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  1. #1
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    No good Guides are.... dissapointing.

    After using my guides for about a year now, I have come to the conclusion that even though they are better than the avids they replaced, they are still nowhere near the performance of shimano brakes.

    Guides have always felt a bit less powerful and with a mushier and more inconsistent lever feel than the shimanos. I did a very long downhill run with steep sections this past weekend. First time for the guides here. Midway through the descent, the brakes started misbehaving. I had to pull them more towards the bar than usual and use quite a bit of additional finger force to get them to stop.

    I tend to forget I even have brakes when using my slx and deore brakes, no matter how long or steep the descent . The guides, even with their 4 pistons and whatnot, dont seem to match them anywhere. I actually think the 4 pistons is a gimmick with these brakes. It causes more issues with no perceived advantage. Just more pistons that are prone to getting stuck. Unsticking a piston in a 4 piston caliper is a total PITA.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    very disappointing indeed,
    contact @Mr Pig for in deep consultation

  3. #3
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    Just got a new bike with Guide RSCs, after a 24 hour race on them this past weekend, I have to say and coming from XTs...they were GREAT! Nice lever feel, consistent lever feel i.e. no free-stroke changing during a ride, etc. Long term use obviously will tell the truth, but so far, very happy. I almost had them swapped before I took delivery of the bike for XTs and I'm glad I gave them a try.
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  4. #4
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    Op, guide R or RS or RSC? Because i suspect there is a big difference in feel between them.

  5. #5
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    My guide r's are phenomenal. Maybe yours are defective, or maybe you're just a poor judge of brakes.

  6. #6
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    That's kind of harsh. Lots of people have reported dislike of the way the Guide brake feels. A lot of people prefer a more on/off feel like what Shimano provides, and a lot of people on these forums alone have reported that the Guides seem to engage way too late and have far too much lever throw.

    I have about 50 hours on my Guide R and I am not crazy about all the extra lever throw. I did have to bleed and adjust them as they came poorly bled with stuck pistons from the factory. In all other respects, however, they have been very good.

    Personally I'm not sold on 4 piston brakes. We survived lots of stuff with 2 pistons for the better part of a decade, and I still run 2 piston brakes on my DH rig and I really like those brakes and have never had an issue with them. I'm not sure I see the necessity of 4 pistons. It is more difficult to balance, and provides additional points for failure. Is it just an attempt to sell people something new?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    That's kind of harsh. Lots of people have reported dislike of the way the Guide brake feels. A lot of people prefer a more on/off feel like what Shimano provides, and a lot of people on these forums alone have reported that the Guides seem to engage way too late and have far too much lever throw.

    I have about 50 hours on my Guide R and I am not crazy about all the extra lever throw. I did have to bleed and adjust them as they came poorly bled with stuck pistons from the factory. In all other respects, however, they have been very good.

    Personally I'm not sold on 4 piston brakes. We survived lots of stuff with 2 pistons for the better part of a decade, and I still run 2 piston brakes on my DH rig and I really like those brakes and have never had an issue with them. I'm not sure I see the necessity of 4 pistons. It is more difficult to balance, and provides additional points for failure. Is it just an attempt to sell people something new?
    I think it's harsh that people feel the need to shit on a great company that makes a great and innovative product. I think shimanos are lacking in comparison, but I'm not running around constantly shitting on shimano. The sram brakes work very well.

    I've personally tested a great variety. Sram is as good as any at stopping my bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    I think it's harsh that people feel the need to shit on a great company that makes a great and innovative product. I think shimanos are lacking in comparison, but I'm not running around constantly shitting on shimano. The sram brakes work very well.

    I've personally tested a great variety. Sram is as good as any at stopping my bike.
    Same here, the new Guide Ultimates blow away my Shimano XTR. Never go back to Shimano unless they improve on their fading.

  9. #9
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    The lever travel is adjustable on the RSC and works quite well to even out the front and rear. I am small and have no issues running my levers close to the bar.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    Op, guide R or RS or RSC? Because i suspect there is a big difference in feel between them.
    These are the guides RS.

    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    My guide r's are phenomenal. Maybe yours are defective, or maybe you're just a poor judge of brakes.
    Maybe we ride in different terrain? Did you ever think that was a possibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    I think it's harsh that people feel the need to shit on a great company that makes a great and innovative product. I think shimanos are lacking in comparison, but I'm not running around constantly shitting on shimano. The sram brakes work very well.

    I've personally tested a great variety. Sram is as good as any at stopping my bike.
    Sorry I "triggered" you (thats the new thing right?). If you cant deal with people voicing their opinion and appreciations of a product in a cycling forum intended in part for that, then you probably shouldn't be browsing them.

    The brakes performed ok in most of the riding I do, although I had been having some problems with stuck pistons in the front brake like I never had in any of my shimanos. The 4 piston design makes isolating one piston to get it to unstick a bit more complicated. The real test and where they showed the were not as solid as my other brakes, came on a long and steep descent, 5 kms and -3000 ft elevation change. There were some steep sections where brakes had to be continuously applied. It was there where the lever travel varied, they became mushier and the stopping power diminished significantly, up to the point of tiring my hands and making the descent uncomfortable. They aren't terrible but they are nowhere near great, shimanos have been great brakes for me so far, consistent and powerful. Hope my opinion doesn't further insult people on this forum.

    Cheers

  11. #11
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    I've found I didn't like the performance of Shimano.

    But for whatever reason, no one likes to hear that. XTR were miserable performance. The Guides I have used on my enduro and trail bike have been great (R's and RSC). The R's on a demo FS fatbike were great.

    To each their own.

    I understand if people have problems and go searching for advice. Really, I do. And Guide's have had a defect that these kinds of posts have helped identify and helped people fix. But random b1tch sessions just sound attention seeking.

  12. #12
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    I will say guides have a VERY consistent bite point comparitively but lack power. So much so I was ready to shelve them for something more powerful until I tried kool stop organic pads...big difference. I also bled them with maxima 600 which seemed to firm up the lever feel & now I'm quite happy with them.

    What I did may not help you OP. I would instead recommend switching out the stock organic pads to some metal sintered one's. The metal pads will fade far less on long descents compared to the stock organic pads. If you haven't tried this already I think you'll see quite a differencd in fade between the 2.
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  13. #13
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    If you've got Guide RS brakes with a mushier lever and less power than Shimano brakes, you don't have a good bleed on them, and have air in the lines.

    They can be a pain to bleed, and may require repeating some steps.
    I just bought a pair of Level TL brakes so the Guide RS on my hardtail can go on a FS build. They were takeoffs from a new bike with internal routing, so the rear had the hose cut and was drained. I'm struggling with the bleed on it, and will have to pull up the instructions today to see if they need a different bleed process than the Guides.
    I don't expect them to be Guides, but at the moment they(rear in particular-not thrilled with the intact front, either) have considerably less power than expected, and a lot of "free throw" in the lever, yet I'm not getting air out of them. I could post some crap about how these brakes obviously suck, but am inclined to believe that they're fine, and just need a little work.

    Oh, and after reading the post above: if you use SRAM's pads and have the sintered ones, plug in a pair of organics. Surprising difference in bite point, power, and lever feel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I will say guides have a VERY consistent bite point comparitively but lack power. So much so I was ready to shelve them for something more powerful until I tried kool stop organic pads...big difference. I also bled them with maxima 600 which seemed to firm up the lever feel & now I'm quite happy with them.

    What I did may not help you OP. I would instead recommend switching out the stock organic pads to some metal sintered one's. The metal pads will fade far less on long descents compared to the stock organic pads. If you haven't tried this already I think you'll see quite a differencd in fade between the 2.
    Lack of power? Get bigger rotors. I put 203's on first thing. I liked that size rotor on the demo bikes.

    "If sheer stopping power is your only concern, installing a larger rotor is the easiest way to go, albeit at the expense of more rotating weight. Increasing rotor diameter by just one size will create an impressive increase in braking force."

    I find the modulation and feel of the guide r's fantastic.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Lack of power? Get bigger rotors. I put 203's on first thing. I liked that size rotor on the demo bikes.

    "If sheer stopping power is your only concern, installing a larger rotor is the easiest way to go, albeit at the expense of more rotating weight. Increasing rotor diameter by just one size will create an impressive increase in braking force."

    I find the modulation and feel of the guide r's fantastic.
    I've run nothing but 200's on bikes since hayes was the only choice. I appreciate the modulation for sketchy techy steep roll in's etc but for high speed agro speed scrubbing the power just isn't there. Ironically getting the power to an acceptable level has made them grabby of the cuff. My next build will get magura's or saint's or maybe hope's.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  16. #16
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    I run 203s on my Guides and Hopes. Makes a huge difference and imo should be the default rotor size. I can't tell a weight difference, though I'm sure there's a small one. The performance difference is huge and well worth it. That's even before you get into long hills, heat, and fade.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    Personally I'm not sold on 4 piston brakes. We survived lots of stuff with 2 pistons for the better part of a decade, and I still run 2 piston brakes on my DH rig and I really like those brakes and have never had an issue with them. I'm not sure I see the necessity of 4 pistons. It is more difficult to balance, and provides additional points for failure. Is it just an attempt to sell people something new?
    That's because SRAM does them wrong with the Guides, IMO. SRAM decided to build a compact, lightweight 4-piston caliper for the Guides which doesn't really make sense and defeats the purpose of having a 4-piston brake in the first place. You can build a 2-piston brake with the same weight & performance of the Guides with less complication & potential for issues on the caliper side.

    The point of a 4-piston brake is to get lots of piston area and a nice big brake pad into a caliper that isn't overly tall and flexible, and this in turn allows for more braking power and better heat management. Size matters, a Shimano Saint caliper is way bigger than a Guide and uses larger pistons along with a bigger brake pad. Even the ancient Shimano M755 XT has larger brake pads and a bigger caliper than the Guides, and not surprisingly the performance is better as well. The difference is real, I run 4-piston brakes on all my bikes except my dirtjumper (that bike has SLX brakes), 4-pots are just better in every way except weight and I refuse to run anything else on a bike that gets ridden on trails.

  18. #18
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    Guides feel fantastic for the 2 or 3 rides that they work.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    I tend to forget I even have brakes when using my slx and deore brakes..
    Sums it up perfectly.

  20. #20
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    I've no doubt that some of you guys' Shimanos make you think that you have no brakes, but I promise that if you'll just pull that lever far enough, they'll remind you they're still there real quick

  21. #21
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    The member formerly known as Redtires....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post

    The point of a 4-piston brake is to get lots of piston area and a nice big brake pad into a caliper that isn't overly tall and flexible, and this in turn allows for more braking power and better heat management. .
    And even pressure application against the pad...and that's what happens with sram brakes, that's a big part of the reason that they are great.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    not surprisingly the performance is better as well. The difference is real, I run 4-piston brakes on all my bikes except my dirtjumper (that bike has SLX brakes), 4-pots are just better in every way except weight and I refuse to run anything else on a bike that gets ridden on trails.
    Define "perform better"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Define "perform better"
    More power, better fade resistance, improved control & modulation, more even pad wear, longer pad life, less noise, you know, everything that matters in a brake.
    When a modern SRAM Guide can't even match the performance of a 17 year old Shimano XT, they are doing it wrong.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    More power, better fade resistance, improved control & modulation, more even pad wear, longer pad life, less noise, you know, everything that matters in a brake.
    When a modern SRAM Guide can't even match the performance of a 17 year old Shimano XT, they are doing it wrong.
    Says who? You have objective factual data to back up your opinion, right? So where is it?

  26. #26
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    I share the op's opinion though on a different note. I've owned various brakes both shimano and sram. I understand their workings, repairs and maintenance 100%. I cannot get my guide rsc brakes to stop sounding like I'm being chased down by a freight train or a flock of turkeys. I've been through 3 sets of pads on both front and back, 4 different rotors, reset the pistons which were sticking since new, pulled them and lube them, rotors are straight. They are silent for half a ride and then they get back to getting noisy again. I'm at a lost of what else to try since I've never had these issues with elixir, juicy, xt, xtrs. Not even 50 pad bed in stops get them to work silently. I will say though that i love their power, lever feel and adjustability compared to anything else I've tried.

  27. #27
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    Don't ask what your Guides can do for you but what you can do for your Guides

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    I think it's harsh that people feel the need to shit on a great company that makes a great and innovative product. I think shimanos are lacking in comparison, but I'm not running around constantly shitting on shimano. The sram brakes work very well.

    I've personally tested a great variety. Sram is as good as any at stopping my bike.
    I love my X01 derailleurs and 11spd drivetrains, but I sh*t on their brakes.

    Guides are.... dissapointing.-img_0763%5B1%5D.jpg

    Guides are.... dissapointing.-img_0760%5B1%5D.jpg
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    More power, better fade resistance, improved control & modulation, more even pad wear, longer pad life, less noise, you know, everything that matters in a brake.
    When a modern SRAM Guide can't even match the performance of a 17 year old Shimano XT, they are doing it wrong.
    Are you referring to the old Shimano XT V brake or cantilever?
    The only easy day was yesterday.

  30. #30
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    So here I am saying my new guides with ~50 miles on them work great. They stop wonderfully...but after yesterday I have....wait for it...TURKEY WARBLE NOISES! SWEET MOTHER OF GOD I THOUGH THAT PART OF MY LIFE WAS OVER!!!!! No clue, just started up. I have to think it's contam on pads/rotors. When I heard it I starting have PTSD from my Elixir days....
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Are you referring to the old Shimano XT V brake or cantilever?
    Neither. I'm referring to Shimano's M755 XT discs which were introduced back in 2000. 4-piston calipers, easy top loading pads, pistons with heat shielding inserts, and a simple gravity bleed system, it was so far ahead of its time that it still performs better than many current brakes on the market.


  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Neither. I'm referring to Shimano's M755 XT discs which were introduced back in 2000. 4-piston calipers, easy top loading pads, pistons with heat shielding inserts, and a simple gravity bleed system, it was so far ahead of its time that it still performs better than many current brakes on the market.

    Yep. But comparing that brake to the Guide is not a fair comparison. That's why I thought you were thinking of the XT cantilevers.
    The only easy day was yesterday.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by LargeMan View Post
    Same here, the new Guide Ultimates blow away my Shimano XTR. Never go back to Shimano unless they improve on their fading.
    XTR race or XTR trail?
    XTR race suck ass.

    The guides work well, when they actually work.
    My wife had to have SRAM replace the pistons after a month of owning them to stop the binding they were doing and lack of lever return.

    I personally do not like them. Lever is too long for me. The problem they had is still out there and I don't trust them do to that.

    My new bike comes with guide RS's. Having them removed before I get the bike.
    Either Saints or Hope Tech 3 E4 will go on it.
    Too Many .

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    So here I am saying my new guides with ~50 miles on them work great. They stop wonderfully...but after yesterday I have....wait for it...TURKEY WARBLE NOISES! SWEET MOTHER OF GOD I THOUGH THAT PART OF MY LIFE WAS OVER!!!!! No clue, just started up. I have to think it's contam on pads/rotors. When I heard it I starting have PTSD from my Elixir days....

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    Don't ask what your Guides can do for you but what you can do for your Guides
    Post of the month!!!!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Therapy View Post
    I share the op's opinion though on a different note. I've owned various brakes both shimano and sram. I understand their workings, repairs and maintenance 100%. I cannot get my guide rsc brakes to stop sounding like I'm being chased down by a freight train or a flock of turkeys. I've been through 3 sets of pads on both front and back, 4 different rotors, reset the pistons which were sticking since new, pulled them and lube them, rotors are straight. They are silent for half a ride and then they get back to getting noisy again. I'm at a lost of what else to try since I've never had these issues with elixir, juicy, xt, xtrs. Not even 50 pad bed in stops get them to work silently. I will say though that i love their power, lever feel and adjustability compared to anything else I've tried.
    On my Kona Unit, the Guide RS rear will start to squeal on any downhill that gets them up to temp. If I transplant that brake (including rotor) to my Santa Cruz Chameleon, silence.
    Caliper/frame resonance.

  37. #37
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    I just received 2 sets of pistons and seals today for both of my Guide calipers. Hopefully this does the trick. If this doesn't work I'll more than likely get some Shimano Saints. It sucks though that the 3 sets of Avid/Sram brakes that I've ever owned had some type of flaw where the XT's i had worked much better. Not perfect but better with less maintenance too.

  38. #38
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    I changed it all the caliper seal, made sure all the pistons are moving 100% freely and i also made sure all the pistons were protruding the same amount before putting the pads to ensure equal amount of pressure is applied from all the pistons to the rotor. Burned in the pads to the rotor. Same crap. I went for a ride today and they are as noisy as before. Double checked my caliper alignment and pistons and they are dead on. Its almost like Sram cannot put out a bullet proof brake set. On the other hand i love the power the guides deliver. I also like that in sense I'm becoming a faster rider because I'm using my brakes less. Anyways at this point i either send them back for warranty work and not ride for 3 weeks to a month or i suck it up and ride my bike until i decide to buy some new brakes. Ill suck it up. I didn't buy a $7000 Bike to not ride it. As far as me buying a Sram brake item in the future.....ill spare everyone the obscenities I'm feeling the urge to type.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Says who? You have objective factual data to back up your opinion, right? So where is it?
    While I'm late all you do is throw out your opinion and when someone gives thiers, all of a sudden you want facts while presenting none.

    You're quickly becoming the DC of MTBR, just with green under your name.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    While I'm late all you do is throw out your opinion and when someone gives thiers, all of a sudden you want facts while presenting none.

    You're quickly becoming the DC of MTBR, just with green under your name.
    Dude made a claim , not me, why would I have to back up a claim I didn't make? You might just mind your business.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Dude made a claim , not me, why would I have to back up a claim I didn't make? You might just mind your business.
    Oh internet tuff guy. You post on a public forum people are going to interject.

    Since you want actuall data: The best MTB disc brake you can buy | Page 2 of 16 | ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

    I'll let the numbers prove you wrong.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I love my X01 derailleurs and 11spd drivetrains, but I sh*t on their brakes.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Oh internet tuff guy. You post on a public forum people are going to interject.

    Since you want actuall data: The best MTB disc brake you can buy | Page 2 of 16 | ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

    I'll let the numbers prove you wrong.
    Ooh, which burns @Ride more?

  43. #43
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    Go to page 3 and see who won best in test..... Guide Ultimate........👍👍👍👍👍 
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  44. #44
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    I have Guide RSC's on my Pivot Mach 4 and they feel solid and have such wonderful modulation and plenty of power. Now I also have a Pivot 5.5 with XT brakes (M8000) and they feel kind of cheap, klunky, and don't modulate at all. A buddy has some Ultimates he wants to sell and I would like to replace the XTs with those. I'm just waiting on him to let me see them.

    Fortunately, I never owned Avid brakes. I did have some earlier generation XTR's. They were a beautiful polished silver and were the first that had the pads with cooling fins. I loved those brakes too, they were awesome.

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    I want Guide pads with cooling fins. One thing about my XT's I really like.

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    You can get them - try uber bike components. Fins with replaceable pads.

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    The noise I experience reminds me of the resonance noise I got with my Elixirs that I fixed with 1) organic pads 2) different rotors and 3) gluing the pads to the retainer spring. PITA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danoalb View Post
    Go to page 3 and see who won best in test..... Guide Ultimate........👍👍👍👍👍 
    Based on the last, very subjective part - Lever feel, modulation etc... Funny how there are no tests and numbers for that.

    The numbers prove the Guide don't have the power like other brakes. Pretty straight forward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danoalb View Post
    Go to page 3 and see who won best in test..... Guide Ultimate........👍👍👍👍👍 
    When I see the test results, I see that Shimano XT and XTR score high in power but not the highest. I also see that they have some of the lowest fade times and the fastest deceleration times. That tells me they are consistent and reliable in that test.

    I don't think one brand is better than the other I do think Sram has a quality control problem with their brakes as evidenced by the plethora or threads with thousands of angry customers combining about stuck pistons in their levers.....even on the warranty replacement brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xblitzkriegx View Post
    When I see the test results, I see that Shimano XT and XTR score high in power but not the highest. I also see that they have some of the lowest fade times and the fastest deceleration times. That tells me they are consistent and reliable in that test.

    I don't think one brand is better than the other I do think Sram has a quality control problem with their brakes as evidenced by the plethora or threads with thousands of angry customers combining about stuck pistons in their levers.....even on the warranty replacement brakes.
    . had a problem (past tense)

    Read on in the article and read about the xt & xtr sh###y wandering bite point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    I want Guide pads with cooling fins. One thing about my XT's I really like.
    I have always wondered whether the cooling fins actually dissipate that much heat or if it is just a gimmick. If it does work, it would surprise me that the half dozen other brake manufacturers hadn't thought of trying it over the past decade that hydrolics have been around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danoalb View Post
    . had a problem (past tense)

    Read on in the article and read about the xt & xtr sh###y wandering bite point.
    Hmm so past problem with Sram gets excused and past problem with some Shimano doesn't?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    Don't ask what your Guides can do for you but what you can do for your Guides

    Ha - that was great !!!


    I've not read this whole thread (didn't want to forget commenting on this line) but a good bleed may all that is needed.

    One thing I've learned is just when you think you've got a good bleed on a brake, you don't.


    I've got a pair of the original run Guide RSCs that came stock on my DH rig. While they were not Saint powerful they were pretty darn good. Sizing up the rear rotor from a 180 to a 200 made way more difference then going to Saints. At one point the Guides got finicky with me. They got a good bleed and were good to go.

    Something I did find out with the Guides vs Shimano, is that while the bleed procedure is more complicated, it does seem easier to get all the air out of the line with the Guides. There have been times I've had to bleed the Shims 2 or 3 times to finally get it right.

    Anyway, while I do prefer Shimano's, I've found the Guides to be pretty darn good. Main reasons I stick with the Shims is the price of XT's cannot be beat, and dealing with their mineral oil is way less a hassle than DOT fluid.

    Oh, and the other reason, I do prefer the more "on/off" feel of Shimano. Modulation is in the fingers. Probably because my first set of discs were Hayes, the ultimate no-modulation brake, and just got use to that feeling. The Guide's modulation makes the brake feel a bit mushy to me, even with a good bleed.


    Don't give up on the Guides yet, they are good brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Hmm so past problem with Sram gets excused and past problem with some Shimano doesn't?
    of course not, but it didn't take Shimano OVER A YEAR to acknowledge the defect. And when they did acknowledge it, it didn't take the CEO of the company to release something about it (barely taking responsibility i might add).

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    I find it hard to say anything definitive about a brake when there's so much variance in performance. The bleed, the pads, the rotors, lever position and free stroke, cleanliness and condition, wild variance in use cases, the assumption that the model was mechanically sound when new: the list goes on.

    I met a guy on my local trail who'd just bought himself a Top Fuel 9.9. Beautiful ride, Level Ultimate on the bars. He had a problem with rotor rub. In fixing that, I couldn't help but notice: his brakes felt like shit. Bottomed on the bars, soggy feel, and inconsistent between sides. On this six-month-old $9000 bike. But I've tried Level TL brakes on a different bike (and a much longer test) and they were lovely. Great modulation, adequate power.

    I wonder how much of Shimano's reputation comes from superior manufacturing and better factory oils fills, as opposed to the actual design of the brake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdi View Post
    I find it hard to say anything definitive about a brake when there's so much variance in performance. The bleed, the pads, the rotors, lever position and free stroke, cleanliness and condition, wild variance in use cases, the assumption that the model was mechanically sound when new: the list goes on.

    I met a guy on my local trail who'd just bought himself a Top Fuel 9.9. Beautiful ride, Level Ultimate on the bars. He had a problem with rotor rub. In fixing that, I couldn't help but notice: his brakes felt like shit. Bottomed on the bars, soggy feel, and inconsistent between sides. On this six-month-old $9000 bike. But I've tried Level TL brakes on a different bike (and a much longer test) and they were lovely. Great modulation, adequate power.

    I wonder how much of Shimano's reputation comes from superior manufacturing and better factory oils fills, as opposed to the actual design of the brake.

    Saddens me. Referring to the dude riding the $9000 rig with what was most likely neglected brakes. Reminds me of seeing my kids leaving their bikes out in the rain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Saddens me. Referring to the dude riding the $9000 rig with what was most likely neglected brakes. Reminds me of seeing my kids leaving their bikes out in the rain.
    I flip bikes on CL with some frequency. The rusted ones also make me sad. So little mechanical sympathy. It's like, you paid $300, you want $100, but it's worth negative dollars because you couldn't be bother to wheel it into the garage. The 9.9 guy didn't know much about bikes, so I assume, at least, he'll have a strong relationship with his local shop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Oh internet tuff guy. You post on a public forum people are going to interject.

    Since you want actuall data: The best MTB disc brake you can buy | Page 2 of 16 | ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

    I'll let the numbers prove you wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by danoalb View Post
    Go to page 3 and see who won best in test..... Guide Ultimate........ 


    Real sharp there tone deaf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nallacious View Post
    I have Guide RSC's on my Pivot Mach 4 and they feel solid and have such wonderful modulation and plenty of power. Now I also have a Pivot 5.5 with XT brakes (M8000) and they feel kind of cheap, klunky, and don't modulate at all.
    I had exactly the same experience. I'm not impressed with the M8000s. My Guides had far superior modulation, and outright power is about the same. The only problem I ever had with my Guides is when outside temps got to around 100 degrees. Then they went retarded, but were happy again as soon as things cooled down. Who knows, next rodeo maybe I'll try Hope just for grins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post


    Real sharp there tone deaf.
    Just like a responded to him, numbers prove you wrong. The rest of what they based wining on is purely subjective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdi View Post
    I find it hard to say anything definitive about a brake when there's so much variance in performance. The bleed, the pads, the rotors, lever position and free stroke, cleanliness and condition, wild variance in use cases, the assumption that the model was mechanically sound when new: the list goes on.

    I met a guy on my local trail who'd just bought himself a Top Fuel 9.9. Beautiful ride, Level Ultimate on the bars. He had a problem with rotor rub. In fixing that, I couldn't help but notice: his brakes felt like shit. Bottomed on the bars, soggy feel, and inconsistent between sides. On this six-month-old $9000 bike. But I've tried Level TL brakes on a different bike (and a much longer test) and they were lovely. Great modulation, adequate power.

    I wonder how much of Shimano's reputation comes from superior manufacturing and better factory oils fills, as opposed to the actual design of the brake.
    I think that's an excellent point. I'ts been my observation that there is a direct correlation between one's mechanical aptitude and skill level on a bike. Infact I think mechanical aptitude applies to a wide swath of life skills in general. From how safe of a driver you are to how much house maintenance may cost you over a lifetime. It's a good indicator.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerOne View Post
    I had exactly the same experience. I'm not impressed with the M8000s. My Guides had far superior modulation, and outright power is about the same. The only problem I ever had with my Guides is when outside temps got to around 100 degrees. Then they went retarded, but were happy again as soon as things cooled down. Who knows, next rodeo maybe I'll try Hope just for grins.
    Ah the temperature problem with Guides. Yes I had that after 2 years and SRAM warrantied it, no charge. Hopefully the problem won't reappear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Just like a responded to him, numbers prove you wrong. The rest of what they based wining on is purely subjective.
    we were very impressed with the smooth modulation and easy to manage power. The sublime bite point sensitivity allows you to finely balance maximum braking traction without skidding.

    - numbers huh?

    If a 22 bullet lodges in your head and kills you, are you any deader than if a 40 cal lodged in your head and killed you?

    You gotta be smart enough to understand what you read. Trashing a bunch of brakes by getting them glowing hot doesn't give you practical "numbers" by which to judge the brakes on. You owned yourself by posting that article.

    And by the way, it's quite uncalled for calling me "internet tough guy" when all I'm doing is telling a few pre-pubescent mothers basement dwelling children to stop shitting on a very well made product like SRAM GUIDE brakes for little to no reason at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post

    And by the way, it's quite uncalled for calling me "internet tough guy" ....
    I agree, you dont even come through as internet tough, just plain stupid and insecure. Stop spitting your nonsensical diatribe and got to bed, or home room class or something.

    That 22 bullet analogy puts you on a whole other level. I won't dare say you are an sram marketing shill. Doubt that many companies would like to hire someone with your attitude and reasoning skills.

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    Now now children. Play nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    we were very impressed with the smooth modulation and easy to manage power. The sublime bite point sensitivity allows you to finely balance maximum braking traction without skidding.

    - numbers huh?

    If a 22 bullet lodges in your head and kills you, are you any deader than if a 40 cal lodged in your head and killed you?

    You gotta be smart enough to understand what you read. Trashing a bunch of brakes by getting them glowing hot doesn't give you practical "numbers" by which to judge the brakes on. You owned yourself by posting that article.

    And by the way, it's quite uncalled for calling me "internet tough guy" when all I'm doing is telling a few pre-pubescent mothers basement dwelling children to stop shitting on a very well made product like SRAM GUIDE brakes for little to no reason at all.
    LOL you're a tool, you wanted facts not opinion or have you forgotten already?

    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Says who? You have objective factual data to back up your opinion, right? So where is it?
    So the objective numbers you asked for show you're wrong and the best you can up with is those number are meaningless and the tester's subjective opinions are more important than the very facts you asked for.

    Yea who's the basement dweller?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    LOL you're a tool, you wanted facts not opinion or have you forgotten already?



    So the objective numbers you asked for show you're wrong and the best you can up with is those number are meaningless and the tester's subjective opinions are more important than the very facts you asked for.

    Yea who's the basement dweller?
    I have seen not a shred of data showing superiority of one brand vs another.

    Be mad that you owned yourself though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    I agree, you dont even come through as internet tough, just plain stupid and insecure. Stop spitting your nonsensical diatribe and got to bed, or home room class or something.

    That 22 bullet analogy puts you on a whole other level. I won't dare say you are an sram marketing shill. Doubt that many companies would like to hire someone with your attitude and reasoning skills.
    Insecure? For standing up for a great product? Vocabulary much?

    The bullet analogy wasn't a threat, and didn't even come off as one, so again, analogy much?

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    Both brands seem to stop bikes... one is more reliable with less modulation... one has better modulation with less reliability.

    Decide which is best for you and be happy?

    I will say though.... the guide RSC's really have me wanting ball bearings in my levers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdi View Post
    I wonder how much of Shimano's reputation comes from superior manufacturing and better factory oils fills, as opposed to the actual design of the brake.
    I know with my guides, the factory bleeds front and back were shitty, and there were stuck pistons. Things improved dramatically when I fixed those issues. But I do like shimano stuff because they just feel like they are made better.

    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    If a 22 bullet lodges in your head and kills you, are you any deader than if a 40 cal lodged in your head and killed you?
    @ride, you are a weird dude.

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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    I have seen not a shred of data showing superiority of one brand vs another.

    Be mad that you owned yourself though.
    LOL you are some kind of special. Maybe you're just forgetful. Here's a reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    More power, better fade resistance, improved control & modulation, more even pad wear, longer pad life, less noise, you know, everything that matters in a brake.
    When a modern SRAM Guide can't even match the performance of a 17 year old Shimano XT, they are doing it wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Says who? You have objective factual data to back up your opinion, right? So where is it?
    So again in the two categories that are not subjective like modulation and 'feel' the numbers you asked for show Shimano is superior.

    Funny part is Shimano's 2 piston brakes have more power and better fade than the 4 piston Srams.

    I look forward to how you twist the fact that low level Deore basically out performing the Srams while still getting "We were impressed on the trail too: power was easy to modulate with a consistent bite point, and the short lever still feels full of feedback, even after months of use."
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Insecure? For standing up for a great product? Vocabulary much?

    The bullet analogy wasn't a threat, and didn't even come off as one, so again, analogy much?

    Standing up for a product and voicing your opinion doesn't come off as insecure. What does is not being able to do it in a civil, grown up manner, without resorting to personal attacks on the other posters that have had a different experience than yours. How old are you seriously, 15, 12?

    The bullet analogy as in no way taken as a threat, just as a stupid analogy. By that logic you can use any brake, since any will eventually stop you.

    Man up bro, learn not to get your panties in a bunch when someone else thinks differently. Life will treat you harshly if you don't. Although it could just be your keyboard persona. I know a couple of dudes that are really cool in the real world but total douches behind a screen and a keyboard.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    LOL you are some kind of special. Maybe you're just forgetful. Here's a reminder





    So again in the two categories that are not subjective like modulation and 'feel' the numbers you asked for show Shimano is superior.

    Funny part is Shimano's 2 piston brakes have more power and better fade than the 4 piston Srams.

    I look forward to how you twist the fact that low level Deore basically out performing the Srams while still getting "We were impressed on the trail too: power was easy to modulate with a consistent bite point, and the short lever still feels full of feedback, even after months of use."
    So to repeat the facts:

    You posted an article in which the victor of about a dozen brake sets was a SRAM brakeset, and you think that proves your point, that sram brakes aren't as good as whatever other brakes?

    our 8-strong test team rode each brake for at least 4 months to separate the good from the great.
    There are some objective numbers for you genius, 8 people with 4 months on each brake set, and they come away with SRAM as the winner.

    Sharp. Real sharp guy.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    Standing up for a product and voicing your opinion doesn't come off as insecure. What does is not being able to do it in a civil, grown up manner, without resorting to personal attacks on the other posters that have had a different experience than yours. How old are you seriously, 15, 12?

    The bullet analogy as in no way taken as a threat, just as a stupid analogy. By that logic you can use any brake, since any will eventually stop you.

    Man up bro, learn not to get your panties in a bunch when someone else thinks differently. Life will treat you harshly if you don't. Although it could just be your keyboard persona. I know a couple of dudes that are really cool in the real world but total douches behind a screen and a keyboard.

    Cheers
    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    I agree, you dont even come through as internet tough, just plain stupid and insecure. Stop spitting your nonsensical diatribe and got to bed, or home room class or something.

    That 22 bullet analogy puts you on a whole other level. I won't dare say you are an sram marketing shill. Doubt that many companies would like to hire someone with your attitude and reasoning skills.
    Who is the one resorting to personal attacks?

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    I never understood the idea that Shimano lack modulation. They are the best I've ever used. If you are used to brakes that take a lot more force then they will feel too strong. This has noting to do with modulation. Lacking power and having to crush the brakes doesn't = modulation. There is a specific range where you finger pull is the most sensitive. being inside this range will give you the best control over your brakes regardless of brand.
    Saints with 203 rotors hit like a jackhammer. After you learn them they are easy to modulate. Jumping from saint to guides feels like not having brakes. Going the other way feels like you going to go OTB if you touch the brakes. I like power and my XTR trails work great, even if I sometimes lust after saint power.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

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    This thread has been reduced to pointlessness

    Great job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerOne View Post
    I had exactly the same experience. I'm not impressed with the M8000s. My Guides had far superior modulation, and outright power is about the same. The only problem I ever had with my Guides is when outside temps got to around 100 degrees. Then they went retarded, but were happy again as soon as things cooled down. Who knows, next rodeo maybe I'll try Hope just for grins.
    Send them back to Sram and they will fix them....game over
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    Reading this thread one could infer that guides have a lot of variation in how they perform. From "more powerful than shimano xt", to outright inadequate.

    Today after having had enough of brake rub on the front, I tried a quick fix that worked on my old elixirs. I depressed the pistons fully and held them there with a spacer (against their will), then I opened the bleed screw on the lever and let some dot fluid drain out. No more rub! The brake lever felt nicer and a bit stiffer, but it was still somewhat mushy. Went out to try them out and I think I could feel more power. After seeing this improvement I decided to take it to the bike shop for a full bleed.

    After the bleed, the lever stiffness and feel did not get any better then after I drained the excess dot fluid but at least I have ruled out air in the system. Power has stayed about the same, still not on par with my slx and deore brakes, but just the rub going away makes me dislike them much less. If they hold like this after a demanding descent, I will have a better opinion of them and will keep them on this bike. Still dont see myself wanting to buy a pair of these over other brands out there.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    So to repeat the facts:

    You posted an article in which the victor of about a dozen brake sets was a SRAM brakeset, and you think that proves your point, that sram brakes aren't as good as whatever other brakes?



    There are some objective numbers for you genius, 8 people with 4 months on each brake set, and they come away with SRAM as the winner.

    Sharp. Real sharp guy.
    I think I understand now, English is a second language for you.
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    Interesting note. I rode my old bike yesterday that has XTs on it. It's now a SS HT and I have the previous gen XT w/160 rotors. What a difference between them my new bike's Guide RSCs! The Guides are much stronger to me and obviously have the more modulation feel that folks talk about. The noise I was having is pretty subdued and only happens once in a while. I probably should sand down my rotors/pads and re-bed them but honestly, it's not a huge deal. That being said, I don't have a ton of long DHs to test them out on so maybe they will get loud with long, sustained use but for now, I'm good with them.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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    Who knows, next rodeo maybe I'll try Hope just for grins.
    I tried that. What a disaster! My Hope Tech3 E4 brakes are noisy and exhibit brake rub. I'm running 203mm/180mm Ice Tech rotors. From the Hope adapter bolts bottoming out in my frame's post mounts to the Hope adapter not allowing me to move the caliper outboard enough to center the caliper over the rotor, the Hope brakes have been exasperating at every turn. My previous brakes were M785 XT's. While one XT lever leaked and I could barely get a good bleed on the rear brake, the XT's were silent and brake rub wasn't a problem.

    I didn't read one bad thing about Hope brakes before buying a set, but when I posted about my problems, suddenly people started responding with all the problems they had with their Hope brakes.
    Last edited by happyriding; 11-04-2017 at 03:17 PM.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I didn't read one bad thing about Hope brakes before buying a set, but when I posted about my problems, suddenly people started responding with all the problems they had with their Hope brakes.
    But, look at the much larger number of people who complain on this forum about Sram and XTR levers getting stuck down (me included), or Shimano brakes having inconsistent bite point (been there).

    Oh but wait, isn't this thread about Sram Guides being disappointing?

    I read about your issues with your Hope E4s, and I can empathize. They do need careful setup and have piston retraction issues (I sorted mine with new pistons and seals), but they have consistent modulation and are completely rebuildable, which is one of the reasons i switched all my bikes over from Shimano.

    It seems to me that you're venting against Hope brakes in any thread that is of remote relevance. Maybe we could all spread a little less vitriol in these already hateful times.


  85. #85
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    Anyone know where I can get some pads for these Shramanopes?


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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Anyone know where I can get some pads for these Shramanopes?
    [/ATTACH]
    Those brakes are the best, no squealing, infinite modulation, very consistent bite point (albeit after many trips to the orthodontist), huge power, easy to install and maintain, and they use water for hydraulic fluid, so safe and sustainable.

    I hope you can find some pads!

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by nallacious View Post
    Those brakes are the best, no squealing, infinite modulation, very consistent bite point (albeit after many trips to the orthodontist), huge power, easy to install and maintain, and they use water for hydraulic fluid, so safe and sustainable.

    I hope you can find some pads!
    Lol.
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  88. #88
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    Hey SRAM, make brakes Great again! Lol
    Thanks

  89. #89
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    ^^^ahahahaha
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  90. #90
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    I really do think brakes are the one thing that could be a win for someone who can invent a brake that solved all the negative brake discussions on MTBR/etc.
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    I really do think brakes are the one thing that could be a win for someone who can invent a brake that solved all the negative brake discussions on MTBR/etc.
    Not possible with the large range of users, temperature and various levels of neglect/abuse they are subjected too. Hell people complain about single speed drive trains.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  92. #92
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    Understood, but some of these are systemic issues that plague brands like the Avid Elixir fiasco, the swelling seals on Guides, the wandering bit point of Shimanos.
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  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Understood, but some of these are systemic issues that plague brands like the Avid Elixir fiasco, the swelling seals on Guides, the wandering bit point of Shimanos.
    Well non defective Shimano don't have a wondering bite point, so they pretty much have fixed all the issues you mentioned.
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  94. #94
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    I found Shimano with a wandering bite point are overfilled. Draining some fluid out fixes the problem.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  95. #95
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    Non-defective Guides don't have seal swelling issues and if set up and bled correctly, are great brakes. Same logic. Avid Elixirs...well...that's a different ball of wax
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  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Non-defective Guides don't have seal swelling issues and if set up and bled correctly, are great brakes. Same logic. Avid Elixirs...well...that's a different ball of wax
    Seal swelling or piston swelling?

  97. #97
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    ^^^Whatever the issue with them is that causes the things to lock up in the heat - my bad, I guess that is the piston swelling?
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  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    ^^^Whatever the issue with them is that causes the things to lock up in the heat - my bad, I guess that is the piston swelling?
    Piston. One fix is sanding the piston down and leaving the seals alone.

  99. #99
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    Found these on fleabay:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sram-Brake-...38.m2548.l4275

    Anyone tried them?

    They're machined aluminum, piston only, $10 a piece. Better priced than the SRAM rebuild kits which include a lot of parts that you might not need.

  100. #100
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    No but for $10 they seem worth a shot if you need to do a rebuild.

    I've had mine since July, and I believe they have the new internals, and I've had no issues. If I were in need of a rebuild though these parts look quality.

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