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 – WEIGHTS
The front brake comes in at 209g without any of the mounting hardware.
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.
The 180mm rotor, which is all we received, comes in at 123g alone and 136g with the included bolts.
The rear brake comes in at 228g without any mounting hardware.
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.
DETAILS & SPECS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…