Avid Elixir trouble! Step by step - where am I going wrong?

coyote101 Posts: 125
edited March 2011 in MTB workshop & tech

I'm totally bored of trying to align the avids on the front of my bike, having done the rear ones perfectly at the first attempt! If I just run through exactly what I'm doing, maybe someone can suggest a little tweak.....

1. I take the wheel out and push the pads apart using the brake spacer.

2. I put the wheel back in and fix the axle and secure it.

3. I loosen the two bolts that secure the caliper.

4. I spin the wheel hard and then quickly compress the brake lever, which pulls in all the way to the bars.

5. Leaving the lever pulled in, I tighten the two bolts up again. I then release the brake lever. At this point, the wheel spins ok with only a small amount of rub.

6. When I pull the lever again, it comes all the way in to the bars once more, and then when released again the rubbing is really bad e.g. the wheel will barely spin round once! When i then pull the lever it comes to the right distance, but the pads are rubbing too badly and i start the whole thing again!


Thanks in advance for any suggestions, this is sending me nutty!



  • Deputy Dawg
    Deputy Dawg Posts: 428
    Try getting the lever right before tightening the calliper bolts. With it still going back to the bar there's too much room for miss alignment.
    Statistically, Six Out Of Seven Dwarves Aren't Happy
  • coyote101
    coyote101 Posts: 125
    That sounds sensible, how would I get the lever "right"?

    Thanks bud.
  • benpinnick
    benpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Sounds like you need a good bleeding. Avid are notorious for it. You should never be able to pull the levers to the bars.
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  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    Bleed the brakes.
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  • fatlad
    fatlad Posts: 105
    I had similar troubles with mine. Nearly threw them in the bin.

    It had a "lazy" piston that refused to return back into the caliper, so popped them out, lubed up the sides of the piston and the seal.

    I used a proper cheapy bleed kit from ebay from "epicbleedsolutions" (cant recommend it enough), held one piston back with a tyre lever and pumped the brake lever till the piston popped out. Lubed it up, bled the system then repeated on the other piston.

    It is a bit of a pain in the arse and involves bleeding twice, but they are cracking now. You can get the caliper seal kit if yours is buggered, but worth trying this first IMO.

    There is still naff all clearance between rotor and pads now, so have to make sure rotor is arrow straight.

    Id start with a real good quality bleed first off to make sure you are getting right lever travel, its easy to overfill lever reservoir i've found.

    Good luck!

    Back to hopes when these are dead.
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  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    you dont need to bleed the brakes.

    why did you push the pads/pistons home?

    why rotate the wheel fast?

    have you read the manual?

    Squeeze the front lever 5 or 6 times, then hold. Compress the lever (with your hand or a rubber band), then snug the CPS
    bolts enough to hold the caliper in place.
    Spin the wheel and check for rotor drag. If there is drag, loosen the CPS bolts and repeat. Once there is no drag, torque the
    CPS bolts in an alternating fashion to 8-10 N•m (70-90 in-lb). Repeat the procedure for the rear brake.

    yes rotating the wheel with some pressure on the lever can help a little.

    DO NOT over tighten the bolts.
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