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Avid Code fade issues

1552 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  RudeSechsVibe
So I have been shredding the trails of whistler the last 3 days, giving my new Transition Blinside it's first real maiden voyage. I completed the build thru the local LBS about a month ago, which included installing and bleeding the Avid Code brake set. When I loaded up on Wednesday, the brakes felt perfect, but as soon as I unloaded when I got here the front seemed to be gone (pads did not really engage until nearly touching the bar). I chalked it up to maybe an air bubble in the system that surfaced from the drive up. So I had one of the bike shops re-bleed my front brake, which fixed my problem for the time being of the 1st and 2nd days of riding.

But today I've been experiencing unpredictable "squish" symptoms in both the rear and front brakes, which is has been kinda unnerving as I'll go to grab some brake in a berm or jump and have to pull a lot harder than normal (I overshot a couple trannies on my last run on A-Line - SKETCH!).

Most people don't seem to complain of their Codes having brake fade issues, so I don't know exactly what to think of this. Today we were doing more runs from the top that could be overheating the brakes more, and as a result this problem... Or it could be from having my bike hanging up the garbanzo lift (it was the run after that I noticed this)... Or it could be a coincidence.... I dunno

These brakes are my first experience with hydraulic discs on a MTB (I ride motocross as well), and don't know what exactly to think? I could get the shop that bled them on Thursday to do it again, but I wanted to see what you all thought first.
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What size rotors are you using? If your doing downhill like this, it may be that you need larger rotors to dissipate the heat better.
Sounds like air....

in the system to me. Are these new brakes or are they used? If new it's likely a poor factory bleed and a subsiquent incorrect or poor bleed by the shop. If there used it could be anything from a poor bleed to a need for a rebuild. Moto brakes and MTB brakes work on the same exact principles. The parts even look very similar in many cases. The biggest difference of course is the size and heft of the components, due to the different sizes and speeds of the two bikes. Usually a lever to the bar thing is air in the system. It's highly unlikely that a heated up brake is going to feel less firm or feel mushy at the lever. It'll simply take more pull to get the bite you want. That's heat fade. You'll get heat fade long before you get to the point that the heat build up will affect the fluid. It's possible, but your brakes would be smokin' hot by then.

So if you still have mushy lever feel, it's a bleed problem. If that is solved and you're simply having to pull harder for the to get the bike to slow down, that's heat fade, or you could have glazed the pads at some point. For heat fade, larger rotors and/or different pad material are usually the solution. Glazed pads simply need a bit of sanding to break the glaze.

Good Dirt
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thanks for the input

I am running 203mm rotors. It could be heat fade, but would that explain the brakes having good feel one second, and then the next time I pull them they are extremely mushy :eekster: , and then a few pulls later being ok again? I think it is air in the system also, but seeing as I've gotten two bleeds recently, do you think I should look into a rebuild, or could a good bleed job possibly fix it (in which case I'll have them do it again)?

they are used btw
Sounds like air as others previously mentioned.
I have had my CODES since 07 and the engagement and bite is pretty good.
They do fade pretty badly though on longer runs. Mind you I am 105 kgs (~230 pounds).
Mine have been bled and re-bled and re-bled WAY too many times and I still have the same issue. The last bleed I had on them (only 4 days after a new bleed) my rear had a lot of black residue in the fluid. From my online research, it appears to be the seals of the lever disintegrating or something like that.
I've had nothing but a nightmare of a year with my Codes. I've sank money into numerous bleeds and replacing hoses and have always had the brakes turn to mush or even not work at all. This has been the most expensive, constantly failing, futile and frustrating issue I've ever had to deal with on any of my bikes. I'm swearing off Avid Codes forever. I've read a lot of online posts that indicate Avid will not stand behind their product on any of these issues. I have a feeling that I should save myself the frustration and the danger factor of having my brakes constantly fail and just purchase a set of Saints or Stroker Ace for my DH bike.
The very few hours that I get them to work (much less than the downtime) they are great, but they will fail sooner or later, just wait and see.
Your issues are very common. Either get rid of those brakes or get ready to spend a lot of money, maintenence time and lost riding time on these horrible brakes. Remember the best riding years of your life are passing you by... just go buy some good brakes and stop wasting your time with unreliable Avid Codes. These issues are never going to dissappear until you buy a decent set of brakes.
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I've had 2 sets of Codes now, and every time I've changed out brake lines I've had to perform the bleed process about 4 times before I can get all of the air out. Once you do though, they're the cat's ass!
El Castigador said:
I've had 2 sets of Codes now, and every time I've changed out brake lines I've had to perform the bleed process about 4 times before I can get all of the air out. Once you do though, they're the cat's ass!
My experience is similar. It took about 3 bleeds to get all the air out. The Avid bleed procedure is not thorough enough to get all the air out IMO.
My Code 5's work awesome and have great power once I got all the air out. I really like them. So much so that I bought a single front for my pedal bike.
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