In no way is Avid new to the multi-piston game. But, unlike the X0 Trail Brake, its prior offerings were solely intended for gravity use, and sadly, could easily double as boat anchors. Lucky for the all-mountain and enduro set, Avid didn't just go digging into its extensive parts bin to pair an...
Strengths: Excellent modulation, tons of power, ideal lever feel, low weight, tons of reach and contact adjustment, clean looks, rotors included in the cost.
Weaknesses: TURKEY GOBBLE, squealing, pricey
For all of the hype that Avid threw at these brakes I would say that they almost live up to it, but fall short in the most annoying way. In my opinion, these brakes set the standard for smooth lever pull, modulation, and power. I've played around with XTs and cannot stand the "light switch" feel, but appreciate their typical lack of excess noise. That being said, NOISE is where these brakes drop the ball. I've scrubbed rotors and pads, even swapped them, and bedded them in just as Avid recommends only to call turkeys after a ride or two. Humidity seems to quiet the brakes, as well as long descents and heavy braking forces, but light touches and braking before corners causes the decibels to rise to a frustrating level. I've talked with the tech guys quite a bit, and really I feel like blaming resonance in every part of the bike except in the brakes is just a run-around technique, but whatever...
As far as everyone's complaints about the bleeding procedure, I've only bled MY set of XO Trails ONCE in a year of ownership, but have bled A LOT of others' Avid brake products. As a shop mechanic I find Avid's procedure to be the least contrived and least cumbersome. Seriously, clamps and collection bottles and funnels--people consider that easy and simple? One needs two syringes and a rubber band to get a perfect bleed out of Avids.
Ultimately, they are a 3 chili VALUE because as good as they feel, they do cost A TON retail, and the noise and issues that others seem to frequently run into brings them out of the 4 chili range. I give them a 4 chili OVERALL rating because price aside, these brakes perform extremely well, and it's once again the noise issue that causes them to falter. But then again, some people never seem to have any gobbling...esta es la vida
I hope this review helps someone.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: July 22, 2013
Strengths: power to spare, looks good, four piston, quiet compared to some others
Weaknesses: shipped with extra long front hose
I bought a set in November 2012. Installed on an SB66c, frame-up build. Read many of these reviews which talk about bleeding difficulty, so was apprehensive. Did the rear brake at time of build (shortened hose), followed instructions, my Formula bleed kit fit these brakes. Did second time next morning. Still felt mushy, but once I took it for a ride, no problems at all. Been riding for eight months, love the stopping power! Shortened and bled the front brake in April (hose way too long), easier than the rear. Didn't need a second bleed. Some "turkey gobble" on initial application at low pressure, but goes away after a few seconds, or at heavy braking. Power comes on so smooth, modulation is excellent, beats my Formulas on the 575. Everybody talks about XTs, I rented a bike in CO a few weeks ago (ASR5), had XT brakes, no comparison to the Trails. Squealed the whole time, poor modulation, glad I picked the Trails for my bike!
If you are reading this please understand I have been riding bikes for a long time and wouldn't normally post something in public to slate a product.I have made many attempts to make these brakes work because I didn't want to have to shell out cash on another set of brakes after just buying a brand new bike but they left me with no other option.
I had these brakes on my new bike and cannot believe how poor they are. After initially thinking i would love them as the power and feel was good, i soon found out about the bleeding issues that seem to be prevalent according to other posts. They came with air in them which is totally unacceptable and after buying a bleed kit, I have not been able to eliminate these issues. I am a competent mechanic who has been riding for over 20 years and have never seen such an over complicated bleed process.
Having air in them meant that on occasion the lever would pull straight to the bar or pump up when the got hot. I also found that flipping the bike upside down caused big issues too. I have replaced them with some tried and tested XTs and now have faith that I will be able to stop. Surely this isn't too much to ask from a set of brakes that are very expensive in the UK?
Just to reinforce my opinions I would like to point out that one of our local bike shops refuses to stock avid brakes and is extremely reluctant to service them.
Strengths: Feels nice at the lever, solid power with strong bite through the stroke. Look great, fairly light. Did I mention they have excellent power and feel great.
Weaknesses: Mine are the XO World Cup Trail version so I don't have the pad contact adjustment only the reach adjustment. Not really a weakness but worth noting.
Currently on my trail bike (6&6). I run 203mm front and 180 rear so these brakes have great power with lots of modulation. Haven't bled them from new (purchased as a take-off from new bike), but overall they feel nice. The lever does push out a little from constant usage, but resets quickly.
Stock levers feel nice, very comfortable. Power is there without any strain to hand or finger. No word on longevity as I only have a few rides on them, but am totally impressed. Going to put these on the FR bike and have a second set on route. The second set has both lever and reach adjustment and will be used on the trail bike as I ride it way more.
These seem to have more power than XTs I have tried in the past. I have run the M775 and an older version, I liked the feel of the XTs, but for me the power was lacking.
I have run a couple Formula brakes including The Ones and the newer version T1s. The Avid Trails are similar in power, but I prefer the feeling of the Avid over the Formulas.
Lastly, I still run an older pair of Juicy 7 brakes. I have no complaints on these brakes as they have worked for a number of years with very little maintenance and still look and work great. The Trails and the Juicy 7 have the same lever feel. The Trails have more bite and more power available with less effort. The Juicy 7's work great just need a stronger pull to get the full power out of them.
Strengths: The entire system works well. I like the 4 piston caliper. The calipers work well. They look good. They are quiet most of the time.
Weaknesses: Not quite as crisp when pulling the brake lever as I would like from a higher priced disc brake.
These X0 trail brakes are a good set of brakes for the money. For most of my riding they are quiet. I only hear sqeaking about 10% of the time, which is probably from dust. They are not quite as crisp feeling as the Shimano XTR trail, but they are cheaper than the XTR trail. I had to bleed the brakes after cutting the lines, and they have been good for about 160 miles. They are feeling a little squishy now, but it could just be because my pads are close to needing replacement. I think Avid still has some work to do to equal the brake feel and power of Shimano. As mentioned though, for the cheaper price they are worth it.
Strengths: Very light. Good stopping power. Good modulation. Quiet (despite some of the review said it is noisy)
Weaknesses: None so far.
I have to cut the hoses and bleed them my self since they are way too long for my bike so I can't comment about the poor bleeding from the factory everybody is talking about. I always bleed my brakes my self and take my own time to do it properly. With good bleeding this brake can perform as it should be. I have been using this brake without any problem for 2 months now.
Weaknesses: Noisy, poor bleed from factory, difficult to get a proper bleed, poor lever feel, sub par stopping power
After the bed in process I was convinced I would like these. Dreams of no more noise, good power. I was wrong. Same old turkey gobble and howling, lackluster power and a lousy bleed from the factory. The reason the bleed is lousy from the factory is that's as good as they get! After 3 more bleeds by expert mechanics the brakes feel the same. Slightly mushy, espcially if you've been off them for a minute or two. Sram isn't much help, Calling them got me treated like a child " did you bed them in?, how?" They sent new rotors, they disn't help. No other brake requires this much trouble to set up. If these stopped well you can deal with it a bit. After 6 rides I have replaced these with New Shimano Zee brakes.
I've got a set of X0 Trail brakes, and am relatively happy with them. They're very much on par with the XT's (rode them on my last bike), but with the Avid feel. No fade, turkey gobble, or squeal to speak of.
My issue is the contact point - it seems to be closer and closer my grip as I bed and we ... Read More »
As a heads up to anyone interested in the new Avid X0 trail brakes (4 piston version), they have the same noise issues as any other avid series brakes. In fact, for my bike (stumpjumper evo) the noise and vibration issue is worse with this new brake than my old elixir CRs.
Things I've tried so ... Read More »
(Note: I updated the below post yesterday but didn't realize that it didn't move up nor the thread title not updating)
[I]The Elixir 9 has been out for a while and all the articles (mostly from last year) mention the rest of the line being updated at some point but has anyone heard a peep about ... Read More »
[I]The Elixir 9 has been out for a while and all the articles (mostly from last year) mention the rest of the line being updated at some point but has anyone heard a peep about when? Sounds like the new tech might be worth waiting for...[/I]
Update: This article was just released today
[url=htt ... Read More »
I really like the reviews of the XTR Trail brakes. I'm heavily leaning towards them. Though, before I make the plunge, was wondering if the brake levers play well with SRAM X0 or XX shifters. Anyone with experience running this combo?Read More »