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Mountain Bike Gear
First Ride: Avid’s X0 Trail Brake
The new high-end brake promises handfuls of power with excellent modulation.
ByMatt Phillips
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Just days after SRAM unveiled its Type 2 clutch-driven derailleur, the company has lifted the lid on its next trail-friendly offering. The Avid X0 Trail brake, available in mid-July ($310 per wheel), is a four-piston disc brake that slots between the two-piston X0 and the gravity-oriented Code, a four-piston brake so monstrously powerful that it’s overkill for most mountain bikers. Even Avid’s sponsored downhill riders largely skipped the Code in favor of the lighter X0.

 

The new brake offers the best of both worlds with a claimed weight of 340 grams per wheel with a 160mm rotor. That’s 25 grams heavier than an X0 two-piston, but 25 grams lighter than Shimano’s XTR Trail brake and 70 grams lighter than a Code.

 

Avid freely admits the X0 Trail (abbreviated XO-T) is not as powerful as the Code, in part because it has smaller pistons—14mm and 16mm versus 15mm and 16mm. But, no surprise, Avid claims the X0-T is more powerful than an X0 two piston (let’s call it X0 XC) and Shimano’s XTR Trail brake.

 

The X0 Trail uses 14- and 16-millimeter pistons, slightly smaller than a Code's 15 and 16mm pistions.

 

On the subject of power, Avid provides a hall pass to run rotors from 140 to 200mm with the X0-T (hear that, downhillers?). Avid’s also developed a new 170mm rotor. It’s the Goldilocks option for riders who felt the 160mm was too weak and a 180mm was too grabby. Plus, with the myriad wheel sizes, bike styles and rider weights out there, the 170mm-option will help fine tune braking power and front to rear balance.

 

If you’re curious about the numbers, it works out like this:

 

• X0 Trail vs. X0 XC, both with 160mm rotor: XO-T is roughly13 percent more powerful, 25 grams heavier and $50 more.

• 180mm vs. 160mm rotor: 180mm is about 14 percent more powerful and 40 grams heavier.

• 170mm rotor vs. 160mm rotor: 170mm is about 7 percent more powerful and 20 grams heavier.

• 180mm rotor vs. 170mm rotor: 180mm is about 6 percent more powerful and 20 grams heavier.

 



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