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  1. #1
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    Avid Elixir 9/XO or Shimano XTR

    My bike came with the Avid Elixir 3s and they just don't cut it anymore on the big hills. I am constantly bleeding the brakes to get rid of the soft handles so now I am in the market for an upgrade. I know Avid is known for their "louder" brakes but a local shop has both the Elixir 9s: $225 and the XOs: $245 for a great price. On the other hand, I am considering spending an additional monet more to get a set of Shimano XTRs: $269 + $69 rotors.

    What do you guys think? The the XTRs worth that much more money? Can I just replace the rears for now and do the fronts later or do I need to do both at the same time?

  2. #2
    v0n
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    Avid Elixir 9/XO or Shimano XTR

    Every I've talked to have sworn by their shimanos. That being said I haven't heard anything but complaints about their avids.

    I have the elixir ones. Got bigger rotors and it did the trick for me ...somewhat. Also, I have them rigged to shimano dual lever controls. You shift with the brake lever. I currently have elixir 5s on my new bike and I hate the lever feel. I don't know if mushy lever feeling equates to subpar breaking.


    Just my 2 cents. But if I were to buy a new set of brakes. There would be no doubt in my mind. Shimano.

    Buy nice or buy twice

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by v0n View Post
    Just my 2 cents. But if I were to buy a new set of brakes. There would be no doubt in my mind. Shimano.

    Buy nice or buy twice
    I have been following that when it comes to upgrades over the years as well. I just wanted to compare Avid's top of the line brakes to Shimano's higher quality (not top of the line) brakes.

  4. #4
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    How is XTR not top of the line?

  5. #5
    v0n
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    cant help ya there buddy never had top of the line brakes.... but I will .... I will haha

  6. #6
    v0n
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    How is XTR not top of the line?
    saints perhaps

  7. #7
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    Bluesky has XTR Trail's on sale for $180 a wheel right now.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by v0n View Post
    saints perhaps
    That's the only brake I can find above the XTRs in my price range.

    Quote Originally Posted by frints View Post
    Bluesky has XTR Trail's on sale for $180 a wheel right now.
    That is a good price. The local shop will install for free and has a 24-48 hour turnaround.

  9. #9
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    Avid Elixir 9/XO or Shimano XTR

    Ended up at the shop and went with a full set of Shimano SLX brakes with ICE rotors and pads.

  10. #10
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    Good choice. I Think you'll be pleased.

  11. #11
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    Same here. All the parts should be in Thursday and mounted up that day or Friday. Can't wait to use them on the next ride this weekend.

  12. #12
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    Saints are similar, probably XTR higher tech, but saints are build for downhill, so they would have more braking power and probably be tougher, but XTR lighter and probably more expensive, I don't know. I somehow think of Saint of the downhill version of XT, pretty good.

  13. #13
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    The guy at the shop was explaining to me that the Saints have more stopping power with the 4-piston setup but then there is the weight factor. I hope the SLXs are enough for me.

  14. #14
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    Mercedes Benz (Shimano) or Ford Pinto (Avid)?

  15. #15
    v0n
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    Avid Elixir 9/XO or Shimano XTR

    Quote Originally Posted by Island20v View Post
    The guy at the shop was explaining to me that the Saints have more stopping power with the 4-piston setup but then there is the weight factor. I hope the SLXs are enough for me.
    Hey hey I've got elixir 5's and my ford pinto is just fine.

    I'd like xt's next. I hope that would be an upgrade

  16. #16
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    The XTs were only $10 more per caliper but the rotors were $60 more each making the difference between the SLX and XT $140.

    Hoping to finally take these out for a break in ride today.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Island20v View Post
    The XTs were only $10 more per caliper but the rotors were $60 more each making the difference between the SLX and XT $140.

    Hoping to finally take these out for a break in ride today.

    And in the future if you decide you want to replace the rotors with the ice-tech XT ones you can - they are compatible either way.

  18. #18
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    That's good to know. The difference bwtween the rotors from the base models was minimal. Looking forward to rotors that wont fade so easily with heat.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Island20v View Post
    That's good to know. The difference bwtween the rotors from the base models was minimal. Looking forward to rotors that wont fade so easily with heat.
    FWIW I did not find a huge performance difference going with the XT icetech rotors - I think there was more extra heat transfer associated with the finned pads personally. That being said the ice-tech rotors are slightly lighter so that is good to help reduce rotating mass......

  20. #20
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    Finally got out to ride with the new setup. It is a day and night difference! Where I would usually get brake fade, they hold up. Towards the end of my rides my brake levers would go all the way down to the handlebars, now I barely use 1/3 of them. I am very happy with the upgrade and looking forward to some more complex rides this weekend that may be a little more demanding.

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