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  1. #1
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    Are Avid Mech Discs a good solution....

    Long story short, I recently moved to Salt Lake City from Iowa and am finding that the stock Avid SD 3's on my '01 Fuel 90 aren't providing sufficient stopping power on longer decents here in SLC. Never had much problem with this in the midwest due to the lack of lengthy decents. I keep hearing good things about the Avid Mecanical Discs (maintenance, stopping power, price) and was thinking about installing at least a set on the front and possible going front and rear. Anyone have any experience/thoughts on this. Still have the stock SX-R on the front with disc tabs if it makes any difference. Thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
    "El Whatever"
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    Get them Dude!! Period. Those will fit your SX. I have one on a '00 SX.

    Just one advise!! If you ride in the mud or wet.. get the latest B4 compound pads or Kool stops. Almost every other pad from Avid will wear fast when wet. That's the only tradeout.

    For the rest... the best bang for the buck brake. Other option in the same range is the Magura Louise but I hadn't ridden any of those...
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    Get them Dude!! Period. Those will fit your SX. I have one on a '00 SX.

    Just one advise!! If you ride in the mud or wet.. get the latest B4 compound pads or Kool stops. Almost every other pad from Avid will wear fast when wet. That's the only tradeout.

    For the rest... the best bang for the buck brake. Other option in the same range is the Magura Louise but I hadn't ridden any of those...
    The Magura Louise is junk IMHO. I have ridden them in a few 24 hour races, and they provide stopping power equivalent to bottom line v's. The Mech's are unbelivable in my opinion. They are dirt cheap compared to hydro's of equal power. They are top notch for most all stopping needs. I highly recommend picking up a pair.

  4. #4
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    should I go front only or both?

    Thanks for the advice, I'm planing on picking up a set for at least the front when I see them on sale or if there are any good coupons listed on here right now. A couple other questions, is it worth going with just the front to save a buck or should I just go for both? Also, and recommendations for a lever, I'm guessing I could stick with the stock levers but I've hear that an upgrade to a higher end Avid would be a good move.

  5. #5
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    Front only work well in not so wet areas or not very hilly areas. Downhill puts a lot of stress on both brakes and downhilling you will use the rear brake a tad more. When it's wet, you will wish to have the modulation and control of a disc brake. Otherwise, just the front is OK and should save you some bucks.

    For a good lever, yes I've heard wonders on the Avid levers (others than the AD). A really cheap option (I insist) is the Shimano deore levers. I just love them and you can get a pair for a miserable 25 bucks...
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22
    Thanks for the advice, I'm planing on picking up a set for at least the front when I see them on sale or if there are any good coupons listed on here right now. A couple other questions, is it worth going with just the front to save a buck or should I just go for both? Also, and recommendations for a lever, I'm guessing I could stick with the stock levers but I've hear that an upgrade to a higher end Avid would be a good move.
    Some of the best Avīd deals come off of eBay, either individual or in sets, and all of the three rotor sizes are listed regularly.

    If you're tight for cash, front only is a good way to get started while you scrape together dough for a rear setup. I rode front only for two years as a heavy, steep (but dry) climate rider and while I did need to step up to the 185mm rotor to overcome some overheating troubles, I felt that front-only offered all the power I needed. It also saves if you're counting grams.

    Avīd's cheap SD-5 levers offer the exact same feel, adjustment and performance as their SD-7 and SD-Ti levers, with only a minor weight penalty. Many prefer the ergonomics of Shīmano levers though, and Deore and up offer leverage adjustments similar in function to Avīd's Speed Dial.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stebesplace
    The Magura Louise is junk IMHO. I have ridden them in a few 24 hour races, and they provide stopping power equivalent to bottom line v's. The Mech's are unbelivable in my opinion. They are dirt cheap compared to hydro's of equal power. They are top notch for most all stopping needs. I highly recommend picking up a pair.
    A couple things. First of all, Magura doesn't make junk. If they rode like crap, they probably weren't setup properly. Second, they have an all new model Louise this year that has stronger one piece calipers, improved levers and wavy rotors. The Louise XCs are selling on eBay for not much more than the Avid Mechanicals. I just got a set and they are outstanding brakes. I've had Avids mech disc with Ultimate levers and the Magura hydraulic discs are much better especially for extended downhills. They have much more power and modulation with less hand fatigue. The Maguras are harder to setup (you really need to get the fork and frame tabs faced with the Magura or Hope tool) but once setup properly, you don't have to touch them. The Avids are dead simple and quick to setup but require more frequent adjustments.

    You might think about getting a 7" rotor in the front if your fork can handle it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    Some of the best Avīd deals come off of eBay, either individual or in sets, and all of the three rotor sizes are listed regularly.

    If you're tight for cash, front only is a good way to get started while you scrape together dough for a rear setup. I rode front only for two years as a heavy, steep (but dry) climate rider and while I did need to step up to the 185mm rotor to overcome some overheating troubles, I felt that front-only offered all the power I needed. It also saves if you're counting grams.

    Avīd's cheap SD-5 levers offer the exact same feel, adjustment and performance as their SD-7 and SD-Ti levers, with only a minor weight penalty. Many prefer the ergonomics of Shīmano levers though, and Deore and up offer leverage adjustments similar in function to Avīd's Speed Dial.
    The SD-5s are identical in performance and construction to the SD-7 and SD-Ti. The SD-7 have the little cut outs so you can see where the cable pull setting without pulling the lever (very minor) and the SD-Ti are the same as the SD-7 only with Ti bolts.

  9. #9
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    Maybe that guy was talking about old Maguras...

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    A couple things. First of all, Magura doesn't make junk. If they rode like crap, they probably weren't setup properly. Second, they have an all new model Louise this year that has stronger one piece calipers, improved levers and wavy rotors. The Louise XCs are selling on eBay for not much more than the Avid Mechanicals. I just got a set and they are outstanding brakes. I've had Avids mech disc with Ultimate levers and the Magura hydraulic discs are much better especially for extended downhills. They have much more power and modulation with less hand fatigue. The Maguras are harder to setup (you really need to get the fork and frame tabs faced with the Magura or Hope tool) but once setup properly, you don't have to touch them. The Avids are dead simple and quick to setup but require more frequent adjustments.

    You might think about getting a 7" rotor in the front if your fork can handle it.
    Maybe that guy was talking about old Maguras...Those '99/'00/'01 Louise/Clara's? They were junk. Mine were. Everybody I've met that used them agreed. Sure, some people on this board say they were great. I always hear, if they rode like crap, they probably weren't setup properly. Well if that's true, and I've never met anybody who could set them properly, what does that say about them? I don't know anything about the new Magura's, but they sure look shiny.

    Catch22, I know lots of people with Avid Cable Discs. They're always fiddling with them before and during rides to get them to stop rubbing or sqeaking. I've never ridden them, but this is what I see. Also, I don't know what the winters are like in Utah, but if you plan on riding in the snow, I'd suggest you get hydraulic brakes. Cables freeze, right? Hydraulic lines don't.

    I'd suggest you get an '03 Shimano XT hydraulic disc for the front, and try that with your 'V' in the back. Performance has them for $150 right now, so with their 20% off coupon that would be $120. But these things go onsale like once a month, so if you wait and use a coupon when its onsale, you can get them for around $100 or less. Great brake for a great price.

  10. #10
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    looking at the ebay listings...

    and the front and rear 160mm are being sold for $130 a set plus $13 shipping. Any chance I'll get a deal like that through any online shops even with a coupon code? Best I saw previously was $70 a set through Jenson. I'm fine with using ebay (especially from a reputable dealer), just wondering if anyone has seen anything better recently.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22
    and the front and rear 160mm are being sold for $130 a set plus $13 shipping. Any chance I'll get a deal like that through any online shops even with a coupon code? Best I saw previously was $70 a set through Jenson. I'm fine with using ebay (especially from a reputable dealer), just wondering if anyone has seen anything better recently.
    You might come close. I recall seeing them at BeyondBelief.com for $69 each, but add tax and at minimum $10 shipping.

    The guys to seek out on ebay are the ones with low feedback, crappy photos and who can't spell. You should be able to score a set in the $100 range.

    It's amazing (to me, anyway) that despite all the new and constantly refined hydros available, and after all the other mechanical discs that have come and gone, the 4 year old Avīd mechs have held their ground and maintained their value, even on eBay.

  12. #12
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    Performance...

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22
    and the front and rear 160mm are being sold for $130 a set plus $13 shipping. Any chance I'll get a deal like that through any online shops even with a coupon code? Best I saw previously was $70 a set through Jenson. I'm fine with using ebay (especially from a reputable dealer), just wondering if anyone has seen anything better recently.
    Performace currently lists their Avid mechanicals at 99.99 each. So for a pair, with a coupon, your total with shipping would be $170.48. But Performance regularly puts their shimano components onsale, so I'd be willing to bet the Avids go on sale at some point too.

    As far as why Avids remain popular after 4 years, obvious reason is that they're cheap and they work well. But they're really only cheap as an upgrade. You're looking at $100 per wheel as opposed to $150 or more for Hydro's. However, a lot of people forget that the Avid Machanical's don't include a brake lever, or cable or housing. There are real costs associateed with these items if you're starting from scratch amd those help close the gap in cost.

    But I think the real reason they remain so popular is that people are afraid of new technologies. I know hydraulics aren't really a new technology, but to cyclists they are. Cyclists know cables intimately. They're familiar with how cables work, and people tend to stick with what is familiar and comfortable.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by upNdown
    But I think the real reason they remain so popular is that people are afraid of new technologies. I know hydraulics aren't really a new technology, but to cyclists they are. Cyclists know cables intimately. They're familiar with how cables work, and people tend to stick with what is familiar and comfortable.
    I agree with this partially. But also consider that in the time the Avīd's have existed, there have been cable brakes from reputable manufacturers such as Hayės, Formulį, Shīmano, none of which have caught on.

    So yes, I enjoy the relative simplicity and familiarity of a cable operated system, but there is no denying the brakes work damn well and that's got to play a huge factor in their endurance.

  14. #14
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    No doubt. nm

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    I agree with this partially. But also consider that in the time the Avīd's have existed, there have been cable brakes from reputable manufacturers such as Hayės, Formulį, Shīmano, none of which have caught on.

    So yes, I enjoy the relative simplicity and familiarity of a cable operated system, but there is no denying the brakes work damn well and that's got to play a huge factor in their endurance.
    No doubt. NM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22
    Long story short, I recently moved to Salt Lake City from Iowa and am finding that the stock Avid SD 3's on my '01 Fuel 90 aren't providing sufficient stopping power on longer decents here in SLC. Never had much problem with this in the midwest due to the lack of lengthy decents. I keep hearing good things about the Avid Mecanical Discs (maintenance, stopping power, price) and was thinking about installing at least a set on the front and possible going front and rear. Anyone have any experience/thoughts on this. Still have the stock SX-R on the front with disc tabs if it makes any difference. Thanks in advance for any advice!
    I've used Avidmechs for a while now and a friend of mine just installed a front on his DH rig. He kept his rim brakes in the back cuz of his lime green chris king hub. I have 160mm in front, he has 185mm rotors in front. If you weigh over 170lbs, get the 185 rotors, they'll stop you better. Also, get new cables when you set them up, it'll make your life easier in the long run.

    The brakes are great, just need to pay a lot of attention when you set them up. If you do, you'll never have any problems. I've ridden through mud, rain, dirt, swamp, all kinds of stuff and the great thing about discs, they always stop my bike. The only time mine squeal is when they're wet. Otherwise they are silent. People that constantly have to fiddle with their brakes just don't have them setup correctly. Avid Speed Dial 7 levers are great with Avid Mechs and for me, changing the levers made a big diff. they're tight. Good luck

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