Avid Elixir 3 Disc Brake System

2.39/5 (23 Reviews)
MSRP : $119.99

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Product Description

The Elixir 3 isThe perfect blend of power, performance and value. WithThe same excellent performance as its big brotherThe Elixir CR, The Elixir 3 is a less expensive version with a little added weight.The Elixir 3 featuresTaperBoreTechnology found inThe more expensive brakes offered by Avid. TaperBore refersToThe patent pending closure systemThat shaves weight, looks sleek, and improves lever feedback, and provides ultimate power and control. EnjoyTheTop- loading pad feature. Replace pads w

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Reviews 1 - 15 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2016

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    Constant binding issues

Bottom Line:   
My wife bought a Cannondale Scalpel several years ago with these Avid Elixir 3 brakes. We kept bring it back to the bike shop for "break adjustments" to stop the binding issue. The wheel would almost lock up it got bound so tight in the calipers. I wish the bikes hope would have been up front with us and just replaced them with another brand. This situation has ruined more than a couple of bike rides, some required a long road trip to get there. The bike shop made us feel like it was an adjustment that we weren't doing right. When obviously from this and other reviews, Avid makes poor quality brakes.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by shekky a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 26, 2015

Strengths:    it is a disc brake
they work very well when they're not squealing

Weaknesses:    hideous neon yellow color
require constant adjustment, bleeding and pad replacement
howl like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vxlnZ8BihI

Bottom Line:   
these brakes came OEM on my 2011 marin pine mountain, so they're neon yellow to match the bikes 25th anniversary graphics.

the shop didn't bed the pads in properly when they built the bike and didn't bother tell me that i needed to do this when i rode it out of the shop, so they started screeching about twenty five miles in. since i've purchased this bike, it has been nothing but a constant litany of adjustments, bleedings, screechings and howlings from otherwise powerful and effective brakes. this is regardless of how clean i keep my rotors, how many times i've replaced and properly bedded in pads not how many times i've swabbed the pistons with alcohol to clean them so that they'll retract properly.

mind you, when i say "effective and powerful" that these are the first disc brakes i've ever used after many years on vee brakes.

if i were in the market for a bike again and the bike i had my eyes on was equipped with avid elixirs, it would be a deal breaker unless the shop replaced them with something else.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   mt sutro, SF

Duration Product Used:   3 years

Purchased At:   OEM

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   2011 marin pine mountain with standard components

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Dave

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2015

Strengths:    At least they are Hydro's.

Weaknesses:    Of/off braking, have to bleed often

Bottom Line:   
These cam stock on my Trek Fuel 7, Since it was new I have had to have them bled several times a year. I have not been impressed.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Nick

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2014

Strengths:    I found that the avid elixir 3 was a very strong brake

Weaknesses:    A very hard brake to get to work. burn out way to easy. levers are to long.

Bottom Line:   
great brakes when they work with enough power but getting them to work is the hard part. honestly if anyone was looking at buying these brakes I wouldn't recommend buying them the shimano brakes are so much better.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by will

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2014

Strengths:    good stopping power (when they work), not as much noisy as i thought

Weaknesses:    had to change discs and take them in to open them up

Bottom Line:   
all in all when they work they're amazing, it's getting them to work that is the key

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Michael

Date Reviewed: December 27, 2013

Strengths:    None would rather have mechincal

Weaknesses:    no power, levers are to long, needed a bleed after a month. After a month the back brake needed to be pumped 3 times before it would do anything and the lever was bottoming out the entire timeThese came on my new bike and i was running the base line shimano brakes before and these were terrible. So bad that when I got new brakes I took the brakes pads off and threw them away.

Bottom Line:   

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by John a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: July 24, 2013

Strengths:    Good Power, feel solid

Weaknesses:    Horrible noise

Bottom Line:   
These came stock on my cannondale bike, the first ride out, you could of heard me from anywhere on the mountain. They did what they were supposed to do but man, the noise was way to much. My wife also has these on her cannondale on on her first ride same thing, who needs gps if we get lost because we can just hit our breaks.... I took them back to shop and had the mechanic look at them, he told me that these brakes can be loud. After they tried adjusting them, I took it out on another ride and had the same problem. I'm going to swap them out for the shimano slx. They work well stopping you but you have to be able to put up with the dying cat noise. If this was happening on just one of our bikes it would be 1 thing, but they are screaming on both...

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Ryan a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2013

Strengths:    Reasonable power
Better modulation than mechanical disc brakes
Reasonable weight

Weaknesses:    Came stock on my norco shinobi, left hand clamp was done up so tight that it was impossible to undo to move lever for 1 finger braking.
Spongy lever feel.
Lever return is notchy
Not as much power as any shimano brakes
Awkward to set up with shifters for comfortable 1 finger braking
Much harder to bleed than shimano brakes
Uses dot 4/5.1 fluid rather than paint and skin friendly mineral oil.
Front brake turkey worbles under hard braking.

Bottom Line:   
These came stock on my 2013 norco shinobi, hence why the value rating is not 1 chilli. The lever feel is terrible and power isn't close to shimano slx or xt. I work in a bike shop, so whilst I haven't had these brakes for long enough to require a bleed yet, i know that they're a pain. Compared to slx/xt, these brakes are loud, poorly modulated, underpowered and unreliable. I will be replacing them with shimano slx asap. Would not recommend.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anywhere and everywhere

Duration Product Used:   1 month

Purchased At:   TBSM

Similar Products Used:   Avid elixir 5 and elixir cr (both as awful as elixir 3's), shimano deore, shimano deore xt.

Bike Setup:   Norco Shinobi 3, X-Fusion trace fork (surprisingly good), X-Fusion shock (broken after 3 rides), sram x5/x7, elixir 3's, sun ringle inferno 25 rims, high roller 2 front, ardent rear

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Andrew

Date Reviewed: May 21, 2013

Strengths:    these brakes look killer, they do have good stopping power "if you squeeze hard enough", mine have been quiet so far.....

Weaknesses:    brake lever doesn't feel comfortable, it has to strait of reach. it takes to much pressure to get to the power zone. you have to use a 2 finger method to brake or move them so far inboard that your index finger is at the very end of the lever which moves the shifters out of easy reach.

Bottom Line:   
these came on my new 2013 bike, my old bike (2003) had Shimano Deore discs which are the same price range as these Elixir 3's. I will take the Shimano's hands down !!! I never needed to use 2 fingers with them no matter how fast or how steep. every time I ride my new bike my index fingers hurt for 1 to 2 days.... that's how much force these things require !!!! as soon as I have the money, I will be getting some SLX or XT brakes to replace these.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by nate

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2013

Strengths:    appearance

Weaknesses:    embarassing ear piercing squeal
medium power

Bottom Line:   
wow! carefully read reviews on many bikes before i purchased, finally decided on the 2013 trance 29er x1great reviews EXCEPT... you guessed it, elixer 3s. after riding now for just under 20 years, i felt confident in getting the issue addressed.the bike shop was able to temporarily get them quiet( squealout and adj.) , but within 20 miles here came angry pig battalion.i also centered caliper, sanded (AND BEDDED PADS TO AVIDS SPECS)rotor is straight. bike is 2 months old and im hesitant to ride it because of the frustration level. wish i could get at least half of retail and buy some xts. BELIEVE THE REVIEWS! love the bike hate the avid elixer 3s

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by MTBeing

Date Reviewed: March 10, 2013

Strengths:    They modulate well and stop my 200# frame with a 170mm/160mm HS1 rotor combo. I don't know what else to say, the brakes and do what they're supposed to do. Love the fact that you don't have to take the caliper off to remove the pads. This is a great piece of engineering by Avid. As a result it takes less than 1 minute to change pads.

Weaknesses:    A little front brake noise that seems to go away the LONGER I ride. The oem pads are a little gritty feeling and have a intermittent squeal in the front. Don't like the little retaining clip that keeps the pad bolt from backing out of the caliper. I know it's gonna disappear some day.

Bottom Line:   
Came stock on my 2013 Giant Trance X29 and overall I've been pleased with them for the 2 months I've ridden with them. I bedded these exactly as Avid recommends and it may be a reason that I've had decent luck with them. I know others have had really poor luck with even XO/XX brakes but I have to review on what I've experienced. I soak the pads for in isopropyl alcohol every couple weeks and scrub them with a toothbrush, then re-install. I haven't had a chance to ride these in the extreme heat or in the web so I'm unsure as to how they will behave in those conditions.

I'm pleased so far but I'll revise this review if something changes.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Kamil

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2013

Strengths:    Hella big stoping power. Actually it's stronger than any shimano brake and hayes i've ever used.

Weaknesses:    Bleeding is a necessary skill. Since it's got to be bled few times a year

Bottom Line:   
It's a great brake. But bleeding can be pain.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Luposian

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2012

Strengths:    They brake solidly and feel like they stop you far more "positively" than the rim brakes on my 1997 Schwinn S-10 ever did.

Weaknesses:    Noisy. Gritty. Oscillations. After a couple days of riding my 2011 Giant Trance X3, I noticed these brakes started sounding/feeling kinda odd. I asked my LBS and they just dismissed me and said everything was fine. After trying a simple cleaning, they felt smooth again, but then started acting up again. My LBS is now looking them over again and we'll see how they fare.

Bottom Line:   
They seem to work solidly. They're just kinda noisy and noises seem to radiate right through to the pedals and make the whole back end vibrate. It's unnerving but... I can't complain much... they came with the bike and they work. If they ever give me more trouble than just noise, I'll upgrade to Shimano. Almost everything else on the bike is Shimano... why not the brakes as well? :-D

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by engrmariano a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2012

Strengths:    got enough power to stop the bike...
doesnt require too much effort for the brakes to bite...

Weaknesses:    noisy & not smooth...
calipers slowly engages on its own after a few months of usage. 3 of us got the same exact problem...

Bottom Line:   
got lots of problem with in two months of usage. the calipers slowly engages on its own until you feel the bike is getting heavy. 3 of us got the same exact problem, so its a know issue of this brake...

Expand full review >>

Purchased At:   Tay Junction, Singap

Similar Products Used:   my local lbs only got hayes so i have no choice but to use hayes on my rear...

Bike Setup:   2011 Specialized Camber Elite 29er

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by zenkem

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2012

Strengths:    Entry level

Weaknesses:    Weak, noisy and overheat easily

Bottom Line:   
Came on a new ride, almost killed myself during a Downhill descent when I experienced brake fade. Went to the LBS and exchanged them for a different brand. They may be alright for moderate cross country but you won't catch me riding them...

Reviews 1 - 15 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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