Avid Shorty Problems!

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Gary Muntz, Apr 7, 2003.

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  1. Gary Muntz

    Gary Muntz Guest

    Hi -- Based largely on glowing reviews in this forum, I "upgraded" my front LX cantis to Shorty 6 in
    the fall. This is on my rain/slush/ice road bike, a Trek (touring) 520. around 1k mi later, they're
    about dead, with so much friction in the pivot that the return springs barely work, at full
    tension*. The pivot section of this brake appears to be comprised of a couple layers of plastic &
    metal, and I can't even see a way to disassemble it. I think there's sand and dirt in there now, and
    that this is the root cause of my problem. The sliding surfaces are in this sandwich, so I don't
    know how to clean it. (I should have heeded the warning signs - within about a week of mounting, the
    quite prominent spring arms turned orange with rust, while my LXs never have worn that color.) For
    comparison, the LX cantis that came on the bike pivot perfectly, after >8k miles of mixed condition
    riding. I think the new avids stop a little better, but that's probably just the shorter straddle
    cable. Now I think the best fix would be to use an adjustable straddle cable on the old LX canti.
    I'll set it up as flat as reasonable, so it barely clears my fender. (I'll be converting to ergo
    levers in a couple months, and I'm guessing that they'll be compatible with this plan.) The intent
    of this letter is to warn other potential buyers of the Avids - and to counterbalance some
    recommendations I'm reading for 'cross bikes! These sure don't seem suitable for cross to me. (I
    haven't yet tried cross, but my impression is it's a muddy sport.) And if you know how to rebuild
    the avids, please let me know!

    -- Gary.

    * Full tension of the spring arms = they're at the edge of snapping out of the arm. I learned this
    the hard way when I tested the lever for return force without the wheel in place, and got my
    fingernail snapped as a result. Again, this was never a concern with the LXs.
     
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  2. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Gary Muntz <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > Based largely on glowing reviews in this forum, I "upgraded" my front LX cantis to Shorty 6 in
    > the fall.

    >And if you know how to rebuild the avids, please let me know!
    >

    *I'm no expert, but..*

    I have shorties on my bike. its seen a lot of rain, salt, etc, without any rust. when i was
    installing them, i made very sure to make sure that every surface was greased, oiled, or wahtever
    appropriate lube/rust proof possible. however- i do clean my bike if it takes a real beating, and i
    keep it inside. your rust mileage may vary.

    although i have nothing for comparision, i am pleased as punch with their stopping power,
    adjustability, etc. however- when i received them one caliper was defective. because of an incorrect
    build at the factory, the arm did not rotate well on the bushing, or whatever you call the tube
    inside, and it was impossible to either make the opposite calipers retract equally from the rim. in
    fact, IIRC, i couldnt even get the dysfunctional caliper to let go of the rim at all. it appeared
    that the defective internals were not pressed into the body of the caliper enough. i put a bolt
    through the caliper/internal, a couple washers, and a nut, and cranked them together. it made it
    better, but not good enough.

    at this point, i asked an LBS about this, and they hadnt heard of any problems, so I called Avid,
    and they immediately sent me full rebuild parts for the internals of both calipers, which included
    the internal metal piece and the spring for each caliper. it turns out that the internal metal bit
    is just held in by a press/snap fit, (its been months now, apologies if i mislead because of faulty
    memory) and i didnt have any trouble whatsoever getting them apart and popping the new one in. they
    now work fine.

    avid also said they would send me a full caliper instead of the internal parts. however, for this, i
    would have to send them my defective caliper. i opted to do the work myself (all of five minutes)
    and save time/postage.

    i also had a problem with one of the mounting bolts- it was not big enough to get the proper
    allen key in and i had to jam it in, marring it quite a bit. avid sent me new matching bolts
    immediately as well.

    so- long story short, i like the brakes. they are easily rebuildable. they have good customer
    service. and from what i hear, my brakes (one problem wiht each set) were the exception with these,
    not the rule.

    cheers

    anthony
     
  3. Whitfit

    Whitfit Guest

    Take them off, take them apart, clean and regrease them. text directions will be more confusing than
    what you see as you take them apart. Just pay attention to where everything is. They should be
    obvious. I've had avid shorty's on my cross bike for a couple of years, and they work perfectly
    without any maintenance since installation. No rust, no problems. Good luck.

    Whitfit.
     
  4. M Gagnon

    M Gagnon Guest

    "Gary Muntz" <[email protected]> a √©crit dans le message de news:
    [email protected]
    > Hi -- Based largely on glowing reviews in this forum, I "upgraded" my front LX cantis to Shorty 6
    > in the fall. This is on my rain/slush/ice road bike, a Trek (touring) 520. around 1k mi later,
    > they're about dead, with so much friction in the pivot that the return springs barely work, at
    > full tension*. .....

    I don't have these ones, but I have cheap cantis (Shimano ? at $10) on my old commuter. At the end
    of this Winter, the rear brake stopped working, with one brake arm sticking onto the wheel each
    time I used it. I dismantled the brake, cleaned its parts and added a liberal amount of bearing
    grease on the post and a little bit on the spring. It's messy, but it works. Could that be a
    solution to your problem?

    Usually, in Winter, I put so much grease that a little bit sticks out aound the brake (not on the
    brake pads, obviously). In Summer, I clean them so there only is grease on the post (i.e. inside on
    moving parts), but not outside.

    BTW, what year is your 520? Mine is of model year 2000 and uses Dia Compe 287 levers with v-brakes.

    Regards,

    Michel Gagnon
     
  5. I sure hope this is an isolated case, or one of neglect. I just put Avid Shorty 6's on my
    "mtn" bike!

    Well, I took it apart and coated evertything with waterproof boat trailer grease when I installed
    them, so, they should be OK, right?......

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
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