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i hear they are pretty good but i do hear some complaints of noise and set up issues but its like i see these brakes everywhere on every bike, are they really that good? or is it hype? and whats up with the newer xx brakes why are they so much more expensive, they look like elixers with a paint job!
 

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Look at the specs. XX brakes are magnesium two-piece calipers, two piece rotors (aluminum carrier and steel braking surface), the levers are magnesium bodies with carbon levers and ti bolts. Other Elixrs are mainly aluminum, though you can get a model with carbon lever blades, the cheap bottom line models require a wrench for reach adjust, the more expensive are finger adjustable..........whole bunch of different things.

Probably seeing alot of them, as you can get into a pair for under $200. That's less than some other brands. Actually, less than my Avid mechs cost back in 2000, and I had to buy levers too.
 

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I have the Elixir on my carbon hardtail and they have very good modulation. The elixirs have a strong initial bite and in terms of initial stopping power feel more immediate than my Code 5's.

However if you need extreme stopping power or are doing some serious downhill riding I would recommend going to the Code 5's. The elixirs are good but can't stop you quite as well as the Code 5's when you're traveling at higher speed.

The Elixirs are a good brake for cross country and even some light all mountain riding but aren't as powerful as the Code 5's. I use the Code 5's on my Giant XTC 1 29er and ironically on my folding bike.

I also run BB7's on a Gary Fisher 1x9 and although I don't feel the elixirs are that much more powerful being hydraulic I feel the elixirs are great in comparison. When you're really tired mechanical brakes can be a real pain because you have to apply some pressure. The elixirs are great because you can always get full pressure without having to squeeze the lever with a high amount of effort.
 

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Its sometimes hard to see the difference with brakes when they look all so similar. The main goal with the lower spec elixir brakes is to make a solid feeling brake which will appeal to the broad market, from almost AM/FR to XC. The XX on the other hand is a full on XC brake with all weight possible removed from it. Word has it that the engineers were extremely happy to cut the lever weight from 11g (elixir CR mag) to 8g with the XX. Its also the only elixir with Ti hardware and a 2-piece rotor.
 

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Mine have been awesome so far- I liked them so much I sold the brakes on my other bikes and replaced with elixirs. previously ran shimano m755 XT 4-pots and M975 XTRs.

I am sure many of the complaints you hear are valid, but probably have to do with OE set-ups or factory bleeds. Mine had great modulation and decent power to start with, but a proper bleed with Avid's bleed kit made a huge improvement in the power. The bleed is a little tricky compared to shimanos IMHO. They have ran totally quiet with both G3 and Galfer/magura rotors.

With a proper bleed, I really can't imagine anything else being enough better to be worth the price difference.
 
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