Sunday, August 04, 2019

Bleeding Avid (SRAM) XX/XO 2012 hydraulic mountain bike brakes (scan of manual)

I’ve now bled my front and rear 2012 Avid XX brakes. I did the front first and got an excellent result. I did back twice, the first time it sucked the 2nd time it was good but not as good as the front.  Tricky business! You really need to follow directions fairly precisely.

Want to get some quick notes out here mostly for my use. Maybe later I’ll fill in the rest.

  • If you’re going to bleed brakes buy a set of fresh pads to insert. No sense bleeding with old pads.
  • The Avid/SRAM (SRAM bought Avid) kit I bought for my 2012 XX vintage brakes is amazing. Full of bits and pieces. For bleeding only need a few. Everything feels surgical quality. The procedure felt more like a medical procedure than a bike procedure.
  • The brake block for my Avid XX 2012 is the one in the manual with the prongs. You can use it with the prongs and the pads in place, or with the pads out and the thick end. There’s a right and wrong way to insert, all the cutouts and notches have a purpose. You’re supposed to remove the pads for and use the thick end, but I’m not sure it isn’t better to use the prongs with fresh pads. You’re running risk of getting fluid on pads, that’s supposed to destroy them and the bicycle and surrounding neighborhood.
  • The 2012 manual that came with the kit I used is excellent. I couldn’t find a copy online save from scurvy services that vacuum up PDFs and reserver them. The 2019 manual isn’t as good. It’s sad SRAM didn’t keep this one around, I’ve uploaded a brake fluid stained scan of my copy.
  • Take your wheels off so they don’t get brake fluid on them or tires.
  • They describe the brake fluid as quite toxic. First time around there were drops on the ground and I really needed a clean lint-free rag. Would be easy to get in eyes. Wear eye protection. Wear latex gloves. If you’re sloppy wear crappy clothes. Do it outdoors.
  • The kit includes a small Torx wrench. If you have a magnetic torx bit driver you’ll be very happy.
  • They are serious about that 75-80mm lever distance.
  • You should have lots of isopropyl alcohol around to clean with. I washed my bike with soapy water.
  • Make a copy of the directions so you don’t get brake fluid on your only (paper) user guide
  • The clamps on tubing were super stiff at first. Needed pliers to close clamp. Gets better after use but still a pain.
  • There are lots of online directions and videos but for me the old manual worked best.
  • I think you need the bike somewhat horizontal, don’t have it in a stand where the brake lever is lower than the caliper.

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