Avid XX disc brake review£300.00

Cross-country race stoppers

BikeRadar score2/5

The XX is based on the Elixir CR Mag platform, using a two-piece magnesium calliper, master cylinder and a carbon fibre lever plus titanium hardware. The relatively heavy alloy-centred floating rotor and 3D-adjustable cup-and-cone washer setup mean it’s not quite the lightest, although the 160mm version scrapes in under the 200g mark.

The flip-flop lever design makes cockpit tuning easy, as do the Matchmaker combined shifter clamps that can also mount XX fork lockout switches. Power and control on the trail and the dyno is impressive for the weight but flex in the master cylinder body gives it a squeezy feel that reduces the brake’s perceived power.

The 3D movement at the calliper end makes it awkward to line up. Most sets that we’ve used have been plagued with continual sudden pulling-to-the-bar problems despite countless patience-stretching, multi-phase bleeding sessions.

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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