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  1. #1
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    Replacing Avid Elixir 5

    Hi guys,

    I am sick of my Avid Elixir 5. The performance is not fantastic and the maintenance is just horrid. 6 months old bike and still can't get the right bleed or maintain the performance.

    So here are my options:
    All sub $200 brakes
    Hayes Prime Pro Disc Brake at Price Point
    Hope Tech M4 Evo Disc Brake 2012 > Components > Brakes > Disc Brakes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Formula Rxo Disc Brake Oe > Components > Brakes > Disc Brakes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Shimano SLX M675 Disc Brake > Components > Brakes > Disc Brakes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Shimano XTR M988 Oe Disc Brake > Components > Brakes > Disc Brakes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Magura Marta SL Magnesium Disc Brake 2011 at Price Point
    Formula RX Black Disc Brake 2012 at Price Point
    Hayes Stroker Ace Disc Brake at Price Point

    What do you guys suggest?
    I ride a Yeti SB66. Nothing extreme point down. Just trail riding that has a bit of everything in it. I prefer to keep weight at minimum to push the weight of the bike down compared to the Elixir 5.

    I don't wish to change my rotors for now (money saving mode). I am only getting the rear for now and front later (when I have to bleed it).

  2. #2
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    I'm in same boat as you. Got 5's on my tallboy so want to upgrade to shimano (xt slx or deore). I'm going to run my current hs1 rotors since I bend rotors alot in spring time.

    I see blue sky is having a sale this weekend.

    BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano XT M785 IceTech Disc Brake w/Adapter

    I may get the xt 785 for the front since I'll be replacing it in february. I don't like the 5's bleeding since you need to do it when installing new pads. The shimano are way easier to deal with. I like to adjust my pads without needing to bleed the lines (ex: xo has barrel but cost about $260).

    BigE

  3. #3
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    I am leaning heavy towards Hayes Prime. They are going for isnane prices on price point.

  4. #4
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    I have the Hope X2 Evo that replaced Avid 3. X2 is phenomenal modulation and great power stopping. the PBC and reach lever works as advertised. Heard the M4 has the modulation + awesome stopping power and been reading on forums and reviews with positive remarks.

  5. #5
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    Your can get a more durable and less expensive Magura system than the Mag SLs with the FRs. I have the SLs which I like.

  6. #6
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    M4
    + great stopping power
    + modulation is second to none
    + noise free
    + cheap and easy bleed
    - expensive replacement parts
    - on the heavy site

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahrous View Post
    Hi guys,

    I am sick of my Avid Elixir 5. The performance is not fantastic and the maintenance is just horrid. 6 months old bike and still can't get the right bleed or maintain the performance.

    So here are my options:
    All sub $200 brakes
    Hayes Prime Pro Disc Brake at Price Point
    Hope Tech M4 Evo Disc Brake 2012 > Components > Brakes > Disc Brakes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Formula Rxo Disc Brake Oe > Components > Brakes > Disc Brakes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Shimano SLX M675 Disc Brake > Components > Brakes > Disc Brakes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Shimano XTR M988 Oe Disc Brake > Components > Brakes > Disc Brakes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Magura Marta SL Magnesium Disc Brake 2011 at Price Point
    Formula RX Black Disc Brake 2012 at Price Point
    Hayes Stroker Ace Disc Brake at Price Point

    What do you guys suggest?
    I ride a Yeti SB66. Nothing extreme point down. Just trail riding that has a bit of everything in it. I prefer to keep weight at minimum to push the weight of the bike down compared to the Elixir 5.

    I don't wish to change my rotors for now (money saving mode). I am only getting the rear for now and front later (when I have to bleed it).
    You realize that hydraulic (or any other type of brake for that matter) requires some maintenance. 6 mo old bike and your having problems with the brake. Have you considered they were not set up properly to begin with? I am not trying to talk you out of spending your $$$, just suggest you make sure your new brakes get set up correctly or you won't be happy with those either.


    Quote Originally Posted by pa rider View Post
    I'm in same boat as you. Got 5's on my tallboy so want to upgrade to shimano (xt slx or deore). I'm going to run my current hs1 rotors since I bend rotors alot in spring time.

    I see blue sky is having a sale this weekend.

    BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano XT M785 IceTech Disc Brake w/Adapter

    I may get the xt 785 for the front since I'll be replacing it in february. I don't like the 5's bleeding since you need to do it when installing new pads. The shimano are way easier to deal with. I like to adjust my pads without needing to bleed the lines (ex: xo has barrel but cost about $260).

    BigE
    Bold added by me.

    The Elix are self adjusting and there is no need to bleed the brakes even when replacing pads if you have previously bled properly. Ideally the system is closed so the fluid has not gone anywhere. Only reason to bleed is if your lever is mushy, or its just time.
    2008 Trek Fuel EX 8

  8. #8
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    How about needing to do maintenance after 50 miles of riding? That is what I experienced with mine and my wife's Elixir 5s. They were properly installed and adjusted when new.

    I bouight my wife's bike after mine and I was able to accurately predict exactly how the Elixirs would start behaving after 50 miles of XC riding. Nothing extreme. She demoed a bike with SLX and loved them so she got some SLX. I opted for the XTRs for my baby.

  9. #9
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    I would check out Magura systems, they look pretty legit.

    Or see if you cant find a wicked deal on some elixer cr's.
    2012 Giant Reign 1

  10. #10
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    I have been running Hope brakes since 2002 and they still work great. I have installed several of the newer Tech and Race X2's and they are super solid. If you score the Hope brakes you will be glad you did.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa rider View Post
    I'm in same boat as you. Got 5's on my tallboy so want to upgrade to shimano (xt slx or deore). I'm going to run my current hs1 rotors since I bend rotors alot in spring time.

    I see blue sky is having a sale this weekend.

    BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano XT M785 IceTech Disc Brake w/Adapter

    I may get the xt 785 for the front since I'll be replacing it in february. I don't like the 5's bleeding since you need to do it when installing new pads. The shimano are way easier to deal with. I like to adjust my pads without needing to bleed the lines (ex: xo has barrel but cost about $260).

    BigE
    That's not true. I don't know what you did wrong in your case but this shouldn't need to be done if you're just changing pads... Never had to do it on mine.

  12. #12
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    I've got some organic pads and a new rotor from Avid coming, but if that doesn't stop the turkey gobble sound coming from my Elixer 3's (2 month old bike by the way), I'm done with them and will be looking at going to Shimano SLX or XT. The Hayes Prime Pro's look interesting with their Cross Hair alignment feature.

  13. #13
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    Hope's. Undoubtedly.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK47 View Post
    I've got some organic pads and a new rotor from Avid coming, but if that doesn't stop the turkey gobble sound coming from my Elixer 3's (2 month old bike by the way), I'm done with them and will be looking at going to Shimano SLX or XT. The Hayes Prime Pro's look interesting with their Cross Hair alignment feature.
    I read the large thread in the gobble issue and worked on my elixer 3s. I was able to eliminate it by making sure they were perfectly aligned, trued the rotors, exercised both pistons while holding one still, and applying grease to the back of the pads. Not sure which worked, but all could contribute to a vibration. Mine are now completely silent but still might upgrade for more power and better feel.

  15. #15
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    I just took off my 6 month old Avid XO brakes that had already been replaced by Sram and only yesterday installed XTR brakes. All I can say is WOW these things actually stop you! I even dropped my rear rotor down from 160 to 140 and they are still so far better yah the XO's it is incredible. Now I have to put the 160 rotor on the front so I don't go over the handlebars which is a real possibility with the 180 on the front. I will tell everyone to give up trying to get their Avid brakes to work and make the switch to XT/XTR. The only time you will ever think about your brakes is to just change the pads. Oh yeh, I am still using Avid H1 rotors, apparently the shimano rotors work even better but I couldn't imagine the need for any better braking!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK47 View Post
    I've got some organic pads and a new rotor from Avid coming, but if that doesn't stop the turkey gobble sound coming from my Elixer 3's (2 month old bike by the way), I'm done with them and will be looking at going to Shimano SLX or XT. The Hayes Prime Pro's look interesting with their Cross Hair alignment feature.
    I just bought a 2011 Giant Trance X3 with Avid Elixir 3 brakes and the front stops smoothly (even pulling the trigger hard), whereas the rear will stop smoothly (virtually noiseless) when I activate "stage 1" (initial pull), but the instant I engage Stage 2 (hard pull), the brakes make all sorts of racket and chattering and squealing noises. The rear brakes stop me just fine (they'll skid me til Sundown, no problem, if I pull fast and hard), but my nerves are a wreck, thinking the rear brake is about ready to come flying apart from all the noise!

  17. #17
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luposian View Post
    I just bought a 2011 Giant Trance X3 with Avid Elixir 3 brakes and the front stops smoothly (even pulling the trigger hard), whereas the rear will stop smoothly (virtually noiseless) when I activate "stage 1" (initial pull), but the instant I engage Stage 2 (hard pull), the brakes make all sorts of racket and chattering and squealing noises. The rear brakes stop me just fine (they'll skid me til Sundown, no problem, if I pull fast and hard), but my nerves are a wreck, thinking the rear brake is about ready to come flying apart from all the noise!
    What you describe is a common problem with Avid brakes (assuming you are talking about the same noise I am thinking of. For some reason it seems to be a particular problem with IS mounts (i.e., your rear brake) that doesn't line the caliper up properly with the rotor track. My suggestion is to try a new Non-Avid brand rotor. Shimano, Hope, Magura, Formula, etc . . . any of those should work.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    What you describe is a common problem with Avid brakes (assuming you are talking about the same noise I am thinking of. For some reason it seems to be a particular problem with IS mounts (i.e., your rear brake) that doesn't line the caliper up properly with the rotor track. My suggestion is to try a new Non-Avid brand rotor. Shimano, Hope, Magura, Formula, etc . . . any of those should work.
    Are you aware of any repeatable method to align the caliper? Simply loosening the bolts, then holding the brake and tightening them back down did not work for me. I tried loosening the bolts, then holding the brake, wiggling the caliper to make sure it was free to move, and that didn't work either.

    The combination of truing the discs, grease on the back of the pads, and exercising the pistons (as if one was stuck), then holding the brake, and tightening the bolts did work for me. Not sure which one helped the most, but did notice that before truing the rotor the grease alone helped alot but did not fix the issue on the rear. The grease did pretty much fix the front on its own, however.

  19. #19
    007
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    It's not an issue with horizontal alignment, so moving the caliper laterally won't help. Its a VERTICAL alignment issue. The caliper sits just below the brake track, and what I think is happening is that the pads are striking the rotor spokes, hence the Popping/Grinding.

    You can try adding washers under the caliper bolts to raise the caliper, but don't go too far. You need to make sure that you have adequate threads in the mount to secure it.

    The better solution is really to try a new rotor.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  20. #20
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    Apparently, after taking my bike into Sun 'n' Spokes for the 3rd time, the guy there basically scrubbed the rotor(s) with steel wool (looked like steel wool to me) and then, according to him, burned/torched the pads 3x longer than recommended and, upon taking my bike out for a test ride, the rear brake is now utterly smooth and noise/vibration-free, no matter how hard I apply the brake!

    Thanks for the suggestion but, thankfully, it wasn't necessary in my case! Yea!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luposian View Post
    Apparently, after taking my bike into Sun 'n' Spokes for the 3rd time, the guy there basically scrubbed the rotor(s) with steel wool (looked like steel wool to me) and then, according to him, burned/torched the pads 3x longer than recommended and, upon taking my bike out for a test ride, the rear brake is now utterly smooth and noise/vibration-free, no matter how hard I apply the brake!

    Thanks for the suggestion but, thankfully, it wasn't necessary in my case! Yea!
    Don't want to be pessimistic, but prepare yourself for a return of the problem. I would not expect "chattering" (assuming you are describing vibration) to go away for long with just a rotor & pad cleaning/bed/burn.

    I'd have to agree with 007 here that a physical change, like rotor, might be the long-term fix.

  22. #22
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    Smile Faith, not fear, is my path in life...

    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    Don't want to be pessimistic, but prepare yourself for a return of the problem. I would not expect "chattering" (assuming you are describing vibration) to go away for long with just a rotor & pad cleaning/bed/burn.

    I'd have to agree with 007 here that a physical change, like rotor, might be the long-term fix.
    While I am realistic enough to believe what you're saying is possible, I am not going to worry about the possibility of it, until it actually happens. In other words, I will cross that bridge when I come to it. :-)

  23. #23
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    I have Hayes Prime Pro on my NIner RIP9 and I have no complains. The brakes are solid, lot of modulation, great reach and pad adjustment. No complains at all. Noisy, like most of the disc brakes out there. They also look really nice on black.

  24. #24
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    I just upgraded my Elixer 5's to Hayes Prime Pro's and love them plus you can't beat the price right now.
    2014 Jamis Dakar XCT 650b Pro

  25. #25
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    mahrous, you should add Magura MT2 to your list.

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