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  1. #51
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    Wow, do I dare comment on this?

    As I posted on another thread "The Dole in the (Semi) Wild"

    I never gave the stock brakes on the Dole a try. When I got it they didn't work so I pulled them off and installed Avid BB7s 160mm disks with HS-1 (heat shedding) rotors. There have been statements that fat bikes need bigger then 160mm for good stopping. In my opinion a good set of 160mm brakes properly setup work great. My total ride weight including the bike, me, motor, batteries rear rack and a bunch of modifications including new tires, tube, handle bars crank arms and a rear rack is about 280 lbs, My ride speed so far is around 20mph on the flats. And the brakes pull the bike to a stop very well.

    Bob

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go4itfatty View Post
    Wow, do I dare comment on this?

    As I posted on another thread "The Dole in the (Semi) Wild"

    I never gave the stock brakes on the Dole a try. When I got it they didn't work so I pulled them off and installed Avid BB7s 160mm disks with HS-1 (heat shedding) rotors. There have been statements that fat bikes need bigger then 160mm for good stopping. In my opinion a good set of 160mm brakes properly setup work great. My total ride weight including the bike, me, motor, batteries rear rack and a bunch of modifications including new tires, tube, handle bars crank arms and a rear rack is about 280 lbs, My ride speed so far is around 20mph on the flats. And the brakes pull the bike to a stop very well.

    Bob
    Maybe not using your opening line would be a good start

    I think the way you are trying yours out and the way I use mine are 2 completely different things. That being said I run bigger rotors on all my mtb bikes fat and skinny alike, there are other advantages in some terrain other than just stopping faster.

  3. #53
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    I notice a huge difference in rear brake performance on the fatbike. There's so much more traction that simply doesn't exist with a skinny tire.

  4. #54
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    you can never go overboard when it comes to brakes.. if you feel 180mm front and 160mm rear is good enough for you then am happy for you.. personally where i ride here steep downhill with boulder and rocks, loose sand on hardpack soil, i need all the braking i could get.. i run 203mm f and 180mm rear ice tech rotors with xt brakes on my fatboy.. wasn't happy with the tektro brakes with 180mm and 160mm orig equip with the bike.. if anything " it's better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it"..

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by av8or View Post
    . if anything " it's better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it"..
    How dare you add 75 grams of usable performance weight to your bike At least to me having good reliable braking system helps me to go faster.....if that makes any sense? Spot on dood!!

  6. #56
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    Guys, no question points are valid. Different uses have different requirements. But many comments in this thread are very general and simply stating that 160mm brakes on a fatboy aren't big enough. Following that general comment I am simply disagreeing. If your going to be specific as to some extreme usage then I would 100% agree with you. But the need for the bigger stopping power in not related to a fatbike. It's related to what your using it for. In that case you would be wise to have bigger brakes no matter what your riding. Wouldn't you agree?

  7. #57
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    bb7 fan here since 2003. all of my bikes get them. no complaints. 180 front 160 rear on my cooker maxi.

  8. #58
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    grimeca system 12's on 160's.

    so there!
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  9. #59
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    fatboy here with XT brakes and shitty Tektro rotors

    Im dieting, so currently about 245, but when I was 260 the bike would still lock up just like my CX bike. Never even considered it honestly, stops on a dime.

  10. #60
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    Outright power was never the problem with my BB7s, it's that extended heavy braking would heat up the rotor and it would glaze over, then the braking would significantly decrease. Also, the pads only lasted for about a month of regular riding, I got far more life out of my hydro disc sets. I think avid intentionally made very "grippy" pads, good for most riding, good if you don't have to do heavy extended braking.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  11. #61
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    just got a full year out of a set of bb7 pads. fresh set just went in. guess it depends on how hard you pull lever and how often. never had any issues with overheating or brake fade on extended steep descents as i have with shimano hydros (slx)

  12. #62
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    Wow, the DHers are using the wrong brakes!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  13. #63
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    Ya they shouldnt be using em at all

  14. #64
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    Shimano XT, 203 front 160 rear. I wouldn't say i needed 180 at the back as i don't live on a mountain. But 203 on the front is where it's at.
    Carbon Fat Bike Rider

  15. #65
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    Sure 160mm works! Physics dictate that 180mm work even better with regard to both power and heat dissipation. If you don't need that, it's fine! There's no single correct answer here, which is why rotors are available in everything from 140mm to >200mm.

    With regards to ergonomics and control over rough conditions, I would highly recommend people finding a good 1-finger braking setup. This will give you a much stronger and comfortable grip than if you reserve 2 fingers for braking, and will reduce strain on the rest of your hand. Move the brake lever several cm towards the center of the bar in such a way that your index finger hooks up to the outermost part of the brake lever. Adjust reach. If you then have to struggle to pull your bike up on the front wheel when stopping, I'd argue you're not getting enough braking power.

    This appears to be a good guide: How-To: Mountain Bike Cockpit Set Up with Art's Cyclery - Mountain Biking Videos - Vital MTB

  16. #66
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    I've been riding my fatty for 3+ years on Hopes (X2) with 160 rotors (Ashimas - cheap, light and good). As someone mentioned, bedding in the pads PROPERLY is super important. Follow Hope's instructions. I like the sintered pads the best.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow_Thyroid_Bike View Post
    fatboy here with XT brakes and shitty Tektro rotors

    Im dieting, so currently about 245, but when I was 260 the bike would still lock up just like my CX bike. Never even considered it honestly, stops on a dime.
    OK, I'm honestly trying to learn something so please help me out. I was under the impression that in many cases the same pads are used with different size rotors. As in the BB7s pads and mountings can be used with larger rotors with the use of an adapter. Am I incorrect? I realize there would of course be a limit to this.

    I would agree over heating of smaller disks could be an issue depending on usage. That's why I bought the HS-1 heat sheading disks. I was hope they would help avoid the glazing problems.

    Bob

  18. #68
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    Now that all the techno science behind braking has been hashed out, good see what dudes are actually running and how they shake out on their bikes. I really think larger rotors are key for the fattys...along with proper setup that should include: rotor alignment, a tight bleed, pad contact, lever feel and reach, clean rotors. Clean rotors cant be understated... I had some greasy fingers and happen to touch up my rotors taking off the rear wheel and that grease on the rotor effected the stopping power, so clean em up with alchohol. Guide RS with 180 f/r has been the best all around and stop on a dime 1 - finger for what its worth. Still need to test em on the Redtail in NoCon though!
    Last edited by NH Mtbiker; 07-07-2015 at 05:56 PM.
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Now that all the techno science behind braking has been hashed out, good see what dudes are actually running and how they shake out on their bikes. I really think larger rotors are key for the fattys...along with proper setup that should include: rotor alignment, a tight bleed, pad contact, lever feel and reach, clean rotors. Clean rotors cant be understated... I had some greasy fingers and happen to touch up my rotors taking off the rear wheel and that grease on the rotor effected the stopping power, so clean em up with alchohol. Guide RS with 180 f/r has been the best all around and stop on a dime 1 - finger for what its worth. Still need to test em on the Red Trail in NoCon though!
    redtail trail is no match for bb7's dozens and dozens of descents on that trail

  20. #70
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    Loved bb7 on one wet and very muddy vt50...08? Able to flip the bike upside down and dial in the pads trail side without skipping a beat!
    14 GT Zaskar 9r
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  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Clean rotors cant be understated.
    ...well they could be quite easily actually, definitely not overstated though.

  22. #72
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    I don't notice any difference in braking on my fat bike vs my other bikes. 180/160 rotors on all of them. XT on the fatty, slx on the 27.5, BB7 on the 29er.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    No moss...

  23. #73
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    This thread is a little messed up. As stated, brakes should serve the application... which basically comes down to weight and speed. The fact that the bike is a fatbike is irrelevant.

    I read something about a guy who put super light aftermarket wheels on his turbo car. He said it ruined his wheel bearings on track day. Why? Heat management. The auto mfr. specified certain wheels for the car. When he went super light, there was no where to dissipate the heat from braking. If he was driving on the street, he never would have noticed a problem. Wrong application for the wheels.

    For heavy duty stopping, you probably need bigger, if not thicker, rotors (think off-road tandem). If you are just tooling along and don't weigh a lot, then it probably doesn't matter much.

    -F

    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Loved bb7 on one wet and very muddy vt50...08? Able to flip the bike upside down and dial in the pads trail side without skipping a beat!
    This happened to me once in TN. I was cranking out my barrel adjusters between corners just to maintain a little braking. It was aggravating and a little dangerous. By the time I reached the bottom the rotors were grinding on the calipers. If it'd been any longer of a hill, I'd have had to stop and turn the red dials. However, that is my only beef with BB7s. I have them on 2 bikes including the tandem.
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  24. #74
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    I completely agree that body weight/terrain/ridding style and brake choice/setup can have a much bigger effect than tire size.

    That said, I think a good summary when comparing fat vs skinny with identical riders/terrain/brake set up is that a couple factors make it so you will build up more heat and also need to apply a bit more force to the brake lever on the fatbike:

    1) in some cases a fat wheel will have a larger diameter giving the rotor less leverage.
    26" to 29" is about a 10% increase similar to going from a 160 to a 180 rotor.

    2) increased inertia of the heavier wheel during deceleration (doesn't make a difference if applying brakes to maintain a constant speed). I crunched through the numbers in a previous post and for me, a relatively light weight rider on somewhat heavy bikes, the difference here was about 9%. Again, almost a full rotor size.

    3) increased traction on the fatbike means it is often possible to apply a larger braking force before skidding

    I get by just fine with one finger braking on 160mm rotors front and rear on both my fat and 26" bike, but that's probably just because I'm not pushing my equipment near the limit of what it can do. I'm guessing I could go down a rotor size on my skinny bike, but I'm not enough of a weight weenie to care.

    If a 160mm rotor is almost too small for you on a skinny bike, it isn't unreasonable to expect you might want to jump up a rotor size on a fatbike.

  25. #75
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    #3 FTW - the others are irrelevant by comparison.

  26. #76
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    Brake test for beach riding on the Kenai Peninsula Alaska, summer 2015.
    Fat bike; no brakes, no rotors, stopping power = stop peddling and putting foot down. Skinny bike; never started moving no need to for brakes. This test was done without the use of a mongoose or any other department store bike.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  27. #77
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    Yeah, I remember reading an article, I think it was in Bunyan Velo, of several guys who were riding/packrafting the coast of Alaska, and half skipped brakes. Scares me to think of it, but I guess if you are always going slow enough. Plus the one guy (I believe Eric of Revelate Designs) said that brake pads were gone in a day anyways.

  28. #78
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    This happens in every forum I've ever visited. Someone ask for advice and people start fighting about who is right about the required length of your fingernails during a full moon summer night dance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mabrodis View Post
    I know they are supposed to dissipate heat better that way but it seems at some point the pad has to actually touch metal to stop the bike, so having more than 50% air holes limits how much pad-to-metal engagement you can have.
    Ideas?
    If disc were not perforated, they would provide more braking surface, but they would also be heavier. And we all know how reducing half a pound from a bike boosts its sales.

    And interestingly too, those perforations create "hot spots" on the disc, where the heat remains isolated, thus keeping a lower overall temp.

    Also, the holes aid in removing water from the rotor surface, creating a gap where the water can go when they contact the brake pads.

  29. #79
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    Just because...

    So initially I decided to spend money on brakes, my bike had the simple but effective cable tektro with 160 mm front and rear. So I decided upgrade to XTR hydraulic brakes and 203 / 180 mm rotors. When order the components I forgot to order the 203 mm adapter so I went to The Home Depot and bought some stuff like longer bolts, loctite, washers, nylon spacers etc, so below is the result:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fatbike braking -vs- skinny tire braking-img_7201.jpg  

    Fatbike braking -vs- skinny tire braking-img_7200.jpg  

    Fatbike braking -vs- skinny tire braking-img_7199.jpg  

    Fatbike braking -vs- skinny tire braking-img_7196.jpg  

    Fatbike braking -vs- skinny tire braking-img_7195.jpg  


  30. #80
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    What you did with those hardware pieces is basically what the branded spacer does. However, I'd consider replacing your set up for a solid 1 piece spacer. Just for peace of mind while riding. Also, easier servicing
    Last edited by patico_cr; 1 Day Ago at 07:54 PM. Reason: Change 'piece' to 'peace'

  31. #81
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    What you are doing with the longer bolts is applying more force to the bolts themselves. Please go get the proper spacers before you do damage to your bike or yourself.

  32. #82
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    Geez, no kidding , I agree with the two posts above. Get the proper adapter and bolts from a bike shop, not home depot.
    You'll be spending a lot more on a trip to the hospital...

  33. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Geez, no kidding , I agree with the two posts above. Get the proper adapter and bolts from a bike shop, not home depot.
    You'll be spending a lot more on a trip to the hospital...
    Thanks every once for the advise, I just ordered both, should be here in a week jeje

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