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  1. #1
    Just Ride
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    How to match rotors to caliper?

    Been looking into new hydro brakes for sometime now. I've got enough cash on hand now to spring for some hydros. They don't come with rotors. Just the calipers, hose, and levers. How do I know what rotors I'll need? I know rotor size will be determined mostly by what adapters I have or don't. I have 160 now and they work fine with mechanical brakes, hydros would only be better. So I'm sure 160 is just fine.

    What should I look out for when purchasing rotors? Can I use my old rotors in the meantime?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    Been looking into new hydro brakes for sometime now. I've got enough cash on hand now to spring for some hydros. They don't come with rotors. Just the calipers, hose, and levers. How do I know what rotors I'll need? I know rotor size will be determined mostly by what adapters I have or don't. I have 160 now and they work fine with mechanical brakes, hydros would only be better. So I'm sure 160 is just fine.
    It's generally a good idea to use the rotors that the calipers were designed to fit around due to thickness of the rotor and braking surface to maximize the use of the pad. That said, some aftermarket rotors work just fine (i.e. Magura Martas with Ashima Airotors). You will certainly be able to ride them but may have different brake performance.

    What type of brakes do you have in mind anyway?
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  3. #3
    Just Ride
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    Hayes Stroker Trail or Shimano XT. The strokers are much more in my price range. Both seem to have mixed reviews but most people have positive things to say about each. I know to take the reviews with a grain of salt. Would there be info included for what rotor thickness is recommended, or a place to find this info online? Also is there a way to tell if the pads (inner and outer) are independently adjustable? I know BB7's have seperate adjusters for inner and outer, but I really wanna go with hydros as they will eventually be transferred to a build project.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    Would there be info included for what rotor thickness is recommended, or a place to find this info online? Also is there a way to tell if the pads (inner and outer) are independently adjustable? I know BB7's have seperate adjusters for inner and outer, but I really wanna go with hydros as they will eventually be transferred to a build project.
    I would doubt that the manufacturers would provide that information. Many people have gone through and measured with calipers various rotor thicknesses and if you search around here on mtbr you will probably run into it (I think it's scattered though). I know that Magura claims that running aftermarket rotors with their brakes void the warranty. I'm not sure if anyone else does that but all I'm saying is you may have to dig if you want that kind of information.

    Independently adjustable pads? I have never seen anything like that. You must be referring to the pistons. They are designed to retract into the caliper at the same rate and remain centered. If they aren't, chances are you have a problem (sticky piston). Sticky pistons are generally easy to fix so the whole idea of centralizing your caliper on the rotor really isn't too difficult if you have a good brake with a good bleed. I haven't run xt's but did run the stroker trails for a while and I don't think that you would have any problems with them.
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  5. #5
    Just Ride
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    I guess I was referring to the pistons. Centering the caliper is fine. I'd imagine my best bet would be to pick up a set of whatever brakes I decide to buy that come with rotors then? This would insure I had the best rotor for said brakes?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    I'd imagine my best bet would be to pick up a set of whatever brakes I decide to buy that come with rotors then? This would insure I had the best rotor for said brakes?
    Not necessarily. You mentioned that you were going to go for 160mm rotors right? Those can be had for dirt cheap from almost any brake manufacturer. Formula might be kind of pricey but Hayes, Magura, and Shimano all have very reasonably priced 160mm rotors.
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  7. #7
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    Simple

    Match total pad height to rotor height(or sweep if you prefer).

    You want the pads to have full bite on the rotor without any overlap.

    Any pad will work on almost any rotor, it just wouldn't be optimum & give the best performance. Plus some brake systems seem to work better with different rotors than whats supplied with the system. YMMV
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