Avid Elixir R: A new way to stop

Jun 21, 2008 at 16:24
by miles sullivan  
Avid's mission in designing these new brakes was to enhance ride quality, increase power, and improve modulation. They were also able to reduce weight, improve temperature performance and reduce some noise issues with the Juicy line. The Elixir has a new, very sleek look, which is almost a throwback to the days before large reservoirs. But large reservoirs do not improve stopping power or modulation. The real trick is inside the Elixir R lever, which features Avid's all new Taperbore technology.

As soon as these brakes were broken in I was impressed. They deliver a heightened sense of the interaction between the tire and the ground. In a way, they changed the way I rode, and the more I got used to the brakes, the more I liked them. There was a slight learning curve, because I'm used to brakes that skid easily and all the time. With the Elixir, you skid only when you want to. I've ridden approximately 22 separate times on the new brakes so far, including solo sessioning and group rides, riding up and shuttling. Locations I rode include Syncline in Washington, and Post Canyon and Black Rock, in Oregon. Post Canyon the most, since it's my local haunt. I tried to hit all the trails I'm familiar with to compare them to what I was used to. The following movie includes the installation of the brakes at Craig's workshop/pub, 2 days in Black Rock with Craig, and Anna and Jason of IMBA Trail Care Crew, then back to Post Canyon for a top to bottom of Extended Play and my trail, Frankenstein.

Views: 14,073    Faves: 33    Comments: 17

Craig, Carl and I headed up to Syncline, near Bingen, WA.

Syncline is a fast, wooded single track that leads out to a cliffside single track, worthy of many vertigo inducing nightmares, and then into a choice of either nice switchback single track or a rocky cliffside decent. We chose the latter. Watch out for rattlers. No joke. The panoramic view of the Columbia River and Oregon on the other side is always worth the trip. Carl was able to get a few nice photos.

Now here are the brakes right out of the box the day they arrived. The brand new G3 rotors are approximately 10-12g lighter than their Juicy predecessor, the G2. I'm running a 185mm on the rear, and the 203mm on the front. Overall, the Elixir is about 20g lighter than the Juicy 7, with a comparable rotor size.

A shift in the pivot location makes the Elixir more controllable, by enabling less initial power and deep stroke modulation, allowing the rider to better manage and use the increased overall power. From the power coming on to complete lock up, the modulation curve of this brake is completely unique. The Elixir features larger pistons, which are grooved to manage heat distribution more efficiently. They also include a large top port for easy access to the brake pads, so you can switch pads without having to remove your wheel. The increased opening allows better airflow through the brakes during operation. This translates to a 10-15 degree temperature difference from previous generation Juicys.

A redesign of the master cylinder incorporates the reservoir around the cylinder, giving it a sleek design and less weight. Rather than a traditional timing port, the Elixir features an o-ring at the end of a push rod assembly into a tapered bore. This provides the Elixir a nearly infinitely variable modulation range.

Day 1:
Right after installation. If the pads look tight against the rotor, it's because they are. There is not a lot of room for a wobbly rotor there. Once they broke in, there was a little bit more room, but you might want to have a Park Tool rotor straightener just in case. Just to shed some light on a common misconception in regards to the Avid pad contact feature (not found on these Elixir R brakes), it does NOT adjust the distance between the pads and the rotor.

Day 24:


Weight: 375 grams (Front Post-Mount 160mm rotor)
System: Two piston, open system
Fluid: DOT 5.1
Features: Tool-free reach adjust, top loading pads, tri-align caliper positioning system, MatchMaker compatible, Drip-free bleeding
Rotor sizes: 160/185/203mm
Colors: Body and Caliper: Mercury Silver, Lever: Tungsten Grey
Available: Carbon blade option


Elixir R w/ 160 rotor: $129/wheel
Elixir R w/ 185 rotor: $133/wheel
Elixir R w/ 203 rotor: 137/wheel

At the end of the day, the Avid Elixir delivered seamless performance, smooth power application and a sleek look. At this price point, you couldn't get a better brake. They would be great on your trick town cruiser or on your DH race rig. These brakes are awesome!

Hope to see these out by Spring '09!

-Miles aka ShovelPick

To learn more about Avid and other products from SRAM, please visit www.sram.com


  • 1 0
 in my opinion brakes are brakes. it doesnt matter what you have, you get use to it, and you build your riding skills accordingly. Thats part of the fun, stepping out of your comfort zone. Im sure the difference between avid and hayes isnt that extreme, its just what your used to and what you been riding.
  • 6 6
 yeahhh Avid seem to have followed the line of Formula there...although thats like slagging off a bloke for looking like Brad Pitt or something! never been a huge fan of Avids...always low on power and seem just too brittle...im running Saints at the moment an im really looking forward to the new ones...dont think these Elixars will be much of a contender in my opinion...but...lets wait and see Smile
  • 4 2
 I'm sorry, but seriously, my friend tried hopes minis, they broke within three dyas...
  • 2 0
 i think the codes look better, and im not down with how little room there is between pads and rotor
  • 2 0
 that video shows some of te gnarliest riding ever seen on pinkbike.those booters are intense.props...
  • 1 1
 looks good looking forward to hearing more reviews on it, looks very promising just to clarify these brakes are for fr/dh right?
  • 3 0
 for anything, i'd suppose. the reviewer is using them for FR/DH, but as they're lighter and lower profile than Juicy 7s, I daresay we'll see a few on XC Rigs as well.
  • 2 0
 where can i get those rotors? can i run codes with them?
  • 3 0
 Of course!
  • 0 2
 i didnt know i why i wouldnt be able to, but where do i get them?
  • 2 0
 "Hope to see these out by Spring '09"

That might give you a clue.
  • 1 0
 the price is pretty decent if you compare those to the juicy 7's and code.Nice looking brakes
  • 2 0
 i bet they are still a bastid to get bled properly
  • 2 1
 These are like Hayes elCaminoes, but they don't suck! Good show, avid. My elcams suck so much...
  • 0 0
 i just ordered up some of these and my friend already has them, they are freaking awesome! they have a very noticable amount of control compared to other brakes !
  • 2 0
 I got them for cheap and they are amazing
  • 2 1
 juicy syndrome all over them,only avid brake i like is code 5.
  • 2 2
 Why? That makes no sense. The Code is superior to the Code 5...
  • 2 0
 ultimate levers and code caliper.......
  • 1 2
 Avid rooooocks!
  • 2 0
 bk broiler is right, thats what sam hill was running
  • 0 0
 how come they are only coming out in 09 i saw adds for them in mba already?
  • 1 1
 That dude is at least 225 lb..........I am soooooo stoked on these brakes.....can't wait!
  • 0 0
 225 lb on the dot
  • 0 1
 yes there is a huge diffrent i got avid 7 on my bike n its the worst brake i have ever had id rather my hayes mx 2 i got more braking power
  • 1 0
 I´m waiting for mi new elixirs.... so let´s see how they work.
  • 1 1
 Great Review! I cant wait to buy them!
  • 0 0
 i wish i could put those on my bottlerocket
  • 0 0
 look sick and the price is good too
  • 1 1
 them brakes look pretty swisshhh.=]
  • 0 0
 how close can you get the lever to the bar with the adjustment provided?
  • 0 0
 lol that really sucks man i agree with eddleston
  • 0 0
 what does the pad contact feature do then?
  • 1 1
 im getting sum
  • 1 2
 Hella sweet video! great trails Smile
  • 0 1
 these look sooo sweet i'm totally down gettin some of these
  • 0 1
 those are some awesome trails man!!! finally a cheap brake thats good
  • 0 1
 looks like a killer brake cant wait to see how they ride
  • 1 2
 i hate avid, i love my hayes purple! best brakes ever!
  • 0 0
 those were good ten years ago
  • 0 0
  • 0 1
 they look alright, but not the best
  • 5 7
 those look like they work sooo awsome , new fave break Big Grin
  • 1 3
 i think ill stick with my nines.
  • 2 0
  • 0 1
 but james..u just got your nines and don't even know how they feel quite yet..but my juicy 7's are so powerful, but still nothing can beat my gustav's =]
  • 1 1
 you guys are lame, work the hayes purple!
  • 3 0
 hayes nines are such pieces of trash...
  • 0 3
 hope mon 6 ti. best brake ever, no contest!
  • 4 7
 they are the same old discs, what do you care anyway?
  • 7 2
 Wrong, They are G3 disk's not the old G2 disk's you would get on the Juicy range
  • 5 6
 i know, what i meant is that they look basicaly just the same...
  • 1 1
 which ones?????
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