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  1. #1
    freak of nature
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    Formula B4 Pro vs. Hope Mini Mono ?

    Hi guys,
    I know it's been discussed a few times on this board, but I want your opinions (experiences) on these two models of disc brakes. It would replace my heavy Deore XT discs, but what I'm looking for in these brakes is the same reliability. My XTs has been functioning without the slightest sign of leak or fade. So how do you compare them ?

    Thanks in advance !

    Jean-Sebastien
    2004 Giant XTC Custom
    2001 Giant Boulder HD
    2000 Devinci Chili Pepper (frame only)
    1993 Proflex 853 (frame only)
    1988 Kuwahara ProStar
    1982 Peugeot Record Du Monde (fixed gear)
    1980 Raleigh Sprite (restoration)

  2. #2
    simply me
    Reputation: bostonkiwi's Avatar
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    I went from the original Xt (4 pot) to Formula B4 pros, the Xt's were good but I didn't like how close the pads ran to the rotor, the B4's had some problems with air getting into the system and let me down in a couple of races.

    I am now using the mono mini. Similar weight to the b4, no problems with air getting into the system Very nicely machined and unlike the other 2 systems the spoke/caliper clearance is great.

    I'd say skip the b4 and go directly to the mono's.

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-seb
    Hi guys,
    I know it's been discussed a few times on this board, but I want your opinions (experiences) on these two models of disc brakes. It would replace my heavy Deore XT discs, but what I'm looking for in these brakes is the same reliability. My XTs has been functioning without the slightest sign of leak or fade. So how do you compare them ?

    Thanks in advance !

    Jean-Sebastien

  3. #3
    TC3
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    ... and if we just ... another vote for mini

    I went from XT (4 piston) to mono mini as well.
    Love both brakes, getting the mini cuz' it's lighter.
    XT has more power, though.
    No experience on B4s yet...
    By the way, I put Al bolts on levers
    and Ti bolts on rotors and tabs to make it a little bit lighter

  4. #4
    freak of nature
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    thanks guys !

    This is almost what I wanted to hear ! I'll try to sell my XTs and now I know what will be my next set of brakes.

    Thanks for the comments,

    Jean-Sebastien
    2004 Giant XTC Custom
    2001 Giant Boulder HD
    2000 Devinci Chili Pepper (frame only)
    1993 Proflex 853 (frame only)
    1988 Kuwahara ProStar
    1982 Peugeot Record Du Monde (fixed gear)
    1980 Raleigh Sprite (restoration)

  5. #5
    newbie boobie.
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    I know it wasn't part of the deal:

    But, I think you have to throw the Magura Martas in there, somewhereeeeee.

    I like em. Very nice lever actions.
    It ain't easy being human.

  6. #6
    freak of nature
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkekus
    I know it wasn't part of the deal:

    But, I think you have to throw the Magura Martas in there, somewhereeeeee.

    I like em. Very nice lever actions.

    I thought about them but I saw too many leaking Maguras (Julies and Claras, don't know if the Martas have the same problems but well...) to consider them, plus they're more expensive. Do you ride in cold conditions ? Because I know that some hydraulics systems have problems with that, so if you tell me that you ride in cold conditions and don't have oil pressure or leaking problems, then I would reconsider the Marta SLs .

    Thanks for the suggestion,

    Jean-Sebastien
    2004 Giant XTC Custom
    2001 Giant Boulder HD
    2000 Devinci Chili Pepper (frame only)
    1993 Proflex 853 (frame only)
    1988 Kuwahara ProStar
    1982 Peugeot Record Du Monde (fixed gear)
    1980 Raleigh Sprite (restoration)

  7. #7
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    I'm running hope mini's. A friend did run hope mini's and upgraded to mono minis. He found them to be an improvement on minis.

    on my hope minis ---->
    Al bolts for lever bar mounts
    Ti bolts in rotors and calipers

    I have heard, but unsure as to the safety - fatigue strength - of people using Al bolts in the rear brake. I've also heard of people using alternate Al / Ti bolts in rotors.

    Depending on how much power you need, have you considered Goodridge hoses as an upgrade? more weight, but if you need the improved stopping power?

  8. #8
    JsR
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    I haven't tried the Mono but I did have Minis on my old bike. I am using the B4 SL+ now and they are better than the Hopes in every way... feel, modulation, power. The Hopes had to be bled occasionally. I haven't done anything with the Formulas except use them.
    Pad life is similar.The Hopes can be noisy at times.
    The Hopes work great, they are MY second choice.
    The Formulas are just better and the CS from Thorsten is beyond expectations.


    Quote Originally Posted by jean-seb
    Hi guys,
    I know it's been discussed a few times on this board, but I want your opinions (experiences) on these two models of disc brakes. It would replace my heavy Deore XT discs, but what I'm looking for in these brakes is the same reliability. My XTs has been functioning without the slightest sign of leak or fade. So how do you compare them ?

    Thanks in advance !

    Jean-Sebastien

  9. #9
    freak of nature
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippster
    I'm running hope mini's. A friend did run hope mini's and upgraded to mono minis. He found them to be an improvement on minis.

    on my hope minis ---->
    Al bolts for lever bar mounts
    Ti bolts in rotors and calipers

    I have heard, but unsure as to the safety - fatigue strength - of people using Al bolts in the rear brake. I've also heard of people using alternate Al / Ti bolts in rotors.

    Depending on how much power you need, have you considered Goodridge hoses as an upgrade? more weight, but if you need the improved stopping power?

    Do you mean using the Goodridge hoses on the XTs? Because I already have lots of power on them, I just wanted something lighter. And by changing every bolts on my XTs (calipers bolts 8x, mounting bolts 4x, levers bolts 2x alu, and disc bolts 12x) I would save approx. 30-35g per wheel, which would give me around 440g rear and 410g front with stock stainless braided hoses. It wouldn't be a lot of savings but I'd still have the stopping power of the XTs....

    Well... thanks for your advices, I'll just think about it and make my decision later.

    Cheers,
    Jean-Sebastien
    2004 Giant XTC Custom
    2001 Giant Boulder HD
    2000 Devinci Chili Pepper (frame only)
    1993 Proflex 853 (frame only)
    1988 Kuwahara ProStar
    1982 Peugeot Record Du Monde (fixed gear)
    1980 Raleigh Sprite (restoration)

  10. #10
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    xtr calipers

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-seb
    Hi guys,
    I know it's been discussed a few times on this board, but I want your opinions (experiences) on these two models of disc brakes. It would replace my heavy Deore XT discs, but what I'm looking for in these brakes is the same reliability. My XTs has been functioning without the slightest sign of leak or fade. So how do you compare them ?

    Thanks in advance !

    Jean-Sebastien
    FYI, You could buy xtr calipers and use them with your current xt levers. Almost as light as mono mini and cheaper. Do not be afraid of sticky piston syndrome, the xtr calipers are well figured out by now, and they heve great power and modulation.

  11. #11
    freak of nature
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    Quote Originally Posted by barrows
    FYI, You could buy xtr calipers and use them with your current xt levers. Almost as light as mono mini and cheaper. Do not be afraid of sticky piston syndrome, the xtr calipers are well figured out by now, and they heve great power and modulation.
    Good idea ! But do they have the same oil displacement, and do the hoses attach the same way on the caliper (my old 4-pistons XTs have a banjo type hose) ? And also, do you know an online shop who sells only the calipers (without discs) ?

    Thanks barrows !

    Jean-Sebastien
    2004 Giant XTC Custom
    2001 Giant Boulder HD
    2000 Devinci Chili Pepper (frame only)
    1993 Proflex 853 (frame only)
    1988 Kuwahara ProStar
    1982 Peugeot Record Du Monde (fixed gear)
    1980 Raleigh Sprite (restoration)

  12. #12
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    xtr calipers

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-seb
    Good idea ! But do they have the same oil displacement, and do the hoses attach the same way on the caliper (my old 4-pistons XTs have a banjo type hose) ? And also, do you know an online shop who sells only the calipers (without discs) ?

    Thanks barrows !

    Jean-Sebastien
    I do not know if you can purchase xtr calipers without rotors, but you can buy them with 6 bolt rotors and then you would have spares. The xt (bh-62) hose banjo will bolt on to the xtr caliper no problem and the levers are compatible. You can check this out at shimano.com

  13. #13
    (aka SS_MB-7)
    Reputation: 1speed_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jean-seb
    Hi guys,
    I know it's been discussed a few times on this board, but I want your opinions (experiences) on these two models of disc brakes. It would replace my heavy Deore XT discs, but what I'm looking for in these brakes is the same reliability. My XTs has been functioning without the slightest sign of leak or fade. So how do you compare them ?

    Thanks in advance !

    Jean-Sebastien
    I've raced on several hydros over the years, which has included: Formula B4s, Formula B4 SLs, Formula B4 SL+, Hope C2 Pros, Hope Minis, Hope Mono Minis, Shimano XTR and now, Magura Marta SLs.

    Without a doubt, my two favorite brakes are: Formula B4 SLs (and SL+) and Magura Marta SLs. Both provide incredible braking power and modulation considering their weight (B4 SLs = 630g/set; B4 SL+ = 700g/set; Magura Marta SL = 708g/set). I'd give a slight edge to the Formulas in terms of modulation, but for sheer power, the Marta SLs are the tops.

    I recently completed the TransRockies with my Marta SLs and I was able to 1-finger the brakes the entire time, even while negotiating high-speed, tight, technical singletrack. Truly impressive.

    Lastly, each brake is backed by some of the best customer service in the biz: Thorsten (Formula) and Jimmi/Lonnie/Jude (Magura).

    With regards to the Hope Mono Minis, they were a nice brake. Beautifully CNC'd and exquisite to look at. But, at the lever, they just felt dead relative to the Formulas and Maguras. Very wooden. Yes, they were powerful enough to stop me, but still not as strong as the Formulas and Maguras. Also, I found their modulation to be lacking. Lastly, the noise. I just couldn't stand the constant squealing (dry/wet). My Formulas and Maguras have been dead-quiet, despite being ridden/raced under the same conditions.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

  14. #14
    Max
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    maybe OT but anyway: i run a set of '03 B4 pro brakes with sintered pads. just like my '01 B4 gold brakes, the front brake lacks a bit of power. using sintered pads, i've been thinking about organic pads. has anybody tested formula's original organic pads yet? other companies (BBB, EBS, Swissstop, Clark)?


    Skinny guys fight 'til they're burger

  15. #15
    freak of nature
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    Finally !

    Thanks you guys for helping me on choosing my brakes but..... I finally went with the advices of donkekus and 1speed_mike.... the Marta SLs !!! Got a good deal on a rear unit (it helps you choose sometimes !), and will be purchasing the front one in a couple of weeks.

    I know I'm not a fanatic of Maguras...but only stupid people don't change their minds sometimes !

    So thanks again !

    Jean-Sebastien
    2004 Giant XTC Custom
    2001 Giant Boulder HD
    2000 Devinci Chili Pepper (frame only)
    1993 Proflex 853 (frame only)
    1988 Kuwahara ProStar
    1982 Peugeot Record Du Monde (fixed gear)
    1980 Raleigh Sprite (restoration)

  16. #16
    (aka SS_MB-7)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jean-seb
    Thanks you guys for helping me on choosing my brakes but..... I finally went with the advices of donkekus and 1speed_mike.... the Marta SLs !!! Got a good deal on a rear unit (it helps you choose sometimes !), and will be purchasing the front one in a couple of weeks.

    I know I'm not a fanatic of Maguras...but only stupid people don't change their minds sometimes !

    So thanks again !

    Jean-Sebastien
    I've always been a Magura fan since I tried my first set of HS-22s hydro rim brakes, then my Raceline D's and then my Jonny T's...all incredible brakes that never gave me an ounce of problems. But, when it came to discs, I never went with them. Not sure why, really. But, I'm glad to be back with Maguras. My Marta SLs (which I have mounted on my SS and my new Ti Racer-X) are working great, have incredible power and excellent modulation. I just love the feel of the carbon levers...mmmm.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

  17. #17
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    I'm running the 04 Formula B4 Pro Plus and have been very happy with them. I'll second the comments on the support from Thorsten.

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