How To: Change the brake fluid of an Avid / SRAM brake

If your brakes are behaving strangely, perhaps the braking point moves on the descent, the brake lever can be pulled all the way to the handlebar or the brake is older than a year, then perhaps it is time to carry out a fluid bleed. We show you now how this is done properly with an Avid or SRAM brake, removing all air from inside the system.

for brakes which use DOT Fluid as a brake medium, it is important to change the fluid once a year to ensure that correct function is maintained in all situations.




How To

The basic function of a brake bleed is to ensure that the brake lever is set correctly. This refers not to the ergonomics, but the correct adjustment of the pressure point and lever reach adjustment.
If your model has a Contact Point Adjustment, the adjuster should first be rotated in the opposite direction of the arrow until it stops. If the bleed port is located on the adjuster, turn it back until the screw is at its highest point.

Using the reach adjust, the Lever should be adjusted so it sits around 75-80 mm away from the center line of the handlebar. A quick test to check this is to make sure that still can be pushed forward a small amount. If the reach adjustment is turned too far to the outside, this would not be possible.

Bevor es losgeht sollte die Druckpunktverstellung entgegen der Pfeilrichtung komplett hineingedreht werden und die Hebelweite wie oben beschrieben angepasst werden.

Before you start the Contact Point Adjustment should be rotated in the opposite direction of the arrow until it stops and the lever length has to be adjusted as described above.

To ensure the correct bleeding of the system, it is important to place the brake pistons into the correct position. For this, use either the spacer that was supplied with the brakes for transport (brake pads remain in place), or the thicker bleed block provided with the bleed kit, (pads must be removed).

Wir entschieden uns für den Bleed Block und demontierten daher die Bremsbeläge.

We decided to use the bleed block and therefore removed the brake pads.

Der Bleed-Block wird von hinten in die Bremse eingebracht und so die Kolben komplett zurückgedrückt.

The bleed-block is inserted into the back of the brake and the pistons are pushed back completely.

Zum Entlüften sollte beide Spritzen mit Bremsflüssigkeit befüllt werden. Spritze 1 zirka bis zur Hälfte, Spritze 2 nur zirka 1/3.

Two syringes must be filled with brake fluid avoiding any any air. Syringe 1 about halfway, syringe 2, only about 1/3.

Mit einem Torx T10 kann nun das Bremssystem unten geöffnet und die zur Hälfte gefüllte Spritze angesetzt werden.

With a Torx T10 the bleed port can be opened and the half filled syringe gets placed on the caliper.

Im Anschluss wird auch am Hebel die Schraube entfernt und die zu 1/3 gefüllte Spritze montiert.

Afterwards, the bleed port on the lever gets removed and the 1/3 filled syringe gets installed.

Der Austausch der Flüssigkeit geschieht von unten nach oben. Aus diesem Grund wird nun die untere Spritze zu 2/3 durch das System gedrückt.

The fluid gets replaced from bottom (caliber) to the top (lever). For this reason, the lower syringe will be pushed 2/3 through the system.

Ist dies geschehen, muss der Bremshebel am Lenker fixiert werden.

Once this is done, the upper syringe gets closed and the brake lever is pulled in and fixed to the handlebar (isolating the caliper from the system).

An der unteren Spritze wird nun ein Vacuum aufgebaut indem der Spritzenkolben nach hinten gezogen wird. Dadurch wird der Bremssattel und die Bremsleitung entlüftet.

With the lower syringe a vacuum can now be created by pulling the syringe plunger back. You should now see any air trapped in the system being released at the lower syringe. Thus, the brake caliper and the brake hose are now being bled. When no more air is released, the lever can be released slowly while slight pressure is applied to the lower syringe. When done, the lower syringe can be locked closed.

Nachdem das System von unten bereits verschlossen wurde, wird die obere Spritze wieder geöffnet und mittels Vacuum der Bremsgriff entlüftet.

After the lower syringe has been closed, the upper syringe can be re-opened, again by pulling the syringe out slightly a vacuum is created to bleed the brake lever too.

Hierbei können noch letzte kleine Luftblasen aus dem Hebel entfernt werden. Im Anschluss kann die Spritze abgenommen, und die Schraube wieder angebracht werden.

Here the last little air bubbles can be removed from the lever. Thereafter, both syringes can be removed, and the port screws can be replaced. The last thing to do is to reset your desired reach adjust and realign your brake levers

Sollte etwas Bremsflüssigkeit ausgetreten sein, lässt diese sich am besten mit klarem Wasser entfernen.

Should any fluid be leaked, this is best removed with clear water.

We continue next Monday with the next exciting topic for your bike!

Words: Christoph Bayer / Trevor Worsey Picutres: Christoph Bayer

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