Hydro Brake Shootout
OK- here are the contenders(XC riding):
-Magura Marta SL 160mm
-Hope Mini Mono Pro 160mm
-Avid Juicy Ultimate 160mm
-Formula Oro Puro 160mm
You don't have to ride them all, but individual feedback on any ONE of them(pix help too!) on these merits is appreciated:
3) Serviceability/ownership costs
If anyone is lucky to have ridden them all......what would be your overall winner?
Let the WARS begin!!!!
"Life is way too short to own anything crappy"
heres what i can contribute...
-Magura Marta SL 160mm...a favorite of a co-worker at my shop. super light weight but feel nice at the lever (not flexy or spongey, even straight from the box) he's been running them for over a full year, not just season, with absolutely no issues. they are expensive, but they are bling that works...im actually waiting for my own to arrive to put on my enduro. i cant wait!
-Hope Mini Mono Pro 160mm...never ridden the mini's but i had m4's and they were sweet. i love modulation and those things had it! i would have to say the only thing that tops these for modulation are the new Formula The One's. ive heard these tend to heat up quickly when paired with smaller rotors when compared to others in the class (your other brake selections) plus they look really sweet, although wouldnt be my first choice on a full suspension when paired with extreme elevation changes b/c of the heating issue (that is, unless your willing to go for bigger rotors. but that adds weight...eww). as far as reliability, i ran mine dh for 2 seasons and rode some form of xc/trail/dj every weekend for those 2 years as well. had to bleed the rear once and that was it. initial set up took long, but take your time and you will be rewarded. bleeding process is involved but pretty sweet w/the pressure bleeder.
-Avid Juicy Ultimate 160mm...im not a fan of any avid brakes thus far because they all feel very on/off. i like my modulation, as stated above. my co-workers have juicy 7's/carbons/and ultimates. they all feel the same. pull the lever a bit and it barely starts to engage, pull it any further and its locked. if you like that style of braking then its a solid system otherwise, great reliability, easy to bleed, durable and light. i will never run them simply because they dont offer the modulation i like.
-Formula Oro Puro 160mm...on my bike right now are formula oro bianco's. if the puro's would have been in stock i would have those instead, the only real difference is the weight though. these brakes simply rock! for their weight their performance/modulation/ and power are unbeatable IMO. ive had mine on my xc hardtail (23lb) and they werent overbearing and had perfect modulation for everything with 6/6 rotors, swapped them onto my enduro (31lb do anything and everything bike) with 7/6 rotors and they felt just as strong as my hopes with 8/6 rotors, similar modulation, but about half the weight, ive also had them on my DH bike this summer (38lb morewood) with 8/8 rotors and they feel just as good, excelent modulation but all the power one could ever use when you clamp down on the lever.
so i would recomend the Puro's if you dont want to worry about reliability and what-not but want a super solid brake. my formula's have never let me down. then again, my buddy's marta's are fault-less. but i cant comment personally on that, Marta's are lighter though.... im pretty sure the hopes are the lightest complete system, but the heating/fading issue is something to consider. avids are solid, but i cant stand on/off brakes, maybe you can?
hope this helps some...i didnt post pics because m4's arnt mini pro's, Bianco's arnt Puro's, havnt gotten my marta's yet, and i never have or will ever own avid (unless they get some modulation, elixir's are better though)