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  1. #1
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    Upgrading hydraulic brakes but not rotors

    After many years of dirt riding with calipers, I'm excited to upgrade to discs. I'm going all the way up to hydraulics. Just not super high end because of the annoyingly thin wallet.

    So I've ordered a '13 Trek Mamba to arrive soon. But upon research, I prefer Shimano Deore to the Hayes that come with the '13 model.

    Now I'm thinking, why not swap the brakes like an upgrade but do it from the start as they assemble it. Maybe also have them keep the Hayes subpackage unopened so that either they can rebate it for me, or I can sell it as "new" on eBay.

    Thing is, the Shimano Deore I can get doesn't come with rotors. Rotors are separate cost. But then, these would all be new components. I would have to break them in all the same.

    So question is, does it matter so much? Is this type of upgrade (keeping old rotor even if different brand) common for hydraulic brakes upgrade?

    Or would it not even fit properly?

    What are some other issues to consider?

  2. #2
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidass View Post
    So I've ordered a '13 Trek Mamba to arrive soon. But upon research, I prefer Shimano Deore to the Hayes that come with the '13 model.
    What did you find in your research that made you come to the conclusion that you'd prefer one brake over the other when you've never used either of them ?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    What did you find in your research that made you come to the conclusion that you'd prefer one brake over the other when you've never used either of them ?
    User reviews.

  4. #4
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    you can use any rotor that you want if they are the same or similar wide the only rotors that ive heard that are widder are the maguras but I can remember.
    In conclussion yes you can keep your rotors and also I like a lot the shimanos

  5. #5
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    your coming from rim brakes..... anything will blow you away ....save your money for valentines day

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRchris1996 View Post
    you can use any rotor that you want if they are the same or similar wide the only rotors that ive heard that are widder are the maguras but I can remember.
    In conclussion yes you can keep your rotors and also I like a lot the shimanos
    Thank you for saying so.

    As I don't know much about these new bicycle disc brakes, I can only guess at possible problems.

    So besides rotor diameter, is there anything special with all those weird hole patterns? Can they work better with certain types of pads (single? double?) and not others?

  7. #7
    rebmem rbtm
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    Don't believe everything in user reviews.

    Not all brakes on new bikes are setup and adjusted properly.
    Not all users of brakes know how to setup and adjusted their brakes properly.
    If a brake isn't setup and adjusted properly then it won't perform as good as it should.
    If poorly setup and adjusted brake doesn't perform very good it'll probably get bad reviews.
    Brakes are made for different applications like XC and DH, some people push parts past the limit of what they were made for and complain when they don't work as they expect them to.

    Some other things that affect how a brake performs: the riders weight, the type of riding that's being done, how the rider uses the brakes, the weather conditions, what type of brake pads are being used, the size of the rotors, if the rotors are true or warped.


    I once read a review about a 100mm XC fork, the owner gave it a bad review because he rode his bike off a 9' drop and the fork broke on the landing, this fork was never meant to take this type of impact but it still got a bad review.



    .
    Last edited by cobba; 01-20-2013 at 08:23 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    Don't believe everything in user reviews...
    That it all depends on rider and conditions and proper setup is understood.

    But I should link to the articles I was reading.

    Best Disc Brakes For Mountain Bikes - BikeRadar

    Hayes Dyno Comp Disc Brake System Reviews

    Trek Mamba 29er Hardtail Reviews

  9. #9
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    I've used several types of brakes. The Hayes that come on lowish end bikes are generally not very good at all.

    If you stick with the same size rotor, most likely 160mm, then you can use the same rotors between the Hayes and Deore. The holes in the rotors are there for venting to help keep the rotors cooler. The pattern can make a difference, but not usually an enormous one. The Hayes rotors should work just fine with your Deore brakes.

    How much are you getting the Deore brakes for?

  10. #10
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidass View Post
    That it all depends on rider and conditions and proper setup is understood.

    But I should link to the articles I was reading.

    1 Best Disc Brakes For Mountain Bikes - BikeRadar

    2 Hayes Dyno Comp Disc Brake System Reviews

    3 Trek Mamba 29er Hardtail Reviews
    1 I see no mention of the Hayes Dyno Comp, I guess they must be no good.

    2 2 reviews and one reviewer mentions carbon brake pads ????? Say no more.

    3 Most of those reviews are talking about Avid BB5's but I did find:
    "Did not like the brakes. Should have stayed with the Shimano brakes. Hayes brakes were not adjustable so we changed them out."
    What isn't adjustable and does the Deore have these adjustments that the Hayes doesn't ?



    I basically think that you're worrying about a problem that:
    1) you haven't encountered
    2) you might not encounter
    3) is yet to be proven that it exists
    4) if you do encounter it, you could probably fix it very easily

    New or used you won't get much for the Hayes brakes if you were to sell them so why don't you use them for a couple of weeks and see for yourself how good they are before spending extra money to fix something that mightn't even exist.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizmuth View Post
    I've used several types of brakes. The Hayes that come on lowish end bikes are generally not very good at all.

    If you stick with the same size rotor, most likely 160mm, then you can use the same rotors between the Hayes and Deore. The holes in the rotors are there for venting to help keep the rotors cooler. The pattern can make a difference, but not usually an enormous one. The Hayes rotors should work just fine with your Deore brakes.

    How much are you getting the Deore brakes for?
    Here's one of the vendors that's listed in the reviews in this site. Less than $90 !?!

    BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano XT M785 Disc Brake w/ Adapter

    Also this:
    Shimano Deore M596 Disc Brake Review - BikeRadar
    Last edited by solidass; 01-20-2013 at 10:17 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    I basically think that you're worrying about a problem that:
    1) you haven't encountered
    2) you might not encounter
    3) is yet to be proven that it exists
    4) if you do encounter it, you could probably fix it very easily

    New or used you won't get much for the Hayes brakes if you were to sell them so why don't you use them for a couple of weeks and see for yourself how good they are before spending extra money to fix something that mightn't even exist.
    Actually, brake problems were my greatest nightmares throughout my cycling life. Squealing, chattering, grabbing, noisy, even sudden failures!

    When I test rode the many bikes equivalent to the Trek Mamba at my local bike shops, I caught whiff of any brake problems immediately in various mechanical as well as hydraulic systems. For example, there was the odd feel and noisy rear on a '11 Rockhopper Pro 29er that had pretty good components otherwise. I come back to research online and discover that it's a well-known problem!

    Then many opinions including those right here in these forums (check my current posts) say that the Hayes are not so easy to modulate, requires more pressure, some even mention FAILURE during hard use -- total red flag for me -- while I have a hard time finding anything good about it anywhere, then it's not quite the voodoo fear you think it is.

    I hate to puke on Hayes like this, but you forced me to explain.

    I'm sure I can get stuck with it and be ignorantly blissful for a while because it's such a huge leap coming from rim brakes.

    Nonetheless, if I'm going to fork out $1,000 to get to the hydraulic disc level, I might as well get some really good ones. Or at least the best in the price range. And there's a slim chance my friendly local bike shop can rebate me somewhat if the inner package is unbroken such that they can offer it as a new upgrade to somebody else. Why not.

  13. #13
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    For one - when bikes arrive in the store, they come about 80% assembled. There is no 'brakes sub-package'. The store would have to take the brakes off the bike, and then put the new ones on. most times you would pay an upgrade fee even with brakes of the same value due to labour charges, and the store would be left with brakes with no packaging they can only sell to someone with the same or smaller size bike.

    If you chose to sell the brakes yourself then you would essentially have to sell them at half internet price, and perhaps with no rotors if you didn't get the upgrade brakes with rotors too.

    Quite frankly, I'd hold out to see if you actually have issues with the brakes. Some of the 'known' issues may well fall under warranty and not cost you to rectify.
    It also may well be that you discover other parts of the bike reach the limit of their usefulness well before the brakes.
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  14. #14
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    In conclussion yes you can keep your rotors and also I like a lot the shimanos

  15. #15
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    Now that you said you had brake problems in the past im all for the upgrade! Even if your not doing an upgrade.. more of a sidegrade. If the shimanos make you feel better go for it...
    Rotors are universal.. i have such a jumbaled mix of differnt brand rotors and calipers. Just dont use the ones you spilled DOT 5 on those dont work with any brand

  16. #16
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    That blue sky deal is great. I have the M785 and love them. They are way better that the basic Hayes. You'll be very happy with them.


    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexRandall View Post
    For one - when bikes arrive in the store, they come about 80% assembled. There is no 'brakes sub-package'...
    Yes. I've just confirmed it at my LBS. The stock Hayes are pre-installed at the factory. The LBS only has to put on the front wheel, make a few adjustments, that's pretty much it.

    Also, they confirm it's the low end Hayes model. No play adjustment. No Servo-Wave mechanism. Very basic. It uses DOT fluid whereas the Shimano uses mineral oil. So the buy-back or rebate value will suffer. Keeping same rotor is no problem though.

    In conclusion, there's no huge benefit jumping the gun to swap it early. But that Shimano XT M785 for less than $90 (times two, front and back) would be a nice upgrade.

    I would have to consider it in the near future as maybe a DIY project.
    Last edited by solidass; 01-21-2013 at 01:47 PM. Reason: provided link

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidass View Post
    Thank you for saying so.

    As I don't know much about these new bicycle disc brakes, I can only guess at possible problems.

    So besides rotor diameter, is there anything special with all those weird hole patterns? Can they work better with certain types of pads (single? double?) and not others?
    1-try to bed the pads before heavy use just use the brakes a little it will be good for get the touch
    2- dont get the brakes pulled all the way during a long DH just pull and let off
    3- rotors could be bad by design, durability or just to weak. Some said and most that avid rotors are very good but no the hydraulic brakes the seals fails in less than a year.

  19. #19
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    Sounds like....

    Quote Originally Posted by solidass View Post
    ...

    No play adjustment. No Servo-Wave mechanism. Very basic. It uses DOT fluid whereas the Shimano uses mineral oil.
    ... just about every hydraulic brake ever made... maybe up to 2010, and even most made today. None of those features are real deal breakers, IMO. I'm not convinced Mineral Oil is better or worse than DOT4 or 5.1. I noticed that Mineral Oil brakes tend to overheat faster... that is, the Oil boils at a lower temp... then again, it's way less toxic to work with, use, and dispose of. Then again, again, You can get DOT4 just about everywhere for cheap. I get DOT5.1 for my Hope brakes at motorcycle shops.

    I've never been a fan of Hayes hydraulics myself, but I know lots of folks who use them without complaints.

    That said, I do like Shimano hydros, even the low rent ones.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 01-21-2013 at 08:22 PM.

  20. #20
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    In conclussion yes you can keep your rotors and also I like a lot the shimanos

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    I'm not convinced Mineral Oil is better or worse than DOT4 or 5.1. I noticed that Mineral Oil brakes tend to overheat faster... that is, the Oil boils at a lower temp... then again, it's way less toxic to work with, use, and dispose of.
    To make things even more fun, you can get high temperature mineral oil hydraulic fluids from various aircraft supply places. Royco 782 for instance has a boiling point of over 300C which is higher than any of the DOT fluids. I haven't had a chance to use it yet since I still have a big can of Aeroshell 41 sitting around, plus I live in a place with no big hills so my brakes are barely warm at the end of a run.

  22. #22
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    Ditch the Hayes brakes. I've tried enough sets (four- HFX and Stroker Trails), and spoken to enough people who own them, that I will never use them again. Sometimes they work, sometimes they suck. And from the set that I owned, their designers were bloody lazy or cheap.

    The Stroker Trails, budget-minded XC oriented brakes, started out about as good as BB7 mechs, then started bending at the poorly designed levers, and then started braking poorly (one set had problems with modulation, the other with power). They were re-bled with no improvement, and the power issue was unlikely to be contaminiation as I cleaned the rotors baked the pads.

    From what I've seen, budget Hayes and Avids (except for BB7s) are to be avoided whenver possible. There is just too much pot luck involved, and I've never experieced good budget Hayes brakes personally.

    I don't know anything about the Deore level brakes, but I have current XTs and the SLXs are supposed to be identical save for a stamped instead of forged lever. They are freakin' amazing, and I am comparing them to older 2 pot Hopes and the current 4 pot Hope M4 Evos which cost considerably more.

  23. #23
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    In conclussion yes you can keep your rotors and also I like a lot the shimanos

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidass View Post
    User reviews.
    After 5 years, the stock brakes on my bike died. First failure and no replacement parts available.

    According to the user reviews, the brakes were by far the worst and most unreliable ones that shouldn't be on anything with 2 wheels unless it was a gift from Anna Nicole Smith to her new rich husband...

    If I had read that review 5 years ago, I would have wasted perfectly good money.

  25. #25
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    If you can separate the wheat from the chaff, the user reviews are generally a good indication of product performance. Every set of Shimano brakes I have used were far better than every set of Hayes brakes I have used. That is NOT saying every set of Hayes brakes is junk.

    In conclussion yes you can keep your rotors and also I like a lot the shimanos
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

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