Bike Setup: VP Free, RockShox Totem, CCDB Rear Shock, Saint Deraileurs and shifters.
a Weekend Warrior
from Zagreb, Croatia
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2011
Strengths: - good stopping power and modulation
- almost fade free
- during use (3 months using it on low temps and snow till spring time when its warm and muddy) no problems with it
Weaknesses: - weight (?) - ~445g for PM with rotor, Elixir are round 375g, so not much big of a deal
- lever gets loose almost on every brake
- needed a bleed after 2 hard months of use
All in all great brake. Used it in all conditions, cold and warm, rain, mud and snow. I'm 190lbs (87kg) and with a 180mm rotor it stopped me with out a problem. The most fade free brake I rode (have this one descent where all the brakes fadded, but Code 5 showed that they are a DH brake and almost didn't fade at all).
Lever was a little loose, brake pads wear slowly. After 2 months I realized my lever is getting closer to the bars, so the brake needed a bleed. Did it and it was like new.
Also, has enough power like all Avid brakes starting from Juicy 7, Elixir 5/R/CR, maybe a little more than them, but I didn't need that much power. Used the brake with only one finger during 7-8km hard and long descents. Great modulation for an Avid brake.
Similar Products Used: Juicy 3, Shimano SLX, Magura Louise, Juicy 7, Formula RX
Bike Setup: FS with 130mm rear travel, Revelation 150mm on front, 180mm rotor, 190lbs rider
from Thousand Oaks
Date Reviewed: January 4, 2011
Strengths: Solid, I smashed the levers through a tree-bush, so-cal, in a really hard crash, pulled chunks of wood out of the lever and was good to go ! Have a shop bleed and replace the pads, if it is done right it'll be strong w/ good pressure sensitivity
Weaknesses: When grime and age wear on them it's really hard to change brake pads,adjust/bleed them. The pistons were stuck out on mine, tried everything to get them to unfreeze, took them to a shop and they were able to change the F/R pads, and adjust/bleed the brakes for $60.00. It is well-worth it, buying the pads yourself can cost up to $50.00, and can be complicated to a non-mechanical person.
awesome brakes, strong, reliable, consistent, and worth every dollar
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2010
Strengths: Incredibly strong braking, good modulation, reasonable price
Weaknesses: Long hoses, required special bracket for fox f100 rl
I've been building this bike up for a while now, and I have it running pretty fast now...only problem is, I'm 240 pounds, the bike is about 30, and I carry a pretty big 15 pound pack...add all that up and the bb7's weren't stopping me worth a crap! I came to a full stop 10 feet after I wanted to on some faster sections. I know these are downhill brakes, and even had some people scoff at the idea of such huge brakes on a cross country bike... But they were wrong! From day one they were perfect! I use one finger in the front and never felt out of control! I have yet to adjust the lever pull on the rear, so I was squashing my middle finger...should just take some adjusting. I'm not sure what the deal is on some of these reviews knocking these brake's modulation, but they are smooth and easy to feather.
The only problem I had, rather my lbs had, was getting the right bracket for my fork. Apparently fox wasn't very helpful, and the one in the box wasn't the right one. Aside from that, the cables are too long, but I've heard a lot of folks talking about cutting them to fit. Mine are on there without sticking out too far, but I may cut them this winter when I'm bored.
I knew with this purchase that I would not have the pad adjustibility of the Code, and I'll write an update on this review if it becomes a problem later.
Weaknesses: hard to change pads(not a big deal), no pad contact adjustment
These brakes are stupid powerful. I know there are probably more powerful brakes out there I really wouldn't need any more power. Big pads and the 4 piston calipers keep them cool and there is no fade to speak of. I weigh about 230 pounds with gear so these have to stop a lot of weight. I can ride full days at winter park or keystone without losing power or worrying about my brakes. They slow me down fast when I need them too and they have pretty decent modulation if you are sensitive with your fingers so I dont have to worry about skidding. If you want pad contact adjustment, get the regular codes. It's not hard to adjust reach.
from San Luis Obispo
Date Reviewed: May 2, 2010
Strengths: Stopping Power
Weaknesses: Pretty Terrible Modulation
If you are looking for ridiculous stopping power these brakes are them. If you are looking for great modulation I would look elsewhere.
I know that everyone on here raves about the modulation on these but they are really not that great at all. I bought them because of all of the reviews about these having great modulation only to be EXTREMELY dissappointed. In terms of modulation they PALE in comparison to the saint or elixers. They are kind of grabby and are awful as a rear brake, causing the tire to lock often and at inopportune times. I liked my shimano XT's better to be perfectly honest and they were not terrific brakes by any stretch of the imagination.
Please go demo these before buying them! Maybe you will love them, but my guess is you wont. Dont trust all the other reviews. I know its hard to believe me over all the other reviews but seriously give these a second though before buying them, i really wish i had. Now I'm stuck with grabby brakes on my DH bike and that sucks.
Weaknesses: Causes brake rotor and caliper to "vibrate" so bad while braking that it is hard to control the bike. This went away after flippping the front rotor and eventually the rear quited as well, but now the front is doing it again with new pads. This isn't squealing or a bit of noise, this is vibration that can actually keep you from riding in a straight line. It has to be felt to be experienced. I'm also no fan of the lever, blade-adjustment is in a dumb place that can't be accessed without removing the lever, thereby making it impossible to see what the reach-adjustment does to the lever position. Like most avid brakes, there seems to be a general lack of thought and design. I can't complain too much for the price I paid, but Avid seems to be the only brake that regularly has that "turkey warble" problem (see brake board for explaination).
It's hit and miss with Avid brakes. Get something else.
Similar Products Used: Hayes Mags and HFX, Avid BB7s, Hope DH4s, Hope MonoM4s, Shimano LX, Magura Gustav, and many others.
Bike Setup: Turner Highline.
a Cross Country Rider
from Sandpoint, ID
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2009
Weaknesses: This is the second pair of Avid Code 5's that my shop has attempted to put on a bike that had a defect from the factory. Avid admitted it, but won't compensate my mechanic for all his time trying to get the product to work.
Would have loved to give fluid brakes a shot, but Avid knowingly stocked my shop's supplier with brakes that had a mechanical defect. The bike never made it off the work stand! Quality knew nothing about the problem, nor did my shop. This is so frustrating! Back to the mechanicals... My shop did not charge for all the headaches.
Bike Setup: Ellsworth Id. King hubs and headset. Vanilla RLC Pushed. Fox DHX 5.0. Gravity dropper.
a Cross Country Rider
from South Africa
Date Reviewed: March 2, 2009
Strengths: Extremely responsive
Weaknesses: Not that good looking but who cares about looks when you're going 40mph down a slope.
These brakes are amazing. They don't just slow you down on a steap hill but actually make you stop. I have had trouble getting my Juicy 3's delivering on my expectations and was in two minds whether to go Avid again. It was the ease of set up that made me choose the Code 5 and I am not looking back. This was definitely one of my better cycling purchases.
Strengths: Solid as a rock,super powerful,excellent feel,kinda cool lookin in that mossy green colour,rotors look mad as,pad changing is simple
Weaknesses: can be a bee-arch to bleed,sometimes maybe a little too strong (control ya fingers peeps!)
The bottom line is these brakes are the best friend a speed freak has and if you're looking to stick to a budget and want hardcore braking power,then you'll buy these...its that simple. The ONLY thing that i think the Codes would have over these is their pad contact adjust on the lever. Chances are but you'll need to shorten the cable if you buy the rear end but hey,it's all good :) Over all i am extremely impressed with these brakes,they perform better than i expected and i strongly recommend downhillers and such to grab a set if your old ones are shot,you'll see what im talking about here.....
Similar Products Used: Hayes Sole (like comparing a corolla to a lambo btw)
Bike Setup: Basically stock 07 GT I-Drive 7 2.0
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2008
Strengths: Great stopping power and looking good.Easy to install and even with the 3-way allignment no problem for a noob-mechanic.
Weaknesses: none so far
Great stopping power as well on the road,with 50+KpH,as on the tracks.Went to the Belgian Ardennen last weekend and on the gravel the gave me enough convidence to brake even at high speeds.I love the progressive way they brake.Rating is in comparrisson of the other brakes i've used.
Strengths: If you have had problems with stopping your problems are over. The brakes have great modulation and will stop you on a dime.
An employee at Jenson has been trying to get me to change for a long time. The hayes brakes wouldn't stop me on a steep downhill, I'm a 270 pound bear on a bike. I broke four frames before changing over to a santa cruz. If I had changed brakes before Mammoth last month my ribs wouldn't hurt so much, one more endo in a long line of them.