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Thread: Choosing Brakes

  1. #1
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    Choosing Brakes

    I am currently using Avid Elixir 1 hydraulic brakes, but they seem to be giving me a lot of issues. The bike is pretty new, 4 months old, but I had to bleed the rear brake 3 times. Still, there seems to be air trapped or I have a seal broken where air keeps getting in. On a recent ride with mechanics from a local LBS, they all unanimously suggested that I am better off with Shimano brakes.

    Can anyone suggest hydraulic brakes for a FS 29er primarily used for XC. What would be considered a top of the line for Shimano and are Shimano's that much better than Avid?

    Thank you for the input.
    2007 Specialized FSR Comp
    2010 Jamis Trail XC
    2012 Superlight 29

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    So, you would not consider the XTR M988?! Any reason? Money is not an issue... I do not want to compromise my safety for a few extra bucks
    2007 Specialized FSR Comp
    2010 Jamis Trail XC
    2012 Superlight 29

  4. #4
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    What do you mean money is not an issue. It is impossible to own Elixir ! brakes if money is not an issue
    There is no safety difference between XTR, XT and SLX only weight.
    Want to spend more? Magura MT8s at $250+ per side.
    . I demoed a Niner Air 9 RDO carbon bike with XT brakes. The power was scary strong. The SLX is the same brake so you can save a little additional there. Or order the longer lever trail XT version from Bikecomponents.de for about $85 a side. Take the money you are saving and buy more stuff, like tires and a Shadow + rear derailleur because shipping is fixed at $26.

  5. #5
    TR
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    Maybe post in the Brake forum?

  6. #6
    Just A Mountain Biker.
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    I typically take my breaks when I am tired.
    26" isn't dead, it just got FAT



  7. #7
    ready to ride
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    Yeah, I have about had it with my Elixr 1s also. Actually the front one has been, knock on wood trouble free. My rear one is another story, it has been bled 3 times, actually once the fluid was completely replaced. Keeps going soft. The 4th time my LBS is sending it back to SRAM for a warranty claim. They are putting a loaner on for me, not sure what that is since its at the LBS.

    On the other hand my wife's bike has the Elixr 3s other than the turkey warble they seem to be pretty solid. I finally got the warble resolved by properly aligning them which was a complete pain. They would always seem to shift was you tightened them down.

    I don't think you can go wrong with anything Shimano, even the Deores would be a step up IMO.

  8. #8
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    Get the SLX brakes. Shimano absolutely owns the disc brake market this year. They will be incredibly stronger, lighter, and should be hassle free for years. You can get them for less then $100 each so it's a no brainier. I'm replacing a friend's elixir 5s with SLX this week

  9. #9
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    I upgraded just the front elixer 1 to a Shimano SLX M666 Icetech and I'm so glad I did. Much more power . So worth it! BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano SLX M666 IceTech Disc Brake w/Adapter

  10. #10
    little mad riding hood
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    I just switched from Elixir CRs (light & strong but fussy, sticky pistons, needed constant bleeding) to Formula RX. Time will tell as I've only had a couple rides on the Formulas so far but they're strong and silent and well reviewed.

    I had Shimano XT brakes for about 10 months and swapped them due to a tendency to pack up in cold weather (and cold weather happens fairly regularly at 40N and 5300' altitude). If you never ride in conditions below 40F, this may never be an issue for you, so ymmv.

  11. #11
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    Same here, my formula RX brake have been great, they developed a squeel but after replacing organic to sintered pads, they are silent with great power and modulation.

    Ranger, where is this spot u described?

  12. #12
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    Shimano SLX is great. Same as XT, but without the Bite Point Adjust thingy. Which doesn't do anything anyway on the XT, from what I have heard.

  13. #13
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    I just switched my Elixir 5s to XTR M988 and love them. So much better feel, braking and quiet.

    My wife just changed hers out for SLX. SLX are almost as good as the XTRs but half the price. I prefer one finger braking and she prefers two.

  14. #14
    little mad riding hood
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learux View Post
    Ranger, where is this spot u described?
    Boulder, Colorado. We ride throughout the winters here, as it is semi-arid and dry days are not unheard of throughout the cold season. Plus there are night riding legal trails close by which is a common thing for us working stiffs during Standard Time. Having mineral oil systems pack up is annoying, if not flat out scary - the brakes get progressively stiffer with less lever travel and then they'll usually decide to quit entirely on some slippery, icy descent. I noticed some performance degradation from the XTs in temps as high as 35-40F. Not to mention the fact that it can rapidly go down into the teens after dark here anytime from basically now until late March or early April, so I decided it wasn't worth it, especially since my MTB is my go-to winter weather commuter.

  15. #15
    meh?
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    ARG! I just bought Elixer 1's.... Wish I came across this earlier. I'm upgrading from 2003 Hayes HFX9's, so I'm assuming the Avids will be substantially better. I'm hoping they're durable enough...

    Edit: FYI, I got both f & r Avids for a combined $100, so that's why I went with them.

  16. #16
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    my vote goes to formula brakes. i really dig the older oros and ones. so lightweight with lots of power.

  17. #17
    Offroader
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    i just broke my left SRAM XX Carbon Brake lever, anybody know whether they sell parts to replace just the lever? I'd hate to have to buy the whole set..

    Thanks.

  18. #18
    Twin Six METAL Team
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    I run Shimano XT's on my singlespeed and Magura MT8's on my full suspension, and I would highly recommend either product. Both systems are durable, have a ton of power, no fading issues, etc.

    The MT8's were a little finicky at first, but after working with them (and emailing back and forth with Magura), they are spot on. Magura has awesome customer service, and for that, I will rank the MT8's slightly higher than the XT's. Not sure I would've gotten that level of personal service from Shimano.

    IMO...if money isn't an issue, go with the MT8's.

  19. #19
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    To wrap up this thread, I can say how proud I am of SRAM who stood behind their products. After I complained to them that I am constantly having issues with the breaks, they are upgrading me - for FREE! They are sending me a brand new Elixir 7 rear. I am not sure how good they are, but I am about to find out.

    I also had an issue with my RS Recon Silver TK 29 and because it was still in warranty, but they did not have the parts to fix it or the same fork to replace it, they are sending me RS Reba. I am excited and I can't hide it. I know how much better the Reba is over the Recon.

    My vote goes out to SRAM. Good job guys and especially Nate Newton.
    2007 Specialized FSR Comp
    2010 Jamis Trail XC
    2012 Superlight 29

  20. #20
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    Same here, I have only positive things to say about SRAM. Good luck with the new setup.

  21. #21
    meh?
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    Wow, that's actually pretty reassuring. I don't doubt their products will work well, but it's nice to know they take care of their customers like that.

  22. #22
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    I have Elixer 9 and XT on my other bike. The new XT are drastically superior in feel and power. The avid feel to flexy. The XT do have a bit more of a mechanical feel to them (on or off) and I love my bb7's. Go Shimano, you wont be disappointed with the SLX or XT.

  23. #23
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    Well ,Ive always been a MAgura fan. The formulas are great brakes and the Shim XT.
    The 2013 Maguras MT2s can be had for $200 for the whole damn set! That includes the rotors in the size you want!
    The Mt2s also pulled more stop power then the MT8s. You can get the europe version of the MT2s on ebay, which have the same 1 piece caliper as the Mt 4s . 6 and 8 with adjust brake line! Which you cant get in the USA!
    I just ordered a set myself waiting for them to arrive.

  24. #24
    Keep on Rockin...
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    The XT brakes are rely nice but the cold weather issues are concerning.

    Avid Elixer brakes - if bled correctly I think they work very well. The higher end Elixers, with the pad adjusters seemed a bit finicky, but the lower end Elixers have been bombproof.

    Brakes I'm running right now, or rotate thorough regularly include...

    Old Hayes Mag pluses, nice, very durable (have at least 9 years on them), but not much power. They are on the wife's SS.

    Newer Hayes, Strokers I think. OK but not much power.

    Best thing about the Hayes was the amount of "pad throw" the have.

    Newer XT, very good, but can't say they feel that much better, or have that much more power, than proper bled Elixers.

    Elixers, as above. Good power. Seem more prone to squeal, but I've been able to dial that out. Avid's CPS is a good idea if you might be running less than perfectly aligned parts and frames.

  25. #25
    2MC
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    what would be the best mechanical disc brake system right now?

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