Do ALL Avid Elixr's suck balls, or just mine??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do ALL Avid Elixr's suck balls, or just mine??

    I've had the Elixr CR's since last Decemember and they have never worked right.

    They've been blead twice since then and yet, I still have to adjust the engagement point before each ride and pump up the levers to make them work. Otherwise, the levers just pull all the way to the bars. When its cold out, I lose all braking power.

    Is this problem endemic to these brakes - or are mine riddled with gremlins?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    I've had the Elixr CR's since last Decemember and they have never worked right.

    They've been blead twice since then and yet, I still have to adjust the engagement point before each ride and pump up the levers to make them work. Otherwise, the levers just pull all the way to the bars. When its cold out, I lose all braking power.

    Is this problem endemic to these brakes - or are mine riddled with gremlins?
    There's your problem right there - you have only bled them twice

    Joking aside, yup I was a frustrated Elixer/Juicy owner and was ready to toss them into the bin and switch brake companies. I ended up having to bleed mine 6 times before they performed without any symptoms.

    It does seem to be a common issue with these brakes, and a lot of good mechanics have needed to bleed these brakes multiple times before they work properly. Do a search on MTBR - there have been some great postings on different bleed procedures which, IMO work better than SRAM's

  3. #3
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    Sell them for as much as you can get out of them and get yourself some XTs. The Avids will be a constant misery as you need to do your regular bleeds for maintenance.

    *ignore the following stream of people claiming that "the Elixir is the easiest brake to bleed" and "if you can't bleed it you aren't doing it right". If you are not able to bleed the brake, then there's no reason to keep it. So many better options out there, it's a good time to upgrade.*

  4. #4
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    Mine have been bled exactly once , and continue to work without problem .

  5. #5
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    I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    Sell them for as much as you can get out of them and get yourself some XTs. The Avids will be a constant misery as you need to do your regular bleeds for maintenance.

    *ignore the following stream of people claiming that "the Elixir is the easiest brake to bleed" and "if you can't bleed it you aren't doing it right". If you are not able to bleed the brake, then there's no reason to keep it. So many better options out there, it's a good time to upgrade.*
    I never liked my Juicy Sevens as they constantly rubbed and made a crude load of noise. I have XT 765 on one of my bikes and they have been completely trouble free! They modulate wonderfully and are almost silent except for a touch of gobble in the front sporadically. Price Point has them on sale for $170 for front and rear. They are not very cool but they work very well.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    I never liked my Juicy Sevens as they constantly rubbed and made a crude load of noise. I have XT 765 on one of my bikes and they have been completely trouble free! They modulate wonderfully and are almost silent except for a touch of gobble in the front sporadically. Price Point has them on sale for $170 for front and rear. They are not very cool but they work very well.
    I've owned 2 pairs of Juicy 7's and still own a pair of Juicy Ultimates. Never had any issues. The Elixrs are far, far worse brakes.

    BTW, Shouldn't you have been removed by now?
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  7. #7
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    had no problems at all with my CR's, except getting grease on the pads.... :\

    i think they could do with a bleed, they seem to have different amounts of fluid in each brake as they pull different amounts, but the contact point adjustment sorts that out : )

    do you ever have your bike upside down? that can cause bubbles that would normally make no difference to the performance move to the hose, or somewhere else where they make the lever all squishy

  8. #8
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    Take them to the shop and ask the mechanic to send them in for service if still under warranty. Lots of people in the biking community seem to think defective products are non existent in biking products, but they are just as common as anything else.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    I've owned 2 pairs of Juicy 7's and still own a pair of Juicy Ultimates. Never had any issues. The Elixrs are far, far worse brakes.

    BTW, Shouldn't you have been removed by now?
    I'm sorry, could you please elaborate on how Elixirs are worse brakes? Is that sarcasm? I have owned many pairs of Juicy brakes on various bikes over the last 5 years or so. They did always work well for me, but the Elixirs are lighter, more powerful, and modulate better.

    Anyways, OP, get them warrantied. There may be nothing wrong with them other than needing a bleed... but... You could have had a bad set. It's very likely that the new ones that come back will still need to be bled as factory bleeds are terrible. And bleeding does require a bit of patience to get all the air out. I never had problems bleeding my Juicy 7s but my Elixirs took 3 tries before I got it perfect.

    Maybe give it one more shot to bleed before you send them off. I'd tap the caliper and hoses while you are bleeding to free up any stubborn air bubbles. As you push fluid up, have the caliper at the lowest point and the lever at the highest point. Again, tap the caliper, hose, and now lever. Make sure the pad contact adjuster is not set at either extreme.

    When it's cold and you lose braking power, is it because the lever is sinking to the bar? Or is the pad not grabbing? And how cold is it getting? You may want to try a different pad compound.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    I'm sorry, could you please elaborate on how Elixirs are worse brakes? Is that sarcasm? I have owned many pairs of Juicy brakes on various bikes over the last 5 years or so. They did always work well for me, but the Elixirs are lighter, more powerful, and modulate better.

    Anyways, OP, get them warrantied. There may be nothing wrong with them other than needing a bleed... but... You could have had a bad set. It's very likely that the new ones that come back will still need to be bled as factory bleeds are terrible. And bleeding does require a bit of patience to get all the air out. I never had problems bleeding my Juicy 7s but my Elixirs took 3 tries before I got it perfect.

    Maybe give it one more shot to bleed before you send them off. I'd tap the caliper and hoses while you are bleeding to free up any stubborn air bubbles. As you push fluid up, have the caliper at the lowest point and the lever at the highest point. Again, tap the caliper, hose, and now lever. Make sure the pad contact adjuster is not set at either extreme.

    When it's cold and you lose braking power, is it because the lever is sinking to the bar? Or is the pad not grabbing? And how cold is it getting? You may want to try a different pad compound.
    We bled (blead, bleed, bled?) the brakes the first night we installed them.

    "we" meaning me and one other Sram certified technician I used to work with.

    Ever since new, the contact points would change every ride, causing me to fiddle with the dials every ride to get the contact points back to normal.

    Recently I did a road trip to Moab, UT - where it was unseasonably cold. coming down Jacksons, we entered a shady section and the tempurature dropped - probably into the 40's. Suddenly my levers were all the way to the bars, and I had no brakes. I stopped and readjusted the contact points. As soon as the brakes heated up, they pumped up and the cycle continued.

    So me and my buddy at the bike shop bled the brakes, over and over and over. We got them to where they felt very firm at the lever.

    Next day we did Goldbar rim to Portal and within 20 minutes of the first down hill, I had no brakes again - the levers pulled all the way to the bar - causing me to stop and fiddle - soon as they warm up, I have to reverse whatever changes I made.

    I have been trained by sram to work on their ****, but I have had 2 other bike shop mechanics help me out as well. These brakes don't work.

    Regarding how the Elixrs are far worse than Juicy's - I never had ANY problems with my Juicy 7's. The Juicy Ultimates would fade a little bit - but they were on my xc bike, so no big deal.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    We bled (blead, bleed, bled?) the brakes the first night we installed them.

    "we" meaning me and one other Sram certified technician I used to work with.

    Ever since new, the contact points would change every ride, causing me to fiddle with the dials every ride to get the contact points back to normal.

    Recently I did a road trip to Moab, UT - where it was unseasonably cold. coming down Jacksons, we entered a shady section and the tempurature dropped - probably into the 40's. Suddenly my levers were all the way to the bars, and I had no brakes. I stopped and readjusted the contact points. As soon as the brakes heated up, they pumped up and the cycle continued.

    So me and my buddy at the bike shop bled the brakes, over and over and over. We got them to where they felt very firm at the lever.

    Next day we did Goldbar rim to Portal and within 20 minutes of the first down hill, I had no brakes again - the levers pulled all the way to the bar - causing me to stop and fiddle - soon as they warm up, I have to reverse whatever changes I made.

    I have been trained by sram to work on their ****, but I have had 2 other bike shop mechanics help me out as well. These brakes don't work.

    Regarding how the Elixrs are far worse than Juicy's - I never had ANY problems with my Juicy 7's. The Juicy Ultimates would fade a little bit - but they were on my xc bike, so no big deal.
    Sounds to me you still have air in the system. Either that or you've got a leak somewhere. If you've been "trained by SRAM" you should know that.

    Just because the brakes feel firm does not necessarily mean all the air has been removed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    Sounds to me you still have air in the system. Either that or you've got a leak somewhere. If you've been "trained by SRAM" you should know that.

    Just because the brakes feel firm does not necessarily mean all the air has been removed.
    That's pretty obvious, Will. Doesn't explain what causes the problem though. If you could refrain from making patently obvious statements, and provide something helpful - it would be most appreciated.

    It appears from the various other posts in this thread, these brakes have issues.
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  13. #13
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    I have had 3 sets of elixirs, and my CR's were a right PITA. They ticked all the problem boxes: bleeding issues, horrible noise, grabby with no feel. I narrowed the bleed issue down to the hose attachment at the lever needing a few more 1/4 turns to fully seal....no more bleeding required (I tracked it down due to a sucking type noise whenever I squeezed the lever). The noise was the most annoying to fix, as it was harder to pin down. After retracting the pads about 20 times, I noticed the pistons were on an angle in the front/rear plane, so the pad would never hit the rotor square. Some lube, lots of patience and a lge screwdriver later they now run silent (on the back of a 575 no less). Like all manuf. there will be dodgey brakes which will never be right. Lets hope you got one of those which can be warrantied for a proper elixir so you can see how good they really are
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    That's pretty obvious, Will. Doesn't explain what causes the problem though. If you could refrain from making patently obvious statements, and provide something helpful - it would be most appreciated.

    It appears from the various other posts in this thread, these brakes have issues.
    I'm sorry... where in your posts did you make any mention of attempting to locate or diagnose a leak? Nowhere... So I believe that my post is helpful. So use your SRAM training, and go over all your fittings. Check around the pistons for wetness. Look for seeping between the caliper halves.

    In addition, your posts only say that you have bled the brake. It does not say that you have completely removed all the air.

    It wasn't until a recent post that you even said you had tried to bleed multiple times... only that you had to fiddle with the knobs every ride. That's hardly a diagnosis or an attempt to fix the problem.

    You seem to think that just because a lever is firm, it's bled well. As you said, after pumping up the levers and playing with the adjustment, they'd firm up again. Did this remove the air from the system? No.

    All this calls into question your understanding of a hydraulic system...

  15. #15
    FM
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    I've been swapping around between Elixir Rs, Shimano XTRs, and a set of M755 4-pot XT's with straitline levers and hope hoses.

    The Elixir R's are the best!

    Sounds like the OP needs a bleed. Or possibly new hoses- I have heard of avid hoses occasionally having leaks.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    I'm sorry... where in your posts did you make any mention of attempting to locate or diagnose a leak? Nowhere... So I believe that my post is helpful. So use your SRAM training, and go over all your fittings. Check around the pistons for wetness. Look for seeping between the caliper halves.

    In addition, your posts only say that you have bled the brake. It does not say that you have completely removed all the air.

    It wasn't until a recent post that you even said you had tried to bleed multiple times... only that you had to fiddle with the knobs every ride. That's hardly a diagnosis or an attempt to fix the problem. This calls into question your understanding of a hydraulic system...
    Hi Will. Of all the people with which I have had correspondence over the interwebs, you're one of a very select group able to divine the scope and breadth of my knowldege with regard to bicycles, and only in 3 posts!

    Your internet powers are very strong.

    Nevertheless, I'm finding your posts less than helpful. Thanks, but no thanks.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    I've been swapping around between Elixir Rs, Shimano XTRs, and a set of M755 4-pot XT's with straitline levers and hope hoses.

    The Elixir R's are the best!

    Sounds like the OP needs a bleed. Or possibly new hoses- I have heard of avid hoses occasionally having leaks.
    Yep, have blead the system several times, checked for leaks, tightened all things that can be tightened. My suspicion is it has to do with the "barrel adjuster" type contact point adjusters on the elixr's. My guess is these seals are the culprit.

    Interesting though that the system would suck in air, without ever leaking fluid.
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  18. #18
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    I have Elixer CR's and the only problem I had was the initial, I never thought I was going to get the rubbing to go away. UNTIL I decided to read the directions, and did the "Spin-Brake-Tighten" method and had them set-up about 25 seconds later. I have changed the pads to Jag Red-Zone pads to eliminate squeaking.


    I would really like to try a set of Formula's though.
    adam michigan karate monkey

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    Hi Will. Of all the people with which I have had correspondence over the interwebs, you're one of a very select group able to divine the scope and breadth of my knowldege with regard to bicycles, and only in 3 posts!

    Your internet powers are very strong.

    Nevertheless, I'm finding your posts less than helpful. Thanks, but no thanks.
    You can't even figure out why your brakes aren't working. Nor have you figured out how to take advantage of a warranty.

    I'm not questioning your knowledge of bicycles... only of hydraulic systems.

    Given the limited and sporadic information derived from your posts, it's not hard to come to that conclusion.

  20. #20
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    Anyways, I don't believe the O-rings in the adjuster are offered in a rebuild kit. Send it back to SRAM.

    There are plenty of other places it can be drawing air... as I said, between the caliper halves, the banjo, through the threads of the fittings. The hose can have an internal leak.

    No system is perfectly sealed. DOT fluid is hygroscopic. It will pull moisture out of the air. This moisture will not only lower boiling points, but it can cause vaporization at a high enough temperature. And now you have a pocket of air.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    You can't even figure out why your brakes aren't working. Nor have you figured out how to take advantage of a warranty.

    I'm not questioning your knowledge of bicycles... only of hydraulic systems.

    Given the limited and sporadic information derived from your posts, it's not hard to come to that conclusion.
    I'm not too concerned with writing my autobiography right now, Will. Even the chapter on "all my experience and knowledge with regard to bicycles", will have to wait. I know, major bummer.

    Therefore, you'll just have to do with the cliffnotes.

    Notice that 7 posts in this thread are from elixr owners. 4 have had pretty major issues requiring many, many bleads.

    Mr Will, I think there's a windmill somewhere for you to chase.
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  22. #22
    Err
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    Already a lot of replies but wanted to get some helpful, factual information in this thread.

    I maintain several sets of Elixrs, all of the following is based on actual experience
    -Elixrs tend to hold air bubbles around the taper-bore area of the lever assembly
    -Sometimes, once a bleed is complete, and the lever feels good, there are still bubbles in the system
    -Out on a ride, the bubbles will then migrate and the lever will go spongy
    -Back at home, bleed the lever assembly only to fix
    fill up your syringe about 1/2 way
    rotate the lever with the bleed port pointed up
    open the bleed port
    squirt a little fluid out of the syringe to eliminate the air bubble as much as possible
    connect the syringe and pull up on it to suck air out
    while doing this also squeeze the lever repeatedly to the bar and tap the lever assembly with a screwdriver handle
    continue to do this until the air bubbles are out
    push a little fluid back into the system
    remove the syringe and close it up

    Bleeding takes a little time and practice

  23. #23
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    Your count is off. As is your spelling.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    Your count is off. As is your spelling.
    Thank you Mr Will.

    You've been so helpful in this thread. I hope you will make yourself available when my Magum Opus is ready for review and editing?
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  25. #25
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    Be happy to help.

  26. #26
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    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by Err
    Already a lot of replies but wanted to get some helpful, factual information in this thread.

    I maintain several sets of Elixrs, all of the following is based on actual experience
    -Elixrs tend to hold air bubbles around the taper-bore area of the lever assembly
    -Sometimes, once a bleed is complete, and the lever feels good, there are still bubbles in the system
    -Out on a ride, the bubbles will then migrate and the lever will go spongy
    -Back at home, bleed the lever assembly only to fix
    fill up your syringe about 1/2 way
    rotate the lever with the bleed port pointed up
    open the bleed port
    squirt a little fluid out of the syringe to eliminate the air bubble as much as possible
    connect the syringe and pull up on it to suck air out
    while doing this also squeeze the lever repeatedly to the bar and tap the lever assembly with a screwdriver handle
    continue to do this until the air bubbles are out
    push a little fluid back into the system
    remove the syringe and close it up

    Bleeding takes a little time and practice
    This almost the same procedure I've evolved to get the air out of my HFX-9 Hayes brakes. I've gone from 2-3 bleeds to get all the air out down to 1.

    Slight difference: I use pressure on the syringe at the lever. Work the lever, and all the air comes out. Do this after a normal bleed procedure and all is golden.

    Walt

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    i have juicy 5s... other than the occosional sticky piston(which is easily remedied) the work flawlessly.

    I use SRAM's bleed instructions, but instead of just pushing the fluid through the hose once, i push it back and forth, while tapping the hose, MC, caliper, working the lever. I always get a few more bubbles that way.

    i'm in the process of rigging up an adapter for my shop's vacuum system.(old refridgerator compressor) should make things easier!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADDam
    I have Elixer CR's and the only problem I had was the initial, I never thought I was going to get the rubbing to go away. UNTIL I decided to read the directions, and did the "Spin-Brake-Tighten" method and had them set-up about 25 seconds later. I have changed the pads to Jag Red-Zone pads to eliminate squeaking.


    I would really like to try a set of Formula's though.

    explain the procedure please, id really appreciate it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    Hi Will. Of all the people with which I have had correspondence over the interwebs, you're one of a very select group able to divine the scope and breadth of my knowldege with regard to bicycles, and only in 3 posts!

    Your internet powers are very strong.

    Nevertheless, I'm finding your posts less than helpful. Thanks, but no thanks.
    This is why I don't like posting on MTBR forum. I didn't see anything wrong with the statements made by the person this post was directed at but this was the come back.

    In fact after reading through all the symptoms posted here it is very obvious the brakes still have air in them. I would start troubleshooting to see why they still have air. Possibly a air leak but most air leaks in a system like this would also show signs of an external leak. so it's one of two things...there is actually a problem with the brakes which will require further troubleshooting or they still need to be bled.

  30. #30
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    They just need to be bled properly.

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    Err has it pretty much right. The bleed procedure is complicated and has many places where it can go wrong. Add on the tendency for the Elixirs to have many places where air likes to hide and you can see why so many people are saying they are a bad brake. There isn't a question that the brake works well when it is working properly, but for your average person who doesn't want to spend for a bleed over and over, the closed system of the Avids is probably not best.

    So again, if you can't bleed your brake, then get rid of it. Sure someone can, but it can be frustrating, expensive, and hard to get right.

  32. #32
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    I hear these issues alot with Avids- along with the noise that they make- along with the gobbling vibrations.

    The best solution is to go Shimano.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    Err has it pretty much right. The bleed procedure is complicated and has many places where it can go wrong. Add on the tendency for the Elixirs to have many places where air likes to hide and you can see why so many people are saying they are a bad brake. There isn't a question that the brake works well when it is working properly, but for your average person who doesn't want to spend for a bleed over and over, the closed system of the Avids is probably not best.

    So again, if you can't bleed your brake, then get rid of it. Sure someone can, but it can be frustrating, expensive, and hard to get right.
    Actually Avid is a open system. There are no more closed systems that I know of. The old Hopes were a closed system where you could turn the dial on top of the lever to change the fluid volume. This would in turn cause the pistons to move in or out. These brakes could not automatically compensate for pad wear of fluid expansion. Avid, Hayes, etc are all open system. They have a reservoir and are able to compensate for fluid expansion.

    If you pay for a bleed and they don't do the work properly you should get the brake bled again free of charge. Or buy the bleed kit yourself and experiment. The cost of a bleed kit and a extra big bottle of DOT fluid is about how much you can expect to pay to have a brake bled at a shop.

    I will admit, it's not the easiest system to bleed, but it is not that difficult either. It requires a bit of patience. Surely a simple task such as this should not be too much for a SRAM trained technician. But I guess they don't cover that...

    "SRAM Technical University, or STU, is a suspension and drivetrain training course offered only to bicycle dealers and service centers. STU covers all aspects of suspension theory and maintenance, as well as theory, setup, and features unique to SRAM drivetrain components. The following is a list of shops, by location, who have attended and completed a full session of STU."

    Judging by the number of shops on their list... it does not appear to be exclusive or very rigorous. Huh, shop I used to work at is on the list and graduate while I was working there... I never even knew that. Guess I'm a SRAM tech, huh?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    Judging by the number of shops on their list... it does not appear to be exclusive or very rigorous. Huh, shop I used to work at is on the list and graduate while I was working there... I never even knew that. Guess I'm a SRAM tech, huh?
    Come on XSL, you're one of the most knowledgeable people on this forum. Of course you're a sram tech

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    I found the elusive SRAM Tech University videos, now we can all repair SRAM products just like the pros.

    http://www.youtube.com/sramtech#p/u/29/6mg6NbIjmOM

  36. #36
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    Could someone explain the physics behind a properly bled brake lever going all the way to the bars, I just don't see how the fluid can just disappear. The fluid displaced by the lever has to go somewhere(and its apparently not going to the caliper), and if there are no air bubbles or massive leaks(which would be noticed) where does it go?

  37. #37
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    Air compresses. Fluid does not. In this case, there has to be an air pocket somewhere, that is compressing.

    If the brake is bled of all air and there are no leaks and the lever still sinks to the bar, the MC could have failed. Internal bypass would mean that the fluid is not being pushed.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullet dew
    Could someone explain the physics behind a properly bled brake lever going all the way to the bars, I just don't see how the fluid can just disappear. The fluid displaced by the lever has to go somewhere(and its apparently not going to the caliper), and if there are no air bubbles or massive leaks(which would be noticed) where does it go?
    My $0.02:

    There must be a way for air to be in the system, but not in the master cylinder-fluid line-caliper pathway. Maybe air can hang out in the reservoir and not be in the compressed part of the fluid system?

    I've bled my brakes on several occasions and had good, solid feel at the lever. Then I ride it for a while and my lever goes all spongy. Subsequently I bleed it again and air comes out. I can buy the idea that air can get sucked into the system, but not if there is no fluid leakage.

    Walt

  39. #39
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    So it sounds like the problem was the brake not being bled properly in the first place.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullet dew
    So it sounds like the problem was the brake not being bled properly in the first place.
    I've never had a master cylinder failure. Will points out that the fluid could be bypassing the piston seal internally. I don't have the experience to state definitely that this doesn't fit the OP's problem. However it doesn't sound like it to me.

    When the OP states that the brakes can be "pumped up" by working the lever, that sounds like a problem with air in the system to me. I've experienced a pump-up effect, and when I attempt to bleed the brake again, there has always been air in the fluid exiting the lever. At that point the problem is usually fixed, but there has been an occasion or two where I've had to bleed multiple times to get all the air out.

    What makes it such a maddening problem is the lever will feel firm at home, but it will go limp soon after I start out on the trail. There must be places inside the brake that air can "hide". I don't really understand it.

    Walt

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy
    I've never had a master cylinder failure. Will points out that the fluid could be bypassing the piston seal internally. I don't have the experience to state definitely that this doesn't fit the OP's problem. However it doesn't sound like it to me.

    When the OP states that the brakes can be "pumped up" by working the lever, that sounds like a problem with air in the system to me. I've experienced a pump-up effect, and when I attempt to bleed the brake again, there has always been air in the fluid exiting the lever. At that point the problem is usually fixed, but there has been an occasion or two where I've had to bleed multiple times to get all the air out.

    What makes it such a maddening problem is the lever will feel firm at home, but it will go limp soon after I start out on the trail. There must be places inside the brake that air can "hide". I don't really understand it.

    Walt
    Walt,
    A quick and pretty accurate test to see if you bled the brake properly is to flip up the M/C on a 45 degree angle (from horizontal) and then squeeze the lever a few times. If it doesn't go to the bar then you should be fine until your next service interval.
    Last edited by cort; 11-28-2009 at 08:16 AM.

  42. #42
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    I may be new at this, but is there no way to rig up something that will create a vacuum in the tube and then you can inject the dot fluid and then seal.

  43. #43
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    I have Elixir CR and R sets and both are far better than my Juicy 5 and head and shoulders above the XTR brakes on my XC HT. However, the CR brakes are a pain to bleed properly.

    When you have the syringe on the lever and are pulling air out of the lever, if you pull too hard, you can pull air into the system. I even confirmed this with a tech at Sea Otter as I had a random to the bars effect also. Take your time bleeding the system. I have only bled them twice in a year and they have been flawless since the second bleed.

  44. #44
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    Wow I read this whole thread, and not only does it seem that OP doesn't want help and quickly dismisses the idea that he may have gone and bled his system wrong, but he is also eager to fight with the one person who in my opinion has this entire situation under control. There is most definitely air/moisture in the system, like has been stated before DOT will pull any little tiny bit of moisture out of the air, so if there is a "leak" even if no DOT is actually leaking out, moisture/air is getting in. And it is messing up your ability to brake.

    I own 3 sets of Elixrs on my bikes, and yeah it took me a bit to get the bleeding regimen down to a science, but if you follow the steps clearly stated in this thread you should not have any issues, and if you still do... there is a leak, simple as that. How are you checking for leaks pray tell? I am no SRAM tech, hell im not even a tech. But I dont have any problems bleeding and maintaining my Elixr brakes.

    But what do I know? Im just a girl.
    "There are two ways of spreading light ...
    To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it."
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by leggatt
    I have Elixir CR and R sets and both are far better than my Juicy 5 and head and shoulders above the XTR brakes on my XC HT. However, the CR brakes are a pain to bleed properly.

    When you have the syringe on the lever and are pulling air out of the lever, if you pull too hard, you can pull air into the system. I even confirmed this with a tech at Sea Otter as I had a random to the bars effect also. Take your time bleeding the system. I have only bled them twice in a year and they have been flawless since the second bleed.
    BINGO!!!
    Look at what I bolded above.

    Saying that the OP isn't bleeding his brakes properly isn't helping the matter at all. Suggesting where errors might be happening in the bleed will help him out.

    It is VERY likely that the OP is sucking air into his lever by using too much vacuum at the lever during the bleed. Once the bubbles are in there they are a PITA to get out, BUT once you do get them out the brakes are fanfcukingtastic.

    I've have some Elixir CR's for about 10 months used on a DH bike that saw shuttle days and days at Whistler. The initial bleed from the factory felt like crap. My first bleed was mildly better but after I realized I was introducing bubbles under vacuum and corrected my error the brakes were amazing.

    The Elixirs are great brakes, but a crappy bleed from the factory and or a tiny error during the bleed can make them feel like total crap.

  46. #46
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    Are you all unscrewing the red adjuster a few turns before you bleed? If the contact point is set all they way in it will be very hard to get air out of the reservoir due to the taperbore design. Took a few unsuccessful tries for me to read the directions(on Avids site) but its really simple. My levers have never gone to the bars, they did get slightly mushy after breaking them in, however bleeding fixed this.

  47. #47
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    so many horror stories about hydraulic brakes. I've got a set of elixir rs coming, I don't even have them yet but i'm starting to worry that they'll suck. I'd like to see some people talking about how much they love their elixir brakes. anything will be better than bb5s! Aren't you supposed to bleed after experiencing too much brake fade?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jem1305
    so many horror stories about hydraulic brakes. I've got a set of elixir rs coming, I don't even have them yet but i'm starting to worry that they'll suck. I'd like to see some people talking about how much they love their elixir brakes. anything will be better than bb5s! Aren't you supposed to bleed after experiencing too much brake fade?
    There is noting wrong with 99% of hydraulic brakes- and the 1% of electronic riders live in here

    Don't worry about it. go ride. be happy

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobRocket
    BINGO!!!
    Look at what I bolded above.

    Saying that the OP isn't bleeding his brakes properly isn't helping the matter at all. Suggesting where errors might be happening in the bleed will help him out.

    It is VERY likely that the OP is sucking air into his lever by using too much vacuum at the lever during the bleed. Once the bubbles are in there they are a PITA to get out, BUT once you do get them out the brakes are fanfcukingtastic.

    I've have some Elixir CR's for about 10 months used on a DH bike that saw shuttle days and days at Whistler. The initial bleed from the factory felt like crap. My first bleed was mildly better but after I realized I was introducing bubbles under vacuum and corrected my error the brakes were amazing.

    The Elixirs are great brakes, but a crappy bleed from the factory and or a tiny error during the bleed can make them feel like total crap.
    what problem does bleeding Elixirs solve? does it solve the weak braking problem? or does it solve the howling/squealing problem? i got my elixir 4's installed by my lbs and i dont think its been bled at all, but may came bled from factory?
    RH SL Pro

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisssss
    what problem does bleeding Elixirs solve? does it solve the weak braking problem? or does it solve the howling/squealing problem? i got my elixir 4's installed by my lbs and i dont think its been bled at all, but may came bled from factory?
    Not all brakes are perfectly bled from the factory. If you buy the Avid Bleed Kit and follow the printed manual instructions carefully then the brakes end up with a scary amount of power.

    Bleeding takes care of spongy brake levers and lack of power caused by air in the system.

    A squealing brake would be a different issue.

    The person who started this thread had poorly bled brakes from the factory and then had mechanics bleed the brakes who did a poor job.

    Once he gets someone to bleed them properly they will work fine.

  51. #51
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    i see, well my elixir 4's have a scary amount of power! just that they scream when i'm going down the hills lol
    RH SL Pro

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by jem1305
    so many horror stories about hydraulic brakes. I've got a set of elixir rs coming, I don't even have them yet but i'm starting to worry that they'll suck. I'd like to see some people talking about how much they love their elixir brakes. anything will be better than bb5s! Aren't you supposed to bleed after experiencing too much brake fade?
    I'm very happy with my elixir crs. They modulate well and stop great, right out of the box. All I did was install them, no bleed, left the factory fluid alone. The cables are a little long so I'll be bleeding them sometime this winter to shorten up the cable run and clean up the bike, but so far very happy. My only comparison is BB7s, which stop great but don't modulate as well and are way noisier.

    David B.

  53. #53
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    Did the original poster degass the DOT fluid before performing the bleed process? Brake fluid has invisible gas bubbles in it from the container.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmagrider
    Did the original poster degass the DOT fluid before performing the bleed process? Brake fluid has invisible gas bubbles in it from the container.
    You've had two months since the original post and this is what you came up with?

  55. #55
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    Yes, because it's likely the cause of the problem. BTW, I first read the post today ********.

    Yes, you're acting like a ********.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmagrider
    Yes, because it's likely the cause of the problem. BTW, I first read the post today ********.

    Yes, you're acting like a ********.
    Invisible air is causing the problem? You don't think that perhaps something larger scale may be the issue? Maybe... I don't know... not bleeding the system properly? But no, you come back with invisible air in the fluid. An issue? Possibly in rare situations. The solution to this issue? Probably not. I don't think this person's bleed issue was been looked at by enough professionals to start throwing out the most improbable of solutions. KISS, if you know what I'm saying. But I'm easily drawn into interweb flame wars if you're interested.

  57. #57
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    Not degassing the fluid is synonymous with an improper bleed, so I'm glad to see that we agree that is was an improper bleed.

    You have actually seen how much air in trapped in DOT fluid straight out of the bottle, right? It's not a "small" amount.

    BTW, the AVID bleed video even stresses that this be done for a proper bleed.

    Watch 2:20 to 3:00. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzZkEIrCBJ0 Are you telling me that those bubbles are insignificant?

  58. #58
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    I don't mean to be a dick, but there's a difference between invisible bubbles and pulling air out of the system. You stated that there are invisible bubbles in the fluid, I just think you need to be more accurate with your wording. Very small is not invisible, and anyone who's bled a brake will know that bubbles will continue to come out for a long time. If you follow Avid's proper bleed procedure, you will pull the air out of suspension as part of the process. That doesn't make air some sort of phantom stalking your brake system.

    I simply think that the brake issue is more likely caused by a large pocket of air trapped in recesses of the caliper than micro-bubbles. Avids can be hell to bleed, end of story. Get Shimano brakes.

  59. #59
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    You know what...I spent 20 years working on cars and flushing brake systems on everything from Honda to Saab to Volvo to Chevy to Ford and I've never seen anyone "Degass" the brake fluid before pouring it into the reservoir when flushing the system. You're probably aerating the fluid by sucking fluid out of the bottle with the syringe. I take the plunger out and pour the fluid into the syringe. Brake fluid does not have invisible bubbles in it and probably never will. Amateurs....

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Err
    Already a lot of replies but wanted to get some helpful, factual information in this thread.


    connect the syringe and pull up on it to suck air out

    When I get to this step of pulling up on the plunger at the lever syringe, I hear air hissing at the lever and get continuous bubbles.

    Is this is a bad seal?

  61. #61
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    All Avid brakes suck big, fat, sweaty, pruney, smelly, crusty, infected, pulsating, veiny... Brahma Balls!!!
    life is... "All About Bikes"...

  62. #62
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    What is happening is there is air easily trapped in the system near the lever due to poor design. With the Elixirs I think this is caused by the 'taperbore' technology and not using a proper reservoir. You can tell this because the brakes get more spongy if the bike is inverted or left on its side for any amount of time, and also becomes less of a problem in hotter weather. When you push the lever you are pushing on air that's trapped in the lever against the fluid in the line. So with air bubbles in the line, which occur when the bike is inverted you then have lever air pocket against bubbles against fluid in the line which causes the really spongy feel, and you can pull the lever into the bar. If there was air near the caliper the brakes wouldn't work at all.

    I'm going to bleed my brakes very carefully and slowly very soon. Personally think Avid should kill Elixir and extend their Code ranges instead.

    The warbles are caused by the Clean Sweep 3 rotors, I think Clean Sweep 2s are better!

  63. #63
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    I like my Formula One's

    I get them serviced about every two years and I change my pads once or twice a year. They really are sensational brakes.
    One finger braking is a lot like one hit p .o .t., rare, especially for brakes that modulate so well.
    Cheers,

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