/ Avid Juicy Brakes problem
Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic brakes, problem= brake does not stop wheel rotating even when lever is held as hard as possible, on other bikes/brakes I can lock the wheel with one finger on the brake lever.
So what have I tried,,
1 bleed the brakes,
2 replace pads
3 bleed the brakes
4 put old working pads from rear brake into front (faulty) brake
5 bleed brakes
6 swapped rotors
7 swapped rotors back
8 tried different brand of pads
9 yes re bled the brakes
all has resulted in still not improving braking
Has any one had the same problem? and resolved it . it does seem to point at either a faulty cylinder/lever or caliper
? any help appreciated
From my experience it could either be a knackered seal somewhere in the system (if you can't see fluid accumulating on the pads, the lever is the more likely place to start) OR it could be the classic Avid Juicy syndrome. Sometimes no matter what you do they seem to still need bleeding. Chances are a decent LBS would know what to do.
You CAN pick up shimano brakes very cheap these days - they'e much more reliable and easier to bleed too. Worth considering if your Avids are going to cost anything to fix.
In my experience (working in the bike trade), Avids are by far the most unreliable and difficult to work with brakes of the big brands. Shimano are the way to go, the deore brakeset is cheap and super easy to set up and bleed. They get better with age and because they use mineral oil rather than dot fluid, the seals last forever.
Honestly, I would give up on the juicy's. I had a set on a hardtail that i ran for a summer and had nothing but bother with them but as they came on the build I thought I'd give them the benefit of the doubt and persevere. After a full seal replacemement and rebuild they still felt like utter tosh compared to my various Shimano's ranging from entry level up to XT.
My 'working' experience combined with my 'owner' experience has led me to the point where I wouldn't touch Avid with a bargepole.
'though so far the avid Elixir's are fine'
its only a matter of time......:P
That's really interesting, in an 'Oh yeah, I'd probably never have thought of that' kind of way.
I've had juicy 5s on my bike for 5+ years and they've never been an issue so it's not a foregone conclusion. Only changed the brake pads twice in that time too :)
Are you using the avid bleed kit to bleed the brakes?
Back on the OT, to the OP, do the pistons in the caliper move at all when you pull the brake lever? Any bubbling round the piston?
They don't call them Avoids for nothing.
So is the lever feel firm or spongy? Does the lever go all the way to the bars? Are you getting any stopping power at all or does the wheel spin pretty much freely?
If your lever has a firm feel and doesn't hit the bar then the brakes don't need bleeding - air would make them spongy. Also it means there are no leaks as again this would make them spongy and eventually they would hit the bar.
So the force you exert at the lever is going somewhere and because you've tried different rotor - pad combinations it sounds like a sticky piston. Take the wheel and pads out and have a look at the pistons when you gently squeeze the lever to check if they are moving freely. Don't over do it - squeeze just enough to get movement and it's probably worth pushing the pistons back in first. If one appears sticky then drop a bit of oil on it and work it in and out until it moves freely.
If the calliper pistons are not the problem then something is wrong internally and this would require a complete strip down and knowing what to look for.
When they do work they are great brakes for the £45 I paid for them. They are very very hard to bleed right. Lots of modulation but not that much power.
Pain in the ass to bleed. Unless your lucky
How hard is the lever when you've bleed it?
Lever is as firm as you would like, and does not touch the bars or even come close,
I also have with the help of a friend gripped the lever as tight as possible and still been able the rotate the wheel by hand, with effort,
sounds like the pistons are sticking in the caliper, if you take the pads out and apply the brake the pistons should move quite easily
This is what you often find with sticking pistons the lever or brake pedal feels solid, due to the fact the pistons are sticking hence why the brake doesn't work, it is possible that it's the master cylinder but the caliper gets covered in a lot more dirt so you need to rule this out first.
as mentioned that effort is going somewhere
so if the pistons are moving freely and the system is bleed with no air, and the applied pressure is going to the disc, what is the condition of the disc/pads, are they glazed, contaminated, or new(and not bed in)?
pads varied from old to new and new and new, all given time to bed in, old pads a little glazed, glaze then removed with wire brush, all combinations really, even taken old pads, working fine in rear brake, out and fitted them, and they just the same as all the others in the front...
Well that's all you can do, in theory they should be working, but if they are not the fault still remains, without looking at them, I'd still go for the sticking pistons, visibly the pistons can look like they are moving but they can be flexing on the seals and returning to the same position, all I'd do at this stage is remove the caliper from the bike, use some compressed air to pop the pistons out of the caliper, clean and remove all traces of dirt, fit new seals and rebuild.
Avids seem to be the most common brakes around when they are so rubbish.
Thats because Sram (they own Avid, Sram and Rockshox) are good at getting their product to big bike brands for mucho cheapness. Most brands would rather spec Shim but the cost is prohibitive when they're building to price points. Sram are prepared to punt their groupo's out at silly money to the likes of Trek for full builds but IMO they dont back it up with solid build quality.
Rockshox forks also do the job with a few minor issues,
But Avid brakes do seem to be letting the side down,
I have been using the Juicy 3's for three years now, and Elixir 5's for a year with no current issue, and now Formula on my third bike for 9 months.
Am considering a total switch to Formula
Very true, Sram and Rockshox are perfectly good and great respectively. Avid lets the side down for sure. Formula make rapid brakes, I'd happily run them but spares are harder to find. hopefully that will change as they gain market share and more shops stock them.
Good luck with your switch!
speak soon everybody
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