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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my sitution. I have a set of Avid Elixir R brakes on my Stumpjumper. Mid way though last year the rear brake started losing power. Took it to a local shop to have them bleed the brakes as ive never done that before. They were fine for maybe 3 weeks then went back to no power. Now after winter I changed out my rear tire and now my rear caliper is hanging up badly and the loss of power is still there. Front brake works perfectly however. Attempt to keep bleeding till it gets back to normal? I work full time and am in school so I dont have all the time in the world to keep dicking aroung with this as I would try to bleed myself this time around. Any other options?
 

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I've heard nothing but misery and woe from people with Avid brakes. If I were building a bike right now, I'd be looking at Shimano based on the current buzz out there plus the fact that they use mineral oil instead of DOT brake fluid.
 

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Your last sentence describes the point where I and many others have been with OEM avids when we decided to jump to Shimano brakes. In the Brake forum there is a thread, maybe several with titles like "Why do avids suck so much and why do they cause so much frckin' aggravation"

If you have to stick with avids for a while then there are some tips that you need to learn for DIY, so you don't spend so much time going to the LBS and get so pissed. Avid brakes are a total bummer...

Tips:
Adjust the cone washers on the caliper posts. Loosen the post bolts to the point where you can tap those cone washers with fingers and see them move. Then clamp down on brake lever and hold while you tighten both post bolts, this will center for a week or two. Don't worry you are going to become expert at this technique because you need it every couple weeks.

It may be that your piston is too far out and not going back anytime soon, so there's minimal clearance. if this is the case get and 8 or 10 mm box wrench, remove brake pads, put the box wrench around the post mount for the pads and press against the piston flat surface--don't press on the post, the wrench is used to avoid the post not touch it or rush it. if the pistons don't move at all then try rotating the brake at the bars so that the bleed port on the lever faces the sky or up, get a paper towel, open the bleed port and wrap paper towl around so dirt can't get in and brake fluid doesn't fly out when old faithful erupts. Now go back and push those pistons back with the box wrench and then close the port and put everything back together.

learn to bleed them yourself, you'll need it frequently especially with the clearance problems.

the rotors generally suck and are commonly warped oem. just remember the great deal you got on your bike and consider all the ways they cut corners to meet their price point, it's a good lesson for your next bike purchase.
 

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So sounds like just scrap the avids all together? Kinda seems like a whole rebuild would be in order. Seems like a decent price on those SLX's.
or consider M615...great brakes for the price :thumbsup: well, just forget the price, just great brakes period, for a XC 29er application anyway...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cjsb, you make a good point. I'll try to mess with them my next day off. I did buy the bike used so I guess I can't have the highest expectations in the world. Otherwise I'll keep my eye on shimano prices.
 

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The other thing about the Shimano brakes is that you can, with the right careful set of instructions(found on this very forum), fairly easily cut the brake lines and reconnect them without having to do a bleed. This should allow a novice, with care, the ability to install their own brakes and save the shop costs. It is also a good way to start to become less afraid of hydraulics. The mineral oil in the Shimanos is relatively benign compared to the DOT fluid in the avids. So you don't have that to worry about either.
 

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I have been running Avid BB7s for 3yrs now with older Shimano centerlock rotors. I have been thinking of upgrading but I have been so out of the mtb scene (just riding) that I dont know anything about the components anymore. I have heard/read a lot of great things about the newer Shimanos with the ICE Technology and have been contemplating upgrading to them but dont want to drop a huge amount of cash.

My main concerns are
1) I hang my bike in my garage when not in use, I have always heard this was a no-no with hydros, is that still that case?
2) Will the old rotors be compatible with the newer brakes, like the M615 or the SLX?
 

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I can't help you with the hanging your bike ditty, but I would consider replacing the rotors a necessary part of the upgrade...Amazon has 180mm SM-RT81 XT Ice Tech C/L rotors for $43.38 Prime...seems like a no-brainer to me.
 
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