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  1. #1
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    Hydro brake upgrade

    I've been thinking about upgrading my cable disk brakes to hydro for a little while now. I'd rather only make the front brake hydro. The rear has plenty of power to lock up easily but it takes some pressure to get what I want out of the front (I regularly loft the rear tire going into a few hair pin turns after a downhill).

    The problem is I know nothing what so ever about hydraulic brakes on a mountain bike. I'm not sure which ones will be reliable or what I even need to get the whole system installed. I've been looking at these two but I'm not really sure what they come with by the product description.
    Shimano LX Disc Brakes Dual Contol M585 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com
    Clarks S2 Hydraulic Disc Brake | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    The shimano brakes do say the system comes pre-bled and ready to install so I guess that makes it pretty obvious that its a complete system. But I wasn't sure if the brake lines would be the right length for my bike or if the shifter would be compatible? The clarks S2 look like they come with a rotor but there isn't much in the description. For that price am I going to need to buy brake lines or anything else to make it work? Finally with them being so cheap are they even worth getting?

    I've been riding motorcycles my whole life and do all of my own maintenance. So getting it to work correctly shouldn't be a problem and I can figure out how to bleed them. I just need to make sure I have all of the components.

    After this I'll just need to decide if I should spend the cash on a bike rack or on a brake upgrade .

  2. #2
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    Not trying to hijack the thread, but i had essentially the same question and dont really think i need to start another. Only difference for me is i would like front and rear, dont need anything fancy, just reliable. Also, OP, if you would rather me start my own thread dont be afraid to say so and ill leave your post be lol

  3. #3
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    those shifters use inverse movement (cant remember the propper name) so wouldnt work with a normal RD (if I'm not wrong) also you should know that those brakes are pretty old because there is no more LX now is the slx and about the price they are pretty cheap.
    Shimano brakes are very reliable and are well made and also are the easier to bleed (in my opinion)

    I never have used those LX but if I where you I would spend the cash in a newer ones

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by techGuy714 View Post
    Not trying to hijack the thread, but i had essentially the same question and dont really think i need to start another. Only difference for me is i would like front and rear, dont need anything fancy, just reliable. Also, OP, if you would rather me start my own thread dont be afraid to say so and ill leave your post be lol
    One that is cheap, reliable, and good quality are the shimanos no brand (Shimano BR-M445 Disc Brake > Components > Brakes > Disc Brakes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop) when you change the pads they become better.

  5. #5
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    I was in the same boat (kinda) since I replaced essentially brand new BB7 brakes for 2012 Deore M596 brakes. Quoting myself from a different thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by hiroshima View Post
    I replaced my BB7's with Shimano Deore M596 stoppers. Seriously, no comparison in terms of power, modulation, feel, ergonomics, and weight.

    Power - I felt was ~ 2x as strong as BB7's (same avid rotors for both)

    Modulation - I suppose is subjective, but the BB7's lever pull requires way more lever effort then the Deore. The amount of effort required on the Deore to go from say 10% to 75% brake power is tiny, but the modulation is all there. I almost felt that my XTR v-brakes with KoolStop salmon pads stopped better them BB7's (in the dry).

    Feel - running stock cables is so much nicer with hydro. Duh. I suppose if I spent $65 on Gore Cables feel would be closer. But full open to full clamp, the hyrdos had a firm "thunk" as opposed to the BB7's which kinda-stop and then just keep getting more squishy as the cables flex

    Ergo - is more a function of the lever only, but the Shimano's nailed the ergo on the new levers.

    Weight ~ 200g less for the F&R system.

    I am super happy with the upgrade, and at the cost delta between the two (Deore can be had for $120 and I sold my BB7's with levers and adaptersfor $50) is $75 and for that amount of money, its a no-brainer in my mind. I know this is not the place for a brake review, but felt that it was worth posting on this thread.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by techGuy714 View Post
    Not trying to hijack the thread, but i had essentially the same question and dont really think i need to start another. Only difference for me is i would like front and rear, dont need anything fancy, just reliable. Also, OP, if you would rather me start my own thread dont be afraid to say so and ill leave your post be lol
    That's fine with me! Its perfectly relevant.

    I might give the Deore M596 a try. Its definitely going to have more power and smoother modulation than my cheap stock mech brakes and its tough to pass up for that price! There are a lot of good reviews too. Thanks for the help.

  7. #7
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    Well I've been looking around a little more (probably a bad idea) and ran across these. Hayes Prime Pro Disc Brake | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com They have some lever adjustments which might be handy and they look pretty sweet which is always a bonus. Has anyone tried this or know anything about them? The one thing that concerns me is I can't see how its bled. If a hydrolic brake wont bled right thanks to poor design than you'll never get good performance out of them! I'm having a hard time finding reviews for them.

    The Shimano bleed screw is obvious right on the highest point of the caliper to make sure that's where any air gets trapped and let out when bled. After working on performance motorcycles for my whole life its nice to spot a good design that reminds me of sportbike calipers!
    Last edited by Fajita Dave; 02-01-2013 at 08:05 PM.

  8. #8
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    I can definitely recommend the M596 Deore brakes, they're where the goodness starts in Shimano's lineup. It has Shimano's new & improved lever design which has better ergonomics and is perfectly shaped for one finger braking. It also adds the servo-wave mechanism for better braking power, going from the M445 or even older generation Deore brakes to the M596 is a big step up in power & control. It's not the lightest brake around and it doesn't have the tool free adjustments & Ice-Tech goodies of the SLX & XT brakes, but given the cost you get an incredible amount of performance for your dollars.

    Quote Originally Posted by CRchris1996 View Post
    those shifters use inverse movement (cant remember the propper name) so wouldnt work with a normal RD (if I'm not wrong)
    Rapid Rise. Better known as Backfire Plus, Rapid Demise, and my favourite, Retard Rise. You can mix standard & rapid demise shifters & derailleurs and it'll work fine, the shifting will just be backwards from what Shimano intended it to be.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    I can definitely recommend the M596 Deore brakes, they're where the goodness starts in Shimano's lineup. It has Shimano's new & improved lever design which has better ergonomics and is perfectly shaped for one finger braking. It also adds the servo-wave mechanism for better braking power, going from the M445 or even older generation Deore brakes to the M596 is a big step up in power & control. It's not the lightest brake around and it doesn't have the tool free adjustments & Ice-Tech goodies of the SLX & XT brakes, but given the cost you get an incredible amount of performance for your dollars.
    Is the Ice tech just a way they keep the brakes cooler or is there something else to it? Since I'm only buying a front brake it would only be an extra $30 for the SLX. Just wondering if it would be worth it.

  10. #10
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    Ice-Tech keeps the brakes cooler and reduces brake fade on long downhills. They've also tweaked a few other things to give the SLX and XT brakes a bit more power compared to the M596 Deore. I believe in having as much braking power, control, and fade resistance as possible so I'd recommend buying the SLX brakes if you can afford it. I don't know where you're buying the brakes from, but keep in mind that some SLX brakes come with the finned Ice-Tech pads while others do not, make sure you get the ones with the finned pads.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Ice-Tech keeps the brakes cooler and reduces brake fade on long downhills. They've also tweaked a few other things to give the SLX and XT brakes a bit more power compared to the M596 Deore. I believe in having as much braking power, control, and fade resistance as possible so I'd recommend buying the SLX brakes if you can afford it. I don't know where you're buying the brakes from, but keep in mind that some SLX brakes come with the finned Ice-Tech pads while others do not, make sure you get the ones with the finned pads.
    Thanks that's very helpful info. I don't mind spending a little extra if its going to be worth the price. I just can't get anything that will break the bank.

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