2012 Avid Elixir 9 Hydraulic Disc Brakes – Unboxed & Weighed

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

When we first saw the completely redesigned Avid Elixir 7 and Elixir 9 disc brakes back in February, they were fully mounted to bikes and in short supply.

Now, finally, we’ve got our own production set to weigh and test. You can get all the technical details of how these models are improved (and why) over the previous Elixirs in our original tech post, but the short of it is this: They moved the bleed port on the lever’s master cylinder further up, letting any trapped air naturally gravitate to where it can be easily bled out. Of course, they received other minor improvements including dropping a few grams and more XO-like caliper.

Our samples are the Elixir 9 with carbon lever blade, which is the only option for aftermarket. OEM levers may come with alloy blades. Click through to see weights and details…


2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

The front brake comes in at 209g without any of the mounting hardware.

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

How you mount it will determine the system weight. Front mounts with hardware for the included 180mm rotor are:

  • Direct post mount with 20mm spacer – 38g
  • IS mount including bolts to attach it to the fork – 49g
  • Matchmaker single piece bar clamp – 16g

If you’re already running a SRAM drivetrain, you can bundle the levers into any existing Matchmaker mount and possible save a few grams. I say possibly because there are situations where it actually comes in a couple grams lighter to run separate clamps than use their all-in-one clamp. It just doesn’t look as clean.

If you’re running a 160mm rotor on the front with a post mount fork, you’ll save weight by avoiding the spacer and using the shorter bolts from the IS parts.

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

The 180mm rotor, which is all we received, comes in at 123g alone and 136g with the included bolts.

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

The rear brake comes in at 228g without any mounting hardware.

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

IS mount with bolts is 56g. Again, depending on the frame’s mount type and rotor size, you may or may not need spacers or adapters.


2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

The Elixir 9 is aimed at the broad XC/TR/AM/FR spectrum of mountain bikers. Basically everything but downhill. Keen observers will note two things right off the bat:

  • The Elixir 9 (and 7) still use the CPS (Caliper Positioning System) washers that help align the caliper with the rotor. These have gone away with the new 2012 XX and XX World Cup brakes.
  • There are now completely new Elixir 7, Elixir 9 and XX brakes. The only thing missing is a revamped XO. Rumor is it’s coming and will have both distinct XC and heavier duty all-mountain/trail models.

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details 2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

The finish is a “Storm Gray” polished ano. Black ano is also available. The levers feature a tool-free reach adjust and contact adjust. Both the lever body and caliper body are forged aluminum.

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details 2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

Hose length comes out at 89cm (35″) for the front and 176cm (69.25″). The banjo is adjustable, helping you get the angle just right on your bike. Brake pads are held in with a bolt and clip.

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

The new HS1 rotors get a very handsome drilled look (they’re actually stamped). Gone are the proprietary 185 and 203 millimeter sizes. They’re available in standard 140, 160, 180 and 200mm diameters. These rotors ship with Elixir 3 through XO brakesets.

2012 Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes actual weights specs and details

Each set also comes with an assortment of bits to either replace parts or manage and protect cables. The calipers come with their brake block inserted to keep the pads apart. It pulls extra duty as a pad spacer to aid adjustments, a bleed block to hold the pistons open while bleeding, allowing you to remove the pads so they don’t get contaminated, and a bottle opener to aid in hydration.

Elixir 9 is $226/wheel and Elixir 7 is $188. The Elixir 7 gets slightly down spec’d hardware (not stainless steel) and no contact adjust.

We’ll get these on a bike shortly and work up a long term review over the winter. Stay tuned…


JON - 12/13/11 - 4:38pm

Another avid brake that promises the world and will be redundant in 3 months time when they find it works worse than the last model – needing more work to keep running. Fading, squeeling, pumping up, leaking, all great features- for supplying spare parts . Avid- look at shimano brakes and please copy their seal systems., please make your brakes work.

Steve - 12/13/11 - 5:04pm

Avid includes a return shipping label…wait…make that 2 return shipping labels for each brake inside the box. 3 for the Reverb. Junk…junk…junk…

anon - 12/13/11 - 6:06pm

I am glad I am not the only one that feels the way the previous comments do. I bought the XX brakes off chainlove and holy cow I have been through 2 fights with avid/sram in regards to these horrible brakes. You can bleed them all you want, within 1 ride they will be back to crap. Worst brakes ever.

Maple Leafs - 12/13/11 - 7:07pm

Shimano brakes (XT)-have to bleed once of year w/ much better braking power
SramXX-have to bleed every 1-2 months (not kidding) w/ weak braking power & noisy

Cannot recommend any Sram brakes.

boobie - 12/13/11 - 7:54pm

I have to say I have been very pleased with my Avid Elixir CR brakes – I have 500 miles on them with no issues or needs. My juicy brakes required me to push the pads out about once a month, but not the elixirs.

wv cycling - 12/13/11 - 8:42pm

I was half-looking at this post on my first glance and thought it was talking about BB9 rumors. I almost crapped myself in excitement

greg - 12/13/11 - 9:45pm

to add to the negative feedback, i’ve already had 2012 brakes with hs1 rotors “turkey gobble”. funny thing, i put some new xtr brakes on my bike, but left the turkey-gobbling XX rotors on, and it’s been 100% quiet.
avid’s been making brakes for a long time. why did it take them this long to figure out a better bleed screw placement?

JON - 12/13/11 - 11:23pm

Sad to see we are all having problems with Avid brakes. Unless they fix it soon it will go the way of hayes. In the end shops were refusing to stock bikes with hayes brakes. I still throw up in my mouth a little when I see a hayes so1e or nine brake. I’d love to know the Avid failure rate, its got to be off the chart. If there are serious problems with your brakes do the right thing and make a recall avid. You can only burn your customers so many times, ask hayes.

Mark W. - 12/13/11 - 11:56pm

I have bleed my fair share of avid brakes, and i feel that they are the most professional of brakes on the market. the bleed kit is very in depth, the screws are thought out, the pad loading is well designed, reach adjust can be done while riding, and they have tri-aline. That said they are not the best working brakes though for people who only want “set it and forget it” parts. The calipers can move out of place in a hard crash, they require regular bleeding, and they make noise.

This might be only me, but the only brakes i have never had issues with are the Shimano Saint brakes on the my trail bike.

I hope avid works their stuff a little bit so that it gets better, but i think part of this is that avid is on lots and lots of bikes right now, and when its on some many bike you are going to have so many issues like they have.

Vodalous - 12/14/11 - 12:17am

The elixer CRs on my A bike are amazing. Great stopping power. I highly recommend them to all my customers. I haven’t has a single issue with warbling with these brakes but it has been an issue with my Juicy 7s. Honestly, when I’m shredding I don’t care that my breaks squeak as long as they work. The only avid brakes I’ve had issues with are ultimates and dialing in mechanicals. Don’t know what all the hate is about. I’m stoked for these new brakes. They’ve finally addresses the old issues with bleeding and the ‘brake adjust system’ is the best on the market. I haven’t a single issue installing elixer crs. Oh yeah, and they’ve got a great warranty department.

Singletrackroadie - 12/14/11 - 3:18am

Brakes are for fun riders….they make you go slower. I took a year to bleed my Ultimates to work as it should. One XC race I just lost my front brake, rode whole race on back brake only! The new Elixer is better as my SS has Elixer 5 on and no issues. Avid brakes seem to be a luck of the draw issue. My next brake will be Magura (again!). Never had issues with my Marta brakes – 7 years and only one bleed a year, if it is so much.

wagner brakes - 12/14/11 - 5:36am

I don’t think it’s the first rewies are that relevant, specially over the fact most braking systems need some time to show how good, or how bad it are. Not because it’s new model it’s not necessarily better then old.

Marcos - 12/14/11 - 9:51am

Hi Guys,

You do a tremendous job by dissecting it all but you could also provide more tech info’s such as if it is an open or close bath, the type of fluid but mainly the numbers of the deceleration with a given rotor size that together with the modulation capacity will ultimately define a brake system.

notapro - 12/14/11 - 10:20am

@Mark W- it’s not only you. I’ve had ZERO issues with my ’08 Saints that hang on my 6″ fs that i actually bought used in ’09. I have had 3 different Avids on 2 different bikes, a DJer and a 4X, both of which hardly call for any real hard braking duties. if the Avids weren’t honking they weren’t working at all.

Steve M - 12/14/11 - 4:06pm

In the past year I went through a set of Hayes Strokers and a set of Avids. Both suffered from poor sealing and various squealing episodes that had no rhyme nor reason. Finally threw on a set of Magura Marta’s- have not had to dick around with brakes since.

nala - 03/09/12 - 8:59am

Recently bought a new bike with Elixir 7s fitted and after a few hard brake applications, the rear brake has become very noisy, it shudders and the vibration and noise transmit back up the stays.
The bike dealer has tried changing pads and checking set up with no obvious fault . Has anyone on this site got some ideas on a fix

TimT - 05/29/13 - 8:44pm

I just bought a 2013 Specialized Carve Pro with Avid hydraulic disc brakes and am very dissatisfied with the brakes. With only a few basic rides they began making squeaking/squealing noise….which got worse… eventually shuddering horribly. The shop i bought it from is on their second round of ‘fixes’. First round they lectured me for not bedding them in properly (no information of any sort was provided on this requirement at time of purchase). They scuffed things up, told me i should be good and sent me on my way. Same issues on very next ride. Second round they’ve replaced the pads and rotors under warranty and claim to have bed them in for me. Again I’ve been lectured about ‘bedding’ and also about how I should not be so hard on my brakes (???WTF???). I’ll report back to see if this second round fares better. I do not hold out much hope, but let’s see.

Charlie - 06/12/13 - 12:27am

I have some elixer 9s and they’re sometimes noisy when wet or very high pitched squeaky when dusty, but that’s it. Braking power is fine. I keep thinking about getting xt or slx brakes but really don’t need to. I think I might switch to a 160mm rotor in back for a little weight savings…

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