While bombing down a mountain atTop speeds,The lastThing you need is whimpy brakes. You need strong and reliable brakes.The Avid Code is justThat, strong and reliable. A huge advance inThe Code isThe variable piston diameters. With variable piston diameters, braking does not result in a jolting movement; braking is smooth and power progression is feltThroughoutThe pull ofThe lever. Weighing in at 410 grams,The Code is lighterThan many XC brakes.TheTri-Align positioning system makes it fas
Strengths: They'll stop well when they want to. Nice set up. Strong make up and parts.
Weaknesses: FADE. Having to bleed them every other ride.
Great brakes out of the box. Easily the best brake I owned up to that point. But after a couple weeks of good summer riding they started to show their weakness. Mid ride they would fade on me, and this is right after a bleed. I was having to pump fluid through the lines before breaking in order to prepare for braking. Great braks if you want to bleed 'em all the time and spend money on DOT fluid, but, I dont got that kind of time. Rotors looked cool though..
The owner of my LBS rode my bike after installing, and said that out of the box, these are the best brakes that he has ever seen. I weigh 250, and like to go fast. I ride in traffic as well as in the woods, I would not use a lesser brake. Had them for 6 months and not 1 issue. These are the 2012 Codes.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2011
Strengths: Smooth lever action, Good power and modulation, good parts availability
Weaknesses: A pita to bleed, needs proprietary equipment to bleed,easy to contaminate pads, bad quality control / assemble from factory, and serviceability is crappy (talking to you, c clip in lever)
Straight out of the box these needed a bleed, but after reading the reviews I had purchased the bleed kit at the same time. Get the pro kit, as you may need to bleed these a few times while you own them.
The biggest problem is how sensitive these are to gas in the brake fluid, as most of my time was spent degassing the fluid so that the brakes would tolerate it.
The MC piston was also jammed in the lever body and the return spring couldn't return the lever.
To fix it I had to take it apart and trim down the white PE washer on the piston by pitting the piston in the dremel and touching the PE washer with 1200 grit sand paper.
The only 2-3 out of 4 pistons would actuate in each caliper, so I had to take the caliper apart and regrease the pistons and piston seals (use a DOT compatible grease like the Permatex stuff from an auto store). I also had to polish the piston bores using the Dremel to get rid of some of the gaulling.
So after all of that, the brakes felt good, but would sound like a baby truck horn whenever I used them.
I fixed this by changing both the rotors and the pad for EBC gold pads, and that stopped the issue.
The design of the caliper is such that it drops fluid straight onto the pads when you remove the bleed fitting and once that happens you have to replace the pads.
Also , the replacement pads from EBC are slightly out of spec, so I had to increase the lock pin holes to 4mm to get free movement, otherwise the pads would jam on the lock pin.
After all of that, the work really well, but there is no way I would buy avid again, unless they start using QC in their manufacturing plants (yes, I am implying that there is no QC in place).
1 chilly for value as you have to finish off the manufacturing process yourself and 3 overall, because once you sort them out, they are really good brakes.
Bike Setup: Giant Talon HT with Fox Floats, XT Drivetrain, Hope Hoops and other goodies.
Date Reviewed: September 25, 2011
Strengths: The 2011 Avid Codes rock! Amazing power. Modulation is excellent! Incredibly easy to set up. Best brake I have used.
Weaknesses: None so far. Just worked out of the box.
Awesome brake. A little pricey, but will bring them with me if I decide to buy another frame. Extremely powerful and confidence inspiring! If you're big and heavy (over lbs 200) these will 1 finger stop you quick!
Similar Products Used: Too many Hayes to list. Avid Juicy. Avid Elixir CR and elixir 5. Hopes and Shimano?? ( not Saints)
Bike Setup: Giant Glory. Fox40's. Pretty much stock set up.
from Edmonton, AB, Canada
Date Reviewed: June 30, 2011
Strengths: Not much, when they are perfectly setup they are good for a couple hard stops
Weaknesses: Where to start.. these came on my bike when I bought it, and I read so many great reviews about how these are the most powerful brakes ever. NOT.
Try taking a set of these apart and you will see how crappy the build quality is.
-Adjuster worm gear is made of cheap pot metal, designed so that if you turn too far in either direction it will seize the piston.
-cam is made of plastic! wtf?? all this design for a stiff assembly and the most important part is plastic. You might as well have plastic levers because a braking system is only as good as its weakest part. These brakes will never give good feel or be firm.
-pistons made out of extremely brittle material, they chip/crack when replacing the pads. One of my pistons has already seized in the caliper and will not come out.
-forget wearing the pads evenly. I've thrown away many good pads with one side worn out and the other side with more than half the material left.
-bearings in the lever are fake chinese crap. Try taking out the lever and rolling the bearing by hand and you'll see just how crappy it is. These are fake bearings just meant to make the product look good. Why bother because they barely rotate a bushing would have been better.
-can't bleed without the stupid syringe kit. All it would have taken them is one bleed nipple but instead they choose to screw you and force you to buy a kit.
-these brakes are inconsistent as hell. I suspect some people have gotten good ones and other people get the "made on friday afternoon" brakes. Mine grab well for the first couple stops and then fade rapidly.
-even with a perfect bleed, flipping the bike upside down and standing it back up ruins the bleed. The lever is all mushy and soft again. This is probably due to poor seals in the reservior/lever area. What a joke.
They should have named these brakes the avid fades. I've rebuilt my share of braking systems on cars, motorcycles, dirtbikes, etc. I've owned some pretty expensive brembo brakes and seen a lot of different designs. These brakes are sad and belong on some walmart bike, not a DH rig.
Crap quality control, hit or miss, you might get a good set but how long will it hold up with crappy plastic and pot metal parts? These are not "1 finger" brakes on a steep DH run I am using 2 fingers hard and getting arm pump even with sintered pads.
from Sunnyvale, CA
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2010
Strengths: power, modulation, adjustability
Weaknesses: factory bleed, lever spring
Great brakes! Factory bleed wasn't very good but once re-bled they work awesome. No noticeable fade, plenty of power, plenty of modulation.
The only beef I have with them is that one of the levers sometimes doesn't spring back but after a while the problem goes away. This doesn't affect braking, it's just weird since the lever stays at exactly the action point.
I don't know much about their weight but frankly don't care.
a Weekend Warrior
from Boston, MA
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2010
Strengths: Least expensive 4 piston 8in brake setup on the market. Avid is part of SRAM, making parts availability easy. Easy to install and compatible with other Avid parts. Popular service kits are plentiful.
Weaknesses: Absolutely horrible assembly quality. Serviceability is atrocious. Brake calipers seize after prolonged sitting. Adjustment is terrible. Bleeding takes forever. Engineering was half-assed at best. Juicy 3 held up better.
Avoid this brake. The price is tempting, but the quality and serviceability should deter anyone from purchasing this cheap system. I've had to take apart, lubricate the caliper pistons with penetrating oil and work them back in place to get them to operate safely. The lever push rod is held captive by a weak plastic washer behind an impossible to remove snap ring. Forget it if you accidentally adjust the pad knob too far; taking that assembly apart is a perfect way to waste 4 hours. I have a friend with a one-year newer Code kit on his rig, and it exhibits the same behavior. The next brake kit will surely not be Avid, and I'm surprised that there haven't been more injuries attributed to this flawed design. Much like any good safety gear, you cannot spend enough money on quality.
Bike Setup: Iron Horse MK3 Hollowpoint set up for freeride.
a Weekend Warrior
from Auckland, New Zealand
Date Reviewed: June 7, 2010
Strengths: Huge stopping power and amazing modulation coupled with complete adjustability
Weaknesses: The pistons became stuck after a year so had to replace them, otherwise nothing
I was amazed at a recent UK bike mag review that slated the Codes and rated their stopping power as poor. After a 12 km downhill run (with constant braking) that would have blown other brakes, my Codes stopped with perfect modulation. Brilliant brakes.
Weaknesses: Failure. They Fail as fast as they stop.
I and 2 friends had brake lever failures. All of us are experiencing piston lock up inside the brake lever. Took em apart to try fixing them... No go. The piston is just stuck inside the brake body... 2006,2007,2008 are the years i have. It seems like some reliability issues are around the corner for code owners...
Similar Products Used: Hayes Mag, Shimano Saint M810
Bike Setup: Devinci Wilson 4
a Weekend Warrior
from Philly, PA, USA
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2009
Strengths: Amazing braking power with excellent modulation. a truly one finger system. bleeding is a breeze, I have no idea why people complain about avids bleed process. Way more power than anything else ive run.
Weaknesses: Takes time to setup correctly but not a big deal.
Great product, I got it new from a swap meet for $100 for the entire front and rear set. I couldnt pass it up, well worth that kind of money. at the average $230/per, its still a good buy for the power and modulation they provide. Still cheaper than Gustav's
Weaknesses: The box seals - which should let the pads "0 position" creep inwards giving the same lever travel as the pads wear. I think codes dont do that so well.
Thats (partly) why so many people say the have to keep bleeding them - and keep pumping in extra fluid - to pump the pads across a bit.
My tip - dont, the resevior is big enough - back the adjust off and then squeeze really hard or take the wheel out and clamp something 1.5mm thick... the seals will slide across and your bite point range is back where it should be.
Mine need that too after cooling down from a hard long downhill run
The guys at Sram really put some thought in.
I would like the reach adjust on the fly, so I can change it when my finger gets tired - but thats a very small point
Similar Products Used: Avid Juicy,Shimano XT,Formula Oro
a Weekend Warrior
from toronto, canada
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2009
Strengths: when adjusted properly and bled, they work like a dream, absolutely no fade, great modulation, no noise, no drag, works the same wet, dry, or dirty, stop on a dime no matter what.
Weaknesses: a little pricey, and had a hell of a time setting them up to the way i like my brakes until i bled them
a little pricey but has to be the best investment i made for my bike. i would say that every hard core rider needs these brakes. they feel and work great, buy the brakes and a bleed kit and your golden.