Best disc system for XC/AM use and lightweight?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best disc system for XC/AM use and lightweight?

    I did a search and really couldn't find a good thread, if there is one, please point me to that direction.

    I have some old Hayes disc brakes and inn effort to getting new pads, adapters, discs, replacement levers, etc.....I realize I might be dumping waaaaaay to much into old brakes when I could easily pay a bit more and get some brand new modern disc brakes.

    I have a liking for Avid and Hayes stuff because I am familiar with their stuff since way back when I was a mechanic at a shop.

    I would like a lightweight system that still has a lot of power for a 5" travel bike.

    From the research I have done, it looks like there are a few options:

    Hayes Stroker series
    Avid Juicy Ultimates
    Avid Elixir series

    Are there any I am missing or any obvious choices?

    I am not super worried about price (within reason), I will find a good price regardless (closeouts, ebay, classifieds, etc....) I just want to find the right brake then search for where to purchase them.

    Thanks!!!!
    Last edited by rodH; 12-13-2009 at 10:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    I have a giant trance X, 5" trailbike. It initially came with Juicy 7's (185/160). I was happy with them.

    I then decided to get all weight weenie and bought a set of formula R1's. They were significantly lighter (~ 590g IIRC for 180/160 vs 930g for the avid 185/160) and I felt that they worked much better (better stopping power and better modulation IMO). Plus I love the lever shape.

    I use the bike from XC to light AM riding and they have performed very well. My only gripe is getting the caliper centered for the first time. The pad clearance is very small (vs. avid/hayes setups that I've had) and it took awhile to get the pads drag-free.

    I am ~210 to 220 lbs depending on the kit. The only downside to the R1's is that they are expensive, but if you do some shopping you should be able to get a good deal (I found my set for ~ 400$ CDN shipped with 180/180 rotors, OEM).

  3. #3
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    civil, thanks for the reply. Those looks like some really nice brakes, after doing some research, it looks like they are really hard to find for a decent price, even used. Probably because they aren't as common?

    I found some really good deals on Hayes Stroker Trail (only difference between them and the much more expensive Stroker Carbon is a CB lever and lighter pads and a few grams). Also some good deals used on Avid Juicy Ultimate's. I said that price wasn't that big of a deal, but if I can get these 2 brakes for 30-50% less than those Formula's, I probably should save the cash.

    Also, it looks like the Avid Juicy Ultimates aren't a current model anymore. Looks like the Elixir is an evolution of the Juicy line, is that right?

  4. #4
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    stroker gram http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/185...Disc-Brake.htm

    stroker carbon http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/176...Disc-Brake.htm

    both are pretty cheap especially the carbons at $99

  5. #5
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    i would personally stay stick to the avid brakes, all i've seen/experienced with the hayes is garbage(whether it be the strokers, sole, mags or nines)

  6. #6
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    I've got time on avid juicys (7) and elixirs as well as a pair of stroker trails.

    Elixirs are really nice, they modulate much nicer than the juicys and have plenty of power on tap, The strokers are powerful and a much more suitable brake for xc and am than previous hayes brakes incarnations. The bottom line is that all three brakes are very good. Yep, if you're complaining about the performance of these brakes you're just splitting hairs. The thing that makes hayes rank high on my personal list is the lever shape and action (which i guess is attributed to the different master cylinder design), I find one finger braking to be a lot easier and less fatiguing on hayes because the lever runs almost parallel to the bars.

    And even though price isn't a major issue for the OP, it's hard to pass up strong hydraulic brakes that are available on the market for 60$ a piece including rotor.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by micro224
    stroker gram http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/185...Disc-Brake.htm

    stroker carbon http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/176...Disc-Brake.htm

    both are pretty cheap especially the carbons at $99
    I would think the Stroker Trails at $69 is even a better deal, no? Same brake and only a few grams heavier. Down the line if you wanted to add carbon levers and alum backed pads, they end up being the exact same brakes?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by peedrama
    I've got time on avid juicys (7) and elixirs as well as a pair of stroker trails.

    Elixirs are really nice, they modulate much nicer than the juicys and have plenty of power on tap, The strokers are powerful and a much more suitable brake for xc and am than previous hayes brakes incarnations. The bottom line is that all three brakes are very good. Yep, if you're complaining about the performance of these brakes you're just splitting hairs. The thing that makes hayes rank high on my personal list is the lever shape and action (which i guess is attributed to the different master cylinder design), I find one finger braking to be a lot easier and less fatiguing on hayes because the lever runs almost parallel to the bars.

    And even though price isn't a major issue for the OP, it's hard to pass up strong hydraulic brakes that are available on the market for 60$ a piece including rotor.
    So what would you say the best is for the money?
    1. Stoker Trail $69x2 (new)
    2. Stroker Carbon $99x2 (new)
    3. Avid Juicy Ultimate $180 for set (used mint condition)

    I am leaning towards Stroker Trail

  9. #9
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    What is your price range. I did alot of research my self on brakes. And I also looked into the Elixir Series (CR'S). But I ended up going with Hope Tech X2.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GF 29er
    What is your price range. I did alot of research my self on brakes. And I also looked into the Elixir Series (CR'S). But I ended up going with Hope Tech X2.
    wow, those are a piece of ART!!!!! Like the Formula's though they seem to be super pricey and hard to find used.

    those are really sweet though

  11. #11
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    I have run some older Hays Hydros, Avid BB7, juicy 7, 960 XTR's, Elixir "R"'s and Elixir CR's- The avid conical style caliper setup is a bit finicky and does seem to require frequent tweaking but can help overcome imperfect facing, dropouts, etc...

    I like both the Juicy 7's and Elixirs but here is my take-

    I used multiple sets of Juicy 7's on a number of different rigs and the only issue I ever had that was brake specific was an an old Yeti Arch frame which caused the "turkey" warble, which seemed to be an aligning of the stars to create the perfect storm. Otherwise the lever feel, modulation and adjustability was very decent. The pad contact adjustment is exclusive to the 7's and is nice if you like both of your levers to engage at the same point but once you set your brakes up it is not used much- if so you probably need to bleed your brakes. I have had them for 2-3 seasons and other than bleeding and frequent alignment they are still going strong.

    The Elixir brakes seem to be an improvement over the juicy series- I never noticed a "problem" with the Juicy 7's but when I put a set of Elixir CR's on a bike with the same size (160's) rotors the Elixir CR's had a bit more modulation and seemingly a more endless stopping power- needed for XC??? not so sure but it was there. The Elixir CR's also have the same pad contact adjustment as the Juicy 7's where as the Elixir R's do not but offer much the same otherwise.

    I think the Elixir series is an improvement on an already good thing. The Elixir R can be had for close to the same price as the Juicy 7 so you have to decide if the addition of pad contact is a factor- $140-200 is a range for both the Elixir CR is priced a bit above both at ~$230-300 but offers all of the adjustability, power and modulation of the Juicy 7 and Elixir R's. (the prices are internet based not MSRP....)
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodH
    So what would you say the best is for the money?
    1. Stoker Trail $69x2 (new)
    2. Stroker Carbon $99x2 (new)
    3. Avid Juicy Ultimate $180 for set (used mint condition)

    I am leaning towards Stroker Trail

    Man, it's hard to fault either set (juicys or trails). Have you had a chance to try out the ergonomics of the brakes? I think that should heavily influence your decision. I would take the trails over the carbon unless you get a really good deal. carbon is just blinged out version of the trail, and personally i like white brakes better.
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  13. #13
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    +1 on the hope tech x2. I was in the same situation and after research went with the 185 front, 160 rear. Aebikes.com had them for about $160 each. Excellent power and modulation along with lightweight one piece caliper design and floating rotors.

  14. #14
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    Thats funny!!! Aebike is in my home town. I didn't purchase mine through them because of what I wanted. I went with SS line and also the floating rotors but in Blue (center Hub).
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  15. #15
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    went with Stroker Trails. Almost bought the Ace but I don't DH any more, Trails made more sense.

    Thanks for help guys

  16. #16
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    quad post

  17. #17
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    how are the stroker trails working out for you are you happy with them?

  18. #18
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    I have a set of strokers, and 2 sets of elixirs on different bikes.
    They are both very different feeling brakes. Both are very effective.
    You really can't go wrong with either.
    The elixirs are more sensetive, but not in a bad way.
    With the strokers, I can grab a larger handfull of brake and not feel like I am going to go OTB.......in a good way.
    It took me a while to transition from the strokers to the elixirs since the elixir is more sensetive. Once I got used to that, and ran the levers a little closer to the grips, they are amazing.
    With the strokers I run the levers quite a bit further from the grips.
    I love them both and would have a very hard time choosing if I could only keep 1 set.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by david8613
    how are the stroker trails working out for you are you happy with them?
    I am waiting for my adapters to show up. It looks like I am going to be out of town when they arrive. But they look really nice sitting on my bench

    WHen I get back, I think it am going to have all kinds of goodies to install (Santa Claus is coming). New bars, pedals, Forks, Brakes, computer and light system.

  20. #20
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    Magura Marta SL would be an excellent lightweight but all-mountain ready brake.
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  21. #21
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    What are riders thoughts of Shimano XT and XTR 160mm brake sets. I just picked a bike up with XT and am curious what others think. I love Juicy 7's and also my Formula R1's. I rode these today and im impressed but curious whats the catch?
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stand-up-pride
    What are riders thoughts of Shimano XT and XTR 160mm brake sets. I just picked a bike up with XT and am curious what others think. I love Juicy 7's and also my Formula R1's. I rode these today and im impressed but curious whats the catch?
    They are junk, no good, and will fall apart in a month with no servicable parts. Dump them while you can!!! Mater of fact I will take them off your hands for a fair price just to save a brother from the head aches these will cause you.

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