1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Need help with brakes..

    So I have a diamond back response mountain bike that I have been upgrading (the only stock parts left are the brakes and the frame). I do want to get some brakes, but Im running out of money. I definitely want hydraulic brakes. I was looking at Avid Elixir brakes on eBay, more specifically elixir 5's or 7's for about 150-200$ a set. My dad has elixir CR's on his bike and he likes them. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    If you are low on cash, may I suggest BB7 mechanical with Speed Dial & levers?

  3. #3
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    The non-hydro brakes are quite good these days and affordable. Less modulation but no need to bleed.I don't own any of these at the moment but don't write them off, they are still pritty good, BB7's in particular are great budget disks.

    For budget hydro's my wife has elixer 5's, and they are LOUD. They seem to perform well, and are relatively easy to bleed. I am putting new organic pads on it in a week or two, in the hopes this will solve the issue. At the moment the pads are smoothand shinny, sandpaper didn't fix it.

    If you can get your hand on an older set of less expensive shimano XT's, possibly used, they were great. The new shimano brakes are game changers, but the generation prior to the new ice-tech stuff was also super solid. Easy to bleed and work on, good modulation. Magura's are also alright but i havn't ridden these in almost 5 years so don't know about the new stuff. I am not a big fan of Hayes.
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  4. #4
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    I'm looking for something hydraulic. I don't think BB7's would be much better than what I have now

  5. #5
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    Maybe I can find a good deal on eBay for some shimano brakes. I'm a heavier rider, so I definitely need quite a bit of stopping power

  6. #6
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    BB7's are, by most, regarded as the best mechanical available. Heavy riders only need a larger rotor and will still get plenty of power from them. BB7's also have a level of modulation, but, they just take time to get used to. I almost need to just feather the lever to get enough braking power out of my rear brake and to keep it from locking up. They can grab that hard.

    So, unless you want hydro's for modulation and reduced arm pump on long descents, BB7's are the best bang for your buck. I would shy away from ebay for brakes. I got some Juicy 5's there, in decent shape, that underperformed compared to my Juicy 3's and BB7's. I would check BlueSky or Pricepoint for a good deal on new brakes if you must get hydro's. Then make sure they are cut and bled by someone who knows what they are doing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nrlions View Post
    I'm looking for something hydraulic. I don't think BB7's would be much better than what I have now
    As others have stated, BB7s are the best mechanical brakes out there. Many say they outperform the lower end hydros. If weight is a concern, you can go with a larger rotor for more stopping power. Once bedded in and you get used to them, the BB7s with Speed Dial 7 levers can stop you with just the lightest 1 finger touch.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharel1705 View Post
    As others have stated, BB7s are the best mechanical brakes out there. Many say they outperform the lower end hydros. If weight is a concern, you can go with a larger rotor for more stopping power. Once bedded in and you get used to them, the BB7s with Speed Dial 7 levers can stop you with just the lightest 1 finger touch.
    Many disagree with that contention as well. Xt brakes are like $100 an end on blue sky.

  9. #9
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    I'm definitely not into buying used brakes on eBay. I want something brand new. But I definitely want something that can be operated using just 1 finger

  10. #10
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    You can do a full set of new BB7's on Ebay from China for about $89, just need to add cable and levers. Levers are $20. Take about 10 days, very easy to install and setup. Only drawback is the China ones are all 160mm. Could upgrade the front to 180 later, easily done.
    I've put them on 3 different bikes this year, all worked great. I'll take them any day over the Juicy 3's on my Sawyer.

  11. #11
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    ^^ This brings up a good point. If you are a heavier rider you should consider a larger rotor up front than 160mm
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  12. #12
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    I personally have been happy with both my Elixir 5 as well as my Hygia Elites (which I am selling if you're interested).

    I haven't had any noise issues with my Elixir 5 as people have mentioned.

    JP

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chugachjed View Post
    Many disagree with that contention as well. Xt brakes are like $100 an end on blue sky.
    Xt brakes are not considered "lower end". They are certainly inexpensive compared to their performance. On a hydro level, one of the best bangs for the buck to be had. From most ppl i've talked to, Xt's are much better than any Elixer brake. Now, compare BB7's to Tektro's and even some Juicy systems, there are many ppl who prefer the BB7.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetboy23 View Post
    Xt brakes are not considered "lower end". They are certainly inexpensive compared to their performance. On a hydro level, one of the best bangs for the buck to be had. From most ppl i've talked to, Xt's are much better than any Elixer brake. Now, compare BB7's to Tektro's and even some Juicy systems, there are many ppl who prefer the BB7.
    Having used bb7's and juicy 3 and Hayes 9 I'll take hydro. No comparison.

  15. #15
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    Then you are not one of the "many" ppl i was refering to.

    For power, my BB7's will grab as hard as my juicy 3's. They are more on/off and require more lever force to do so. My juicy's seem to have a plateau in their power. 3's will stop me, but, i fear grabbing too much brake on my BB7's more. Maybe my 3's need a better bleed. Thats a witchcraft in itself.

  16. #16
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    When I play around on my dad's bike (with Elixir CRs) I love how i can use one finger and move the lever just a few inches and i have a ton of stopping power, and when riding behind him I barely hear any sound from the brakes, except for some downhill sections, but then again my dad weighs 240+.

  17. #17
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    You might as well order more things at one time. SLX are essentially equal to XT in performance and less money. How about some Schwalbe tires and Shimano derailleurs. Go here bikecomponents.de. Euros minus vat equals dollars. 70/side+ship$25 for any amount.

  18. #18
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    I recommend the 2011 or 2012 Shimano SLX brake kits which are on sale dirt cheap right now.
    I've seen SLX kits for $200 on sale.
    You do not need the ice tech rotors if money is an issue, the regular Shimano rotors work perfectly for half the price.
    You will never regret it!

  19. #19
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    I know what a hydraulic brake feels like but I've never actually rode a bike with hydraulic disc brakes, so I don't know how much more stopping power those have over mechanical ones. I have a bike with the Avid BB7/Speed Dial 7 combo and I can tell you that paired with quality housing/cable, it has that same mushy feel like the hydraulic brakes. And I'm not saying mushy like you pull all the way into your handle bars and nothing happens, I mean you can really control how much you want the brakes to engage. If you tune the Speed Dials on the levers to your liking, you'll find yourself rocking a mechanical disc brake that feels just like a hydraulic one. Just my two-cents as a BB7 owner himself...

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