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  1. #1
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    Hayes vs. Avid low budget hydro brake shootout...Who wins?

    Hayes Stroker Trail ($69.99 @ pricepoint.com) vs. Avid Elixir 3 ($69.99 @ blueskycycling.com).
    Who wins and why?
    ...Now throw Avid BB7s and Avid SD-7 levers into the equation.
    ...Now what??
    My vote...
    BB7s and SD7s.
    Any thoughts?
    roccowt.
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  2. #2
    LightJunction.com
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    Haven't tried the Stroker Trails yet, but I'd go with Elixir 3s over BB7s. More power, more modulation. If you want simplicity and easy adjustability, the BB7s have it nailed, but hydros will always do it better in my opinion.
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  3. #3
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    I can't comment on the avids but I love my Stroker trails. Easy bleed and super adjustable levers. Just my $.02
    "Your opinion may vary, but it's stupid." -Rich Dillen

  4. #4
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    BB7s. Why? cause I have been using them for 7 years now and no maintenance. None. No bleeding like on my old Hayes. No squealing like on my Hopes. This year while riding with all my buddies and their avid XX as they were boiling fluid, I was stopping like a champ. They are going through a set of pads a season and when I checked mine they were at 1/2 wear! Thats why I would go with BB7s.
    If I were faster, I would win

  5. #5
    Hooded menace
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    Hayes Stroker Trail ($69.99 @ pricepoint.com) vs. Avid Elixir 3 ($69.99 @ blueskycycling.com).
    Who wins and why?
    ...Now throw Avid BB7s and Avid SD-7 levers into the equation.
    ...Now what??
    My vote...
    BB7s and SD7s.
    Any thoughts?
    I have those brakes on different bikes, with different discs diameters and used them on various distances:
    Hayes stroker trail 160/160 (XC bike - 900km)
    Avid Elixir 3 180/180 (AM bike - 3km)
    Avid BB7 203/160 with Shimano LX levers (touring bike - 2000km).

    The Hayes were a huge improvement over the HFX-9 they replaced. Powerful and quite progressive. They were my second set of hydraulic disc brakes. I love the lever shape that doesn't cause any pain when braking continuously. In steep and technical downhills they overheat quite easily. I suggest using bigger discs for any use more aggressive than XC.

    The Avid Elixir 3 feel a bit more powerful but I don't really know what's the importance of disc size compared to the stroker trail... Anyway, I don't like the lever shape at all (I also own a pair of code 5 and changing the lever gave me the feeling they were more progressive). I can't say anything more about those brakes as I didn't travel enough distance (3km) to judge them.

    The Avid BB7 were quite surprising. Power is here and modularity, too. I toured Switzerland with these ones and they performed flawlessly. My bike was loaded with about 25kg of stuff and braking for a tight turn was damn easy. They overheated once and it revealed a strong advantage over hydraulics: no spongy lever. Braking efficiency was a bit reduced but nothing alarming.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
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    I'm 260lbs. What pads and rotor sizes would best suit me for non-agressive riding? Iwas also thinking of trying Alligator's nitrite coated Windcutter rotors.(pricepoint.com)
    Any thoughts?
    I have never used hydros. I wanted to try them, but I just don't like the idea of using fluid brakes on a bike.(Old man,old school thinking,,,you know. I ordered some Shimano Deore V-brake levers to go with the BB7s...as a change of "lever feel" on one of my builds.I'll prolly just stick with the BB7s, unless somebody can convince me otherwise.
    ---zarr
    roccowt.
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  7. #7
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    I just replaced my bb7 + speed dial for a set of 12' elixir 9. The bb7s are plenty powerful and maintenance free but they lack modulation. Even with the speed dial levers and fiddling with it for several months i just couldnt get them to work like i wanted to.

    Hydraulic setup is better in terms of modulation and a little gain of power but, for the money and simple setup and up keep bb7s are the best.

    Also, with hydros you can really feel how much brake your grabbing where else with cable actuation you just pull and adjust your amount of pull accordingly.

  8. #8
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    for dependibility and no maintenance, bb7s over anything with the word "Hayes" on it. For customer service, I give Hayes an A plus, and SRAM, well,.....a lower grade! I will also mention that Hayes rotors work great with BB7 calipers- I never changed them when I switched my Hayes hydros to BB7s 4 or 5 years ago...

  9. #9
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    Do hydros have a different "feel" than mechanicals in terms of you can like (progressively ?) feel more in tune with the bike as it is (slowing?) before it reaches the point where you have to pulse the brakes to slow it down? does anyone understand what I'm trying to say? if this is what I think happens, this may be what will convince me to try hydros.
    Ah, heck... I'm gonna try them just to find out how i like them. Just like many people did I'm sure. I read some negative reviews about the Elixir 3s leaking though, and some positive advertising about the Strokers being an improvement over their predecessors.This makes he want to try the Stroker Trails in the forementioned price range.Are there any others that may be a just as good or better deal?
    roccowt.
    rocnbikemeld

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarr View Post
    I'm 260lbs. What pads and rotor sizes would best suit me for non-agressive riding? Iwas also thinking of trying Alligator's nitrite coated Windcutter rotors.(pricepoint.com)
    Any thoughts?
    I have never used hydros. I wanted to try them, but I just don't like the idea of using fluid brakes on a bike.(Old man,old school thinking,,,you know. I ordered some Shimano Deore V-brake levers to go with the BB7s...as a change of "lever feel" on one of my builds.I'll prolly just stick with the BB7s, unless somebody can convince me otherwise.
    ---zarr
    I ride fairly aggressive and weigh in at 175. I currently have 203 in the front and a 185 in the back on my BB7s. They work excellent. There was a learning curve in the beginning as it was a whole lot of "whoa" but once you get the feel its perfect. If you are riding non-aggressively at 260, I would recommend the same set up. 165 rotors are for lightweight xc riders. My HT has 185 frt & rr and that works well for that bike, but when I get after it on a steep descent, I can override the brake. Thus the 203 on the dually. I have yet to find a hydro that works as good. Yes there is more modulation, but not the power and once you get the feel of the mechs its easy to control.
    If I were faster, I would win

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isis01 View Post
    I ride fairly aggressive and weigh in at 175. I currently have 203 in the front and a 185 in the back on my BB7s. They work excellent. There was a learning curve in the beginning as it was a whole lot of "whoa" but once you get the feel its perfect. If you are riding non-aggressively at 260, I would recommend the same set up. 165 rotors are for lightweight xc riders. My HT has 185 frt & rr and that works well for that bike, but when I get after it on a steep descent, I can override the brake. Thus the 203 on the dually. I have yet to find a hydro that works as good. Yes there is more modulation, but not the power and once you get the feel of the mechs its easy to control.
    I have an old 2001 jamis Dakar Sport frame that weighs 8.5lbs. I was going to put a set of 185 BB7s on. Maybe I'll get a 203 for the front (Rock Shox Recon Silver soon to be with a motion control remote circuit installed). i wonder if 203s on my hardtail 26 & 29er builds might be too overpowering for me & the type of riding I'll be doing.Might stick with 185s for them.But the Jamis squishy...well, lets just say I just might forget i'm not that young anymore and decide to go full blast one day!! (... and hopefully not end up in the emergency room. HAHA!
    roccowt.
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  12. #12
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    sd7/bb7 combo may not have the feel but the simplicity wins it for me... when I was specing my possible build options I always came back to sd7/bb7 combo... I ran it on my karate monkey for a good while (actually ran it with an SD7 V out back for a while and liked that also lol)

    right now i've got shimano XT (just got em need to install still), deore is on the other
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  13. #13
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    My buddy has bb7's on all his top dollar builds - odd, but he loves them to death.

    I rode the hell out of some avid 3's, but they failed after so much. Moved onto avid elixir 5's and they have been phenomenal. A lot of slamming for elixir's but they are cheap , and in my opinion fantastic! Have them on my SS and hardtail 29er.

  14. #14
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    I use the Hayes Strokker Trail with 203/180 and the stopping power is brutal (with swissstop pads) modulation is ok. Fading and heat no problem. Mine are easy to adjust and no maintenance between pad change... works perfect...

    The little Avids are not adjustable and stoping power is not the best...

  15. #15
    Huckin' trails
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    I use BB7 front, Hayes MX2 rear, both 203mm Hayes V8 rotors and SD 7 levers. On a full squish FR bike. Good enough for me. But I think the tires would prefer less braking power
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  16. #16
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    Right now I'm thinking lighter than stock 180/185 & 203 rotors + good performing pads for the BB7s. you can use 160 rear adapters up in front to run 180 rotors up front, right? I think Ashima makes 185s (like Avids), but they are not easy to find (except maybe Ebay)
    roccowt.
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  17. #17
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    BB7...always.

  18. #18
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    I don't have Elixir 3's, but I have 5's and CR's, and I some Stroker Trails. I prefer the feel of the Strokers, if they weren't so prone to bending piston pins they would be perfect.

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