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Adobo Lover
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any thoughts? Ever since I brought my brake lever closer on my Hayes Nines, the brakes feel spongy. The mechanics tried bleeding and made it better but they still feel soft and not as responsive. When you move the lever away from the handlebar, the sponginess goes away and it feels more responsive.
 

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mtbr platinum member
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It sounds like the mechanic did not get all of the air out of the lines. Sometimes a bit of air hangs up in the caliper. I always tap the caliper to try and get the reluctant bubbles free. I'd ask the mechanic to do it over until it's right.
 

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Adobo Lover
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985 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is there different methods to bleed brakes. I looked at the Hayes PDFs concerning bleeding brakes. There method was a lot different from the way the guy that bled my brakes. I'm thinking maybe I should pick up a Hayes bleed kit and try to bleed them myself.
 

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EDR
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95Stumpy said:
Is there different methods to bleed brakes. I looked at the Hayes PDFs concerning bleeding brakes. There method was a lot different from the way the guy that bled my brakes. I'm thinking maybe I should pick up a Hayes bleed kit and try to bleed them myself.
Curious...what did the shop guy do that was so different from the pdf's?

Theres more than one way to skin a cat as they say. As long as the end result is a system free of air.

My front lever was spongy and the lever travel was much more than the rear when I got my bike (the lever throw was adjusted the same on both). I used the Hayes kit and bled them myself, problem was solved........Then just to celebrate, I put some blingy Dangerboy's on those Mags!!! :D :D

Most people will say to use a syringe in place of the little bottle, I didn't caus I didn't have one. It was a pain but now that I've done it I'm sure I could re-bleed them in half the time.
 

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Adobo Lover
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah your probably right. I first get a call asking what was exactly the problem and he told me that the bike would be done in an hour. I left it the day before. I had already adjusted the levers to wear I wanted them so I can actually reach them. I get to the shop to pick the bike up. All the one mechanic did was move the lever back. Once he did that it became more responsive. However, the lever was too far for my little hands. So, that guy was out to lunch. Another mechanic, who is cool to deal with, said he would bleed them for me to see if it makes a difference. There was no little bottle, just a little tube he used on the rear brake housing. Trash can to catch the fluid. They poored the brake fluid in with the brake fluid bottle. It was an overall messy experience. Brake fluid on the front tire and fork over my shifters. They told me if they would try bleeding it until they get it right. Which was cool but I was going out of town and didn't want to leave the bike for a prolong period of time there. So, I opted to see how they felt and I'll bring it back. I get home and out of curiosity looked up the info on Hayes' sight to see what was involved in bleeding brakes. I read the dot 3 and 4 fluid causes havoc to paint. Great!!!! Also getting the fluid on your brake pad will decrease the performance. Luckily it is part of my free adjustments for a year so it was free.

I think I might give it a go myself. There is always a certain satisfaction when you get the job done yourself. I know I shouldn't be that messy. :)
 

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Adobo Lover
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Reading the directions further, he bled it the opposite direction. He removed the cap of the resevoir which hayes states not to do. While adding more oil he was pumping the lever. The excess oil was coming out of the caliper. The bleed kit allows you to pump the fresh oil in at the caliper and the excess oil will come out at the master cyclinder through a special fitting. Right?
 

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EDR
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Well maybe they aren't getting all the air out of the caliper housing. The point of squeezing fluid into the rear caliper using a bottle, then allowing the bottle to reform to its original shape is to suck out air from the caliper.

The nipple should be faced up, perpdendicular to the ground so that when fluid is forced into the caliper air dislodged within will rise to the top area, when the bottle is released you will actually see tiny air bubbles being sucked back up into the bottle. This took at least 10 or 15 minutes of repeating this step before no further bubbles could be found, all the while I was tapping on the caliper and the hose to the bottle with the end of a wrench to "jar" the air pockets out of hiding.

Once no more bubbles are present you just give one last good squeeze so that fluid comes out the master cylinder and tighten the fitting (while fluid still is comming out.)

Yes, brake fluid can be murder on paint. Sounds like maybe these guys aren't quite up to speed on this proceedure from what your'e saying and to get fluid on your pads, tires, paint, etc, shows a complete lack of respect or poor understanding of what they are doing.....ARRGGG -END LBS RANT-
 

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EDR
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95Stumpy said:
Reading the directions further, he bled it the opposite direction. He removed the cap of the resevoir which hayes states not to do. While adding more oil he was pumping the lever. The excess oil was coming out of the caliper. The bleed kit allows you to pump the fresh oil in at the caliper and the excess oil will come out at the master cyclinder through a special fitting. Right?
-You are correct sir!

Filling from the bottom allows air to escape UP to the MC. Air doesn't like to travel downwards through liquid so unless they had your bike completely upside down I don't see that method working well, but hey, i'm no expert. I just followed the directions and had no problems.

Take a copy of the PDF or a link and give it to them, then say....WTF! haha - good luck
 

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Adobo Lover
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bled my brakes last night. Brakes are responsive now and the levers are at the appropriate reach for my fingers. It took me about 15 minutes for both brakes. The hardest part was to keep the hose on that came in the bleed kit at the caliper. I used the bottle at the caliper. I can see where a syringe would be an easier option. Definitely a worth while experience. Thanks for the tips.
 

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Spring

The Hayes bleed kit should've come with a spring that goes over the hose and the fitting at the caliper to keep it tight. I tried it without the spring a few times (since there was no mention of what the spring was for) with the hose just coming off and spewing hdyro fluid all over the place, until I realized what the spring was for... I like the Shimano bleed and fitting system a little bit better than the Hayes (easier for me)...
 

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Adobo Lover
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The spring and the plastic fitting is used for the mag hayes brake. I had one spewing episode until I realized to keep the bottle straight with the opening.
 

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Pare

The spring and the plastic fitting is used for the mag hayes brake.
I used the spring on the HFX9 and it worked well. However, after that experience, I went to the local agricultural supply store and got a HUGE syringe to replace the squeeze bottle. I'll probably still use the spring as insurance to make sure the hose stays on the caliper however...
 

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On the hose

Put the hose on to the bleed bottle (with hydro fluid already in the bottle).
Put the spring over the hose and move it up an inch or so from the open end (away from the bottle).
Work the open end of the hose over the bleed fitting on the caliper.
Slip the spring over the hose and caliper fitting- this keeps the hose tight on the fitting so it doesn't snap off in the middle of the bleed while you switch hands to pump the brake lever or tap the caliper and lines to get rid of air.
 
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