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  1. #1
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    help choosing an AM/FR Brake?

    Well, to start things off, these brakes are going to be going on a 6" travel hardtail. I weigh about 220 pounds. I usually ride AM singletrack and will make a few DH/FR trips a year for shuttle runs and such. These brakes need to modulate well, be strong, and preferably not weigh a ton. I currently ride BB7's and some of the things I like about them are: where the lever engages, the lever is about parallel to the bar, or about 1.5" out when the brake is fully engaged. I also really enjoy how I am able to run them with one finger braking. The power is ok, but I am definitely looking for something more. Modulation would be pretty good except for the fact that my rotor is out of true. These brakes will be ridden in their 8" front and 7" rear flavors. I have already done a fair amount of research and price checking, and these are what I came up with.

    Avid Elixir CR - These seem to be a fairly solid option, and well within my budget. I haven't heard anything bad about them other than the pad contact tends to wander and sometimes you get the Juicy Shudder, but on the other hand, I also haven't heard anything all that great about them either.

    Formula K24 - These also seem to be fairly solid, but the thing that worries me is the fact that formula markets them as a XC intended use from what I have seen, correct me if I am wrong. Parts availability is also a pitfall of these brakes.

    Formula Mega - Marketed as a DH/FR brake, which is good, but I haven't seen a whole lot review wise of this member of the formula lineup. and if I am not mistaken, they don't use a one piece caliper, would I notice this?

    Formula The One - This is about $65 out of my budget, but if it is truly my best option I suppose I could spring for it. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this brake, but it is a race brake, so would it require more maintenance and be more delicate than the others?

    Hope Moto V2/FR / Tech X2/ whatever it is now - This was hard to track down because it seems Hope has like four names for the same brake, but oh well. Just barely out of my budget and I haven't heard a lot about it, but it seems to be the most expensive out of Hope's lineup, so it has to be worth something I imagine? I don't like the rotors though because I have a Fox Talas RC2 and I have heard the "rivets" tend to rub, so that would be another expense.

    Hope Mono M4/Tech M4 - Same story with the name and the rotors, however this one is comfortably within my budget. I like the one piece caliper and the four pistons, but how does that effect modulation and such?

    Magura Gustavs - Definitely the most powerful of the bunch, maybe even the most powerful on the market. I have never heard of anybody able to fade these brakes, but they are pretty heavy I would imagine. Can anybody here attest to how grabby they are? or aren't? I also don't like the odd rotor sizes, 210/190/160??? I need some middle ground Magura!

    Magura Louise BAT - Another fairly solid brake here, I have heard lots of things about it, but none of them really positive or negative, just kind of neutral. The BAT system sounds nice though, to adjust your braking power for the available traction you have. How well does it really work? The Venti disks look good, albeit a little heavy.

    Shimano Saint (next gen) - These things just look hawt, and I have heard nothing but amazing things about them, no fade, great power, excellent modulation, but for some reason it doesn't seem to get the raving fans that the One does. does anybody here use them and what do you think of them?

    So those are the brakes I have been considering, sorry for the long post, but if you have read this far I know your input will be useful and have some thought behind it. Any suggestions are welcome, and feedback on these brakes is much appreciated, as well as a recommendation as to which you would put on there for the riding conditions I described.
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  2. #2
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    You can get Hope through www.chainreactioncycles.com for a very good price. That's where I'm getting mine

  3. #3
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    Why don't you keep the BB7s and use big rotors? Brake power then should be more than enough for your weight. If modulation is the weakness: do you use Speed Dial levers and uniterrupted compressionless housing? Furthermore you could switch to better rotors than the Avid roundagons. It would get difficult to overpass a top BB7 setup!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by trelgne
    Why don't you keep the BB7s and use big rotors? Brake power then should be more than enough for your weight. If modulation is the weakness: do you use Speed Dial levers and uniterrupted compressionless housing? Furthermore you could switch to better rotors than the Avid roundagons. It would get difficult to overpass a top BB7 setup!
    I am also trying to get away from the BB7's because I don't like fiddling with the knobs to get the power and modulation where I want it, my BB7's don't seem to stay as consistent as I think they should be, and I know hydraulics are more labor intensive when you have to do it,but they don't require maintenance as often. I realize it would be hard to do better than an ideal BB7 setup, which is why I put what I thought were pretty much top of the line brakes for what I want to do., and thanks joedirt24 btw for the chain reaction cycles tip, definitely some good deals to be had if shipping doesn't murder me, I am based in the US.
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  5. #5
    TLL
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    That is a huge list. For your needs, the following will do the trick (in order of my personal preference):

    Formula MEGAS or 24's

    08 XTs with big rotors

    Magura Louise

    I run the MEGAs, but have also run XTs and Louises. I did a write up on the MEGAs a while back here: Any Long Term Reviews of the Formula Megas?

    Not a great review, but you get the idea. The MEGAs are certainly my favorite, and are seemingly impervious to fade.

    Will you notice the two piece caliper? No. I'm 6'4", 250#, and the MEGAs can stop me on a dime.
    Hadley rear hub service here and here.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLL
    That is a huge list. For your needs, the following will do the trick (in order of my personal preference):

    Formula MEGAS or 24's

    08 XTs with big rotors

    Magura Louise

    I run the MEGAs, but have also run XTs and Louises. I did a write up on the MEGAs a while back here: Any Long Term Reviews of the Formula Megas?

    Not a great review, but you get the idea. The MEGAs are certainly my favorite, and are seemingly impervious to fade.

    Will you notice the two piece caliper? No. I'm 6'4", 250#, and the MEGAs can stop me on a dime.
    Thank you for the feed back, but is there any reason you would go with the XT's over the Saints as a runner up? or is it just because you have had personal experience with the XT?
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  7. #7
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    Price Is No Longer An Object

    Ok, after some more finagling with the rest of teh build and some bargain hunting, all bets are off, price is no object. Lets say you were given a full ride sponsorship to run any brakes you wanted for the riding conditions described above. What would you run?
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  8. #8
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    I hate to be one of those guys that throws somethign else in that was not on your list but what about Juicy 7's of Codes?
    I'm fat and run juicy 7's with 8" rotors and that plenty of stopping power. I just switched to codes and they are crazy....

  9. #9
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    I am perfectly fine with people giving me suggestions I haven't thought of, but I was going to stay away from the codes because I heard they were too grabby, do you have any problems with modulation?
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  10. #10
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    I went from Juicy's to "The ones" and I'm in love. If you have the bucks go for the ones IMHO. They work as a heavy duty trailbike brake as well as DH and don't weigh a ton. The modulation AND power are excellent. Just order an extra set of pads and you've got it sorted.
    What do I want to be when I grow up.....Dead!

  11. #11
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    OK, so I have narrowed it down to Codes/Saints. they are about the same money wise, and the differences seem to be that the saints use mineral oil and non symmetric pistons, along with no "tri align CPS" Which is easier to keep serviced and which has better modulation, assuming stock pads. Thanks for you help you guys.
    Last edited by b4 stealth; 11-29-2008 at 10:15 AM.
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