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Welcome to “In The Stand.” In this video series, we’ll be covering some common repairs but in an uncommon way. For our first episode, we’ll be replacing brake pads. You may say there are plenty of videos out there about this. And you’d be right. But in every repair, there are lessons to be learned beyond just going through the motions. Bikes are like tiny ecosystems. Everything interacts with everything else. When you’re fixing one thing, you’re bound to run into something else that needs attention. For example, once we pulled out these old pads, we noticed they were wearing unevenly. So, we investigated why. In the process, we found at least one other potentially dangerous and easy-to-miss problem, and we fixed it. By the end, we’ll learn more than just how to change pads.
Also, every bike we repair has a history. Those of us who have made a living repairing bikes have amassed a fading library of that history. Like, for instance, the 2007 Specialized Enduro SL. Lightweight long travel wasn’t new back then, but this was a new way to approach it. The centerpiece of the bike is its Future Shock dual-crown fork, designed by Specialized and built by then-young suspension brand X-Fusion. It used an unheard-of 25-millimeter thru axle and 35-millimeter stanchions, which we’d still consider pretty stout today for a bike this light. Though ground-breaking, it’s a surprise this particular fork is still in working order.
But back to how to change pads; It’s no surprise that we’re seeing a set of working Avid Juicy brakes. Acquired by SRAM just three years before this bike was produced, Avid revolutionized hydraulic brake ergonomics with the Juicy. The follow-up brake model, the Elixir, suffered from a design flaw that was fixed in the next-generation Guide brakes by returning to what was essentially the Juicy internals. Of course, then the Guides suffered from an entirely different flaw. Maybe we’ll cover that story in a future episode.
Even if you’re already experienced with the repairs we’ll cover, you may learn a thing or two about things you may be missing. And maybe, all you’re missing is some of the seldom written recent history of mountain bikes. Please enjoy.