Avid Single Digit Ultimate Brake System

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Avid Single Digit Ultimate Brake System 

DESCRIPTION

This sleek new CNC rim brake pivots on sealed cartridge bearings so you’ll get a smooth, effortless stop. In fact, its stopping power will amaze even disc brake devotees. It also has a lefty/righty reversible noodle which allows youTo routeThe cable from, you guessed it,The left or right lever. Beautifully sculpted from solid aluminum billet, it’s very lightweight - just as youd expect from Avid. This item includes 1 brake (enough for one wheel). OrderTwo ofThis item if you need brak

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 28  
[Sep 16, 2005]
Eric
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

Sealed cartridge bearings, lightweight, CNC machined

Weakness:

Squeels with ceramic brakes if not set up properly

The best brakes I've ever used. I have the new XTR dual control levers and braking wasn't smooth with the Avid Ti. I bought the Ultimates and it made a world of difference! My braking is now smooth and it definitely has to do with the sealed cartridge bearings!

Tip for those who have squeeling problems with ceramic rims: Avid instructs that when the brakes are applied, the brake pads has to be parallel with the brake arms. Do not make them parallel, but adjust the shims so that it's more of an "A" shape.

My brakes was shipped having the "A" shape instead of parallel and didn't have any squeeling. When I read Avid's instructions that it should be parallel, I changed it and my brakes started squeeling like a banshee! Needless to say, I changed it back.

Bottom line, if you want the best V brakes there is no substitute for the Ultimates. I had disc brakes, but we all know that it'll never be as light as V brakes.

Similar Products Used:

Avid Ti, Shimano XTR, XT Disc brakes

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 05, 2002]
Steve
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Incredible braking power to the rim due largely to the stiffness attained by CNC,(computer numerically controlled) machining process manufacturing of the brake arms. Better than anything else I have tried. (this is the same process used by Chris King, Thomson, and Race Face on their respecctive products). No slop with sealed cartridge bearing assemblies compared with bushinged units. They ship with stainless steel hardware that while may not be as light as comparable titanium hardware doesn't require the replacement interval that ti hardware does due to stretching of the ti bolts. Not worth the headache.

Weakness:

None.

I was looking for replacements to Shimano XT's that came with my bike. My main and original complaint was I was not able to keep the brakes from squealing even after cleaning and sanding of the original pads and even with replacement pads from another manufacturer. This seemed to be a common complaint with this year and design of Shimano brakes. I was not interested in going to disc brakes. I did the research via email from riders on this site for answers to questions that were not provided on these reviews. (*See Kevin Jones' review) I called Lee Baldwin at JensonUSA.com. Lee's a great salesman who I had dealt with before and very knowledgeable about Avid products as he rides them as well. I explained that I wanted an 'upgrade' which was the key word here. His discription of the XTR line was that it was just a slight refinement to XT and doesn't attain the power these arms do that translates directly to stopping power. After putting these brakes on and realizing the brake force difference I also upgraded the Avid Ultimate levers which are equally as impressive and compliment the brakes are equipped with sealed cartridge bearings as well. A great product. Also JensonUSA's prices couldn't be beat.
Hey, these are the Ultimate, just like they say.

Similar Products Used:

Shimano XT, XTR, Avid V, Avid Discs

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 17, 2007]
Grant
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Lightweight, Nice feel, cartridge bearings

Weakness:

Rim Wrangler 2 DINA pads that ship stock are worthless unless you love SQUEAL!, $$$$

These brakes are absolutely great. My only criticism is that the pads that avid ships with these are crap, do yourself a favour and swap em out for some kool-stop inserts.

Pricing: Generally expensive, but keep your eyes open and ears to the ground and you'll score a good deal.
I was able to get both front and rear, brand new off ebay for $90.00.

Similar Products Used:

Avid Single Digits, XTR, XT

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 25, 2001]
A.C.
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Very good power transfer to rim.
No slop in sealed bearing pivot,no flex in arms.
Light, although nowhere the 162g advertised here,around 180g actual.
Easy to set up.

Weakness:

PRICE!

The brake arms have no slop at the pivot connection. I took the stock Avid 7's off my Superlight and put them on my old MB3 as an upgrade on the $hitty stock Dia Compes that were on there. The 7's were quite and upgrade for the old Bridgestone,but had noticeable play when you wiggle them by hand, where the Ultimates have no play at all. The 7's are still very good brakes,but the bushing pivot gives a fair amount of play on the brake boss. I put bearing pivot Ultimate hand levers on the bars to compliment the front and back V's. The combo is sweet,I don't think you could come up with more power to weight in any set up. This brings up another point, the Avid V brakes and levers were both heavier than advertised,this seems to be common in others reviews of their products. Both the 7's and Ultimates are strong and by no means heavy,still somebody at Avid has trouble using a simple digital scale! The only downside to them is the price, $200 for both sets of V's and $130, for the levers is disc brake territiory! They dont sell the Ultimates in complete V arm/hand lever sets, like the 7's and Single digit Ti setups,making the cost that much higher. The Ultimates have the same easy to set up pad pivots as the 7's and have been trouble free since installation. 3 chilis for price, 5 for overall quality and performance.

Similar Products Used:

Avid 7's, Shimano and Dia Compe(crap!)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Dec 26, 2001]
Barry
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Light, really strong, beautifully machined, NO pivot slop (who'd have thought it was possible), and very stiff, better return spring than any other AVID with an allen adjusting screw.

Weakness:

They aren't free.

I thought brake pivot slop was the inevitable companion of a frame pivot mounted brake, but not so. I am impressed at how responsive they are, and with the superior return springs you can adjust them to such light return effort that you'd swear that cable drag had been replaced by power assist. They are very quiet and less prone to squeal under wet conditions, (I'm guessing because there's less pivot slop and pad toe-in variation). They are worth it if you are a fan CNC stuff (they look great beside Race Face stuff on the bike*) or if you like the lightweight and simplicity of really good V-brakes that don't have all sorts of extra pivots and link bars and stuff to loosen up and wear out. The sealed cartridge bearings seem to be nicely covered so they should stay sealed and dry for an extended period of time. If you need discs because of mud and sludge, buy discs, but if v-brakes will work for you these may be the ultimate (or at the very least the pen-ultimate ones.
* who says looks don't count.

Similar Products Used:

Avid SD 2.0 and SD25, Shimano LX,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 08, 2003]
Brad
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Darn good looking. Unreal stopping power. Great modulation for a v brake.

Weakness:

None. Absolutely none.

Even though I have used these brakes for only a week they are just fantastic. Only after a week I feel the difference between my xtr's and these. Way better than my xtr's and a million times better than the dreaded xt v brake which are an embarrassment to Shimano. These brakes rock and will stop me at 200 lbs with hardly any pressure applied. If you want the best and I mean best v brake out there get these. If you simply want the best "Ultimate" lightweight brake setup out there get the Avid Ultimate's.

Similar Products Used:

xt, lx, xtr, single digit 7, almost all half decent brakes out there.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 02, 2001]
Kevin Jones
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Incredible workmanship, and without a doubt the most powerful stopping power from a V-brake. Ball bearing pivots.

Weakness:

Comes with stainless hardware, as opoosed to Ti. For $100 per wheel, I'd expect Ti. Heavier than the Avid SD Ti brakes.

OK, so honestly, I can't say much bad about my older Avid SD 2.5's. In fact, they kicked ass, and the only problem I had with them was that the steel hardware had a serious rust problem in the Monterey fog.



I was actually just looking for a Ti bolt kit for the 2.5's to alleviate the rust problem when I stumbled across the Avid web-site and discovered the new SD Ultimates. Being the total techno-weenie that I am, I couldn't help myself, and I shelled out the $200 for a pair.



I ordered them from Jenson USA, and their web-site advertised a weight of 162g/set and said they had Ti hardware. When I called Jenson, they said the advertised weight might not be accurate (Avid says they're 182g, and when I weighed them, one set was 181.5g and the other was 182.5 - pretty close), but the sales guy confirmed that they had Ti hardware. Of course, when they arrived, I noticed that it's printed right on the box that they have stainless-steel hardware, which just proves that Jenson employees can't read. In any case, the brakes were too sweet to send back.




They pivot on two, large, sealed ball bearings, and have absolutely no discernible slop. They have some nifty design points, like a noodle that can go on either side. They only come in black (every-sing black), end they have super-cool laser-etched lettering, with handy information like torque settings for all the bolts - information that will be really useful for setting my torque wrench properly while out on the trail;-)



In all seriousness, they look killer, and they work even better. I thought the SD 2.5's were strong, but apparently those imported cast arms were flexing a lot, because I seriously had to re-train my left hand to keep from doing endos with the machined arms on the SD Ultimates, and I generally use one finger on the brake levers. The rear brakes had kind of a squishy feel, but as it turns out, that's just due to my Merlin frame flexing under brake loads.



Overall, I would guess that the brakes have about twice the stopping power of the Avid SD 2.5's, but they weigh about 20g/set more then the new Avid SD Ti brakes (cast arms with Ti hardware). If you're a totally techno-weenie that drools over beautifully machined American hardware, and money isn't an issue, then maybe the SD ultimates are for you, especially if you're willing to suffer a few more grams for a cooler piece. Otherwise, the SD Ti's, at less than half the price and a substantial weight savings, are probably the hot ticket.

Similar Products Used:

Avid SD 2.5's, Avid Tri-Aligns, assorted Shimano models.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jan 31, 2003]
Anthony
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

CNC forged aluminum arms, sealed cartridge bearings, no brake squeal, no pivot slop, zero flex, half the weight of XTRs, VERY solid braking action.

Weakness:

A tad expensive, but considering they're the best brakes I've ever used, none really.

These are the best rim brakes you can buy, period. My Fuel 90 came stock with Avid Single Digit 3 brakes, but were replaced within a week with Shimano XTR due to the fact that they flexed quite a bit. The Shimano's worked well for a while, but the brake squeal was just so unbearable and they were always in constant need of adjustment. Since I installed these on my bike, they have been maintenance and squeak free. I recommend these to anyone who's looking to upgrade their brakes. Sure they're a little pricey, but in this case, you definetly get what you pay for.

Similar Products Used:

Avid SD3, Shimano XT, XTR

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 09, 2003]
Peter
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

Stopping power, easy to modulate, simple setup, easy to change brake pads. They look good too, nice work and black finish goes with all the black parts on the bike.

Weakness:

Expensive compared to other V-Brakes, but great compared to hydraulic disks, compared to mechanical disks

Best V-Brakes going, expensive compared to other V-Brakes, but good value with a price equal to mechanical disks and equal or better performance with less weight. The price was for the pair Avid mechanicals were about the same price. The deciding factor for me was I take both wheels off to put it in the car most of the time, disk brakes are more of a hassle. Mechanically simple easy to maintain and change pads.

Similar Products Used:

Shimano XT, Shimano XTR V Brakes

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Nov 09, 2003]
Steve
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

Light, Very rigid, well engineered, no play on pivots due to the bearings, looks very trick

Weakness:

Price

Best brakes I have ever used. XTR's & XT had squeeling problems and when set up with pads toed in, it lost power. I contemplated Avid Mechanical discs, which is about the same price, but I didn't want to fork out money for another wheelset when I already have two sets of wheels. I found the Ultimates EQUAL to the Avid mechanicals, but not as strong as my buddy's Hayes Hydraulic disc. Yes they are very expensive for V-brakes, but they are the BEST V-brakes available bar none. No warped rotors, no changing of brake fluid or leaking lines and the brake pads are inexpensive to replace compared to disc pads and they last longer. Granted in Wet conditions, disc will far out perform the Ultimates, but in the kind of riding I do, I race on occasion, it is the perfect brake system I have ever used. For the money, the best V-brakes available to date. 5 flaming turds, 4 for value as they are expensive.

Similar Products Used:

Avid Mag brakes, XTR brakes, XT brakes, old cantilever brakes

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 28  

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