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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was a close match, but I finally eeked out the win the other night when I decided to bleed my new hydraulic disc brakes. (Isn't that what everybody around here does for fun in her free time?)

Anyway, it's a long story, but I got these brakes and brake levers all set up from another bike and put them on my new frame. Great, they worked right from the start! But the reach was too long, and after 1.5 months of dealing (and with a trip to Moab coming up soon) I finally decided to adjust the reach. Trouble was, I've never done it before, so I read the applicable section in Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and the web info from the manufacturer about 6 times and then got started. My only point in about the first half of the match came from following the advice to remove the brake pads so that I didn't get mineral oil all over them if something went wrong. (Cue ominous music)

The diagram showing where the reach adjustment screw was located was pretty tough to read, but I thought I had it figured out. Getting to it required pushing the lever almost all the way back to the handlebar, so I had to let a little fluid out of the brake line to do that. Turns out I cycled the lever a few too many times, the brake calipers pushed out 'til they hit each other, and all the mineral oil drained out right there onto my patio as I watched in horror. At this point, the score was something like me 1, brakes 5. I hadn't known to put anything between the calipers to keep them pushed in so the oil would bleed more slowly into the bleed tube I'd set up so nicely according to directions.

Well, it turns out that wasn't the reach adjustment screw at all, which I found out by discovering that turning it didn't change the reach. I looked back at the diagram, then tossed it away as worthless right about the time my bf came home and told me where the real reach adjustment screw was. (Full disclosure: I am blond. But, he agreed the diagram was worthless.)

So now I had the reach adjusted and no oil in the brake lines. (Score: me 5, brakes 6). I re-read the instructions on how to fill/bleed them and started off, this time making sure the calipers stayed where they were supposed to. I cycled the levers as I filled and got to the point where there were no more bubbles in the reservoir or the oil entering the bleed tube. Great! I reassembled everything, and tested the brakes: no braking force and a horrible squishy feel: air in the tube. (me 6, brakes 9)

An hour later I've repeated the same techniques about 6 times with only very slight improvement. Where could that darned air bubble be? I refer back to the instructions one more time, and find this little useful tidbit: "It might be useful to move the calipers slightly to eliminate air pockets." So I do, and some beautiful air bubbles pop out into the reservoir. I put everything back together and now the brake works like a charm.

But I still have to tackle the other one. :rolleyes:
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