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Crickey7
03-14-2016, 10:54 AM
My reward for replacing my own disc brake pads was to discover one of the calipers has seized, which I find to be a semi-regular thing with Avid Elixirs. Am I crazy to be contemplating a caliper rebuild by myself? I'm moderately competent with bike repairs but have so far shied away from servicing my own hydraulics.

hozn
03-14-2016, 11:00 AM
Would love an account if you do it!

How have you found Avid hydro brakes? I heard enough bad things about them and/or the annoyance of DOT5 that I steered clear and chose Shimano brakes. But I expect to go SRAM when I pull the trigger on road hydraulics.

I am thoroughly convinced that hydro brakes are a huge pain in the butt, but also that they are probably worth it.

Crickey7
03-14-2016, 11:28 AM
Would love an account if you do it!

How have you found Avid hydro brakes? I heard enough bad things about them and/or the annoyance of DOT5 that I steered clear and chose Shimano brakes. But I expect to go SRAM when I pull the trigger on road hydraulics.

I am thoroughly convinced that hydro brakes are a huge pain in the butt, but also that they are probably worth it.

I have the testbed of the Bad Boy with 40k miles, which was hydraulic discs from the start. I've had Hayes, Tektro, and Avid Juicies and Elixirs on it. The Avid brakes have in general been pretty good right up to the point where they fail. The calipers seem to be a weak point of the system, as they seem to get fouled pretty easily. If they get stuck in the wrong position, they'll trash your rotors as well. Can't say I notice any difference in performance between the Avids with the DOT5 and the Tektro Dracos that have mineral oil. You can't ask me if they're worth it. I've already drunk the Kool-Aid.

hozn
03-14-2016, 11:30 AM
I think he DOT5 reservations were due to the toxicity and the fact that it goes bad on the shelf (from moisture?). Good to know, though; that is reassuring. 40k miles is a lot!

Harry Meatmotor
03-15-2016, 11:24 AM
My reward for replacing my own disc brake pads was to discover one of the calipers has seized, which I find to be a semi-regular thing with Avid Elixirs. Am I crazy to be contemplating a caliper rebuild by myself? I'm moderately competent with bike repairs but have so far shied away from servicing my own hydraulics.

shop monkey says: it's messy, and you kinda need compressed air to get the piston out of the caliper, but it's a pretty easy job. SRAM's overhaul instructions are mostly online (Elixir 5's are here (https://www.sram.com/sites/default/files/techdocs/elixir_5_service_manual_rev_b.pdf), but they all work just about the same...). You can get overhaul kits for pretty cheap, too. a full overhaul will probably run $35-40 per caliper, not including new pads and fluid if you DIY.

Crickey7
03-15-2016, 11:39 AM
I ended up buying set of Magura's on sale. They use mineral oil (taking Hozn's toxicity warning to heart) and are supposedly very easy to bleed. And after posting, I realized that whatever is causing issues with early death of my Avids was unlikely to stop. It's not like I was especially hard on my equipment.

huskerdont
03-16-2016, 08:21 AM
When my hydraulic Avids failed, I replaced them w/BB7s. No need for fluid of any kind, and I personally don't notice the difference in braking ability. YMMV, but I'm never going back to hydraulics.

Crickey7
05-13-2016, 09:19 AM
Finally got around to installing the Maguras (I was simultaneously rebuilding the Fatty Headshok and also had to deal with a change in wheel size). They actually went on pretty easily. I still have to bleed them, but they're supposed to be very easy to bleed. The Avids on the rear look to be on their last legs, so I may try a comparison test of hydraulics on the front and mechanicals on the rear.

Then I get to turn to the other bike, which probably needs a complete drivetrain replacement (slipping a gear at 22 mph on Wisconsin Avenue was seriously no fun) and I think I also messed up routing the internal cables. That should be good for a few weekends' work.