Hi, remember me? Now lets talk brakes!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hi, remember me? Now lets talk brakes!

    As a heavy rider, a Clydesdale if you will, braking power is important to me. I switched to disc in 2004 and won't go back. I'm building my first SS bike presently, and was considering going with a set of mid-range, well regarded sets. Up until now I've only used mechanical brakes, but was considering making the move to hydraulic. These will be new (to me at least, possibly used) brakes, not replacements. Would it be worth the added effort, or should I just look at an upgrade over my tried and true BB7s (which I have been happy with for the most part) with another better mechanical?

  2. #2
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    I'm not sure if there is a better mechanical brake - maybe the Paul brakes that just came out? Time will tell with those I guess.

    I switched to hydraulics some months ago on my singlespeed, and immediately had to have them on my other bike. I have a lot of hand problems and the decreased effort to stop was a real game changer for me. The second set I got was used (both shimano) but I am not sure I would recommend messing with used hydraulics because of the havoc that could be wreaked if you picked up a set with a bad seal or similar.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  3. #3
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    Current Shimano XT. /thread

    Seriously, your BB7's are barely better than rim brakes compared to XT's with IceTech rotors.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    Current Shimano XT. /thread

    Seriously, your BB7's are barely better than rim brakes compared to XT's with IceTech rotors.
    My experience using both says that's not true. Maybe a lighter rider wouldn't notice the difference as much.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    My experience using both says that's not true. Maybe a lighter rider wouldn't notice the difference as much.
    This is the defacto standard around my area. You sure your experience was with the current stuff? The new stuff is way better than the old Shimano hydro stuff. Also, I had BB5's on my MonoCog when I got it. I upgraded to BB7's, then XT's. I also have BB5 road brakes on my CX bike. I'm very familiar with their performance level and the Shimano's CRUSH the BB5/BB7 performance. Especially if you use the metallic pads on the Shimano.

    If mech disc is a requirement though, look at TRP. I've heard good things about them and plan to put a set on my CX bike.

  6. #6
    psycho cyclo addict
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    I have BB7's on one SS 29er and Juicy 5 hydro's on my other one. Both work quite well for 200+ lbs of lard dressed for shredcess
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  7. #7
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    I was referring to the difference between rim brakes and the BB7s. Never tried any hydraulics. My 1x9 is probably getting some hydraulics regardless, since I use it to pull a trailer frequently.

    Are they really that much better? rim brakes barely slow me down.

  8. #8
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    If I were you I would snag some Shimano Deores. $50 each at Chain Reaction and they are great brakes. A friend of mine is a clyd and rides a 36er with 200mm rotors and they have worked really well for him.

  9. #9
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    Shimano XT.

    I've run Avid BB7, Avid Elixir CR, and XT brakes are in a completely different league. It's laughable how much better they are than those others.

  10. #10
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    Can you quantify that in any way? Relative stop distance? Like what percent do you think it is better? Something??

  11. #11
    74 & 29 pilot
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    Your in the wrong sub forum. Go to the "Brake Time" sub forum, use the search function and read. There are a$$ loads of threads on XT, Disc vs Rim and BB7
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  12. #12
    Wanna ride bikes?
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    I currently have BB7's, Avid Elixir, and SLX on three bikes.

    BB7's are on my Kona Unit (rigid) and work well. you can't really charge too fast down rough/chattery trails on a rigid bike anyway so i don't find the need to have high end brakes on there... yet.

    SLX's on my fatbike. i knew i wanted excellent brakes on that bike due to my 205 lbs, and the huge tires having a lot of mass and a lot of grip. they are excellent! very powerful (203mm icetec rotor). i forget exactly, but for ~$80-90 per wheel, hard to beat that (excluding rotor).

    quantify? they are much more sensitive than other hydro's i've used. it requires very little pressure from your finger to get serious stopping power. is the stopping distance shorter? yes. how much better are they than others? most people agree that Shimano brakes are the best bang for your buck and right up there with the best around.

    if your upgrading anyway, i wouldn't buy anything but Shimano hydro's. do it right the first time. you won't be sorry. also you don't need the icetec rotors if you want to save some $$. just use a quality rotor.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  13. #13
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    That helps a lot. Thanks

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    I was referring to the difference between rim brakes and the BB7s. Never tried any hydraulics. My 1x9 is probably getting some hydraulics regardless, since I use it to pull a trailer frequently.

    Are they really that much better? rim brakes barely slow me down.
    Ah, I see. The parallel I was drawing was that XT brakes are SO much better than BB7s, that BB7s by comparison aren't much of an upgrade over rim brakes. IE, the relative improvements to Shimano XT is so massively large that the difference between BB7 and rim brakes is moot. It's a bit of hyperbole, but honestly, your only regret going Shimano hydro will be that you didn't do it sooner. I can't say enough good things about these brakes. I've had a set of SLX, two sets of XTs and now a set of XTRs. I see guys around me at races try other brakes (Magura, Avid, Hope) and a couple races later they are back on Shimano. If anyone around here complains about their brakes, the first response is to ditch them and buy some Shimanos.

    For a clyde, the IceTech rotors are going to be a help. I faded my XT brakes on a very long, fast downhill section using plain steal rotors and I'm only 180lbs geared up. That was braking from 40+mph down to 5mph, and I didn't grab the brakes until almost too late. (ie, I didn't drag them the whole way down) With the IceTech rotors, I've never had a problem with fade, even though I use 160 rotors front and rear. I even hit that same downhill, went even faster, and had no issues slowing down. It was a non-event.

  15. #15
    damned rocks...
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    Hi,

    Only want to add something.
    If you want ultimate power check the Shimano Saint and Zee.
    They are more expensive than the XT, but the Zee is not by that much.
    I bought my XT at 131 the Zee where at 176 and the Saint at 208.

    Just one more note. At the same price range the Shimano are not especially better at braking, they just are in another level of reliability. They are like the cockroaches of the brake world ...
    And they have in a general note a better rotor/pad clearance.

    So, yeah they are better ...
    Last edited by Aglo; 07-17-2015 at 01:48 PM.

  16. #16
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    They are a bit above my price range though at the moment. $260 for the set is the best price I was able to find just now in a quick search. I'll think about it, but probably not

  17. #17
    damned rocks...
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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    They are a bit above my price range though at the moment. $260 for the set is the best price I was able to find just now in a quick search. I'll think about it, but probably not
    Check the Zee. They are at $160 the Saints are at $245, and the XT M785 at $127.
    The prices are per set and include pads.
    Check them at www.bike-discount.de
    You have to add the postages, to your country.

  18. #18
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    SRAM Guides with Metalic brake pad for mid cost. They are better than Shimano and that is saying something. Still have pair of SLX on a bike though and see no reason to move on just yet.

    Although these are the best budget option out there.

    Shimano Deore M615 Disc Brake | Chain Reaction Cycles

    There is no precievable difference between Deore, SLX, Xt and XTR beside pad compound.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aglo View Post
    Check the Zee. They are at $160 the Saints are at $245, and the XT M785 at $127.
    The prices are per set and include pads.
    Check them at Bike Shop | Bike-Discount: Onlineshop mit Bestpreis-Garantie
    You have to add the postages, to your country.
    That was the Zee haha. The M785 can be found new under $100 pretty easily. I'll do some more digging when I leave work

  20. #20
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    I recently changed brakes and went with the Shimano Deore 615's that Bushwacker posted above. Kept the discs I had, they work good.

    I weigh 220 nekid and have no problem stopping very quickly with one finger braking. Also all the noise went away, well except for them Hope hubs buzzing when I coast.

  21. #21
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Once in a blue moon BB7's work very good, the rest of the time you're dealing with either brake rub or a spongy brake feel. Today you can get a set of Shimano hydros for the same price as a BB7 setup, possible even cheaper, so just get something that works very good every single time, you won't regret it.

    On a BB7 setup you need an absolutely arrow straight disk, because only one pad moves. Anything less than completely arrow straight and you'll have to dial the passive pad too far away, resulting in poor/spongy braking or dial it too close resulting in brake rub. And every time you use the brakes, the active pad bends the disc towards the passive pad, so the disc rarely stays straight.

    On Shimano hydros, even the entry level ones, both pads move towards the disc when you brake, giving you a nice strong brake feel. And both pads move away from the disc when released, eliminating brake rub. It just works so much better.

    I've never had to fiddle with Shimano hydros apart from shortening the hose at initial install.

    My BB7's on the other hand, geez. Once in a while I manage to dial them in perfectly, but first time I have a flat I have a hell of a time getting the wheel back on without the rotor hitting one of the pads and when I finally do get the wheel back on, I tighten the quick release slightly more or slightly less than before, resulting in the rotor moving ever so slightly closer to one of the pads, meaning I have to adjust the brakes once more. It sucks!

    With the price of Shimano hydros being equal to or sometimes even lower than the price of BB7's I really see no point in going for BB7's unless you liking the constant fiddling to get decent braking.

  22. #22
    The White Jeff W
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    I have XT's on my fat bike, SLX on the hardtail (650B) and BB7's on the singlespeed (29er) . Cant tell the difference when Im riding. I pull the lever, bike slows. Maybe slightly more effort with the BB7's but barely noticeable.
    No moss...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    With the price of Shimano hydros being equal to or sometimes even lower than the price of BB7's I really see no point in going for BB7's unless you liking the constant fiddling to get decent braking.
    Funny story, I've been running the same set of BB7s for over 10 years (new pads, same cables, I think) and have had no problems other than pads rubbing a bit occasionally. I will say the 160 rotors that came on the bike heat up very fast for me, but then again I'm heavy. Shimano looks like the way to go.

  24. #24
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    R1's with 180 rotors, im 225 suited up and these work great. My geared bike came stock with Avid XX, 160's, were actually pretty good until 101 kms. Switched over to organic brake pads and an 180 ashima rotor from ebay, actually saved weight, now these xx's are my favorite brake and I have had R1's or R1racing on all my bikes for the last 5 years. The new xtr 9020 on my fat bike suck . You can find the R1's for decent prices on pinkbike. Get us canadians to ship them down to you, with the exchange rate its like a 2 for 1 deal.
    If I wanted to objectify a women I'd do it on my terms not theirs.

  25. #25
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    Funny story, I've been running the same set of BB7s for over 10 years (new pads, same cables, I think) and have had no problems other than pads rubbing a bit occasionally. I will say the 160 rotors that came on the bike heat up very fast for me, but then again I'm heavy. Shimano looks like the way to go.
    Well it depends on your definition of "problem" I guess, to me a bit of pad rubbing IS a problem, which is one of the reasons I found the BB7's fiddly..

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