SRAM 2007 Product Preview: Part 2 - Avid

Jun 17, 2006
by Luc 'Acadian' Albert  
For 2007 Avid wanted to focus on three main areas – High end lightweight cross country, Freeride/DH and entry level OE hydro.
Avid Juicy Ultimate
I’ve already covered these brakes in my Sea Otter report so I won’t go into great details. But I did get some more info that I can share with you.

If you use a front 160 adaptor/bracket and use it on the back, you can mount a 140mm rotor.

The carbon blade on the Juicy Ultimate is 4 grams lighter than the Juicy Carbon blade.

Prices:
Juicy Ultimate 160 Front: $280 USD
Juicy Ultimate 140 Rear: $280 USD
Juicy Ultimate 160 Rear: $280 USD
Juicy Ultimate 185 Front: $285 USD
Juicy Ultimate 185 Rear: $285 USD

Availability:
Late September, early October

Avid Matchmaker
Again I’ve covered this item in my Sea Otter report. All I can add is a price:

Price:
Matchmaker Pair: $25 USD

Avid Code


Initially the project name was “FreeBird” – and was all about freeride and burly gnar core riding. Not specifically DH since they didn’t want as much power as say a Magura Gustav brake. Avid wanted to bump up the power significantly over Juicy Seven’s, which has been a killer brake! But they had to experiment and learn throughout the project, more specifically in the power increase area. Increasing power is one thing, but you also have to control it.

First thing they settled on is a 4 piston caliper. What this allowed Avid to do is, without using larger rotor sizes and moving the center point of the piston higher up more towards the edge of the rotor they get an effective large rotor. By moving that center point to the highest area of power, further out to the edge of the rotor, you can increase the power by 10 to 12 percent just by moving the piston out towards the edge. So without doing any changes to the rotors they already increased the power. They started off with the same piston size - the Juicy Seven’s uses two 20mm piston in the caliper so if you would want a 4 piston caliper that works the same as the Juicy Seven’s you would need 14.2mm in terms of surface area.

So from there they bumped it up incrementally and settle just above 15mm. That makes the Code’s about 27 or 28 percent more power than the current Juicy Seven’s using an equivalent rotor. Yeah crazy huh! This positions the Avid Code in between the Avid Juicy Seven and Magura Gustav in terms of power.

How much heavier are the Codes? Well compared to the Juicy Seven’s it’s about an 80 gram weight penalty per wheel.

It was quite easy for Avid to increase the power at the caliper and went to a caliper that has many bolts. There are four bolts that hold the caliper together which is structural – e.g. there is no fluid running in between them. They are just there to hold the caliper halves together and keep everything nice and stiff. The bolts are strategically positioned to reduce caliper flex and keep all the forces going into the rotor – that tends to generate a lot of more efficient power.

But again we go back to the “usable” power. In order to control the power Avid put a lot of work in redesigning their lever. Even if they feel very good, the current Avid Juicy levers tend to have this inherent stiction. To eliminate this and provide the rider with a very stiff lever that has zero slop – Avid uses 3 set of cartridge bearings at the pivots: 1 load bearing in the middle sandwiched between 2 other that keep the lever running sticky smooth. The nice light lever feel allows the rider to control the power.

The lever is built to take almost anything and features a two-piece blade with a spring loaded cam breakaway. That means if you crash or snag the lever on something – it will disconnect from the guts and prevent damage. It should come back by itself – if it doesn’t, just pop it back and keep riding! The reach adjuster bolt is now located in front of the lever blade and is adjustable using a 2.5mm Hex wrench.

The Pad Contact Point Adjuster has been moved from the top of the lever to the font. This makes it less prone to break in crashes and also allows you to run your levers moto style without having the flip the knob like on the Juicy’s. Lever also has a standard split clamp which is compatible with Avid’s Matchmaker.

Another new feature on the Code’s is the addition of a banjo on the caliper, which means that you can now cut the hose on either end. The banjo is center mounted (e.g. between both caliper halves) for a bit more protection. You will also notice two bleed ports on the top of the caliper – you can bleed the caliper via either port. Just pick one.

Another thing Avid has done to control the power is go from sintered brake pads to organic pads. The organic pads are a little more linear and predictable than the sintered ones. The pads are held in place with an anchor bolt that can be removed with your rebound adjuster 2.5mm Hex wrench (if you’re rocking a RockShox fork).

Code is available in 185mm and 203mm configurations. The 185mm is about 561grams while the 205mm is 597grams.

Prices:
Juicy Code 185 Front: $230 USD
Juicy Code 185 Rear: $230 USD
Juicy Code 203 Front: $235 USD
Juicy Code 203 Rear: $235 USD

Avid Juicy Three
No detailed info about this brake since it's OE only, but I wanted to mention it since it's a new hydro brake from Avid . Again, OE only.

RIDE IMPRESSIONS


When I first jumped on the Devinci and started setting up my controls, I started thinking: “man those brakes are going to be dangerous!!” Why was I thinking that? Well I’m currently running Avid Juicy’s on all my bikes and my DH bike currently has 203mm rotors mounted on the back and the front (same setup as last year). Let me tell you, that front brake has enough power to catapult my carcass over the great big sea! And these Avid Code’s were said to have 28% MORE power – mamma mia!! Well you know what, they weren’t as “grabby” as my Juicy’s. I’m sure the new organic pads had something to do with it; the power was indeed really usable. Never once did the rear or front wheel look accidentally and it was easy to control the power.

One thing I did notice even before we headed out for our first ride was the lack of indexed click on the reach adjuster bolt. On my Juicy’s I rely on that to make sure both my levers are located at the same spot. It’s not a big deal, but it’s a feature I like on the Juicy Seven’s. One of the Pad Contact Point Adjuster was also hard to turn compared to the other.

The lever blade felt great, smooth and super stiff. The Code’s feel as crisp as my Juicy Seven’s. Unlike the Juicy Seven’s, the Code lever engages much later (e.g. later in the pull). When I asked Paul Kantor or Avid why that was he said that most riders ride with their finger over the lever and sometimes tend to slightly actuate it even if they didn’t mean too. This gives them better control as to when they want to apply the brakes or not.

They are definitely cool brakes which I think in conjunction with smaller rotors would make bomb proof brakes with heaps of stopping power and good clearance (due to the smaller rotors).

The brakes are supposed to be drip-free bleeding just like all the other Avid brakes – but seeing how the bleed port holes are on the top of the caliper, I’d be really scared of contaminating my pads during bleeding. I would have to try for myself and see!

2007 Avid Code Gallery












If you want to see the entire gallery CLICK HERE


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