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Thread: Avid Elixir 5

  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... UPDATE :: Avid Elixir 5

    I just installed these last night and took them around the block to get a quick feel of how they compare to my previous – always needed adjusting Hayes Sole. WOW! What a difference.

    I found a great deal at Greenfishsports.com. I had never ordered from there and the delivery was prompt. I installed these on a 2005 Trance 3. 160 mm front and rear. I'll be taking these out after work today to get a proper break in.

    Installation was a snap and only took me two or three tries with the CP bolts to get the calipers to line up properly. The gap between the pads and the rotor is really small.

    These area the base model Elixirs and are perfect for me as I'm a non doodad person. I'll report again after a few more rides – but already I can tell it's going to be a big improvement.

    ///UPDATE :: After first ride ////

    I was a bit tired last Friday but went out for a ride anyways. It was a bit late and I didn't have much daylight left etc. My first trail impressions are good ones. First, the levers actually communicate the grab of the rotors. Second even on the first ride the power available is way more than what the Hayes Soles could dish out. Third by the end of the ride my rear brake was more broken in than my front. I tend to use it more. So it had more power at the end of my ride –*I expect two or three more rides and the front will be up to par and the brakes will be more than adequate for me. They were quiet but the trails were dry.
    Last edited by Chicote; 09-15-2009 at 08:29 AM. Reason: Update information

  2. #2
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    Update::

    I've had a few more rides to break the Elixir 5's in. I must say I'm really impressed. One finger on the lever is all that is needed. I still need to get used to panic situations and not grab as much brake as I normally would. I love how I can really control how much brake I need – definitely a worth while upgrade from the not so loved Sole.

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    Good to hear you are pleased. I'd like to know if anyone has experience with both the elixir 5 and juicy 5 (SL - "specialized thing") ? Right now I have the Juicy, but a little more power wouldn't bother me..

  4. #4
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    When I demo'd my Yeti it had Juicy 5s, wasn't too impressed with them, little hard to keep the pads in check and they didn't have much modulation for me at least.

    The Elixir 5s came standard on my build, and so far I've liked them. Pretty good stopping power, maybe a tid bit better than the Juicys, but modulation is WAY better.

  5. #5
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    I just ordered some of the Elixir 5's from Greenfish as well. Best deal I could find and since they are east coast it shouldn't take 5 business days to get here like ordering from places in Cali. Can't wait. Ordered the 185's to replace my 160 BB7 mechanical discs. Should be a drastic improvement.

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    I'm running the Avid Elixer 5s with my setup and haven't had anything bad to say about them yet.

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    I am in the process of building up a 2005 Kona Coiler frame and in the market for new brakes. I really enjoyed the Elixir 5s on the Jamis BAM 2 DH rental at Mt. Snow VT that I was able to test out. They were a huge upgrade from my current mech. BB7s. I am new to hydraulic discs and were drawn to the Elixir 5s b/c of the price (same sweet deal at Greenfish Adv.) and experience I have with them in VT.

    Does anyone experience noisey rear rotors or brake drag or any issues like that? Ive read some negative reviews and want to be certain they are just due to installation problems and not acutal Avid hardware problems...

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    I had Juicy 5's on my 2008 HiFi Deluxe 29er and hated them. If it was humid or a little we you could here me 5 miles a way and I could never keep them adjusted. So I bought a pair of Hayes Stroker Grams which were a great improvement, but a little soft for me.

    I just bought a 2011 HiFi Deluxe 29er with Elixir 5's on it and I am totally happy with them. They have much more power than either of the other 2 and completely quite all of the time. The only time I have heard anything with them is Thursday riding in a lot of mud and that was only the grinding noise you here when sand get's in them

    As far as I am concerned they are great brakes and really no reason to buy anything more expensive.

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    My brake pads won't release fully off the rotor on my new Camber Expert. They are Eliver 5 sl's and only have 50 miles on them. They were fine until the last ride I went on. They stay in contact with the rotor even when the lever is released. Applying the brake results in a locked rear wheel unless you very lightly feather it. Any ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    My brake pads won't release fully off the rotor on my new Camber Expert. They are Eliver 5 sl's and only have 50 miles on them. They were fine until the last ride I went on. They stay in contact with the rotor even when the lever is released. Applying the brake results in a locked rear wheel unless you very lightly feather it. Any ideas?
    reposition the caliper and center the pads. should help

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    I've got Elixir 5's on my Cannondale Rush, my front brake works fine but my rear brake is an on-off switch. I seem to have lost almost all lever play, my pads only rub occasionally, which seems to be the norm, I've re-aligned my caliper to no avail. It's almost like the fluid has expanded. Any thoughts?

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    I've got Elixir 5's on my GT Sensor 9r, and i totally love them. My previous disc experience was with Hayes HFX-9's on my Kona. They were fine for what they were, cheap hydro brakes. The Elixirs are in a different league than the Nines.

    I've only had them for a month now, one long weekend ride and a few shorter rides, so I don't have a long ownership history, but they've been completely trouble-free and reliable.

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    No good

    Update on my elixir 5's- I rode the other day and slowly but surely my rear brake started to lock up. I had to remove the caliper to make it back to the trailhead. I've sent it back to Pricepoint for an exchange, luckily they are still under warranty

  14. #14
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    Elixir 5

    Advantages:
    -Fairly cheap
    -Modulate well
    -Fairly powerful

    Disadvantages
    -Prone to being under-filled with fluid from factory
    -Prone to needing a bleed when new
    -Pads aren't great
    -Metal is cheap and may crack on lever housing
    -Some get an air-leak
    -Not that adjustable
    -CS3 rotors are not great, floating rotors are ideal
    -Rear can howl

  15. #15
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    Elixir5 SL's just came on the Camber expert I picked up Saturday and they are fine, not as nice as the Formula RX's I had on my niner but they work ok.
    The biggest difference I've noticed is in the modulation, not as good as it was on the Formula RX. The bike came with huge rotors, oerkill honestly, 203 front and 185 rear on the size large Camber. I was running 185 front and 160 rear RX's on my EMD and they were better.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by madsedan View Post
    Elixir5 SL's just came on the Camber expert I picked up Saturday and they are fine, not as nice as the Formula RX's I had on my niner but they work ok.
    The biggest difference I've noticed is in the modulation, not as good as it was on the Formula RX. The bike came with huge rotors, oerkill honestly, 203 front and 185 rear on the size large Camber. I was running 185 front and 160 rear RX's on my EMD and they were better.
    Same bike, bought the same day, with the same opinion

  17. #17
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    I has my LBS repave the bad caliper under warranty, but now the dern thing won't slow the bike down much at all. I went from a rear brake that locked up with the slightest touch, to one that won't lock the rear tire no matter how hard you squeeze the lever. This is my first experience with disk brakes. Please tell me they aren't all like this! I guess I will tell the shop they need to adjust them? I feel like a jerk bringing it back again, but the brakes aren't working still. Am I being to picky? My front brake has been spot on perfect since I bought the bike. Only the rear is acting up.

  18. #18
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    I just realized I said "repave" instead of "replace"... I need some sleep

  19. #19
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    As your attorney I recommend you have a drink and go to bed.
    I was talking to my brother today and mentioned your problems, he reminded me about the nightmare he had with his Elixir 5's as well. The rear brake took a dump on the first ride and blew fluid. They replaced it and had to bleed the brakes like 3-4 times before they were right, now he is fine with them.

    The Formula RX I had all I did was remove from box and install, 15 minutes, and never did a thing after that, they still work perfectly.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    I has my LBS repave the bad caliper under warranty, but now the dern thing won't slow the bike down much at all. I went from a rear brake that locked up with the slightest touch, to one that won't lock the rear tire no matter how hard you squeeze the lever. This is my first experience with disk brakes. Please tell me they aren't all like this! I guess I will tell the shop they need to adjust them? I feel like a jerk bringing it back again, but the brakes aren't working still. Am I being to picky? My front brake has been spot on perfect since I bought the bike. Only the rear is acting up.
    Have you bedded the pads into the rotor properly???
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  21. #21
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    update on my Elixir 5's- Avid ended up replacing my rear brakes and they seem to work fine now. I'm pretty sure they were defective from the get-go. The front has always worked perfect. Hopefully it will be troublefree from here, it took like 5 weeks to get back going dealing with pricepoint and then them dealing with Avid. It was a long time without a bike.

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    Elixir 5

    just put elixir 5 on my front. upgrade from rim brakes. granted i'm not used to disc brakes, but my lever pulls in almost all the way to the handlebar before engaging the brake. Brake is installed fine with no rub. my buddy says the brake will get stronger over time....will it get that much stronger???

  23. #23
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    No, get them bled.

    Quote Originally Posted by springski View Post
    just put elixir 5 on my front. upgrade from rim brakes. granted i'm not used to disc brakes, but my lever pulls in almost all the way to the handlebar before engaging the brake. Brake is installed fine with no rub. my buddy says the brake will get stronger over time....will it get that much stronger???
    No, that's not normal. Is this a new brake or a takeoff from another bike? My Elixir 5's have been quite firm at the lever from day one.

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    yeah, they're brand new. can't return due to a "bro-deal" Bro says ride'm to get'm stronger- or they'll have to be bled. bleeding a brand new brake seems pretty lame to me.

  25. #25
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    Unfortunately it sounds like they need bleeding, even if they are new. They won't "get stronger" at the lever end no matter how much you ride. I suspect your Bro is talking aboutthe pads bedding in, which they will do with use.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by springski View Post
    just put elixir 5 on my front. upgrade from rim brakes. granted i'm not used to disc brakes, but my lever pulls in almost all the way to the handlebar before engaging the brake. Brake is installed fine with no rub. my buddy says the brake will get stronger over time....will it get that much stronger???

    Ive got the same problem with my elixirs. just got a giant anthem 29er and on the first ride i noticed i had to take the lever all the way to the handlebar to stop. other than not having enough brake fluid and not being bled properly they work pretty well. modulation is good not great, and i think they will have plenty of power once bled.
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!!

  27. #27
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    I use Elixir 5 for a month, before that I use XTR v-brakes - WHAT A DIFFERENCE !
    Very sharp on dry and wet !
    Quite noisy on wet...

    Overall rate 9/10

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by lew242 View Post
    Elixir 5

    Advantages:
    l
    -Fairly powerful
    ??? I guess I never used powerful brakes.
    I thought wow compaired to my BB7
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  29. #29
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    In my experience I have found that the pads need to be bedded in before riding (either out of the box or when replacing the pads).

    It's as simple as squeezing the brake as hard as you can and pedaling for about ten seconds. I usually then cools the rotor down with some water then do the same with the other brake. Repeat 4 or 5 times and you should notice a marked difference.

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    I just replaced the pads in mine and have a weird problem. Though the pistons on the rear brake looked to be all the way back in the brake caliper, there is still not enough clearance between rotor and pads to allow free spin of the wheel.

    After bedding the pads in, I did a grocery run, dragging the rear brake here and there on the way to the store and back. I dropped the wheel, pushed the pads back in thinking I would reset the pistons and have enough clearance. Well, the spin down was marginally better but still nowhere as free as the front wheel. Any ideas? Should I just take the pads out and sand them down a little to get rid of some of the brake material and provide the clearance?
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  31. #31
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    I'm giving a pretty big thumbs down for the ones that came on my Yeti. They were fine at first (and the rear is still fine, if a bit noisy) but after the first week, my front needed to be bled. Fine. Ordered bleed kit. Bled the front. Fine for about the first thirty minutes of my ride. Crap after.

    Bled again, same deal. Bled twice last night and the lever was nice for maybe three minutes, but after that, right back to going almost all the way to the bar, with very little power.

    At this point I don't know if I should bother going through the warranty crapshoot, or just upgrading my brakes (leaning toward Magura MT6's if I do).

    *edited to add* By crapshoot, I don't mean actually dealing with the warranty, I have no idea how that would go. I mean it seems I'm as likely to get a crap replacement as I am a good one.

  32. #32
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    I had the same issue with my rear brakes, the pads kept dragging more and more until they were almost locked up. I think they have a defect in the lever/ master cylinder. I replaced mine once under warranty and it happened again, I then contacted Avid directly and they replaced both my brakes with Elixir 9's. They seem to work perfectly.

  33. #33
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    Just wonder if any 5 mentioned here being 2012 model?

    I have mine with HS1 rotor for close to a month and like them a great deal. I consider them better brakes than 2011 XT (but not necessary 2012 XT which I haven't tried).

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ehien View Post
    Just wonder if any 5 mentioned here being 2012 model?

    I have mine with HS1 rotor for close to a month and like them a great deal. I consider them better brakes than 2011 XT (but not necessary 2012 XT which I haven't tried).
    The only difference looks like the rotors to me. In any case from the reviews on line it seems like when they work they're fine (like my back brake). There just seems to be
    quite a few lemons.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goannaman View Post
    The only difference looks like the rotors to me. In any case from the reviews on line it seems like when they work they're fine (like my back brake). There just seems to be
    quite a few lemons.
    From what I read, the shifter has been revised and higher clamping power is designed to compensate for slightly smaller rotor size (e.g., 185 to 180mm).

    In any case, I'm a happy camper with 2012 5's. At first I expected it to be a notch down from 2011 XT. But now I found it to be at least as good- if not better.

  36. #36
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    Elixir 5 brakes came with my Giant Anthem and I wish I had replaced them before the first ride. They are noisy when wet unless I use organic pads and these wear down to the springs within 200 miles. After about 300 miles the pistons in the front unit wouldn't retract and the unit had to be replaced. The bike shop guys where I bought my bike dislike these brakes -- many of the higher end bikes they sell come with them and they don't find Avid to be a friendly company to deal with when trying to resolve problems. I have Magura brakes on my tandem mountain bike and couldn't be more pleased. The Elixer 5's go in the trash heap next time they act up and Magura will get another sell.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWA View Post
    Elixir 5 brakes came with my Giant Anthem and I wish I had replaced them before the first ride. They are noisy when wet unless I use organic pads and these wear down to the springs within 200 miles. After about 300 miles the pistons in the front unit wouldn't retract and the unit had to be replaced. The bike shop guys where I bought my bike dislike these brakes -- many of the higher end bikes they sell come with them and they don't find Avid to be a friendly company to deal with when trying to resolve problems. I have Magura brakes on my tandem mountain bike and couldn't be more pleased. The Elixer 5's go in the trash heap next time they act up and Magura will get another sell.
    Are they 2012 (with HS1 rotor) or earlier model?

    Hope the problem is fixed on 2012 model. Mine is only 100 miles but perfect so far. Knock on wood...

  38. #38
    CWA
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    They came with a 2011 model bike. Perhaps for 2012 Avid listened to their customers and fixed some of the persistent problems, such as the noise.

  39. #39
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    I have a set of elixir 5's on my fuel and I love them. I'm used to the dxr v brakes on my bmx racing bike and i keep grabbing to much on the elixirs, but I'm starting to get used to them. The only problem I've had is when i put it in the back of my car and drove from va to ks last summer, after the drive the brakes kept locking up when it sat in the sun. It's a sure sign of water in the lines, but I rode it right before I put it in my car in 100 degree heat for about 2 hours and it was fine. I think the long drive in the back of my car may of heated the fluid and caused it to break down or something. I got them fixed and they work perfect again, but still a weird problem.

  40. #40
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    2012 have been redesigned so they should be "better"

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    These brakes came standard on a Scott Scale 50 and they've caused me lots of trouble with rubbing ever since I bought the bike, but recently the back became unusable. I also know someone else who has the same problem on a completely different bike.

    I wouldn't buy any Avid brakes again and it makes me wonder about SRAM's quality control in general.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanos View Post
    These brakes came standard on a Scott Scale 50 and they've caused me lots of trouble with rubbing ever since I bought the bike, but recently the back became unusable. I also know someone else who has the same problem on a completely different bike.

    I wouldn't buy any Avid brakes again and it makes me wonder about SRAM's quality control in general.
    Please qualify whether they are 2011 or 2012 version of Elixir 5. They are quite different so let's not mix one with another.

    After 100+ miles and 2+ months, I'm still very happy with 2012 Elixir 5.

    BTW you can check marking on the rotors to confirm. 2012 version uses HS1 rotor and is marked accordingly.

  43. #43
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    Im not as sold on the elixir 5's. Mine have got quite a large gap between the pads and the rotor, they make terrible noises, chew thew pads, collect brake dust and the lever comes half way in before anything happens (and NO they DONT need bleeding, they have just been bleed this week)
    Is there anyway to fix the gaping hole between the rotor and pads? ANYONE PLEASE.

  44. #44
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    Gaps? mine dont have gaps that are any larger than the bb7's or the juicy's. it has self adjusting pads, so If your looking at them right after you put the brake block in them or you replaced the pads it will look like a gap until you mash the brakes a few times and then it should go back to normal. I agree with you on the noise mine make noises like that when I hit them hard, but I hardly use the brakes on the trails unless a deer or something jumps out. If your going through pads like crazy it might be that your employing a two finger braking technique and putting too much pressure on them. the lever has a reach adjustment in the front where the lever meets the body that might help with your lever problem. another solution to the pads could be the type of pad your using, these use an organic and not a metallic.
    y'all watch this now, I'm gona take this jump like Travis Pastrana on a big wheel!

  45. #45
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    I've had zero problems with the 2010 version that came stock on my bike. But then again, I am lucky to live in a great world-class biking town with world-class wrenches in the shops. Believe it or not, some LBS bikes (including brakes) are much better assembled than others.

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