Avid Elixir 1 Disc Brake System

3.06/5 (18 Reviews)
Weight : 415 g MSRP : $96.99

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Product Description

The Avid Elixir 1 Disc Brakes includes everything you need for a completer setup. These brakes are constructed from durable materials that offer immense stopping power every time. Featuring an ambidextrous mount system, versatility is abundant as you are

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Reviews 1 - 15 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Flator a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: November 13, 2014

Strengths:    Better than mechanical brakes

Weaknesses:    Won't hold a bleed more than 6 month even when they work right
"Self adjusting" means if they dragging or mushy you are stuck with it
Difficult bleed procedure

Bottom Line:   
I am sick of fooling with these brakes. Nothing but trouble from the get go. Shop replaced the fronts under warranty after they bled them twice and they still didn't work.
Lever gets closer to your bars as the pads wear, eventually bumping into your hand -- so then your choice is new pads (which are only 1/2 worn) or bleed to add fluid. Pads front + rear = $50. Shop bleed front + rear = $70 - $90.
Tried bleeding them yourself? $50 avid bleed kit is two cheap 60cc syringes that the hospital gets for 50cents, fittings, piston block, and fluid. Guess what - when you apply the slightest negative pressure to suck air bubbles out of the caliper, the tubing or screw fixture leaks! The only thing crappier then these brakes is the bleed kit!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pisgah

Duration Product Used:   2 years

Similar Products Used:   Shimano xt
Avid bb

Bike Setup:   Giant Anthem

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Guilherme

Date Reviewed: September 10, 2014

Strengths:    Stops the bike easily, no mechanical problems

Weaknesses:    Noisy when wet

Bottom Line:   
I had this for a year on the downhill bike i made the portuguêse championship, good braking power, no problems, cheap and reliable...I had none of the problems everybody has been talking about, and i really push this brakes to limit in all conditions bottom line buy them !

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by ezweave a Racer

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2014

Strengths:    The clamp fills in that pesky gap between your shifters and grips. You won't look like a buffoon who didn't put brakes on his bike.

Weaknesses:    Stopping your bike.

Bottom Line:   
Long story short: quit XC racing/riding over ten years ago, raced road and CX since, these came on my new Niner and I used them in an endurance XC race where they utterly failed. Despite being set up properly (myself, an experienced mechanic, and every shop mechanic I know who looked at them), they don't work well. Avid's Elixir brakes of all levels have this issue (I've been told).

The brake's engagement point only seems to kick in when the lever is around 40% engaged. Then, the "modulation window" from "modulate" to "lockup" is spongy and springy. Even after bleeding/setup with new pads, I have to squeeze the lever almost to the bar to get them to lockup. Remember that brakes on a mountain bike are half of the steering system. To successfully navigate technical features (like a steep, step down switch back) you often have to lock up, or nearly lock up your rear for a fraction of a second. That is very hard with Elixirs.

In small doses, (the 100 miles of training on technical trails I got to do on the bike before the race), this is tolerable, albeit annoying. In a 50 mile, 5200 feet of climbing 90% singletrack race (much of which was rated at blue if not higher), this was a problem. My descending started to suffer as my hands were too fatigued to brake properly, which meant I had to take long technical descents slowly. After forty something miles of this, my knuckles were bruised (and have been swollen for two days). I had not realized how bad these brakes are.

For the money, you can find Magura MT-2s, Shimano SLX or XT, or better and they all do a much better job of stopping a bike. A quick parking lot test on a semi-Pro's F29 with MT-2s yields immediate shock over just how bad the Elixirs are. The mecahnics I talked to said they were all "pure junk". And "a damn shame" as the old BB7 is still an excellent mechanical, offering strengths precisely where the Elixirs fail.

When I ended my life as an XC teenager, I got into DH/FR and learned to use brakes properly. When I started racing road (I still race road) I learned to use brakes as speed control and less for steering. Had I realized how technical this race was, I would have swapped these out prior. Between the brake problems and an unrelated mechanical with my front DR (1x11 is happening as a result), I lost almost 30 minutes in a 4-5 hour race. Unacceptable. For grins, I pulled out my ten year old HT (which needs to be put of its misery for a litany of reasons, lest of which is limited storage space in the city) with its BB5s and noticed IMMEDIATELY that they had none of the problems of the Elixirs (though would not be as good in terms of pure power, plus "too little too late").

Even if you could manage to prevent this hand fatiguing "pull the lever to the bar" thing with Elixirs, you'll also immediately notice the amount of vertical play in the levers' pivots. Ridiculous. Deore brakes don't have that problem.

SRAM/RS/Avid do so many things right and I'm a long time fan (my road and CX bikes are all SRAM/Quarq'd out), but this is mind boggling.

If you only do mild or short technical descents and fatigue won't be an issue, I suppose they're okay. But only use them if your bike came spec'd with them. If you are buying new brakes, get Shimano or Magura. Same price, but a completely different world. These are almost as bad as the Amp research brakes from the late 90s. Avid owes you an apology if you're cursed with these brakes. In 15 years of riding and racing all manner of bikes I have never used a product that was so bad at performing it's chief function.

Just shocking.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Apex, Dakota Ridge

Duration Product Used:   150 ish miles (nine days, one of which was a BIG day)

Similar Products Used:   Hayes HFX-9s, Avid Juicy, Magura MT-2 (since then), BB7s, BB5s, old RS Cable Actuated Amp Research Junk, V-Brakes, feet, trees.

Bike Setup:   Niner alloy 29er HT. X7 2x (going 1x soon). Niner wheels, tubeless stans. Fizik, Ergon, Time, blah blah blah. A racing bike that I secretly love beating "trails" guys with on the rough stuff.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Bob

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2014

Strengths:    none

Weaknesses:    A properly maintained brake that seizes up in middle of long ride leaving a person stranded, even one time, is beyond worthless

Bottom Line:   
Work fine, until they don't. The air in system (even after lbs bleed) causes brake to rub rotor, as heats up, rotor gets tighter until seizes completely. Of course, don't understand what is happening, at least the first time, until too late. Same price for bullet proof shimano deore.that will not need bleed for years. No defense for this in 2013; maybe first disc brakes ever on a mtb, but not today.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Flamingtaco

Date Reviewed: November 6, 2013

Strengths:    Lever is linear and smooth with great adjustment range
More efficient (less tiring/more brake force) than mechanicals
Versus mechanicals, worth every dollar
No more frozen brake cables during winter rides!

Weaknesses:    Time to make the move to drop price and eliminate all but the best mechanicals as the low-end brakes for MTB's.

Bottom Line:   
Rode rim brakes until just a few years ago, what a shock it was moving into rotors (BB5's). Tens of thousands of miles never gave me trouble with rim brakes (I am a meticulous mechanic), but like disk brakes on cars, set and forget. Install and setup was scary easy, I kept re-checking everything because I feared I had missed something, but no, it really was a super easy install.

Due to my weight (400lbs), I previously upgraded to 203mm Shimano ICE rotors at both ends. Still, it wasn't enough to break loose the rear tire on hard pack trails unless I shifted my weight forward. Bottom end mechanicals at the time (BB5), but still...

An unbeatable deal added a set of Elixir 1's to my component list. Culture shock again! Even these "low end" hydraulics are heads and tails better than typical mechanicals. The level pull is smooth, linear, and predictable, period. It takes a lot less lever input for braking force, so fingers don't tire out early and max force is significantly increased. The piston seal pulls the piston back off the rotor for silent operation (when off the levers). An adjustment screw allows a wide range for setting the position of the levers.

These pads are a little grabby with Shimano's Icetech rotors. Rotors with big stinkin' holes in the braking surface need long pads to cut back on vibration. The rotors chattered and could be felt in the bar and seat with the round BB5 pads. The longer Elixr 1 pads smoothed things out enough to bring in the confidence, but a real hard jam will still induce some chatter and vibration felt in the bar. This is with a 400lb rider... might not be noticeable for a 200lb rider. For me (anyway), I think the only solution for using these rotors is to have long pads under dual pistons.

I rate the value at four chili's because I think they should drop to about $100-120 and replace high end mechanicals. High end mechs should be the only mechs availlable, and should be the bottom-barrel brakes available for MTB.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 Years

Price Paid:    $700.00

Bike Setup:   2010 Cannodale F5
Deore XT Crank
Elixir 1 Hydraulics
Xpedo Faceoff Pedals
Geax Roadster/Geax Evolution/Kenda Nevegal
Soon: Mavix EX729 on Saint M820's

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Alex

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2013

Strengths:    - Cheap
- Looks good

Weaknesses:    - Squeaky
- Low performance

Bottom Line:   
The performance is poor if compared to almost any other hydraulic disk brake I've tried so far. I wouldn't recommend anyone to buy it. It came on my Cobia 2013 but I am looking for an upgrade as it is quite disappointing.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Corey Saunders a Downhiller

Date Reviewed: August 31, 2013

Strengths:    they stop you they are good but not great

Weaknesses:    not build for downhill useless to bleed my avid bleed kit keeped pulling in air they needed bleeding in 2 months hs1 rotors heat up very fast sometimes losing all power

Bottom Line:   
not for dh but they do work need big rotors 180 + for dh i still cant get a good bleed on them factory pads useless burn through them in one 10 min run running nukeproof dh pads now which have lasted 2 months and have half life on them to be honest will work for dh but these r more for light dh/fr but more for xc im buying some avid code r's

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   k loop palmerston north nz

Duration Product Used:   3 month

Price Paid:    $86.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Bike Setup:   2005 specialized bighit with boxxer 05 fox vanaila sram x7 avid elxir 1 with sun rim double wide wheelset 26 / 24

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Ernie

Date Reviewed: August 31, 2013

Strengths:    They stop you hard, handles are fine

Weaknesses:    Make a horrible gobble noise. Have almost no modulation. Air in rear line from factory

Bottom Line:   
Dont buy these unless you cant afford anything else.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rufio a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2013

Strengths:    They look pretty clean. Stiff construction on the lever so it modulates pretty well. I also find that in this brake the lack of features is a strength, there is not much that can go wrong. Reach adjustment

Weaknesses:    Nil.

Bottom Line:   
I have had good experiences with this product. They came off my girlfriend's 29er, she maybe had 200 miles on them. We swapped brakes because we were doing some upgrades on her bike to accommodate her smaller fingers to something with a shorter lever and could offer a bit more stopping power; XTs. I put these on a rebuild project of mine, my old Iron Horse MKIII. I'm running 160mm rotors on this bad boy and with the pads properly bedded in, this thing stops on a dime. I run an alloy handlebar on these and they are torqued down pretty tight and the lever is stiff so the power translates well. I don't downhill or anything like that, but for trail riding these are great. However, they are entry level, so they don't have all the features of an Elixir 9 or something like that, but they just work.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Avid Juicy 5 and Avid Juicy 3.

Bike Setup:   Iron Horse MKIII, SR Suntour Epicon X1 fork 140mm, SR Suntour Durolux rear shock; these are rad.
Deore Shadow+ 1x10. Alloy post, bars, stem. I actually started riding this more than my 29er because it's that much fun.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Jayem

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2013

Strengths:    Cheap

Weaknesses:    TURKEY WARBLE, resonant vibrations allowed to propagate due to caliper design/weight, increases in intensity and can make it impossible to hold on to bike.

Bottom Line:   
Stay away.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 mo

Similar Products Used:   Most every other disc brake (and various avid hydros are the only ones I've had this problem with)

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by somepeople123

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2013

Strengths:    none at all

Weaknesses:    worked for 1 week then it was like a sponge had the lbs bleed them 5 times no fix. The lbs called avid and they send a set of Avid Elixir 3 for no money.

Bottom Line:   
Avid Elixir 1 were stock on my 2012 Giant Talon 1 but failed to work. The good thing is got a upgrade to Avid Elixir 3.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by TikiGoddess

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2013

Strengths:    Great stopping power and light considering the price.

Weaknesses:    Was squeeky initially but broke in well eventually.

Bottom Line:   
These brakes came stock with my 2012 Giant Rainier 1. They work extremely well considering their budget price. Great reliable stopping power while doing downhill riding, it inspires a lot of confidence when I'm riding fast. They were a bit squeaky initially but the lbs advised me to break them in gently by riding the bike and stopping to a walk, doing this about 15x on each break just to get an even coat on the pads. I went thru the drill but it took more rides to fully break them in. I've had about 300 miles on the bike now and the brakes are performing flawlessly. No squeaks, just reliable stopping performance overall. I would recommend these brakes to the budget conscious builder or anyone out there looking for entry level disc breaks on an entry level/intermediate bike.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by stoppiemaniac6688

Date Reviewed: March 10, 2013

Strengths:    Great Modulation. Excellent lever feel with the Taperbore Technology. Strong initial bite with organic, top loading pads. Very light! Sleek lever design with a beefy caliper ( awesome!) and the white one tops the black colored one.

Weaknesses:    Lever feels a bit cheap and plastic.. although it is aluminum. Had to bleed after a week of riding.. but I love to service bikes so this was no problem. Reach adjust is tooled.. and you have to remove the lever to adjust the reach. Otherwise great performance!

Bottom Line:   
I want to start off by saying I run these as a front brake. I'm a street stunt rider and I do XC sometimes as well. These are amazing brakes for rolling stoppies as they are well modulated and allow me to adjust my balance in the air without affecting my speed. When going down a hill, these brakes allow immediate, controlled bite.. but can lock up the wheel if I want. Extreme heat tolerance and great look. The taperbore tech is really cool.. it does improve the lever feel a bit.. and seems to provide great modulation. These are great for the budget riders and should be classed as professional brakes in my opinion ! For any stunt rider reading this review, don't hesitate to buy these as a front brake. I have now rolled my longest ( 50m) stoppie on these brakes alone ;) I wouldn't recommend these foe extreme DH riders obviously.. but I think they are fine for XC and hard street rides.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Gordon a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2012

Strengths:    Excellent modulation with 160mm rotors. I liked them better than elixir 5's with 180mm rotors on a trek fuel ex 8 because it felt too grabby but that was probably just because I am so light and the increase in rotor size. Both handle heat very well as I have cooked them quite a few times on some 15minute downhill stretches. There was no noticeable fade and one finger breaking the whole time make them a joy to use.

Weaknesses:    The rear immediately developed the notorious turkey gobble screach that could be felt throughout the entire bike, and if I weighed 200 plus pounds with gear I might want 180mm rotors for long, brake heavy descents. Trek should put shimano's on their bikes unless they can sort this kind of stuff out better. If it weren't for the nasty noise and vibrations they put out they would get five chili's both no problem.

Bottom Line:   
Overall they were great. It took me four months to figure out what the deal was with the back brake squell. I bled the system multiple times, sanded the rotor and pads with clean 400 grit paper, aligned the caliper a dozen times, and made sure everything was torqued down but it persisted. I took it in and the mechanic did all that and then some twice and he was stumped. Finally he replaced the disc with a new G2 cleanwseep disc 160mm, the mount, and the hardware and now it has ceased.
What's interesting is that this only happens on avid hydro's. I worked at a bike rental shop and we had a dozen bikes with the avid bb5's and the same disc and they never developed a problem like this, and these brakes go through hell on these electric bikes. Clearly avid has a problem in the manufacturing process that the hydro's are bringing out because loads of people have the same problem. However, it is more likely that your set will be fine and i wouldn't be reviewing if I didn't have the problem. Compared to shimano deore and the lower level shimano hydro's these are a little better in everyway from what i can tell and I would still reccommend the elixir 1's despite what i just said. Its has a proper brake feel that put a smile on my face when I first used them. Also set up the adjust the reach adjust because it took me two months to figure out it out and I was wondering why I had to pull the levers so far in. Kind of a dumb blonde moment.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   East End loop

Duration Product Used:   Four months

Purchased At:   Brown's Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Avid elixir 5 and shimano M395

Bike Setup:   2013 trek 4900 stock except fox float 32 100mm ctd evolution and shimano saint pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mountain Man a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2012

Strengths:    Cheap, Great modulation/feel, Loads of stopping power, Light, Two piston caliper, Sleek look, low maintenance, easy to change pads, rotor sizes available from 140 to 200mm.

Weaknesses:    You have to take the handlebar grips off to take off the brake lever, the brake handle may be a bit short for some riders.

Bottom Line:   
I have been riding these brakes hard now for about 8 months. I have yet to have a problem with them. These perform just as well as my old avid juicy 7's. The pads stay quiet, no squeaking. I live in costal North Carolina and they work well in sand, mud, and rain. Unless you are doing intense freeride or downhill, i say look no farther than this set of brakes. These are the best value for the money, period.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $89.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Avid juicy 7, Avid elixir R.

Reviews 1 - 15 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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