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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Saints or XT for a Clyde?

    Hey all,

    Current setup: running Avid 5 brakes with 180/160 rotors. Not enough stopping power. Have Hopes 185/160 on my other bike with less stopping power, so please no Hope recommendations as although they modulate better than the Avids, they don't have near the gripping power. Both systems have been adjusted and ergonomically placed for one finger braking power on both bikes.

    Want: one finger braking with minimal effort required on the lever pull.

    Rider: 255lbs, XC predominately, notices that brakes are not powerful enough on XC decents. Recently scored rear Avid rotor on downhill section.

    Bike that requires the upgrade: 2012 Anthem X29er 1, size XL.

    Question: would the newer XT's be sufficient or should I go with Saint's? Would the Saint's have enough modulation or would they be too on/off for XC riding?

  2. #2
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    I'm 165 all geared up and have moved from Hope M4s to the 2013 Saints.

    I enjoy the modulation and the power on tap. A true one finger brake. I thought I'd miss the modulation of my Hopes, but these are just as good. I'm on 180/160 rotors.

  3. #3
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    go with the xts. they have plenty enough of power.

  4. #4
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    Go with XT and 203/180 rotors. Cheaper and better modulation.
    konahonzo

  5. #5
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    Go saint.

    I weigh 210, and the XT's are about perfect for me.

    I think folks underestimate the importance of weight.

    A 150 lb guy will claim XT's will easily toss him over the bars. They are great, but don't do THAT for my 210 lbs.

    It's the equivalent of putting the same brakes on a Mini Cooper and a BMW M5 - you'll get very different results.

    You want maximum brake power for a 255 lb guy, go w/ maximum brake components.
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
    '11 Cannondale RZ 120-two

  6. #6
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    Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. All the guys around here praise XT's, but I outweigh them by at least 50lbs. That extra mass really comes into place when I need some good braking power on faster decents.

  7. #7
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    XT or the newer and cheaper SLX. I've been anywhere from 230-300, and I use a mix of both without issue.
    - Cody

    This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.

  8. #8
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    ^ what rotor sizes were you running?

  9. #9
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    I use 180s. I don't live in super mountainous country. I'd probably consider bigger if I did, but 180's will lock the wheel sif I don't use some touch.
    - Cody

    This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.

  10. #10
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    frankenstein a set, get some saints for the front wheel , and xt or whatever 2 piston in the back. def get the 8" rotor for the front!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpjumpy View Post
    Go saint.

    I weigh 210, and the XT's are about perfect for me.

    I think folks underestimate the importance of weight.

    A 150 lb guy will claim XT's will easily toss him over the bars. They are great, but don't do THAT for my 210 lbs.

    It's the equivalent of putting the same brakes on a Mini Cooper and a BMW M5 - you'll get very different results.

    You want maximum brake power for a 255 lb guy, go w/ maximum brake components.
    Im 100kg and this guy nailed it.
    You will want a larger front rotor also.

  12. #12
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    I'm no lightweight. XT's 180/180/ excellent

  13. #13
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    I'm in almost the same situation. Need replacing my original hydraulics (2000 formulas, experienced riders who rode my bike said they were comparable to Hayes of the time).

    Here's the thing, most riders are <200lbs and most equipment is made for that.
    I'm around 230 (240 back then) and went through about 5 rims before finally upgrading to the strongest DH I could find and I don't regret it at all. Even though I'm no free rider I throw my bike around quite aggressively and

    I don't know, things may have changed since back then.

    So I'm looking at Hopes and Shimano


    I always wanted a set of Hopes, and probably would get the Tech M4s or even the V2 with solid rotor (if what I read was correct, the v2's weigh less then the m4s w/braided lines ... need to confirm this).

    However the local shop is warning me that with Hope's I'll have to wait longer if I ever need a part.
    I'm sure the shimano's are all great as well.

    I know just about anything new will do the job and probably be an upgrade, but my experiance with the DH rims leads me to think that aiming for heavire "all mountain" or entry DH brakes wouldn't be a bad idea, and if the weight isn't a huge difference it'd be worth it.

    Basically I'm looking for maximum "control"

    thoughts?

  14. #14
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    ^ don't go for the Hope Techs, as that's what I have (see first post). I can't comment on the M4s, should be stronger with a 4 piston setup, but $$$$.

    I'm still on the fence with XT/Saints.

  15. #15
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    You have the Tech X2 or minis then? All reviewers seem to say the V2s have the most power of anything except the Saints (or maybe the Formula The One), with the m4s not much farther behind.

    Based only on reading reviews the XT and the Saints are in totally different classes. XT is probably targeted at a similar segment as the ones you have now.

    My direct experiance is limited though.

  16. #16
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    I have the X2s. 180/160 (or 185, whatever it is that Hope runs). Tech levers, braided lines, sintered pads. Bling for sure, but not as powerful as my Avids and my Avids leave something to be desired as well. Lots of guys around me run XTs and rave about them, but again, they're all quite a bit smaller than I am and I'm not sure that thier experiences will apply in my case.

  17. #17
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    You like avid feel. Go with Max size rotors to see if enuff braking power. That not enuff, the change brakes.

    sent from one of my 4 gold leafed iphone4s's

  18. #18
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    New thought to follow Bob's suggestion. If I try a 203mm front rotor, do I need a post mount adaptor or IS adaptor? Thought is to move my front rotor to the rear and update the front rotor to the biggest size. I guess that'd mean that I need a new brake adaptor for th rear too, but I'm confused as to what post mount and IS mounting is.

    Thanks!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by coder View Post
    I'm in almost the same situation. Need replacing my original hydraulics (2000 formulas, experienced riders who rode my bike said they were comparable to Hayes of the time).

    Here's the thing, most riders are <200lbs and most equipment is made for that.
    I'm around 230 (240 back then) and went through about 5 rims before finally upgrading to the strongest DH I could find and I don't regret it at all. Even though I'm no free rider I throw my bike around quite aggressively and

    I don't know, things may have changed since back then.

    So I'm looking at Hopes and Shimano


    I always wanted a set of Hopes, and probably would get the Tech M4s or even the V2 with solid rotor (if what I read was correct, the v2's weigh less then the m4s w/braided lines ... need to confirm this).

    However the local shop is warning me that with Hope's I'll have to wait longer if I ever need a part.
    I'm sure the shimano's are all great as well.

    I know just about anything new will do the job and probably be an upgrade, but my experiance with the DH rims leads me to think that aiming for heavire "all mountain" or entry DH brakes wouldn't be a bad idea, and if the weight isn't a huge difference it'd be worth it.

    Basically I'm looking for maximum "control"

    thoughts?
    if you want to go with hopes you may wait a abit until the new v4 comes out. they sure be fanstastic brakes!

  20. #20
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    post mount, the bolts thread "into" the fork and 74mm bolt centers. IS, the bolts are sideways and 51mm hole centers.

    so it depends on what style you have now. if 74mm post, then get a bracket that is for a 203. if IS, i dont know. sure there is one though.
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  21. #21
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    Update - have ordered a 203mm Avid front rotor and adaptor, will swap my front to my rear, and I'll post back with an update. New wheelset coming in at end of month, so I won't have a ride report until first week of October. I'll post my findings in this thread. Thanks for everybody's advice thus far!

  22. #22
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    Subscribing to this to see what the results are. I'm having similar issues, and giving serious consideration to a 4 piston brake, but obviously a rotor upgrade would be cheaper if that works.

  23. #23
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    Update - rotors and adaptors and new wheels are in. Should have time to build/swap over the weekend with hopefully a ride (it's raining right now and rain + frost + roots = pucker time)

  24. #24
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    Why Saint? Why not try the new Zee? By all accounts, pretty much the same brake.

    As for Hope's, I do not rate the X2 that highly. I currently have a 183mm M4 on the front and a 160mm X2 on the back. Seems to work, but thinking of going to the EVO M4 front and back. Or even getting some EVO V2s on closeout (as they are being replaced by the V4).

  25. #25
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    Zee is an option that I'm considering, but I'm going to wait and see how the larger rotor setup works. I agree on the X2 rating as far as power is concerned.

  26. #26
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    Avid Elixer on my Specialized Epic here (2011). Today I just finished my 203/185 conversion. I'm a clyde...250lbs x 6'5". Sure the stock 185/160 could stop me, but the amount of modulation required for a finesse braking situ was too much for my taste. Now with the 203/185's I'm much happier. I no longer have a feeling of doubt that I'm gonna' be able to stop quickly, nor do I have the massive two/three finger pull to get me there either.

    Interestingly however, I thought buying a 203 and a 185 post/post adapter from North Shore Billet meant I wouldn't have to space out my caliper anymore. Wrong. With both adapters I was required to space out my caliper anywhere from 1cm to 2.5 cm!!! Good thing my stock spacers adapted to the North Shore Billet adapters easily enough.

    BTW, does anyone know what the proper alignment of the caliper pads to the rotor is? I made sure that the caliper was centered on the rotor equidistantly on each side, thus effectively centering the pads on the rotor. Not sure if that's the best way or not...More of a guess but seems to work.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock rover View Post
    Avid Elixer on my Specialized Epic here (2011). Today I just finished my 203/185 conversion. I'm a clyde...250lbs x 6'5". Sure the stock 185/160 could stop me, but the amount of modulation required for a finesse braking situ was too much for my taste. Now with the 203/185's I'm much happier. I no longer have a feeling of doubt that I'm gonna' be able to stop quickly, nor do I have the massive two/three finger pull to get me there either.

    Interestingly however, I thought buying a 203 and a 185 post/post adapter from North Shore Billet meant I wouldn't have to space out my caliper anymore. Wrong. With both adapters I was required to space out my caliper anywhere from 1cm to 2.5 cm!!! Good thing my stock spacers adapted to the North Shore Billet adapters easily enough.

    BTW, does anyone know what the proper alignment of the caliper pads to the rotor is? I made sure that the caliper was centered on the rotor equidistantly on each side, thus effectively centering the pads on the rotor. Not sure if that's the best way or not...More of a guess but seems to work.
    You could be my twin. Same height, weight within 10lbs, and yes, I too bought the North Shore Billet 203 and 185 adaptors and I struggled with them tonight. I ended up grinding some bolts down for the bolts holding the adaptor to the fork and frame, and used the complete Avid washer setup for mounting the capilers. I'm going to post tomorrow some pictures of what my front and rear setup looks like in hope that somebody can confirm I mounted them right!

    Your centering of the pads between the rotor is correct. I usually loosen the capiler bolts, spin the wheel and clamp the brake lever and while holding the lever compressed, I then tighten back up the capiler bolts. Usually gets me pretty close on no disc rub and I just fine tune from there (if needed).

  28. #28
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    Found the camera. Pics of the front rotor:

    Is this correct? The adaptor looks weird for lack of a better term. I think I mounted the adaptor correctly, but if somebody could confirm, I'd appreciate it!





    Rear




  29. #29
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    Dang JK! You weren't kidding when you mentioned about us being twins! Right down to the same friggin' color too!

    Your system, and compromise IMO, is the same as I. You went with 180mm rear and I flopped my 185mm front to rear. Regardless both of our systems look the same. I to had to grind my caliper bolts down to fit...No biggie, but definitely not a bolt on either.

    I just wish that my NSB adapters would have lived up to the hype and not required a half hour of spacer foolin' to equal my 185/160 original set-up. As far as I can tell you look good to go relative to your set-up. Mine is exactly the same save for 1cm (mine) spacers on the rear....

    I guess I wasn't clear on my alignment question. I've had a hard time searching for the answer to this as well. Basically what I'm asking is, how to ensure that the axis (forward and back) are aligned. When adding spacers to the caliper, the ability to send the caliper rotating forward or aft is very easy. Lateral adjustment is cake. I'm just trying to understand if the pad is square (on the X axis) to the rotor (and if it really matters or not).

    So JK what is your initial impressions? Personally I'm stoked....And if I'm able I'll post some pic's tomorrow (post count) as well.

    -D
    Last edited by Rockrover; 10-12-2012 at 09:40 PM.

  30. #30
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    Do yourself a favor and stop wasting your time and get some shimanos..i messed around forever trying to get my xo brakes to work well(no modulation-squeeks and squeals- rubs that would come and go ect)...finally gave up-- put on some xt's and all was perfect right out of the box and still is to this day.. if it was me--if your doing dh stuff ,go saints...if your xc/trail I'd go xt+203/180/shimano adaptor on both..as soon as you do you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner..gl however you go

  31. #31
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    I'll wait to hear about a good test ride, I'm a little lighter but still a big guy who carries a lot of speed. Obviously, I'm wondering if the cheaper fix will work, because honestly, if I have to buy another set of brakes, it might be a duplicate of what's on my SS, because they just flat work.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by SB Trails View Post
    Do yourself a favor and stop wasting your time and get some shimanos..i messed around forever trying to get my xo brakes to work well(no modulation-squeeks and squeals- rubs that would come and go ect)...finally gave up-- put on some xt's and all was perfect right out of the box and still is to this day.. if it was me--if your doing dh stuff ,go saints...if your xc/trail I'd go xt+203/180/shimano adaptor on both..as soon as you do you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner..gl however you go
    No squeaks, modulation is fine for me, and no rubs. Just looking for more power. Cost outlay of one new rotor (front OEM swapped to rear) and some bling adapters is much easier on the wallet than springing for a complete new brake set. Having said that, if this doesn't give me the power I'm looking for then yes, I'll be going with a SLX/XT/Zee next

  33. #33
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    First ride today. Front has WAY more power. Rear has a bit too much as it's easy to lock up. Given that it's only one ride, I know that I'll adapt and I'm pretty sure that my pads are not fully bedded yet.

    Based on this ride today, the 203/180 combo is providing more than ample power for my needs. I could really tell on some trail sections that I had more power for the same "squeeze" at the lever. Worth while experiment and I am more than satisfied. I might throw in some organics on the rear, but I'll wait and see how things go. Front setup is a sold deal for me.

  34. #34
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    That's awesome news, thank you J. I will begin going through the motions of making this change on my Anthem. I'm looking forward to being able to stop with authority.

  35. #35
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    I'm 230+ all geared up. I went with 2012 XT brakes with IceTech rotors 203f/180r. Love this combo. Never have I wished for more braking power and I've riden a set of Saints before.

  36. #36
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    I'm the original poster. Follow up report.

    203/180 worked pretty good last year. The 180 was overkill on the back and a bit too easy to lockup.

    Over the winter, both the front and rear brakes got air and I had to do a bleed. Knowing the bleed procedure on Avid's, I wasn't looking forward to spending a bunch of time trying to get the air out of the syringes before attaching them to the lever and calipar.

    Well, as luck would have it, my front caliper puked out my oil when I was doing the lever. I think I blew a seal. At this point, I figured fcuk it.

    Ordered XT, 180/160 ice tech.

    XTs on for one ride. Thoughts:

    Good - more power than I'll ever need. Lots of power!
    Good - modulation is fine. The brakes have an initial on/off feel on the first bit of lever pull, but not an on/off feel for actual braking forces, if this makes sense. I think a lot of folks mistake this on/off lever feel for lack of modulation, but the XTs modulate just fine.
    Good - lever design and travel of the lever pull to the bar. These are single digit levers and they remind me of the old integrated DX shifter/brake combo's back in the day.
    Good - relatively cheap. Entire setup with rotors was ~$300 with some price matching online.

    Bad - chrome bling on the lever reservoir.
    Bad - big ass lever clamp to the bar gives issues to using SRAM shifters as far as ergonomics is concerned.
    Bad - stick a pin it it to open the clamp all the way. I guess it's a safety issue, but I find it's a big PIA
    Bad - esthetics. Personal and subjective, but the calipers are big, bulky, and not very refined. Lever reservoir is ugly, big, bulky. The Avids are much better aesthetically (taper bore vs Shimano wart) and the Hopes slay everyone on aesthetics.

    Conclusion - should have just gone with Shimano in the first place, but the 203/180 was a good and cheap experiment.

    Hope this helps out anybody who reads this.

    Rider - 265lbs
    Bike - Anthem 29er
    Terrain - cross country

  37. #37
    El CicloPath!!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatri View Post
    I'm the original poster. Follow up report.

    203/180 worked pretty good last year. The 180 was overkill on the back and a bit too easy to lockup.

    Over the winter, both the front and rear brakes got air and I had to do a bleed. Knowing the bleed procedure on Avid's, I wasn't looking forward to spending a bunch of time trying to get the air out of the syringes before attaching them to the lever and calipar.

    Well, as luck would have it, my front caliper puked out my oil when I was doing the lever. I think I blew a seal. At this point, I figured fcuk it.

    Ordered XT, 180/160 ice tech.

    XTs on for one ride. Thoughts:

    Good - more power than I'll ever need. Lots of power!
    Good - modulation is fine. The brakes have an initial on/off feel on the first bit of lever pull, but not an on/off feel for actual braking forces, if this makes sense. I think a lot of folks mistake this on/off lever feel for lack of modulation, but the XTs modulate just fine.
    Good - lever design and travel of the lever pull to the bar. These are single digit levers and they remind me of the old integrated DX shifter/brake combo's back in the day.
    Good - relatively cheap. Entire setup with rotors was ~$300 with some price matching online.

    Bad - chrome bling on the lever reservoir.
    Bad - big ass lever clamp to the bar gives issues to using SRAM shifters as far as ergonomics is concerned.
    Bad - stick a pin it it to open the clamp all the way. I guess it's a safety issue, but I find it's a big PIA
    Bad - esthetics. Personal and subjective, but the calipers are big, bulky, and not very refined. Lever reservoir is ugly, big, bulky. The Avids are much better aesthetically (taper bore vs Shimano wart) and the Hopes slay everyone on aesthetics.

    Conclusion - should have just gone with Shimano in the first place, but the 203/180 was a good and cheap experiment.

    Hope this helps out anybody who reads this.

    Rider - 265lbs
    Bike - Anthem 29er
    Terrain - cross country

    I'm clyde (6 ft 240) riding a Ventana El Ciclon. I went from Formula RX's to the XT's. the Formulas from day 1 had rubbing issues and what not but were super powerful. My current set up with the XT's is 160/160, front xt rotor non icetech and rear absoluteblack floating rotor. aide from some minor noise of the free floating rotor (not squeel or rubbing) this set up has been fantastic.

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