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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Building a new bike and going with Disc brakes for the first time. I have narrowed it down to either the Avid Elixir CR or Formula RX. I can get the Avid's for $258 shipped or the Formula's with R1 rotors for $280 shipped. Since this will be my first time with disc brakes I want something that is easy to install with low maintenance. I have had bad luck with the quality of Sram products in the past (Rockshox SID crooked lowers... replaced 4 times under warranty and they were still unable to fix problem) so I am hesitant to go that route. With that said, the Elixir is cheaper, has more features and looks nice. What I like about the Formula's is that they are light and they are not made in China. Any opinions or other brakes I should be looking at?
 

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Some people have had problems with Elixirs, including myself. I think they are most likely very easy to maintain if you have experience, but I'm still learning. Avids also seem to be some of the noisiest brakes around (not all the time though, sometimes they're silent, with just the satisfying purr of friction!). If there has been noise, it has never seemed to affect braking performance for me though. It often occurs in wet and is fixed afterwards with disc cleaner.

So far the Elixir CR on my front (185) has been the best purchase I've made for my bike.

I don't really like the design of the formulas. I've seen a lever 'pop out' in a crash, and I guess this is a safety feature so it doesn't brake, but it's a fiddle to get back in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
iancl said:
Some people have had problems with Elixirs, including myself. I think they are most likely very easy to maintain if you have experience, but I'm still learning. Avids also seem to be some of the noisiest brakes around (not all the time though, sometimes they're silent, with just the satisfying purr of friction!). If there has been noise, it has never seemed to affect braking performance for me though. It often occurs in wet and is fixed afterwards with disc cleaner.

So far the Elixir CR on my front (185) has been the best purchase I've made for my bike.

I don't really like the design of the formulas. I've seen a lever 'pop out' in a crash, and I guess this is a safety feature so it doesn't brake, but it's a fiddle to get back in!
What kind of problems have you had with the Elixirs? Is it just the noise they make? I have read of several problems people have had with them on MTBR but I imagine that is more in part due to their popularity? It seems like people are more likely to write about a product when something goes wrong with it rather than when it doesnt. The Formulas on the other hand... Well, I haven't found much info on their RX series other than a few positive reviews on how well they stop and how light they are. I am glad you mentioned that the lever pops out in a crash. So, would you rate the Elixirs as no more trouble prone when compared to other brakes out there? Would I need to buy the avid bleed kit?
 

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I haven't bled mine yet although I wondered if I'd need to a few times. There should be no need to buy it at first. Just sticky pistons really were the only thing, and I fixed that by lubricating with DOT 5.1.

I can't comment on other brands competing brakes I'm afraid, I only know they were a fantastic upgrade. They are better my old Shimanos by far and better than my bro's SLX, but I don't know about XT or other brands
 

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RX has been very good to me. What sold me was that Formula has a really good reputation and excellent customer service if needed.

Setup was very simple for me and I never ran hydros before. All I had to do was trim the lines to fit, very simple with all the help on this forum.

If you go with the Formulas I guarantee you wont be disappointed.
 

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I'm sure the Formulas are nice but...

When I'm in a town far from home and I need parts, it's nice to see Avid (and Hayes for that matter) pads hanging on the wall of almost every bike shop, in every state I've been to. YMMV, but if you like to travel with your bike, this might be a worth-while consideration.
 

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swift said:
I'm sure the Formulas are nice but...

When I'm in a town far from home and I need parts, it's nice to see Avid (and Hayes for that matter) pads hanging on the wall of almost every bike shop, in every state I've been to. YMMV, but if you like to travel with your bike, this might be a worth-while consideration.
Pretty simple to buy an extra set of pads, bleed kit is the same as Avids.
I've often found that many shop guys run Formulas and have a 'secret stash' of formula pads too.

I picked up a set of RX's for cheap after I had a caliper on my K-24's get destroyed by a fork failure - so far I'm hugely impresssed - did a 10km 5000 ft dh run yesterday and they were excellent.
 

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fish_er said:
attached link here:
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/how-we-test-hydraulic-disc-brakes-24345

It seems that the Elixirs are having more breaking power.
What you have to take into account is the fact that the Elixir's have sintered pads installed and the Formula RX's and R1's have organic pads.

Having used both the Elixir CR's and the Formula RX's I can safely say that latter has more stopping power and more modulation.
The Elixir's seem to have a little more "bite" but I do not think that this is a good thing.

I also like the leaver on the Formula brakes, while this is only personal preference. I find that they are better suited for "1 finger" braking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
morebravo said:
What you have to take into account is the fact that the Elixir's have sintered pads installed and the Formula RX's and R1's have organic pads.

Having used both the Elixir CR's and the Formula RX's I can safely say that latter has more stopping power and more modulation.
The Elixir's seem to have a little more "bite" but I do not think that this is a good thing.

I also like the leaver on the Formula brakes, while this is only personal preference. I find that they are better suited for "1 finger" braking.
I noticed that too. The Elixirs are sintered and the RX is organic. However, I believe the R1 comes stock with sintered pads. From what I understand the performance of the R1 and RX is nearly identical. With this in mind, looking at the charts given in the link it appears that the Formula's have a slight edge over the Elixirs. I am going to go with the Formula brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
MartinS said:
Pretty simple to buy an extra set of pads, bleed kit is the same as Avids.
I've often found that many shop guys run Formulas and have a 'secret stash' of formula pads too.

I picked up a set of RX's for cheap after I had a caliper on my K-24's get destroyed by a fork failure - so far I'm hugely impresssed - did a 10km 5000 ft dh run yesterday and they were excellent.
Could you send a PM where you purchased your brakes and for what price?
 

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FireLikeIYA said:
I noticed that too. The Elixirs are sintered and the RX is organic. However, I believe the R1 comes stock with sintered pads. From what I understand the performance of the R1 and RX is nearly identical. With this in mind, looking at the charts given in the link it appears that the Formula's have a slight edge over the Elixirs. I am going to go with the Formula brakes.
I think that is a great choice. You will not be disappointed, I'm not sure when the 2011 models will be out for formula but that might be something worth researching. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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I use Formula brakes (The Ones & R1s) and love'em. I have 2 extra sets of pads at all times because they are less likely to be found at random shops.
 
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