Sram has the most complete line of mountain bike components of any manufacturer. They've also got some of the best riders in the biz, and the Blackboxlabs team has been riding a variety of new gear for 2011. --- Avid is an extremely popular brand, and being under the umbrella of Sram doesn't hurt their popularity. It has been interesting the company collaborate within themselves on the new lines of brakes; the XO brakes borrow Sram nomenclature but retain the Avid performance of old, in a shiny new package. Of note this year are also the Elixir CR brakes and the Codes are always worth a photo or two. The Elixir CR comes in three different colorways to suit your bikes diverse needs. The flashy red will match perfectly with Truvativ's new stems, more on those soon... The CR includes Avid's TaperBore technology, and a carbon lever blade is an option as well. Expect to see these brakes on all-mountain and freeride bikes, but there is no reason to rule out their use in a DH setting. The Code R is a price-point version of the popular four piston stopper. It is cheaper because of a simplified design and lack of Pad Contact adjustment. The Codes haven't changed much for 2011, but they are very shiny and nice to look at. Four piston design, clean lever layout and comfortable feel is the name of the game. The XX is not only an amazing band from the UK, but also Sram's XC orientated brake. Amalgamating the XX name from Sram with Avid is a cool idea, and at a scant 288 grams, who could disagree with the XX? While it is, in essence, an XC race brake, Avid didn't want to leave out adjustment features to save weight for everyone; instead, you can buy the XX World Cup if you feel some grams still need to be shed. The WC doesn't have pad contact or reach adjustments. The XX has carbon fiber lever blades and enough stopping power for your local all mountain rides. That's it from Avid, but Sram is certainly not done yet. Soon we'll have a complete profile of the brand new Truvativ cranks, as well as the drivetrain goodies from Sram and suspension perfection from Rock Shox.