Shop Tested: Avid Professional Bleed Kit
When Avid first announced they were to release an updated, professional level bleed kit, I have to say that I was pretty excited. I bleed a lot of brakes at the shop, and like it or not, a lot of those lately have been Elixirs. While the Avid bleed system has always been incredibly easy, and well thought out, the quality of the kit itself left a little to be desired. Usually every year or two, the seals on the syringes would wear out like clockwork, leaving you with a syringe that was all too eager to let air slip past the seal which made it very difficult to bleed properly.
While the standard kit is more than adequate for your average consumer who will bleed one or two sets of brakes on an infrequent basis, when it comes to shop use or heavy home use, something more durable was needed.
Enter the Avid Professional Bleed kit. While retaining all the basic functionality of the (now) consumer level bleed kit, the Pro kit’s syringes have been kept on a steady diet of EPO and Clenbuterol to become the beefy, rebuildable versions you see here.
The new kit looks the part, but how does it perform? Find out after the break!
Inside the Pro kit, you will find everything you need to bleed a set of brakes, minus some nitrile gloves, and safety glasses. In addition to providing bleed blocks for every Avid/Sram hydraulic disc from past to present, and a few needed olives and barbs for shortening hose length, the kit also includes two complete syringe rebuild kits so as your seals begin to wear you will already have a set of replacements on hand. This means that as soon as you need to use them, you can go ahead and order another replacement set so that you will always have a spare set on hand. Nice.
When it comes time to rebuild your syringes, simply unscrew the end of the syringe body, remove the plunger and replace the clear O ring. Replacement O rings are also provided for the attachment point of the hose where it meets the syringe body.
In yet another pro style feature, the hoses are actually captured instead of just pressed onto a barb on one end. On the end of the hose where it threads into the syringe body, two large aluminum pieces thread together over the hose locking it in place. Most likely, this is to prevent the hose from coming off the syringe, due to the extra weight of the beefed up syringe body, and will surely help keep the hose attached if you have to let the syringe dangle from the lever or caliper.
On the other end of the hose you will find an all new threaded tip for connection to Avid Bleed ports. Not only is the new tip substantially overbuilt, the other bit of trickery is that the threaded tip actually rotates separately from the the hose allowing you to hold the syringe and only thread the tip. Admittedly, the fitting is quite stiff and takes some effort to rotate, but as our kit is used more and more, it is starting to spin more freely.
When it comes to actually using the Pro Bleed kit to bleed brakes, it is truly nothing short of a treat. The increased power of the syringe coupled with its extremely precise plunger means much less effort is needed to remove air bubbles from the brakes. Not only is the plunger more precise in the manner that it moves through the syringe body, but the new curved finger holds give it a much more comfortable grip. While I never timed myself with the consumer kit, I feel as if I am faster with the Pro kit due to how efficiently it works the air out of the system.
The only thing that remains to be seen as far as durability, is the life span of the hoses, as the old hoses tended to crack after quite a few creases were made with the red clamps. The hoses do feel much more substantial however (which means the red clamps are harder to close, but this isn’t an issue) and due to the fact that they are replaceable, I don’t see this being a problem down the line.
All said and done, the new Avid Pro Bleed Kit feels just as pro as its name would imply. This is truly a shop worthy tool, and one that I wouldn’t hesitate to buy as a shop manager, service manager, or even as a serious home mechanic.