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
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.
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.
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
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2013
Strengths: - Cheap
- Looks good
Weaknesses: - Squeaky
- Low performance
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Strengths: Great stopping power and light considering the price.
Weaknesses: Was squeeky initially but broke in well eventually.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Similar Products Used: Avid juicy 7, Avid elixir R.
Date Reviewed: July 2, 2012
Strengths: Plenty of grip, great stopping power, reliable, easy to clean and replace pads.
Weaknesses: Vibrations can cause the reach screws on the levers to come loose.
I have had these on my bike for a couple months now. After two months I thought there was something wrong with them as I was able to pull my levers into the handlebar grips and getting now stopping power at all. If you have this problem then get out the Avid manual that came with the bike you bought and look at section 5, it will tell you to turn your 'reach screws' a quarter turn clockwise, you need a 3mm Allen Key or Hex Wrench to do this. First, make sure you take your handlebar grips off and move the break lever along to the end of the handle bar, then you can tighten it more easily. I turned it more than a quarter turn till I started to feel resistance on my break levers again!
a Weekend Warrior
from dallas, texas
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2012
Weaknesses: I went through 3 systems!! All crap. The only reason why I went through so many is because it was under warranty so I was hoping I just got a dud and kept reordering. I finally had to give up and buy a completely different brake system, so I went with the shimano slx brakes.
I had a horrible experience three different times with the exact same product. I finally had to buy a completely different brake system. Maybe there was a bad batch of brakes they sent out, I am not sure. I have never posted a review until now, but I have been going back and forth with Avid for 3 months and wanted to warn others about these brakes. They suck.
from London, England
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2012
Strengths: Really good modulation on this break, it also looks good and has good power as a front brake, It comes in a range of colors, It is cheap (especially for a big brand) great for the money as well, reliable and has lever adjustment, Top loading pads always a bonus.
Weaknesses: Lever is a little chunky for my liking, the lever only has 1 bolt so grips have to come off to get the brake off, Pads use a split pin and not a bolt so a bit fiddly and needs replacing with the pads!
In a nutshell its a brilliant brake, doesn't cost much at all compared to other brakes but is a good deal, not only do you get what you pay for but you get extras including lever adjustments and a rotor with a choice of sizes and many colors to choose from! it is a very solid and strong brake and has taken quite a few beatings, and still looks new. It is well modulated which is rare in budget brakes, It replaced my Juicy 3 and i don't have any second thoughts on doing in, however it may be worth getting the Elixir 3 for an extra $20 as you then get the better lever and the bolt through caliper instead of the split pin system, however if that does not bother you then they have exactly the same power!
If the lever was a little thinner then it would be my ideal brake as it is chunkier than my Elixir R.
However they are hard to self bleed as Sram use a different system to other hydraulics with they're Avid Brakes, and its not particularly heavy for a brake either. I'd recommend this brake mainly to beginner to intermediate Downhillers, beginner to intermediate Freeriders, beginner to intermediate XC and All mountain riders! I would say for expert riders you'd probably aim to go for a higher model or Avid Codes for DH and FR or The juicy Carbons for an expert cross country rider and Elixir R's for all mountain riders!
I have a 2012 Giant Anthem X4 29er equipped with Avid Elixir 1 brakes.
The right lever (rear brake) moves about 1/4"-3/8" before the pads grab. This is typical of what I've experienced on other systems that I've used (Avid Juicy 7, Hayes) and I like this setup since the lever ends up roughly par ... Read More »
During my search for the right MB, I've found that the Elixer 1s are definitely lacking some bite. How do they compare to the M395s? One of the bikes I'm looking at, Giant Trance 29er 2 comes with them standard and I don't have the $$ to upgrade.
ThanksRead More »
Hello, I'm new to the forum and still figuring things out so if this is is the wrong area then my bad. Anyways, I ride a Diamondback sortie 1 and when I got the bike it came with avid BB5's, but for awhile now I've been wanting to go hydraulic. I'm 15 years old and don't have a whole lot of money to ... Read More »