Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB workshop & tech

Avid Elixer 1's, inconsistent

Gibbo3771Gibbo3771 Posts: 145
edited June 2014 in MTB workshop & tech
I seem to have a problem with my Avid Elixer 1's.

The quality of braking seems very inconsistent. They have been bled twice by my LBS in the past 6 weeks, the front one was just a funny and has seemed to fix completely but as the days go on the stopping power and squeal is getting worse.

The rear brake seems beyond saving, 6 weeks ago it would pull to the bar with no contact with the rotors. No idea how this happened, nothing leaked. It got bled, worked for 2-3 rides then pulled to the bars again. I took it back to the LBS and the mechanic stuck the spacer in and pulled the brake, worked fine. He pushed fluid through to ensure there was no air.

Stuck the wheel back on, it contacted again. He had to dial the reach right out though, or it will come to the bars. He said there was not much he could do but bleed it again and hope for the best, however they wanted to charge me again.

So I dealt with it until today, the lever is pulling right back to the bar again with just enough contact to slow be down but not lock up. If I pump the lever hard 5-6 times the brake becomes responsive until I let it go back to its normal position.

When I tip the bike upside down and leave it like that, I need to pump the rear brake for a fair while to get any contact to happen.

What is up with these brakes? They are less than a year old and spent 6 months not being used due to a broken bone.

I went and ordered a set of Deore M615's to replace them however it would be nice to know why this happened, I also want to move my front working brake over to my 1996 hardrock, to replace the front cable disc brake.

Posts

  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Read up on how to 'advance the pads' and try that, sounds like you have the classic symptoms and bleeding the bleedin' things has no effect (in fact often makes it worse).
  • Gibbo3771Gibbo3771 Posts: 145
    The Rookie wrote:
    Read up on how to 'advance the pads' and try that, sounds like you have the classic symptoms and bleeding the bleedin' things has no effect (in fact often makes it worse).

    Got the reference manual up atm, it has these instructions:
    1) Set the reach and pad contact adjusters at the out setting.
    2) Remove the red pad spacer
    3) Slowly squeeze the brake lever until the pads are approximately 1mm apart.
    4) Reinstall the pad spacer—force will be required to push the pads outward to the correct position.
    5) Install the wheel/rotor and squeeze the lever several times. The brake should have a firm feel at this point.
    6) Align caliper as needed, adjust reach and pad contact to rider preference.

    Number 2, the red pad spacer. Is this just the bleed block that you would get with the bleed kit? I have nothing else.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    No it's not the bleed block, it's the wedge shaped 'travel spacer' that should be supplied with the bike that you fit when you remove the wheels.

    Or just use a table knife to gently pry the pads apart 'just' enough to refit the wheel (and disc).
  • Gibbo3771Gibbo3771 Posts: 145
    Gave it a try, still pulls right to the bar.

    It does feel quite squidgy when it is pulled, no idea why as there is no fluid leaking or anything.
  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    The problem is they're simply rubbish brakes, so much so I'd actually be inclined to keep the cable disk on your Hardrock.

    Good shout on the Deores though, the difference will be like night and day.
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • Gibbo3771Gibbo3771 Posts: 145
    CitizenLee wrote:
    The problem is they're simply rubbish brakes, so much so I'd actually be inclined to keep the cable disk on your Hardrock.

    Good shout on the Deores though, the difference will be like night and day.

    Oh I know they are gash, they were great at first as it was an upgrade from a £20 pair of mechanics brakes. The front one works fine and has better stopping power than my mechanical imo.

    I will probably use it until it shows terrible fade and pull issues like the rear.

    Deores come tomorrow :), was going to get the XT's since they were down from £65 from £90. Decided against it.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    If you can see the pads moving as you pull the lever, the pads need advancing (they shouldn't move as such, just 'clamp on' the disk), if they are squidgy and the pad not moving then they do need bleeding PROPERLY (Avid can be temperamental about being bled).

    Avid do work once set up, but they are more faff and never feel as nice as Shimano although the power is on a par.
  • Gibbo3771Gibbo3771 Posts: 145
    The pads do move when the lever is pulled, only very slightly. I have to do 2-3 pulls to get them to come as close as the advancing instructions say.
  • raldatraldat Posts: 242
    Having dealt with a number of exlir 1s I have some experience in this matter. My best advice is follow this procedure. It is a sure fire path to success.

    Step 1. Carefully remove avid brakes
    Step 2. Discard in nearest bin or give them to someone you dislike.
    Step 3. Go on CRC, Merlin, the Germans or your favorite site as buy the best Shimano brakes you can afford. Deore 615 are just fine.

    You will not regret it.
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    raldat wrote:
    Having dealt with a number of exlir 1s I have some experience in this matter. My best advice is follow this procedure. It is a sure fire path to success.

    Step 1. Carefully remove avid brakes
    Step 2. Discard in nearest bin or give them to someone you dislike.
    Step 3. Go on CRC, Merlin, the Germans or your favorite site as buy the best Shimano brakes you can afford. Deore 615 are just fine.

    You will not regret it.

    Replaced mine with XT brakes and rotors, now I just get on and ride. The XT brakes are silent, more powerful and better control. My elixir 1's were fine but best replaced if you are doing real off road mountain biking.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Gibbo3771 wrote:
    The pads do move when the lever is pulled, only very slightly. I have to do 2-3 pulls to get them to come as close as the advancing instructions say.
    So advance them again, and then lever apart JUST enough to get the disc in when you fit the wheel.

    Yes Shimano are much better in nearly every respect, but the Avids can be made to work satisfactorily, and be consoled that they will feel just like mega pricey X0's......or is it that even the top X0's feel no better than Juicy's....
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    The Rookie wrote:
    Gibbo3771 wrote:
    The pads do move when the lever is pulled, only very slightly. I have to do 2-3 pulls to get them to come as close as the advancing instructions say.
    So advance them again, and then lever apart JUST enough to get the disc in when you fit the wheel.

    Yes Shimano are much better in nearly every respect, but the Avids can be made to work satisfactorily, and be consoled that they will feel just like mega pricey X0's......or is it that even the top X0's feel no better than Juicy's....

    My wife's bike has Elixir 1s and they feel a lot better than my X0's ever did! The Elixirs actually seem reasonable. They're the only good Avids I have ever had!
  • Gibbo3771Gibbo3771 Posts: 145
    The Rookie wrote:
    Gibbo3771 wrote:
    The pads do move when the lever is pulled, only very slightly. I have to do 2-3 pulls to get them to come as close as the advancing instructions say.
    So advance them again, and then lever apart JUST enough to get the disc in when you fit the wheel.

    Yes Shimano are much better in nearly every respect, but the Avids can be made to work satisfactorily, and be consoled that they will feel just like mega pricey X0's......or is it that even the top X0's feel no better than Juicy's....

    Tried it half a dozen times, has it setup so the rotor just got in and no more. To the point the when didn't spin freely.

    Still nothing, pulled right to the bar and a few pulls later the wheel was free to spin again.
  • To be honest, it sounds like they just need bleeding correctly. If your pumping the lever and they're ramping up that's due to the air in the fluid being compressed, until it is at the same pressure as the fluid, and then it will transfer the force correctly from the lever. The mechanic your taking them too clearly hasn't got all the air bubbles out.

    If it ramps up then works after pumping the lever, it's air in the system. If it hits the rotor straight away, but still feels spongy, it's probably the seals that need replacing.

    We use Elixir 1's as our 'go-to' workshop brake and we're always bleeding them when we put them on as we have to cut the hoses down. If you follow the instructions to the letter they always turn out perfectly.

    Very few people bleed them correctly, and no one does the pad advancement procedure.

    I'd offer to do them for you, but I'm nowhere near you. Apologies.

    Either way, you'll enjoy your Shimano's. Be aware they'll probably come with very long hoses that will need cutting down, then bleeding.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    I suggest you read the thread, this is clearly NOT a bleed problem......please don't add to the bleeding fixes everything idiots out there.
  • Sounds like your brakes are mecanicly faulty, I did the advancing the pad procedure on my rear brake as didn't do it after the intial bleed and it worked for me, have you got reach adjustment on your levers? Take it if you have them tthat the reach adjustment screw was all turned the way out while trying to advance the pads.
    'I'll trek two please....!
    To HT or not to HT is the question...
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,258
    I have been told by a bike mechanic that Avids Taper Bore master cylinder needs to be bored out to a very very fine tolerance to work properly, the section where it chokes down is critical. If you get one that is perfectly on tolerance you have a good brake if its a fraction out or slightly worn then you will never get it to work properly. There must be reason why no one else has copied the taper bore.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • Gibbo3771Gibbo3771 Posts: 145
    I have still not received my Deores yet, however I am thinking of sending them back as soon as I get them and get a pair of XT M785's.

    I have just removed the avids and put the bike away until they are here, it is just doing my head in.

    I would like to repeat that it is not a bleed problem, the brakes worked perfectly for a couple of rides then came right back to the bar. I watched the mechanic bleed them, on his final pass not a single air bubble came out of that system, pushing a full syringe through from calliper to lever while tapping the reservoir .

    Thanks for the help everyone, I got 6 months of use out of them at least.

    I'm sure I will enjoy my Shimano's I hope :).
  • I think I know what the problem maybe, if your lever is pulling all the way to the bar, when the brakes are bled the reach adjustment from lever tip to middle of the handlebar is meant to be 75-80ml if not it can affect the bite point of the lever. Avids are peculiar hydro brakes to own, but once you understand them, they are pretty awesome!
    'I'll trek two please....!
    To HT or not to HT is the question...
Sign In or Register to comment.