Upgrading Avid (Guide R) brakes, without spending a fortune.

nathanm

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I used to really like my Elixir R brakes and thought how bad could the new Avid guides be? After all they're 4 pot.

Well some call it modulation, but I just call them spongy and cannot handle not having instant bite.

So what's my best option to replace them without spending a fortune?

Ideally I'd like to not have to spend over $400. Was interested in the new 4 pot deores but can't find stock.
 

Nambra

Postmeridian
I used to really like my Elixir R brakes and thought how bad could the new Avid guides be? After all they're 4 pot.

Well some call it modulation, but I just call them spongy and cannot handle not having instant bite.

So what's my best option to replace them without spending a fortune?

Ideally I'd like to not have to spend over $400. Was interested in the new 4 pot deores but can't find stock.
Try running some sintered pads, much more bite than the organic ones. Lots of hate for guides but if bled properly they work well once you get used to the difference in lever feel.

How old are they? If they are more than 2-3 years old, they may have the sticky lever issue.
 

nathanm

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Try running some sintered pads, much more bite than the organic ones. Lots of hate for guides but if bled properly they work well once you get used to the difference in lever feel.

How old are they? If they are more than 2-3 years old, they may have the sticky lever issue.
They're brand new.

It's not the bite it's the lever travel. I just like instant bite, not until it reaches 1/2 pull then it locks.
 

Nambra

Postmeridian
They're brand new.

It's not the bite it's the lever travel. I just like instant bite, not until it reaches 1/2 pull then it locks.
If you bleed them with a bleed block thinner than the proper one and the lever adjust screws wound out (levers further away from the bar) you can overcome that to a certain extent. Put a bit more fluid in the system. The contact point adjustment on the Guide RSCs is a lot easier obviously, but the premium you pay for them is exorbitant.

Or, just hit up @Oddjob for his Shimanos if you couldn’t be bothered.
 

pink poodle

Our man in the West
If you want pure grab and no modulation, get some Hayes hfx9 brakes.

Have you considered Shimano? They have a very different feel to avid, aren't too expensive, and are easy maintenance.
 

ozzybmx

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Trickstuff Power pads are a good upgrade. Non-geoblocked too, makes paying for them a bit easier, usually 15euros a set from Germany.

I had enough Shimano pads here to slow the neighbourhood down, now all 3 of us on Guide R/RSC on the big bikes.
XC and Gravel are still Shimano.
 

nathanm

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Trickstuff Power pads are a good upgrade. Non-geoblocked too, makes paying for them a bit easier, usually 15euros a set from Germany.

I had enough Shimano pads here to slow the neighbourhood down, now all 3 of us on Guide R/RSC on the big bikes.
XC and Gravel are still Shimano.
It's not the stopping thats the issue it's the lever travel.
I don't think I'll ever get used to having to pull the lever half way to the bars before I get any braking force. On the test ride I had issues trying to find the bite point whilst barreling through technical terrain which I found really disconcerting. It's almost like you have to pre-brake so you've got the power there when you need it.
 

Jpez

Is bad
It's not the stopping thats the issue it's the lever travel.
I don't think I'll ever get used to having to pull the lever half way to the bars before I get any braking force. On the test ride I had issues trying to find the bite point whilst barreling through technical terrain which I found really disconcerting. It's almost like you have to pre-brake so you've got the power there when you need it.
I’m no brake guru by a long shot but have had a couple sets of guides. With well bled, properly set up brakes there shouldn’t be that much lever throw. Maybe something is amiss with this set? *Shrugs Shoulders.

I’m looking to upgrade to some TRP’s but not for the reasons you mention.
 

droenn

Eats Squid
I’m no brake guru by a long shot but have had a couple sets of guides. With well bled, properly set up brakes there shouldn’t be that much lever throw. Maybe something is amiss with this set? *Shrugs Shoulders.

I’m looking to upgrade to some TRP’s but not for the reasons you mention.
Agree with this - I've got Guides on one bike and XT m8000s on the other. There shouldn't be that much lever throw before engagement - I'm a pretty heavy guy and they pull me up fine without grabbing a handful. There is a difference between how they feel, but you adjust to it after the first few brakings in your ride.

I was going to get TRP but went with the new XT 4-pots - MTBD has stock of both, they arrived in a few days and are sitting here looking at me waiting to be installed.
 
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