2012 Dirt 100: Avid Elixir 9 carbon brakes

It might seem strange that an issue so full of bling doesn’t contain Avid’s top brakes and instead features these 9’s, but even more strange than that is that these brakes are actually better. The reason being that Avid have introduced a new ‘air–trap’ feature in both these and the ‘7’ brakes, which has resulted in them being even more reliable than before. As the name suggests this new design means that even if you put your bike upside down any tiny air bubbles in the system will be trapped out of harms way.

That new addition, along with the already superb power and feel, means that these brakes are better than ever. The tool free reach and bite point adjusters allow you to get them set up just the way you like, and apart from looking mighty fine the carbon lever is also a great shape. If you can live without the bite point adjuster then check out the cheaper 7’s, but we think these are where it’s at.

Price: £174.99
Fisher Outdoor Leisure
01727 798 340
www.sram.com

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  1. gee

    I’m sure they’ve been great for you, but I wouldn’t touch Avid brakes under any circumstances.

  2. TOBZAD

    Do people really think these are great brakes? I had 4 sets on warranty replacement before I finally gave up. Under powered, leaked, brake pulls to bar without warning mid descent, let in loads of air, rotors rusted almost immediately, pads lasted just a few rides, the concave washers just crumbled, utterly ruined one trip to the Apls etc etc. I know most disc brakes still are not perfect but the Elixir were appalling for me.

  3. TOBZAD

    Alps even

  4. Sam Matthews

    I’m running the new shimano slx with 203 plates on my DH bike. Got the new tech techM4 hopes on my specialised sx which I though were awesome…until I got the slx’s. Quite simply put they are the best brake I have ever ever used. Won’t be changing from them for a long long time.

  5. Machete

    i get the feeling that the people who write these features don’t have to live with the products for very long. anglesets? reverbs? avid brakes? all timebombs!

  6. Karatechris

    Avid have great lever feel but they are so unreliable. Just come back from an alps trip. The guy with avid elixirs had the most problems and it was his brakes that you could smell at the end of each run. Go for the new shimano XTs. Awesome value for money and tonnes of power.

  7. Trailrider Jim

    Also the rear vibrates through the frame and there is no way to cure it. Avoid like the plague! This is why I hate kit reviewing – it’s not real world!

  8. TimBud

    Had zero issues with my XOs.

    KarateChris, if it was only his you could smell, it sounds more like he was dragging and they were overheating.
    The same thing will cause the lever to “pull to the bar without warning mid descent” TOBZAD

    Theonly Avid brakes I’ve ever had issues with were my old Juicy 5s… stuck pistons, loose levers.

  9. Cyrus

    “even more reliable”. The word reliable there, used in conjunction with avid brakes is laughable. The phrase “even more” implying that there was any reliability to build on is more ludicrous still.
    Sorry guys but lines like that, and product picks like that just undermines all of your great work and makes you look like amateurs, or just liars. These brakes are utterly appalling from a reliability point of view, as any bikeshop mechanic anywhere in the world will tell you.
    Don’t serve us shit and call it gravy.

  10. Dave Q

    I’ve had the elixirs, juicy 3′s and codes…all terrible after the 1st ride… all from new. I work in a bike shop and every bike that has avid, needs to have them bled out of the box, Appalling. No offence to Avid lovers

  11. Nutty Dave

    It really is a good job I don’t take dirt magazines opinion very highly when looking at buying new products.
    Vids are cool though.

  12. ben

    personally my Avid CR have been amazing for 2 years now. Done 2 weeks in the alps and not had to re bleed once.

  13. TimBud

    Every set of brakes I’ve owned, I’ve always bled them out of the box. (hope, hayes, avid)
    I always thought a bike shop should bleed brakes before they sell, if for nothing else than liability purposes.

  14. TOBZAD

    “The same thing will cause the lever to “pull to the bar without warning mid descent” TOBZAD”

    My Hope V2s/M4s give me 6 months out of a set of pads. That’s riding DH in muddy wet Scotland 2-3 times a week and once a month at Fort William in summer doing 8-10 runs a day and mega long descents on 4000′ mountains.They have NEVER pulled to the bar. So you could say I am not a brake dragger or Avids are useless!

    Sorry but the brake suddenly pulling to the bar mid descent is a design fault and nothing whatsoever to do with brake dragging. A well designed brake should be able to be dragged down a mountain several times and not do that, maybe have a worse feel at the bottom of the hill but not fail. Remember Greg Minaar’s Avid Elixir rear brake failing at La Bresse a couple of years ago. He said “the rear brake just pulled to the bar and I had no brake!”. With his speed, he doesn’t strike me as a brake dragger!!!

  15. Mike

    never had reliability issues with elixirs but I found them low on power…and noisy. current Shimano stoppers are leagues ahead – bout time they did a full re-design.

  16. Canuckistan

    Shimano brakes are leagues ahead of any Avid stopper for one simple reason, DOT fluid sucks balls to work with. I should never have to fight fluid just so I can get it ready to be used. Mineral oil is great, just fill the syringe up and go.

  17. TimBud

    Actually TOBZAD in the DirtTV from La Bresse this year Minaar admitted to being a brake dragger. He said he’s trying different brake pads to see what works best (he’s not running avid this year either).
    Understand that is not a criticism from me though.
    But dragging your brake does significantly increase heat build up

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