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  1. #1
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    (German) Bike Magazine 12/2008 - brake test

    Germany's Bike Magazine, out on November 11th, will feature a round-up test of the new 2009 brakes.

    Brakes featured are :

    Avid „Elixir CL“

    Formula „R1“
    FRM „DBR 25“
    Funn „Drop In“
    Hayes „Stroker Ac“
    Hayes „Stroker Gra“
    Hope „Tech X2“
    Magura „Marta SL“
    Magura „Julie hp“
    Shimano „Saint“
    Tektro „Auriga Pro“

    I've got a subscription, but in Germany the magazine hits the shops earlier. If anyone has the results, post them here

    Interesting video teaser here

  2. #2
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    Teaser link didnt load but it could be my computer.

    Should be interesting to see what a e-mag has to say.
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  3. #3
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    Anyone get copy yet?

  4. #4
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    Checked yesterday- not on the newsstand just yet.

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    I'm interested to see if the Formula R1's crack up to the hype.

  6. #6
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    I just received my copy in the mail. I just wonder how valid this test is, because it is sometimes very weird how they come to their conclusions. E.g. the R1 has less braking power, according to their own tests, than a Elixir CR, but still when they translate this to stars (you can get max 6 stars) the R1 scores more stars than the CR??? If they would categorize into intended application of a brake that could be fine as the R1 and CR are designed for a bit different application, but they don't categorize systematically. So take these results with a grain of salt.
    Elixir CR: The rotors warped permanently after heating up. Still these get "very good" for all disc sizes; significant fading for 160mm.
    R1: Has issues with fading on long descents, but it is not where the R1 was designed for. The R1 gets a "very good" for all disc sizes.
    Stroker Ace: The 203mm discs warped enough that they needed to stop to let them cool down. At least these straighten out when cooling down. The Ace also gets "very good" for all disc sizes.
    Stroker Gram: They blew the seals on two different calipers due to overheating on the long test descent, oil spew out and that was the end. Luckily they translate at least this failure into a bad end result.
    Tech X2: brake power was the lowest of the whole bunch by quite a wide margin, also had significant fading, but the pressure point was very constant (i.e. no fluid overheating). Gets a "good" with 160mm and "very good" with 180mm disc. The test riders liked it better in practice than that the measurements show. An untypical feat for Hope is that the X2 doesn't rate particularly well on the modulation front.
    Saint: Also suffered from warped disc syndrome, but to a lesser degree and these also straighten on cooling down. This is a quite digital brake, but also the most powerful on test. It gets a "very good" with 180mm and "outstanding" with 203mm.
    Marta SL: They did get the Marta to overheat such that the lever would go to the bar. This happened when standing still (probably with the brake pads pulled onto the hot disc), still a serious enough issue I'd say. They do however get "very good" on all disc sizes.

    Now what I really don't get is that in the last tests they did, some brakes got trashed for their poor fading resistance and here a brake like the new Marta SL gets excellent ratings for apparently even worse fading resistance and even a serious fluid boiling issue. Magura got quite bad noting in the last test (Louise 2008), but Magura seemed to have paid their advertising money as they do very well this time around with no better performance

  7. #7
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    What I thought was odd was how they put brakes together in mixed classes. Just seems a bit strange.

  8. #8
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    With respect, these guys sound like they don't have a clue.

    What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings? -
    Diogenes


  9. #9
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    as mentioned, this should be taken with a grain of salt

  10. #10
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    I want to see the BB7 on this list.

    I also want one of those brake test machines.

  11. #11
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    Well they narrowed down which manufactures harden there rotors.
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  12. #12
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    Great, thanks for the update. Guess my issue will drop in the mailbox today or tomorrow.

    Although the results need to be taken with a grain of salt, it is very good to see how the brakes stand up to fading. Seems like Avid still hasn't the disc warping issue solved. Hope has increased the size of the caliper pistons and changed the design of their lever with the X2, so that is pushes more fluid when engaged. Not much difference though, still lowest in brake power. So seems like the R1 comes out on top? Did they test with the regular discs or the new floating discs?

    Here is what Magura has posted in the news section on their German homepage :

    ie BIKE schreibt in HEFT 12/2008

    ...im grossen Scheibenbremsen-Vergleichstest:

    Während der Fahrt zeigten sich alle Tester beeindruckt von den Bremsleistungen der neuen Schwäbin. Konstanter Druckpunkt trotz Dauerfeuer, die Bremspower bleibt über die gesamte Abfahrt konstant, der Kraftaufwand ist gering und der Carbon Hebel liegt hervorragend in der Hand. Mit der Marta SL erhält man eine absolut Trail-taugliche, leichte Bremse, die von Cross-Country bis zum heftigen All Mountain Einsatz jedes Terrain beherrscht.

    Bike Urteil:

    160/180/203mm SEHR GUT


    They don't mention anything about overheating - if you need a translation, let me know

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by madskatingcow
    Great, thanks for the update. Guess my issue will drop in the mailbox today or tomorrow.

    Although the results need to be taken with a grain of salt, it is very good to see how the brakes stand up to fading. Seems like Avid still hasn't the disc warping issue solved. Hope has increased the size of the caliper pistons and changed the design of their lever with the X2, so that is pushes more fluid when engaged. Not much difference though, still lowest in brake power. So seems like the R1 comes out on top? Did they test with the regular discs or the new floating discs?

    Here is what Magura has posted in the news section on their German homepage :

    ie BIKE schreibt in HEFT 12/2008

    ...im grossen Scheibenbremsen-Vergleichstest:

    Während der Fahrt zeigten sich alle Tester beeindruckt von den Bremsleistungen der neuen Schwäbin. Konstanter Druckpunkt trotz Dauerfeuer, die Bremspower bleibt über die gesamte Abfahrt konstant, der Kraftaufwand ist gering und der Carbon Hebel liegt hervorragend in der Hand. Mit der Marta SL erhält man eine absolut Trail-taugliche, leichte Bremse, die von Cross-Country bis zum heftigen All Mountain Einsatz jedes Terrain beherrscht.

    Bike Urteil:

    160/180/203mm SEHR GUT


    They don't mention anything about overheating - if you need a translation, let me know

    Please translate.....

  14. #14
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    Bike writes in Edition 12/2008 :

    … great disc brake comparison test:

    While riding, all test pilots were impressed by the brake performance of the new Schwäbin (inhabitant of the area where Magura is located). The pressure point and brake power remain constant during the whole descent. The required handpower is small, the ergonomics of the carbon lever are excellent. With the Marta SL, the rider receives an absolutely trail suited, light brake, which controls each terrain from Cross Country to All Mountain abuse.

    Bike judgement:

    160/180/203 : very good

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    A lot of that doesn't make sense.....first off, pretty much EVERY disc warped or had overheating problems regardless of manufacturer, size of rotor, etc. I find that highly suspect. Even with the poorest of standards, you may get 3-4 out of 10 "bad" discs and they're claiming that they happened to be unlucky enough to have beaten the odds and every brake they tested were from the "bad " batch? C'mon.....not likely. How are they overheating every brake set regardless of disc size?

    Like others mentioned, the brakes tested were not comparable either (meaning some were XC, others were All mtn, and others are FR or DH). If you're running a 160 on a DH course and you warp the disc, boil the fluid, you shouldn't be surprised and you shouldn't downgrade your rating of the brakes....you're an idiot for thinking that it should be fine.

    The last thing is about the Martas. They said they overheated the brakes so much that the lever went to the bar. Shouldn't that be the opposite? As the fluid heats, it expands thus the "pump" that riders refer too. In theory, mineral oil isn't suppose to expand but it shouldn't cause the oil to detract either which would lead to the lever going to the bar. What's going on?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddraewwg

    The last thing is about the Martas. They said they overheated the brakes so much that the lever went to the bar. Shouldn't that be the opposite? As the fluid heats, it expands thus the "pump" that riders refer too. In theory, mineral oil isn't suppose to expand but it shouldn't cause the oil to detract either which would lead to the lever going to the bar. What's going on?
    My Martas fade a bit to the bar on my long decent on one of my training rides. But I just let off for a sec and pull again and it's fine. I have never felt out of control with it. The only happens on the rear brake
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ddraewwg
    A lot of that doesn't make sense.....first off, pretty much EVERY disc warped or had overheating problems regardless of manufacturer, size of rotor, etc. I find that highly suspect.

    ...

    The last thing is about the Martas. They said they overheated the brakes so much that the lever went to the bar. Shouldn't that be the opposite? As the fluid heats, it expands thus the "pump" that riders refer too. In theory, mineral oil isn't suppose to expand but it shouldn't cause the oil to detract either which would lead to the lever going to the bar. What's going on?
    To comment on your first remark, they tested 11 different brake systems (I just listed the most popular one, but also the Funn Drop In, FRM DBR 250, Magura Julie HP, and Tektro Auriga Pro were tested) and they had warping issues on 3 of them. Exclusively on the bigger disc sizes however. Only Avid warped fatally (both on track test and bench test), Hayes and Shimano warped significantly but recovered.

    W.r.t. the overheating of the Marta's, levers to the handlebars generally means that the fluid is starting to boil and thus fluid transforms to a compressible gas, a very serious condition! However in all fairness, if you use the Marta's for its designed purpose, you'll probably don't encounter these problems. I would have serious concerns however taking these out for a trip in the Alps.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by madskatingcow
    They don't mention anything about overheating
    It's called marketing

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    Quote Originally Posted by General Hickey
    I want to see the BB7 on this list.
    Little chance I think, mechs seem not very popular on this side of the Atlantic and are only used on the lowest end bikes.

  20. #20
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    In Germany you will hardly find a BB7 on any kind of bikes, because mechanical discs have a very very bad reputation. People would not buy such a bike.The BB7 is only used by some enthusiasts (like me) that know what's the facts. Before manufacturers take a BB7 they prefer very cheap hydraulics like Avid Juicy 3 or Shimano BR-485.
    One reason for this could be because some years ago there was a test in the German bike magazin "Mountainbike" for the BB7 with the conclusion:
    "only suited for people under 70 kg, and not for steep downhills."
    The reason for this devastating statement: uneven rotor thickness, glazed pads and glowing rotor very soon; squeaking, scratching, quickly wearing pads, melting red adjustment knobs.

  21. #21
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    Also read the test, the Avid's had disc warping on all sizes : 160, 185, 200mm. The picture of the warped disc speaks for itself, looks like a bowl used to cornflakes. Their advices is to send the design back to the drawing board. I've seen the Avid Elixir discs a two weeks ago, what do you expect with paper thin discs?

    The R1's were tested with the one piece rotor's, not the floating version. Adding it all up, the R1's come out on top for Cross Country racing. They have slightly less power than the Marta SL's, but do withstand better the generated heat (three starts vs two stars for the Marta SL's). Dry / wet performance is about identical.

    The Hayes Stroker Brakes Gram couldn't even be tested due to two blown out seals.

    Interesting to see was that the new Hope X2 brakes are really down on power compared to the competition. Even in 185 they have way less power than the others in 160mm.

    The Marta SL's do get a very good score : they have more power than the R1's, but slightly less resistance to overheating.

    The picture of the worn brake pads showed that riding 160mm discs causes the pads to wear a lot quicker.

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    Actually if you go off the stars given Shimano Saint wins and then Elixir.

    Although the Saint is very heavy for only a little more power
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Correct (haven't had much time to read the mag thoroughly) - the Saint are the only Enduro brakes, so the can't really be compared to others. Too bad you didn't put up the picture of the warped discs

  24. #24
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    While I don't buy into the star ratings... the bench tests on braking power are very much a letdown for the Hope Tech X2s in terms of AM/Trail riding.

    I actually have a pair of Tech X2s in hand unused at this point, floating rotors, braided hose. If you're interested, PM me. I need something with a bit more power for AM/Trail use.
    Last edited by tazdevl; 12-11-2008 at 04:14 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazdevl
    While I don't buy into the star ratings... the bench tests on braking power are very much a letdown for the Hope Tech X2s in terms of AM/Trail riding.

    I actually have a pair of Tech X2s in hand unused at this point, floating rotors, braided hose. If you're interested, PM me. I need something with a bit more power for AM/Trail use.
    Wow!
    C'mon - you won't even try them?? I wouldn't relay on these tests too much - hopes were always down in the ratings in these particular magazine. And I cannot imagine x2 having weak modulation.

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    What does the magazine say about Tektros?

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    Quote Originally Posted by krolik
    Wow!
    C'mon - you won't even try them?? I wouldn't relay on these tests too much - hopes were always down in the ratings in these particular magazine. And I cannot imagine x2 having weak modulation.
    Not interested in a $650 tryout. Shop took them back. These days I have a tough time distinguishing modulation between the higher end brakes anyway. They all feel pretty good but it is pretty easy to tell the difference in power.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascades
    Little chance I think, mechs seem not very popular on this side of the Atlantic and are only used on the lowest end bikes.
    I've seen BB7's on high end bikes. With a good pair of levers the BB7's are fantastic brakes, powerful, reliable, simple, and a fraction of the cost of these hydro brakes. With some adjusting, they can even match hydros for feel. They should be included as a benchmark, because if you're dropping many hundreds of dollars on a set of brakes they should at least be better than the tried-and-true BB7.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by leoh
    What does the magazine say about Tektros?


    I'm interested in how they stacked up as well.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazdevl
    Not interested in a $650 tryout. Shop took them back. These days I have a tough time distinguishing modulation between the higher end brakes anyway. They all feel pretty good but it is pretty easy to tell the difference in power.
    Agreed with the last bit.
    So what were you thinking when ordering these for AM??
    I have my V2&m4 comming in today or monday.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazdevl
    While I don't buy into the star ratings... the bench tests on braking power are very much a letdown for the Hope Tech X2s in terms of AM/Trail riding.

    I actually have a pair of Tech X2s in hand unused at this point, floating rotors, braided hose. If you're interested, PM me. I need something with a bit more power for AM/Trail use.
    Then why did you buy the x2? Why did you not go for the M4 in the first place? That's not Hope's fault you bought the Mini successor, that's designed for XC.

    It never ceases to amaze me the people that complain about using Hope Minis outside of their design intent because they didn't perform. Same goes for people using Marta and putting on 203's for DH runs.

    Should have bought the M4 in the first place.

    PS- FWIW, for trail use, with larger rotors, like a 180, the Minis were perfectly fine, even for light mountain runs.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Then why did you buy the x2? Why did you not go for the M4 in the first place? That's not Hope's fault you bought the Mini successor, that's designed for XC.

    It never ceases to amaze me the people that complain about using Hope Minis outside of their design intent because they didn't perform. Same goes for people using Marta and putting on 203's for DH runs.

    Should have bought the M4 in the first place.

    PS- FWIW, for trail use, with larger rotors, like a 180, the Minis were perfectly fine, even for light mountain runs.
    M4 is overkill based on my experience with them. Owned 2 sets of Mono Minis in the past. I'm well aware of their capabilities.

    I manage the development and marketing of some engineering intensive products. My frustration more stems with things from a business perspective... this article doesn't put the X2s in a very positive light based on the bench power curves. I could care less about the star ratings, that's subjective.

    Hope did a fair amount of positioning at Euro and Interbike that their new brakes had more power due to the larger pistons and new lever. Yet you look at the results, they don't stack up to the competition... R1 and Elixir CR in similar sizes. There's a significant gap. On top of that, there's a less than glowing review of them on the Hope UK website where Hope may have sent the reviewer a pair of brakes thay "may" not have been bled properly... edit... I think they pulled the review down, it was up the day before yesterday. Regardless, not the best start out of the gate when you're launching a product.

    Don't get my wrong, they look terrific, but when you look at them across power, weight and price... they aren't the most compelling solution on the market.
    Last edited by tazdevl; 12-13-2008 at 09:06 AM.

  33. #33
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    Got this from the Ibis forum:

    Avid Elixir CR = very good/very good/very good
    Formula R1 = very good/very good/-
    FRM DBR 250 = weak/-/-
    Funn Drop In = -/good/good
    Hayes Stroker Ace = -/very good/very good
    Hayes Stroker Gram = not possible to test/weak/weak
    Hope Tech X2 = good/very good/-
    Magura Julie HP = good/good/very good
    Magura Marta SL = very good/very good/very good
    Shimano Saint = -/very good/super
    Tektro Auriga Pro = good/good/very good

    Here are the weights of the brakes:

    Avid Elixir CR = 376/442/475
    Formula R1 = 277/322/-
    FRM DBR 250 = 262/
    Funn Drop In = -/535/558
    Hayes Stroker Ace = -/431/555
    Hayes Stroker Gram = 359/412/478
    Hope Tech X2 = 368/465/-
    Magura Julie HP = 435/493/555
    Magura Marta SL = 368/426/472
    Shimano Saint = -/544/585
    Tektro Auriga Pro = 441/506/535

  34. #34
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    anymore brake reviews?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by david8613
    anymore brake reviews?
    Find a current up to date magazine.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by pecan
    Actually if you go off the stars given Shimano Saint wins and then Elixir.

    Although the Saint is very heavy for only a little more power

    i cant read german but it looks like the hayes stroker ace came in third, these brakes dont really get too many complaints, i think they might be an under rated brake. lighter than the saints and probably stronger than the elixers being a 4 pot brake. i wish i could read what it says about the hayes stroker ace in detail, i just picked up a set for about 240.00 front and back from price point, good deal.

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    The test says, that the Hayes Stroker Ace has average brake power, not as much it could have with its four pistons. The large 203 rotor bended a lot under longer braking.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by trelgne
    The test says, that the Hayes Stroker Ace has average brake power, not as much it could have with its four pistons. The large 203 rotor bended a lot under longer braking.
    so it was not that good compared to the others? didnt all the rotors warped, only the saints and hayes came back to normal thats good isnt it? what else did it say about the hayes stroker ace?

    here goes another lite review comparing those

    http://www.sicklines.com/issue1/pdf/...e_showdown.pdf
    Last edited by david8613; 01-09-2010 at 11:54 AM.

  39. #39
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    i tried babelfish but didnt get too far. i would like to know since the hayes stroker aces only had average power, what did the other brakes have please translate. i wonder why the avid code was not tested?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by david8613
    i tried babelfish but didnt get too far. i would like to know since the hayes stroker aces only had average power, what did the other brakes have please translate. i wonder why the avid code was not tested?
    Do you have a link to a legible German text? I could give it a try.
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  41. #41
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    [QUOTE=J. Random Psycho]Do you have a link to a legible German text? I could give it a try.[/QUOTE

    here ya go this is the link, you gotta download it though... im very interested in what it has to say about the elixer cr and the hayes stroker aces, if you can translate that would be great...

    http://www.bike-magazin.de/?p=2006

  42. #42
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    david8613, my knowledge of German is very superficial, but here it goes:

    Conclusion:
    With the comfortable one finger lever, the four-piston unit made by Hayes is always in command of the ride. With a 180 mm disk, the somewhat greater modulation of the monoblock caliper comes in handy, and more braking power is available. When you install a larger disk, the braking power also rises. However, with large disks (203/223 mm) a design problem showed up: the greater heat generated made the disks deform and we had to stop tests. In cold conditions, the effect does not occur (I'm not too sure about this phrase).

    The well thought out, no-tools lever stroke adjustment is comfortable. Unlike the Stroker Gram, pad backing plates are steel, not aluminum.
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  43. #43
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    thats cool, thank you so much it clears it up a bit, do you mind translating what it says about the elixer and shimano saint if its not too much trouble...im currently running 203mm but i doubt i could ever produce the heat they are talking about, one of tests show a brake system on a machine with the disc glowing red! who can do that, lets be real! i think these test are a bit exagerated....

  44. #44
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    Avid Elixir CR
    Conclusion:

    With the CR model, Avid puts its true racing horse through the paces. It's light, powerful and has great features. Bite point and lever stroke are both no-tools adjustable. The testers were pleased with the neat carbon lever and the low force required to operate it, combined with outstanding modulation of the 2-piston caliper.

    Thus, with 160 mm disk Elixir CR is optimal for the racing course. And with 203 mm disk it's a great all mountain brake. The disks themselves, however, once again require more attention from the developers. Both in the test stand and in real riding the disks get permanently warped from heat. This is not necessarily dangerous, but produces grinding noises, and is irreparable. If it wasn't for this problem, the test mark would have been "Super". A shame.


    Shimano Saint
    Conclusion:

    He who bolts a Saint to his bike, needs a sensitive trigger finger. The stopping power of this 4-piston brake is brutal. Switching over to these from any other brake in this test needs getting used to. Little misapplications of brakes on loose surfaces are initially inevitable. The testers became split in two camps about this. Some were thrilled with the power, others called it "too binary", either on or off.

    While the 200 mm disk usually scores in all disciplines, the 180 mm disk leaves something to be desired. Although somewhat better modulated, on the test course they had fading under a 100 kg rider.

    No-tools lever stroke adjustment is very nice. With a 203 mm disk, Saint is the freeride brake. Using them with 160 mm disk was meaningless in our conditions.
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  45. #45
    Spice
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    Where's the pictures of the toasted elixir rotors? I couldnt find them on the site...

  46. #46
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    the shimano saint faded but got a super? the elixer and stroker ace didnt fade and only a good score? all the brakes warped and still got a good score? these test reusults sound so wack! do you see how when the strokers warped they said they had to stop the test, but when the elixer warped it was irrepairable but they said it wasnt dangerous and could have gotten a super, what? and then from shimano test it sounds like it has no modulation, 0, zilch, none, how can a brake with no modulation get a super? these test makes no sense at all its almost funney....thanks random phsyco for the translation we all appreciate it, any thing else in the article that stood out that you think might be interesting or funny, please fill us in...
    Last edited by david8613; 01-13-2010 at 05:14 PM.

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