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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
    ride hard take risks
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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.

  5. #5
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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.
    .
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    What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

  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
    ride hard take risks
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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

  15. #15
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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.

  17. #17
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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

  19. #19
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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.

  22. #22
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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
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  23. #23
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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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