Avid Elixir 7 advice please

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  • Avid Elixir 7 advice please
  • Premier Icon luffy105

    Just wondering if the collective have encountered this problem before as I am a bit of a tech novice and unsure what to do next.

    My new Canyon AL+ 7.0 arrived at the weekend and I absolutely love it although I have an issue with the rear brake lever. When you want it to engage you have to pull the brake lever 1 – 2 times to get it to work. Once I have got it to pressurise the pads onto the disc it keeps the pressure and I can increase or decrease the braking but as soon as I released if I wanted the back brake to work again I have to give the lever a couple of pumps again in order for the pads to engage on the disc. On the shakedown ride when I came to a downhill section I would pump the lever a couple of times until they started to bite and then hold the back brake on the whole way down which isn’t ideal.

    My friend who put the bike together with (for :D) me (and is also technically very competent) suspects that by bleeding the hose this should cure it but he lives a fair way away from me so I will have to do this myself and I aint the most technical person around but willing to give it a go. My only thought though is that as the bike is new, surely the brakes would have been bled before sending so possibly there may be a more serious underlying fault?

    Has anyone had any experience of this happening to them? just thought I would check before I spend a long time learning to bleed brakes and make a godawful mess.

    I am loath to get Canyon involved if it is just a bleeding issue as I really want to get out on my bike over the christmas period as I have some time off and don’t want to be without a bike. And please, try and avoid the shouldn’t have bought mail order etc… I am extremely happy with my purchase and in every other way this bike is superb. This is just a teething/setup problem that will no doubt be resolved quickly and wouldn’t be an issue if i wasn’t a Muppet.

    Premier Icon euain

    Sounds like a bleed will help/cure it. You’ll need a bleed kit – the Avid one is £35 or so but EpicBleedSolutions do very serviceable ones for a fraction of the price.

    The method – best to look on the web/youtube. There are various videos out there with the procedure on them. It’s not hard and is pretty effective if you follow the procedure.

    I’m sure the naysayers will be on soon – shouldn’t have bought mail order and Avids always do that. :). Don’t worry – a few mates have Canyon and they’re great and while I prefer the look of Hopes – the Elixirs on my two bikes have worked faultlessly for the last 3 years (probably bled each once in that time) so can’t justify replacing them.

    Premier Icon luffy105

    Cheers Euain,

    Canyon actually included a bleed kit in with the bike which was pretty good of them I thought…

    Will check out youtube for advice too, they always make it look easy though. Still haven’t forgiven Stan for his video showing me how ‘easy’ it is to go tubeless!


    Take your time doing it and pay perticular attention to the bit about getting all the bubbles out of the fluid in the syringes. Having done it loads of times on various Avid brakes that seems to be the key to a good bleed.

    Edit: you’ll need some dot 5.1. You can pay a fortune for a small bottle from a bike shop, or a few quid for a big bottle from a garage/halfords.

    Premier Icon cp

    That does sound like a good chunk of air in the system. Elixirs had a bit of a reputation for leaving the factory with air in them.

    Nice you get a bleed kit – have a google/look on you tube. You can also download the service instructions from SRAM/Avid’s website.

    Premier Icon sparkyrhino

    have a look on the ‘I HATE MY BRAKES’ thread deadkenedys advice on page 3 worth a try before bleeding.good on Canyon giving you a bleedkit


    Before you bleed them, pump the lever and leave it tied into the bars overnight. This will bring any air into the reservoir and away from the line, so might resolve the issue completely. If not, bleeding is an easy job with the right kit – I had to do it last night on mine and had no issues with it.

    Premier Icon Kona TC

    Hi before you leap into a full bleed have you set the pads spacing correctly


    Note: If lever pulls to the bar a bleed is not necessarily required.

    1. Remove wheel or red plastic pad spacer insert from disc brake caliper.

    2. If your brake has Pad Contact-Point Adjustment, rotate the adjuster to the full “out” position. Now it’s in the most open position (short deadband).

    3. Squeeze the brake lever slowly several times while watching the brake pads move toward each other. Stop when you see an approximate 1 mm gap between the pads.

    4. Insert the red plastic pad spacer between the pads. The pads will be a little hard to push apart, so use some force to properly spread them to the correct position. Now, remove the spacer again.

    5. Install wheels with rotors mounted to bicycle and give the lever a squeeze. The brake pads should now be properly advanced to the correct position, and the brake lever will have a proper firm feel. Repeat if necessary.

    Useful linky http://www.evanscycles.com/product_document/file/af3/817/bdf/435/avid-hydraulic-brake-setup-guide.pdf

    EDIT about 7mins in


    Hi Luffy. I had a similar problem with my rear Avids . Just watch the Avid video a few times , it really is as easy as it looks!

    Premier Icon luffy105

    Thanks for the advice everyone! Will try all before I go for the bleed

    Premier Icon luffy105

    Sorry, they are elixir 5’s, not 7

    Can’t even read properly!

    canyon never bleed the brakes they are lazy bastards. they just put it together and send it to you with tools.


    Common problem with Avid brakes, occasionally due to a fault/leak, but usually down to them needing the pistons freeing up (as per Kona TC’s advance the piston advice), and bleeding.None of our bikes with Avids are allowed to leave the workshop without having them bled, as we know there’s a very high chance of them coming back if we don’t. The best advice I can give you is to take all the time it needs, make sure there’s as little air as possible in the syringes to start with(pump a little up from the caliper to the lever port when you’ve opened it too), and when you think you’ve sucked all the air out, give it another 20 rapid pumps, marvel at the amount of air that you can then suck out, and repeat until no more comes out.Short cuts are usually the reason people tell you they had to perform 4 or 5 bleeds before they worked properly.

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