Avid Speed Dial Ultimate 01 Brake Lever

4.56/5 (16 Reviews)
Weight : 150 grams


Product Description

  • CNC Aluminum
  • Sealed Bearings


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    Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by BruceBrown a Cross Country Rider from Des Moines, IA USA

    Date Reviewed: June 25, 2009

    Strengths:    Modulation, feel, adjustability, weight, looks

    Weaknesses:    None that I can think of outside of quite a high MSRP that is keeping many from experiencing these great levers. eBay is one place they can be found for more appropriate prices.

    Bottom Line:   
    These levers make an excellent pairing with the Avid mechanical disc brake calipers. Choosing the best cables and housing yields one finger braking with excellent modulation that these levers allow you to adjust for your personal preferences. I've used Avid mechanical disc brakes since 2002 with all kinds of levers, cables, housing and rotor sizes.

    I switched to these levers this year while sprucing up my bikes with some upgrades. The difference is so drastic that I can't believe how great my braking system became. I immediately had to get 2 more pairs for my other bikes. I was able to go to smaller rotors, dial in ideal modulation, cut weight in my braking system and it was mainly due to these levers. Not that things didn't work well before, but these levers changed things enough to make me a believer again. If you want the best high end performing mechanical disc brake set up, I cannot recommend these highly enough. They are that GOOD and worth the coin!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Summerset

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $100.00

    Purchased At:   eBay

    Similar Products Used:   Avid Ti, Avid Speed Dial SL, Tektro, Paul Love Levers, Shimano XT, Shimano LX, etc...

    Bike Setup:   JET 9 with Speed Dial Ultimates/Avid BBDB 160f/140r/Ripcord
    Sugar 293 with Speed Dial Ultimates/Avid BBDB 160f/140r
    Dos Niner with Speed Dial Ultimates/Avid BBDB 160f/140r/Ripcord

    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:2
    Submitted by djriddle a Cross Country Rider from Arlington, TX

    Date Reviewed: October 5, 2008

    Strengths:    light, 'bragging rights'

    Weaknesses:    way too much play for the price, way too much price for the play

    Bottom Line:   
    Having been in shops for over a decade as a mechanic it takes alot to spin me around so don't be supprised that these didn't. For the money (Chris King headset) I cannot see how Avid lets a lever with this much slop even get out of the factory, especially when the FR-3 is an improvement in terms of pivot play. A simple thin shim or good machinist would be two simple fixes for such a Mickey Mouse problem, so why is the price so high? I sold the set I got to some guy with an overpriced Canadian frame, bought my girl a steak dinner and put FR-5s on my bike (with money left over). If you like to have 'tech talk' with your buddies then you'll love these, if form follows function for you then save your cash for the tubes, tires, chains and brake pads you wear out actually riding.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Northshore, Grapevine Lake, TX

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Purchased At:   employee purchase

    Similar Products Used:   Shimano, Paul, Tektro, Avid, Campy (Icarus anyone?), etc.

    Bike Setup:   Currently: GF Rig 29" Single Speed. 14 others from steel to carbon, rigid to full suspension in mountain bikes alone.

    Overall Rating:2
    Value Rating:1
    Submitted by Eryk a Weekend Warrior from NJ

    Date Reviewed: October 12, 2005

    Strengths:    Weight, looks, rebuildability, adjustability, open clamp design

    Weaknesses:    Slop - at $150 or $200 there should be none especially with the bearings - and yet the lever has more slop than the '96 Avid Ultimates

    Bottom Line:   
    The levers look awesome, the adjustability is great, but no greater than the Avid SD 7, the slop at the lever is close to Avid SD 7, and much worse than some low end Shimano levers. This is a replacement pair which was supposed to have less slop than the original pair - well the difference is too small to call it an improvement. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who feels that these have too much slop for the price - everyone else seems to be satisfied. I compare these to my old ultimates and the difference is huge - no slop vs a lot of it!! Since SRAM took over the quality must have deteriorated, and the customer service is horrible - all of a sudden you have to go through a dealer to get anywhere! SRAM obviously doesn't care about customer feedback - kind of sad... In any case if you want levers with a lot of adjustability - get SD 7 you won't be dissapointed. The Ultimates (in my case at least) have been a dissapointment - I was expecting perfection and did not get it - at $150 per pair I think its a reasonable expectation...

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $150.00

    Purchased At:   Price Point

    Similar Products Used:   Avid SD 2.0, Avid SD 2.0l, Avid SD 7, '96 Avid Ultimate

    Bike Setup:   Titus Loco Moto, Raceface turbines, Manitou Black Super Air, Hayes/DT Hugi/Velocity Wheelset, Avid mech Disc Brakes, XTR/SRAM X.O Drivetrain...

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Chris a Cross Country Rider from San Antonio, Tx

    Date Reviewed: July 11, 2005

    Strengths:    Well machined, looks and feels sexy, works REALLY well, great modulation.

    Weaknesses:    a bit pricey..(but thats cool for the bling-factor ;)+ the work damn well

    Bottom Line:   
    Yes the are expensive. But they work exceptionally well. If levers appear sluggish on the pullback:
    - try rerouting your break cable housings as to provide the least amount of friction for the brake cables.

    - Maybe consider buying high quality break cable housings and cables (Jagwires for example).

    - Adjust your break tensoners correctly.

    Believe me...you will see they work like butter. They inspire confidence and you'll ride harder.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Price Paid:    $90.00

    Purchased At:   forgot

    Similar Products Used:   Shimano XT.

    Bike Setup:   XC Hardtail

    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:2
    Submitted by SRR a Cross Country Rider from Tacoma, WA

    Date Reviewed: April 21, 2004

    Strengths:    Sealed bearing (but not such a big deal).

    Weaknesses:    Cable adjusters, bar clamps.

    Bottom Line:   
    I don't see what all the rave is about; these levers work no better than the much cheaper SD-7's. And if lever-slop ever became a real 'issue' with those, I could have two spare sets on my shelf for the same money. I don't like the sharper contour of the Ultimate lever itself; it's less comfortable. And the cable adjusters are, well, really Micky Mouse, in my opinion. Or is it Robo Cop? because the styling is not clean or smooth like the 7's or the XT/XTR's. Plus the removable clamps are kind of pointless, since there aren't any shifters out there that may be removed the same way.

    I was building a new bike and simply fell to the illusion that suggests price equals performance (ignoring my own experience). Now I'm embarrassed to have paid so much for these. Although the sealed bearings are a nice touch, they're overkill.

    Note: I have pretty much the same comments for the matching V-brakes. Not enough return for the money.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Little Bald Mountain

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $115.00

    Purchased At:   CBO (Cambria)

    Similar Products Used:   XT (many varieties), Avid SD-7's, Precision Billets Pro Shifts.

    Bike Setup:   Hammerhead 100X

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by beeristasty a Cross Country Rider from Columbia, SC

    Date Reviewed: October 19, 2003

    Strengths:    Lightweight, buttery smooth lever action, good design of the lever blade, cartridge bearings

    Weaknesses:    It will put a hole in your wallet, a very, very big hole.

    Bottom Line:   
    How well your brakes work and feel are about 85-90% cable routing and housing length, so I meticulously set up my cables for the least possible amount of friction possible. With the SpeedDisc levers, the action was smooth and the feel was good, there was just some annoying lever slop. This could have probably been fixed by adding a washer in there somewhere, but I wasn't in the modification mood. So I decided to lay down the cash and get The Ultimates. I could feel the difference, however slight, and there was a lot less slop. Don't get me wrong, they are excellent levers, but if you want better performance out of your brakes and can't afford to spend $115+ for the Ultimates, then set up your housing to where friction is reduced to an absolute minimum, you will feel the difference more so than by buying swanky brake levers.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Lynch's(Lynches?) Woods

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $115.00

    Purchased At:   Jenson

    Similar Products Used:   Avid SD 1.9 and Avid SpeedDisc(the closest comparison would probably be SD 7's)

    Bike Setup:   Avid mechanical discs with WTB LaserDisc Lite hubs/Mavic 317's

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Bish a Weekend Warrior from San Jose, CA, USA

    Date Reviewed: May 4, 2003

    Strengths:    Lightweight, good looks, awesome functionality, speed dial, machined aluminum, excellent modulation.

    Weaknesses:    They don't come in as many colors as the older SD's did.

    Bottom Line:   
    The are, in my opinion, the best mechanical brake levers on the market. The machining is excellent. The light weight is awesome. These levers are smooth and have no slop. Installation is a breeze, thanks to the removable clamp. And the speed dial is the icing on the cake. I love being able to change the entire brake feel to fit me on the fly. They cost more than other levers, but I figure you get what you pay for in this case. The only downside is that they don't come in as many colors as the previous SD's did. Had to settle for black on silver.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Singletrack

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Similar Products Used:   Previous version of the SD Ultimates, Shimano

    Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Superlight, Marzocchi X-fly, custom built, no Shimano on the bike.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Jon a Cross Country Rider from Calgary

    Date Reviewed: March 12, 2003

    Strengths:    Well where do I start? Smooth, Light, Durable, Eye Candy, Functional. Makes your cable discs feel like hydrolics. No kidding.

    Weaknesses:    Price - However I believe in this case you get for what you pay for. In my mind the price is justifiable.

    Bottom Line:   
    These levers have a lofty name to live up to and they do. They are rock solid with absolutely no play in the levers and hydrolic smooth feel to them. I would recommed these to all cable disc users.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $90.00

    Similar Products Used:   XT, XTR, Avid SD Mag and Avid SD 7. All good but not in the same league as the Ultimates.

    Bike Setup:   Tracer with all the high end goodies, Chris King, Easton, XTR, Selle Italia, Race Face, Avid etc.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Ben a Cross Country Rider from St Paul,MN

    Date Reviewed: March 6, 2003

    Strengths:    Super light
    Wicked, Black Ops CNC look
    Silky smooth
    Many and easy adjustments (one-handed barrel adjusters rule)


    Weaknesses:    Friggin expensive!!! These suckers were expensive on prodeal for crying out loud!

    Bottom Line:   
    CNC components are way cool, even if they do cost a mint. These levers definitely have that stealthy, black ops machined look. These are the trickest levers out there. They have it all... stainless hardware; sealed, easy to replace bearings; comfortable feel; "bend-zone" lever arms to prevent crash damage to the main mechanism; extra-wide range speed-dial leverage adjustment; adjustable reach; one-handed barrel adjusters (which are super cool); they even have a two-piece clamp so they clamp onto the bar without having to slide them over the ends, making them great for carbon bars or bikes with bar ends. All that, and they're still some of the lightest levers around.

    So, if you've got the cash, you too can have the trickest, stealthiest, smoothest levers money can buy. Hey, you can probably drop some weight off your bike while you're at it, too.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   The Farm

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $60.00

    Purchased At:   Prodeal from Avid

    Similar Products Used:   SD5, SD7, XTR

    Bike Setup:   '01 Schwinn Homegrown Comp; XT/XTR, King classic/x517 wheels, '03 Skareb Super, Avid Black Ops levers/brakes

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Ride Biker a Cross Country Rider from Santa Cruz, CA

    Date Reviewed: August 30, 2002

    Strengths:    solid, sealed, stiff, powerful, easy to adjust, no grip removal installation, plenty of speed dial adjustment, plenty of barrel adjustment, no lever slop, reach adjustment, bend zone, sexy

    Weaknesses:    $$$

    Bottom Line:   
    The best levers I have used anywhere. They are a no compromise piece of kit. If you have the money and are doubting this purchase, don't. These seem like they are going to be lifetime levers. With the Ultimate V's, I am in stopping heaven ! 5 chiles all around, they are worth the $$$.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $110.00

    Purchased At:   LBS

    Similar Products Used:   Shimano levers, Avid 2.0 levers

    Bike Setup:   '02 Superlight, Avid Ultimate V's

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Rod Harper a Cross Country Rider from Monroe

    Date Reviewed: August 22, 2002

    Strengths:    Super Cool Look. The lever has a great feeling on the fingers. Very lightweight!

    Weaknesses:    Difficult to replace levers when I bent them in a crash. The spring didn't want to stay in place when I pushed the two halves back together. Finally found trick to make it work.

    Bottom Line:   
    These levers are GREAT! I crashed at my favorite trail and the levers swung around and scratched over my top tube. But they do what they said they would and the lever just bent up, the body of the brake lever was just fine. 35 dollars for replacement levers. Excellent modulation adjustment. I use these levers in conjunction with Avid 185mm disc brakes.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Potawatomi Trail (Pinckney State Recreation Area)

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $120.00

    Purchased At:   Jack's Bicycle & Fitness

    Similar Products Used:   Shimano XTR, Shimano XT, CODA

    Bike Setup:   Giant NRS, Duke SL, Thomson stem/seatpost, Easton riser bar, XTR drivetrain, Hugi 240/mavic disc wheelset

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Martin a Weekend Warrior from San Diego, CA, USA

    Date Reviewed: July 20, 2002

    Strengths:    Light, stiff, machined from solid, far stronger than cast brakes. Excellent quality.

    Weaknesses:    Expensive, but you get what you pay for.

    Bottom Line:   
    In combination with Avids mechanical discs they are amazing, solid, no slop and excellent adjustable modulation. Far better feel and power than the XT levers they replaced (that went on the wifes bike). With other levers you can feel the slop and bend, these are rock solid. Tried some lower level Avids but the sloppy bushings put me off. Shimano levers only have 'servo wave' which didn't work well the mech discs. If you'r starting from scratch the cost of mechanical discs + the Avid Ultimates is not far off Hope Mini's so the value for money isn't that good. If however you already have mechanical discs they are thoroughly recommended.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $120.00

    Purchased At:   Jenson

    Similar Products Used:   XT, Avid Mag Levers

    Bike Setup:   Superlight with Avid mechanical discs.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Barry a Cross Country Rider from North Vancouver

    Date Reviewed: December 26, 2001

    Strengths:    Works of CNC art, lightweight, incredibly smooth bearings, nifty bar clamp, very teeny laser writing in case you ever find a mechanic with terrific eyesight and no idea how tight things should be.

    Weaknesses:    The cam profile style cable adjusters which can be like adjusting the right temp on a shower knob (too hot too cold too hot too cold too hot too cold)

    Bottom Line:   
    I was developing pivot slop in one of the pair of SD2's and there seemed to be no way to get rid of it so I thought I'd see if really tweaky expensive levers might be worth the $. Jenson had them on sale so I tried em. At the same time I found a great deal on the Ultimate VBrakes at beyondbikes.com so I ordered a set of them as well. Wow, I wouldn't have thought real bearings would have made that much difference but it was like adding fresh teflon coated cables, there's a fraction of the friction in the lever and brake pivots and you can back the tension way off on the vbrakes so that the lever pull is really light and responsive. They are feathery light too. If money isn't the issue but build quality and performance is, then they just might be the ultimate levers. They are pricey but you actually get value for the money, not glitz or endorsement budgets.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $110.00

    Purchased At:   Jenson USA

    Similar Products Used:   Diacompe, AVID SD 1 and SD 2, Shimano LX

    Bike Setup:   2000 RM Vertex with mucho Race Face stuff and 7 speed thumbshifters with XTR cogset and derailleur

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Steve a Weekend Warrior from Brighton

    Date Reviewed: December 19, 2001

    Strengths:    The smoothest, most adjustable lever available.
    Very light, excellent craftsmanship. Sealed cartridge bearings and stainless steel hardware cannot be beat.


    Weaknesses:    None.

    Bottom Line:   
    I purchased these levers after having purchased the Ultimate Brakes to replace Shimano XT's that I was unable to stop from squealing. This is as the name implies, the Ultimate in V-brake technology. There is nothing else to say. They are worth the extra money,(and time I had to wait to get them as the were out of stock when I ordered them.)If you want the best, look no further. This is it. Call Lee Baldwin @ Jenson. He'll set you right up.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   White Ranch

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Purchased At:   www.jensonusa.com

    Similar Products Used:   Shimano LX, XT

    Bike Setup:   Airborne LS, RaceFace, Chris King, Mavic, Sram

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Chris a Racer from San Antonio,Texas

    Date Reviewed: September 6, 2001

    Strengths:    Looks killer, feels perfect in fingers, lightweight,
    outperforms everthing else in its category


    Weaknesses:    Price

    Bottom Line:   
    If you want to really increase your brake performance, get these levers. You may pay a premium, but I think exclusivity and performance have a price. These made my bike brake much better.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Flat Rock Ranch

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $109.00

    Purchased At:   JensonUSA

    Similar Products Used:   Shimano XT, XTR brake levers


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