Pure, simple performance is what you can expect withThe Elixir R. ItfeaturesTaperBoreTechnology,Tool-free reach adjustment, Power ReserveGeometry,Tri-Align Caliper Positioning System, and drip-free bleedingjust like every AVID hydraulic disc brake. A great match forThe X7 family. 2 piston caliperTop loading pads AmbidextrousTool-free reach adjustmentTaperBoreTechnology Approximate weight 375 grams Include lever, caliper, rotor and hardware
Strengths: looks, feel, ease of mounting and aligning, no squeal
Weaknesses: A lot of play in the lever and a bit spongey at first but after a few days of use and a pressured bleed, it worked like a dream.
This isn't a bad brake nor a great one, if you have a tight budget and looking for decent hydraulics your money can buy, have at it.
Date Reviewed: January 29, 2013
Strengths: Looks, maybe?
Bike sat in climate controlled room for a month and the rear break was locked up. Brand new 2012 Kona Cadabra with only a few hours or riding. As a professional bike mechanic for 20 years, certified DT Swiss wheel builder and CTS mechanic I can certify these breaks as garbage. When a break paranormally locks up this is when you know you have garbage equipment. No break should ever do this on its own. Perhaps if I treated them poorly maybe, but no. You get what you pay for folks, dont buy cheap breaks because they will not save you anything, especially when they fail when you need them. In this case I have to commute 12 miles in traffic with no rear break, no big deal. I have a set of reliable Shimano breaks on standby at home. These POS breaks should be pulled of bikes and shelves around the world.
Date Reviewed: December 27, 2012
Strengths: The lever feel is second to none and very powerful for a 2 pot brake. Easy to set up. cheap LIGHT!
Weaknesses: CPS washers are annoying, special bleed kit needed. Fiddly to bleed, but as said take your time and watch the vid all will be good.
Love the elixirs, run them on all three of my bikes. bleed them and change pads once a year or so and align them regularly and they'll last forever. My friend hit a tree with his, put a crack in the lever body and still hasn't even needed to be bled!
Date Reviewed: September 5, 2012
Strengths: Great power, tireless brakes
Weaknesses: Definition of headache = Adjustment of rear brake!
After 3000+ km I'll say that I trust these brakes. That's why I have no problem to ride with 40+ km/h on steep descents. Great power and always available: I never felt that I won't stop on time. Rear brake pads were replaced after 3000 km, front brake pads will be replaced later.
The rear brake adjustment is a problem. Not enough room for pads and rotor, has as a result the pads lightly touching the rotor and slowing down the wheel (plus the fact pads are wearing out faster). Especially now I have brand new pads, installed by a professional seems that there is absolutely no room for pads and rotor!
If the problem above wouldn't exist these brakes would be with one word: awesome...
Strengths: Reliable, easy to adjust, grippy, nice modulation, easy-to-change pads.
Weaknesses: A little tricky to bleed. Be sure to read the manual, watch the video, and take your time.
I've been using a set of Elixer R brakes for about two years now, and I have never had a problem. I just finished the Colorado Trail Race with them, and they worked great. They withstood some very long and steep descents on that race (70,000 total feet over 7 days), with a fully-loaded bike, and never faded or did anything weird. One set of brand-new pads lasted the entire race--barely. They can be a little noisy when the rotors are dirty--but that's pretty much to be expected.
I also have a set on my commuter. Not a terribly demanding application, but they work great. Great stopping power in the rain!
I think that good bleed is necessary if you want to get the most from Elixers. It's not that hard, but it does require attention to detail. There's a good video on SRAM's site, and the manual is also very helpful. Buy the proper bleed kit, and take your time to get it right. Get ALL of the bubbles out of the line by tilting your bike if necessary, tapping on the lines, etc.
Weaknesses: I`ve not had much of a chance to ride this year but when i do get the chance i expect to be able to get my bike and ride,but no the rear caliper has seized on again.
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2012
Strengths: Very easy to remove from your bike.....
Weaknesses: After just one ride on my Yeti Arc front disc warped and ruined the pads......
My first and last go with these Brakes. Brakes that Broke.....
Back to Hope for me had hope mini's and Hope M4 for last 10plus years. Why did I trust my bike shop into talking me into trying a different brake. Trust what you know to be excellent. Use Hope.
A very poor product would not in good concience sell them on as they are dangerous. your life depends on good brakes. These are not good brakes, Just good for the dustbin. A total waste of your hard earned money.
Bought these brakes after I had a pair that worked well on my previous bike. They were good(not great) for about 6 months, then the rear lever started to pull to the bar. had them bled, worked for about a month. Stored bike for 3 weeks, then the lever started pulling to the bars again. had them bled AGAIN, then they failed to brake in the middle of a ride. LBS Has inspected every part of the brake, and can not find the problem. These were bled by two different competent bike shops. I will never buy another set of Avid Hydro's again. Going back to bb7's until I have 500.00 to spend on good Hydros's, or may just stick to mech's since they are much less likely to fail.
Weaknesses: hard to get lined up perfect, lets you know when it isn't perfectly centered.
I got this set last spring from crc for 70% off, no rotors. I'm using them with non ice-tech xt rotors as a 180/160 combo. My brother also got a set for his 29er, and we split a bleed kit between us.
I bled both sets from the get go, we had to shorten his lines so it would've been necessary anyways. Bleeding went well, followed the Avid bleed procedure of de-gassing the fluid, although it seems odd, the bubles do seem to be trapped in the fluid. Patience is your friend, I found it helped to let the brakes sit for little bits in-between little bleeding sessions. I only used the top syringe for bleeding, I'll use both to flush the old fluid.
I ride around a bit to break in my breaks whenever I change something, pads, rotors, etc. Every time, these have impressed me with how much power they have from the first time I pull the lever, and they just get better the next couple times.
I've had to set up about 4 sets of brakes on my own bike incl. these, mech and these on my brothers, and some hayes 9's and aces for a friend. The avid CPS system blows. I cut my bolts short and used the lower set to space the caliper, but the bolt face squares it all up. On the rest, I flip the cup and cone around to lower the amount of rotation allowed, but any is still bad. The elixirs most definitely take the most time to set up and get squared/centered compared to any I have worked on, and the rotor needs to be pretty close to true to keep quiet. Its also time worth spending, even if it gets a little frustrating.
The reach adjust gets set for me once, doesn't get touched all season. I thought I'd want the cr's, but the bite point is excellent, and I've heard/read it makes bleeding more tricky. I could get away with elixir 5 levers no problem. The ajustable banjo angle is a really nice feature on the R's though, which the 5's don't have. With the way some forks angle the post mounts, and then the 180 adapters do it even more, makes for a pretty tough routing job if it weren't for that adjustment.
Came stock on my fuel ex 9 right away had nothing but problems the stopping power was good but could never center the rotters always rubbing some how. always leaking so sram ended up replacing them with CR they sucked too.
from Smolyan, Bulgaria
Date Reviewed: March 10, 2012
Strengths: Light, user-friendly, tremendous stopping power, very strong - I have hit a rock with either the disk, the handle and the body.
Weaknesses: Hard to bleed - for the best results give it to specialists in a bike shop.
This is something that at time of buying was the best for the price I could have. And for sure it was on of the greatest deals for this setup. I have abused them so hard that they begin to smell like something is burning, but never fail, and again and again. Really really strong and very precise in the hardest conditions on my favorite trails. I think that even second hand they are good deal.
Favorite Trail: The Patechkata, Saint Spirit, Orpheus Rocks
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: CRC
Similar Products Used: Various models of Hope, Hayes, Magura, Shimano!
Bike Setup: Front 203mm rear 160mm rotors on a Transition Dirtbag, Fox 32 float 180mm, SRAM X4-X9
a Cross Country Rider
from Chino Hills
Date Reviewed: January 3, 2012
Strengths: When there is no air in the lines, they provide good braking.
Weaknesses: This is my second set of brakes in 1 1/2 years. In the first six months, a leak developed in the rear caliper, so Avid (through my Specialized dealer, replaced both front and back brakes under warranty. A year later, I've had to bleed my front brakes twice. And to this day, when I notice more than normal free play in the lever, if I repeatedly tap (feather) the brake lever (a trick told to me by my LBS), it draws the air back up to the reservoir. This then gets rid of the play in the lever. This happens on any given day, while my bike is idle garage.
Keep them serviced regularly and then they'll be there for you. Hardly any squealing from the rear, like I've read about from others. They come as standard equipment on all Specialized, and I don't necessarily advocate swapping them out. You just need to stay on top of the maintenance, including keeping fresh pads.
Similar Products Used: Shimano XT hydraulic, Hayes, - regret not keeping both for the new bikes.
Bike Setup: Merida 96, custom built wheels, a few carbon bits and pieces, XT components
a Cross Country Rider
from Santa Fe, NM
Date Reviewed: September 26, 2011
Strengths: Very good lever feel. Very good Stopping power.
Weaknesses: Very good lever feel went away for good. Six months into use the levers pulled all the way to the handlebar. Bleeding process was complicated and resulted in sticky calipers resulting in rubbing rotors.
At first it was a love affair. New, Elixir R's feel so good and stop so good. Like others posting here I stored my bike upside down for a period of time and it was all downhill (with crappy brakes)from there. The levers lost their great feel and pulled all the way to the handlebar. The pistons no longer retract and make the pads rub on the rotors constantly.
I purchased the bleed kit and was appalled at how complicated this process was. Multiple attempts to bleed and I finally got the procedure down resulting in proper lever feel. I followed Avid's instructions for reseating then eventually rebuilding the pistons several times and the pads still rub on the rotors...enough so that proper adjustment simply cannot be made and the bike cannot be ridden thanks to new permanent brake engagement.
Life long pro bike mechanic and industry tech here and I am absolutely steamed at these brakes. I appreciate that high end gear is needed to trail ride in the mountains (as I do) and that a higher level of tech is required by that gear, but come on! My old original Shimano XT dual piston brakes with Goodridge hoses on my hardtail have enjoyed hanging from hooks upside down in the garage for literally like ten years and I have never had to bleed those brakes. That's right...NEVER.
As this bike is set up for lowland around town trial riding I am going to replace the Elixir R's with BB&'s which I have used and had no problems with.
Never, ever again will I buy Avid hydraulics. It makes me think of the obsolescence built into all the crappy cars from the '70s.
a Weekend Warrior
from Austin, TX
Date Reviewed: September 3, 2011
Strengths: Came stock on my Salsa Spearfish. I had them bled and set up at my LBS; all they do is work. They are much more progressive than mechanical brakes. I like that the pads are self adjusting; squeeze the lever a few times that the pads are the perfect distance from the rotors. If they ever get really out alignment, just loosen the mounting screws on the piston, pump the brakes a few times and tighten them back up.
Weaknesses: There is a huge dead spot in the lever travel. You don't get any brake action until about halfway through the pull.
My BB7 were very much an off/on affair, however, I could tune them so there was almost no travel in the brake lever (which I prefer). The Avid's stop much faster and have better modulation but I the dead spot in the lever is driving me nuts.