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  1. #1
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    Stock or avid Elixer 5

    Need some advice please. My 2010 giant xtc 29er 2 comes with shimano Hydraulic brakes. Some reviews say they suck. I have not used the bike yet. The store I bought it offers me Avid Elixer 5 in white, I have to give them the Shimano brakes and pay $100. Is this a good deal? Are the Elixer brakes better than the stock Shimano's? What should I do?

  2. #2
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    Honestly I'd stick with the stockers until you decide you really need something more. Some people will tell you the Elixir 5's suck, really just depends on the brake set-up, etc.
    Especially if this is your first bike.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  3. #3
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    Ok thanks, even though I have not used the bike, if you move the bike and press the brake lever there is a echo sound. I just wondered if it's worth paying the $100 for better brakes. Since this is my first bike I want good brakes.

  4. #4
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    It's tough to give advice without knowing which Shimano hydraulic brake product you are talking about, and what terrain you'll be riding.

  5. #5
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    The Bike comes with Shimano Hydraulic br-m445 and the store offered an exchange I have to pay $100 for avid elixer 5 in white

  6. #6
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    Elixir 5s are pretty nice, and a huge step up from Vs or the mechanical discs I've used.

    I'd say that a lot of the improved performance of a hydraulic system has to do with the fact that it's hydraulic, rather than being subject to friction and housing compression like a mechanical system. So for me, the BR-M445s would have to really suck to make me consider replacing them for an extra $100 worthwhile. Buying a new mountain bike is expensive enough as it is, and you're sure to need to spend money on something, whether it's a stem, saddle, tires, pedals, or something else.

    I haven't moved the bike and pressed the brake lever, so I have no idea what echo sound you're talking about. Do you mean there's play within the brake caliper? Are you sure it's not the fork, headset or hub? Play in the brake caliper might be enough suckage for me to consider replacing the brake - I'd be worried about other problems, and I think it would make for somewhat odd braking performance and more noise. But a lot of forks have play, and if the bike hasn't been properly tuned yet, play in a hub or headset isn't that strange a thing to find.

    My very first "upgrade" when I got into mountain biking was a set of Avid Speed Dial levers. In retrospect, it was a stupid upgrade, but at least it was in a good place - good brakes really improve the riding experience. You just need to be sure that the OEM brakes don't qualify before you spend money. Shimano's 400-level stuff is a real step below their 500-level stuff, but actually still very nice.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Thanks alot for the advice, I went to my LBS ready to change the breaks, just cause I thought they suck. They told me I have Shimano Deore Hydraulic breaks and that their good. So bought the bike computer for $50 , fox helmet for $100 and rode my XTC. No problems what so ever , no noise , no howling, no wobble. They're Great, I love my new bike. So far so good, I do apologize, I'm really new, now I have to learn how and when to shift gears. Sorry for the trouble and thanks everyone for the advice.

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