Avid Elixir 7 disc brake £150

You could easily get a taste for these

BikeRadar score 4/5

Now they’ve sorted out reliability troubles, Avid’s mid-price Elixir 7 brake is a great lightweight, high-control all-rounder. An internal overhaul has eliminated all the previous position and bleed intolerance issues, and turned the Elixir from a brake to avoid to a brake to look for.

The fact there’s no bite point adjust on the 7 means less potential to go wrong and it’s not Avid’s strongest feature anyway. The alloy master cylinder feels stiffer when emergency braking than the magnesium pieces on more expensive Avids. 

You still get a carbon fibre blade to keep winter fingers warm and overall weight is low for the price. The unique Avid lever sweep also feels great and the reach adjuster knob tucked inside the lever works really well too, even if it looks odd. This all translates to crisp but very rich and traction friendly feedback on the trail even when there’s very little grip to play with.

New 180mm (rather than 185mm rotors) add cross brand compatibility, get rid of the old warbling noise issues and drop 20g over the old discs. All rotor sizes cost the same too so extra power doesn’t mean extra expense. The MMX clamp option means really neat syncing with SRAM shifters and RockShox remote controls too.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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