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  1. #1
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    Please confirm my Avid brake issue

    Hello

    I have a set of Avid Elixir 5's. Recently before a ride I noticed that my front lever was a little "mushy". It would still lock up the front brake, however I could fairly easily bury the lever into my grip.

    I assumed that for whatever reason, the brake needed bled. So I bled it with my Avid bleed kit. Same results. Stops the bike, mushy.

    I inspected for leaks, none. So I decided to bleed again, only this time I noticed a hissing sound from the lever body, near where the syringe threads in (syringe was threaded tightly) while pressurizing the caliper.

    I checked to confirm the syringe lever was sealed off, it was. the noise happened regardless of pulling or pushing the caliper syringe.

    The end result was the same working but mushy brake.

    Has anyone had this happen? I assume that the lever body may have a small air leak? Any thoughts or other ideas what it could be?

  2. #2
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    The 'bolt' that tightens the hose to the lever body could use tightening. Getting it fully tight is more of an issue in the elixir as opposed to the juicy.
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexRandall View Post
    The 'bolt' that tightens the hose to the lever body could use tightening. Getting it fully tight is more of an issue in the elixir as opposed to the juicy.
    Bolt was tight...any other ideas?

  4. #4
    Maaaaan
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    Sometimes the brake line itself is defective and allows too much give under pressure.
    If it isn't air in the line somewhere, you may need to replace the brake line with a higher quality one.
    This seems to be more of a problem with OEM lines I've noticed.

    Also: Don't apply hydos while the bike is upside down.
    Communist Party Member Since 1917.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericmopar View Post
    Sometimes the brake line itself is defective and allows too much give under pressure.
    If it isn't air in the line somewhere, you may need to replace the brake line with a higher quality one.
    This seems to be more of a problem with OEM lines I've noticed.

    Also: Don't apply hydos while the bike is upside down.

    The noise seems to be coming from inside the housing, near where I'm assuming the lever connects. I think an internal seal must be passing air.

  6. #6
    Tool
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    My XO brakes are doing roughly the same thing. I noticed a sucking/gurgling sound when applying vacuum to one of the levers. When I got to the other lever, I could simply pull air right through it. The brakes work fairly well, considering, but since these brakes aren't very old I will be asking my LBS to contact Avid for me, assuming the levers are defective.
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  7. #7
    Drinkin' the 29er KoolAid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalphile View Post
    I noticed a sucking/gurgling sound when applying vacuum to one of the levers.
    I get similar sounds when bleeding a couple of sets of Elixir Rs, but so far I can't find evidence of any air getting in. I use my standard test for air the system by grabbing the handlebar and popping the front wheel up in the air and rotate the bike almost completely upside down while squeezing and releasing the brakes. If the brake contact point moves significantly closer to the handle bar this is a sure sign that there is air in the system that was sitting in the lever and has now migrated to the caliper. A well bleed system will not change in lever feel when doing this test.

  8. #8
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    I've bled my Elixir CR's maybe a dozen times total now (and some new X.0s each side once after hose shortening) and think I "know what I'm doing" by now. I too heard that sound today while bleeding my front CR's once again.

    I'm using the new Avid Professional Bleed Kit, which is much nicer than the old btw, so I think it went well. However, when pressurizing the syringe others have stated, I heard the hissing/leaking noise. I had retightened the compression nut to the recommended torque setting (47in lbs) just before also. At one point, while pulling on the syringe at max effort, I would snap the lever several times at the same time, thereby releasing more and more bubbles each time. I wondered if the hissing noise is indeed a leak somewhere in the lever, since it almost seemed like the bubbles never stopped coming!

    Alas the bubbles stopped (or I just gave up and said that's enough fooling around). A good test is to keep pressure on the syringe and pull the lever. If it feels nice and tight, then you're probably done. After cleaning up, I did the upside down test (as kwarwick instructed) and it was good to go. Let's see how long this lasts...

    I really do love these Elixir brakes. The adjustability is terrifc. The power and modulation works perfectly for me and they look awesome. I'm hoping my new X.0s will have less bleed problems than these CRs I've had for 1.5 years though.

  9. #9
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    The air noise you're hearing is the reservoir bladder expanding/contracting. If it was on the pressure side, you'd be guaranteed it'd show up as a leak, and if it was in the res, you'd either have a leak or a wet spot.

  10. #10
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    I noticed my front elixirs doing this to me tonight when I bled them. My lever was a little mushy feeling so decided to bleed them for tomorrow's ride. They feel great now but anytime while I was pressuring the system or creating a vacuum I was getting a "hiss" from the main body near the lever joint. I too thought I didn't tighten the syringe enough so I tighten it more and certainly wasn't the issue. I'm going to see if they start getting mushy again. If so, I'll probably rebuild the lever. These are about 1.5 years old...probably shouldn't a require a rebuild yet.

  11. #11
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    Not sure what causes it but my back brake seems to this on and off regardless of last bleed

  12. #12
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    I had this problem too. It is not a leak or a bleed issue. I took my internals out and the O ring that seals the piston off was disintegrating. When the lever is squeezed the piston is pushing in and letting fluid past it.

    Not even a year old. It took me a few tries but I got a shop to get me warrantee internal rebuild kit. Replaced the piston assembly and it works okay now.

    The real solution to this problem as many know, is to throw the Avids in the garbage and get some Shimano brakes!

  13. #13
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    El Train. I don't know if you are aware of this but mechanical parts fail. sometimes when new, sometimes when used, but they all fail at some point. If you want to throw your equipment in the trash, be my guest. However, as with most issues, it is usually user error.

    When bleeding the brake you have to make sure that the hose fitting on your syringe is in good shape before attempting to install into the brake lever. also, you need to make sure that when you screw it in, that it is straight and in there snug but not excessively tight. If you are not getting a good seal, then remove the o-ring from the hose fitting and put a small bit of teflon tape around the threads of the fitting and reinstall.

    Problem is if you do not have a perfectly liquid tight seal at the caliper end and at the lever end, you will not get a good bleed.
    2015 Santa Cruz 5010 C

  14. #14
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    Jetta, I hope you realize that line was somewhat of a joke....

    My trash line was in reference to how many have had problems with the Elixirs....well documented in MANY threads on this site. Personally, I would expect internal parts on a brake to last longer than one season. I had a set of old Hayes that ran for 8 years with nothing but pad changes. I never even had to bleed them!!! The bleed system design in the Elixirs is extremely poor. A bleed port should never face downwards to enable air to be trapped as it rises....not to mention the o ring problem.

  15. #15
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    Oh, I didn't realize you were joking.
    2015 Santa Cruz 5010 C

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