Avid Code 5 Disc Brake System

4.16/5 (25 Reviews)
Weight : 447 grams


Product Description

  • Four piston caliper
  • Tri-Align Caliper Positioning System
  • Power Reserve Geometry
  • Center-mount adjustable banjo
  • Split Clamp/Matchmaker compatible
  • Drip-free bleeding


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Reviews 1 - 15 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: April 8, 2014

Strengths:    Unbelievably powerful brake, that works flawlessly once set up

Weaknesses:    It's near impossible to put pads into these callipers, the retaining spring that holds them apart always falls out and turns a 30 second job into a 15 minute one. They are nigh on impossible to bleed well too, I spent 4 hours setting them up reasonably, and covered myself in DOT fluid. They also like to bind a tad with new pads, nothing terrible just a pain.
Thay don't have any easily accessible reach adjustment either, which means you spend hours hunting down an allen key that will fit.


Bottom Line:   
Brilliant once set up, but it's almost impossible to get them there.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Surface 2 Air

Duration Product Used:   2 weeks

Purchased At:   Friend

Similar Products Used:   Hayes Stroker Trails, Avid Juicy 7's

Bike Setup:   Mongoose Khyber Super

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Trailsnail a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2013

Strengths:    bites like hell, no fading so far

Weaknesses:    poor lever design, no options to adjust pressure point etc.,

Bottom Line:   
Can't recommend the brake. It does it's job, but rather like an off/on switch. It bites, is powerfull and does not fade at the end of a long ride down.
BUT
The lack of adjusting options, the poor lever design (it is nearly impossible to reach the screws while the lever is mounted), makes me wish I had my Magura Gustav M back.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Magura Gustav M


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by shaggy55555 a Weekend Warrior from San Jose, CA USA

Date Reviewed: November 26, 2011

Strengths:    Excellent power and Modulation.

Weaknesses:    Poor lever Design, delicate and will not function correctly once reassembled. Poor piston Gear and Bevel Gear design, Gears slip when attempting to adjust the pad contact.

Bottom Line:   
Work great when they work. Unfortunately, I have had tons of problems with the levers. Ive decided to toss these for the 2011 codes. Sick of trying to fix them.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Demonstration Forest

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Similar Products Used:   Avid 7's, XT, Sram XX

Bike Setup:   VP Free, RockShox Totem, CCDB Rear Shock, Saint Deraileurs and shifters.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Vuco 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


Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sljeme

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   second hand

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

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sthompson36 a Downhiller 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.

Bottom Line:   
awesome brakes, strong, reliable, consistent, and worth every dollar

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Secret Steep Single Track Flow

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   pinkbike.com classif

Similar Products Used:   A few others

Bike Setup:   2008 Mongoose ECD, Avid Code 5 brakes

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by HeadFirst! a Cross Country Rider from Missouri

Date Reviewed: July 23, 2010

Strengths:    Incredibly strong braking, good modulation, reasonable price

Weaknesses:    Long hoses, required special bracket for fox f100 rl

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Slaughterpen

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Masherz

Similar Products Used:   Hayes bb7, avid elixer

Bike Setup:   203mm front, 185mm rear code 5's, fox f100 rl, fox rp23, 2.5 weirwolf front, 2.1 weirwolf rear, stans, gnar bar, xt shifters, 2002 Gary fisher sugar 2

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by TomK3 a Weekend Warrior from westchester

Date Reviewed: July 20, 2010

Strengths:    Powerful, excellent modulation

Weaknesses:    maybe they are heavy if you are a true weight weenie

Bottom Line:   
Hard to imagine that you can beat these for the price.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Blue Mountain

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $110.00

Purchased At:   Price point

Similar Products Used:   Avid Elixir, HFX 9

Bike Setup:   Heckler

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Uncle Six Pack a Weekend Warrior from Bloomsburg, PA, USA

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2010

Strengths:    Very powerful, maybe the strongest brakes I've ever used

Weaknesses:    hoses are pretty long

Bottom Line:   
Lots of stopping power, like way more than I have ever really used before. Great modulation, fairly maintenance -free.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   came with bike

Similar Products Used:   Shimano XT, Avid Juicy 5, Avid bb7, bb5

Bike Setup:   2008 SX Trail, 203 mm font, 185 mm rear

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by alex55 a Downhiller from Des Moines, IA

Date Reviewed: June 8, 2010

Strengths:    Ridiculous stopping power, decent modulation, affordable, stealthy looking, 4 piston calipers

Weaknesses:    hard to change pads(not a big deal), no pad contact adjustment

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Boulevard

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   QBP

Similar Products Used:   Hayes HFX-9 hd

Bike Setup:   Transition Bottlerocket, Rockshox Domain 318 u-turn, Marzocchi Rocco tst r coil, lx/slx drivetrian, thompson elite seatpost, transition revolution 32 wheels, raceface evolve DH cranks, DMR V8 pedals, maxxis minnion DHF/DHR tires

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by SLOrider85 a Downhiller from San Luis Obispo

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2010

Strengths:    Stopping Power

Weaknesses:    Pretty Terrible Modulation

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   MoGo

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $130.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Elixers, Shimano Saint, shimano XT

Bike Setup:   Giant Reign X1, DXH 5.0 Air, Azonic Outlaws, MRP G2 chainguide, sunline pedals & bars etc etc bla bla bla

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jayem a Downhiller from Prescott

Date Reviewed: December 13, 2009

Strengths:    Strong when they work.

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).

Bottom Line:   
It's hit and miss with Avid brakes. Get something else.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Private

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   QBP

Similar Products Used:   Hayes Mags and HFX, Avid BB7s, Hope DH4s, Hope MonoM4s, Shimano LX, Magura Gustav, and many others.

Bike Setup:   Turner Highline.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Tim a Cross Country Rider from Sandpoint, ID

Date Reviewed: July 16, 2009

Strengths:    Zip.

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Basin

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Competitive Instinct

Similar Products Used:   Avid mechanicals.

Bike Setup:   Ellsworth Id. King hubs and headset. Vanilla RLC Pushed. Fox DHX 5.0. Gravity dropper.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ADF 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Knysna Forest

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Chain Reaction cycle

Similar Products Used:   Hayes Sole, Juicy 3

Bike Setup:   Specialized Rockhopper Comp

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by cody a Downhiller from Abbotsford

Date Reviewed: September 29, 2008

Strengths:    Great no problems whatsoever i would recommend these brakes to anyone. makes juicy 7's look like crap.

Bottom Line:   
great

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   juicy 7

Bike Setup:   giant glory DH

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Deano the Machino a Weekend Warrior from The land down under

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2008

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!)

Bottom Line:   
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.....

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Daisy Hill Forest

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $230.00

Purchased At:   The Bike Shed Mortda

Similar Products Used:   Hayes Sole (like comparing a corolla to a lambo btw)

Bike Setup:   Basically stock 07 GT I-Drive 7 2.0

Reviews 1 - 15 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


code 5 pads

So, I just noticed that I bought new code 5 pads off amazon and I got the 2011+ pads, and I'm fairly certain that my calipers predate that. Is there any good way to tell the difference by looking at the caliper? Is there anyway that I can use these pads or should I start hunting for a receipt?Read More »

Code 5 Endless Humming!!!

My rear brake is humming so bad that after a few hours on the trail it loosens the rear axel (it's been tight). I've resurfaced both rotors, with fine grit sand paper and scotch brite pads, tried new brake pads after resurfacing old ones, swapped out back rotor for the front rotor (back still humm ... Read More »

Code 5 mod...

Hey Guys... I am running the V1 Code 5's on my DH bike. I am looking to lose some weight on the build and i was wondering this. Can I run Elixer levers on my current code 5 caliper? I like the 4 piston caliper but the lever is kinda big and heavy. Is there any pros or cons that you all ma ... Read More »

Brake Pads for Avid Code 5

Hi Folks, just took on a new bike with 2009 Avid Code 5 brakes. Are the pads the same as the regular Avid Code brakes? When I look at the online shops, I never see anything for Avid Code 5. Just Avid Code. thanks in advance! -joelRead More »

Avid 2011 Code 5's

The manual for bleeding these is not up yet on the Avid web site. So, I was wondering since the 2011's are a mix of Elixer & Code technology. Are the 2011 Code's bled the same way as a Elixer? Thanks.Read More »

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