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Thread: Which Brakes???

  1. #1
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    Which Brakes???

    I've got a budget of $200 for both front and rear. I currently have the Red Clarke Skeletal brakes. So, I think I can keep the rotors? Basically the brakes are weak and the Clarke pads keep disintegrating. One of the pads will have the entire brake surface 'break off' in chunks leaving just the metal backer plate. Has happened three times in less than a year and I only ride like 20 miles a week (XC).

    I'm also curious about rotor size? Both of mine now are 160's but I have been doing more aggressive XC and am wondering if going to 180 is worth it (especially since I weigh 240).

    I'm looking at Hayes Stroker Trail's from Pricepoint for $130 a set. I like these since my buddy has them and they feel good. I'm also looking at the Magura Louise at $180 a set or the julies at $160 but don't really know that much about Magura.

    Any suggestions? Thoughts? Used Shimano? Used SRAM XX or XO?

    At a loss here......

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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonccc View Post
    I'm looking at Hayes Stroker Trail's from Pricepoint for $130 a set. I like these since my buddy has them and they feel good. I'm also looking at the Magura Louise at $180 a set or the julies at $160 but don't really know that much about Magura.
    I had a friend who wanted to go for those brakes but decided otherwise. I guess it's a good thing he didn't based on what your experience was. Based on your weight and interest/development in more aggressive riding, chances are you'll like a larger rotor up front and maybe even in the rear but this means you'll need a new adapter to put the caliper in the right spot.

    Hayes Stroker aren't a bad brake and are relatively cheap. You can get a used set for probably much cheaper than that. Magura brakes are generally superior to Hayes,use mineral oil instead of DOT fluid, and cost a lot more. I run Marta SL Magnesiums on my xc bike and have had no problems since I bought them in 2009. I can't comment on either the Julies or Louises but any of the brakes you mentioned should get rid of the problems you seem to be having.

    The final thing is with regard to rotors. The short answer is you can probably use your current rotors. Certain brake calipers/pads are designed to be used with certain rotors. This has to do with thickness and width of the braking surface. Again, in general the rotors they were designed to work with generally are more powerful than others as well. New rotors are pretty cheap if your current ones don't work out though.
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    I'd probably hunt for a set of Marta SL's too, they are a solid brake system.
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    If you're interested in the Hayes Stroker Trail brakes, Pricepoint has them for $65 a set this week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnozpikr View Post
    If you're interested in the Hayes Stroker Trail brakes, Pricepoint has them for $65 a set this week.

    Yeah I saw that. Though I think after more research I'm leaning towards Maguras. Unless someone on here can convince me to get something else. truly I think anything would be an upgrade over the Clarkes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonccc View Post
    Yeah I saw that. Though I think after more research I'm leaning towards Maguras. Unless someone on here can convince me to get something else. truly I think anything would be an upgrade over the Clarkes.
    Maguras would be a great way to go.
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    Shimano SLX can be had for a bit over your $200 budget - Cambria has them for $110 a side.
    They are nearly the same brake as the 2012 XT's that are getting awesome reviews.

  8. #8
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    Why not go with BB7 ? Add some SD 7 levers, good cables and housing and you get 1 finger braking with the power of those Hayes Stroke, but the simplicity and low maintenance cost of mechanical brake system.
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    Careful of the Shimano ones, they don't sell spare seals so if you get a leak it's either a warranty job or a brand new calliper! If you're out of warranty then good luck finding an NOS one for reasonable money!

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    Loiuse is a rock-solid brake, great power and modulation, I've not done any maintenance on any of my 4 sets. probably a little outside your budget, but there might be some deals, now that the MT series brakes are the new thing.

    added bonus, which I totally never would have expected from Magura, but the rotors and adapters are very reasonably priced compared to most other brakes out there - $8 adapters and $20-25 rotors...

  11. #11
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    Check out the long thread on Hygia brakes.

    I had Hayes Strokers for a short while, and will therefore never buy Hayes again. YMMV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    added bonus, which I totally never would have expected from Magura, but the rotors and adapters are very reasonably priced compared to most other brakes out there - $8 adapters and $20-25 rotors...
    That is true. It's actually kind of nice they do it that way.
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    added bonus, which I totally never would have expected from Magura, but the rotors and adapters are very reasonably priced compared to most other brakes out there - $8 adapters and $20-25 rotors...
    That's about the same as Shimano.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    Why not go with BB7 ? Add some SD 7 levers, good cables and housing and you get 1 finger braking with the power of those Hayes Stroke, but the simplicity and low maintenance cost of mechanical brake system.
    basically because the bike came with BB5's and I hated them. It seemed like they needed constant adjustment to maintain the feel and lever throw that I wanted. Maybe I was doing it wrong but I really struggled with getting them right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    Loiuse is a rock-solid brake, great power and modulation, I've not done any maintenance on any of my 4 sets. probably a little outside your budget, but there might be some deals, now that the MT series brakes are the new thing.

    added bonus, which I totally never would have expected from Magura, but the rotors and adapters are very reasonably priced compared to most other brakes out there - $8 adapters and $20-25 rotors...
    I've been looking at Louise brakes. Looks like i can find some good sets within my budget and they seem to be well regarded. As others have mentioned I like how affordable the rotors and pads are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonccc View Post
    basically because the bike came with BB5's and I hated them. It seemed like they needed constant adjustment to maintain the feel and lever throw that I wanted. Maybe I was doing it wrong but I really struggled with getting them right.
    BB7 are way better then BB5. I find BB5 not be suited good for anything more then light XC or just road. BB7 are a whole new world.

    Check here for the best tutorial on how to setup your BB7 Avid BB7 Disc Brake set up and tuning. | Two Wheel Blogs

    I have a front BB7 and a rear Hayes MX2 (both mech). I followed this tutorial and used SD 7 levers and now It feels like hydros. No resistance and a solid firm stop when full pad contact is achieved. But it's your call anyway. Hydro can be good too.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

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    how about formula brakes? RX1? anyone has them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotzKiss View Post
    how about formula brakes? RX1? anyone has them?
    Formula makes great brakes but they are expensive. I have run The One's and loved them but currently am running Magura and Shimano brakes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnozpikr View Post
    Formula makes great brakes but they are expensive. I have run The One's and loved them but currently am running Magura and Shimano brakes.
    I feel like you can kind of gauge how good something is by market availability. There are hardly any used Formulas available and very few maguras, yet tons of elixer. I'm sure it also has to do with what is supplied, new, on bikes. But people must be taking them off and buying something else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonccc View Post
    I feel like you can kind of gauge how good something is by market availability. There are hardly any used Formulas available and very few maguras, yet tons of elixer. I'm sure it also has to do with what is supplied, new, on bikes. But people must be taking them off and buying something else.
    That's probably not a bad way of looking at it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonccc View Post
    Yeah I saw that. Though I think after more research I'm leaning towards Maguras. Unless someone on here can convince me to get something else. truly I think anything would be an upgrade over the Clarkes.
    It's not very easy to find a pair of Maguras within your budget.
    Get it unlocked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonccc View Post
    basically because the bike came with BB5's and I hated them. It seemed like they needed constant adjustment to maintain the feel and lever throw that I wanted. Maybe I was doing it wrong but I really struggled with getting them right.
    yep you were doing something wrong
    BB7s are about the easiest to setup and maintain of any brakes out there

    with hydros you get sticky pistons, leaking seals, more adjustment issues, howling rotors, etc.
    my point is nothing is maintenance free

    you can get the BB7s online for roughly $60 a wheel, thats for everything, rotors, adaptors, calipers, cable and levers
    with the money saved pick up the Park workshop manual and soon youll have the best brakes of all your friends

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    Quote Originally Posted by estabro View Post
    It's not very easy to find a pair of Maguras within your budget.
    I found magura louise for $90 a pair at pricepoint so about $180 and the louise BAT can be had for $109 a set or $220 a pair. A bit more than I would have liked but I think it's attainable for a worthy set of brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0 View Post
    yep you were doing something wrong
    BB7s are about the easiest to setup and maintain of any brakes out there

    with hydros you get sticky pistons, leaking seals, more adjustment issues, howling rotors, etc.
    my point is nothing is maintenance free

    you can get the BB7s online for roughly $60 a wheel, thats for everything, rotors, adaptors, calipers, cable and levers
    with the money saved pick up the Park workshop manual and soon youll have the best brakes of all your friends
    I was able to get them dialed in okay, but then they seemed to need constant adjustment. My shop told me (they did the first two adjustments for free) that it was what needed to be done for mechanical disk brakes. Whereas my Clarkes where perfect for 8 months and then the pads blew apart, then great for another 4 months till again the pad blew apart. As I've gotten better I now I feel they are a bit underpowered for my size and I kind of want to see how much nicer a $200 set feels.

    Thanks for the response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonccc View Post
    I found magura louise for $90 a pair at pricepoint so about $180 and the louise BAT can be had for $109 a set or $220 a pair. A bit more than I would have liked but I think it's attainable for a worthy set of brakes.
    You are right, the Lousie can be easily found for <$200/pair.

    I was lucky to have found new Marta's for about $160/ pair... but that was not easy.
    Get it unlocked.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonccc View Post
    I was able to get them dialed in okay, but then they seemed to need constant adjustment. My shop told me (they did the first two adjustments for free) that it was what needed to be done for mechanical disk brakes. Whereas my Clarkes where perfect for 8 months and then the pads blew apart, then great for another 4 months till again the pad blew apart. As I've gotten better I now I feel they are a bit underpowered for my size and I kind of want to see how much nicer a $200 set feels.

    Thanks for the response.
    Do also need to buy a $50 000 Mercedes to see how much nicer it feels then the $30 000 Toyota ?

    If you want to see how it feels, do the same as cars and go have a demo ride.

    Btw, BB5 do needs constant adjustments because the pads are not holds firmly in place like the ones of the BB7. I put about 600 km on my BB7 without having to screw with them. And higher end hydro are like higher end cars. They'll feel nice till you start having problem and you'll see how nice you credit card company will be when you'll have to spend big bucks for spare parts. Like a Mercedes
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    And higher end hydro are like higher end cars. They'll feel nice till you start having problem and you'll see how nice you credit card company will be when you'll have to spend big bucks for spare parts. Like a Mercedes
    Not sure about that. What is your definition of "higher end" hydraulic brakes? Are you talking brakes like the Avid XX? I have not heard that when they work they are awesome but that they are extremely unreliable and don't really work most of the time. Are you referring to Magura brakes? Maybe the higher end Shimanos like Saint up to XTR? Magura has one of the best warranties available and I have been running a set of them since 2009 without problems. They are extremely reliable as are the Shimanos I have mentioned.

    Nothing against bb7's as they are hands down the best mechanical disc brake available. I think that the unreliable hydraulics out there are the low end brakes. If the OP goes for a set of Maguras, chances are slim that there will be problems. Shimanos are the same way with regard to reliability. Again, nothing against the bb7's but in my opinion a good pair of hydraulics are on a completely different level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnozpikr View Post
    Not sure about that. What is your definition of "higher end" hydraulic brakes? Are you talking brakes like the Avid XX? I have not heard that when they work they are awesome but that they are extremely unreliable and don't really work most of the time. Are you referring to Magura brakes? Maybe the higher end Shimanos like Saint up to XTR? Magura has one of the best warranties available and I have been running a set of them since 2009 without problems. They are extremely reliable as are the Shimanos I have mentioned.

    Nothing against bb7's as they are hands down the best mechanical disc brake available. I think that the unreliable hydraulics out there are the low end brakes. If the OP goes for a set of Maguras, chances are slim that there will be problems. Shimanos are the same way with regard to reliability. Again, nothing against the bb7's but in my opinion a good pair of hydraulics are on a completely different level.
    Not saying they will fail. I'm saying that when maintenance time comes, higher end parts always cost more to service then mid-level ones.

    Plus you'll need a bleed kit, maybe hose cutter and fittings, then you'll have to re-bleed when you want to change the pads or re-adjust a bit. How much for seals ? For fluid ?

    A good mech setup can last 10 years with only the pads to change and a quick re-adjust. Using good housing, cables and levers.

    Just comparing the cost and pro/cons about the brakes for a guy who blew through mechs and was doing it wrong, now wants to spend big bucks and hope that the expenses will stop there.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    Not saying they will fail. I'm saying that when maintenance time comes, higher end parts always cost more to service then mid-level ones.

    Plus you'll need a bleed kit, maybe hose cutter and fittings, then you'll have to re-bleed when you want to change the pads or re-adjust a bit. How much for seals ? For fluid ?

    A good mech setup can last 10 years with only the pads to change and a quick re-adjust. Using good housing, cables and levers.

    Just comparing the cost and pro/cons about the brakes for a guy who blew through mechs and was doing it wrong, now wants to spend big bucks and hope that the expenses will stop there.
    Your point is taken. Definitely something that needs to be taken into consideration in my opinion too.
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