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  1. #1
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    Those who have/had Avid Elixir 3 please chime in... No clearance between pad & rotor

    I know this problem is prominent for Avid Elixir 3s (not sure about other Avid brakes), but the clearance between the brake pads are so minimal that the rotor rubs it no matter what. I know there's another thread about this, but I'd like to know what you guys' remedies are for fixing it... Or just ignore it? I feel like this constant rubbing is slowing me down

    ****************EDIT***************

    GUYS, I FIXED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I unscrewed the bleed port, take brake pads out, push the pistons back in (although it didn't seem like they pushed back in much), then screwed the bleed port back in, re-install brake pads, stuck bleed block in between the brake pads,... And prayed for the best... AND IT WORKED!!!!!!!! Very little brake fluids were released.


    For anyone who's experiencing this problem, this is the fix!! VERY EASY!
    Last edited by BobaX; 09-24-2013 at 08:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    well..what i did was release a bit of fluid and reset the pistons

  3. #3
    human dehumidifier
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    New brakes or old brakes? I've got a set of CRs that started doing that after a couple years of good service and the consensus here is that the levers need rebuilt, but I haven't done that yet.
    NFL will punish America for its sins with Katy Perry as the Super Bowl halftime show.

  4. #4
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    Bobax, if they are new, then a slight overfill of fluid at the factory is a likely cause. bosbik has it right. Pull the wheel then open the bleed port on the lever/master cylinder, hold a rag over it and press the caliper pistons in until they are fully seated. Re-install the bleed port screw, then reset the brakes.

    If they are a year of more old then a bleed would be in order. DOT brake fluid is hydroscopic, i.e. it absorbs moisture from the air. Even when in a sealed brake system this can happen over time. The absorbed moisture will actually increase the volume of the fluid in the system. The results are the same as if the system was over full, the pistons won't fully retract, etc.

    wv_bob, I'd try a good bleed on your CR's before rebuilding the MC. If you've already done a proper bleed on the brake(s) and still have the problem, then yeah a rebuild would be in order. And I'm talking about a good bleed, done with an Avid bleed kit and following their instructions to the letter.

    Good Dirt
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  5. #5
    human dehumidifier
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    ^ I tried letting fluid out already, and it didn't change anything. Would have the same effect as a bleed, yes? The really cool part about my brakes is not only do they drag, they drag more as I ride, seemingly applying themselves until I notice the rubbing and give the levers a flip which seems to temporarily reset things.

    The brakes were rock solid with no problems for two seasons before so I can't really complain about anything except the price of parts to rebuild the brakes. Maybe I'll do it this winter, but I've got other bikes so it hasn't exactly been a priority.
    NFL will punish America for its sins with Katy Perry as the Super Bowl halftime show.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like sticky pistons. I've had that happen once with my elixir 7s and I took the wheel off and put a bleed block in there and gave the lever a good squeeze to push the pistons back and all is well now. May have to actually remove the pads and carefully push the pistons back with a flat head.

    It's the lever also really stiff? That was a symptom for me along with the rubbing.

  7. #7
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    As an aside, I just did a lever/master cylinder rebuild on an Elixir R (same as the CR, I believe). I was unable to get a good bleed on it, whenever I tried to bring pressure up to remove bubbles, fluid would leak from around the lever. Bad master cylinder seal. It was incredibly easy, took all of about 30 minutes including the subsequent bleed. The instructions say to remove the hose from the lever/mc assembly, but that's not necessary.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squash View Post
    Bobax, if they are new, then a slight overfill of fluid at the factory is a likely cause. bosbik has it right. Pull the wheel then open the bleed port on the lever/master cylinder, hold a rag over it and press the caliper pistons in until they are fully seated. Re-install the bleed port screw, then reset the brakes.

    Good Dirt
    Thanks Squash! The brakes as well as the entire bike is brand new.

    Are the pistons supposed to sit completely flush with the caliper? If I try to push pistons in and they won't budge, it'd mean too much brake fluid right? Hence why I have to open the bleed port to let excess fluid out...

    But if I open the bleed port, wouldn't I introduce air into the brake hose and thus need a re-bleed?

    Quote Originally Posted by trevor_b View Post
    It's the lever also really stiff? That was a symptom for me along with the rubbing.
    By stiff, do you mean that it's stiff and the lever travel is very short, meaning it would bite with the slightest pull on the lever?

    If so, then yes, I also have that symptom, HOWEVER, it was quickly alleviated once I started riding the bike and doing the brake pads bed-in process.

    This is a photo of the bleed port from my Avid Elixir 3.

    Last edited by BobaX; 09-23-2013 at 08:54 PM.

  9. #9
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    Bobax,

    "Are the pistons supposed to sit completely flush with the caliper? If I try to push pistons in and they won't budge, it'd mean too much brake fluid right? Hence why I have to open the bleed port to let excess fluid out..."

    Correct. The pistons should be flush with the inside edge of the caliper. However the pads will not be. They'll be close but not quite.

    "But if I open the bleed port, wouldn't I introduce air into the brake hose and thus need a re-bleed?"

    Not unless you leave the port open for a while. The only way you'll get air in the system is if the pistons some how move back out while the port is open. Not likely to happen. If the system is properly bled there won't be any air in the MC and the surface tension of the fluid at the bleed port will keep out side air from leaking in. NOTE: The part that you are pointing to in the pic is not the bleed port, that's the brake line fitting. The bleed port is in the hump above the line. There's a little tiny allen screw or torx screw in there. Pull that screw out and that's where you attach the bleed syringe, or you can let fluid out.

    wv_bob,

    ^ I tried letting fluid out already, and it didn't change anything. Would have the same effect as a bleed, yes?

    Nope, not if you have moisture in the system.

    " The really cool part about my brakes is not only do they drag, they drag more as I ride, seemingly applying themselves until I notice the rubbing and give the levers a flip which seems to temporarily reset things."

    This is a symptom of moisture in the fluid. As you ride and the brakes and fluid heat up the H2O seperates from the fluid as it heats. H2O has a much lower boiling point than DOT fluid so it expands faster. As it expands it puts more and more pressure on the pistons. Putting pressure on the fluid can cause some of the H2O to go back into solution with the fluid temporarily as adding pressure to water increases it's boiling point. But it'll just start to build up again after a bit. The real kicker (and the scary part) is, if you get the fluid hot enough the moisture will flash over to gas and you suddenly have no brakes! Just like your brakes took big gulp of air.

    Anyway, I'd try the bleed first just to see if it works. Just do one thing different than the Avid instructions. Before you start the bleed procedure, attach a full syringe of fluid through the system from the MC to the caliper and let the old stuff drain out of the caliper to a bottle or other container. Then do the standard bleed. If it works and all is well you're golden. If not, then, as joe_bloe stated, the rebuild is pretty simple and doesn't take long.

    Your call, but I'd bet a doughnut that a simple bleed would likely solve your problem.

    Good Dirt
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squash View Post
    Bobax,

    This is a symptom of moisture in the fluid. As you ride and the brakes and fluid heat up the H2O seperates from the fluid as it heats. H2O has a much lower boiling point than DOT fluid so it expands faster. As it expands it puts more and more pressure on the pistons. Putting pressure on the fluid can cause some of the H2O to go back into solution with the fluid temporarily as adding pressure to water increases it's boiling point. But it'll just start to build up again after a bit. The real kicker (and the scary part) is, if you get the fluid hot enough the moisture will flash over to gas and you suddenly have no brakes! Just like your brakes took big gulp of air.

    Anyway, I'd try the bleed first just to see if it works. Just do one thing different than the Avid instructions. Before you start the bleed procedure, attach a full syringe of fluid through the system from the MC to the caliper and let the old stuff drain out of the caliper to a bottle or other container. Then do the standard bleed. If it works and all is well you're golden. If not, then, as joe_bloe stated, the rebuild is pretty simple and doesn't take long.

    Your call, but I'd bet a doughnut that a simple bleed would likely solve your problem.

    Good Dirt
    ^^^ This exactly. I'm 100% sure Squash has hit the nail on the head.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squash View Post
    Bobax,

    "Are the pistons supposed to sit completely flush with the caliper? If I try to push pistons in and they won't budge, it'd mean too much brake fluid right? Hence why I have to open the bleed port to let excess fluid out..."

    Correct. The pistons should be flush with the inside edge of the caliper. However the pads will not be. They'll be close but not quite.

    "But if I open the bleed port, wouldn't I introduce air into the brake hose and thus need a re-bleed?"

    Not unless you leave the port open for a while. The only way you'll get air in the system is if the pistons some how move back out while the port is open. Not likely to happen. If the system is properly bled there won't be any air in the MC and the surface tension of the fluid at the bleed port will keep out side air from leaking in. NOTE: The part that you are pointing to in the pic is not the bleed port, that's the brake line fitting. The bleed port is in the hump above the line. There's a little tiny allen screw or torx screw in there. Pull that screw out and that's where you attach the bleed syringe, or you can let fluid out.
    Thanks so much for the thorough explanation Squash.

    By the way, why would there be excessive fluid in the brake hose? What I mean is, when we bleed, don't we fill the hose with brake fluid until it tops off? If the brake fluid is not full, wouldn't the brake become less effective?

    Also, a question on the procedure for releasing excessive fluid:

    Do I simply unscrew the bleed port and push the pistons back, which would allow fluid to come out? Do I also need to apply constant pressure on the brake lever at all? I heard that if I don't pull the brake lever while doing this, it might introduce air into the system?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobaX View Post
    This is a photo of the bleed port from my Avid Elixir 3.

    That is not your bleed port. The torx head above the line is your bleed port.
    All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best...William of Ockham

  13. #13
    Merendon Junkie
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    If there is excesive fluid (it happened to me with elixir 1s), more than likely fluid will drip out by itself once you unscrew the bleed port a couple of turns. Let just a couple of drops out, screw it back in and check if they are better. Most of the time, letting out just a tiny bit will solve the issue.

    Overfilling can occur if the brakes are bled while the pistons are not retracted all the way. Some people do this on purpose to reduce lever throw.

  14. #14
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    GUYS, I FIXED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I unscrewed the bleed port, take brake pads out, push the pistons back in (although it didn't seem like they pushed back in much), then screwed the bleed port back in, re-install brake pads, stuck bleed block in between the brake pads,... And prayed for the best... AND IT WORKED!!!!!!!!

    For anyone who's experiencing this problem, this is the fix!! VERY EASY!

    THANKS FOR THE CONSTANT HELP GUYS, I REALLY APPRECIATE IT. Y'ALL ARE THE BEST

  15. #15
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    just listed my elixir 3's on ebay and put on Paul Vs... Good Disc brakes have their place, and so do Vs.

    Don't mean to offend, but I don't think the 3s are good disc brakes, neither are the Elixir 5's on my FS bike. They are a nightmare to adjust and don't work any better than mech discs - If I had an unlimited budget, I'd use high end Shimano discs on everything but my drop bar XC bike, but I don't, so I've downgraded to Vs where the frame allows (accepting a compromise in very wet/muddy conditions, and BB7s where I can't use Vs.

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