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Avid Updates Code Brakes With Taperbore Tech – Power Up and Weight Down

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SEA OTTER CLASSIC 2010 – By moving the downhill oriented Code brake series to their Taperbore design, Avid managed to drop 39g from the top-end model, and 52g from the Code 5 (now called Code R).

Using the Taperbore design led to some feature improvements, too.  On the Code levers (silver, above), the reach adjustment gets a tool-free, indexed dial on the lever and the pad contact adjustment moves inline with the hose like their other Taperbore models.  The system (160mm rotor, front, post-mount) comes in at 410g.

The new Code R (gray) gets a more chiseled master cylinder body and loses the pad contact adjustment to come in at 395g for the set.  However, it now has a tool-free, indexed reach adjustment dial, which the outgoing Code 5 lacked.

Both models get new dual piston calipers with forged bodies. For the extra 15g, the Code packs in a lot of features that might just make up for the slight weight penalty, but there’s a price for the tech.  Details and more photos after the break…


The Code’s lever uses three cartridge bearings in the pivot, whereas the Code R uses bushings.  The Code’s two-piece lever blade has a breakaway cam to minimize overall damage in the event of a wreck.  The Code R has no such safety measure.


Despite the much burlier appearance of the Code, they have more in common than not.  Both feature Power Reserve Geometry, Avid’s power modulation technology, and both models push DOT5 fluid to the same, new dual-diameter four-piston caliper:


The new caliper features a two-piece forged design with top-loading pads. Inside, it gets dual diameter (16mm front, 15mm rear) pads.  By putting a smaller pad at the rear of the caliper, Avid says the brakes offer more gradual modulation of power, which translates into more control.


The pistons get a center mount adjustable banjo to ease cable routing.

The Code brakes will retail for $235 per wheel.  If the Code R’s lever body looks familiar, it’s because it’s basically an off the shelf Elixir R lever with new graphics.  Avid used the existing lever body to keep costs down, letting the Code R set come in at just $157 per wheel.  Both will be available August 1, 2010.

NOTE: While the Code line is aimed at Freeride / Downhill mountain bikes, the use of the Elixir master cylinder means you could probably drop another 10g by upgrading it with their carbon fiber lever, putting it within 10g of the Elixir CR but having a dual-piston caliper.  You know, in case you’re a gravity junkie and weight weenie.

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