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  1. #1
    I just let one RIP
    Reputation: Jwiffle's Avatar
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    New question here. Avid Mechs or Shimano XT Hydros on VT?

    I'm planning to get a VT-2 in the not too distant future (hopefully by Christmas!), but I'm not liking the Hayes disc brakes it comes with, for a couple reasons. First, I don't like the dot brake fluid idea. Shimano uses mineral oil, much better for the environment. But many of the reviews on the Hayes HFX 9XC complained that they were difficult to use. I haven't used disc before, and would like to avoid any that are difficult. The Shimano XT M765 seemed to get better reviews, as did the Avid Mechs. If it makes a difference, I already have a wheelset on order that I plan to replace the ones that come on the bike--Mavic XM 819 rims, Shimano XT 765 Disc hubs that use the centerlock discs. Are hydros that much better, or should I just get mechanical brakes with the Avids?
    Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    XC rider/racer
    Reputation: Andy 's Avatar
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    Avid Mechs

    I havent used the Shimano hydros, but can highly recommend the Avid mechs which I`m using on my VT.
    They`re super-easy to adjust (simply dial in the red adjusters), provide plenty enough stopping power for me ( wet & dry conditions), and have good modulation.
    Cheers

  3. #3
    [paste title here]
    Reputation: mtnbikerdude87's Avatar
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    I would vote for the Avid Mechs. I have them on my NRS and I love them. They have great stopping power and are very easy to adjust. I never liked the hydros. My brother has the hayes on his Jamis and they're ok. I just worry when we have to bleed them, cuz of the messy fluids and such. If you have money to spend then XT hydros are fine but if you want to save some cash, Avids are the way to go.
    Keep Pedaling

    Bruin Cycling

  4. #4
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    Can't go wrong with Avid Mechs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jwiffle
    I'm planning to get a VT-2 in the not too distant future (hopefully by Christmas!), but I'm not liking the Hayes disc brakes it comes with, for a couple reasons. First, I don't like the dot brake fluid idea. Shimano uses mineral oil, much better for the environment. But many of the reviews on the Hayes HFX 9XC complained that they were difficult to use. I haven't used disc before, and would like to avoid any that are difficult. The Shimano XT M765 seemed to get better reviews, as did the Avid Mechs. If it makes a difference, I already have a wheelset on order that I plan to replace the ones that come on the bike--Mavic XM 819 rims, Shimano XT 765 Disc hubs that use the centerlock discs. Are hydros that much better, or should I just get mechanical brakes with the Avids?
    Thanks for your input.
    I've never had a problem with them, which is more than I can say for some other disc brakes I have used...namely Hayes hydros.

  5. #5
    XC rider/racer
    Reputation: Andy 's Avatar
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    Another consideration....

    Is do you do epic rides that take you to isolated places? If so a damaged hydraulic line will be a MAJOR prob.
    With mech discs, its simply a case of threading thru a new cable should the other one become damaged (provided of course you carry a spare cable )
    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Agreement!

    Yeah me too. Love the Avid Mech's. I've not tried the hydro's out on the trails, so I can't offer an experienced comparison, but I too was reluctant to go for them for the same reasons detailed above. Stopping power of the Avids is as good as I could hope for - at times almost too good for me. I can't see how hydros could be much better.

    Cheers.

  7. #7
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    I run XT hydros on my VT (already had them when purchased the VT frame). To improve the stopping power (not really needed) I installed a 203mm rotor on the front and a 180mm rotor on the rear. The real reason for that was that I put in a Manitou Super fork and had to install a post mount adapter to use my IS mount calipers.

    I run Deore mechs on my SS and the hydros have a better feel, I know that the Deore mechs aren't the best around but they do the trick.

    Only have heard few complaints on the Avid mechs, so in my opinion you can't go wrong with any of the choices. The mechs are simpler to deal with but the hydros have better stopping power.

    For epic rides, both should perform well but the hydro line might be more prong to breakage than the regular brake cable. I have a hose break on the inside only and the brake still worked with minimal stopping power but still worked so the myth of them not being handled on epic rides was busted in my opinion.

    My .02

  8. #8
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    i like the xt

    just got my bike with the 04 XT brakes and I got to say I love the feel and the modulation of the hydro disc. I spend quite some time with disc mechs (never with the avid which have a great reputation) and there is a world of difference. Go for whatever your budget is, maybe it is worthwhile to spend less on brakes and spend it elsewhere, but if you have the money and are ready to cope with the hazzle of hydraulic maintenance I highly recommand the Shimanos, (or the juicy if they are available)

  9. #9
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    Hi,

    I use Giant MPH hydros on my NRS and I have Avid Mechs on my Giant 840 rigid commuting bike. Both are excellent and I have had no problems with either stopping.

    I would have to say the hydros do offer better modulation and I do find the Avids can be a bit grabby. However, I only use them on the road so they are probably overkill in terms of stopping power.

    I am currently looking at Hope mono minis to replace the MPHs but I am still considering saving half the price and getting another set of Avids.

    Ultimately both will probably be just as good as each other and will stop you. It is just that the hydros probably do it with a little bit more finesse.

    Regards

  10. #10
    Reviewer/Tester
    Reputation: Rainman's Avatar
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    I LIKE my Hayes Hydro's. They can stop you like you hit a brick wall, or nice and slowly if you feather them a bit...or anything in between, the feedback is really good I find. I don't have any problems using the Hayes discs, I just don't see how they could be termed 'difficult to use'.

    Most of my riding is on tight bumpy singletrack, quite technical in places, and plenty of stuff to snag a cable around the place, but I have the cables tied down pretty well with tie-locks, so I feel that there is little chance of breaking one, and the cables are pretty tough as well.

    I also ride on the road to and from the trails, and do a bit of urban stuff for fun. No problems with the Hayes so far, and i'm very happy with them. I've given them a real thumping since I got the VT-2, I think I ride quite a bit more than most people I know, and the Hayes have been a non-event as far as problems go.


    R.

  11. #11
    On MTBR hiatus :(
    Reputation: Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwiffle
    I'm planning to get a VT-2 in the not too distant future (hopefully by Christmas!), but I'm not liking the Hayes disc brakes it comes with, for a couple reasons. First, I don't like the dot brake fluid idea. Shimano uses mineral oil, much better for the environment. But many of the reviews on the Hayes HFX 9XC complained that they were difficult to use. I haven't used disc before, and would like to avoid any that are difficult. The Shimano XT M765 seemed to get better reviews, as did the Avid Mechs. If it makes a difference, I already have a wheelset on order that I plan to replace the ones that come on the bike--Mavic XM 819 rims, Shimano XT 765 Disc hubs that use the centerlock discs. Are hydros that much better, or should I just get mechanical brakes with the Avids?
    Thanks for your input.
    I'd ignore stopping power as a consideration because the Avid Mechs are up to par with any hydro unit out there. Honest. Scout's honor.

    Instead I'd base the decision strictly on your list of the pluses and minuses of cable system setup and maintenance versus a hydro system setup and maintenance. Some riders put a premium on the silky smooth lever feel of a hydro. Others like the idea of a completely sealed system. Some like the familiarity of cables and don't want to handle hydraulic fluid. But that's basically the choice.

    Also consider that the Avid's have some extra tuning and adjustment options that the hydros don't (can't) offer, but they do come with a weight penalty compared to most hydros.

    I've been a big fan of Avid's since they were first available and have them on my bikes, but the *only* reason I stick with them is because they are cable (and because they perform). I don't think I'd lose any sleep if I were suddenly forced to ride and maintain hydros, but until that day comes the Avid K.I.S.S. approach appeals to me.

  12. #12
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    I'm using Avid Mechs with my VT1...love 'em! Ok, I just hopped on the disc wagon this year and had doubts that they would be any better than my last V's (Shimano LX -which are great btw) I also had worries that I"d have problems with Disc brakes. After using these Avids on plenty of different trails (rain, mud, steep down, etc) these brakes rock! Not one problem yet. Super powerful and absolutly ZERO fade. I'm with Speedub that I wouldn't be upset if I had some hydros, but with these Avids, I don't wish for any! Good luck.

  13. #13
    Tater Like'um Bike Ridez!
    Reputation: Ullrite's Avatar
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    AVID MECH's YES!!!

    I just put a set of 7" Avid Mech's on my Giant and I can't fricken believe the performance. My buddy who rides an Iron Horse SGS with Hayes Hydraulics is jealous. He rode mine and said the brakes work better than his. Hope that helps. Also, they are very easy to install and maintain. No harder than the old rim brakes. If you get SD7 or SDti levers to match, you can dial in the modulation pretty well too! Say goodbye to the mucked-up brake rub noise too! Also, if you have the $$$ put on the Full Metal Jacket cable housings too. They really do have ZERO friction!!!

    ~J

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