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Replacement Brakes

FatBurtFatBurt Posts: 70
edited June 2016 in MTB buying advice
So, my Avid Elixer 5's have died.

Lack of use appear to have caused the pistons to seize and even with a thorough (and free) look over from my LBS there is no getting them working again.

So, I need a new set of brakes. Again LBS have been superb and rather than just try and flog me some tut, they suggested I look into some brakes (Shimano Msomenumbers suggested) and if I find a pair buy them and he'd fit them for a nominal fee.

So I come to you good people for advise. My Shifters (X5) are connected to my brake levers so I assume that would ordinarily steer me towards a new set of avids but I'd rather get the best bang for my cash (£100-150 for the pair if possible) so I'm more than happy to look elsewhere. If I do go elsewhere will my shifters be compatible or will I need some doohicky adapter?

My riding style is fat bloke who used to be decent riding with a 12 year old a 10 year old in not too gnarly situations but wants to get something decent so that if fat bloke becomes less fat bloke and rides on own again has brakes that will actually stop him.


  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Common problem at this time of to year with avid, it's usually that the system needs 'burping' of excess fluid, simple to do and often effective.

    Very rare for Pistons to genuinely seize in an up repairable manner, usually seizing is caused by debris and just needs cleaning out.
  • FatBurtFatBurt Posts: 70
    You could be right but I'm of a mind to listen to my LBS as they've done a fair bit of work on the brakes for no charge at all. They could easily have charged just for labour on the once over and say sorry nope and then try and flog me new there and then.

    I'll look into the "burp" of fluid though, was with him when he went over the bike and I know he did nothing with the fluid itself. He was more in the line of resetting the pads and was getting zero movement at all.

    Decent new brake options would be good if all else fails though. I'm not too keen on the brakes (never have been) and although I'll try to avoid dropping £100 on something that's not needed I'd like some back up options for the worst case scenario
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I had elixir 1 brakes and they needed constant attention. Swapped to shimano xt m785 brakes which were a huge improvement and pretty much fit and forget. Shimano deore are the cheapest decent brakes, my wife has slx which also work very well.

    For me worth the change to get decent reliable brakes.
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,309
    Shimano M395 are fine too. And cheaper.
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #3s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    Have not had any issues with any Shimano Deore/SLX/XT apart from the occasional lazy piston which needs minor attention before it turns into a full-scale fault. Zees very similar to the others but with more top-end power if you need to slow down really quickly.

    And as above M395/396 absolutely fine. Reach adjust is via a hex screw, the clamp isn't hinged, the pads are bottom-loading and they're not particularly light but in terms of braking they're just as good as the others. Simple (some would say primitive) design means there's less to go wrong, just keep feeding them pads. £25-30 per brake
  • kickaxekickaxe Posts: 446
    The m395's really are fine. I've still got them on my bike and see no real need to upgrade them, the have the same or similar stopping power to the other ones, and I haven't had any problems with them (besides a floppy lever after a crash which I fixed myself with a new circlip). I'd get them again.
    -Cube Acid 29" 2013
    -A new Giant Trance 3 2015!
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