Previewed: Avid Elixir CR Disc Brakes

Avid introduced the all-new Elixir R disc brake at April’s Sea Otter Classic event. The Elixir R lacked the contact adjust feature pioneered by the Juicy model so it was easy to predict additional Elixir models would follow. Avid is now introducing the Elixir CR model with tool-free pad contact and reach adjustment.

The Elixir CR will replace the Juicy Carbon model with improvements all around including reduced weight, more power, better modulation and easier adjustability. The Elixir CR caliper/lever/hose weighs about 385 grams per wheel, or 20 grams less than the Juicy Carbon model. Moreover, all Elixirs include a new G3 Rotor design that is 10-12 grams lighter for a total weight savings of about an ounce per wheel.

With a power level that is halfway between the Juicy and Code models, the new Elixir is designed to have better modulation and control. The mechanical advantage of the lever has been reduced to make the power ramp up at a more linear rate and feel less "grabby." The power and modulation improvements are design changes that include larger pistons and pads (Juicy pads are not compatible with Elixirs) as well as the redesigned G3 rotor, which yields a more consistent brake track.

The biggest tangible improvements can be found in the lever and master cylinder. The tool-free lever reach adjust features a detented barrel adjuster that is considerably easier to use than the Juicy’s hex bolt adjust. Additionally, Avid’s Pad Contact Adjust fine-tunes the point in the lever’s throw where the rotor is contacted.

Juicy’s distinctive red knob required 25 turns to go from one extreme to the other, making the rate of change so fine it was almost imperceptible. The Elixir CR features an improved Pad Contact Adjust with 2 total rotations of the anodized red collar, located between the master cylinder and hose. The collar is detented as it rotates and the adjustment is much more noticeable. As an added benefit, the hose now rotates inside the master cylinder, making kinked and twisted hydraulic lines a thing of the past.

For the new caliper, Avid stuck with a two-piece design but switched to top-loading pads and topped it off with a slick-looking red anodized banjo bolt to help keep your hoses flush to your frame. Avid even redesigned the pad spreader blocks on the Elixir. The new blocks serve as bleed blocks, storage blocks and even feature a bottle opener – so don’t lose your blocks!

Elixirs come bled with new DOT 5.1 fluid that is highly regulated to maintain controlled specifications, which equates to more consistent braking performance. G3 rotors will be available in 160-, 185- and 203-milimeter sizes, and the levers maintain Matchmaker compatibility to work with some SRAM trigger shifter models. Carbon levers will be available on aftermarket Elixirs, as well as select OEM brake sets, for another 10 grams of weight savings.

Availability should begin in August ’08 with prices starting at $204 per wheel. If you are looking for a more affordable set of hydraulics the Elixir R will cost a meager $129 per wheel, but lack the Contact Adjust feature.