2012 SRAM Avid XX and XX World Cup Caliper comparison

SRAM just announced all-new XX and XX World Cup  (XXWC) hydraulic disc brakes. Borrowing heavily from the recent Elixir 7 & 9 redesign, the new magnesium lever body is similar between the two brakesets and gets the revised bleed port location and air trap to improve bleed performance. From there, they did what they always do for their top-level spec and shaved grams.

The new XX levers appear to have a lower profile Pad Contact Adjust bezel and tooled reach adjust rather than the Elixir’s knob. The XXWC lever does away with the Pad Contact Adjust to save weight, and the master cylinder body is much sleeker and tapered toward the lever pivot (pics below). If you’re not using the MatchMaker mounts, the XX clamp is a little more chiseled, too.

The real newness comes in the calipers. Both get all new castings, and both do away with their CPS (Caliper Positioning System – the small cupped washers that make lining up the calipers easy that have come with Avid brakes forever). The alloy XX calipers are essentially the same as the new Elixirs, but the mounting surface is extended slightly to make up for the gap otherwise filled by the CPS washers. Claimed weight is 289g per wheel.

The XXWC, however, gets a sleeker magnesium caliper with larger pistons for a system weight (claimed, front 160mm) of 270g per wheel. That’s 88g lighter than the new Elixir 9 and 18g lighter than the current XX brakeset…and puts it just under the Ashima’s we just reviewed.

More pics and the official PR after the break…

2012 SRAM XX and XXWC brake lever

PRESS RELEASE: The newly redesigned XX and XX World Cup incorporates race-proven technology and improved performance all while shaving off precious weight. XX is just as comfortable on the World Cup podium as it is on your Saturday trail ride. Join us in welcoming the new standard of lightweight power, control, and reliability to the AVID family.


(Shown below, right) With a complete overhaul of the internals, an updated TaperBore system and new forged aluminum caliper, XX ventures into the trail riding category while maintaining its cross country racing heritage.

(Editor’s Note: Compared to the XXWC lever below, the XX looks downright beefy, appropriate for the growth into Trail…much like XTR now has their “Trail” version).

The patented TaperBore closure system is experiencing a true evolution through refinement. We have developed a new bladder material, simplified the bleed port, and designed a new air-trap feature that makes the brake easier than ever to bleed.

  • All new internals with high volume reservoir
  • New Air-Trap Feature
  • New Forged Aluminum Caliper
  • New Forged Magnesium lever body
  • Non-CPS caliper for increased weight savings
  • New HSX rotor 140/160/180mm or HS1 140/160/180/200mm

2012 SRAM Avid XX World Cup XXWC lightweight hydraulic disc brake caliper with two-piece 160mm rotor 2012 SRAM Avid XX lightweight hydraulic disc brake caliper with two-piece 160mm rotor

2012 SRAM Avid XX World Cup magnesium hydraulic brake lever and master cylinder


(Shown above, left) With an industry leading strength to weight ratio, the 270 gram XX World Cup defines power and control in a lightweight package. Combining an updated TaperBore system, a new two-piece forged caliper, and oversized pistons, gives the rider more stopping power with less lever pull.

  • New two-piece forged magnesium caliper
  • Non-CPS caliper for increased weight savings
  • New HSX rotor 140/160/180mm

MSRP USD   XX: $404 / XXWC: $404 – Availability July 2011

2012 SRAM XX Worlc Cup XXWC magnesium hydraulic disc brake caliper


  1. ok the million dollar question is, will they be quieter, mild squeak/squealing, turkey gobblin, grinding like metal on metal? i work in the industry and field lots and lots of complaints on this exact issue. do a google search about avid brakes squealing, ask my mechanics how many times they’ve had to warranty for new brakes. proper bed in procedure, organic pads, clean sweep vs. straight sweep rotors. im not tryin to be a shit stirrer, but this is clearly an issue, i’ve had it personally. rotor swaps, organic pads did nothing. just once id like to hear sram/avid or someone within that organization acknowledge the issue and openly/honestly talk about it. i want to like and use avid stuff, but seem to get the same troubleshoot runaround and the problem still exists on my new warranty XO brakes. please just an open and honest discussion

  2. Dan, FWIW I’ve had Avids work very quietly (other than the mild grinding sound that I get with other brands occasionally, too) where other braks have squealed like the dickens, and vice versa. A large part of it is frame dependent, too, some frames just seem to work better with certain brands…it’s been a bit of a crap shoot but we test a lot of different things. Metal frames tend to be louder than carbon in our experience.

    Archie, just a guess, but probably because the XXWC lacks the pad contact adjust feature, so there’s less going on.

  3. Dan: Not to be a shit stirrer either (and I’m certainly not interested in starting a fight), but maybe it’s the way you’re setting them up? I also work in the industry and set Avid brakes up on a daily basis. I’ve personally spent quite a lot of time riding the Juicy 7 and carbon as well as the current XX, X.0, and Elixir 7 and 9. I’ve had to have one set warrantied because we got some Avid fluid in that had a bunch of water in it that ruined the seals. Other than that ONE set, they’ve all been flawless if set up correctly.

    I will say, I have direct access to plenty of Avid/SRAM help directly, so I may be at an advantage.

    On the flip side, I’ve had customers bring me their bikes after trying to set up their brakes on their own and they had a mess on their hands…..tons of contaminated pads from messy bleeds, people screwing up and getting more air in the line than when they started, etc.

    I also think the newer bleed kit with the better syringes was a huge step….

    Again, not trying to pick a fight, but my experience has been stellar.

  4. @Brandon It’s not just Dan, I’ve had the exact same experience, just about every Elixir I’ve come across suffers from the same issues, but some people are more sensitive to them than others. I’ve talked to many shop guys and pro wrenches for big companies that are all fed up with the Elixir from the start. They have gotten better over time, and G2 rotors and different pads goes a long way (look at some of the Avid press photos from last year, a lot of their bikes even were running G2s). The Elixir was FAR from a stellar brake, but I guess this is Avid’s way of finally admitting there was a problem in the first place. Notice all the new “features” sound a lot like fixes to problems everyone has complained about.

  5. I’m with dan on this one. Avid brakes are far and away the most inconsistent brakes I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of working on. Some are great out of the box and some are so bad your only choice is to warranty them. That said the new XX WC brakes look good. Getting rid of the cps washers and pad contact adjustment seems like a good way to streamline and simplify them.

  6. I’m also with Dan…and some of the other posters. I’ve got some of the ‘original’ Elixer R’s and the rear brake was horrible on my Jabberwocky. Recently moved them to an On-One Scandal and now they’re perfectly quiet. And it wasn’t set up/contamination/etc, they just didn’t work well with the Jabber, some sort of vibration frequency matching issues I guess. Noise, vibration, squeal, etc. Bad. But they’re fine on the Scandal. And the old Hayes So1e’s I put on the Jabber to replace the Elixers are totally quiet.

    It does seem like A LOT of people have had issues with Avid brakes though.

  7. Maybe Avid needs to use some sort of washer, etc, that absorbs the vibration that could be transmitted from the caliper to the frame ???

  8. all they trying to do is kill their competitor shimano appreciate their innovation and marketing strategy but for an average rider we just need a simple brake that works and less maintenance. I used many brands so far shimano has better value over all! Avid just not my cup of tea..

  9. efrain, all of the Elixir-style brakes, including XX and XO level, are Taperbore. That’s simply a description of the internal shaping of the master cylinder because the plunger moves into a tapered hole as the lever is squeezed, eventually sealing the line and pushing the pads. For a better description of Taperbore, check these two posts:



  10. Another XX owner in Dan’s camp. Only the poor characteristics of XX brakes I’ve experienced also include needing bled frequently, uneven pad extension and inconsistent lever pull. On my original set and my warranty set which is just shy of 3 months old. They work well when they work but they work poorly more frequently than they work well. And thank god they’re getting rid of CPS.

  11. Hi I recently bought an S-Works epic, ive had a few problems with my XXWC brakes if the bike is sitting for a week unused the front brake loses pressure and also starts grinning i was told it was when you take the wheel out and accidentally hit the brake . The brakes have been looked at 4 times in a period of two months and have left the wheel in so i don’t get this issue. I’m not to sure whether just to get formula R1’s or not, if i knew my XXWC were always going to work each weekend i wouldn’t mind anyone got any advice?


  12. I’m having the same issue as Dan with the stock Avid Elixir CR SL’s on my Specialized Epic… No amount of sandpaper or rubbing alcohol or rotor replacement is getting rid of the insane screeching that occurs almost instantaneously with my front brake. Rear one is nice, but recently I’ve lost all power, and it hasn’t seen a lot of ride time this season. The brakes make the experience lack-luster, and its too bad Specialized had to put such horrible components on their bikes. I’m looking into getting any other brand but Avid. Crap products

  13. Don’t clean avid rotors with standard disc brake cleaning fluid. i did and they became very noisy. Then i burnt the residue off with a small bunsen burner. Very lightly and carefully. Burns off the residue and now I have no noise from the brakes 🙂

  14. I bought an S works Epic 2011 in October and had similar problems with the brakes. The XXWC was fine on the rear but the front was utterly useless. Sometimes barely slowing the wheel when spun in mid air. Local bike shop had several attempts at bleeding etc and when I told them that I wanted my money back for the entire bike they got Avid to send out a set of 2012 brakes. These were no better and introduced sticking levers to the equation. I was furious and the bike shop got someone from Specialized to look at it and they immediately ordered a set of XTR race brakes which were quickly fitted and are now very good. I have had previous Avids (pre- taperbore) and they have always been fine. I will never have Avid brakes again.

    Remember; If you buy a complete bike, your contract is with the bike shop for the entire bike. Not just a bunch of parts with separate warranties. Demand satisfaction or ask for your money back.

  15. Hi, I am a big fan of Shimano and recently started using Avid on my new Specialized Stumpjumper and had the same vibratating scream from my Avid brakes, notably the front. A mate made a comment that directly after I have washed my bike i must ride it up and down my drive way using the brakes as much as I can. It’s weird but it made a huge difference to the performance and noise.

  16. Hey – I have new XX group – my rear brake lever is “sticky”…. its like the piston in the lever is the problem Has anyone else had this?? I only have 2 rides on them so far – is there a “break-in” period? Thanks!

  17. Good morning everyone, and in advance, excuse my french.
    To BB. Yes it seems that there is a “Break in” period before the “sticky” feeling disapear. After that, and you experienced that is’nt it… these brakes are pretty good, infitelly more better that the Juicy7 I had before.
    Some of you guys complained about the pressure drop happening from time to time. First thing first, Never, ever ever, mix Sram Disk with other brand. Second Do not, at any cost, mix Sram XX Caliper with other brand – or else your brakes will literaly die. I mean It! As some of you smart guys know, It is just because the caliper system cannot tolerate exessive heat, because it cannot dissipate – so that the rubber seal melts, which fuse your bank account – This is exactly what happend with the Chalenger Shuttle, heat constraint around a rubber sealling.
    Beyond that, pressure drop appears from time to time, so well it is advised to bleed the whole system every eight weeks. Buy yourself a formula bleeding kit, or even better is the owner related Avid kit, and one bottle of dot 5.1. Just follow the instruction of SRAM (see youtube AND Sram instruction kit). It goes pretty fast and well. Most of it, it reaches 88miles an hours Marty, it is just like the first kiss.
    You may be overwhelmed by blog posts of usual rider complaining about their XX Brakes. Hell Prevail. You may be well aware that these brakes are made for people who love repair, tune, set, clean, their bikes – with their stinky sticky fingers. If you are defenetly not that brand, bounce. These stuff need extra special care – and at the proper time – which litteraly means before the problem appears.

    Nevertheless I have this whistelling issue, at very low rotational speed, for a few weeks, even with no significant friction between the disk and the overall system. Tomorrow I will buy meself Isopropyl Alcohol by my nextest drugstore. I will keep you informed with the very last update.

    My french betray my feelings. I do appreciate Sram XX 2012 Stuff. The minigroup itself is… beyond my french. A pure merveille. It is far beyond the XTR stuff (Remember the J.Nickolson quote : Swiftly and softly an armoured division).

    But the brakes suffer from a F***ing important flaw no-one of you, rider-made Roger Ebert, complained about. This was beyond the realm of my worst disapointment.
    Listen to this : “I broke my SRAM XX WC lever at its very first serious XC riding. I broke It in half! My first fall! At my first mile!! At my first 20% up on roots!!! Beware! Seriously! YOU could be the next!.
    It is just because the 20 Year Old Chief Ingeneer of SRAM is an hamster – just like his nasty related rodant. Engeneering school 101 : The Mecanical link between the Matchmaker and the lever is 1.2 gram lighter than the previous one (halleluva), but it is also intrinsically fragile. So that when you fall from your bike at low speed, if the lever touches the ground, edgeface-like, it levers-out the system out of the handlebar. So that the momentum applied on the handlebar is higher than that the MatchMaker/Lever link can tolerate – As a result it breaks the link. And you’ve just lost your front brake. And two hickers mock-arounds echoes on your sudden wildest French 101 the forest and the nest did not diggest.
    By the way, the matchmaker is stronger than the lever. for those wondering. (Usually it is the matchmaker that MUST broke before the pricy stuff… SameOldSong)
    Hopefully, I repaired it in soldering the matckmacker and the broken lever on the handlebar using epoxy glue (Araldite). It woks perfectly well, well enough to stick the matchmaker out after a few resting days so that it looks and works just like the first kiss nowaday.

  18. I just read the comment of HMonk.

    It is pretty interresting. I suggest this : after you clean your disks and your caliper pads with isopropyl alcohol (there is nothing best, but anhydric ether which is the bomb), put it in the oven (no temperature gradient, so that it won’t harm the device incase of differential dilatation aka thermal bulking), and let it cook at 200°C 15-30 min. The point here is to remove water adsorbed (even deeply) over the cast material. put it some place : a bunzen flame is moslty made of water (this is not solid, nor liquid, nor even gazeous, this is a plasma within the flame). Most of it, the bunzen will burn any contaminant, with the risk of turning organic contaminant into some sort of heavy petroleum waste (goudron dans mon language), which burns (combustion) at elevated temperature a Bunzen can not reach and are much more difficult to disolve. That is why I suggest the desorption with no transformation of the contaminants. Miracles happens : the mama’oven…
    I’ll taste it tomorrow…

  19. FYI…. My brake never felt right. They were spongy and weak. Finally the front seized closed and the wheel wouldn’t turn. I took my bike to my LBS and they sent the entire brake package back to SRAM. It took about 2 weeks and SRAM sent back new everything and they work great! Compliments to my LBS that but on a set of Elixir III’s to keep me going during the wait.

  20. I have a Trek remedy 9.9 and it has these brakes.Its a 2011 model ,I have had a annoying back brake now for a couple of weeks.Lever feels fine in fact i like it ,stopping power is in question though.And its always binding .I have been spoiled though as i have always had hope brakes and had 6 pot ones on my last bike,6 years with no trouble.
    The caliper actually seems to be twisted on the mount,it does not sit square on the face so it not on the same axis.It also has these conical washers on both sides of the caliper which seems to push the caliper to far away and as such it only has about 60%/70% contact with the disc ! This must be wrong as i can see no reason for putting them between the post mount and caliper .I can see some logic in putting them under the fastening screw as i guess it makes a better contact and compensates for any deficient machining so when you tighten up you obtain full contact.
    Also why Organic pads ? i am sure i read somewhere that it is to do with the caliper being magnesium and heat.
    Also choice of pads some have Aluminium backing and some have steel.Why ?

What do you think?