Avid Code disc brake review£229.99

Disappointing stopper

BikeRadar score1.5/5

Avid’s big four-pot downhill brake lacks the power and reliability to back up its looks. Granted, the lever body and calliper mean it runs cool even at high loads, plus the blade pivots on super-smooth bearings and gets easy bite point adjustment via a thumbwheel, but otherwise it’s a letdown.

Dyno performance was disappointing – we’ve used some highly powerful Codes but they always ramp up rather than modulating well. Setup is awkward too, with the cup-and-cone washers and long, deep calliper, because it needs aligning in 3D not just 2D.

Add high weight, the massive pads’ limited availability and poor reliability, and we’d struggle to recommend these. From what our spies say though, prototypes of the new Code brakes are absolute belters.

Dry brake test graph

Dry brakes graph avid code:
Dry brakes graph avid code:

Dry brake test graph for all brakes tested

Dry brakes all:
Dry brakes all:

Wet brake test graph

Wet brakes graph avid code:
Wet brakes graph avid code:

Wet brake test graph for all brakes tested

Wet brakes all:
Wet brakes all:

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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