Avid Elixir R Brake Lever Adjustment
The top end gravity fed brake, is just like its cheaper sibling, the Code R seen on harder hitting trail, enduro and e-bikes as much as it is on downhill bikes. This one is in essence much the same as the Code R but it gets a Swing Link lever and pivot bearing rather than bushes.
Avid Elixir R Brake Lever Adjustment
The SRAM Code lever also gets an oversized reservoir with 30% greater capacity. Depending on your level of brake there is also a range of adjustments to customize the brakes to suit your body and cockpit. Riders can adjust lever position, bite point, and modulation of power. The SRAM Code brakes come in two different models, the R and the RSC. Both brakes use the same 4-piston caliper design and utilize DOT brake fluid. They have a tool-free lever adjustment, with the Code RSC model having an additional pad contact adjustment to fine-tune the contact point.
Both brakes are available with multiple rotor size options to suit your needs. Our SRAM Code RSC test brakes tipped the scales at 411 grams for the lever, caliper, front brake line cut and bled, and pads installed. The Code RSC retails for $245, and the Code R for $155.
Our long-standing beef with SRAM brakes comes from several brakes that had inconsistent lever feel, even when bled properly, like ten times. SRAM listened to riders here by including features on the Code to improve the bleeding process and reliability. They have increased fluid volume, larger piston size, and an obvious improvement in quality control is present. This has yielded a brake that is an improvement over the SRAM Guide brakes that were the benchmark only a few years ago.
Why do I need to bleed my brakes anyway? Over time, your brakes go through hundreds of hot and cold cycles and as that happens, your brake fluid will start to break down. Just like changing the motor oil in your car every 3 to 5 thousand miles, SRAM recommends you bleed your hydraulic brakes at a minimum once a year and more frequently if you are riding on aggressive trails that require heavy braking. Bleeding your brakes not only replaces the brake fluid throughout the lever, brake line, and caliper, it also ensures there is no air inside the system. Follow along on how to bleed SRAM brakes to keep them working their best!
For brakes with contact point adjustment, unwind the dial in the opposite direction of the arrow until it stops. First measure the distance between your lever blade and the grip and then adjust the lever blade until it is 75-80mm from the center of the grip.
Using a T10 Torx wrench, remove the bleed screw from the lever and wipe off any access brake fluid that comes up on to the lever. Thread in the lever bleed syringe while the syringe clamp remains closed.
Open the lever bleed syringe clamp, hold both syringes vertically, and gently push DOT fluid from the lever down through the brake line and into the bleeding edge tool syringe. Stop before any air enter the hose tube at the lever bleed sysringe. Brake fluid will fill the syringe at the caliper on its own. At this time, do not pull suction at the caliper. Some will refer to this technique as a wash. You are cycling brake fluid from one end of the line to the other allowing you to push out old fluid and any air bubbles in the system.
If the brake fluid coming out of the caliper in to the bleeding edge syringe is discolored, remove both syringes, discard the old brake fluid and return back to step 6. If that is the case, to remove both syringes, first close both syringe clamps. Then close the bleeding edge tool clockwise and remove the caliper syringe first. Next unthread the lever bleed syringe.
Hold both syringes upright and draw suction with the lever bleed syringe. This will draw fluid from the bleeding edge tool syringe through the caliper and brake line up through the brake lever. Stop before any air enter the syringe tube at the caliper. Repeat steps 8 and 10 until only a small amount of bubbles appear. For best results, make sure your brake lever is up higher from the brake caliper so that air has the best chance of rising to the top and out of the system.
Turn the bleeding edge tool clockwise 1 full rotation and until it stops to close the system. Pull the lever blade a few times and let it return normally. Next pull suction on the lever bleed syringe to create a vacuum. Then compress and release the plunger to pressurize the system. Repeat the process until there aren't many air bubbles coming up through the syringe line. One last time, compress and release the plunger to equalize the system. Close the syringe clamp and remove the syringe from the brake lever. Use a T10 torx wrench to reinstall the bleed screw in to the brake lever. Wipe away any excess brake fluid on the brake lever. Using a T10 bit socket and torque wrench, tighten the bleed screw to 1.5-1.7 Nm (13-15 in lbs). This is somewhat option because the torque spec is so low. Tighten the bleed screw snug but not too tight.
Install the wheel and axle correctly. Before squeezing the brake lever look to see if the brake rotor is centered in the brake caliper. If the caliper is centered, squeeze the brake lever a few times to advance the pistons in the caliper. If the caliper is not centered correctly, loosen the brake caliper bolts and then squeeze the brake lever to advance the pistons. Center the caliper and tighten the caliper bolts. Finally adjust your brake lever blade and contact point adjustments to your liking!
I don't know why all the hate for Avid Elixir brakes. When setup correctly - they are quiet and stop on a dime. In fact, they stop so good....it is even applicable for DH/Freeride bikes. The real beauty is in the modulation. I come from being a longtime Magura Marta SL user, and there is no off/on lever feel, like the Magura. I went OTB on my first ride with them, disbelieving the power these have. Keep them clean by wiping both rotors with alcohol and making sure the pads have as little dust as possible. I give them a quick shot of low-VOC automotive brake cleaner and they behave like Shimanos. The rotors MUST be flat as a pancake and straight as an arrow to avoid that Turkey warble. Combine one organic pad with a Sintered one for each side and wear will be great. I like these way better than the dangerous, ultra-light SRAM XX brakes - which compromises safety in the name of lightess. I've tried nearly ALL mountain bike brakes, but I keep coming back to Avid Elixir because of price and they simply stop well. Don't neglect your brakes!!!
Love the elixirs, run them on all three of my bikes. bleed them and change pads once a year or so and align them regularly and they'll last forever. My friend hit a tree with his, put a crack in the lever body and still hasn't even needed to be bled!
Flat handlebar brake levers used with mechanical disc calipers are compatible with the linear pull caliper rim brakes. The lever should be set for a comfortable reach and secured to the bar. The brake housing and brake wire are the same as with rim caliper brakes. Prepare housing and wires as with rim caliper brakes.
The Avid mechanical disc brake for MTB bikes uses a brake lever designed for linear pull brakes. Pad adjusting knob moves pad position relative to rotor. Avid disc caliper brakes use a ball-and-socket system for the caliper mounting bolts. This fixing system is similar to many brake pads on linear pull caliper rim brakes. This system allows easy alignment of the brake caliper to the rotor.
The caliper-actuating arm is designed to operate from a fully open position. Set cable tension at the adjusting barrel so actuating arm is fully opened or returned. Do not use the brake lever adjusting barrel or cable pinch bolt to account for pad wear. Caliper arm may bottom out on caliper body and prevent the pads from pressing on rotor.
The tech Avid has known for a while that it was tough to get all of the air out of its current master cylinder design. There were too many places for air bubbles to get trapped in the system, in particular around the nose of the cylinder, no matter how careful you were with a brake bleed. The bubbles would end up back in the hose, and braking performance would suffer. Giant pain in the ass, especially when the brake lever would go all the way to the bar without actually slowing you down.
Elixir 7The other brake that was unveiled in California was the Elixir 7, a more price-conscious version of the brake that has the same technology but fewer features. Kind of like SRAM X-7 components. Again, this brake is designed for XC, trail, all-mountain and freeride uses. Weight is 350g, for lever, cylinder, hose and 160mm adaptor. The lighter weight is because this brake loses the contact adjust feature.