2013 Avid Four Piston X0 Trail Brake - First Ride

Mar 22, 2012
by Mike Levy  
 
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SRAM Trail House

Last week we brought you along to SRAM's Trail House, a get together that can only be described as the anti-press camp, to give you the lowdown on their new Type 2 derailleurs. And while the new clutch equipped X0 and X9 derailleurs are fine pieces of kit, there were other recently developed goodies to talk about as well, including both the new X0 Trail brakes that we cover below and the revamped and re-released Grip Shift (you'll have to wait a few more days to read our thoughts on the new twist shifters). Unlike the usual rushed 'in and out' atmosphere associated with most press camps, the small crew of journalists and SRAM'ees could often be found relaxing on the cozy house's beach-side deck or on a short walk to Verve Coffee for another pre-ride Americano. Don't get us wrong, there was plenty of saddle time as well. In fact, each day saw us out on good sized rides that would have likely required us to take the following day off. That, of course, wasn't an option that we even considered given that we flew South to ride on Santa Cruz's dry and sun-baked trails instead of our own snow covered singletrack. The feeling was that we should be riding ourselves into the ground, allowing time to recover when we arrived back at our chilly Canadian home. Mission accomplished.

2013 Avid X0 Trail brake lever and XX Gripshift.
  Evan Warner, BoXXer World Champ and SRAM's race support padrone, spends a few minutes setting up the last of the media test bikes before we head out for our first ride on the new X0 Trail brakes.

Evan can often be found around the globe wrenching for SRAM's fastest racers, meaning that having to look after a handful of bikes for a few media hacks likely feels similar to a Sandals vacation. The new brake continues with the standard X0 brakes' reach and pad contact adjustments, allowing Evan to quickly dial in the lever feel to each of our preferences - he keeps detailed notes as to each of out setups, including lever postion and free throw, making us feel like pro riders who's only job is to go fast.


Avid X0 Trail Brake

'Have it your way' seems to be the current theme in the mountain bike universe, with riders living in an age where they can pick from any number of bikes that may differ in travel and geometry by only the smallest of margins, not to mention the perpetual arguments over which wheel size works best where. While so many options can sometimes seem overwhelming, no one can reason that having so many choices gives us the ability to pick and choose the right tool for the job, assuming that you make the correct decisions. That same concept continues with Avid's splitting of their X0 brake lineup, allowing them to develop the four piston X0 Trail brake shown here while tweaking the standard X0 model for less weight and more simplicity.



Four Piston Caliper
We admit that when we heard whisperings of a trail-oriented four piston brake from Avid we expected to see a Code caliper and an X0 lever combination being made available. Avid had much grander plans than simply paring up two existing components, though, instead developing an entirely new brake caliper that is much trimmer than the Code design. The piston combination is also not lifted from Code, with a slightly smaller 16mm and 14mm pairing that has been used to tune the power for aggressive use, but not what is required of a true downhill bike that goes faster over rougher terrain. The X0 Trail caliper uses pads that are, unfortunately, differently shaped from what you'll find used by the Code system due to varying constraints in both designs.

Avid doesn't claim any exact percentage figures relating to the power increase over the standard two piston X0 caliper, but it's safe to say that the four piston design and much larger brake pads should add up to a big jump in power.

Refined Lever Assembly
Avid's focus wasn't limited to only the new caliper, with the lever assembly also receiving attention from the engineers. Gone is the hollow lever blade pivot and bushing layout that used a small set screw to hold it all together, replaced with sturdier dual sealed bearing pivots and a torx bolt that should keep the levers rattle free far down the road. Internally, it utilizes the same Taperbore system (including the Airtrap feature) that was used previously, meaning that the same fluid volume and port size are employed. This makes the new lever assembly cross-compatible with other brakes in their lineup.

While the brake's quad piston caliper and correspondingly larger pads surely produce an appreciable increase in power, along with updating the lever pivot assembly to include a twin sealed bearing pivot, system weight has only risen by a mere seven grams over the previous X0 design, putting the claimed weight at 340 grams (160mm rotor; front post mount). The increase in weight is marginal, but riders should also consider that they may now be able to combine the X0 Trail brake with a smaller rotor to create a system that is actually lighter and more powerful than a standard X0 brake with a larger rotor. This is where the new addition of the 170mm HS1 rotor comes into play, allowing riders to choose from 140, 160, 170, 180, or 200mm rotor sizes to tune the power to their riding style.


2013 Avid X0 Trail brake caliper and pads bottom pad is new Trail Pad .
  An X0 Trail caliper split in half (left) shows its four pistons - one 16mm and one 14mm piston per side. The new brake also uses new pads with much more surface area (right), another key factor that adds power to the system. (bottom pad is new Trail Pad). No, Code pads are not compatible.

Splitting the X0 Trail caliper in two gives you a proper look at where the extra braking power is coming from. Inside you'll find four pistons that are able to apply more force to the rotor than the standard X0 given that the same amount of lever pressure is applied. If you look closely you'll be able to see the size difference between the pistons used, with each side of the caliper being home to both a 16mm and 14mm piston. Small changes in piston size can have a large effect on modulation and power - it isn't as simple as just using the largest pistons possible. In fact, the downhill oriented Code system makes use of a 16mm and 15mm combo for even more power, but Avid's engineers were looking for a fine balance between outright braking potential and a useable feel that made sense for the trail/all-mountain rider. The answer was to scale down the trailing piston by a single millimeter from what the Code uses.


2013 Avid X0 brake. Photo by Adrian Marcoux
Avid X0 Brake

While the new quad piston X0 Trail brake is going to garner the lions share of the attention, there was one other new offering from Avid: the re-worked X0 brake. The X0 brake lineup has now effectively been split into two options, letting you choose either the new X0 Trail, or the redesigned and lighter 'standard' X0 brake pictured above. The lever body looks very much like what you'll find on the Über-light XX World Cup (although the XX's body is a forged magnesium piece instead of the X0's aluminum unit), including the lack of a pad contact adjustment dial where the hose enters the body. It also carries on with the hollow lever pivot and bushing arrangement employed on the previous iteration of the X0 stoppers. The new, streamlined appearance isn't just for cosmetic reasons, though, with the system weight dropping down to 315 grams (160mm rotor; front post mount) compared to its predecessor's 333 gram claimed weight. Power and modulation should remain the same as we've come to expect from the X0 system, although the price to pay for dropping those grams is the lack of a pad contact adjustment dial. Don't feel that you need the ability to adjust the contact point? Then the simpler and less expensive - they retail for $261 USD - X0 brakes could be for you. Those who like to tinker will be happy to hear that both the X0 and X0 Trail master cylinders move the same volume of fluid, meaning that one could easily combine the X0 Trail lever with the dual piston caliper of the standard X0 brake, or vice versa.


On The Trail

We likely have more time on the previous X0 brake than any other system, having run it on a number of different test bikes over the last season. This includes everything from short travel trail bikes to full-out downhill racing steeds, and while we've always been of the opinion that Avid has some of the most dialed ergonomics for our hands, we also feel that some of the competition in the same category has surpassed it when it comes to usable power. For this reason we were excited to see how the new four piston version stacks up, although the usual disclaimer about first ride impressions not amounting to a proper test still apply.

Mike trying to catch Kyle.
  There is nothing like riding well over your head when out on an unfamiliar bike and new gear. Levy struggles to keep up with GT's Kyle Strait, an all around bicycle badass who is capable of both qualifying for a World Cup race and more than holding his own on a slope style course. It's fair to say that Levy was on the binders a fair bit more than Kyle through the above section of trail.

Just as we were told, the lever feel under your finger has not changed - if you've been of fan of Avid's ergos in the past, you will continue to be. The same adjustments are still present as well, allowing you to use the pad contact adjustment dial to vary the lever's free stroke to your liking, and the reach adjuster screw can still be easily turned with gloved fingers. One point that did surprise us was how the reach adjustment dial stands out far enough to make contact with the body of the Grip Shift unit. We run our levers quite far inboard, leaving just enough for our pointer fingers to grab ahold of the end of the lever blade, and found that it wouldn't be an issue for us. Having said that, we can see others who combine Grip Shift with the X0 Trail brake be required to use the X0 Trail lever sans reach adjustment dial, an option the Avid will make available. This isn't an issue whatsoever if you are using any of SRAM's trigger shifters, though.

Mike Levy
  With forgiving handling and surprisingly supple air sprung suspension, the 6'' travel Yeti SB-66 felt like a pint sized DH bike. A small navigational error forced the group to regain lost elevation by way of a rather painful climb, but the white Yeti responded well to a 'sit and spin' approach to the ascent.

It literally only took a quick spin on our test bike to come back wide-eyed from the power proved by the new brake's four piston caliper and larger pads - the power difference between the previous X0 and X0 Trail is substantial to say the least. We rode the brake on two different bikes during our stay: a 4'' travel Giant Anthem 29er and a 6" Yeti SB-66, returning from rides on both that gave us a good first impression of how the new stoppers perform. The big wheeled Giant was equipped with Maxxis' lightweight Crossmark tire out back, making for a very fast rolling setup on the dry trails that we rode. It also meant that it was easy to break the rear end free under braking, especially when I was doing my best to keep up to riders on longer travel bikes, thanks to the brake's substantial power. I'll admit that it took a kilometer or two of singletrack before my braking fingers and brain started to understand the jump in power, but by the middle point of the same ride the feeling at my hands and calipers started to meld and the skidding ceased. Unless I wanted to skid, that is. This really highlights the X0 Trail brake's flexibility: it has enough power to be run with small diameter rotors, a package that would create a competitively light brake, while still keeping aggressive riders happy. The same could be true for 29ers who would usually require a jump in rotor size from 6" to 7" in order to attain similar braking power found with the same brake as mounted on a 26" wheeled bike. In short, large and aggressive 29er riders will likely not require pie plate sized rotors on their bikes when using the X0 Trail brake.

Mike riding in Santa Cruz
  The area's trails are eye-watering fast and littered with tricky corners, a great setting to get to know the X0 Trail brakes.

Our second experience on the X0 Trail brake came with them bolted to a 6'' travel Yeti SB-66 that was fitted with high volume Maxxis tires, allowing us to hang it out there a bit more during the ride. The four piston brake truly came into its own under these conditions, and we never once found ourselves looking for more power. There felt to be enough there for any circumstance that may arrise, and we'd say that their outright power is quite similar to what the Code offers, just in a more controllable package that won't have you locking up unintentionally in wet or dusty conditions. We also gathered a good feel for the brake's modulation when aboard the Yeti, which felt to be very similar to what the standard X0 offers, just with a slightly steeper ramp up in usable power.

The new X0 Trail retails for $310 USD, which is $49 more per end than the standard X0 brake. Is it worth the extra coin to go with the new four piston setup over the existing dual piston version? We're going to need to spend more time on them before making that call, but our early impressions are that the X0 Trail brakes will likely be quite popular with riders - and we're not just talking about those who ride 6" travel or bigger bikes. The package is light enough, especially when combined with a small diameter rotor, that even the most gram conscious trail riders can benefit from the additional power provided by the four piston caliper.


Stay tuned for more from the Trail House, including feedback from our first ride on SRAM's revamped Grip Shift



Photos by Adrian Marcoux
www.sram.com/avid.com
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165 Comments

  • + 49
 Its a shame that these things use taperbore. Since avid introduced taperborre the reliability of therebrakes has gone seriously down hill with a magority of them not working right out of the box. Frown
  • + 9
 So true, i had 4 sets of taperbores and not one of them powered up properly out of the box. They were all sloppy.
  • + 8
 Compounded by the fact that there simply isn't enough volume in the master cylinder to cope with four piston calipers. 10 percent pad wear and the master cylinder is low on oil and needs bleeding. Crap.
  • + 13
 I think it's a Production Line issue. Once my new Taperbore Code's were bled correctly and set up properly, I've never had a problem with them. SRAM just has to stop getting their things made in Taiwan...
  • + 4
 My experience is that air gets caught in the "ridges" in the lever body and nomatter how well the bleed is the fluid cannot occupy this space leading to spongey feeling brakes. I feel that until taperbore is eliminated avid brakes will be kind of "meh"
  • + 2
 I agree with what has been said so far, ironicaly it is their lower offereing that do better, ie the elixr 5. I have read that if you buy a brake without the pad contact adjustment they do not have as many or no places for the air to hide. I have had two sets of elir 5's (different bikes) and one set of CR's. Hated the CR's and had zero issues with the 5's
  • + 2
 More or less the Elixir line has been the worst thing Avid has ever done.
  • + 7
 you forgot about juicys: one minute your brake works, next minute it doesnt, and back again in the space of 3-4 sections of a track!
  • + 5
 i got some taperbore code R 's and there is nothing wrong with them, infact there spot on and super powerful.
  • + 1
 When I got a set of Code 5 brakes a couple years ago, the factory bleed was awful. One of the caliper bleed screws wasn't even done up tight and it dumped brake fluid all over my rotor and hub the first time I gave the lever a good squeeze. I bled them twice myself and then had it done by 3 different mechanics at 3 different shops within a one month time period, but all 5 times they went soft within a few days. They still produce fairly good power, but spongey levers bother me.
  • + 2
 Avids are hit and miss some of them work most of them dont, My experience with juicy's (all four sets Ive owned) was really good and I never had an issue.
  • + 7
 After owning Elixers I have had enough of Avid, Got some Shimano XT M875 one word BADASS, best brakes I ever had on a bike, Sram better up their game, Shimano is on a rampage at the moment, more world cup teams are using shimano Vs Sram
  • + 3
 I seem to be one of the only people that's had good luck with sram... My old Elixir CR's that came with my bike have been running strong for more than a year with no bleeding (and still a firm lever feel) as well as great power and modulation. The only thing I've done with them is changed the pads as needed and they work great.
  • + 1
 well, thank god i have shimano brakes on all of my bikes except my DH bike that has elixir CR brakes. oh crap!
  • + 5
 Interestingly enough all my friends had problems with the top of the line CR adjustable versions of code and elixir. I went for the cheaper ones out of lack of resources and am extremely happy with my Elixir R that are going now into the 3rd DH season. Tracks in Austria are steep and long and I'm no WC rider by any means so I tend to brake a lot. I'm using sintered pads cause they last longer and have a stronger bite. My hint is: use a very high quality DOT 5.1 with a high boiling point (find those in car tuning shops). Saint is way to powerful and XT has that weird short lever so are not perfect either. Best brakes I own are a pair of Formula R1
  • + 1
 Yeah, Formula is always the best!
  • + 1
 i currently run elixirs on both of my bikes (CR's on the DH, and an R on the DJ) and i find that the elixir R has all the stopping power i need, and doesnt feel spongy at all, and my CR's feel great for frequent DH riding, but i've tested a few of my friends bikes with CR's and they have a very different feel to them, even after being bled that day, with un-worn pads they feel spongy, the pad engagement is terrible, and the power isnt remotely the same, so i will definitely be trying XTR's in the future..
  • + 7
 NEVER NEVER run a brake right out of the box...thats a lazy way to do it...on every bike i owned, i always had to cut and refit the hose's to the proper lenght and thus rebleed the whole system....never had a issue on avids as they work and feel flawlessly...can't say that much of hayes.
  • + 1
 Zoopla is right, but I had elixir 3's for a while and i thought that I had done something improperly in the bleed when I first put them on my bike. I went to bleed them again and was slightly disappointed/shocked when the other shop mechanics informed me that that's just how they feel.
  • + 1
 I work at a shop and have definitely seen a huge variation in quality in the 2011-2012 line of Avid brakes. I have a set of X.O/Code brakes that came on my SX Trail II, and since day one they've been fantastic. Always consistent, powerful but not twitchy and I've never once had to bleed them in the year that I've owned the bike. That being said, I've heard that I got lucky with the XO/Code hybrid and I take good care of my bike. I also hear that if I ever have to bleed them, they might turn into complete turds! I've also seen a lot of the XX brakes on the high end S-Works bikes be super garbage =\. Kind of disappointing considering my brakes have been so great.
  • + 2
 All the negativity... I have had 3 sets of avid brakes with taper bore and they are all awesome. Bleed em when necessary take care of them and they will work awsome. And when you bleed em just overhaul the caliper, easy and guarentees proper working order. Iv bled plenty of avid brakes and only when I don't overhaul caliper do they not come out as good. Just my two cents.
  • + 0
 Again its like russian roulette, A friend (employee at a ver large shop) has sent over 200 Avid brakes bacck off new bikes that have been deffective. That is a huge issue in my eyes.
  • + 1
 Saints.l That is all.
  • + 2
 Just chucked a mad "I" in there......
  • + 1
 Haven't had any issues at all with my hope tech M4's. Riding DH, all mountain and in any conditions they've held up great! Sure they aren't the lightest, but I'll take a bit of extra weight for reliability and function any day. Oh ya, they're also 4 piston!
  • + 9
 Maybe Brembo should start making MTB brakes. Big Grin
  • + 1
 Avids are fine when they're bled properly but they're such a PAIN to bleed! Bled my slx in minutes and it feels and works loads better than any avid brake I've owned.
  • + 1
 if you know how to bleed properly the avids feel amazing. every brake out of the box should be bled just because you have no clue how long its been sitting there. a plus for avoids you can use them when its below zero without ever thinking that they may freeze up.
  • + 2
 Just get some hope V2's.
  • + 1
 $600 each for Brembo's!!!!??? That's rediculous. And I thought formula were on the expensive side!!
  • + 1
 Except the Juicy series. They were always GREAT!
[Reply]
  • + 23
 SRAM has turned into a company that all about reacting to Shimano's superior design and manufacturing. Xtr trail and sram follows a year later with now X0 trail... Xtr shadow plus rear dérailleur and now X0 type 2 rear dérailleur. And Shimano still slaughters them in durability.
  • + 49
 I am a huge Shimano fan BUT, I am glad for SRAM offering competitive products. Shimano went too long as the sole provider of components. SRAM may have indeed help Shimano get better. I always think it is good to have choice.
  • - 9
 how much is the XO brake system?
  • + 0
 kind of unrelated but ive had my x9 derailleur for four years and its still works great and i dont treat it nicely never tried much shimano products but sram is my favorite
  • + 1
 The "Trail" designation may be the same but the XT's and XO's are extremely different brakes. Not at all like SRAM reacting to Shimano
  • + 2
 Although I do feel like sram is playing catch up to shimano's every move I find that my sram group is far more durable than any shimano group I have ever ridden. I have seen sram take hits from rocks and bend the hanger sideways but still manage to shift. But i do absolutely try to keep an open mind in the whole Sram-Shimano debate.
  • + 5
 Don't forget that Avid has had a four piston caliper out for ages (the Code), much like how the Saint has been around for quite awhile. The XO Trail caliper is lighter four piston job.. different from what you'll find on XTR, XT ect..
  • + 2
 Except the Juicy series. They were always GREAT!
  • + 1
 whoops. i meant to put that up there.
  • + 1
 yea juicy threes have to be the best simple brake out there. never had a problem
  • + 1
 Who cares how many pistons etc it has? If you can't make a lever that keeps the oil inside it and the air outside it. I'm getting one of these on my next bike... I am worried, because so far every avid brake I have owned (4 so far) has had to go back with shagged pistons, out of the box. I have one SLX brake set that gets swapped between my bikes while the Avids are away.

Hopefully they have upped their game with reliability this time.
[Reply]
  • + 20
 did they manage to add reliability to their brakes this time?
  • - 10
 Errmm no?
  • + 13
 O good four pistons that leak is way better the just two piston leaking, but I'll wait for the six piston elixer sprinkler system........
[Reply]
  • + 15
 The second time I see SRAM copying from Shimano and I think it sux! I am still gonna use Shimano brakes just because they work and they are so easy to be serviced... That's something SRAM can't copy, despite trying so hard...
  • - 32
 Avid's are so much easier than Shimano's to bleed. Shimanos are a pain in the ass and Avid's are super easy to get a good bleed on.
  • + 28
 Avid easier to bleed than Shimano? haha, good joke.
  • + 13
 Yeah but you need to bleed Avid constantly, unlike shimano.
  • + 6
 The new Shimano brakes are super easy to bleed. I help a friend and it was way easier than my Elixirs. But it's good to see SRAM release new products; we benefit from this. And it looks like SRAM finally got rid of those stupid CPS bolts!!!! About freaking time.
  • + 1
 MWB, are you an idiot?
  • + 3
 shimano is a cakewalk compared to Avid brake setup. even those conical washers aren't any help with pad alignment. I can see the new SLX w/ice rotors being better than XOs without trying.
  • - 1
 i agree with most of the comments already. but it seems that avid has droppedtheir standerds. i have a pair of 2009 avid juicy ultimates and have been riding them for 2 years, without a bleed and still feel better than any new avid i have used.
  • + 4
 Let me rephrase that... The new avids are amazing and bleed really well. The old ones however sucked nuts. If you know how to bleed really well then you don't ever have to bleed them. I rarely have to bleed mine. I have had bad luck with shimano xt's starting to leak at the lever and not holding bleeds. I find it quite hilarious that I get neg props for saying avids are easy to bleed... on an avid article. I never said that I didn't like shimano brakes only that theyre harder to get a good bleed.
  • + 1
 yes, shimano are harder to bleed inmy opinion. but also i just got my new dh brakeset (cr leverbody, straitline lever, and x0 calipers.) and still my older juicy ultimates feel just as good if not better than them. it could just be me. but my new dh brakes sometimes are smoosh and sometimes nice. but my ultimates are always the same. and they are older, and lighter. and yes if you bleed them properly it is much nicer. i bleed my brakes 2 years ago and still works fine. i did the exact same thing with the dh brakeset 3 times and they are still moosh
  • + 1
 There's techniques that you can use with the elixirs and you get a much better bleed. Mine always feel solid and I never have problems with them.
  • + 1
 I don't know how many of you above are working in a bike shop and have the propper knowlegde, but the facts are the following: I managed pretty easily to bleed three Shimano Saint M810 brakes on the field with nothing more than a bottle of mineral oil and a screwer on a multitool... The results - the two bikers gave pretty good times on the race after that.

Is there a person that have done this with an Avid brake without a special bleed kit?
  • + 1
 I have plenty of experience working and bleeding brakes. I have bled avid with just a syring and a tube. It's possible. Maybe they got good times on the race because their brakes weren't working! You shouldn't have to even bleed them on a trail if you bleed them correctly in the shop. I have never had to re bleed brakes because they were done poorly.
  • + 1
 The propper installation is one thing. I am talking about a solid increase in performance here by servicing them on the trails. Avid is and always will be much harder to service than Shimano and the fact that there are so many leaking brakes from the factory is not in favour of Avid. Just for me Shimano is better and also invented first the technology - hate copying...
  • + 1
 I never need to service them on the trails is what im saying. I never have problems if theyre done right. I have had a shimano xt lever start leaking on me while riding a dh trail and only had a front brake the whole way down. Not very fun. What was there to invent? Hydraulic brakes have been around for ages. It doesnt matter who invented it.
  • - 2
 I'm talking about the dual diameter pistons and some other things like the Type 2 rear deraileurs... Just Shimano introduced those stuff first on the market and someone is catching up by copying directly the ideas with some small differences, just not to be fully the same...
  • + 3
 You know that dual diameter pistons have been used in the auto racing world for decades. Shimano didn't invent the technology.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Yep shimano has avid my the short and curlys at the moment , SLX look the best value at the moment !
  • + 1
 avid just copy's formula if you look at the forumla oro avid copied that to the elixer line of brakes with the caliper and lever design and the avid's just dont have the same power or dependability that my formula's have
[Reply]
  • + 13
 just get xt's...
  • - 11
 Shitmano? Never!
  • + 2
 I could fit the 16mm piston into the hole in my earlobe. That would be no help on the trail or in the workshop, however
  • + 2
 Or just get formulas.... Lighter and more breaking power.
  • + 1
 If you can actually *get* XTs. My new bike has been sitting at the shop since the beginning of January, waiting on an XT rotor that's been backordered since November!
  • + 1
 You can still get xt brakes just not 180mm 6 bolt ice tech rotors as they are out of stock, The brakes don't NEED shimano ice tech rotors to work...
  • + 1
 ^ your right but why do stuff half a$$.
  • + 2
 true but xt's and a mismatch rotor is still better than no xt's at all
[Reply]
  • + 5
 once I get tired of my Stroker Aces on my Banshee Rune AM/DH bike, I might just have to give these a try, either these or the new Formula RO, or even Formula The One FR (ridden the FRs, terrifying amounts of power in them and they look understated and sick as shit)
[Reply]
  • + 8
 excited to see elixer cr's getting cheap because of these
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Such a good call. They will have the unreal modulation that the codes have, with the lightness and conditional flexibility of the XO 2pot. FTW.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 These look good. I won't give up my Formulas, but for the wife or kids bike these look like an option. Clydesdale riders will like the 4 pot option. I am curious about the grip shifters in 10 speed though.
  • + 5
 Are you trying to kill your wife and kids?
[Reply]
  • + 4
 4-piston seems a bit overkill for trail riding. Just make the pistons/pads bigger like Formula. The Ones have almost too much stopping power for a DH/FR/AM brake due to their oversized pistons.
  • + 1
 Maybe what I'm going to say is totally irrelevant since I'm a featherweight but I always had enough stopping power with juicy 3s and I mostly ride steep technical stuff haha. I don't really see the point for much stronger brakes especially for trail riding but I understand it could be entirely different if I weighted 100lbs more. The consistency on the other hand, was terrible. I wish they solved that issue.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 i don't know about you guys, but i had bought elixir 3 recently, and i am really happy. i need no other brake.
  • + 1
 are they really good? cuz i´m buying a brand new scott gambler 30 2011, and she comes with those brakes, so i have in mind replace it for other brakes, like elxir 7 or code r... what do you suggest me? should i change my brakes now or wait a littel bet more just to se how the elixir 3 works?...
  • + 3
 You havent had them long enough to understand then.
  • + 1
 the stock elixir 5's on my '10 scott voltage fr 20 which i bought in may `10 still hold up good with one bleed so far (dirt got between the pad and the piston or sth) and 1 new set pads, and i ride it hard and put her away dirty! Big Grin
  • + 0
 lol egorka you must not ride much then
  • + 1
 i go riding almost every day
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Actually, now that I see them on being used, The gripshifts don't look all that bad. I have a feeling we'll be seeing them on more and more trail bikes.
The brakes look pretty awesome, The four piston design must stop you like nobody's business Razz
  • + 2
 I'd like a gripshifter for my front derailleur if I ever use one again, I after having just a right trigger, cluttering up bars with another trigger feels weird.
  • + 16
 Front mechs are for girls
  • + 12
 I'd like to see you make that claim in the Alps.
  • - 1
 Ye man up and stick a 38t ring up front Wink
  • + 2
 Except as the photo clearly shows...the new shifter bodies are longer and don't leave much room for even a single finger to reach them easily unless you like riding with your hands inboard on the bars and over the shifter barrels. Myself, I like my hands as far outboard on the bar as possible, with the levers placed so i get a solid straight back pull with one or two fingers on the end of the lever blade. Very hard to do that with gripshifter type shifters as is, but these new XX/X0 ten speed units are making the situation worse.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Do we still need four piston callipers? What with Formula, and XTR being more than enough power with better modulation. Judging by the comments I'd say Avid won't do well in aftermarket sales.
Lets face it Avid brakes need a complete redesign.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ride xo and elixirs with no issues. Easy to bleed once you've done it a few times. Haven't ridden shimano brakes but heard great things. What is boils down to is one bleed kit for the quiver. Avids on the DH rig, the trail rig and the jumper. Don't want to screw with other bleed systems.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 after 10 years i'm still using 2 pairs of the second generation shimano xt four piston (the first gen. with a single disc) designed by grimeca i think and they are still working like new with no maintenance but pad changes. pad wear adjustment is automatic. keep it simple.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 SHIMANO SAINT ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ya I've been running bb7s for a long time now, deore levers and flybikes linear cables, and even on some insane runs I've never felt like I needed more power, especially not some flakey hydraulic system that needs adjustment and bleeding constantly.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Once again, you guys did not mention or don't wish to mention (due to the money paid in ads) that the parts inside this brakes are still made of PLASTIC!
The pistons and the internals on the levers too.
I think people need to know this things so they get the full info and don't spend their hard earned money on plastic.
  • + 1
 We've actually shown the lever internals multiple times, your point of it "due to the money paid in ads" is a bit off base. This article is a first look at the new brake, not a jump into the technical deep end.
  • + 1
 I think plastic gets a really bad rep these days. In many applications, high quality plastics have more desirable material properties than metal.
  • + 1
 Its not about tech. Its about good products ,its easy for Sam to cut corners and get from the drawing board to finished product using plastic, its your job to let people know this things.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Been very happy w/ my 2011 Code R's equipped with twenty6 levers, thought the older jucy7's I had were pretty awesome until I got the codes. The newer shimano one finger brakes have a great feel at the lever, though I haven't ridden on a set yet. I don't know how I've been so lucky with my avid brakes while everyone else here is talkin' trash about 'em. Also don't know what people have against CPS, I think its awesome to be able to put compound angles on the pads/caliper in relation to the disc mounts, I've been able to get mine aligned parallel with the rotor, squeak free, and even-wearing every time.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Was thinking of upgrading my Juicy Ultimate on my XC to the X0 but I'm not hearing a convincing argument from SRAM or my reps to spend the $ for them. The last review for the regular X0 stated that they still haven't resolved the rubbing/squeaking sound which has been my main complaint thus far.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Once Avid skip with their shitty CPS brake mounting system i will buy another Avid brake. It was too much disappointment in my Avid Juicy 5, it was a perfect brake super reliable which never let me down and worked everytime while Hayes brakes just dead on my friend's bike (there were no fault in function no need to bleed like new Avid Elixirs, pads says in place like a problem in Hayes Stroker etc) - so i was happy over all, but becouse of the shitty CPS U washers i had to recenter it every day even when i changed those U washers to totally new ones... Now im trying Shimano Saint M810 brakes and it seems to be realiable in all way, more like fit and forget only downfall this "enviroment friendly" mineral oil which is a big crap under 5 Celsius degree - there were no such a problem with Motorex Dot 5.1 in the Avid brakes.

It looks like every brake has problems smaller or higher actually my vote is for Shimano, but once Avid skip with their CPS mounting system i would happily try it again. I had to admit, i have never tried Formula, or Hope brakes.
  • + 0
 Ya I agree, that mount they use at avid is soo old school bmx from the 1980's. Maybe time for an update you think??? Avid just played themselves releasing this. Now nobody going to buy any brakes til these come out. Four piston for trail riding is way over kill. I could see these on DH racers bike maybe but if you braking that much on a trail bike something wrong with you.
  • + 1
 The CPS was always a crutch for frames/forks where the mechanic assembling the bike was too lazy to face the disc mounts properly.
  • + 1
 Hm yeah looking good, now those CPS Washers just between the bolt head and the caliper upper side which is also useless there - but thank god there aren't washers between the caliper and the adapter! It looks like Avid learned from their homework Smile . The fact i had enough brake power with my old Avid Juicy 5-s on my DH bike, my Shimano Saints are a big of overkill for me (i like the more power for sure) - so i can't understand why a trail biker would want a four piston brake - but i guess trail riders also would be happy with more power, even if they don't need it Big Grin . Im in a happy mood becouse those pictures without CPS System, if my Shimano Saints will die i will consider Avid brakes again - but im very happy with my brakes, finally a brake which is fit and forget in all condition without the daily recenter care Razz .
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I would say this is an XC brake and the codes are more for a DH use Smile
  • + 2
 basically what theyre doin is this:
hardtail - 5 inch bike > standard x0
5 inch bike to 7 inch bike > x0 4 pot
full on dh bikes > code
  • + 1
 I agree. I just bought codes for my DH bike and I am really happy with their performance and ease of bleeding, pad changing and set up...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Avid brakes definitely need more skills to set up properly. Shimanos are great brakes. Easy to set up, and bleed, and the presicion on everything is better than all other braked on the market. (I have no experience with sub SLX) Just look at a brand new calipper, even before brake in. Both pistons have the exact abount of movement. Better handlebar clamps, but no SRAM kompatible matchmaker! (yes, S should have made that)

I have worked on all brands for many years. All brakes have issues, but some have more than others.
So far I think Avid still have the best feeling and ergonimics. Last gen J7 is the most reiable brake I have ever owned. I think many of Avids issues are related to the latest levers. They have made many different models of the levers, and many riders have experienced problems.

So far, the new XX.WC/X7 style levers are the best. Actually the X7 is better than the XX. Auminium is a better material. This lever also have a sylinder bushing, for the master plunger.

Just bought a set of the new 2012 CODE R, with the new X7 lever and CODE calipper. This is a killer brake, with tons of power, great modulation and the weight is not that bad for å brake like this. I am running this on my Trailbike with 180/180. 180 is overkill for the rear, so a 160 or maybe the new 170 will be better.

Just follow the bleeding procedure, and the lever is crisp.

The new 4 piston caliper looks promising, but the "X9" lever, with ball bearing is problably not better than the X7.

Hopefully, Avid will come up with the 4 piston calipper and X7 lever.





e
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Planning your braking will improve your times and pad wear. Short strong braking also reduces heat by having more time for heat dissipation. By not rubbing the brake you allow the suspension to do a better job. Sinter pads will provide more modulation at high temperatures and store more heat. I'm running elixir R (lately 7) with sinter pads for DH since i think 2009 with lots of racing and training on them, swapping from one bike to the other and 24H DH races. It works for me even on a steep 4min+ track like Schladming at 30 degC outside temperature. Just bought a pair of X.0 Trail calipers with Elixir 7 masters in hope to reduce the rotor size.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Those look great. Finally a brake for an aggressive trail rider!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I picked up a set of the new magura mt4's about 5 months ago and love em. With the storm sl rotor there's great feel and a lot of modulation. I'm a bike mechanic and I bleed plenty of brakes and they're a sinch to bleed.
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  • + 1
 What can I say you want good brakes that last forever, made out of metal, super easy to bleed..... Only answer are hope brakes, by far the most no fuss brakes I have used for the last 7 years.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Still running my juicy fives from like 4-5 years ago, only bleed once, incountable amount of pads had gone throug those guys, still running strong, dont know how!!! im guessing that with avid is sort of a gamble
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have the original XO's and they run flawlessly. I used to run HOPE but their 4 pots and 6 pots were hard to line up, just like these will be. One big works great and I've run them all day at Whistler. Marketing BS.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is sweet! I just installed some X0's with sinister pads on my DH bike and damn do they ever have alotta power! I am very impressed and can not imagine how much better these will be Smile
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Hahaha, SRAM is just getting ripped on here. Shimanos appear to have the upperhand.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Great, another set of new brake pads...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 have they quit with pretending CPS is any good?
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  • + 2
 I used to have Elixir and is enough for me, but, as you do with your car, you have to bleed it sometimes!!!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 i say this avid brakes are Crap with a capital C, however i have sram x9 10 speed and love them miles better than shimano deore i had but i have had shimano brakes and i loved them easy to bleed wicked power but i prefer sram gearing sorry
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Who cares about their lousy brakes...? Lets hear about the 10spd Twisty Shifts!!!!
  • + 2
 Grip Shift article coming up!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 words of wisdom...Formula The One !!!
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  • + 1
 Personal experience, Shimano brakes are way better... bleed them once a year not 6 times
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i guess im the only one riding hayes lol........
[Reply]
  • + 1
 shimano didn't make trail-specific dual piston brakes yet, so this is not a copy of anything
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I really hate the only picture of the caliper that this article has. Want to see more
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've owned 4 sets of Avid codes, two sets pre 2011 and 2 sets 2011, after a bleed they all worked fine.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It's shimano all the way....no match at all
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hi all))) I think so, I had a lot of different brakes))), and most of them)) good)) code 5)))
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Good old bb7s with goodridge cables work just fine and dandy ; )
[Reply]
  • + 2
 sure i seen those XO trail brakes in pics of hill n brosnans bikes @ PMB
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Sounds powerful.
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  • + 1
 Take a day off from epic bike rides and testing shiny new stuff. Yeah, I totally get where you're coming from...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sorry avid but I'm switching to shimano!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 how's the bleeding process this time? still cumbersome, i presume.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 right after i put the original xo's on they come out with a 4 piston, doh'!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Would be nice to ride this one up front and a normal X0 in rear!
[Reply]
  • - 2
 so basically theyve put the code caliper on a diet and put it on a x0 lever...... well done sram i mean its not like shimano have already released xtr in a trail model....... oh right they have......
  • + 10
 yeah, but just because shimano is doing the same, it doesn't mean sram shouldn't do it...
  • + 2
 It appears to be a complete re-design of the caliper, not just a diet. The pads and pistons aren't even the same.
  • + 3
 @alazamanza - Entirely different caliper and pad than what you'll find on used with code, and if you read the article you'll see that the lever is also different as well. This is a VERY different brake from the XTR Trail model.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sorry to beat on Avid as well, but.. A whole two extra pistons to seize?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Isnt four piston brakes for dh type of riding? They look nice though. Sj,CA.408
  • + 11
 And of course I bought my codes a few months back
  • + 3
 @alex - from the sounds of it there isn't enough difference for you to really care. I just don't get excited for brakes.
  • + 3
 Bought XO yesterday!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 No brake like a Hope brake.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 meh, i'll stick to shimano
[Reply]
  • + 1
 2013 already let me get 2012 sorted out
[Reply]
  • + 0
 maybe the 4 piston setup will balance out the taperbore issues with power
[Reply]
  • + 0
 so they basically made lighter codes?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'll stick with Hope Smile
[Reply]
  • - 2
 AVID=SHIT 15years of dh racing + 20 years as bike mechanic,believe me ,AVID sucks lot! SHIMANO the BEST, FXXX the REST
  • + 1
 I disagree.
[Reply]
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