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  1. #1
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    upgrading to higher end brakes, options?

    So about a month ago I bought a salsa timberjack NX1. I love the bike to pieces, its let me ride so much harder then my old bike. the one thing im unhappy about are the brakes, now i may have not broken them in right or something but regardless they feel soft,unresponsive and not smooth or quiet and they have TONS of travel, almost hitting my knuckles when i brake hard. It came stock with Tektro HD M290 witch look like they cost about $40? Im looking for the best set of breaks I can get for under $300 with or without rotors. I was looking at the $133 Sram GUIDE R, $100 Level TL or the $90 SHIMANO DEORE XT M8000.
    thought? suggestions?
    Edit: I fixed the miss spelling
    Last edited by Slashcrazy; 06-30-2018 at 06:04 AM.

  2. #2
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    It depends of how much money do you want to spend, i had Guide R, XT M8000 and XT M8020(4 pistons) and honestly for me the 8020 are amazing brakes for $320 usd or less.

  3. #3
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    id go with Shimano, super reliable

  4. #4
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    Formula Cura


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  5. #5
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    Good brakes will last as long as the bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    Good brakes will last as long as the bike.
    My Hopes are on their 3rd bike and about to be put on the 4th...still look and work as good as they did day 1.
    Kona Big Unit SS
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  7. #7
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    +1 for hopes. my E4's couldn't be better.
    all aluminum. infinite adjustment. power and modulation, on top of reliability.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow4eva View Post
    Formula Cura


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    We can't really evaluate long-term reliability on these yet since they are so new, but they do look very promising.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    id go with Shimano, super reliable
    Yeah, I love my old XTs, but I've also heard that the latest generation M8000s can have issues.


    The M8020s look really nice.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  10. #10
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    Want to get all you need for less? And it just bolts right on no bleeding or cutting hoses?
    Change just the front brake. You should be doing 90% of your braking with the front anyway. And just changing the front to a high quality product will help you learn good technique. You can get a rear and cut the hose and bleed it . . . .later.

  11. #11
    make mine a nine
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    XT M8000 from that list. Early lever travel issues have long since been sorted. Shimano brakes have a deserved reputation for low maintenance and reliability.

  12. #12
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    Whose pads are the best bang for the buck? My brakes are at like 15k miles and my only gripe is that two sets of oem pads cost like 80.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Want to get all you need for less? And it just bolts right on no bleeding or cutting hoses?
    Change just the front brake. You should be doing 90% of your braking with the front anyway. And just changing the front to a high quality product will help you learn good technique. You can get a rear and cut the hose and bleed it . . . .later.
    I hadent thought about that! So im looking at the shimano XT BR M8000 brakes for $90. I would also buy a new ice tech rotor. Would I need anything else to install those?
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-XT...000-Disc-Brake
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-XT...Ice-Tech-Rotor
    Im still kinda a noob when it comes to brakes so any help is great.
    thank you for all the fast responses guys!

  14. #14
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    The member formerly known as Redtires....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    Yeah, I love my old XTs, but I've also heard that the latest generation M8000s can have issues.


    The M8020s look really nice.
    what kind of issues?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Handlebar View Post
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    Ikr
    I controlled myself though


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  17. #17
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    upgrading to higher end breaks, options?

    Try riding at faster speeds and then crashing the bike into very solid objects, such as a tree. You may be able to completely snap the frame.

    (ok, obviously I couldn't resist)


    A lot of things I've read say there really isn't much difference between SLX and XT disk brakes and unless the cost is really close, XTs aren't worth the extra money. Personally, I would not want my brake levers mismatched; I'd upgrade both.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Try riding at faster speeds and then crashing the bike into very solid objects, such as a tree. You may be able to completely snap the frame.

    (ok, obviously I couldn't resist)


    A lot of things I've read say there really isn't much difference between SLX and XT disk brakes and unless the cost is really close, XTs aren't worth the extra money. Personally, I would not want my brake levers mismatched; I'd upgrade both.
    thanks for bring that up. How would I know if i need adapters to mount the brakes to the frame?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slashcrazy View Post
    thanks for bring that up. How would I know if i need adapters to mount the brakes to the frame?
    You shouldn't need any adaptors.

    Check out this article, scroll down, I don't know why it is showing all the links at the top:

    Shimano Components: Where to Spend Your Money - Mtbr.com | Page 2
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  20. #20
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    First: Bleed the brakes you've got.

    Second: Now that the brakes are more tolerable shop the big online retailers until you find a decent deal. I replaced my Tektros with SLX for about $110 ordering from England.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonSonic View Post
    First: Bleed the brakes you've got.

    Second: Now that the brakes are more tolerable shop the big online retailers until you find a decent deal. I replaced my Tektros with SLX for about $110 ordering from England.
    thank you.just ordered the SLX with an ice tec 180mm rotor, thank you for reminding me to also buy a bleed kit!

  22. #22
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    cant go wrong with the SLX

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slashcrazy View Post
    I hadent thought about that! So im looking at the shimano XT BR M8000 brakes for $90. I would also buy a new ice tech rotor. Would I need anything else to install those?
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-XT...000-Disc-Brake
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-XT...Ice-Tech-Rotor
    Im still kinda a noob when it comes to brakes so any help is great.
    thank you for all the fast responses guys!
    For a front you don't need a new rotor or a bleed kit. SLX is fine. Both XT and SLX use the same pads.
    You may need a bleed kit if you get a rear because the hose comes too long and it's difficult to cut and install it without doing a bleed.
    You have to use Shimano mineral oil.

  24. #24
    MidnightBroomstickCowboy
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    $300 budget and nobody mentioned a pair of TRP Quadiems or Slates?

    Tektros aren't the same thing.

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    "As a true patriotic American, I blindly follow what my elected leaders tell me." - Jack English

  25. #25
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    My bike came with SLX, I upgraded to XT once a real bargain showed up on eBay, the only difference was the lever adjustment. In fact, after the rear piston started leaking after 2 years (I did abuse it maybe a bit, wearing down the pads until the piston was touching the rotors), I reverted to the SLX I had saved, and Shimano said they are identical.

    Depending on your use, pads are a big part of the equation. For trails almost anything works, but sometimes I go down on a long asphalt road (Bohlman in Saratoga), and both the resin and metal pads were abruptly losing breaking power after 5 min or so. What solved that, for me, was J04C, metal pads with fins.
    I also tried the fancy icetech schmtec, went back to standard rotors, actually more durable and less noisy (stiffer).

    XTR in general is less durable, with diminishing returns. Sometimes lighter, at the expense of strength. It is for cases of not knowing how to spend your money fast enough. :-)
    Never limited by common sense...

  26. #26
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    On my 4th year using SLX. One single issue, except for some intermittent squealing from the rear under hard use. New pads are in order.

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