Weight: 638g per end / Four-piston design / Triple-bearing lever pivot / 185mm or 203mm rotors
Contact: Fisher Outdoor www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk or www.sram.com
Ever heard the expression ‘hauling on the anchors’? Well at nearly 1,300g a set, you could probably throw Avid’s burly Code overboard and it would slow you down as quickly as many other brakes on the market. That’s right, these gravity-specific stoppers are more than a little portly and unfortunately that contributes to their unsprung mass, but it does make them tough enough to go to war and come back intact.
And therein lies the Code’s USP. Starting at the lever, Avid hasn’t been shy in adding bearings and material to reinforce one of any bike’s most vulnerable spots during a crash. Built from bullet-proof, cold-forged aluminium, the lever body incorporates Avid’s familiar bite-point adjustment, but in the case of the Code it’s tucked well out of harm’s way on the front of the body, and it’s been supersized to make tweaks that much easier. The beefy two-piece lever runs on three cartridge bearings, making actuation silky smooth and light to the touch, while the breakaway cam is designed to take one for the team rather than rip out your piston’s internal workings in a crash.
Running inboard levers and still being able to reach the shifters is often a problem on DH bikes, but the Avid split clamp (tighten the top bolt — arrow up — completely then nip up the opposite side) takes care of that by being Matchmaker (£17.99) compatible.
On the caliper front, the Code unit is two-piece, which when tied together with five huge Allen bolts, makes it flex-free. It’s a four-piston design using smaller-diameter pistons than the Juicys, but when combined the surface area is 10 per cent greater, improving heat dissipation. This also increases the effective radius of the braking surface to produce even more power. New G2 rotors are available in 185mm and 203mm sizes, but we think that most people will find the 185 versions ample. Another tip: swap the stock organic pad with the sintered version (£17.99) for longer life in wet conditions.
Out on the trail the lever actuation is lighter and smoother than anything we’ve tried. That, combined with awesome one-finger power and fade-free performance, puts the Code
at the top of the alpine brake tree. But we feel their real forte is their strength. Crash most other levers and you’re looking at a long walk to an expensive repair bill, but stack it on a set of Codes and they probably won’t even flinch.
With that in mind, if you’re a big rider on a heavy bike, or your bravado tends to write cheques that your skills can’t always cash then the Codes could be the answer to your prayers.
MBR RATING: 9/10