Did a tire swap, and the brakes flaked out.

Jason Knight

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Keene, NH
I wanted to switch to some lighter weight whitewalls on my Aventure. Easy enough a task when I have a rack I can mount the bike upside-down on in my garage. But after I was done I found the front brake barely engaged, and the rear just up and did nothing.

EXACTLY how the bike behaved when I got it from Aventon.

So I grabbed my bleed kit, did the front first and got a LOT of air out of it, which is odd as I had checked it previously and it passes a pressure check... and it was working fine before I flipped it over. Got it back to being filled with fluid instead of air, and move on to the rear.

Opening the fill I was welcomed by the overwhelming odor of death. The stench of cadaverine, a smell I regretfully am all too familiar with.
I put the bleed kit on and black-green foam was foaming up as the oil went in!!! I immediately wheeled the bike outside and using a small hand-pump ran a hot water wash through the hose. The line was filled with a green slime that smelled horrible.

I'm a computer guy. I've seen this behavior before in liquid cooling loops. Bacteria was growing in my brake lines! I know how to handle that, it's just very odd to have to do it to a bicycle.

After a good power wash, pressure flush, and ajax soap in the sink, I did a long deep soak in my sonar cleaner drowning everything in IPA, All the parts checked out so I re-assembled and filled with clean oil, brakes good to go.

But it leaves me with nagging questions -- and even more distrust for this fiddly finicky hydraulic brake stuff. The liquid is supposed to mostly be just mineral oil, what was in there from Aventon and/or the brake maker that would allow growth like that? Did someone fill it along the way with water instead of oil? Did some sort of water left over from parts cleaning remain in the system from the factory? Brake oil should not be a growth-friendly environment.

The front had no such issues with growth, but both stopped working when the bike was flipped over. Could that be where/why so many people have problems with the brakes on the Aventure? Could it be as simple as "if the bike is flipped upside down in shipping, this design of brake needs to be bled and refilled?" Is that actually a thing with hydraulic bicycle brakes?

It's a very odd situation all-around.

It looks nice though now that it's complete and working. It also feels like it rides better which is funny since these are cheap Zinghang or whatever "wanda" / WD $80 a pop tires. Which apparently $80 each is cheap for fatties. A quick measure shows I'm at 68 pounds for the bike total, so that's 3.1 pounds less from my starting point. Pretty good since that's 4 pounds below the factory weight without rear rack and panniers. But again I took a lot of weight off when I swapped from the cast iron pretending to be "forged" cranks and pig iron chainring off.

It's funny, but the white-walls make the bike look less... I dunno... absurdly oversized. It changes the lines of it. Running the various cables and hoses through some cheap plastic conduit cleans up things nice as well.

whitewalls1.jpg


Suspension post, comfortable seat instead of unrideable butt-floss, headlight that's not a pathetic weak joke, Whole different beastie now.

Next up to get a longer fork since it feels to me like the bike doesn't have enough "rake" and like everyone else I'm bottoming out these cheapo's. Also want to find a longer front fender because the existing one does nothing to stop your shins-down from getting covered in gunk... or the down-tube for that matter which I hadn't noticed had gotten so grotty until I flipped it over.
 
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Oh, side note. I will say I had some trepidation about doing the swap on the rear since it's been 25+ years since I took apart a bike with a derailleur, and never done one with a motor. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. The screw together connector and single cable to the motor were no hassle, derailleur didn't fight me at all, Off, deflate, swap, inflate, back on, 15 minutes flat. Not too shabby for a fifty-something cripple. Not even sure what I was worried about.

Couldn't find my stupid little plastic shims for tire removal even though I should have like twenty of the blasted things by now, but I have a set of pushrods from an old lawnmower engine that are 1/4" diameter with rounded ends that did the job just fine and no risk to the tube or rims.

So at least something went right with the process. :D

Also forgot that with new larger tires, inflate, ride, inflate again as you'll "lose" about 5 pounds of pressure just from the tube settling into the tire. Not something you deal with on 2.25's / narrower a whole lot.
 
I know growth can occur in diesel fuel, often if it’s partly biofuel and if there is some moisture in the fuel. I assume that’s what you got.
 
Oh, side note. I will say I had some trepidation about doing the swap on the rear since it's been 25+ years since I took apart a bike with a derailleur, and never done one with a motor. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. The screw together connector and single cable to the motor were no hassle, derailleur didn't fight me at all, Off, deflate, swap, inflate, back on, 15 minutes flat. Not too shabby for a fifty-something cripple. Not even sure what I was worried about.

Couldn't find my stupid little plastic shims for tire removal even though I should have like twenty of the blasted things by now, but I have a set of pushrods from an old lawnmower engine that are 1/4" diameter with rounded ends that did the job just fine and no risk to the tube or rims.

So at least something went right with the process. :D

Also forgot that with new larger tires, inflate, ride, inflate again as you'll "lose" about 5 pounds of pressure just from the tube settling into the tire. Not something you deal with on 2.25's / narrower a whole lot.
Are you just flipping the bike over to help w/ the tube change or do you have/recommend a bike repair stand that can support the Aventure. I need to change out my rear tubes, too, but was thinking about just trying to elevating it on a large enough tree branch or something with some rope to get it off the ground to make it easier for me.
 
Are you just flipping the bike over to help w/ the tube change or do you have/recommend a bike repair stand that can support the Aventure. I need to change out my rear tubes, too, but was thinking about just trying to elevating it on a large enough tree branch or something with some rope to get it off the ground to make it easier for me.
Because I switched to cruiser bars, I can just change their angle to point straight up. I have the two pieces of foam from the packaging the bike came in that I layer atop each other, and put the bike upside down atop that. The foam is mostly there to keep by bar ends and saddle from getting scratched up. With the stock straight bars, I'd likely find some other solution.

I do have a wall mount that I use for my conventional bikes, but it's just too weaksauce to handle the aventure.

You don't really "need" to flip it over, I just did the fork swap without doing so. I just wanted to get a better look at what was going on. You could easily just elevate the bike from the middle with a short stool, so long as you have it secured in a way that it won't rock around / fall over.

My personal rule of thumb is that if I'm working on just the front end, I don't bother flipping the bike. If I'm working on the rear end, it's easier to see what you're doing AND to get things back together with the bike inverted.
 
Jason, I like what you have done with your bike. Nice work.

Back in 2008 I bought a Gary Fisher Paragon with hydraulic disc brakes. For the first year they were fine and I liked them.
The first ride that I tried the next spring I had to do the bleed thing because the bike was hung upside down, On that first ride a branch snagged the front hose and yanked it free after I went down. Not a fun time. I was okay but the front brake was toast.

At that point I bought new Avid BB7’s for the front and rear. I carry in my backpack enough tools to replace a inner cable anytime and for some reason on an MTB I like the feel better.

I am just starting my look for an E-Bike and the Aventure looks like my kind of bike.
 
On that first ride a branch snagged the front hose and yanked it free after I went down. Not a fun time. I was okay but the front brake was toast.
That's what I was worried about when I switched to a better fork. Check out where the front brake hose was running:

Ihud.jpg


There wasn't enough slack on the hose to run it down the fork. That was just BEGGING to get ripped off. Thankfully I had a spare rear hose, which was a bit long but I was able to "cable manage" it without dicking around cutting it and trying to attach a new end. So now...

wideBars.jpg


It's all nice and managed again. I also removed the "wrap on" cable ties they had and used simple conduit. Stuff's like a buck a yard at harbor freight and is a lot easier to take on/off when working on the bike. Even if my friends say it makes my bike look like Cad Bane.

I am just starting my look for an E-Bike and the Aventure looks like my kind of bike.
It is an excellent bike, but beware... their customer support ranges from pathetic to nonexistent. As much as I'd like to recommend them, I cannot. As it is I'm sitting here with my thumb up my backside waiting for them to get back to me about a dead battery. Thankfully I have a spare, but ... it's just an endless steam of problems.

I'm honestly wondering if they're ignoring me so they can run out the 1 year warranty.

As much work as I've put into it, I'm considering getting another one, moving my fancy stuff over, and ditching it just because I cannot rely on them for support, and I want to start doing long distance camping trips with it.

Which is a shame because there's a hell of a lot I like about the bike.
 
Jason,
Sorry you are having issues. I have seen a LITTLE effort on Aventon to be here in the forums, but they need to ACT on these and just not reply. There seems to be some simple things they can do to make a good bike a lot better, like a simple change to a more common connector for the charger. It is never a good thing to take a proprietary part and put it on a bicycle and then not have the part in stock for those that need it. The common thread is “Shipping Delays”. Well that is getting pretty old, I know there is an effect due to the past couple years, but looking at the one Bike Shop I frequent, 2 years ago they had little to no stock of bikes, last year was about the same, and then this year they are back at it and fully stocked.
 
Because I switched to cruiser bars, I can just change their angle to point straight up. I have the two pieces of foam from the packaging the bike came in that I layer atop each other, and put the bike upside down atop that. The foam is mostly there to keep by bar ends and saddle from getting scratched up. With the stock straight bars, I'd likely find some other solution.

I do have a wall mount that I use for my conventional bikes, but it's just too weaksauce to handle the aventure.

You don't really "need" to flip it over, I just did the fork swap without doing so. I just wanted to get a better look at what was going on. You could easily just elevate the bike from the middle with a short stool, so long as you have it secured in a way that it won't rock around / fall over.

My personal rule of thumb is that if I'm working on just the front end, I don't bother flipping the bike. If I'm working on the rear end, it's easier to see what you're doing AND to get things back together with the bike inverted.
Here's my quick solution to flipping the bike and protecting the display/switch gear. Pool noodles or pipe insulation work great.
 

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I wanted to switch to some lighter weight whitewalls on my Aventure. Easy enough a task when I have a rack I can mount the bike upside-down on in my garage. But after I was done I found the front brake barely engaged, and the rear just up and did nothing.

EXACTLY how the bike behaved when I got it from Aventon.

So I grabbed my bleed kit, did the front first and got a LOT of air out of it, which is odd as I had checked it previously and it passes a pressure check... and it was working fine before I flipped it over. Got it back to being filled with fluid instead of air, and move on to the rear.

Opening the fill I was welcomed by the overwhelming odor of death. The stench of cadaverine, a smell I regretfully am all too familiar with.
I put the bleed kit on and black-green foam was foaming up as the oil went in!!! I immediately wheeled the bike outside and using a small hand-pump ran a hot water wash through the hose. The line was filled with a green slime that smelled horrible.

I'm a computer guy. I've seen this behavior before in liquid cooling loops. Bacteria was growing in my brake lines! I know how to handle that, it's just very odd to have to do it to a bicycle.

After a good power wash, pressure flush, and ajax soap in the sink, I did a long deep soak in my sonar cleaner drowning everything in IPA, All the parts checked out so I re-assembled and filled with clean oil, brakes good to go.

But it leaves me with nagging questions -- and even more distrust for this fiddly finicky hydraulic brake stuff. The liquid is supposed to mostly be just mineral oil, what was in there from Aventon and/or the brake maker that would allow growth like that? Did someone fill it along the way with water instead of oil? Did some sort of water left over from parts cleaning remain in the system from the factory? Brake oil should not be a growth-friendly environment.

The front had no such issues with growth, but both stopped working when the bike was flipped over. Could that be where/why so many people have problems with the brakes on the Aventure? Could it be as simple as "if the bike is flipped upside down in shipping, this design of brake needs to be bled and refilled?" Is that actually a thing with hydraulic bicycle brakes?

It's a very odd situation all-around.

It looks nice though now that it's complete and working. It also feels like it rides better which is funny since these are cheap Zinghang or whatever "wanda" / WD $80 a pop tires. Which apparently $80 each is cheap for fatties. A quick measure shows I'm at 68 pounds for the bike total, so that's 3.1 pounds less from my starting point. Pretty good since that's 4 pounds below the factory weight without rear rack and panniers. But again I took a lot of weight off when I swapped from the cast iron pretending to be "forged" cranks and pig iron chainring off.

It's funny, but the white-walls make the bike look less... I dunno... absurdly oversized. It changes the lines of it. Running the various cables and hoses through some cheap plastic conduit cleans up things nice as well.

whitewalls1.jpg


Suspension post, comfortable seat instead of unrideable butt-floss, headlight that's not a pathetic weak joke, Whole different beastie now.

Next up to get a longer fork since it feels to me like the bike doesn't have enough "rake" and like everyone else I'm bottoming out these cheapo's. Also want to find a longer front fender because the existing one does nothing to stop your shins-down from getting covered in gunk... or the down-tube for that matter which I hadn't noticed had gotten so grotty until I flipped it over.
Never heard of the oil doing that but I get the bike shop to bleed mine when they tune the whole bike every year, so I really can't say what would cause that. Is there an adjustment on those forks? Mine has a knobs on top to turn for more or less pressure. It makes a big difference. You can always install a suspension seatpost for even a smoother ride. Lacking rear suspension, they work good to absorb the bumps right under you. Those tires look great. Retro Beach cruiser! Nice
 
Is there an adjustment on those forks? Mine has a knobs on top to turn for more or less pressure. It makes a big difference. You can always install a suspension seatpost for even a smoother ride. Lacking rear suspension, they work good to absorb the bumps right under you. Those tires look great. Retro Beach cruiser! Nice
There was an adjustment, you could feel it did something and I did a pressure check, there just wasn't enough travel on them. If you'll read down the thread a bit further (post#8) I did end up doing a fork swap and adding a suspension post. In my "late intro thread" I made a post showing off how I went with a double-shoulder fork that has 120mm travel vs. the stock 80mm.


Which works amazing. With it dialed in to where most terrain I cross is smooth as silk, I generally only see 40-50mm of travel at most. I took it out on a stretch that I use to test how well bolts are dogged down (Cheshire Rail Trail between Keene / rt 101 and Troy NH) and one particularly nasty hit -- a rock I didn't even see in a sea of gravel and alternating sunlight through the heavy leaf cover -- did manage to bottom it out the full three and 3/4ths inches.

That path is also the one where I broke the garbage "friction fit" idiocy of my rear rack "for good" which prompted me to build my own solution with hardware store parts.

 
There was an adjustment, you could feel it did something and I did a pressure check, there just wasn't enough travel on them. If you'll read down the thread a bit further (post#8) I did end up doing a fork swap and adding a suspension post. In my "late intro thread" I made a post showing off how I went with a double-shoulder fork that has 120mm travel vs. the stock 80mm.


Which works amazing. With it dialed in to where most terrain I cross is smooth as silk, I generally only see 40-50mm of travel at most. I took it out on a stretch that I use to test how well bolts are dogged down (Cheshire Rail Trail between Keene / rt 101 and Troy NH) and one particularly nasty hit -- a rock I didn't even see in a sea of gravel and alternating sunlight through the heavy leaf cover -- did manage to bottom it out the full three and 3/4ths inches.

That path is also the one where I broke the garbage "friction fit" idiocy of my rear rack "for good" which prompted me to build my own solution with hardware store parts.

Yea, I saw the new forks after I posted. Glad you got it setup with the post suspension. These bikes ride so much better with a few upgrades. Have you looked into getting Jones H bars? I have them and they they are well worth having. The double lightweight aluminum bars are swept back for comfort and let your arms relax in a natural position. The extra bar is great for more lights, phone, tool bag, etc. I added a rear cam and use the second bar for monitor and mp3 player. Did you solve the crazy hydro fluid problem? How many watts does that battery put out? I needed alot for the many hills here in Wa state. What was the verdict on the tire vs brush war? Who won that one? Lol
 
Hello, I realize this is an old post but I am having a similar problem and none of the typical solutions or videos have helped.
I have had an ebike for 18months but have only used it for 6 months during that time. I had an electrical problem and brought it back to the shop. Since then I cannot trust the shop to handle repairs after my last experience with them where it sat for 2 months, then I was charged for repairs that were not made and my bike came back worse than when I sent it in. The brakes pressure was very low (50%) and the front tire was nearly bald. ie. they were joy riding my bike for 2 months. So the solution of bring it back to the shop is not an option.

That being said, I did a tire swap to some Vee tires and have had 0% resistance on my brake levers since. .

1. I made sure not to engage the brake while the tire was off
2. I still took off the caliper and checked the pistons and pushed them out
3. I got a bleed kit and bled the brakes even though the bike was only used 6 months
4. I ran an electric toothbrush over the lines to relieve bubbles. I never see any in the oil cup.
5. I have tightened the lines leading to the brake levers.
6. pistons will not move at all when using brake levers. they completely touch the handles when squeezed.
7. Tektro brakes.

Any suggestions on why BOTH brakes would be completely at 0% resistance after these checks?
 
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Hello, I realize this is an old post but I am having a similar problem and none of the typical solutions or videos have helped.
I have had an ebike for 18months but have only used it for 6 months during that time. I had an electrical problem and brought it back to the shop. Since then I cannot trust the shop to handle repairs after my last experience with them where it sat for 2 months, then I was charged for repairs that were not made and my bike came back worse than when I sent it in. The brakes pressure was very low (50%) and the front tire was nearly bald. ie. they were joy riding my bike for 2 months. So the solution of bring it back to the shop is not an option.

That being said, I did a tire swap to some Vee tires and have had 0% resistance on my brake levers since. .

1. I made sure not to engage the brake while the tire was off
2. I still took off the caliper and checked the pistons and pushed them out
3. I got a bleed kit and bled the brakes even though the bike was only used 6 months
4. I ran an electric toothbrush over the lines to relieve bubbles. I never see any in the oil cup.
5. I have tightened the lines leading to the brake levers.
6. pistons will not move at all when using brake levers. they completely touch the handles when squeezed.
7. Tektro brakes.

Any suggestions on why BOTH brakes would be completely at 0% resistance after these checks?
there still has to be air in the lines. or so0me kind of leak not sure about this brand but what I do on my Shimano I have fluid in the cup out the pistons in and put a spacer block in between them. put the syringe on the caliper open the line make sure all the air is out by pulling out the plunger then push it in till the fluid looks clear also making sure the port is at the higest spot. close the caliper then test the feel by pulling the lever. if it is still soft bleed some more.
 
I tried all of this with no luck. I've also watched at this point 20 tutorials on youtube. I'm getting to the point of wanting to sell the bike. If there's no other bike shop option within a decent walking distance with an ebike, and renting a vehicle big enough to do that is just not a sustainable thing - there's no point in keeping a giant coat rack for months.
 
I'm no bike mechanic but it does sound like air in the lines and/or not enough fluid. If the pads are good they should be touching the disk otherwise. I do my own brake repair and replace, but let the shops do the bleeding. It's only $35.00. Is there any mobile bike repair shops in you're area? I put a tow hitch on my Honda Accord to move me and my gf's ebikes. Too heavy for a rack. Uhaul charges $15.00 a day to rent a small mc trailer. Hope you get some help so you can enjoy that new bike this summer. Good luck.
 
Thanks Robspace1 I will look into the MC trailer. I was charged $90 last time to check the electrical which was under warranty. Plus a fee for sitting, plus $200 to rent an suv to bring it to the shop that is approved by Ariel. Big thumbs down from me.
 
Thanks Robspace1 I will look into the MC trailer. I was charged $90 last time to check the electrical which was under warranty. Plus a fee for sitting, plus $200 to rent an suv to bring it to the shop that is approved by Ariel. Big thumbs down from me.
By the way I am in NYC. Hence the ridiculous prices and logistic issues.
 
By the way I am in NYC. Hence the ridiculous prices and logistic issues.
Wow. Why should you have to pay for anything if it's still under warranty? That's not right. I would take it back to the dealer and tell them to repair/replace, or refund you're money. If you have a car, a rack or trailer hitch is the way to go. Depending on the car and weight capacity. I did the trailer option as it puts less weight on the rear of my car, which is a Honda. No sense wrecking my trani to haul two ebikes. We like going out of town. Another option is AAA. They give you emergency roadside assist for you're bike. You just need to get it to the nearest street and they will take it to the house or shop for you. Being in NYC there must be mobile bike shops that can come to you. Maybe Ariel will be ok with it. Thing is, the problem lies with the dealer not you. They need to back up that warranty. You should not spend anything to fix it. It's on them. Push em! If they refuse, tell em, "forget about it", see ya in court.
 
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