Recently I flipped my bike upside-down to get the wheel out as I don't have a workstand. Now the brake is not biting until the brake lever is on the handlebar. Is there anyway to fix this?

Both the brakes are working but very slightly and they only work until I press all the way down.

  • 1
    You flipped your hydraulic brake bike upside-down? Did you afterwards bleed the air from the brakes? Mar 8, 2018 at 13:00
  • Bleed it, a properly bled system should be able to be inverted briefly without losing brake power, likely had a bubble in the system that was stuck somewhere and has now become dislodged and found its way to the caliper. if you leave it right side up it may go back up to the reservoir. But a proper bleed with vacuum should be able to be flipped and be okay, also check to make sure the reservoir cap is not leaky.
    – Nate W
    Mar 9, 2018 at 22:48

1 Answer 1


If the bike is upside down and the brake levers are pushed then you can force air into the system resulting in the issue you are seeing.

There are a number of things you can try to restore function but if they don't work then a bleed will be necessary.

With the bike the right way up repeatedly pull the brake lever, this can encourage the air back out into the reservoir where it belongs.

If this doesn't work then zip tie the brake levers to the bars to pressurise the system, leave overnight and then try the first step again.

After that it's time for a proper bleed to get the air out of the system. How you do this and what you need depends on the model of brake and may involve special sryinges and adapters at one extreme and a bit of tubing and a jam jar at the other.

If the brakes haven't been bleed for some time, years not months, then a bleed might be a good idea anyway.

  • At what age would a complete fluid flush be a reasonable action ?
    – Criggie
    Mar 9, 2018 at 2:55

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