Tech Spotlight - 5 Minute Bubble Bleed

Mar 24, 2014
by Nate Collins  
Pinkbike and BikeCo.com are excited to bring back the mechanical “how-to’s” with the new Tech Spotlight articles that you can expect to see on the last Tuesday of every month. Joe Binatena, BikeCo’s owner and world class mechanic, will help walk riders through a variety of tasks, from basic jobs to more advanced work that you'll be able to read about in the future. We aim to provide readers with a gauge on difficulty and risk for these projects, and also encourage you to post any questions in the comment section below when it comes to things that need more explaining.




How To Perform a Bubble Bleed


What are you doing?

This is not a brake bleed, but rather a quick method to solve inconsistent lever feel such as pump-up and long lever throw. At BikeCo we consider this a "brake fluid service bubble bleed", and we utilize this technique to improve brake system feel and performance throughout the lifespan of the system. Essentially, bubbles build up on the inside of the master cylinder bladder over time - think of bubbles in a two liter bottle on the plastic walls - creating performance issues, and this process will remove those bubbles and restore the performance of your brakes. What this won't remedy is air deep in the brake line or caliper, contaminated fluid, or leaky fittings and sticky pistons. We are not here to articulate exactly how the air ends up inside a close system - simply that it does. If you are interested in the physics, there are many great articles around the talk about brake boil, fluid contamination, diffusion coefficient, absorption coefficient, etc from motorcycle, automotive and aerospace engineers.

BikeCo’s Joe Binatena began utilizing this technique while traveling as a mechanic with some of the world’s fastest gravity racers, and he would perform this service in between runs on brakes that saw extreme heat cycles on the race circuit. This service can also be done at the end of each race day on bikes that don't see as much heat put through their brakes. Our personal bikes tend to have this service performed on them every month or so depending on how often they are ridden, and that experience indicates that these steps help to extend overall fluid service life, meaning we have to do full bleeds less often. Whether you have a hand-me-down rig or a dream build, consistent brake performance is essential to your riding enjoyment. Don’t tolerate poor performance because you see your bike as “so-so” or “not worth it”. Service like this stretches the life span of your components, allowing you to get the most out of your spent dollar and possibly increase the time to budget for your next purchase.

This is not a brake bleed.
This service WILL NOT ADDRESS
Piston stick
Air in slave cylinder
Air deep in brake line
Leaky fittings
Contaminated fluid

This service MAY ADDRESS
Inconsistent lever feel – pump up, hard lever, long throw, etc.



Views: 27,937    Faves: 137    Comments: 20


This service takes an experienced mechanic five to ten minutes, meaning that with some practice you can have terrific brake performance with minimal pain and suffering. To illustrate this, watch Joe complete the entire service, while narrating, in less than 5 minutes



Tech Spotlight - Brake Fluid Service


Difficulty: medium - proper technique is vital to ensure your brakes function well
Risk: medium - it's your brakes, so don't mess it up

The tools you need for this service are very simple. We keep them in the shop, as well as a small vehicle tool box in case we need them at the trail head before a ride.

• Torx or Allen to remove the bleed screw
• A small bottle of the appropriate brake fluid (it goes without saying do not mix them, do not use the wrong fluid, etc – this will cause brake failure). If you are uncomfortable with the risk to your master cylinder bladder a Shimano bleed cup or equivalent may be used.
• Rag and Windex to clean up

Disclaimer: Brakes are critical to safety, so work with an expert service center it you are uncomfortable with this job.

Tech Spotlight - Brake Fluid Service

• Step 1 - Carefully remove the bleed screw and associated o-ring. Do not pump the brake lever at this point to avoid air ingress. Remember to treat all brake fluid as damaging to finishes, contaminating to brake pads and rotors, and not super good for your body.


Tech Spotlight - Brake Fluid Service

• Step 2 - Gently screw the bottle into the bleed fitting - it's only plastic, so it just needs to be finger tight. You may also need to trim the tip down to allow the nozzle to form a tight seal on the threaded port without bottoming out in the internals. The bottle should ideally will be able to easily support its own mass throughout the procedure, thereby freeing your hands for the other steps. If it doesn't, having a friend lend a hand will be very helpful.


Tech Spotlight - Brake Fluid Service

• Step 3 - This service can be performed with the brake levers on or off the bars. For speed - which also equates to motivation to do the work - we leave the bike assembled. It is important that you understand the basics of your brake system's layout. You will want to begin and end the service with the bleed port at the systems highest point.

With the bottle inserted as an additional reservoir, gently squeeze the brake lever. Your first few lever strokes should be with the port at the systems highest point to maximize the air release. Slowly rotate the handlebars side to side while pumping the brake lever a few times to insure that you have released any bubbles that maybe caught at different points in the system.


Tech Spotlight - Brake Fluid Service

• Step 4 - You have an additional option which helps eliminate the remainder of air trapped in the system, but there is a risk to understand here. Too much pressure in this step WILL cause your master cylinder bladder to fail, and this step requires a delicate touch to protect your brake system. This is NOT a hand strength exercise. The sealed bottle allows you to gently flush fluid into the bladder system compared to the open Shimano reservoir which does not provide this capacity. If you question your small motor skills, the open ended system has much less risk of damaging a bladder. Gently pushing a little fluid into the bladder releases the last bit of air, generally much smaller bubbles than your initial lever strokes, in the system. Think of it as softly inflating the bladder with fluid flow, which displaces the tiny air bubbles on the bladder walls which are sucked back into the bottle through the vacuum as you release the pressure.

Rotate the bar while softly pumping the system as you did with the lever procedure. Again, over inflating the bladder will cause it to fail. This is generally illustrated by brake fluid leaking out from the lever system upon completion. DO NOT pressurize your brake system! The goal is to fill the system without air bubbles. This step is designed to flush bubbles out, displacing the bubbles with fluid.


Tech Spotlight - Brake Fluid Service

• Step 5 - Return the bleed port to the highest point and remove the reservoir bottle. Refit the bleed screw while making sure any O-rings you may have removed are correctly replaced to insure your seal integrity.


Tech Spotlight - Brake Fluid Service

• Step 6 - Remember to thoroughly clean any excess fluid from your bike. Windex, or even water, and a clean rag get you handled. Your brake lever should offer greatly improved feel and consistency. If you correctly completed this service and lever feel has not improved, or worsened, you should complete a full brake service and bleed to identify the area of failure.

Tech Spotlight - Brake Fluid Service

IMPORTANT NOTE: This service will “top off” fluid during brake pad life. When replacing your brake pads you MUST remove the bleed port prior to resetting pistons to clear the new pads. Opening the system will minimize stress on the bladder system and may purge a bit of excess fluid.


Disclaimer: Many of our tech tips ARE NOT factory approved service techniques. Riders should evaluate their skills prior to attempting any published tips. Knowledge base is needed to define success or failure after any tip procedure – if you doubt your understanding of any system described in our tech spotlight work with a professional resource. All systems on a bicycle should be considered critical – riders risk injury or possibly death with improper service or application. Be safe and enjoy your riding.


We hope that you found tips in this that will help you better maintain your ride. We will look forward to future instalment of Tech Spotlight here on Pinkbike on the last Tuesday of each month. If you have an idea that you would like to see covered, please e-mail Nate@BikeCo.com to let us know what issues you’ve had that can’t seem to be solved and we will put Joe on the task.
www.bikeco.com


110 Comments

  • + 81
 I do this to my Shimano's (using Shimano's bleed cuppy thingy, Shimano brakes rule) and my Avid XO Trails like every week because I am a college student who loves to not do homework and it keeps my brakes running amazing, and its super easy once you practice a couple times. Good job PB, these types of articles rule!
  • + 14
 Every week? Come on... I bleeded just once my ZEEs the day i bought them and shortened the cables, two years later they perform like they did the first day...whats the point of bleeding every week apart from wasting time and oil?
  • + 52
 Avid brakes.
  • + 7
 Well Sir (ckiriako), because I work at the bike shop in the Rec Center at Oregon State and the school pays for all of our shop supplies and they do not question what we buy so I don't care about wasting oil, and like I said before, I love to not do homework and time is something I have plenty of. It is a little excessive servicing all my bike parts so often, but hey, I just love workin' on bikes! And besides, my bike runs like its' brand new every week! Big Grin
  • + 28
 "I'm wasteful because I can be"...awesome
  • + 8
 Those bottles where do I get?
  • + 5
 hayes bleed kit
  • + 2
 CGalbreath I got it...hehehe
My boxxers need some care, my chain is dirty... can youtake care of my bike? Smile
  • + 7
 good article (we call this "brake burping" in the UK) but would comment on lack of PPE

when handling DOT or even Mineral Oil (which is not as benign as they would have you believe) you want to be wearing workshop gloves and eye protection

its not uncommon to get brake fluid on your hands, and on occasion for something to leak / squirt out which can hit you in the eye
  • + 14
 I bleed my brakes every nite before I go to bed. Then I change the air in my tires to keep them oxygenated! I will make a video about it!
  • + 3
 ^^^ and sing lullabies to it as I park mine in it's own little spot in the bike rack "the wheels on the bike go round and round..."
  • + 1
 Is he not using a fitting on the SRAMs , just threading the plastic nose in ? Doesn't seem like it would be air tight
Am I wrong for saying this , it's seems to work but I wouldn't want to compromise the full system buy pulling in unwanted air
  • + 1
 If the threaded nozzle doesn't make a clean fit you're right - the Hayes bottles seem to be snug across a variety of bleed ports. If you're more comfortable we wouldn't fault you for taking an extra step.
  • + 1
 Ok cool , it's a great tip I was just wondering Thanks
  • + 1
 @Nate-at-abikeCo-com

And what about the degassing of the fluid (ex for Avid: when u get the bubbles out of the fluid in syringe by decompressing it, when full bleeding). Or should u degas it before u put it in the bottle?
Wouldn't this bottle-technique create more bubbles faster in time rather than air tight full bleeding?
Would be great if u address this.

And will this system work by having a threaded filled open/closed syringe instead of the bottle?

Cheers.
  • + 21
 I literally just finished bleeding my brakes ghetto-style and figuring it out for an hour. This would have been helpful
  • + 8
 THOSE BOTTLES, where i can i get some? Or are they literally just little squeeze bottles that are kinda just threaded into the fitting. The avid syringes are such a pain...

That was the exact problem i was having with my old juicy 7's maybe it's time to get them new life...
  • + 3
 the best AVID option
Difficulty = very easy
Risk = no risk
  • + 4
 50 euros for a couple of syringes that actually costs a few cents?! No, thanks. There are much cheaper options out there and if you can make this kit yourself it will cost you less than 3 euros, without the torx tool.
This bottles solution seems amazingly simple and a plastic bottle shouldn't cost more than a few cents. This would be perfect for bleeding Avid brakes, as they need bleeding quite often. You'll still need to fully bleed brakes, when it's time to change the brake fluid, but this is not a job you do often.
  • + 5
 You can get this off ebay for 1/3 the price from various sellers.
  • + 13
 Those are some high quality syringes, just look at those hose fittings. Nothing worse than trying to pressurize the system and the hose flying of the syringe spraying dot fluid everywhere and ruining the bleed. And I bet degasing dot fluid with these is a more comfortable affair, the cheaper plasticy version of syringes that I have have sharp edges and are flexy, not to mention pulling air through the seal. I'm not super picky but why not have the option of a premium high quality product to make your life more comfortable at the price of a bit more cash? Shame on you Avid for offering more than just the bare minimum of cheap tools!
  • + 1
 As mentioned above you can get same kit for 1/3 of the price from ebay. I got one and quality is more than enough for bleeding brakes. Didn't try yet to split atoms with them though. These are plastic syringes, you know. There's no ultra-hyper material involved in them.
As for the fittings, all you need is to find the right fitting that can be screwed in and some o-ring. Both costs almost nothing as the syringes do cost nothing, as the hoses cost nothing. Asking 50 euros for these thing is the best joke bike industry is making with us.
And people who do pay 50 euros for couple of syringes deserve to pay 10000+ euros for bikes and 200+ euros for bike shorts.
  • + 4
 I didn't have to buy them, just used them at work. Big Grin
They work great though.
  • + 1
 I get the syringes and bottles from tractor supply... or anywhere you can get vetrinary supplies. They have all sizes are good quality and only cost 50 cents to a buck.
  • + 1
 I wasn't sure if they used a bottle with a treaded tip for that, and the pro kit looks nicer than a regular, I've been able to suck air in at the hoses before with very little pressure. I put a zip tie around all my fittings
  • + 5
 Y'all gotta remember there is 'Bleed Kit' and a 'Professional Bleed Kit'....the Pro kit is MUCH better. $30 is the best consumer price I've seen.

My wife has free access to all sizes of syringes, but none compare to those in the Pro kit...much better results when compared to bleeds done w/regular Avid kit.
  • + 1
 The Avid Pro bleed kit is great quality however it is seriously let down by those weak plastic hose clamps, there just not man enough to create a good seal, and that is speaking from using the pro kit as well as the cheaper Avid bleed kit.
  • + 1
 true true otherwise let the pikes do the cheep option i will stick to the Pro kit as the bloke just said much better results i do poses
the same kit and can confidently say it's worth any penny so far, to bleed AVID properly there is nothing better than a Pro Bleed Kit
indeed. I do understand the message of the cheep option but come on give me a break this is like emergency case only if you are in the middle of the desert Razz
  • + 1
 I own and use the Pro kit quite often on my friends bikes and my own, those syringes are TOP NOTCH and worth every penny! Theyre even rebuildable with commonly used o-rings (and a complete set is included). Heck, the bleed kit basically comes with a rebuild kit for itself!
  • + 5
 This is cool idea but bleeding Shimano brakes with syringe and funnel is so easy that I think it's better to do entire procedure when brake lever feels inconsistent.

Another thing, and I'm not joking about this one: where to get squeeze bottles?
  • + 3
 Go to a craft store, they use them for paint and such.
  • + 6
 This will work with the pads out and a bleed block in the caliper. But with the pads in, contacting the rotor, aren't the pistons going to be too far out, with the consequence that you overfill the system and stress seals?
  • + 1
 I was thinking that. But I guess that's why you dont squeeze too hard.
  • + 1
 Don't pressurize the system - fluid will enter and leave the bottle reservoir. Remember to loosen the bleed port to install new pads too. Thanks for the comments.
  • + 5
 For Shimano Brakes you can use Castrol LHM+ Mineral Oil. It is used in the hydraulic steering of Citroens.. It's a lot cheaper than shimano brake fluid. Got a liter for the equivalent of about $15 at the auto shop. I cant speak to warranty issues but I haven't had a issue with the brakes since using this fluid four months ago.
  • + 1
 Listen to this man^^^^he is completely correct.
  • + 3
 I've tried LHM+ and it's nowhere near Shimano's oil. Brakes aren't working properly, they feel spongy and they loose power as was with mine 525. Yes LHM+ is cheaper but I would use ONLY at emergency situation with no access to Shimanos product.

If you want to have flawless working Shimano brakes use genuine Shimanos Mineral Oil. It more expensive but it's much better.
  • + 3
 AEROSHELL 41 HYDRAULIC FLUID, its the same color and viscosity and cheaper, BUT I ended up buying 1L shimano oil for 20$ should keep me running for a loooooong time!!!!
  • + 0
 Mine have been working perfectly for over two years now. Just as well as they ever did with a bike shop shimano oil bleed.
  • + 4
 My Hope Tech's have never done that or needed that. In fact, I've had my X2's for 3 yrs, 2000 miles and my M4 EVO's for 18 months 900 miles, never had to bleed either one of them. Ever! Consistent lever pull whether it's parked for 3 months or ridden everyday.

I do NOT miss those closed systems. The other 2 brands I rode, needed a bleed every couple months, usually like the above. Yeah, don't miss it at all, as it seemed to happen over night. Ready to ride, grab your bike, pull the lever, "Damn it, not now"...
  • + 2
 Just tried it out on my XT back brake, been having fade for a long time now. Last weekend, had no brake pressure at all. Followed this tutorial and brakes work better than ever, very nice yagshimas!
  • + 1
 On the Shimano brakes, the directions say to squeeze syringe and let bubbles out the top of the funnel cup. Then it says to bleed out of the caliper while pumping the lever. I doesn't make sense to me. It seems like you're simply reintroducing air again the opposite direction.

Anyone just flush from the syringe out and cap the reservoir? It seems this would be better since you're going bottom up, just like air wants to do.
  • + 4
 I prefer syringes cause you can depress and get the fluid bubble free BEFORE filling the system. 2 cents?
  • + 2
 Yeh, I like the comment about bubble bleeding them every few weeks. If he drew a strong enough vacuum on the fluid to extract all the dissolved gases before using it to top up the system he would only need to bleed them once a season or after a serious boiling....

This guy is meant to be a pro? ha ha ha...
  • + 1
 My Jagwire bleed kit for Formula/Avid hydraulic brakes came with a little plastic bottle, but I didn't know what to do with it. Now I do. I assume it can handle DOT 4 fluid. The only problem with my Formula R1's is the position of the bleed port. It is impossible to do this without removing the brake cylinders/levers from the bars first.
  • + 1
 I overfill my brakes every time I bleed them on purpose, then just let it weep out at the rotor bleed port drop by drop until I get the lever feel I require. Over filling means the brakes are as tight as possible to start with and as the fluid drips down there's no air trying to creep in until the pressure in the system is equalized with the external air pressure.
  • + 2
 rotor..oil.. on purpose?
  • + 0
 It would take a 'magic wind' to allow oil dripping from the bleed port, to which I have a PU tube attached , to make its way onto the rotor.
  • + 1
 Can you explain that procedure a bit more? Are you letting the oil weep out be opening the port and pumping the lever or by pressurizing the system from the lever with a syringe and just slightly opening the caliper port? Thanks, I cant seem to cure the pump up on my xt levers and its driving me nuts!
  • + 3
 I'm running Hopes, I bleed the entire system as usual, refilling from the top and only using fluid that i have drawn all the air out of via vacuum in a syringe. I then attach a syringe and a plain/cut ended PU tube to the bleed nipple on the caliper, I open the nipple and pressurize the system with additional oil until the pads are touching the disc. I have also wound out the lever bite point adjustment to the max position, so now everything feels rock solid, there's no lever travel to speak of and my brakes are fully on the whole time whether I pull them or not.

Then I just carefully open the caliper bleed port a little and let the fluid come out a drip at a time and give the lever a squeeze between each drip. As soon as the pads move back enough to clear the disc after I release the lever, that's it, i'm done. I dial in my bite point adjustment and lever reach adjustment to my preferred setting and bingo, rock solid brakes.

If you have mushy feel, this won't fix it for you, you need to purge all the air first, it's just a way of polishing up a fresh bleed if you prefer rock hard lever feel.

I can't believe they are showing this guy drip a bit of fluid into the system from what looks to be his 'goto' bottle. Any fluid going in there should be brand new and you should have sucked the shit out of it in a syringe to remove any and all dissolved gas. When I wrenched at Kawasaki they would have kicked my arse out the door if I topped up a system like he shows. No wonder he's talking about regular bleeds....

I'm with Oldschool below, I've bled my Hopes once and don't expect to do them again for years.
  • + 1
 Dude, you are using hopes... you should have mentioned that right in your first comment... without that info your post was very very confusing...
this article is about bike-style brakes that usually need 8 arms like a Hindi goddess, 9 injectors, and 3 hours of pumping and sucking break fluid around repeating and repeating in reverse procedures in exact order like a Japanese tee ceremony... not hopes Wink
Of course with hope the only way to actually need longer than 5 minutes to fully bleed a brake with not more tools than a 8mm wrench and a T10 driver is if you happen to not find one of them in your tool bag...
that is if you ever have to bleed them in the first place...
  • + 1
 I always did the same for my Avid Juicy Ultimates, my Elixr CR and my Formula RX (the shittest brake in christendom)
  • + 1
 Thanks for all the comments!
Our bottles are a collection over the years from Hayes Brake Kits. I would assume a hobby store would have a very similar offering too. Here is a link to the Hayes setup for review (of if you want to have your shop order it for you)
bti-usa.com/public/item/HY8072?track=true
MSRP is $18.00 for the kit. The key to the bottle is having the nipple wide enough to engage the bleed hole diameter - but not so deep to hit the internals
  • + 1
 OR...... JUST BUY SHIMANO BRAKES. I had first gen saints on a new bike from 2005-2012. Never needed to be bled, just new pads. Shimano is almost of mythical status. Their brakes are legendary. I run XT now and couldn't be happier
  • + 1
 Old article, but I had to chime in and reply to everyone criticizing this process: the d@#$ article says the procedure is used by professional racers on a regular basis. Mountain bike brakes are not perfectly sealed pressurized systems. They are considered open, and even a perfectly bled set of brakes can require this maintenance under the right circumstances.

Or, you know, just ignore the evidence and believe in your own individual and unfounded conclusions. I mean, this process "definitely" blows the bladder and introduces air right? They've just been ignoring the obvious, and going ahead with this "pointless" process and destroying brakes without a care at pinkbike for years. It's not like they have had thousands of bikes, brakesets, drivetrains, not to mention probably billions of words in data aquired from us readers and forum posters, come their way over the years. I'm sure they're entirely ignorant.

Or maybe thinking you're an expert based on your own limited experience and non-existent is working for you, ymmv.

TL;DR idiots
  • + 1
 I just asked a shop if they had any spare brass pieces like the avid kits have for my saints they gave me 2 for free and went to the vet I take my dog too and bought a couple syringes got 3 -35 ml ones for $4 total (good for measuring fork oil as well just keep them separate and don't mix them up) shimanos funnel is useless can't even see what's coming out of the brake system.

Seems to me this "trick" is 80% of the work of a full bleed and has some shitty consequences if done wrong (blown seals) I'd rather just fully bleed my brakes every spring and fall.
  • + 1
 www.ebay.com/itm/Plastic-Spout-Lid-Dropper-Applicator-Bottle-w-Blue-Overcap-4-oz-100-Pack-New-/321349552473?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ad1ed0959

Profit margins on bulk plastic bottles is crazy. I'm in the wrong business. You can't sell drugs and turn $35 of bulk product into $220 of single servings, but these little bottles? $220 is cutting them a deal, internet price, while some craft supply store is moving it for $550.
  • + 1
 has money to buy a kashima 40. doesnt know how to bleed his own brakes... face palm. luckily he has an experienced tech that knows some short cuts to maybe save you money. however it doesnt look like you need it
  • + 4
 Is bleeding a shimano brake that difficult????!?!?!?
  • + 2
 Just like any other hydraulic disc brake system out there...
  • + 1
 Not like any other hydraulic system out there. Have you ever tried to bleed an avid?
Tbh as someone else has already mentioned in a comment above, shimano are so easy and quick to bleed that you may as well do a full bleed on them rather than this method.
  • + 2
 Easiest brakes to bleed if you ask me. Funnel at the top, syringe at the bottom and just flush it, while tapping the hose. I would recommend to connect the syringe first and pump the lever a few times so you already get rid of any bubbles trapped in the piston.
  • + 1
 I just did this and saw a good bit of bubbles come from my wonderful Avid Elixir brakes. Hopefully when I ride later I will notice a difference without having to do a whole bleed. Good idea!
  • + 1
 I run Hope M6 Ti's. Piss easy to bleed, easy to rebuild and super strong! What more can you ask for. Had some avid ultimate 7s which came on my enduro sl. They came straight off.
  • + 2
 WTF? Dude just overfilled the system. When time comes to change brake pads, he will destroy master cylinder if he doesnt open a reservoar.
Super genius.
  • + 1
 You make a super valid point. Somehow the last step was left off of the published edit! We have updated (see photo with open system) and note below the photo.
  • + 1
 These tips are great!! This is perfect for extended road/camping trips where I don't want to be doing a full bleed in the mucky muck but might need to help the brake out a bit.
  • + 1
 Copied this technique with a Shimano funnel 1/3 full of brake fluid. Air was bubbling up as in the video and lever action was restored once the bubbles stopped coming up.
  • + 3
 Joe needs to clean his shop!!
  • + 1
 hahahahahahahaha. ya we have that conversation often - there's only so many hours in each day though... it's funny to look at what you might see on his desk - from pedal washers to prototype suspension bits, etc.
  • + 1
 Would probably worth mentioning that you can get some brakes where you don't need all these bottles or bleed kit and just simply bleed your brake moto style.
  • + 2
 Hope you tell us who that is...
  • + 2
 Don't need any bottle or syringue to bleed Hope Brakes. Juste open the cap and go moto style.
  • + 1
 MASyMAS just said it. Hope brakes.
  • + 2
 I was making an attempt at being funny. haha.. I have an older Santa Cruz that has an under mount disc setup. When I found out I had to swivel the banjo, I was dreading the possible bleed issues with the Hope Tech's. All my old brakes were the worst. I was shocked just how easy it was. Connect a drain hose/bottle. Open lid. Open bleeder. Add fluid. Close valve. Top off. Done. That was 3 years ago and haven't needed any bleeding since. I don't want to go back to the old ways. Hope the Tech 3's are the same, that's my next purchase.
  • + 1
 I feel like you can probably find those bottles at a craft store ... or here www.dickblick.com/products/plastic-squeeze-bottles
  • + 1
 I do this every week or so to my XTs and its amazing. The xt bleed cup means you dont have to deal with that stupid bottle either.
  • + 4
 Every week to XTs? 1. How old are they? 2.What on earth do you do to them??
  • + 4
 I've had my XTs for 7 month, they haven't changed (just set of pads). Same question, what's up with people bleeding their brakes all the time?
  • + 3
 My xts are nearing 2 years now and don't need bleeding much at all! Maybe once every 8 or 9 months!
  • + 2
 Well, i have some deore brakes (m525), 10-12 years old, i dont even remember! I just installed them and never bleeded them... they perform like a new set... Also have some zee and some hone brakes i bought the last 2 years, trouble free and maintenance free. Whats wrong with people "servicing" their brakes weekly?
Also the best way to bleed (at least for shimanos) is with two syringes & a piece of rubber tube..fill the big syringe with oil, fit the tube to it and place it to the caliper nipple, squeeze the syringe and with the other syringe remove excess oil from the reservoir until you see no bubbles coming out of the reservoir. Not more than 5 minute job!
  • + 1
 ^^^ tru dat
  • + 0
 Ooooooh what a surprise, an avid brake that ain't working right and needs bleeding.. "It was working the last time it was used".. as always with Avids
  • + 2
 Where can you get those little bottles?
  • + 1
 www.uline.com/BL_8184/Boston-Round-Squeezable-Bottles

www.mcmaster.com/#bottles/=r91bwv

Amazon has all kinds of useful syringes and graduated cylinders also
  • + 2
 My local Bike shop has 0 standard compared to this guy.
  • + 1
 Cheers for the tip, just bled up my Avid Elixir 7's ready for tomorrows night ride in the Lakes!
  • + 1
 I believe the way he release the lever at beginning also constitutes bubbles in the system...
  • + 3
 Thanks for the video!
  • + 1
 Wow. This just saved my breaking. Can be done with avid syringes. And whamo. Problem solved.
  • + 2
 An essential trick for any privateer.
  • + 1
 I just used this procedure on my slx brakes, worked great!!!! Thanks for this article, more like it please!!
  • + 2
 awesome article. thank you.
  • + 2
 The bottles come from Hayes bleed kits.
  • + 1
 i wanna see you doing this with Hope.
  • + 2
 YAY GO PINKBIKE
  • + 1
 Shouldn't a proper bleed from the beginning eliminate the need for this?
  • + 1
 thanks PB! now where do i get those squeeze bottles?
  • + 1
 Finally I can put a stop to my inconsistent lever feel.
  • + 1
 This might sort my Saint m820 levers out
  • + 1
 this is a genius idea!!
  • + 0
 this seems really sketchy
  • + 3
 Agreed if he isn't drawing all the dissolved gas out of the fluid with a strong vacuum before filling the system with it he's just prepping the system to need bleeding again soon.
  • + 0
 Genius!!!
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