Do my Avid Elixir's need bleeding?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do my Avid Elixir's need bleeding?

    I have the Elixir CR SL's on my bike. During the last ride, I noticed that there was more travel in the lever before the brakes worked. The next day, the lever goes right to the grip before the wheel will stop. I couldn't find any brake fluid escaping from anywhere. The bike has about 25-30 rides on it.

    I ordered a brake bleeder kit. Is there anything else I should do first?
    Last edited by Cevan; 04-28-2012 at 05:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like all you need is a bleed. A hydraulic system needs a bleed due to air getting into the system from evaporated water in the fluid.

    Have fun!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmax View Post
    Sounds like all you need is a bleed. A hydraulic system needs a bleed due to air getting into the system from evaporated water in the fluid.

    Have fun!

    Evaporated water in the fluid? I haven't heard this yet, is that what Sram is blaming the problems on now?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob12676 View Post
    Evaporated water in the fluid? I haven't heard this yet, is that what Sram is blaming the problems on now?
    You didn't get the Memo?

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  5. #5
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    So I bought the Avid Pro bleeder kit and have gone thru the procedure twice with no real improvement. I suspect I'm not doing it right. The procedure seems very foreign, compared to the brakes on my cars and motorcycles. Any tricks? Hate to have to bring it to the shop (45min drive each way).

  6. #6
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    Have you watched the sram video on youtube? If you follow, should work. Really take your time getting the air out of syringes. Mine are better than ever. 1 finger braking. Good luck.

    Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vetmotox View Post
    Have you watched the sram video on youtube? If you follow, should work. Really take your time getting the air out of syringes. Mine are better than ever. 1 finger braking. Good luck.

    Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk
    I did. The tubes that run between the syringe and the port are not very flexible and the clamps don't completely close off the tube when clamped shut. I even used some forceps and they still didn't close completely. The ones in the video are different.

  8. #8
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    Maybe your kit is messed up, Maybe it's something else. A few years ago, when my Juicy 7's were brand new, they were doing the same thing. I bought the bleed kit and bled them. I got all the air out and they were still soft. I contacted Avid and they said send them in. They ended up having to rebuild the brakes. There was an internal leak. They've been perfect now for 4 years. I bleed them every now and then.
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  9. #9
    empty beer member
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    Try some new pads.

  10. #10
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    I'm no expert in this department but here is what I know. I had Shimano brakes on my last bike and they were awesome for three years with no maintenance. I never even replaced the pads. Great one-finger, nice tension on the lever, great modulation, and great stopping power.

    I've had my new bike (with Avid Elixers) for three months and my conclusion is that these brakes stink.
    Am I all zipped up?

    Escaping the Dreary Confines

  11. #11
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    My clips didn't seal completely either. I put my thumb over the end of the tube to seal and pulled the plunger a lot more than the video before the bubbles stopped forming. The same was true to remove the air from calipers and lever. After I secured the lever to bar, I bet it was almost 5 minutes of removing air at caliper. The same was true for lever after I replace bleed screw at caliper.

    Again, worked great for me. My levers are solid, come nowhere close to grip without substantial full hand pressure. I have brakes in the 1st .25" of lever travel. True 1 finger breaking.

    Good luck.

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    The bleed kit (AKA Hospital Surplus Kit) certainly doesn't help. Poor quality. The short tubes leak air. I had to go to a smaller diameter tubing to get it to work. SRAM should step up and use a proper bleeder like the automotive "Mityvac". It would make quick work of de-gassing and bleeding.

  14. #14
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    Sounds like the brake master cylinder is leaking.


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cevan View Post
    So I bought the Avid Pro bleeder kit and have gone thru the procedure twice with no real improvement. I suspect I'm not doing it right. The procedure seems very foreign, compared to the brakes on my cars and motorcycles. Any tricks? Hate to have to bring it to the shop (45min drive each way).
    One more thing I thought of. During the bleed process there's a part where you have to bleed the master cylinder. During this the lever needs to be depressed completely to the grip. I use rubber bands to help here. Did you do that part?

  16. #16
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    Just a quick update in case anyone searches this thread. I uncovered and fixed two issues.

    First, the bleeder kit I bought was the "Pro" kit with the higher quality syringes (not hospital ones). The issue here was the plastic tubing that was supplied was not flexible enough for the clamps to be able to close off the tubing. This made getting all the air out impossible. I replaced the tubing with stuff bought at HD and the issue was solved.

    The second issue was that all of the spacer blocks that were included in the kit were too thick. I had to push the piston inward in order to get the thinnest block in there. Once I was done bleeding and put the pads and wheel back on, the piston needed to come out the same amount before any braking would occur. I made up my own spacer and re-bled again, and the brakes are fine.

  17. #17
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    brakes sticking

    I have the opposite problem---the rear brake will often be dragging --not locked up, but applied fairly firmly so that it takes effort to turn the wheel.

    Elixir R 2011

    It is brand new, 40 miles total on terrain that does not need a lot of braking. Sometimes the brake is dragging, sometimes not. I cannot predict if it will be dragging or fully released. Everything looks and feels normal except for this "engagement issue".

    Any ideas on this ?

    Thanks,
    Mark

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatsme View Post
    I have the opposite problem---the rear brake will often be dragging --not locked up, but applied fairly firmly so that it takes effort to turn the wheel.

    Elixir R 2011

    It is brand new, 40 miles total on terrain that does not need a lot of braking. Sometimes the brake is dragging, sometimes not. I cannot predict if it will be dragging or fully released. Everything looks and feels normal except for this "engagement issue".

    Any ideas on this ?

    Thanks,
    Mark
    Try recentering the caliper....... Loosen the Caliper Torx bolts, squeeze brake lever firmly, then re-tighten bolts. If you have pad contact adjustment dials on those, bring them in a little. Sometimes even re-installing the wheel will help if it has shifted slightly in the dropouts.

  19. #19
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    i had the same problem with my Elixir R brakes. Bleed didn't work. Something was wrong. I took the lever apart, and the O ring at A in the above picture was shredded. Less than 50 hours on the bike. BS if you ask me. SRAM is sending warrantee internals but I had to go to 3 shops to find one that was able to get them warranteed. I am buying shimano brakes as soon as possible. I ran my old Hayes HFX9s for 8 years with NO maintenance other than pads. never had to bleed. avid is BS.

  20. #20
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    I assume the OP's issue is fixed by now, but I'll add that my front Elixer was going soft after the bike was leaned sideways. The ghettofix was just to lean it the other way and pump the brake a few times. Rode the whole of last summer that way.

    At the end of the season I sent it in, and the shop could not make the problem go away. They sent the thing to SRAM, who reportedly replaced the master cylinder under warranty.

    It's been working just fine since then (March).
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

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