OK, do I really, *really* need new brakes? (currently: 5-yr old Juicy 7s)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    m0un#a!n 8ik3r
    Reputation: Double E's Avatar
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    OK, do I really, *really* need new brakes? (currently: 5-yr old Juicy 7s)

    I have a 2005 Specialized Stumpjumper with Avid Juicy 7 brakes. They've worked like a charm these last few years. Mostly an XC rider, but that's included quite a few long high-country alpine rides with long descents. On average, maybe 3 rides per month these last 5 years.

    Overall, their power and modulation seems as strong as when they were brand new. No joke.

    However, about 3 times in the last year, I’ve noticed a tiny drop of brake fluid on the line, right by the lever. So I told all of the above to a mechanic and he tells me I basically need new brakes cause of the way DOT fluid corrodes the insides of the levers and how DOT fluid brakes just have a finite lifetime nomatterwhat, etc etc blah blah (I’ve never really known the ins and outs of hydo brakes).

    Overall, with brakes on bikes and cars, my policy has always been “sh1t, they’re basically the most important part of the damn vehicle, so when in doubt, just suck it up and spend the $$ and fix ‘em.”

    But again: their power and modulation seems almost as good as Day 1; the only problem I’ve noticed with them has been that drop of fluid that appears on the line once every few months. And I’m unemployed broke as hell; really don’t feel like spending lotsa $$ on brakes if I don’t have to.

    Thanks in advance for any info, thoughts, etc.

  2. #2
    Big Gulps, Alright!
    Reputation: Berkley's Avatar
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    You're probably fine for a while. If they get noticeably weaker over time, then start to worry. The chances of them catastrophically failing all of a sudden are slim.

    You can pull back the rubber cover at the end of the lever and see the extent of the problem. Tightening the lever/hose connection with a wrench may eliminate the problem if it's that small. If it's tight already, don't force it.

    P.S. If you can post a photo, that could help too.
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  3. #3
    Never enough time to ride
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    Shouldn't need to replace your brakes just because you have a small leak. The lines might be getting tired and need to be replaced and that's about it. I have worked on original Hayes hydros, that are a hell of a lot older than your Juicy's and have not seen any evidence of internal corrosion at all.

    Interanl parts for your older Juicy's might be hard to find, but as long as there's no mc piston blow by or sticky pistons your in good shape. Ride em till they crap out completely then update when it's time.

    happy trails...

    squish
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  4. #4
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    I wouldnt spend the money if they work and you are happy with their performance. I recently replaced a set of 02 magura julies with new elixir r's and while they are a little better, it's not worth the money if yours work. I was forced to upgrade due to breakage.

  5. #5
    On wuss patrol
    Reputation: Glide the Clyde's Avatar
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    You might have guessed that you don't need new brakes. As said, check for loose connections and tighten but don't over do. Keep an eye on the drip and fluid level as well as the performance.

    BTW, DOT 3 or 4 does not corode brake systems but rather it's the water vapor the fluid absorbs from the air that does.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double E
    ... their power and modulation seems as strong as when they were brand new... Iím unemployed broke as hell...
    Those seem to be the pertinent facts of your post. Keep them, and ride them for another five years if just to spite that mechanic.

  7. #7
    Legend
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    You should sell them to a museum: Juicy 7's that work are rare IMO.

  8. #8
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    I'll go with the more non politically correct answer Tell your mechanic he's full of $hit, keep riding the brakes. If you want, maybe a new set of hoses and seals, but doesn't sound like it's needed from your description. AND yeah +1 on if you've got good working Juicy7s that's a rarity Mine don't work too bad, but I've definitely got air in the rear hose as the lever gets harder as the day gets hotter, but I'm too lazy to do a bleed, just adjust the lever reach dial out.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  9. #9
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    My 07 Juicy 7s just took a dump on, and no parts available..... Went back to BB7s and couldn't be happier.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
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  10. #10
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    Reputation: RustyIron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double E
    However, about 3 times in the last year, Iíve noticed a tiny drop of brake fluid on the line, right by the lever. So I told all of the above to a mechanic and he tells me I basically need new brakes cause of the way DOT fluid corrodes the insides of the levers
    1. Three paper towels a year don't seem like an excessive maintenance expense.

    2. Brake fluid is not corrosive, in fact, it contains corrosion inhibitors. Your mechanic is a stooge who wants to sell you something expensive.

    3. You should bleed your brakes at least once a year, regardless of how infrequently you ride.

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