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Thread: Magura or XT?

  1. #1
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    Magura or XT?

    I just did my first MTB race in almost 15 years last weekend (WP Epic 50) and I lost a great deal of time in descents due to the Avid Elixir 1s my bike came with. Good lord, they may be the worst brakes I've ever used and I remember the Amp/RS mechanically actuated hydros from the 90s. My hands go so fatigued trying to keep them modulated that I had to go slower because I couldn't brake well.

    Just pure rubbish.

    My friends and the mechanics in the pits told me to get XTs or Magura MT4s, with the nod to the XTs over the Magura. The XTs are cheaper and I like the idea of mixing up Sram and Shimano (f y'all for not being better at all the things). Even a parking lot test on an F29 with MT2s was miles better... Avid should seriously refund anyone who has bought any Elixirs (I've been told they are all terrible).

    Any personal experiences with both (Mag & XT) or all three?

  2. #2
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    I have Magura Louise on both MTB's and they are excellent. I've had no issues after years of use. I realize they are older models than the MT4's but do indicate Magura quality.

    At the moment I am in the market for a new bike and the bikes I've narrowed it down to have XT's. Having spent a few hours of demo on different rides with XT, I feel they are every bit as good as my Magura's.

    My suggestion? Save the money and go with the XT's.

    I also demo'ed a bike with Avid Elixir and even though they were current models, they were no where as good as the Magura's or XT's. I ruled out the bike that came with them because they were that bad compared to the other two.

    Not exactly what you are looking for but the best I can do.

  3. #3
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    I had Elixirs on both bikes. Now I have XT on one and SLX on the other with no plans of ever riding another brake. Shimano brakes are the bomb.

  4. #4
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    Choose SLX for the same weight and performance and save some bucks.

    Magura or XT?-2012-xt-m785-weighed-dsc00239.jpg
    Magura or XT?-xt-vs-slx-brakes-dsc00244.jpg

  5. #5
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    Yeah... Elixirs are so unbelieveably bad. I had noticed they weren't great on the first 4 rides I did on the bike, but when I was on the clock, they got much much worse. And the levers have horizontal play! They're brand new ones too, just bled and new pads (pre-race). They had 10 miles on the pads and the brakes themselves had like 100. Ridiculous.

    I can get XTs for like $10 more than the SLXs which is why I'm leaning that way.

  6. #6
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    XTs with Ice Tech Rotor. My GF has SLX and they are worth every penny but the XTs are simply outstanding.

    I spent a lot of years ridding Magura Louise FR, Martas and Formula R1s, RX, etc. Shimano is next-level **** IMO.

  7. #7
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    Used to ride Magura Marta's. Loved them.

    New build has MT-6's on it-- I demo'd a bunch of bikes with the XT's and just couldn't find the love.

    I just like the more "modulating" feel (if that's even a word) of the Mag's.

    And I got them for the same price as the XT's, so that made my decision easy.

    R.

  8. #8
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    Do I need another set of adapters for switching from Avid to Shimano? I probably won't do the rotors right away, but I don't know if the frame adapters I have for the Avid's will work (180 front, 160 rear).

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    Considering making the upgrade from bb7s to xt myself and I have a question. I have x7 front shifter and x9 rear. Will standard xt levers mount fine or will I need any adapters?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezweave View Post
    Do I need another set of adapters for switching from Avid to Shimano? I probably won't do the rotors right away, but I don't know if the frame adapters I have for the Avid's will work (180 front, 160 rear).
    You can try mounting the XTs on the existing mounts, you may need to add washers between the caliper and mount.

    The Avid tends to have more hardware involved (their CPS system conic washers / etc) which Shimano does not use nor spec.

    It also depends upon specific rotors ... some are 180mm, some are 185mm, and so forth. Again, nothing some washers can't help out with.

    The only way you can really be in trouble and *need* new adapters is if the adapters are not *short* enough.

    You want to make sure the brake pads are properly hitting the brake track on the rotor, neither too far in or out.

    FWIW, I replaced the rotors on my DH bike (came with Avid Code brakes, 8" front 7" rear) with 8" Ice-Tech Shimano rotor. I had to add ~2mm of washers under the calipers to prevent the Avid brake *caliper* top from bottoming out on the rotors. More on the rear as the movement of the suspension changed the distance from the rotor center to the caliper. This may not be a factor for your bike though.

  11. #11
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    Both my bikes are good with 160 Avid HS1 rotors off ebay. Because you will have more power 160 could be an option on the front.
    SLX are 120.77 shipped from Merlin UK. Jenson will match with US orientation.

    Better call to confirm that match.
    Last edited by eb1888; 4 Days Ago at 06:28 AM.

  12. #12
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    I currently have Avid 3s and will be upgrading soon. You're right all the good wrenches are recommending the XTs and Maguras. I have demoed the XTs several times and the Maguras MTnext 6 twice. For me, I preferred the MTnext. The contact point for the XTs are too abrupt and they lack feedback for me to feel like I'm ever really in control. The MTnext stuff has every bit of the thermal control, quietness, power and modulation, but the tactical feedback is not fatiguing, but enhances control in my opinion. The XTs have the reputation of being more durable, but I think this is because they are slightly more 'idiot proof,' and they brake while users try to service them as opposed to braking on the trail. If you know what you are doing when you service them, there are little problems (brakes are one area where I only let the wrench touch them...I don't test my part-time wrench skills).

    The new SRAM guides I've heard are not bad (though a little heavier), and Hope X2s are solid as well, though I haven't tried them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Choose SLX for the same weight and performance and save some bucks.
    I can vouch for SLX as well. Good price and great quality.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezweave View Post
    Yeah... Elixirs are so unbelieveably bad. I had noticed they weren't great on the first 4 rides I did on the bike, but when I was on the clock, they got much much worse. And the levers have horizontal play! They're brand new ones too, just bled and new pads (pre-race). They had 10 miles on the pads and the brakes themselves had like 100. Ridiculous.

    I can get XTs for like $10 more than the SLXs which is why I'm leaning that way.
    you can get slx for 124 shipped from merlin, xt's are 180 something and they weigh the same

    i also have ridden elixir 1's , x0's and XTs and like the xt's the most. they simply have the best modulation.

    still i don't think the 1s are as bad as you make them sound, they just squeal a lot more than they should and have very poor modulation. the shimano brakes allow you to feel for traction in the tire a lot better. you may need to bleed your elixirs if they are requiring a lot of force. around here guys just use plain ole dot 4 brake fluid from the garage, same stuff you put in your car. the reason why is cost, you go through a lot of it. the avid brakes seem to always need frequent bleeding. i have a set of elixir 1s on my winter trainer and the front is already due for another bleed after roughly 100 miles. ATE typ200 is great fluid and it's cheap on amazon. you'll get enough to bleed your car once and your bike a LOT for under 20 bucks

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    Quote Originally Posted by InWyo View Post
    I currently have Avid 3s and will be upgrading soon. You're right all the good wrenches are recommending the XTs and Maguras. I have demoed the XTs several times and the Maguras MTnext 6 twice. For me, I preferred the MTnext. The contact point for the XTs are too abrupt and they lack feedback for me to feel like I'm ever really in control. The MTnext stuff has every bit of the thermal control, quietness, power and modulation, but the tactical feedback is not fatiguing, but enhances control in my opinion. The XTs have the reputation of being more durable, but I think this is because they are slightly more 'idiot proof,' and they brake while users try to service them as opposed to braking on the trail. If you know what you are doing when you service them, there are little problems (brakes are one area where I only let the wrench touch them...I don't test my part-time wrench skills).

    The new SRAM guides I've heard are not bad (though a little heavier), and Hope X2s are solid as well, though I haven't tried them.
    the engagement and feel of the XT brakes is completely adjustable

  16. #16
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    If it was me and I was going too Shimano brakes I would change the rotors also. Part of the problem with
    Avid brakes is the rotor.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    If it was me and I was going too Shimano brakes I would change the rotors also. Part of the problem with
    Avid brakes is the rotor.
    big time agree, not sure if avid rotors are just prone to harmonics or what

  18. #18
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    Magura or XT?

    I have XTs on both bikes had Magura Louise prior - I'm a big fan of the XTs they were about $100 for lever and caliper.

  19. #19
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    Not to weight weenie TOO much, but swapping brakes around on my bikes I weighed the magura MTS (2013) and the xt's. Rotors and all, the weight penalty on the Shimano's was 90g on the front, would be similar on the back I would imagine, so about 180 altogether. New Magura's I don't know. I'd echo others here the XT's work really well, and the SLX for that matter, the Magura's are a two finger brake...

  20. #20
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    Disagree on the MT brakes being "two finger". XT's do have more power though. And I'd definitely take Hope over both(though a lot more than XT).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    Disagree on the MT brakes being "two finger". XT's do have more power though. And I'd definitely take Hope over both(though a lot more than XT).
    Which Hopes? The Hope Tech 3 X2 are the ones that come to mind. I don't want to lose time on technical descents in endurance XC races (granted only some of them are as technical as the one I did a few days ago).

  22. #22
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    Go Shimano XT, best bang for buck. I have used them on both Ice Tech and Avid rotors. Worked fine with either. Also if u r away from home, vacation etc, Shimano pads and parts r easier to find at most bike shops than Magura and Hope.

  23. #23
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    I had a bike with Elixir 1's on it. I took it on 3 rides and returned it, simply awful. I returned the bike and got a bike with XT brakes on it.

    Elixir 1's can barely stop me on the bike, XT's could practically stop my damn car

  24. #24
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    I use mt2, 4 and 8 on my bikes, they definitely only require one finger to use, modulation is also great. Bleeding them though can be a pita due to the plastic reservoir screws on the lever assembly. Once you get it right once you're set though.

    The function/design is also more or less the same across all the mt brakes. My mt2 set brakes just as well as the mt4 and mt8.
    I am unaware if the mt next brakes differ more between models.

    That being said , if you want the KISS solution approved by the general public, go with slx or xt.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezweave View Post
    Which Hopes? The Hope Tech 3 X2 are the ones that come to mind. I don't want to lose time on technical descents in endurance XC races (granted only some of them are as technical as the one I did a few days ago).
    The X2's would be their XC model brake. Those are what I'm currently running(w/ the original Tech master cyclinder) in central NC w/ occasional trips to the mtns. I used to run the Tech M4's and those were a little better suited to riding in the mtns.

    Some people mix and match them with x2 rear and m4(or new e4) in the front. You could probably save some money going with the Tech Evo master cyclinder instead of the new Tech3.

    Shimano parts may be easier to find in local shops, though I've found shops around here don't really stock a lot of small parts for brakes besides pads. Unlike Shimano, both Hope and Magura will deal directly with the consumer. That's something I prefer since I do all my own work.

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