Avid Single Digit Ultimate Brake System

4.68/5 (28 Reviews)
Weight : 162 grams MSRP : $147.49


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Product Description

This sleek new CNC rim brake pivots on sealed cartridge bearings so you’ll get a smooth, effortless stop. In fact, its stopping power will amaze even disc brake devotees. It also has a lefty/righty reversible noodle which allows youTo routeThe cable from, you guessed it,The left or right lever. Beautifully sculpted from solid aluminum billet, it’s very lightweight - just as youd expect from Avid. This item includes 1 brake (enough for one wheel). OrderTwo ofThis item if you need brak


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Reviews 1 - 15 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Grant a Cross Country Rider from Hamilton

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2007

Strengths:    Lightweight, Nice feel, cartridge bearings

Weaknesses:    Rim Wrangler 2 DINA pads that ship stock are worthless unless you love SQUEAL!, $$$$

Bottom Line:   
These brakes are absolutely great. My only criticism is that the pads that avid ships with these are crap, do yourself a favour and swap em out for some kool-stop inserts.

Pricing: Generally expensive, but keep your eyes open and ears to the ground and you'll score a good deal.
I was able to get both front and rear, brand new off ebay for $90.00.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $90.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Avid Single Digits, XTR, XT

Bike Setup:   Kona HOT, xtr, thomson, avid ultimates

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Joe Cummings a Cross Country Rider from NJ

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2006

Strengths:    Great stopping power with great modulation

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
Excellent brakes for the rim brake hold out. Super light infinate adjustment. I am a light weight guy (160lbs with gear) and have been riding MTB since 1995, I cant get into the disc scene since cantilever brakes worked fine for me for years. These are by far the best brakes I have ever used. I plan to buy another set to replace my xt v brakes on my hardtail.

IF YOU HAVE CERAMIC RIMS DO NOT USE THE STANDARD PADS THEY WILL SQUEEL. BUY THE CERAMIC SPECIFIC (GREEN PADS).

For flamin for value (very expensive unless on sale)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   allaire/hartshorn

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $140.00

Purchased At:   speedgoat

Similar Products Used:   XT

Bike Setup:   Specialized S works epic custom.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric a Weekend Warrior from CA

Date Reviewed: September 16, 2005

Strengths:    Sealed cartridge bearings, lightweight, CNC machined

Weaknesses:    Squeels with ceramic brakes if not set up properly

Bottom Line:   
The best brakes I've ever used. I have the new XTR dual control levers and braking wasn't smooth with the Avid Ti. I bought the Ultimates and it made a world of difference! My braking is now smooth and it definitely has to do with the sealed cartridge bearings!

Tip for those who have squeeling problems with ceramic rims: Avid instructs that when the brakes are applied, the brake pads has to be parallel with the brake arms. Do not make them parallel, but adjust the shims so that it's more of an "A" shape.

My brakes was shipped having the "A" shape instead of parallel and didn't have any squeeling. When I read Avid's instructions that it should be parallel, I changed it and my brakes started squeeling like a banshee! Needless to say, I changed it back.

Bottom line, if you want the best V brakes there is no substitute for the Ultimates. I had disc brakes, but we all know that it'll never be as light as V brakes.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dry Creek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Avid Ti, Shimano XTR, XT Disc brakes

Bike Setup:   Titus Racer X80, XT/XTR Groupo

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rene Hoepelman a Cross Country Rider from Long Beach

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2005

Strengths:    Sealed bearings.
Black.


Weaknesses:    price........but these are the best

Bottom Line:   
These brakes are phat!! I would choose these over disc brakes any day. They stop just a good. Super light weight. They stay centered. No maintence whatsoever.

Why would anyone want to deal with the hassle of disc brakes.....beats me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything with dirt

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   I think www.pricepoint.com

Similar Products Used:   xtr, xt(suxed) and single digit 7's

Bike Setup:   xcountry

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by g love a Weekend Warrior from charleston, sc

Date Reviewed: February 28, 2005

Strengths:    very powerful, very light.

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
the most powerful and light v-brake that i have ever used. disc brakes are more powerful, but thes modulate better than avid mechs. personally i prefer hydraulic disc brakes and i would install them on any bike going forward. my ht does not have disc tabs so these are the best alternative. if you want the ultimate rim brake this is it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   bull mountain

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   lbs

Similar Products Used:   avid mechanical disc, xtr disc, avid sd mag, cane creek dc5

Bike Setup:   independent fabrication, full xtr, crossmax xl, fox f80 rlt

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by steve a Weekend Warrior from Gilroy, CA

Date Reviewed: January 31, 2005

Strengths:    Build Quality
light
no play due to bearings
Best V-brakes out there


Weaknesses:    pricing
It's still a V-brake


Bottom Line:   
I had both Ultimate front/back and switched to Avid Mechanicals front/back. Wanted more modulation in the rear so I switched back to Ultimates in the rear. Final ratings: Ultimates are the best V-brakes I ever tried bar none. Those with ceramic rims generally have squealing problems with Ultimates because the bearings allow for no play. I don't have ceramic rims. I have Mavic 517s and never had a squeal what so ever on any V-brakes I ever own. Proper set up is also necessary to maximize the power.

When compared to Avid Mechanicals, the V-brakes don't hold a candle to them as far a power to stop you. The Mechanicals just stop you so much faster. However, I don't need that much power in the rear wheel so I switched back to the Ultimates in the rear for more modulation.

I've tried Hope Hydraulics too and when compared to the Avid Mechanicals, it's just a step better with better modulation. But the bottom line is I don't need the power of Hydraulics. I ride mainly cross country and some light free riding with an occassional race here and there.

Bottom line: The Ultimate's are by far the best V-brakes I ever came across, bar ceramic rims. In combination with Avid Mechanicals in the front, it's the best set up for me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mailbox, Wilder Ranch

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   XT, XTR, Avid 7s, and all the old stuff before v-brakes

Bike Setup:   2003 Blur, Ultimate V rear, Avid Mech front, CK hubs rear, XT hub w/Mavic 717 disc front, XT Hollow Cranks (one piece),Time pedals

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Matt from New Zealand

Date Reviewed: January 29, 2005

Strengths:    Stops the bike well.

Weaknesses:    Squeal, Squeal, Squeal

Bottom Line:   
In a word: SQUEAL. It seems that all v-brakes do this, so there is no point in paying such a high price for it. These aren't the "Ultimate" unless by that you mean "ultimate rip-off." One would be better off getting some much less expensive Avid 7s, which work just as well and still squeal just as much yet cost much less. Personally, I've switched to Paul Components Retros: linear-pull seems to be for fools.

I rate these at the lowest value because I loathe paying so much for all that NOISE...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The one I'm riding

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   www.bikeman.com

Similar Products Used:   LX, XT, XTR, Avid 7, Neo-Retro cantis

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Bonty Race, Marzocchi, etc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by SF a Cross Country Rider from Stockton,CA

Date Reviewed: October 2, 2004

Strengths:    Engineering,Cnc,Sealed bearings,Great stopping power,Modulation,FVA

Weaknesses:    !!!Warning this brakes can injury or kill you!!!

Bottom Line:   
I believe by chosening the right parts, enhances over all the way the brakes performs. Adjusting the modulation on the levers is a must with these brakes. Especially in the front.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hogan Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Frankford

Similar Products Used:   My first V-brake compare to my old U-brake.

Bike Setup:   Epic,F100x,XTR,Syntace stem,Carbon bars,SLR,King headset& hubs,Mavic XC 717 ceramic,Salsa carbon booster,Avid Ultimate brake&lever,Avid flak jacket&ceramic pads,Ti parts

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:1
Submitted by SRR a Cross Country Rider from Tacoma, WA

Date Reviewed: September 23, 2004

Strengths:    Simplicity, sealed bearings.

Weaknesses:    Price versus performance.

Bottom Line:   
I just got an email asking what exactly I didn't like about the Ultimates, since my earlier review below wasn't clear enough. Well, it's been nearly 9 months now -- 2100 trail miles later -- and I stick to my opinion. It's not that I don't like the Ultimates, it's just that given that I'm also running SD-7's on another bike (same weight/application), which is ridden equally, I've been able to detect NO REAL DIFFERENCE in feel or stopping power!so it bothers me now that I got nothing for the extra money but cool looks and bragging rights. In fact, I believe I prefer the feel of the SD-7's overall! :-o

I'm running ceramic rims on both rigs and believe that this, in the end, is what makes the largest difference. And, yes, like at least one other reviewer, I have had more problems with squeal with the Ultimates than the SD-7's, which surprised me, because I'd figured that the lack of any play in the Ultimates would minimize this risk (and partly justify the price). No such luck. Sorry.

Still, they're better than XT/XTR because they're simpler! They're just more expensive than SD-7's because they're needlessly over-crafted -- but no lighter -- and 'seem' trick. My recommendation to all is to go with some bargain-priced SD-7s (levers too) and put the money you save towards a good ceramic wheelset. There'll be a noticeable return there, for only a few dollars more (for example: hand-built XT/Mavic at Colorado Cyclist for $260).

Compare that to $300, when all is said and done, for the Ultimates alone! with no real advantage other than some snob appeal (because with V-brakes, it's really all about rims and setup -- no magic). Hell, let's get real here! Or at least start thinking about discs -- in some cases -- for about the same price!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $79.00

Purchased At:   CBO

Similar Products Used:   XT,XTR, SD-7's, Precision Billets (my favorites so far but no longer available).

Bike Setup:   Hammerhead 100x (w/ceramic rims).

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike a Cross Country Rider from Birminghame, AL, USA

Date Reviewed: August 20, 2004

Strengths:    '02 XTR v-brakes
Avid SD Mag


Bottom Line:   
Damn! I didn't know how much difference there could be between the Avid Ultimate and XTR. I will never let shimano brakes touch my side walls again. I was in amazement on my first ride. Get these brakes if want the best and sexiest v-brakes money can buy. They are pricey but well worth it. Super light weight and stopping power that rivals disc.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   eBay

Bike Setup:   Durango Bike Works HT

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Frank a Cross Country Rider from Kansas City, MO, USA

Date Reviewed: August 16, 2004

Strengths:    Sealed bearings, stealth black ops color, cnc machinined, zero tolerance for slop because of the bearings. The finest product strength is the customer service from Sram, Avid, Rockshok. Especially Chris McKenney. He is very knowledgable and works very hard to help make things right.

Weaknesses:    Due to several factors on my bike, they squealed unbelievably loud. My bike has a Headshock that is shaped like a tuning fork. This, along with ceramic braking surfaces and pads made for ceramic surfaces made the bike unridable because of the noise.

Bottom Line:   
After a great deal of help From Chris McKenny at SRAM, these brakes are finally working without a squeal! He even sent me some new Avid SL brakes to try out since they do not have sealed bearings. The idea was that bushings instead of bearings would not have such exacting tolerances as the Ultimates. The problem I had with the Ultimates is that they are too good. The total absence of slop along with the shape of the Headshok, harder ceramic pads, and ceramic braking surfaces made such a squeal it made dogs howl and turkeys come out of the under brush to see what was up. The use of the Salsa brake booster and kool stop not-for-ceramic pads corrected the squeal. They should work great without the booster on non-ceramic surfaced brakes.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Landahl

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $160.00

Purchased At:   Bikeman

Similar Products Used:   Prior to this, I have only use disc brakes for MTB.

Bike Setup:   Merlin Fat Ti. Selle Italia Flite Genuine Gel, SRAM X.0 long cage rear der., SRAM X.0 shifters, SRAM PC 99 hollow pin chain, Avid SD Ultimate levers, Easton Monkey Lite EC 70 carbon bars and seat post, Shimano XTR M-952 cranks & BB, Shimano XTR M-960 Ti cassette 11-34, Shimano XTR 960 front der top pull, Mavic Crossmax SL wheelset, Michelin UST tires, Oury soft grips, Salsa brake booster over Avid SD Ultimate brakes with black kool stop pads.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rick a Racer from nevada city ca

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2004

Strengths:    The best V brakes made!

Weaknesses:    price

Bottom Line:   
I friend told me to get the Avid Ultimate brakes and Levers and I could not see spending the extra $$$$, it just seemed like too much. Well i did and what cam I say they stop as good as disc brakes, they are amazing! SPend the extra $$ they are worth it

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   tahoe rim trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   single digit ti

Bike Setup:   Soulcraft:Sram, speed dream wheels, Fox 100x, bling bling all the way

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jerry a Cross Country Rider from Austria

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2004

Strengths:    Light, REMARKABLE brake power

Weaknesses:    Price (still worth it)

Bottom Line:   
By FAR the best brakes I had, about 10:1 compared to the 03 XTRs. Use cool stop pads on them without problems, no maintainance so far. Worth the price.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $160.00

Similar Products Used:   several generations of XTR

Bike Setup:   TREK OCLV97, Chris King, Race face, Tune, Rohloff, DT swiss, mavic, eggbeaters, thudbuster, easton, nokon,..

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

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2004

Strengths:    Sealed bearings, simplicity.

Weaknesses:    Price, weight, pad holders work only with Avid pads.

Bottom Line:   
Some people look for reasons to justify an indulgence; I'm not one of them. Yes, these are better than the comparably-priced Shimanos -- only because they don't rattle -- but hardly any better than Avid's more reasonably-priced offerings. At the very least, for the money, they should come with some ti hardware and a few grams less than their cheaper siblings, but they don't.

Although I can appreciate the sealed bearings, especially in the Pacific Northwest, I'm sorry I purchased this set and resigned to the fact that these brakes are more likely to appeal to snobbies than my knobbies. It's especially annoying because I had a complete brand new set of SD-7's w/levers in my parts box -- which I got for less than the price of ONE set of these brakes -- when I opted to go for the 'ultimate' instead. At least that would've made for less embarrassment on the trail: I'd hate to be confused with one of those high-end types who spend more time worrying over whose end is higher than actually riding.

The same may be said, and then some, for the matching levers.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Little Bald Mountain

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $79.00

Purchased At:   CBO (Cambria)

Similar Products Used:   XT, XTR, SD-7's, Precision Billets.

Bike Setup:   Hammerhead 100X

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Steve a Weekend Warrior from Gilroy, CA

Date Reviewed: November 9, 2003

Strengths:    Light, Very rigid, well engineered, no play on pivots due to the bearings, looks very trick

Weaknesses:    Price

Bottom Line:   
Best brakes I have ever used. XTR's & XT had squeeling problems and when set up with pads toed in, it lost power. I contemplated Avid Mechanical discs, which is about the same price, but I didn't want to fork out money for another wheelset when I already have two sets of wheels. I found the Ultimates EQUAL to the Avid mechanicals, but not as strong as my buddy's Hayes Hydraulic disc. Yes they are very expensive for V-brakes, but they are the BEST V-brakes available bar none. No warped rotors, no changing of brake fluid or leaking lines and the brake pads are inexpensive to replace compared to disc pads and they last longer. Granted in Wet conditions, disc will far out perform the Ultimates, but in the kind of riding I do, I race on occasion, it is the perfect brake system I have ever used. For the money, the best V-brakes available to date. 5 flaming turds, 4 for value as they are expensive.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Demo Forest, Wilder Ranch

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $160.00

Purchased At:   Beyond Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Avid Mag brakes, XTR brakes, XT brakes, old cantilever brakes

Bike Setup:   2000 FSR Pro, Race Face Cranks, Marzocchi 4" Marathon coil fork, Stan's tubeless system, Mountain Speed swing link, Time Ti pedals

Reviews 1 - 15 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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Avid Single Digit Ultimate vs. Paul's Motolite

Which brake? Here's something that may influence your decision. (Outside of performance.) The frame that they will be going on (I'm building up from scratch.) is an old school Eastern Woods Research Original Woods Bike. It is going to be my everyday trailbike. Thanks!Read More »

Avid Single Digit Ultimate vs. Paul's Motolite

Which brake? Here's something that may influence your choice (outside of performance). The frame that is being built up from scratch is an old school Eastern Woods Research Original Woods Bike frame. It is going to be my every day trailbike. Thanks!Read More »

Read More »



 

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