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  1. #1
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    Juicy Ultimate replacements?

    I have about had it with my Juicy Ultimates (mounted to my 2008 Specialized SJ FSR Expert), and I am about to pull the trigger on replacements. I have been battling sticky pistons (front and rear), and today, after two bleeds of the rear brakes, I still can't 1) unstick one of the pistons (and I'm not keen on overhauling calipers) or 2) get good pressure in the system. The pads don't contact the disc until the lever is touching the handlebar. It may have to do with the fact that the contact point adjustment screw seems suddenly not to engage on the rear lever, or it could be something else entirely. I am going to work on it once more this week, but I am about ready to call them done.

    Having not shopped for disc brakes since, well, ever, does anyone have any recommendations? I love the Avids when they are working, and despite all the frustration, I want to stick with hydros. Something a little easier to maintain (or more reliable) would be nice. I ride aggressively, but mostly on technical singletrack and similar terrain (and I don't weigh a lot), so I do not want or need DH/FR brakes.

    Also, for a guy with reasonable mechanical skills, should I be able to install new brakes and rotors (I assume I can't keep the same rotors, right?) on my own, or should I take them to a shop? Part of the reason I want to avoid a shop is because riding conditions are phenomenal in Maryland right now, and I hate to drop my bike off for a week or two...on the other hand, can't really ride without rear brakes.

    Thanks guys and gals.

    Steve

  2. #2
    bt
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    shimano xt or xtr/

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bt View Post
    shimano xt or xtr/
    Thanks for the tip. Is there anything special about the current model year, or would I be good with a year or two old on sale?

  4. #4
    bt
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    current is best by far. shimano nailed it this year.

    I have three sets of these and am very pleased.

    Shimano XTR M985 Disc Brake Caliper and Levers

  5. #5
    bt
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    Quote Originally Posted by slobaugh View Post
    (I assume I can't keep the same rotors, right?)

    Steve

    I have run formula, avid and shimano rotors without issue on my xtr's.

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot for the info, bt. I may just order some XT's this week!

  7. #7
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    My wife has SLX and I have XTR. Both replaced Avid Elixir 5s. Both working great on existing rotors.

  8. #8
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    It looks like the XT's will work with the Avid mount adapters already on my bike. Yes?

  9. #9
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    If it is the same mounting style, then yes. Another vote for XT or XTR. XT is better on your savings.

    As a ditch effort, you could pull your caliper apart and clean it very carefully. That was the last thing I did with my elixir 3 brakes before going to XTR.

    I agree that the current lineup from Shimano really is worth the investment. Try demoing a bike with them for better results.

    Opinions of another slo rider.

  10. #10
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    If the piston is stuck, it probaly requires a rebuild. If you want new brakes, you want current XT's or XTR's. They are the gold standard. Don't mess with anything else, just pony up. I haven't met anyone who would argue with me on that. Current rotors will work fine.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the additional advice and suggestions guys. I did two more bleeds of the rear brakes tonight (pretty sure I can do it with eyes closed while reciting poetry at this point) just to be sure, and I am convinced the rears need a rebuild. Not worth it.

    I ordered the XTs based on all of your strong recommendations, and they should be here tomorrow. I don't feel I need whatever small advantage the XTRs may bring, and $400 felt awfully steep given how great the XTs sound. (I loved the Avids until they crapped out.) Those carbon wheels are that much further away now.

    Thanks again, and I will let everyone know how the XT install goes. Anything to watch out for or make sure I do (or don't do)?

    Steve

  12. #12
    bt
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    I would get the shimano adaptor for the rear. probably don't need one for the front if 160mm rotor.

  13. #13
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    Good tip. Front rotor is 185, so I guess I'm going to need an adapter for both front and rear.

  14. #14
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    When I went to my shimanos from Elixir 5s I needed a shimano P/P 180 adapter for my 185mm front rotors. I also used a small spacer to get the last 5mm. The Avid rear adapter worked fine for the 160mm rotor.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the likeaboss. I will just order that adapter. What did you use for a spacer? Or do spacers come with the brakes?

    My luck that brakes arrive today, but I will have to wait on a spacer!

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    I am with you. They are way proud of the XTR stuff. I think, unless you are racing and the weight is a big, big, big factor, XT is the way to fly. Personally, I think the XT componets are kinda my benchmark for which all others are judged.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by slobaugh View Post
    Thanks for the likeaboss. I will just order that adapter. What did you use for a spacer? Or do spacers come with the brakes?

    My luck that brakes arrive today, but I will have to wait on a spacer!
    My XTR brakes came with spacers. I hope your XT's do, too!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmas View Post
    I am with you. They are way proud of the XTR stuff. I think, unless you are racing and the weight is a big, big, big factor, XT is the way to fly. Personally, I think the XT componets are kinda my benchmark for which all others are judged.
    Some say that the only difference between XT and XTR is the weight, but after trying them both out, doing bleeds myself, and so on, I think the XTR is a better brake.

  18. #18
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    Mine came with the spacers. The XTRs are lighter and the body is a single piece unlike the SLX and XT models that are two piece. They should also come with some olives and needles in case you want to shorten the hose.

  19. #19
    bt
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    do yourself a favor and buy the correct shimano adaptors.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bt View Post
    do yourself a favor and buy the correct shimano adaptors.
    Shimano does not make a 185mm brake adapter. You need spacers.

  21. #21
    bt
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    Quote Originally Posted by likeaboss View Post
    Shimano does not make a 185mm brake adapter. You need spacers.
    alright brainiac,

    I'll type slower for you.

    get the right adaptor for front and rear, get rid of the 185 rotor and swap it out for a 180 rotor.

    big deal, another 30-40 dollars for peace of mind.



    putting any type of un-authorized spacer on a brake system is lame and op if you're still

    reading this thread, DON'T DO IT!

    do it right or don't do it at all, especially on the braking system.

    op, contact me thru pm's if you need anymore info.

    neg reps welcomed if this will save the op from danger.
    Last edited by bt; 10-23-2012 at 03:37 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bt View Post
    alright brainiac,

    I'll type slower for you.

    get the right adaptor for front and rear, get rid of the 185 rotor and swap it out for a 180 rotor.

    big deal, another 30-40 dollars for peace of mind.



    putting any type of un-authorized spacer on a brake system is lame and op if you're still

    reading this thread, DON'T DO IT!

    do it right or don't do it at all, especially on the braking system.

    op, contact me thru pm's if you need anymore info.

    neg reps welcomed if this will save the op from danger.

    Relax dude, no reason to get testy. No need for neg rep. I don't hide behind anonymous comments.

    This is what Shimano recommended for me and the Lbs agreed. It is simply a 2mm ss washer that is fitted between the caliper and the adapter. How exactly does the spacer make this unsafe? Avid brakes have a whole stack of washers between the caliper and the adapter.
    Last edited by likeaboss; 10-23-2012 at 06:14 PM.

  23. #23
    bt
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    Quote Originally Posted by likeaboss View Post
    Relax dude, no reason to get testy. No need for neg rep. I don't hide behind anonymous comments.

    This is what Shimano recommended for me and the Lbs agreed. It is simply a 2mm ss washer that is fitted between the caliper and the adapter. How exactly does the spacer make this unsafe? Avid brakes have a whole stack of washers between the caliper and the adapter.
    it's ok if you wanna do it but maybe not a good idea to tell someone else to.

    I also don't like anonymous reppers so good on ya for that.

    peace

  24. #24
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    Thanks again, guys, for the good suggestions. (Looong day, so just responding now.) Having never replaced disc brakes, I was in the dark about adapters, spacers, and the like, so thanks for the education. I am not sure what I am going to do vis a vis the front rotor, but looks like at a minimum I am going to have to go to my LBS for an adapter, which I really hope they have in stock. I really don't want to wait on one little part to do the install, but I equally don't want to pay more for overnight shipping (if I can find a place that will overnight it) than I do for the part. Nothing is ever easy!

    I will close the loop on this thread once I get everything set and installed. I hope installation is relatively simple and doesn't take too long! Thanks again.

    Steve

  25. #25
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    Confusion reigns

    I went to my LBS today and asked for adapters for Shimano XT disc brake calipers. The mechanic dug around and found both a 160 mm adapter (my rear) and a 185 mm adapter (my front). I was hesitant because of comments here that there is no Shimano 185 mm adapter (only 180), but I went with it because that is what the mechanic gave me.

    When I compared the two adapters to what is currently on my bike, they are identical. Looking at pictures of Shimano adapters, they look different (most obvious being the lack of holes on the sides, as the Shimanos have). I have not had time yet to try to swap the brakes, and I am reluctant to start until I know I have the right parts. (A trip to a second LBS tonight was of no help--the mechanic there admitted he did not know if Shimano, as is so often its wont, has a proprietary adapter for its calipers.)

    I am guessing I need the Shimano adapter, but before I return what I bought and order a part that will not arrive until next week, I thought I would check the group's collective wisdom. (I am pretty close to just ordering the Shimano Ice rotors, in which case I should not need any adapters, correct?)

    Thanks again guys.

    Steve

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