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Avid Juicy 5 Disc Brakes

Product Reviews - Bikeman's Product Testing

You can whine all you want about how much heavier they are and what a pain in the ba-donk they are to set up/bleed etc, but the bottom line is a disc brake will outperform a rim brake any day. Hands down.

ImageMy entrance into the world of disc brakes was on a set of Avid Mechanicals, and I loved them. I didn’t think switching to a hydraulic system would make any difference, but it did big time. The main thing I noticed was how smooth the hydros were over the mechanical. Any time a cable is involved, so is friction. No matter was kind of fancy smooth cables are used on a mechanical system; it will always feel less sensitive than a hydraulic system. That’s just the nature of the beast. Another huge improvement was the stopping power. Unreal. On a set of hydraulic discs I am able to use 1 finger to brake where I had to use the whole mitt before. The reason is simple. There is absolutely no play in the line. With a cable, “pre-stretched” types included, there will always be some amount of play anywhere from the cable itself to a segment of housing that doesn’t quite flush up snug with it’s end cap. It’s a cable, it happens. With a hydraulic brake all of that is eliminated. The only thing you’re pushing is fluid. It’s a solid connection essentially, end to end. With that said, enter the Avid Juicy 5.

First things first, the install on these brakes, and all avid discs just to toot their horn, is beyond simple. It’s so easy you feel like you are doing something wrong. If you can tighten an allen bolt, you can install a set of these. It took me less than half an hour to install both front and rear, most of that was putting the new rotors on (that’s a lot of bolts!). Avid uses what they call the CPS (Caliper Positioning System) instead of shims to align the caliper with the rotor. It’s a series of ball and socket like washers that self-align using the squeezing action of the caliper. Very cool. All you have to do is bolt the caliper to the frame, loosen the CPS bolts and install the wheel with the rotor on. Once the wheel is in you squeeze the brake lever, tighten the CPS bolts and you’re done. Seriously, that’s it.

After a full season racing the Juicy 5 all over New England the only thing I did (aside from the occasional soap and water bath) was slap in a new set of EBC green pads. The power and modulation of the brake is excellent. You can go faster and brake later without the fear of dirt-napping in the woods. The install is a snap and they look darn cool too. If you’re real “princess and the pea” type sensitive about pad adjustment you might want to check out the Juicy 7. It’s just like the 5 but has a pad-contact adjuster knob to fiddle away some hours with. Five Bikemans for the Juicy 5!

Matt DeMeis

Rated: Image
Avid Juicy 5 Front

 $159.95

 Buy / Details

Avid 06 Juicy 5 Front Disc Brake: 160mm Rotor, 51mm Mount. The Avid Juicy 5 Hydraulic Disc Brake Set features a new lever geometry that yields linear brake response. Ambidextrous design; levers work on either side. Indexed lever reach adjustment; 1mm of lever tip travel per click of adjustor. Calipers are 74mm and include adapters for 51mm...
Avid Juicy 5 Rear

 $159.95

 Buy / Details

Avid 06 Juicy 5 Rear Disc Brake: 160mm Rotor, 51mm Mount. The Avid Juicy 5 Hydraulic Disc Brake Set features a new lever geometry that yields linear brake response. Ambidextrous design; levers work on either side. Indexed lever reach adjustment; 1mm of lever tip travel per click of adjustor. Calipers are 74mm and include adapters for 51mm...
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