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Elixir 3 Avid Brakes

jonnyfozjonnyfoz Posts: 4
edited May 2014 in MTB workshop & tech
Hi all,

first post so please go easy on me.

I own a Cannondale Trail SL1, have had the bike from new, purchased it May 2012.

I love the comes the brakes have become very spongy within the last few weeks. First the front brake and now the rear. They use to be razor sharp and crisp but not any more.

I had read posts indicating that this is a common fault with ELIXIR 3 AVID Brakes.

I haven't had a major stack/crash or anything - having read posts I will be taking it to a LBS to get it looked at.

My Question is this are they still covered by warranty? Is this just a common fault that I should just accept happens to all brakes after time and usage?

thanks for your time

jonnyfoz :D


  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    Just get them serviced
  • poahpoah Posts: 3,369
    elixirs tend to need bled frequently - get a bleed kit from epic bleed solutions and do it yourself. piece of piss to do
  • raldatraldat Posts: 242
    Step 1, carefully remove Avid brakes from your bike

    Step 2, bin them

    Step 3, choose favourite bike store and purchase any Shmano brake as budget allows

    But seriously, bleed them with a kit from Epic. Many on here question (rightly) how bleeding can be necessary if nothing was done to allow air in, but Avids seems to allow some air leak. Also, your brakes are a 2 years old now so I would flush out all the old fluid. Dot 5.1 is hydroscopic, i.e. it takes on moisture from the air so after some time it's performance degrades.

    The above is just my experience and others may disagree and I accept that, they may well be right. My Elixr 1s recently failed after a simple pad change and advancing the pads etc did not work. A quick bleed with the kit from Epic and they are back to their old selves. Still not as good as the Shimanos on my good bike, but good enough for the commuter.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    Just check its not simply the pads being worn first though... Spongy doesnt sound like that but I dont know how good you are at diagnosing the difference. Wouldnt want you to waste time/money bleeding them if they dont need it.

    Bleeding two brakes is expensive at a bike shop (and they dont always do it right) - I found it quite daunting as a prospect, even after watching the youtube videos, until some nice gent on here showed me in real life and it really is simple - wonder now what I was worried about. Thankfully I have never had to pay the shop to do it - the kit cost half of what one bleed from them would have cost.
  • jonnyfozjonnyfoz Posts: 4
    thanks people for making the time to reply, really appreciate it!

    I did wonder if it was a simple as worn pads, I'm thinking towards its not that ( I can pull the lever to almost touch the handle bar ) although how do I check how much life is in a pad anyway??.

    Would love to take on the DIY route and bleed myself, but may end up taking to a LBS just this once in view of wanting a quick fix (if that is possible in view of some reviews and comments on said brakes) ;-).

    thanks again jonnyfoz
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    Have a look at the pads. If you are unsure about doing that then the LBS it is.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    jonnyfoz wrote:
    how do I check how much life is in a pad anyway??.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    New pads will look like this:


    Worn pads wont be as thick, and actually they often dont wear evenly, so will almost be triangular when they are totally shot because they are much thinner near the tip than at the end where the clip is.

    There will be a clip or screw holding the pads in, through the hole in the top of them and the spring clip. Pull that out and the pads will come out if you need to do that to see them/replace them. You can see the width of the pads just by looking in the gap usually, even better if you take the wheel off.

    If the levers are just moving too far before the brakes engage then it could well be pads. They can wear quite quickly if conditions are poor (you can even burn up a set of organics in one days riding if pushing hard and conditions are poor!).

    Best place to buy them is Superstar Components - Kevlar or Sintered are best for general use.

    You can advance the pads sometimes, to adjust them to sit closer to the discs - remove the wheel and squeeze the levers till the pads are close together and then when you release they should finish closer than they started. Just make sure you dont pop the pistons out doing this with the pads removed altogether though...!
  • jonnyfozjonnyfoz Posts: 4
    ta very much again! all answers LOL!
  • steviecaptsteviecapt Posts: 70
    try pressing the brake lever as far as it will go, then using a rubber band tie the lever to your handle bars overnight, ive used this method a few times, especially when ive mistakenly pressed the brake levers when holding my bike upright to load into my car, it some how re-pressurises the system, and firms up the brake lever, if that doesnt work, then you will need to bleed the brakes.
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