The Elixir 1 is the bottom rung of the Avid hydraulic brake ladder, but it still delivers high levels of traction control in a dependable and affordable package.
The 1 is definitely a built-to-price brake, with a slightly bulky master cylinder shape and a split rather than two-piece bar clamp. This makes it more awkward to fit, stops ambidextrous use and rules out SRAM’s cunning Matchmaker combined shifter and brake clamps.
The hose exit from the calliper is fixed too, and you get resin pads and the older, heavier rotor standard, so it’s no lightweight overall. Then again the price that it’s built to is lower than any of the other major manufacturers.
Crucially, it gets the same Taperbore design and unique blade sweep as Avid's more expensive brakes to deliver very impressive feedback and traction for the ticket price. Power is ample too, and while the resin pads don’t last long in wet conditions, sintered replacements will be easy to find.
Ironically, this simpler Elixir has traditionally been the most reliable and easiest to bleed member of the whole Elixir family, although the others have now caught up.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.