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  1. #1
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    Should I bleed it myself?

    So, I have Avid 5 and Avid Seven hydraulic brakes and they are starting to feel a little bit mushy, kinda like what I would expect if there was a little air in the lines. Should I buy a bleed kit, follow the instructions in the bike fixit book i have, and try to do it myself, or should I take it in and let the shop do it? I would eventually like to be able to do most of my own repairs and tuning... And I am gonna take it in and see if the guys in the shop think it needs bleeding in the first place before I spend any money on it.

  2. #2
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    Should I bleed it myself?

    I bled mine for the first time myself a few days ago. They are Juicy 7's and I used the Avid bleed kit. The instructions are very clear. I have only average technical skills and I was able to get very good results on the first try. So I'd say go for it.

  3. #3
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    Great! Thanks

  4. #4
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    So, now I am wondering if I will have as much success with a generic bleed kit, instead of a brand name Avid one. Has anyone tried one of the generics? I am looking at some on Ebay, and they are $10-20 cheaper...

  5. #5
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    Should I bleed it myself?

    The Avid bleed kit doesn't contain anything fancy. Just 2 syringes (the kind that you can find in any pharmacy as long as you take the good size and screwable), some adapters to connect the syringes with the caliper and lever, some brake fluid DOT 5.1 (enough for 2 maybe 3 bleedings but you could buy it cheaper at some car shop or something).

    As long as the adapters are compatible you should be fine. Normally there should be a compatibility list on the site. The other stuff is just plastic with the Avid brand on... I read the syringes are good for a few bleedings but then they have to be replaced (that's where you go to the pharmacy to get cheap ones). It's nice to buy a kit first just to get the adapters. All the rest is replaceable cheaply.

    The generic kits here come with 2 kinds of fluid, mineral and DOT 5.1. I don't know if they are interchangeable. The Avid one has only DOT 5.1 so I'd stick with that.

  6. #6
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    Our shop is still using the same syringes that we bought several years ago. If you store and clean your stuff properly, there is zero need to replace them. Blow as much of the DOT fluid out of the syringes as possible, disconnect the fittings, and store.

    Buy the pro bleed kit and two pairs of plastic locking clamps from the medical supply store (the same ones they use when you donate blood). Throw out the little red clamps that are included with the Avid kit, and replace with the stuff from the medical supply store. Alternatively, you can use rubber jaw vise-grips, though they are significantly heavier, and make the bleeding process a bit harder.

    You will get exactly what you pay for with the generic bleed kits. If you buy the professional Avid kit, you get the proper tool for removing and installing hydraulic hoses, spare barbs, olives, seals, bleed blocks, good quality fittings, and syringes that are a pleasure to use.

    Note, if you are going to buy the basic kit, forget what I said, there's no difference between them and the generic stuff.

  7. #7
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    Another vote for the pro kit. Not much more money, but super high quality.



  8. #8
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    This post soooo came at the right time as I will be bleeding the Avids shortly. Pro kit it is. Thx to all of you for reading my mind.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  9. #9
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    Should I bleed it myself?

    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    Note, if you are going to buy the basic kit, forget what I said, there's no difference between them and the generic stuff.
    Everything I wrote above was about the basic kit. Not the Pro kit. Next time I'd buy the pro kit as well then.

  10. #10
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    I've used the Avid basic kit most of the times. Bleeding is quite easy and almost only thing to worry is your overwhelming strength when you suck those little air bubbles out. On first try I really overdid it. It's quite easy to suck air in between the hose and plastic adapters.

    I've also used DIY-set which works just fine. Just get syringes, some hose and M5 grease nipple.

  11. #11
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    OK, after reading this, I feel even more incompetent! My Juicy 5's needed bled. On hot days, the line & caliper would heat up and the pads would contact the rotor and put a lot of drag on the rear wheel (only - front is fine). Anyway, I bought the basic Avid bleed kit, watched the you tube videos and bled the rear. The only problem now is that the lever is mushy and goes to the bars. That tells me I'm low on fluid? Anyway, I'm ready to take it to the shop and get them bled, but I have the bleed kit and it shouldn't be this difficult. Any suggestions before I give up and go to the shop? And, by the way, after I bled the brakes, I put the bike out in the hot sun for an hour or so, and have no issues with the brake dragging. So, one problem fixed another created!
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  12. #12
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    Check out the thread bellow and message #5:

    Avid Elixir brake bleed - solid feel but no adjustment left

  13. #13
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    I've been using Bleed Bicycle products and have had nothing but great luck from there. From their brake bleed kits to their shock oil (Fox). Great prices and their stuff is solid.

    Avid Bleed Kits - Items - Bleed Bicycles Cycling Products: Disc Brake Bleed Kits, fluids, brake pads and more!

  14. #14
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    Gonna order the Avid Pro Bleed Kit. I don't see why I should be spending $40 every 45-60 days when I can just do it myself.

  15. #15
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    Should I bleed it myself?

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  16. #16
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    Should I bleed it myself?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shakester View Post
    I've been using Bleed Bicycle products and have had nothing but great luck from there. From their brake bleed kits to their shock oil (Fox). Great prices and their stuff is solid.

    Avid Bleed Kits - Items - Bleed Bicycles Cycling Products: Disc Brake Bleed Kits, fluids, brake pads and more!
    I purchased their kit as well, and the oil ( Dot 5.1) from a motorcycle shop. It was my first time doing it, and just after a re-route and trim of the brake cable. Talk about air in the system! I had to do two full bleeds but I finally got the brakes where I wanted them. Just be patient and follow the Avid video to a T and you'll get it. I needed way more oil than the video called for to flush out all the air, however. My only minor complaint is that the brake fluid stripped the measurement graphics on the syringe. Don't get that stuff on your skin!
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