The 2011 Codes are a big departure from their overbuilt predecessors, taking the pad contact adjustment TaperBore technology from the Elixir range as well as throwing in a sweet reach adjustment dial that can easily be turned while wearing gloves. In fact the only thing remaining from the old Code levers are the three cartridge bearings that the lever pivots on. At the other end of the hose, things have also been on a diet. There are still four pistons but a svelte caliper has shaved weight, two of the four bolts that held the two-piece, four-piston caliper together are gone, there’s an adjustable banjo and they have finally switched to top-loading pads.
On the trail, the Codes are ridiculously good. I’m yet to experience anything resembling brake fade and where the old Codes were pretty much an on/off affair, the modulation control is super easy to dial in. But it’s the power that gets me; I’m not light at all but just a one finger tap on the brakes will have them engaged and doing what they’re supposed to do. I’ve been back on the Elixirs recently and I can say on every ride that I miss the Code’s power. With only 35 grams difference between the Elixir CRs and the Codes, it’s an interesting conundrum but I’ll take better power and modulation over lighter weight every time. It’s a burly brake, and if you’re riding long, steep stuff and you want the brake to be working the same at the bottom of the hill as it was at the top, then the Avid Code has your name on it. CALEB SMITH