The Park Tool BKD-1 Hydraulic Brake Bleed Kit is an all-in-one answer to bleeding pretty much any DOT fluid brake, including today's SRAM 'Bleeding Edge' brakes. Paired with Park Tool's excellent how-to videos, it should do any mechanic right. It's very expensive for what it is, though.
What Park Tool is charging a pretty hefty premium for here is all the bits to suit the popular DOT brands, the handy syringe holder, and a case. You also get Park Tool's Lifetime warranty, of course, and spares availability.
In the box are two plastic syringes with shaped plunger heads and two-fingered handles, and thickly-threaded hose fixings. There are two really supple 8in hoses, with machined and sealed fittings to fit colour-coded adapters for SRAM, SRAM Bleeding Edge, Hayes, and a universal M6 thread adapter. Inside the robust box lid is a sticker to remind you which adapter is which.
The SRAM Bleeding Edge adapter is large enough to turn with your fingers once attached to the bleed port, facilitating its tool-free port opening/closing. There are a few other bits too, including a compression sleeve to clamp the hose onto a bleed port.
There are two bleed blocks, to cater to twin-piston callipers. The blocks have 10 and 12mm thick ends, again covering various calliper dimensions, and holes for pad-retaining pins or zip-ties to keep them in place while bleeding.
Finally, the syringe holder is a nifty bit of kit, a 'third hand' to hold a syringe at the bar, fork or frame. It can fit at any angle, freeing you to wrangle the other end without having one syringe dangling, which would likely allow bubbles to escape or cause stress on the couplings. It holds syringes firmly, can be rotated easily and the rubber fixing strap is thick and strong.
Park Tool has, as usual, made some excellent videos to accompany the BKD-1 set. The instruction video is very clear, but doesn't (at the time of writing) include the process for non-Bleeding Edge road levers. Fortunately SRAM's own video is very clear, and includes the rather important 'fluid degassing' step, which is easily done with the Park Tool kit.
The adapters all thread snugly with no leaks, and the syringe holder does the job perfectly. The syringe action is smooth, and even exerting quite strong vacuum pressure to draw out bubbles sees no leakage around the plunger. The ergonomic handle makes a one-handed vacuum pull easy to modulate, so you can get things done perfectly.
You need to be careful not to roll the O-rings off the end of the adaptors, as they come off easily and are very, very small. Fortunately, spares of each O-ring/adaptor gasket are included.
Each syringe is labelled as DOT – handy if you also have or plan to get the matching Mineral Oil kit (same price) because they look exactly the same apart from the adapters (cross-contamination is a no-no as you could knacker an entire set of seals and/or yourself when a seal fails). DOT fluid is glycol-based and harsh enough to strip paint off metal, whereas mineral oil is petroleum-based and safe enough to use in cosmetics. DOT fluid will destroy anything but EPDM rubber seals.
The only real fly in the fluid is that £100 really is a lot for two plastic syringes, some bits and a box. If you're prepared to wait for it to ship from China, generic kits like this one will do pretty much everything the BKD-1 does for £20.
The Park Tool BKD-1 is a very good kit that promises years of use with DOT brakes of almost every kind, but it's arguably not quite as premium as its price suggests: metal and glass syringes and at least a token amount of brake fluid would certainly sweeten the deal.
If you're expecting to make heavy use of your kit and the price works for you, the Park Tool BKD-1 promises great performance, strong manufacturer backup and a certain peace of mind. For just one or two bikes at home, though, this is overkill.
Does the job without leaking, but bleeding expensive...
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Park Tool BKD-1 Hydraulic Brake Bleed Kit - DOT
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Park Tool says:
The BKD-1 Hydraulic Brake Bleed Kit will bleed most models of DOT fluid based hydraulic brakes. Hydraulic systems need bleeding to remove any air bubbles and to inject new, clean fluid.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Park Tool:
Designed and built for home use and the rigors of daily commercial use
Includes two syringes, hoses with shutoff clips, multi-size bleed blocks and a unique attachable syringe mount
Housed in a rugged reusable case
Machined stainless steel and 7075 aluminum fittings to service SRAM®, Hayes®, Formula®, Hope® and other brands of DOT fluid based hydraulic brake systems
Replacement parts available
Brake fluid not included
The plastic syringes do feel a bit of a letdown for the cash.
Can't fault it: does the job without leaking.
Feels durable enough.
The ergonomic syringe levers and syringe holder make 'comfort' a thing.
This is where Park Tool really suffers – this seems a shedload of cash to be paying.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Well enough – the syringe holder and supple hoses making for a faff-free procedure.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The syringe holder, it's a great benefit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
For the price, glass syringes would be nice. Plastic does feel like a letdown.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's massively expensive. You can get pretty much the same functionality for a lot less.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes-ish.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but they'd need to understand they are paying a lot.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Whilst the basic functionality is easily matched by kits at a third the price, Park Tool wins back some ground with the syringe holder, included spares and warranty. That said, the premium is still significant – it's a good kit, then, if poor value.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is: Velocite Selene
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb, Dutch bike pootling.