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  1. #1
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    I'm new to disc brakes...help me out!

    Hey guys...I eventually plan on getting some disc brakes, but there are so many out there. Hayes seems the best way to go. But which Hayes model would you reccomend for someone that wants good performance, but not with spending a ton of money. What model would you reccomend, and how much can I expect to pay for them?

  2. #2
    Bad Case of the Mondays
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDPitch
    Hey guys...I eventually plan on getting some disc brakes, but there are so many out there. Hayes seems the best way to go. But which Hayes model would you reccomend for someone that wants good performance, but not with spending a ton of money. What model would you reccomend, and how much can I expect to pay for them?
    Good performance without a ton of money = Avid Mechanical in my book.

  3. #3
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    NDPitch,
    Did you get some new brakes yet? When it comes to disc brakes, I don't know if there is a bad choice. It's a matter of good, better, and best. The Avid mech.'s are fine and economical I might add, but you're losing one of the advantages of going to discs: ease of use. Squeeze the lever on some hydro's and you'll see. It's just sooo smooth and easy. No effort at all, which means no tired fingers on long rides.
    Good riding!
    ...the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong...Ecc9:11

  4. #4
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    Hmm....yeah. I might go to a bike shop and ask if I can try out two different bikes. One with hydros and the other with mechs. Then I can prob make a better judgement. Oh, by the way...how do you feel about buying disc brakes off Ebay; new ones that have supposedly never been used. Also...how hard are they to install?

  5. #5
    "El Whatever"
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    I gotta admit it.... Magura Julies are the bang for the buck. Cheap as an Avid Mech but still a hydro.

    That said, you just can't go wrong with Avid mechs.... sorry for the word and not making any refrence to you or anyone, but they're idiot-proof.
    Check my Site

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastasaturtle
    NDPitch,
    ... I don't know if there is a bad choice. It's a matter of good, better, and best...
    I'll have to disagree here. Tektro makes disc brakes too....not sure that I'd give them a "good" rating even. Point of fact here....good V's will be far and away better than cheap discs. If you already have higher end Shimano or Avid V's, getting Tektro (or maybe the low end Hayes) mech discs will actually be a downgrade.

  7. #7
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    I've actually tried...

    Promax disc brakes on my wife's bike and they are better than hayes...I think it has a lot to do with the design...note how most people love Avids...look at the leverage point of Avid discs vs. hayes. The longer "sweep arm" puts more leverage on the piston and thus pad...now if you scope out Promax disc brakes they are of similar "long arm" design...say what you want but, by God, they work!!! They even use Hayes hydro pads!! Well actually they use two different types of pad depending on year of manufacture...the other pad type I am told is the round Magura pad vs. the rectangular hayes...anyway...look for a cheapo set on pricepoint...That's where I got the wife's. Mike

  8. #8
    Meh.
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    Are you kidding?!?!? Promax produces the worst brakes (even worse than cantis or Us). I've ridden generic housebrand brakes that felt better. Promax squeak like no other, pad fade is indescribeable, no modulation, etc. And Promax isn't reliable.

    Tektro is OK... Not great. Much better than Promax. I ran Tektro IO for a season. Good modulation, if you want them to be grabby, they can be.

    Shimano.... Ugh... SQUEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKKKKK Shimano rotors seem to warp very easily and allignment seems to be a constant issue. I ditched Shimano mechs after a couple weeks. Shimano hydros seem to be better. I really liked the old XT calipers. The new centerlock rotors aren't a good idea, IMO. They transfer the heat generated directly to the bearings in the hub. Good calipers though. I've never had any big problems with them.

    I like Magura, they're a great company, but reliability seems to be a big issue, and I've never been fond of the stock lever feel. Still... I love Magura.

    Avid Mechanicals beat out a lot of hydos. They don't squeak much. They're easy to allign. Minimal pad fade, Great modulation. Keep in mind that there are two types. The Avid BB7 and the Avid BB5. While the BB5 is still good, you'll notice that performance is well below that of the BB7.

    I haven't been able to scrape up the money for the Hayes El Camino or the Avid Juicy 7s yet, but I hear that they're awesome.

    If you want cheap hydros, you can try to find a pair of Hayes Comp. Not the best, but they're a great price, and they work. Stay away from the older hayes calipers (the ones with the champaigne colored body). Hayes HFX, they worked fine for me, but a lot of people seem to have problems with them.

    IRD makes a 2 piston mechanical disc brake. It imitates the feel of a hydro. I haven't been able to get my hands on one, but it sounds interesting.

    Buying brakes off ebay is fine. I got most of mine used off ebay. Occasionally I'll have to bleed them, but otherwise they're fine.

  9. #9
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    I've ridden more than a few and I like the feel and modulation best of the Shimano and Magura brakes that I have ridden. Between those two I like the maintenance factors on the Mags a bit more than the Shimano, and I like the rotors on the Mags a bit more (seem to be a shade more durable and better at self-clearing of sand/dirt/mud/etc).

    I've also become an advotate, for the non weight-weenies, of running a larger rotor on the front wheel (if your fork supports it). A bit more power and modulation where most of the braking forces goes.

    Another point in favor of the Mags and Shimano, for me, is the fact that they don't use DOT fluid like the Hayes and others do. The two-points in favor of mineral oil over DOT, for me, is that DOT is caustic and harmful to you, your bike, and lots of other things. The avantage of DOT over mineral oil, as far as I can see, is that DOT is hydrophillic whereas mineral oil will float on top of water ... so if by some crazy situation you get water into your brake system it'll only lower the boiling point of the fluid on DOT-using brakes but will destroy the braking on a non-DOT using brake.

    Not that, like, after, years of use of Shimano and Magura brakes I've ever even heard of that happening...

  10. #10
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    I'll have to disagree here. Tektro makes disc brakes too....not sure that I'd give them a "good" rating even.
    Point taken. I guess I should have said that there are several "good" disc brakes available, reasonably priced. If you're willing to spend a little more, then there are "better" and "best" disc brakes available.

    BTW, I also said "...I don't know if there is a bad choice..." which was meant to imply that, well, I didn't actually know of any bad choices. I'll take your word that the Tektro model is indeed a bad choice.
    Last edited by fastasaturtle; 03-06-2005 at 10:50 PM.
    ...the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong...Ecc9:11

  11. #11
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    DOT brake fluid is not caustic. You have been duped by market speak, I think the phrase goes something like "and OUR brakes use non-caustic mineral oil rather than DOT brake fluid." Notice that they have not said that DOT brake fluid is caustic (for which they could be sued for libel and false advertising) they just left that impression (crafty little buggers those marketing types)
    DOT3,4 and 5.1 brake fluid are glycol based (like antifreeze) (DOT5 is silicone based) and are only a mild skin irritant to those with very sensitive skin. (no more so than the solvents used in wax type (white lightning) chain lubes)
    Care should be given however to avoid spills (and clean up any that occur) with either type of fluid (glycol or oil) as either will contaminate disc pads and or rotors. Aditionally, Glycol is a good solvent and if allowed to sit for a long period on some types of paint can actually stain or soften the paint. (oil is only a fair solvent, but I would still clean up any spilled, particularly on paint, as most mineral oils used as brake fluids contain dyes that could also stain paint if left to sit)

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