drag. Great brakes.
    This has been done. A few times in fact. The caliper pistons were pushed fully into the calipers with the bleed screw removed from the master cylinder and all excess fluid allowed to escape. A ride around the neighborhood with the wife after dinner gives no problems at all. A ride of more than 6 or 8 miles will result in dragging brakes
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

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