The World Cup version of Avid’s XX brake is a proper stripped down racing stopper. It’s flexy at full pull but internal changes mean far better reliability than in the past – and the price has dropped significantly too.
Avid’s Elixir series brakes have always had great potential but reliability was often appalling. New O-ring seals, bladder design and an air trap seem to have solved these issues, with all new-generation brakes proving totally reliable in the six months we’ve been using them.
Removing the bite point adjust and tool-free carbon lever reach adjustment from the XX means these magnesium stoppers are also seriously light. There’s a lot of flex in the body and calliper though, which means some loss of torque.
Once you’re used to it, the squeezy feel modulation is also very good, with a unique blade sweep that feels really natural under the fingers and makes them an excellent technical trail brake. The MMX clamp option means neat syncing with SRAM shifters and RockShox remote controls too. New 180mm (rather than 185mm) rotors drop 20g and add cross-brand compatibility, which sits nicely with that price drop.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.