Avid’s Elixir CR is a popular original ﬁt on higher-end bikes but its revamped reliability needs proving. The stout carbon ﬁbre lever is kinder to your ﬁngers than alloy in cold weather because it conducts heat less.
The CR's tight pad clearance and 3D washer adjustment can make setup awkward though, and it's weighty for its price. Power, modulation and feel are outstanding though, which makes it a potentially great technical brake.
We say “potentially” because the bite point adjustment means most of the sets we’ve used over the past year have had problems with trapped air, which causes the levers to pull straight back to the bars. Avid promise they’ve ﬁxed this for 2011 and ﬁrst samples have been ﬁne, but it’s still expensive for its weight.