Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    438

    Clarks Skeletal Hydraulic Brakes

    I got a set front and rear in blue for $160 from my LBS and I have to say I was impressed. They came with extra pads and parts and fittings if you need to bleed them. They come in a decent amount of colors and with rotors 160mm , 185mm, and 203mm. They are super easy to adjust and set up. Bleeding is cake since the master cylinder cap is easy to access as well. As far as stopping power they work great. I have a set of Hayes Stroker Ace on my other bike and while the Clarks arent as nice but for 2 piston brakes they stop great. I have no complaints thus far and the bend in the lever is very good for 1 and 2 finger breaking and very comfortable. I know alot of people have been wondering about them. I highly recommend them. Dollar for dollar you can't beat them and they come with a full 2 year warranty.
    Last edited by Prostreet513; 09-08-2010 at 06:18 PM.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    438
    They were cool for like a day but guess what the hoses suck, the brake bleed fittings are a weird size. The powder coat isnt very durable, the extra fittings they give you are crap, and they are a royal pain in the ass to bleed since there isnt a bleed screw on the master cylinder. These brakes are a joke. I took them off and said the heck with it and ordered a set of Hayes Stroker Trails. Sometimes its better to stick with what you know. If anyone wants my set let me know they can be yours for half price.

  4. #4
    AZ
    AZ is offline
    banned
    Reputation: AZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    19,998
    Quote Originally Posted by Prostreet513
    They were cool for like a day but guess what the hoses suck, the brake bleed fittings are a weird size. The powder coat isnt very durable, the extra fittings they give you are crap, and they are a royal pain in the ass to bleed since there isnt a bleed screw on the master cylinder. These brakes are a joke. I took them off and said the heck with it and ordered a set of Hayes Stroker Trails. Sometimes its better to stick with what you know. If anyone wants my set let me know they can be yours for half price.

    Sorry to hear they aren't working out for you as I had a cursory interest in these brakes .
    Could you elaborate a bit on the quality and the brake hoses ? Very well may prevent some else from making an expensive purchase that they may regret . Thanks .

  5. #5
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    926
    Some pics, please. I see these around, and I've read some ok reviews, and some bad ones.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    438








    The lines felt like cheap plastic hoses and they crack very very easily. Not quality at all as you would see with Shimano. Hayes, or Avid. The bleed fittings are huge and an abnormal size which means most bleed kits will not work on it. The threads on the bleed fittings dont seal very well and you can actually draw air into the brake with them. The metal feels very soft and cheap as well. Also the fittings they send to use if you shorten the lines aren't great either and its hard to get a good seal on those as well. I took it to another LBS and he said they had considered buying those brakes but they decided to stick with what brands they knew and used. Also after the brakes heat up they get very squishy. The powercoat is low quality and very thin and will come off extremely easy. They don't work well, the quality of the fit and finish isn't great, they are not easy to bleed, and it over all feels like a very cheap brake. Instead of paying $160-$220 for these F&R you can go on ebay and get a brand new set of Hayes Stroker Trails or Avid Elixirs etc for $150-$200 for front and rear. Shops have their parts in stock or readily available and they are a much safer bet. Hope this helps

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,608
    Wow, what a difference a week makes.
    Good job on the update.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  8. #8
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    926
    Yeah, thanks for the update. Most will just leave it at their typical mtbr initial impressions, and then have too much pride to say they take it back. Looks like they had a good theory, but poor execution. The hoses crack? I'd take them back to the LBS and get your money back.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vk45de's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,084
    Only 1 wk? I'd want my money back as well. You say they have a 2 yr warranty right? Time to give em hell.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    438
    Quote Originally Posted by junktrunk
    Yeah, thanks for the update. Most will just leave it at their typical mtbr initial impressions, and then have too much pride to say they take it back. Looks like they had a good theory, but poor execution. The hoses crack? I'd take them back to the LBS and get your money back.
    I don't want anyone else to end up buying something based off a good review I wrote and then in reality they ended up failing. This time I happened to be wrong, really wrong. They could have alot of potential but they need to be made with better quality materials and some other small changes. I hate to say it but I think because its a decent looking brake in a wide variety of colors might be its best selling point.
    Last edited by Prostreet513; 09-16-2010 at 06:55 AM.

  11. #11
    Single Speed Junkie
    Reputation: crux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,106
    After a week and the brakes are showing signs of advanced wear and tear then yes that would be a warranty issue in my book. I'd first start off asking for a complete refund for faulty product. If denied then start off with the facts.

    - Re-powdering of coat all surfaces showing signs of chipping, flaking separating
    - New hoses that are not brittle and up to par with industry standards (ie Shimano) with fittings.
    - If any of the fittings or bleed ports are mis-threaded then that component also needs full replacement ensuring that the threads are viable.
    - Check for a helicoil installed on threaded surfaces. If they are threading directly into the caliper or MC it is most likely a softer material and will end up sticking and fracturing over time.

    I'm sure there could be a few others depending upon what your seeing. Just stick to the facts and flat out ask them which sounds more reasonable. A refund or rebuild of a brake system. Let them know you intend on testing the next set in the same way. I'm sure they would rather yield a refund over going through several sets of brakes and bad press or factual reviews online.

  12. #12
    g3h6o3
    Reputation: PissedOffCil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3,708
    Quote Originally Posted by Prostreet513
    I hate to say it but I think because its a decent looking brake in a wide variety of colors might be its best selling point.
    Classic these days!
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    438
    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil
    Classic these days!
    I got them because they were a good price and my LBS shop said they were good. I do know colors attract many people though

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5
    Prostreet513,
    Have you called about any warrenty claims? If so how was the customer service end of the spectrum? These brakes were talked up by a mountain bike magizine(dirtrag) and maybe "some" of the problems chaulks up to a bad pair.

    Anyone else that has purchased these or read about these from various sources please chime in. I'd like to get feedback from multiple points to hopefully weed out "some" issues from possible poor quallity control.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    438
    I left a message and they still have yet to call me back. I called J&B their distributor and they gave me a number and I left a message on it too and they never called back. I got these because of that review in dirt rag. It's not just a bad pair the quality is horrible of all the parts and finishes. I just bought a set of hayes and I run them on my other bike as well so I'm sticking to what's safe from now on. Alot of shops arent carrying them because of this stuff as well as my lbs I got them from. All I can say is try at your own risk but if you do use them GET good hoses at least.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5
    Well that's no good. How much time has it been since you left a message with them? I had ordered a set myself, but if this is a set-up prone to failure I might as well return them and shoot for a better and "known" brand. I really want to give this company a shot, but if i'm going to run into these problems, maybe not.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    438
    It's been almost a week since I called. It's really up to you if you want to use them or not. You can tell when you get them that the quality of the metal and the hoses isn't really on par with most other brakes out on the market. If you need to bleed them its going to be hard to use a bleed kit from anyone due to the abnormally large size of the bleed fitting and there isn't a bleed screw on the lever. On their video and instructions they show to get the air out of the lever to take off the resevoir cap which can end up being very messy too.

    http://www.clarkscycles.com/index.ph.../how-to-videos

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5
    Just recieved mine in the mail. Took forever to get here. I see where you were saying the hoses weak. They are holding the shape they were bent in for packaging. I don't understand how they ship them out. They put both brake boxes in one big box, cool. Both plastic spacers ( the ones that go in between the pads to prevent the piston from over-extending ) in one of the brake boxes, the other had damage to the caliper from the rotor banging up against it. Wasn't too bad, but none the less shouldn't have happened. I hung the brakes from the master cylinder before i left for work. I'm hoping the bends in the lines will stretch out by the time I put them on.
    Other than that I'm being optimistic about them. Hopefully they'll work out for me. Prostreet513, I don't know your history with brakes so I'm trying not to be biased with these brakes after your review of them. I've only delt with 3 other sets besides these Clark's.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    438
    Quote Originally Posted by maas_man86
    Just recieved mine in the mail. Took forever to get here. I see where you were saying the hoses weak. They are holding the shape they were bent in for packaging. I don't understand how they ship them out. They put both brake boxes in one big box, cool. Both plastic spacers ( the ones that go in between the pads to prevent the piston from over-extending ) in one of the brake boxes, the other had damage to the caliper from the rotor banging up against it. Wasn't too bad, but none the less shouldn't have happened. I hung the brakes from the master cylinder before i left for work. I'm hoping the bends in the lines will stretch out by the time I put them on.
    Other than that I'm being optimistic about them. Hopefully they'll work out for me. Prostreet513, I don't know your history with brakes so I'm trying not to be biased with these brakes after your review of them. I've only delt with 3 other sets besides these Clark's.
    I have always been very big on good brakes even in my bmx days. For my road bikes I use Cane Creek SCR-5. For my GT Force Mountain Bike I use Hayes Stroker Ace and for my Haro Sonix I use Hayes Stroker Trails. I've used Avid Code, Shimano Saint, Juicy 7, Hayes Stroker Ryde, and Avid BB7s. I am pretty much the guy most come to to set up their brakes for them. I'm just very picky about how they work. I really hope your set works out. Are you going to cut them down or bleed them? Good luck on the lines being un-kinked just because of how they are.

  20. #20
    Rub it............
    Reputation: frdfandc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,750
    I have a co-worker who has approx 2 months of riding 2-3 times a week on these brakes. I've asked him a few times how they have been. Every reply has been "Awesome". I've been thinking about getting a pair of these for my next build.

    Now I'm not saying you didn't get a bad set, but you probably just got a bad pair. I'd get them warrantied and try them again.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5
    Prostreet513 I see where you're coming from. I imagine you're a lot more in tune with your brakes than most. I'm kinda getting picky myself. Mostly because I've really taken up DH riding and I'm not getting the stopping power I'd like. Right now I'm using Hayes Rydes and although the modulate quite well, I find the don't really clamp down without a lot of finger pressure. It's to the point my index finger hates me for trying. My Hayes Nines seem way better on my XC but it's lighter and doesn't see the same type of abuse.

    frdfandc, I'm glad you've heard good things about them. I would really like to chaulk some of this bad review up to Prostreet513's good attention to performance. Mostly so I don't feel so bad blowing dough on these :P
    I almost want to just go over the top and get a setup that's overkill and call it a day. I just can't justify dropping $2-300 bones on one front or rear set... yet.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LaLD's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    429
    I've been riding the Clarks for about a month now and have had no problems with the actual brakes. they are a tad stronger than the Juicy 5's I had on my old bike and this is with smaller rotors. I would like to try some pad options other than what came with the set, but other than that they have been great. I love the adjust-ability I have with them and the fact that the pistons are magnetized is a huge bonus. If anything major happens I will let everyone know.
    2011 Niner EMD
    Wounds Heal, Chicks dig scars, Glory lasts FOREVER!

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    438
    Half my issues were with performance and the other half was with build quality and fit and finish. They just aren't really as good as many out there for the same price nor do they have the quality or readily available parts as most. I am very critical of brakes probably more than most. I gave these a shot and for me they didn't cut it. They make work ok for some but overall I do not see them lasting very long or working well for a lenthy period of time. The bleeding process is alot messier than most as well. The choice is yours to make They have a good idea going but they kind of failed to execute the whole package by lack of quality.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    438
    Quote Originally Posted by maas_man86
    Prostreet513 I see where you're coming from. I imagine you're a lot more in tune with your brakes than most. I'm kinda getting picky myself. Mostly because I've really taken up DH riding and I'm not getting the stopping power I'd like. Right now I'm using Hayes Rydes and although the modulate quite well, I find the don't really clamp down without a lot of finger pressure. It's to the point my index finger hates me for trying. My Hayes Nines seem way better on my XC but it's lighter and doesn't see the same type of abuse.

    frdfandc, I'm glad you've heard good things about them. I would really like to chaulk some of this bad review up to Prostreet513's good attention to performance. Mostly so I don't feel so bad blowing dough on these :P
    I almost want to just go over the top and get a setup that's overkill and call it a day. I just can't justify dropping $2-300 bones on one front or rear set... yet.
    Hayes stroker trails work alot better than the rides. You can get front and rear with 180mm discs for $150 if you're interested let me know and pm me. I ride them and I wouldnt tell you wrong. Those who see the skeletals in person can see and tell the lack of quality. If a part works I have no problem with praise but when one fails and falls way below expectations I feel its only right to shed some light on my story especially since this is a newer less used product. I would also like to add I have been into bikes seriously for 15 years and I have been around high end shops for most of that time and I am park certified.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: madsedan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,462
    My brother bought Clark Skeletals from our LBS and the rears failed within a day, before the first trail ride. The rear caliper had a catastrophic failure and dumped fluid the first couple of times the brakes were applied in the parking lot after install. The fronts never had anywhere near the braking force/power of the mechanical disc they took off. The shop sent the whole assembly back to Clarks but the delay was going to be out a while and appearantly Clarks is not the easiest to deal with on warranty replacement so the shop upgraded my brother to Avid Elixir 5's.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •