Avids have sucked for years but I think the Trail series are the game changer brakes for Avid. Mine are noise free (with organic pads haven't worn them out to try metallic yet), offer much better modulation than Shimanos (they are 4 piston after all), power is great but not as powerful as the newer Shimano offerings.
My son has them on his FS 160mm bike, he's a very fast elite level Enduro racer and he loves them.
Personaly I prefer my XT's but there is no question the Trail 9's are a brilliant brake.
When it comes to servicing them I prefer Shimanos use of mineral oil and the simpler bleeding procedure but given how often you bleed a well set up set of brakes that is a minor concern
I run elixir 9 trails. Good brakes! Does not fade on Long downhill runs like my elixir 5s. Modulates well. No issues, no drama. Nothing else to say, they just work. They were released less than a year ago, guess sram decided to take over with their new brakes.
Had a problem with my front elixer 9 after riding on them for about 10 months. Could not figure it out. LBS determined there was some sort of blockage in the line. They contacted SRAM, and SRAM sent me brand new front and rear XO trails. First ride on them will be tomorrow.
The Pike blew on my bike with Trail 9s. Haven't ridden my backup bike with the Shimano brakes all year. For sure the power comes on more linear on the Trails but the smoothness of the Shimanos is soooo much better.
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