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  1. #1
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    What size brake rotors are all you Clydes running?

    Like the title says, what size brake rotors are all you big boys running?

    I started out with a 180 front and 160 rear. Then, I moved up to a 180 front and 180 rear. That was with running Avid Elixir 1 brakes.

    Now, I just bought a new set of Shimano XT brakes, and I'm thinking about running 203 front and 180 rear. What do you think about that? Should I just stick with 180 front and 180 back instead? Everyone says the Shimano XT brakes have much more grip. So, I dunno...

    For reference, I'm about 6'1.5" tall and weigh around 250ish all decked out with ride gear. I ride mostly XC-type stuff, and a bit of general trail riding. No aggressive downhill, jumping, thrashing, etc.

  2. #2
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    I'm 185mm/185mm but could easily run 185mm/160mm. In fact, new bike I'm building will be 183mm/160mm. I'm getting Hope M4 for the front, X2 for the rear. I'm 268 pounds as of this mornign and do XC riding.

    If you're not having issues current, no need to change. Also, make sure your fork can handle 203mm if you decide to do that size. Some forks have a limit, usually 183mm/185mm, but I've seen them as low as 160mm on the cheaper forks.

  3. #3
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    I run 203mm front and back, but will be bringing the rear to 180. I have XTR on mine, and I find the rear locks up more than I want, thus the desired change. Moral of the story, wait for a reason to change. Not braking fast enough, up the size, or even just changing your pads could help.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
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  4. #4
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    I weigh 225 and run 203mm both front and rear. Bigger brakes is better heat dissipation.

  5. #5
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    True but the point is, it's overkill. For the riding the OP is doing, it's not needed. I mean I guess there's no hard to having a couple pie plates attached to your wheels, but you don't need them. 185mm/185mm stops me perfectly fine, even when I was 320 pounds.

  6. #6
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    True, but it all costs about the same. It wouldn't be worth doing an upgrade if the bike already has brakes, but if not there is no good reason not to go big.

  7. #7
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    203 up front on all my bikes, 203 on the rear of the Heckler, and 160 on rear the Klein & Monkey.

    I noticed a drastic improvement switching to the 203 from 160 on the Klein. The fade with the 160 was pretty scary on some longer steep sections. It's all but gone with the 203.
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  8. #8
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    I'm running 203 front and 160 rear and I'm about 250ish in my birthday suit. I was running 160 front but it wasn't enough for the riding I was doing.
    Pedaling Gorilla

  9. #9
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    I can't think of a reason to run less than 200 front (other than fork limit, but my clyde philosophy is a part with those sort of limits has no place on a clyde's bike). It might be overkill, but it's not hurting anything either, and you might get in a situation where it's just enough kill. If you are worried about the weight difference... you shouldn't be. If you are worried about "too much" brake, learn how to ride - there is no such thing as too much brake, only poor braking technique.

    I run 180 rear on all my bikes, because again I don't see a point to having the same size front and rear, since the rear brake hardly does anything.

  10. #10
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    225 geared up, maybe 230. 180 front and 160 rear with 2012 Shimano XT. Have considered swapping the rear for a 180 as the 160 can fade a bit on fast, long descents. I ride a Niner with big, heavy Kenda Nevegals front and rear.

  11. #11
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    203 is probably an overkill for xc riding. I Guess to much is better than not enough. I recently put together a trail bike with xt brakes 180 front 160 rear. I am what you say an aggressive trail rider love the downhill and 180 front was an overkill. Xt's are really good brakes I would go with 180 front 160 rear

  12. #12
    some know me as mongo
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    I am currently running 200 front and 180 rear on my All mountain bike and weight about 270 gears up. on my new XC/trail bike I will be 180 front and rear. I could go for 160 on the rear but with drag breaking I figured that a little but more would help in hte long run on longer downhill sections.

    For purely XC I would sitck with a 180 front and 160 rear.
    999.6 miles ridden (going to be a slow start because of work )

    1868.3 miles ridden in 2013

  13. #13
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    I'm 6'3 290 and run SLX Ice tech 180mm front and 160mm rear on my Trek Stache 7. All XC/trail riding in the northeast. Works great for me.

  14. #14
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    What size brake rotors are all you Clydes running?

    I don't have disc yet, but I can tell you when I do buy a new bike it won't be 160 front and rear. I demoed a bike on some easy XC trails with SRAM XO discs this weekend, and I wasn't impressed with them over my V brakes.


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  15. #15
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    I'm 300# on a heavy heckler riding some moderate trails. I run avid codes 200 front 180 in the back. Real happy with that set up.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by askibum02 View Post
    I don't have disc yet, but I can tell you when I do buy a new bike it won't be 160 front and rear. I demoed a bike on some easy XC trails with SRAM XO discs this weekend, and I wasn't impressed with them over my V brakes.


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    SRAM brakes suck. That's why.

  17. #17
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    I run 203f 180r w/ xtr on my mtn, and 203f 160r on my 9zero. I don't do it for the heat dissipation, I do it for the modulation. A lot less pressure needs to be applied to a 203 rotor vs. A 160. Then when you need the power......it is always there.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all of the replies! Lots of varied opinions on this subject, too. Seems like there's a "why not go big as possible up front" crowd, and a "stick with what's typical" crowd. Well, I've opted for "middle of the road." I decided to just stay with 180 mm both front and rear. I'll be installing a new Shimano XT complete set-up real soon, and got a little spooked over the possibility of a 203 mm rotor up front being a little too much, power/aggressive-wise. Anyway, I'll try the 180s and see how they do; can always change it up somewhere down the road.

  19. #19
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    185 front, 160 rear, G3 rotors, BB7 with Jagwire Ripcord and SD7 levers.

    220 lb, rigid ss. Since I'm not bombing down the hill on rigid, 185 front BB7 is plenty.
    Ghisallo Wheels

    I'm really good looking.

  20. #20
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    160/160 on the CX bike
    180/180 on the DJ bike
    203/180 on the AM bike

    I had 180/160 on my old rigid XC bike and that was fine for as fast as I was comfortable going on a rigid XC bike but definitely upgraded to the next size up in rotors when building my Paradox.

  21. #21
    some know me as mongo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    SRAM brakes suck. That's why.
    Sram brakes deffinitally dont suck. granted there are ones that are fickle or noisy as hell but in generally Sram/Avid brakes are pretty good. sometimes it requires changing the pads (two piston models mainly) but the newer 4 piston brakes rock right out of the box! I have no complaints aout the codes I ran in the past or th current XO trails on my bike now.
    999.6 miles ridden (going to be a slow start because of work )

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  22. #22
    I Strava Hamburgers
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    160/160 Shimano XT Icetech Rotors/Breaks.

    I'm 250ish and don't need anything more then that for XC and trail.
    My EBB so loud
    I'm mashing...

  23. #23
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    What size brake rotors are all you Clydes running?

    I am running 203 in the front and now notice the weakness with the 160 in the rear. Plan to go 203 back there and eventually upgrade the brakes.

  24. #24
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    Re: What size brake rotors are all you Clydes running?

    240# all kitted up.
    Avid elixir r 180f/160r
    Here is the thing about equality, everyone's equal when they're dead. - Gavroche, Les Misérables

  25. #25
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    160/160


    I want to go larger up front, but I don't know what adapter I need. I have tektro Draco brakes. Reba rl fork.

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