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  1. #1
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    Need some opinions on what my next set of brakes should be

    I have a 2012 Stumpy FSR Comp that I want to have set up as a good all rounder that can do a little of everything in a range of different types of trail locations. If I had to categorize the kind of trails I ride most frequently I'd say they're aggressive XC trails.

    I hate the Avid Elixir 7 SLs that are on the bike now, I've finally decided they absolutely need to go. I can't make up my mind about which brake set to get though. Most recently I've been able to ride a bike with XT brakes, they felt great but it was a slightly older set that had a different lever design than the current XTs and I don't like the feel of the levers on the current XTs as much. The Formula T1 brakes have a ton of good reviews and have the brake lever style I like, but I've never had a chance to try a set myself. The price of them isn't an issue, but paying the most for a brake I haven't ever tried before does make me hesitate on pulling the trigger. Finally I've also been looking at the Hayes Prime models, specifically the Expert. They also have the lever design I prefer and I really liked the Hayes mechanicals on my last bike. The first hydro brakes I ever tried we're Hayes, one of the Stroker models, and I really liked the feel. I like the idea of the tool free adjustments with the Hayes but I've read a lot here from people who've said they prefer the XTs to any of the Hayes.

    So Im not entirely sure where to go with my brake choice, Im fairly certain anything will be better than what I have though. I think right now Im leaning towards the Hayes with the Formulas at a close second. Any opinions on what to go with or other options to add to the list?

  2. #2
    El CicloPath!!!!!!!
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    Get the newest version of the XTs.......be done with it.

  3. #3
    undercover brother
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    New XTs... Wouldn't want anything else.

  4. #4
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    Ok, so is it just that everything else out there doesn't even come close to Shimano and that's why it should be the only option? Other than a quick ride on a somewhat crippled bike my experience and knowledge of the XTs is limited to a coworker repeatedly screaming "They're the best!" at me. I know from what I felt they had good power that came on immediately and they don't use fluid that destroys finishes on frames, other than that why is XT so superior?

  5. #5
    human dehumidifier
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    Level up with a set of Hopes
    When you get older, much of your hate comes from knowledge and experience, which is why really old people hate everyone

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDKmann View Post
    Ok, so is it just that everything else out there doesn't even come close to Shimano and that's why it should be the only option?
    No.

    I think Hope makes some of the best brakes out there and the new Maguras are pretty solid as well. I've never been a fan of the on/off feel of Shimano.

  7. #7
    El CicloPath!!!!!!!
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    My feelings are, that for the money, meaning that they pretty reasonably priced, especially with the net discounts off msrp, they are from my experience, the easiest to set up, the most trouble free in terms of rubbing (good gap spacing/servo wave mechanism), and good power and modulation.

    I started with Avid 7s, then it was Formula RXs, both of which caused many hours of pain and anguish. I think I spend more time maintaining them then actually riding. The XTs have been just about trouble free for the last 6 months.

    I'm sure others have had good experiences with other brands, but the XTs for me jusy made riding a lot more fun; without having to deal with brake issues, especially rubbing and squeal.

  8. #8
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    If you want to save a few dollars and don't need the XT levers with the free stroke adjustment, then you can get similar (if not the same, arguably) performance from a set of Shimano SLX brakes. I just switched to the SLXs after a year on mechanical Avid BB7s. Blue Sky has a sale on them that ends today.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob View Post
    Level up with a set of Hopes
    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    No.

    I think Hope makes some of the best brakes out there and the new Maguras are pretty solid as well. I've never been a fan of the on/off feel of Shimano.
    Is there a particular model of the Hopes that I should take a look at?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fachiro1 View Post
    My feelings are, that for the money, meaning that they pretty reasonably priced, especially with the net discounts off msrp, they are from my experience, the easiest to set up, the most trouble free in terms of rubbing (good gap spacing/servo wave mechanism), and good power and modulation.

    I started with Avid 7s, then it was Formula RXs, both of which caused many hours of pain and anguish. I think I spend more time maintaining them then actually riding. The XTs have been just about trouble free for the last 6 months.

    I'm sure others have had good experiences with other brands, but the XTs for me jusy made riding a lot more fun; without having to deal with brake issues, especially rubbing and squeal.
    Thanks for the feedback, that helps a lot. There is a lot I like about the XTs but everyone has been telling me they're the best without giving much of an explanation. Plus in my experience working in the outdoor industry when the term "the best" is associated with a big company I've found that there are actually other smaller companies offering equally as good or better options. Just want make sure Im making an informed decision.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharel1705 View Post
    If you want to save a few dollars and don't need the XT levers with the free stroke adjustment, then you can get similar (if not the same, arguably) performance from a set of Shimano SLX brakes. I just switched to the SLXs after a year on mechanical Avid BB7s. Blue Sky has a sale on them that ends today.
    Fortunately I have an arrangement that allows me to pick up bike gear at wholesale so the cost isn't as much of an issue, I just want the best brake for my needs as in my opinion it is towards the very top of the list for most important components. But thanks for the input on them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDKmann View Post
    Fortunately I have an arrangement that allows me to pick up bike gear at wholesale so the cost isn't as much of an issue, I just want the best brake for my needs as in my opinion it is towards the very top of the list for most important components. But thanks for the input on them.
    Oh, XTR Trail then for you..............
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    Oh, XTR Trail then for you..............
    Haha, well I know that would be overkill for what I need. If I wasn't getting a deal at least half the brakes I've looked at would be out of the question, I wouldn't even have the Stumpjumper.

    Started reading reviews of the Hope X2s and M4s. Not sure if I would need M4s or not but so far it sounds like the Hopes should be a contender. They may be what I end up with.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDKmann View Post
    Started reading reviews of the Hope X2s and M4s. Not sure if I would need M4s or not but so far it sounds like the Hopes should be a contender. They may be what I end up with.
    Guess it depends on where you ride, but you should be good with the X2 evo front and back. You could always go with M4 front/X2 rear, which is what some people opt for -- the master/lever assembly is the same on both models.

    I run M4's f/r on one of my bikes. My brother runs X2's and X2 Evos on his bikes, in the same area -- one ride on my M4's and he was sold on Hope. The X2 Evo feels just as powerful as my old tech M4's, the M4 just has better modulation.

    Pros for Hope brakes: excellent modulation, very adjustable feel(tech lever model), low noise, good power, ability to deal with Hope directly as a consumer, and beautiful.

    Cons: open reservoir is PITA to bleed(not difficult, just tedious compared to other systems) and they are heavy.

  14. #14
    human dehumidifier
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDKmann View Post
    Started reading reviews of the Hope X2s and M4s. Not sure if I would need M4s or not but so far it sounds like the Hopes should be a contender. They may be what I end up with.
    The thing that sold me on Hopes is the lack of problem reports here. I'm sick to death of screwing around with disc brakes that never seem to work consistently or for long. I also couldn't get on the bandwagon with Shimano's policy of not selling repair parts.

    I've seen complaints that the Hopes X2's (what I have) aren't as string as the XTs. What I've found is that the X2s let me keep rolling with control - meaning they'll take you right down to walking speed on a hill without locking the wheel. Any brake can lock the wheel but what good is that? Also, the X2's work fine for me since I don't ride any sustained downhills, so fade's not even a concern of mine. If it was, I'd have gone with an M4 on the front.
    When you get older, much of your hate comes from knowledge and experience, which is why really old people hate everyone

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    Guess it depends on where you ride, but you should be good with the X2 evo front and back. You could always go with M4 front/X2 rear, which is what some people opt for -- the master/lever assembly is the same on both models.

    I run M4's f/r on one of my bikes. My brother runs X2's and X2 Evos on his bikes, in the same area -- one ride on my M4's and he was sold on Hope. The X2 Evo feels just as powerful as my old tech M4's, the M4 just has better modulation.

    Pros for Hope brakes: excellent modulation, very adjustable feel(tech lever model), low noise, good power, ability to deal with Hope directly as a consumer, and beautiful.

    Cons: open reservoir is PITA to bleed(not difficult, just tedious compared to other systems) and they are heavy.
    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob View Post
    The thing that sold me on Hopes is the lack of problem reports here. I'm sick to death of screwing around with disc brakes that never seem to work consistently or for long. I also couldn't get on the bandwagon with Shimano's policy of not selling repair parts.

    I've seen complaints that the Hopes X2's (what I have) aren't as string as the XTs. What I've found is that the X2s let me keep rolling with control - meaning they'll take you right down to walking speed on a hill without locking the wheel. Any brake can lock the wheel but what good is that? Also, the X2's work fine for me since I don't ride any sustained downhills, so fade's not even a concern of mine. If it was, I'd have gone with an M4 on the front.
    Great info, thanks a lot guys. Where specifically do both of you guys ride? That may help me get a better idea of what caliper will work best for me. Also, what are your thoughts on floating v. non-floating rotors and the stainless v. standard hose?

    I know for my current daily trails the X2 with standard rotors will be fine but the entire reason I went with a Stumpy instead of something more geared to my local trails is that I want something that can also handle frequent trips to places like Colorado and Copper Harbor.

  16. #16
    human dehumidifier
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDKmann View Post
    Great info, thanks a lot guys. Where specifically do both of you guys ride? That may help me get a better idea of what caliper will work best for me. Also, what are your thoughts on floating v. non-floating rotors and the stainless v. standard hose?

    I know for my current daily trails the X2 with standard rotors will be fine but the entire reason I went with a Stumpy instead of something more geared to my local trails is that I want something that can also handle frequent trips to places like Colorado and Copper Harbor.
    I ride in Southern WV. Steep, but short is generally the rule here.

    Sounds like you might want to go ahead and get the M4 caliper up front if you're planning trips to Colorado.

    BTW, I'll trade the Hope open reservoir bleeding for the hassle of syringes, hoses, and uncertainty any time. If you've ever bled automotive or motorcycle brakes you'll be familiar with the process Hope uses.
    When you get older, much of your hate comes from knowledge and experience, which is why really old people hate everyone

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