Avid Elixir 5 Disc Brake System

2.85/5 (72 Reviews)
MSRP : $134.49


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Product Description

The Avid Elixir 5 Disc Brakes include everything you need for a complete setup. At 380g, these brakes are constructed from high efficiency materials that offer immense stopping power every time. Featuring an ambidextrous mount system, versatility is abund


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Reviews 1 - 15 (72 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Cliff

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2014

Strengths:    NONE

Weaknesses:    EVERYTHING, THEY ARE ABSOLUTE GARBAGE. CAME STANDARD ON MY GIANT TRANCE AND HAVE NEVER BEEN ANY GOOD. i have spent soooo much money on maintaining them. They nearly killed me the other day!!!!

Bottom Line:   
NEVER buy these brakes they are GARBAGE!!!!~!

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Brian

Date Reviewed: August 1, 2014

Strengths:    I haven't really seen any yet.

Weaknesses:    Locking of the caliper onto the rotor, no consistency whatsoever in their braking ability; they work really well on one ride....next ride I'm in the parking lot trying to bleed out pressure to relieve the caliper. Very squeeky.

Bottom Line:   
Just having had very good luck with old Hayes Hydraulic brakes (on a 2000 Trek 8000LT), compared to these.... 13 years newer - they suck. Not this season, but probably next I'll upgrade the brakes to Hayes. I've just had very good luck with theirs. Maybe will consider Shimano. My advice to anyone buying a multi-thousand dollar bike is to insist the shop remove these and put on something that has better performance and better consistency.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jetta2010 a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2014

Strengths:    solid build. stops my bike when I pull the lever.

Weaknesses:    tool-less reach adjust knob is cheap/plastic and hard to turn. no pad contact adj on this model :( Lot of dead pull (amount the lever moves before pads make contact with rotor).

Not necessarily a weakness, but the bleeding procedure indicates to pull the plunger back to pull out air bubbles, but to be careful not to pull too far as to not pull the plunger out of the syringe. What I have found is that I would have to pull the plunger back to the point just before it would pull the plunger right out of the syringe. this is especially true at the lever.


Bottom Line:   
I purchased these as like-new take offs from a new bike (flea bay). I got the front & rear levers/cable/caliper and 200 HS1 rotor (front) & 180 HS1 rotor (rear) & hardware, The only thing I needed to buy separately was a rear mount adapter.

They may have sat around a while which would explain why I had quite a difficult time getting the rear brakes to work correctly until I realized that the pistons were sticking. After I massaged each one individually I was able to get them working fine. Also, when I bled them the old brake fluid was distinctly different color (darker) than the new.

Used only twice on trail so far but so far so good. Has made some noise braking at times but not all the time and never interferes with braking. Have used in both wet and dry conditions, mild temps. I'm looking forward to running these for a few years so if I find anything that differs significantly to what I wrote here today, I will post back.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hunters Creek

Duration Product Used:   1 week

Price Paid:    $99.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Juicy 5

Bike Setup:   2008 Trek Fuel EX 8

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by matty

Date Reviewed: April 19, 2014

Strengths:    none what so ever


Weaknesses:    no modulation, won't hold a bleed long, squeal at slightest drop of water, pistons don't come out together.

Bottom Line:   
these are by far the worst brakes I've ever used but they after all part of sram which says it all really. first ride out about 20km in to an easy trial and the front lever went straight to the bar.they don't hold a bleed long, the pistons don't activate jointly everytime resulting in uneven pad wear, modulation doesn't exist massive fade no bite in the slightest, very very noisey.the bleeding kit/process is absurd as your bleeding them you just know they won't work well even after the old credit card between the pads and pump up trick. they must be giving these to specialized for free to put on their bikes as with my enduro. I thought about selling these but it wouldn't be right to ask money for them. save your money and buy xt's

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by rpb66 a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2014

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    Performance, reliability

Bottom Line:   
Here's one positive about Elixir 5s: If they work, they work quite well.

However, mine have hardly ever worked. In the three years I've suffered through having these brakes, they've needed constant maintenance and adjustment, and I truly mean constant. As a write this, my LBS is installing Shimano brakes on my Trek Fuel, as I finally grew smart enough to replace these POS Avids. I will never use another Avid product again, as I've really just hated these things from the get-go. Save yourself some time, money, and a bunch of headaches, and steer clear of these.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by finch2 a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: January 15, 2014

Strengths:    powerful, great lever feel, lightish, reasonable price

Weaknesses:    pads don't retract enough to allow pads to clear and so calipers need adjustment too often. Sometimes pistons can stick so that as pads wear one side doesn't self adjust. Somehow fluid migrates to caliper so that when replacing worn pads, you can;t spread the pistons far enough back to fit the new ones. Often I need to release some fluid to get them in.

Bottom Line:   
these brakes have good performance but a little touchy to adjust and need more maintenance than shimano. I really like the lever feel which is like a rim brake, opposed to squishy odd feeling power assisted brake. Build quality a little suspect in that powder coat allows some corrosion underneath. Overall you'd be better off with shimano unless you really like the lever feel. There isn't as much grab at the start of the pull as shimano but overall power is similar.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 years

Similar Products Used:   shmano xt, avid juicy 3, bb7

Bike Setup:   SS rigid, geared hardtail.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by C Fuller a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: January 6, 2014

Strengths:    Seem normal

Weaknesses:    Drag to the point of lockup

Bottom Line:   
These are stock on my 13 Specialized Stumpy 29. Seem to vary from slight drag on rear disk to outright locking up. No amount of adjustment could release the grip on the rear disk.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by skyline377 a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2013

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    Broke on my first ride.

Bottom Line:   
Just got my cannondale scaplel 3 with this brake set,on my 1st ride 10 miles in the front brake just locked up for no reason and I fell over my handlebars. took it back to the bike shop where I got it and they had to send it back to avid for replacement. Very bad first impression!!! Just got a call from the shop and they told me avid is going to send me the elixir 7 as a free upgrade. fingers cross!!!

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by David Utah a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2013

Strengths:    Works mostly just not reliably ,

Weaknesses:    The Avid Elixir 5 brakes are junk my bike only has four months of riding and i have paid a bike shop to bleed and replace rear pads once .I have had to replace the pad four times this summer alone have to do it myself can't keep paying bike shop to do something this often . My LBS said after Avid redesigned these brakes they went to crap.

Bottom Line:   
Would never buy Avid again look at reviews Shimano XT gets better reviews

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Snowbasin

Duration Product Used:   4 months

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Superlight 29 er RXC

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark a Downhiller

Date Reviewed: November 4, 2013

Strengths:    Cheap, good modulation, good power dry and wet

Weaknesses:    None so far.

Bottom Line:   
I don't understand all these poor reviews. These are on my 45 lb downhill bike and I ride hard. I will go through a set of rear pads after 1 1/2 days of lift access bike park like whistler or silver star, but the brakes have been great. Never bleed them, no maintenance at all.

I also have a set on my hardtail 29er that i got for 200. The only complaint was the rear brake locking up when hot 35C + out. Let a little fluid out of the bleed screw on the master and no problems since.

Both these are 2011 models, maybe the newer ones have quality control issues?

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 years

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   chain reaction

Similar Products Used:   Hayes, shimano


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Brandon

Date Reviewed: September 25, 2013

Strengths:    Better than no brakes at all.

Weaknesses:    Design.

Bottom Line:   
These came on my 2013 stumpjumper. I've not ridden alot of brakes but these are horrible. The 2005 SLX shimano's on my other bike are way better than these. These are noisy and have no controllable modulation.
Why does Specialized put such crappy brakes on such a good bike? I'll be replacing these as soon as I'm able.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Sean82

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2013

Strengths:    Price; modulation

Weaknesses:    poor "staying" power

Bottom Line:   
Got these as the factory brakes on my 2012 Specialized Camber. I had never used another set of hydraulic disc brakes before so I thought, coming from rim brakes, these were awesome. Over time, I noticed the effectiveness of the brakes diminish, especially the rear brake which I use regularly to help with lean-in on turning. Although, modulation capability has remained constant (except for when I 'lost' them completely, see below).
I have had them checked, drained and re-filled twice under warranty.
Yesterday I went on a 4.5 hr ride with three ascents and 4 descents (not DH, it's not a gravity bike, but good quality single track) and by the mid-point of the third descent, I basically had no rear brake--could pull the lever right to the bar but at anything over 10-12 km/h speed, it did little to slow me.
Brake system was being given ample time to cool during the ascents as these took between 30 and 45 mins with hardly any need for brakes.
Went to a LBS after the ride and they inspected the brakes, and it looks as though the rear is basically "cooked". Not good considering the level the Elixers are aimed at and the type of riding I was doing: supposedly a perfect match.

Some Deore XTs are ordered and will be put on asap!

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by pnelson112

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2013

Strengths:    Cheap

Weaknesses:    The seal in the lever swells and the spring to retract is not strong enough to do so causing the brakes to lock. When this happened to me I was going downhill taking a hard right and it was my front brakes!!! CAN YOU SAY TICKED OFF! At first I though that I had just grabbed to much brake then I picked my bike up and hopped on realizing the brakes were locked.

Bottom Line:   
STAY AWAY FROM ALL AVID BRAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel terrible because I work in a LBS and we sold tons of Juicy and Elixir brakes to clients who are all now trickling back in with the problem of locked brakes! So as of about a month ago we cleaned our shelves of all Avid brakes and are sticking with Shimano Deores for budgets and the Shimano SLX for big builds.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Noneck a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: August 1, 2013

Strengths:    Awesome stopping power.

Weaknesses:    None I have found yet.

Bottom Line:   
These were on my 12 Trek Cobia that the previous owner had upgraded to. These brakes are incredible. If I'm not careful can easily launch myself over the bars from a down hill blast. (ask me how I know!) I am also running 180 rotors front and rear. I did have a couple rides where they were noisy. First I cleaned the rotors with a Scotch Brite pad. Helped for a brief period. Then I used aerosol brakleen for cars and wash the bike after every ride. Problem left and has not returned. I recently bought a Trek Rig that came with Juicy 3 and the Elixir stops way better. I am looking to buy another set of Elixir for the rig. I am that happy with the Elixirs. Found 7s on eBay for about $170 for new take offs. They get worse reviews than the 5s but I take reviews with a grain of salt. Esp bad reviews.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2nd season

Similar Products Used:   Juicy 3


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: July 14, 2013

Strengths:    Price is right. Stops on a dime and minimal pad wear after constant abuse. Reliable and durable. Helpful lockout feature when removing wheels

Weaknesses:    Levers a bit too stiff at times, sometimes too loose when adjusted

Bottom Line:   
I've had these brakes on my bike for 3 years and ride all-mountain. For the price, they're in the upper echelon of brake systems in my experience. Shimano makes great sets too, but my Elixir 5s have been a little bit more reliable. Have hit downhill going 30+ mph and the levers don't require much to stop here. I don't know how anyone can rate the value of these brakes a 1 when they're moderately priced and provide above average braking. Try out Juicy line or any Hayes brakes and then you'll see a horrible brake system.


Reviews 1 - 15 (72 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


Avid Elixir 5 Locked Up

I have had issues with this brakeset (both front and rear) tightening when the bike is in the garage. In the past, I have tried reseating the caliper, and each time have only found success by releasing the slightest bit of fluid from each caliper. This time comes after the bike has been sitting a ... Read More »

Avid Elixir 5 SL

i'm fairly new to mtn bike. and don't know much. my front brakes are making noise, like if it's rubbing on brake pad. tried taking wheel off and putting back on. ive read bad reviews on my breaks. any suggestions? new brakes? new pads?Read More »

Brake pad contact with disc without brake applied (Avid Elixir 5)

My front brake pad makes contact with the brake disc at certain points in the revolution, causing a mild squealing sound. Any adjustments I can make to remedy this? While tuning the bike last year, I'm pretty sure I accidentally engaged the brake pads without the wheel installed.Read More »

Elixir 5 Dragging After New Pads..

Just put the first set of new pads in the rear brake and now it is dragging a bit. There is really no play in the brake lever now either. Searching around I found an old thread referring to Avids sometimes being slightly over filled with fluid from the factory and bleeding out a couple drops fixing ... Read More »

Avid Elixir 1 Up Front - Avid Elixir 5 On Back(?)

I have a 2013 Cannondale SL2 Trail 26er that came stock with Avid Elixir 1 160mm hydraulic disc brakes. I have an opportunity to upgrade the rear brake to Avid Elixir 5 at a firesale price. If I buy the rear brake should I wait to install it until I match the front brake? Sorry for the noob ques ... Read More »

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