On Sunday I had the chance to get out on the trail and give the new Avid XO Trail brakes a try. Here are my first impressions of the new brakes:
-El Moro, Newport Beach Ca
-Bommer, Red Tail Ridge, Rattlesnake, Mach One, I Think I Can, Moro Ridge, Missing Link, Fenceline, Bommer.
We started out on Bommer, a fire road with a hill right at the start. I have noticed my old brakes sometimes took a couple hills to get warmed up and really work, but the XO Trails were grabbing right off the bat. From Bommer we rode Red Tail Ridge out to Rattlesnake. Rattlesnake is a single track that has a technical downhill section in it. Through the technical section I had more control of how the brakes grabbed than I have ever had. I have ridden this section with Tektro mechanical disk brakes, Avid Elixer 3, and both Shimano SLX and XT brakes. None of these felt as smooth or had the ability to modulate the braking force in this section that the XO Trails had. The thing to these brakes have been the Shimano XT's (which are awesome). The XO Trails lever pull is the smoothest I have used. After Rattlesnake we went down Mach One which is a steep fire road that you cn generate a ton of speed coming down. I was able to let the bike roll and still had plenty of power to slow down when I needed to. We then climbed up I Think I Can and Moro Ridge to Missing Link and Fenceline. I used the brakes in these flowing single tracks to really control my speed into and out of the corners and once again felt like I had superb control and flow. The whole ride took about an hour and a half and in that entire time the brakes did not make noise once. They were silent, strong, and offer great control.
I will continue to test and review the Avid Trail XO brakes over the next few months so stay tuned!