The argan for men
BLEED SHIMANO BRAKES
If you don't own a bleeding block, you can create one by cutting an old credit card to properly sized (about 3cm x 3cm) pieces and gluing the pieces on each other.
The brake fluid type can usually be found on the brake lever - This Shimano uses Mineral oil Instead of DOT fluid
Here's a set of good instructions on video from global mountain bike network to get you through the job itself:
BLEED BRAKES WITHOUT BLEEDING KIT
This job requires some accuracy, basic tools and a bleeding kit. You can buy the bleeding kit built just for your brakes (Shimano, SRAM, etc.), or a general one that applies to most manufacturers’ systems, or even build your own from scratch. The more specific your bleeding tool is, the easier bleeding will be.
If you are familiar with bleeding with motorcycle brakes - the only major difference with bikes is that you don't have a reservoir so large, it would allow you to pump the old stuff out while taking in replacement from it . Also bikes brakes do not necessarily use DOT brake fluid.
BLEED SRAM / AVID BRAKES
What you need
- 8mm wrench (doable with wrench too)
- Bleeding kit
- Rags or paper
- Sealed bottle of brake fluid or mineral oil
If you want to perform brake bleeding on hard mode - without a bleeding kit - check you the Art's Cyclery's video at the end of this page.
Make sure you use the correct brake fluid or mineral oil. The right fluid is usually marked on the brake lever, but it’s recommended to check with your local retailer or manufacturer. Usually it's DOT 4.1, DOT 5.1 or mineral oil. Do not mix these together.
Remember, that it's important to have the right kind - not necessarily the right brand. That being said, the manufacturers using mineral oil usually recommend using their own product - of course. More about which systems use mineral oil and which DOT brake fluid right here.
Always have rags or paper nearby, so you can quickly wipe out excess brake fluid. If you do, however manage to get oil or brake fluid on your brake pads or rotor, you can try soaking the pads in acetone for a few hours and then hone the surface with sandpaper. The problem with brake pads is that oil soaks into them so only honing won't do any good.
Rotor can easily be cleaned with brake cleaner, but of course the optimal solution is to get a new pair of brake pads.
-Attach your bike to a stand so, that brake lever is upwards and brake caliper is as low as possible
-Insert bleeding block
-Insert reservoir at upper end (lever)
-Connect the syringe to caliper end and push new fluid into the system
-Make sure you get all air bubbles out of the system by pumping the lever carefully.
Be careful with brake fluid / oil - you don't want that on your brake pads and rotors.