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  1. #1
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    Bleeding Avid Juicy brakes

    I have a set of Avid Juicy 7 brakes, and bought the Avid bleed kit. I finally got around to trying to bleed the brakes this weekend, in hopes of getting a firmer (less spongy) lever feel. I didn't succeed. Brakes still feel spongy, and I followed Avid's instructions as best I could.

    The version of the Juicy 7 that I have is like the ones shown here:
    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/?op=articleview&id=2806

    Avid's instructions say to slide a cover off the lever, exposing a window through which you can view the master cylinder, and see whether there are bubbles in the master. My levers have screw-on covers for the master cylinder, like in the pinkbike.com link.

    Anyone have any tips on bleeding Juicy brakes? I need to get more DOT 4 fluid and try it again.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  2. #2
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    If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.
    Honestly, if its your first brake bleed ever....odds are you will have to do it a few times.
    If you are doing both brakes, bleed your front first. Having caliper and lever in easy reach can make the whole thing slightly less daunting.
    If you follow the Avid instructions to a T, you'll get it eventually.
    Just make sure you never send any air into the system. The only tip I have come up with beyond their book is: when you are about to take the lever syringe fitting out and finish up, after you rotate the lever back up: give the syringe a little push to leave a bit of DOT right on top, so you are displacing fluid instead of air when you screw the fitting back on.
    "It's too bad that a lot of people have never experienced the feeling of rollerblading in the cool air of a summer evening"
    TheQuietStorm

  3. #3
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    lever adjustment nob was in the right position? and the pads held in place with the spacers?

    do all juicy's feel this way to you? if so maybe new levers might help? if not bleed again (and again, and again)


  4. #4
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    Be careful when pulling air out of the caliper. If you pull hard enough, you can pull air past the seals.

    Also, the first time I did it, I kept adding pressure to the caliper and kept getting bubbles. I realized that I was pulling the plunger hard enough to get air from the lines. All it takes is some tapping and light pressure to clear the caliper.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowtron View Post
    If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.
    Honestly, if its your first brake bleed ever....odds are you will have to do it a few times.
    If you are doing both brakes, bleed your front first. Having caliper and lever in easy reach can make the whole thing slightly less daunting.
    If you follow the Avid instructions to a T, you'll get it eventually.
    Just make sure you never send any air into the system. The only tip I have come up with beyond their book is: when you are about to take the lever syringe fitting out and finish up, after you rotate the lever back up: give the syringe a little push to leave a bit of DOT right on top, so you are displacing fluid instead of air when you screw the fitting back on.
    First bike brake bleed ever. Plenty on cars (which are easier).

    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    lever adjustment nob was in the right position? and the pads held in place with the spacers?

    do all juicy's feel this way to you? if so maybe new levers might help? if not bleed again (and again, and again)
    Lever adjustment knob was dialed all the way out, per instructions. I bled the brakes with the calipers installed (no spacers placed between pads and discs) -- was this the problem?

    Mrs. C.'s bike has Juicy 5s, which have never been bled or serviced. They have great lever feel, and stop better than my Juicy 7s.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    I bled the brakes with the calipers installed (no spacers placed between pads and discs) -- was this the problem?
    I always remove my pads before bleeding to prevent contamination, so I don't think so.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  7. #7
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    I just started using Juicy 7s and they feel really spongy compared to the Hayes and Maguras I've had in the past. They stop great though. Not sure if I like the feel or not. Wondering if this is just one of the traits of the 7s...

  8. #8
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    Update: Rode again tonight and the sponge is all but gone. Must have been a break in period. I heart them now.

  9. #9
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    You don't need to take that cover thing off.

    Go to Avid's website, download the Juicy service manual .pdf. Follow those instructions. I turn the contact adjustment lever red thingy to the all the way 'in' position when I bleed.

    Oh, and tap, tap, tap on things when pulling/pushing bubbles, that helps.
    Last edited by homerjay; 08-27-2007 at 10:21 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerjay View Post
    I turn the contact adjustment lever red thingy to the all the way 'in' position when I bleed.
    Per Avid's instructions, I turned that knob all the way "out." I'll try the "in" setting.

    Anyone know how this knob affects anything inside the lever/master cylinder?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  11. #11
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    No offense to Mr Homerjay, but I've bled at least two hundred of these things, I'd stick with the 'out' setting.

    I guess another bit of advice would be that you should try to have the bleed screw in hand when unscrewing the syringes, and get that sucker in there asap to minimize the chance of fluid leaking out and letting a little air in.
    "It's too bad that a lot of people have never experienced the feeling of rollerblading in the cool air of a summer evening"
    TheQuietStorm

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    First time is tough. Took me two tries to get it right on my Juicys, so you're not alone.

    The pdf was what I followed both times. Second time around I was just faster with the syringe removal and plug replace and probably tap, tap, tapped more.

    petecz

  13. #13
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    Mar 2005
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    has anyone else had the tubing on the syringes for the bleed kit cloud up and turn brittle? I have used mine I think 3 times and this happened. I rinsed them out well each time, and stored them with the clips open. Kind of annoying now because you can't watch the bubbles move out the tube.

  14. #14
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    Avids are a pain in the ass to bleed the way Avid tells you to. I found an easier way that is quicker and works great. First get the air out the syringe as per Avid. Then put the lever in the out position. Next push fluid from the caliper out the lever. While pushing fluid from the bottom, pull the lever a few times to the bar(make sure you put a spacer in the caliper so you don't force the pistons out). Push more fluid from the bottom until no more bubbles come out. Pinch off the lever line and remove and seal the caliper bleed port, then the lever bleed port. Clean any spilled fluid off the bike and go ride.

  15. #15
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    Bled the brakes again yesterday (used some Valvoline synthetic "DOT 3 and 4 compatible" fluid from the auto store -- hope this turns out OK).

    Brake lever feel is much better. Things I did differently:
    - tap on caliper and brake lever during bleed, with rubber handle of a screwdriver. Didn't visibly release air bubbles, but who knows.
    - did flowtron's suggestion of pushing up a little more brake fluid from the caliper, when removing the lever syringe, so as to replace the lever screw into a full lever
    - pulled up on the lever syringe very gently to "pull" air bubbles out of the lever, while the caliper syringe was attached and the line clip open. This pulled a lot of air bubbles out of the line. This also was not in the Avid directions, just thought I'd try it. Out of all the things I tried differently, this definitely removed the most air from the system.

    Anyone know if pulling up on the lever syringe is bad for anything? (does this force seals the wrong way in the master cylinder?) It sure seemed to work well.

    - odd thing: after bleeding, the brake lever feels a bit mushy. But when I spin the lever contact adjustment knob all the way "in", then all the way back "out" again, the lever feel improved immensely. Why is this?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choke Slam View Post
    Avids are a pain in the ass to bleed the way Avid tells you to. I found an easier way that is quicker and works great. First get the air out the syringe as per Avid. Then put the lever in the out position. Next push fluid from the caliper out the lever. While pushing fluid from the bottom, pull the lever a few times to the bar(make sure you put a spacer in the caliper so you don't force the pistons out). Push more fluid from the bottom until no more bubbles come out. Pinch off the lever line and remove and seal the caliper bleed port, then the lever bleed port. Clean any spilled fluid off the bike and go ride.

    Choke slams method worked really well, i think the key was working the Lever, I know in the avid instructions they tell you not to bottom out the lever, but to pull it in, so maybe i wasnt getting it right. I am really glad learned how to do this.
    I stay up all night, I go to sleep watching dragnet

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    Nice Video !! Juicy 5 - around 120 dollars that makes these breaks at great price while the lighter 7’s carry around a 40 dollar premium. and Juicy 3 light and juiscy 7 is little bit heavier.

  19. #19
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    Maybe I'll try the choke slam method. I was up for 1/2 of Saturday night bleeding my rear brake, twice. Then after all of that I rode DH on Sunday with a cruddy, mushy brake again. Uggh!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dromond View Post
    Maybe I'll try the choke slam method. I was up for 1/2 of Saturday night bleeding my rear brake, twice. Then after all of that I rode DH on Sunday with a cruddy, mushy brake again. Uggh!
    The video was nice too. I think I was pulling to hard on the syringe when bleading both the Caliper and the Lever, plus in the video he does another step where he works the lever, thats not in the Avid book that I have.
    I stay up all night, I go to sleep watching dragnet

  21. #21
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    I did it exactly how the dude in the video did, and it made my brakes feel good for Avids.

  22. #22
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    bumping this cuz I attempted my first bleed the other day on Juicy 5s and now I've got some rotor rubbing that I can't seem to get rid of.

    I installed the avid "bleed block" but it was a really tight fit, not sure if I pushed it in far enough, but it definitely kept the pistons from moving much, if at all. is it supposed to click into place or otherwise how do you know when it's in the right spot? when I was finished it took a few tries to get the pads and spreader clip back into the caliper, it was pretty tight. now with the wheel in there is a bit of drag and rotor rubbing. I tried using a pad spacer and a small flat screwdriver to spread the pistons (with the pads still in) but that hasn't worked.

    so I think maybe I overfilled the system. am I going to have to bleed them again to fix this?

    also, although the lever feels pretty firm there doesn't seem to be much modulation in the rear. I've heard avid's aren't really known for their modulation but can I get a better result with a better bleed?

  23. #23
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    hardboiled . it does sound like you overfilled. Rotate the front master cylinder so its facing up and unscrew the bleed port and if fluid comes out - you've overfilled. Push the pads out too when you do that.

    As for lack of modulation - that's an Avid feature unfortunately

  24. #24
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    ok, that's what I figured. guess I'll have to rebleed them regardless after opening the bleed port. oh well.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardboiled View Post
    ok, that's what I figured. guess I'll have to rebleed them regardless after opening the bleed port. oh well.
    I don't think you need to re-bleed when you do that - you're just letting a drop or two of fluid out. As long as you're careful to not let air IN while you're doing it, just let a few drops out the bleed port, replace the screw and you're done.
    "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow, what a Ride!"

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