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  1. #1
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    Future Build, Brake Choices

    I'm planning to build a RIP9 this winter. Currently I'm trying to figure out which brakes I would like to put on it. I currently have Elixir R with 203F and 185R on a hardtail 29er. Aside from some occasional noise I have had no issues with these brakes, they have great power, a very firm lever with little travel (which I like) and they modulate well. I've never even needed to bleed them. I don't like the CPS system though. I've ridden a few bikes on demos, most have AVID brakes, one had a previous model XT brakes, 2010 maybe?

    On my new build I'd like to try some different brakes, I like simple, set and forget reliable things, not what you typically hear about AVID. I do like the ability to adjust lever reach, most other adjustments I set once and leave them alone.

    Here are the brakes I'm currently considering.

    Formula The Ones, just the standard ones, not the downhill. These seem to be a well liked brake, only gripes seem to be initial cost and cost of pads. How is the bleed procedure on these, fairly simple?

    Lots of good stuff floating around about the new XT and XTR Trail brakes. The XT brakes I rode were nice, but seemed a bit down on power compared to my Elixirs. New XTs are supposed to be much more powerful. I kind of like the idea of mineral oil rather than DOT brake fluid. The Ice Tech rotors look cool.

    Hopes, either Tech M4/X2 combo or straight X2. I've watched all the Hope videos and these seem to be a simple to work on brake. All the reviews are very good, and they look *****in'. I don't know that I need an M4 front, might be over kill. I know they only recommend a 183 front with the X2 but many people seem to run a 203 with no issues, probably what I'd want to do. If I ran M4/X2 combo I'd probably get away with a 185/185 rotor set. The availability of replacement parts looks to be awesome, just seem like a very well thought out product. I have Hope hubs and really like them. How do the Hope brakes compare in power with my current Elixr?

    I ride in VT, tighter rocky, rooty short up and down single track. I don't do a lot of long downhill stuff, never had fade issues with my Elixirs. I will occasionally ride some of the easier downhill trails at Kingdom Trails though, but not all day, maybe a couple runs. Also, I'm not huge, but I'm not small, probably 210lbs all geared up. Weight isn't a huge concern, but all of the brakes listed are reasonably light, with the Hopes weighing the most. Cost is a consideration to some extent, as you can see my choices aren't the cheapest brakes out there. What's everybody think?

  2. #2
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    My vote is for the Hope Tech EVO M4/X2 combo. Great power, modulation and adjustability.

  3. #3
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    Having both the new XTR trail and the new XT brakes, I strongly suggest that you test ride a bike with either one of these brakes before you purchase - especially the XTR trails with the ICE Tech pads / rotors. Heat is the enemy and the XTRs to the best to eliminate heat induced issues. The feel and modulation of these new brakes needs to be experienced to be described.

  4. #4
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    Start and End with . . . .

    Formula Brakes.
    I ride the One's. You would probably do very well with the R1's where superior modulation is very important. Lots of good brakes out there, but why not the best?
    Cheers,
    Kane

  5. #5
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    I have Hope Tech M4's back and front on my Reign. If I could go back, I would probably go V2 up front and X2 out back. I live in Florida so we dont have lots of downhill where I need a real powerful rear brake.

    The reason I would go with the 2 piston calipers is becasue the M4's work amazing, IF you get them perfectly centered over the rotor. If not, then not all 4 pistons make contact at the same time leaving you with a spongy lever and lack of power. Getting all 4 pistons to move equally was also time consuming at first.

    Like I said though, get them centered correctly and they have lots of power. The levers feel great and they modulate great. I will also say though that they are the only "high end" brakes I've used before.

  6. #6
    NWS
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    Funny, I have V2 front and X2 rear on my FR bike, and I'm thinking dual M4s for my AM bike. The V2 is fantastic up front - super strong and great modulation. And I really like the lever feel and the reach/bite adjustments.

    An X2 with a 185mm rotor is barely adequate as a rear brake though. I'm either going to put on a larger rear rotor in the back, or an M4 caliper, not sure yet. I would not recommend an X2 at all unless you only ride level ground. It feels particularly weak when compared to the V2 / 203 front setup of course, but I can barely lock up the rear wheel. That seemed like a good idea at first, and maybe it's good that it's teaching me to use my front back more, but I still think there's something to be said for being able to induce a skid if and when you choose to.

    My other bike has Juicy 3s and they're weak but the balance feels just right with 203 and 160 rotors. Gonna put M4s on it front and rear, and then decide what to do about the back of the other bike.

    I tried a friend's bike with 2010 or 2011 Saints and the power was great (equal or better than my V2) but the modulation... what modulation? It was like flipping a light switch.

  7. #7
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    So I guess the X2 front and rear isn't a good plan. I kind of figured it was on par with the Elixirs.

    When I rode the bike with last years XT's they were good, but not as good as my Elixirs. Granted they had a 185 front rotor, not the 203 I'm used to. They just didn't feel quite as powerful.

    Once you get the Hope M4 setup does it stay that way or does it require centralizing the pads frequently. I really don't feel like I need the V2, seems like a lot of brake, but who knows.

    Zkamypman, do you find that The One's don't have good modulation, is that why you suggest the R1?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALS650L View Post
    So I guess the X2 front and rear isn't a good plan. I kind of figured it was on par with the Elixirs.

    When I rode the bike with last years XT's they were good, but not as good as my Elixirs. Granted they had a 185 front rotor, not the 203 I'm used to. They just didn't feel quite as powerful.

    Once you get the Hope M4 setup does it stay that way or does it require centralizing the pads frequently. I really don't feel like I need the V2, seems like a lot of brake, but who knows.

    Zkamypman, do you find that The One's don't have good modulation, is that why you suggest the R1?
    Once I got all the pistons moving equally and the caliper centered, they stayed that way. Untill I took the bike apart to clean everything, which I had to remove the caliper. That was my fault though. From the time I put them on, to when I took them off, I put probably 400 miles on the bike and they never moved. If your willing to take the time to get them dialed in, they are great brakes. I just have a low level of patience.

    The Hope levers are a little mushy, even with the caliper centered. This is what allows the great modulation though. Its real easy to only put in as much power as you want to without accidently over squeezing the lever.

  9. #9
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    I just switched from 2012 XX's to 2012 XTR's and they are not even close. The XTR's are definitely a more powerful set up. They also do not make any noises and were easier to set up and adjust.
    2011 S-Works Epic 29er

  10. #10
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    Just checked out the R1's. Bit too spendy for me, look nice though, and very light.

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