I'm bleeding my SRAM Guide R brakes. When working on the rear brake I noticed that the fluid can go from the lever syringe into the caliper syringe, but not the other way around. I can't move the fluid from the caliper syringe into the lever syringe. I have tried pulling in the lever side (as the manual says) but also pushing on the caliper side (kind of "helping" it go back) but to no success.

The real problem is that the brakes fail to adapt to the space needed. In other words, if I use the "right" spacing block during the bleeding procedure the pads end up too far apart and they won't close enough to bite the disc. I tried pulling the lever without the wheel on, hoping the pistons would go further out and stay there, but didn't work, the pistons go all the way back again. The pistons don't stay in position and "wait for more fluid" to keep moving out of their sleeve or channel.

I also tried bleeding the brakes with a slightly thinner block. Now the pads end up too close together and the wheel doesn't spin freely. I tried opening the pads, pushing the pistons inside but they won't budge. Is as if the spacing I set during the bleeding is the only spacing the brakes will work at. They will not adjust automatically.

Note: I might have turned the valve in the caliper too much. I'm talking about the valve where you connect the syringe in the caliper. You are supposed to turn it only one full turn. By mistake I did more than that. I don't think is relevant, but there it is.

Also, I'm doing this bleeding because I shortened the hose. I installed a new olive and barb. I manipulated the lever. Don't know if the problem is there... Help!

  • You manipulated the lever? What does that mean? Maybe you have a problem with your piston assembly or bladder (collapsed?) inside the lever. Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 8:48
  • Hi reciprocal lettuce. When I say I "manipulated the lever" I just wanted to include the lever in the list of things I touched/tinkered with... implying that the problem might be in the lever (and not in the caliper only). Thank you for the suggestion, I will check the bladder Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 6:24


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