Welcome to day two at the SRAM Trail House.
TSage, wake up! It's learnin' time. Day two's agenda: get familiar with two new brake offerings from Avid, then hit the trails to test them out.
As Tyler Morland runs through some of the XO Trail lever body highlights, take a closer look at the sexy and slim four piston caliper.
See the bearing at the pivot point on the lever? Paul McClain spills the details. Despite having one less bearing than the Codes, the XO Trails have the same feel. It's smooth and there is absolutely no wiggle in this lever setup.
The XO Trail four piston caliper has two 16mm and two 14mm pistons. For comparison, Codes have two 16mm and two 15mm pistons. The intent with this brake was to tone the power down slightly for all purpose use.
XO Trail brakes use a larger pad than standard XO brakes. Paul notes that the main benefit here is actually improved wear characteristics, not power.
Also new from Avid is a refined dual piston XO brake.
Both versions of XO brakes gain the improved Taperbore design.
Introduced last year, the Air Trap feature of Taperbore solves a lot headaches by keeping air out of the crucial part of the system.
Another big improvement Avid introduced last year were the HS Series rotors. They were originally released in 140, 160, 180, and 200mm sizes.
Now they are bringing back the 170mm rotor. This happy medium between 160 and 180 allows you to tune in braking power. The 170mm rotor will be especially beneficial for those on 29ers.
While rides get prepped for the afternoon, reigning BoXXer World Champ, Evan Warner, weighs in on how to properly setup your brakes. Listen closely, because doing this correctly makes a big difference.
SRAM brought us to the Trail House to ride, and we certainly did. Day two brought us back to the Demo Forest trail area. The relatively steep terrain and our XO Trail equipped Yeti SB-66's certainly allowed us to let it rip. Because the brakes were more powerful, I found myself braking into turns later.
Several of SRAM's athletes are now using the XO Trail brakes, including Kyle Strait. Danny Hart is also testing them for full on DH use at select World Cups, a testament to how capable they really are.
While out on the trail the term "quiver killer" came up. Due to their comparatively light weight and strong, yet usable power, these brakes truly are suitable for just about any type of riding, just as Avid intended.
Lever feel? The shape hasn't changed, but thanks to the pivot bearings, the levers felt incredibly smooth and solid. Brake noise? There was only one point on the trail where the brakes chirped for about half a second. Very acceptable. Power? We found the XO Trails to be substantially more powerful than the previous dual piston version of the XO brake. They're all-around winners, and we think Avid nailed it with the XO Trail.
The Trail House adventure isn't over just yet. SRAM brought Grip Shift back, and Kyle Strait still has to tell you his story. Check back next Thursday.
Before you go, soak up some of the action from our stay.