Avid Elixir 5 Disc Brake System

2.9/5 (68 Reviews)
MSRP : $134.49


  • Store Price

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 (68 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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.


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by duke

Date Reviewed: July 14, 2013

Strengths:    Worst brakes ever, don't waste your time or $, go shimano...........

Weaknesses:    terrible

Bottom Line:   
dont try to pinch a penny, these brakes suck.......

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

Date Reviewed: April 25, 2013

Strengths:    The feel and control of them are good when they work.

Weaknesses:    Pull the levers to the bars Hope the bike will stop

Bottom Line:   
I wanted them to be good brakes but i find these to be the worse brakes I have used. They work for a while then fail. I initially liked the feel of them but when they regularly loose power I find it hard to trust these brakes. They have been bleed at least twice.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Maura Louise awesome
Hayes awesome



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fisher_rider04 a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2013

Strengths:    Comes in white. They stop my bike. Top loading pads are easy to replace and insert a bleed block. The pads won't fall out due to the cotter pin holding them in. One finger braking. Leaver blade is comfortable. Easy to bleed. Durable

Weaknesses:    There is no brake pad distance adjuster.

Bottom Line:   
I upgraded from Avid Juicy Three brakes. These brakes work great. There isn't much difference in braking performance. I can still modulate the brakes and lock the brakes when I need to. However they are easier to bleed, are more comfortable, and weigh less than the Juicy Three brakes. I bought these off Ebay new without rotors or clamps. I purchased the Matchmaker clamps and they make organizing my bar easier. I also kept my Alligator rotors and had no problems with noise or vibrations like other reviewers are complaining about. Definitely worth buying.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Santos Trailhead

Duration Product Used:   Three weeks

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Avid Juicy Three

Bike Setup:   Custom setup with Gary Fisher genesis hardtail frame, Rockshox coil u-turn fork, Sram X9 derailleurs, X9 hubs, X7 shifters, and FSA v-drive crankset.

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

Date Reviewed: April 8, 2013

Strengths:    Easy to maintain and bleed.
Look great on my bike.
Good stopping powers.


Weaknesses:    The levers are pretty weak I think.
I am a downhill guy and crash pretty big.
Levers snap but that is just part of the game.


Bottom Line:   
These brakes are straight up pretty good. I have not had any problems with them yet. Great stopping power. Some times a little finicky(not a ton of pressure at first but stiffen up as I pump them) at the beginning of rides.
For every one having problems; I have found maintenance is key.
I clean the rotors, pads, and levers almost every time after I ride. (no matter what condition) But that is just me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Draper DH

Similar Products Used:   Avid Bleed Kit, Hayes Disc Brakes

Bike Setup:   Trek Session

Reviews 1 - 15 (68 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


Replacing pads and resetting pistons on Elixir 5

Hey, so I thought that replacing the pads on my Elixir 5 brakes would be an easy job, but I just can't seem to push the pistons back far enough to get enough space between the pads. I'm using a big screwdriver to wedge the old pads apart just like the pinkbike video says. Maybe I need to get into ... Read More »

Avid Elixir 5 Lever Internals

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Help!! What brakes open more than Avid Elixir 5's

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Elixir 5 Hoses

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