Avid Code 5 review£130.00

Powerful, great value, big mountain disc brake

BikeRadar score4.5/5

This ‘new’ all-mountain Avid is basically a Juicy 5 lever pumping a Code calliper, but it’s a powerful big mountain pairing.

Juicy 5 levers miss the bite-point adjust and massive reservoir of the Code levers, but they’re nearly 100g lighter, £40 cheaper and still work fine on long, long descents.

What’s more, the monster four-piston calliper delivers enough power to hurl you over the bars with a single lever twitch. Once you’ve got used to the sheer stopping power, and learned to tickle the levers not heave them, modulation is very good.

The usual ‘Power Reserve’ lever geometry gives good enough feel that few testers complained about the lack of bite point adjust. Avid’s syringe-assisted bleeding makes it relatively easy to balance up any difference between the levers, too.

As with any bigger calliper, drag-free alignment is a little more awkward, but the 3D cup and cone ‘Tri-Align CPS’ system is still easier to set up than others. You’ll appreciate the dislocating lever feature if you’re unlucky enough to be a regular crasher, too.

Pad life is proving good, adding to the already impressive value of this faithful mongrel setup. This makes it our value winner choice if you’re a regular big-hill blaster or just like to have a lot of power at your fingertips.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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