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  1. #1
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    Entry level hydraulic brakes?

    So I got tired of adjusting my BB7s this last summer and would like to switch to hydraulic brakes so the adjustment process is slightly easier (I know I'll have to bleed them but I can deal with that). I don't want to shell out a lot of money since it has to pass the Wife Approval Test first and I'd like something that can handle a Minnesota winter if I do decide to ride during the winter. I have thought about low end Shimano and also Tektro, but beyond initial research I get confused by all the options.

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  2. #2
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    A budget limit might help is narrow down the list for you. Personally, I feel that the Formula Cura is a rather value for money brake, but it might be above your spending limit.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow4eva View Post
    A budget limit might help is narrow down the list for you. Personally, I feel that the Formula Cura is a rather value for money brake, but it might be above your spending limit.


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    I just realized I forgot that. Ideally around $100 to $150. If I am able to use my bike for more trail riding next summer I can probably convince her of a higher budget.

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  4. #4
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    XT M8000's on sale at Jenson, 40% off. Only you know if that fits your budget, but it's a good value at $90 each.
    Oops, just realized that's without discs, so probably not...

  5. #5
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    https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...34&category=30


    For my money, that's the beginning and end of the discussion on entry-level brakes. They do what brakes should do, without fuss or pointless features. In fact, I think 95% of complaints about Shimano brakes are about the servo-wave feature (which causes the perception of on/off feel); these don't have that.
    They're shimano, so pads and anything else you'd need are available everywhere. And at that price, my opinion: all cable-operated brakes are a waste of money.

    Disclaimer: I can't actually speak to how they handle Minnesota cold, as it doesn't get that cold where I live. I've never had a problem, but mine have never been below... maybe mid 20s.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...34&category=30


    For my money, that's the beginning and end of the discussion on entry-level brakes. They do what brakes should do, without fuss or pointless features. In fact, I think 95% of complaints about Shimano brakes are about the servo-wave feature (which causes the perception of on/off feel); these don't have that.
    They're shimano, so pads and anything else you'd need are available everywhere. And at that price, my opinion: all cable-operated brakes are a waste of money.

    Disclaimer: I can't actually speak to how they handle Minnesota cold, as it doesn't get that cold where I live. I've never had a problem, but mine have never been below... maybe mid 20s.
    I think there are plenty of people riding with mineral oil in MN winters. And after adding new rotors and a new rear caliper mount adapter and shipping it comes to $112.94 so not to bad. Although at some point in the future I would want to replace the black brake line with orange (my bike's color scheme is blue and orange, all the cable housings and grips are orange). For that I'm guessing just a Jagwire HFA301 adapter kit and HBK405 hose should be fine, along with the correct tools to do the work.

  7. #7
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    I have the M396's on my bike, and would agree that for the price, these are a great intro into the hydraulic disk brake world.

    They're also easy to maintenance. I bent a lever on the trails the other weekend, and changing out the entire right lever was no problem. Snapped the hose to the new lever, performed a quick bleed from the lever end, and I was good to go. And this was my first attempt at any type of hydraulic brake maintenance.

  8. #8
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    If the bike is a cheap older one with rim brakes front and rear, this is not so easy to just buy the adapters and think it's going to be perfect. Unless they are sautered/welded on, one small adjustment from a big bump and the pads will be hitting the rotors. A lot of complaints online about the adapters:

    Bike Disc brake bracket frame adaptor bicycle REG / BIG / XL 3 sizes for 140mm /160mm /180mm disc brake rotor

    MTB Bicycle Mounting Holder 20mm/31.8mm Disc Brake Bracket Frame Adaptor 160mm

    Alonea New Adjustable Bicycle Bike Disc Brake Bracket Frame Adaptor Mounting Holder

    Most of the reviews are 2.5 to 3.5 stars out of 5.0, that means 30-50% of the people that tried the adapters didn't like the performance.


    Personally (and I may be doing this with my dad's bike later), I'd just leave the back alone, keep it rim, and buy a cheap front air fork with disc mounts. That will make the front end MUCH better and more solid for braking. When all is said and done you are looking at about $200-300 total for the fork, installation, front brake purchase and then you take 15 min and put on the hydraulic brake and rotor ($35 Tektro HD-M290 Hydraulic Disc Brake with 160mm Rotor).

    Don't take a chance on an adapter, play it safe and do it right.
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  9. #9
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    The guy said he was changing from BB7s! No mention of using adapters on a non disc frame at all!
    Kes

  10. #10
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    I have budget Tektro and Shimano hydraulics on a few bikes and they are quite similar and surprisingly good and largely maintenance free. (I think Tektro basically copied the shimano design). Cyclingdeal_usa has recently been selling entry Tektro sets (m285) with rotors included for $58 total front and rear or Auriga M290 which are supposedly a bit better for $70 total.

  11. #11
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    shimano slx are pretty awesome and cheap
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  12. #12
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    "If I am able to use my bike for more trail riding next summer I can probably convince her of a higher budget."

    Ran those M396s for awhile and found them very good and reliable. But sometimes spending just a bit more..... IE the circa $125 the 396s would run (with rotors) VS the circa $50 additional bump into the M6xx (M6xxx) brakes. What this brings is a larger disk pad, as well as the option to run finned and metallic disc pads. If everything you ride is flat, you may not need the bump.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...34&category=30


    For my money, that's the beginning and end of the discussion on entry-level brakes. They do what brakes should do, without fuss or pointless features. In fact, I think 95% of complaints about Shimano brakes are about the servo-wave feature (which causes the perception of on/off feel); these don't have that.
    This. Honestly, my son has these on his bike and they are just as good as my XT brakes but with a longer lever (which I actually like!). For the price they are a non brainer. You can still use the existing BB7 rotors without any issue either.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  14. #14
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    if you are going to touch the 120 dollar range, magura MT5 is a damn nice brake
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    if you are going to touch the 120 dollar range, magura MT5 is a damn nice brake
    I love the look of the MT5, but it is probably overkill for my riding (mostly commuting at the current time). Plus I would prefer to spend $120 on both front and rear if possible. The more I look, the more I'm thinking the Tektro Auriga M290 since they would still be an upgrade. And then eventually getting orange brake lines and the tools to install them.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    This. Honestly, my son has these on his bike and they are just as good as my XT brakes but with a longer lever (which I actually like!). For the price they are a non brainer. You can still use the existing BB7 rotors without any issue either.
    I am probably going to have to replace my rotors and pads (no matter what I do) next summer. Kiddos and co-workers (when I forgot my bike locks and rode in) touched the rotors and I did not have proper brake cleaner. Plus, I don't really like the Alligator Wind Cutter rotors I bought, not straight at all out of the box and they make more noise than the ones that came with my BB7s

    As long as the rotors that come with the Tektro Auriga brakes work with Metal Ceramic pads, I'm fine with them (more than likely).

  17. #17
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    i run Tektro Auriga that are i think 2 years old. zero problems so far. really like them. i use organic pads, works great. still havent bled them, no need

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by smccloud View Post
    So I got tired of adjusting my BB7s this last summer and would like to switch to hydraulic brakes so the adjustment process is slightly easier (I know I'll have to bleed them but I can deal with that). I don't want to shell out a lot of money since it has to pass the Wife Approval Test first and I'd like something that can handle a Minnesota winter if I do decide to ride during the winter. I have thought about low end Shimano and also Tektro, but beyond initial research I get confused by all the options.

    Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
    I bought a pair of cheap Formula C1s from Cross Lake Sales and put them on my fat bike.

    This product is marketed as an OEM item that was returned/ rebuilt and resold. My understanding is that they were originally marketed as part of factory bike builds and were returned due to performance issues...there's a generally a lot of negative commentary about this out there.

    I reluctantly took a chance on them a couple of years ago and have to say that whatever they did in the rebuild process seems to work, because I've been adequately impressed with them enough put them on all of my bikes with the exception of my gravity bikes.

    They work very well for the cold weather conditions of Michigan's UP winters. In extreme cold they take an occasional pump or two to get fully engaged, but I think a good bleed would take care of this issue.

    I have a set of BB7s and find them to be way over rated. Hydraulics are the only way to go for me.

  19. #19
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    I will second Shimano (SLX or XT) if want to go higher than those M396s. All I buy anymore the ability to get pads or other parts quickly, easy to bleed, overall reliability, stopping power when looking at htem as a total package hard to beat.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    i run Tektro Auriga that are i think 2 years old. zero problems so far. really like them. i use organic pads, works great. still havent bled them, no need
    I support a tiny fleet of hs mtbrs on those brakes. They are pretty good for the cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Horse View Post
    I bought a pair of cheap Formula C1s from Cross Lake Sales and put them on my fat bike.
    These are also ok too.

    However, I'd not recommend either of those over SLX brakes which are just a little bit more.

  21. #21
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    I'm a big guy 6'3" and 265~lbs (hopefully working towards 220~230ish)

    I run Shimano XT with 203/180 Ice-Tech rotors and Ice-Tech pads.. these brakes have been doing a good job slowing me down on pretty steep bits.

    when I first got my bike (it was 2nd hand) i had the XT brakes but it had 180/160 rotors and aftermarket pads.. and it wasn't so good especially the back brake faded badly with the avid 160 rotor that was installed ..

    since upgrading to the ice-tech rotors and pads .. pretty happy indeed.

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