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  1. #1
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    Where Did My Brakes Go??

    Just picked up my 2011 Giant Anthem X from the LBS after a fork& shock rebuild. It has been at
    the shop over a month for the rebuild, I am a decent mechanic myself and take meticulously good
    care of my bike, but let the shop handle brakes and shock rebuilds. Anyway the bike is in great shape
    in fact it was as dialed as it has ever been when I took it into the shop , and heres the problem
    I go to get it back and am told I need all new brakes. Both the front and rear brake (Avid Elixir R's)
    go almost to the bar before they grab. The shop noticed this after they did the shocks, and did a free
    bleed to try and sort the issue.....which made no difference, I had bled the brakes maybe two months
    before and put in new pads and I am now completely stumped, and rather pissed that my bike is
    out of commossion at the moment.......any ideas other than more $$$$ for new brakes????
    Ridin' fo' dayzz

    Wheels - 11' Giant Anthem X1
    -08 Eastern Slash
    -08 Jamis Dragon

  2. #2
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    check the adjustment knob on the brakes make sure it isn't set all the way in. Mine were doing the same thing, I adjusted it with an allen key and now they work perfectly.

  3. #3
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    If the brakes were working when you dropped of the bike the shop needs to fix it, plain and simple.

  4. #4
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    adjustment knob is set where it always is, most of the way out. As for the shop I did try to get them to fix the brakes, they agreed to do a free bleed but that did not fix the issue and they told me they would not do any more and that they had no idea what the problem is. Like I said I do all my own work on my bikes except brakes which I don't know all that much about, I have never had a problem with these brakes before, in fact they have been awesome breaks and I don't really want to buy new ones if at all possible.
    Ridin' fo' dayzz

    Wheels - 11' Giant Anthem X1
    -08 Eastern Slash
    -08 Jamis Dragon

  5. #5
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    Should be an easy fix, bring it to another store and see what they say.

  6. #6
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    Where Did My Brakes Go??

    It's kinda weird both brakes are on the fritz at the same time. I'm more of the opinion that someone at the shop isn't doing the bleed properly.
    I mean really, how often do both the front and rear brakes both go out the same time? I'm thinking that something happened when overhauling the fork, so they had to bleed the front, failure there they tried the rear.
    Bill

  7. #7
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    crossracer nailed it, let a competent guy tinker with it.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, there's no way they both went away at the same time and you didn't know they were gone. I'm thinking either bleed them yourself, or get them to someone who knows what they're doing.

  9. #9
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    The cure for elixiritis is to buy the new style Shimano brakes.

    Seriously tho I would try bleeding them yourself or get another shop to do them. If it solves the problem then go back to shop and speak to the manager/owner calmly. If a bleed does not solve it then there is a lever problem and its rebuild time. Talk to the shop to cut you a deal

    The elixirs do seem to suffer badly with seal problems. We have sent a few back to the UK importer for inspection who just sent us replacement brakes for customers

    I have heard rumours of having the wrong type of rubber used in the seals fitted to a batch of elixirs. Being porous so it lets in small amounts of air in over time, leading to the brakes pumping up and can then lead on to sudden loss of pressure once the air volume is high enough.

    Try lifting your bike vertical on its the back wheel then waiting 5mins before depressing the lever and if it comes all the way back to the the bar there is air in the system. Then do several sharp pulls of the lever if it firms up will still need bleeding, this is the brake pumping up oil mixing with the air.

    We have customers who brakes feel ok when their bikes are on level ground but when testing them come right back to the bar as the air rises to the lever.

  10. #10
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    If you take a little time to watch Avid's videos and read the service directions, working on Elixers isn't that hard. Since you do all of your other bike work, I bet that you can bleed the brakes and check seals. I was terribly intimidated the first time that I tried--but it wasn't so bad once I got into it.

  11. #11
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    Thanks, since I have never had a problem with these brakes I have never really done any research on them, now that I have a lot of people seem to have "sudden onset brake failure" with avids, I may try to get a second opinion, but I think that the brakes do need arebuild. I did attempt to get the shop to at least figure out what actually needed work, instead of just telling me to get new brakes, but they said they had done what they could and that no one had any idea what was wrong. I can't really go any farther than that, although I do find it odd that brakes which had been in perfect condition suddenly gave out while sitting in a shop. That said, things happen and I figure the best thing to do is rebuild the brakes myself.
    Ridin' fo' dayzz

    Wheels - 11' Giant Anthem X1
    -08 Eastern Slash
    -08 Jamis Dragon

  12. #12
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by FeltDH View Post
    That said, things happen and I figure the best thing to do is rebuild the brakes myself.
    It does sound like they were bled incorrectly to me. Before going rebuilding them, I'd try doing a careful bleed. Again, just follow the directions and videos carefully, especially the parts about chasing bubbles out of the system. Air rises, so position your bike so that that any bubbles will go to the high spot where they can get pulled out.

  13. #13
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    If air is in the master/lever and the bike is turned upside down the air can work itself into the line real easy. Make sure there is no air under the diaphragm/master/cap after bleeding when installing the cap.

    How can one prove the brakes were fine before the shop got it anyway? I've been blamed for a leaking faucet after a toilet repair several times in the last 30 years.

    Either there is still air or the master is bypassing oil.
    lean forward

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJTransplant View Post
    check the adjustment knob on the brakes make sure it isn't set all the way in. Mine were doing the same thing, I adjusted it with an allen key and now they work perfectly.
    Yeah, a friend of mine had the same exact problem. It was just then adjustment knob. An allen key should fix that easily...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max24 View Post
    Yeah, a friend of mine had the same exact problem. It was just then adjustment knob. An allen key should fix that easily...
    It seems odd that the shop unadjusted that knob while performing other work. Since it was working before fork service who would have unadjusted the adjustment..
    lean forward

  16. #16
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    I think the shop probably hung the bike in a way that got air bubbles in bad places. Sometimes the elixirs don't bleed well every time.....so perhaps a shop that knows all the tricks with regard to getting avids working well would be the trick.
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  17. #17
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    I would question if the shop did the bleed right, that being said, I know guys who have left their bikes sitting for a month or so like you who have Avids and come back to find the same problem you're finding I'm no fan of Avid brakes in the least, when I owned mine the needed to be bled a couple times a year and the recent ones seem even worse. If you can get it sorted, do yourself a favour and purchase a set of the XT M785 brakes and be very happy
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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