Avid Elixr CR poor modulation- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Rollin 29s
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    Avid Elixr CR poor modulation

    My first ride out using my Avid Elixr CR brakes with the pads not quite bedded down yet was great. I loved the modulation and power. As the ride continued and the pads seated, all modulation went away. The brakes locked up solid with the slightest pull of the lever.

    I adjusted the red barrel to move the pads as far from the rotors as possible, and played with the lever distance from the handlebar, but neither of these helped. Sure, it took more throw of the lever for the pads to start contacting the rotor, but once they touch the rotor, they bite hard and lock up the front. It was so bad that I went over the bars once where I shouldn't have, and got back to the car using my rear brakes only, also Avid Elixr CR. The modulation felt better on the rear.

    I'm coming off Shimano XT dual piston hydraulics which have great modulation, but power is a fraction of the Avids.

    Is it just a matter of getting used to?

  2. #2
    ...idios...
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    I adjusted the red barrel to move the pads as far from the rotors as possible...
    This adjustment alters the characteristics of the lever; it doesn't actually move the pads closer to or further away from the rotor. By turning the barrel, you're changing where abouts - relative to the neutral position - you feel the pad contact in the lever's stroke.

    I presume that you (or whoever fitted the brakes) used Avid's loosen bolts-pull lever-tighten bolts technique? Have you double checked the caliper alignment? Have both pistons come into operation? Does the rotor run through the center of the caliper?

    What size rotors are you using?

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  3. #3
    Rollin 29s
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    You are right, and I worded it wrong. As I understand it, the lever throw position sets the distance from the handlebar grips to the lever and the barrel adjustment increases or decreases the amount of lever travel necessary for the pads to contact the rotor. I've played with the barrel, but at both ends of the adjustment the pads bite harder than I would expect to the point of it being hard not to lock up. There is also a noticeable difference between the front and rear.

    Rotor size is 160mm. I set them up per user manual with 1/8 - 1/4 turn loosened bolts on calipers, lock up on rotor, then while holding brake lever down, tighten caliper bolts intermittently until tight. Rotor appears centered between pistons, but I'll give it another check over. Yes, both pistons are moving.

    Edit: I loosened the front caliper and set it up again because it looked like it might be pulling the rotor 0.5mm to the left when applying the brakes I doubt this would be enough to cause the lock up issue, but did it for good measure. Just spinning the front wheel on the bike stand and modulating the brake vs the same with the rear wheel is like night and day. The rear can be feathered and the front has a much narrower sweet spot before lock up.

    Hopefully it's just a matter of getting used to the power. It took me by surprise how easily these things locked up in front and threw me over the bars. Riding down the same section before the pads seated a few minutes earlier was smooth and controlled -- the way I would expect it to be.
    Last edited by isleblue65; 11-22-2009 at 07:12 PM.

  4. #4
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    I have 2010 Elixir CR's running 203 front and rear and they do take a bit to bed in and get used to them.I had formula the ones before and the avids are more powerfull and have better modulation.
    I love these brakes.They are a bit noisy when wet.

  5. #5
    Rollin 29s
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    Quote Originally Posted by norcosam
    I have 2010 Elixir CR's running 203 front and rear and they do take a bit to bed in and get used to them.I had formula the ones before and the avids are more powerfull and have better modulation.
    I love these brakes.They are a bit noisy when wet.
    I'm hoping they will glaze over a bit and grab a little less aggressively with continued use. Tuning my hands to these much more sensitive and powerful brakes is another issue, and that will come with practice.

  6. #6
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    They are just really powerful brakes. I haven't used anything with as much bite. It can be tough if you have bikes with different brakes. I have 07 XTR on my XC HT with 180mm rotors and almost go over the bars on my AM and FR bikes that have Elixers when I first get on the brakes.

    They are awesome!

  7. #7
    Riding free's the mind
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    Might need to get used the brakes. The pads that come with Elixirs are kinda grabby, as well as noisy. I notice if it's humid or very cool, just that bit of extra moisture in the air seems to effect Avid pads.

    Honestly, my Elixirs have gotten better as the pads have worn down past half. Now I get better pad/rotor clearance, no rubbing and plenty of gap before engagement. Plus the pads are bedded in nicely.

    Moving to Magura Marta's for my new bike.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  8. #8
    Rollin 29s
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    When my sprained wrist and cracked ribs heal (seriously), I'll get back on the bike and get used to the brakes. I'm disappointed with how grabby they are, but it's somewhat re-assuring to hear that they get better once the pads wear down a bit. I wonder if there is a better pad recommendation other than what came with the brakes? One that isn't quite as grabby and squeaky? I really just want to avoid going over the bars and getting hurt again because of these brakes. I never thought I would dislike a product (so far) because it worked too well.

  9. #9
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    You may have a little too much fluid in them too. I also had a set of elixirs that were grabby. The other thing I did to make them 100% controllable was using some hope rotors (the mono mini floating rotor) with them. I think these naturally offer a little less power than the G3 rotors, so I was happy. I also downsized from 180/160 to 160/140.
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

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