Hydro brake options - opinions please?

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Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby Jean » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:25 am

Hi,

I'm working towards a new MTB build this year (steel hard tail, 3x10 geared, 29er) and while I pretty much know what I want/can afford for most of the fit out, I'm fussing over the brake options. I've only ever used the Juicy 3s that cam with my current bike, so I'm hoping people here can offer some advice on what to look out for. The budget is indeterminate at the moment, but I reckon c.$200 for the set (with or without rotors) is in the right region.

The bike will be setup more towards the XC/enduro end of the scale. For the brakes I guess I want good power and modulation, reliability, predictability, adjustable reach, split bar clamp, ease of bleeding, and preferably a wide range of non-OEM after-market pads.

The main contenders so far are:

Shimano SLX 2012 (M666) - these seem like very good brakes and are widely lauded, though I'm unsure about replacement pads as these gee-whiz finned pads are only made by Shimano (so far) and I'm wary of being tied to OEM for eternity. Do other non-finned pads fit? I can't quite figure that out yet.

Shimano Deore 2012 (M596) - budget option if it comes to it. Seem quite good for the money; adjustable reach; 'servo-wave' FWIW; easy bleed; mineral oil rather than DOT; pads not hard to get.

Avid Elixir 5 - Seem pretty fair brakes that are well regarded, though reviews suggest the possibility of QC issues (hard to gauge internet grumbles as always). Levers can mount either side so buying OS doesn't require hose swapping; after-market pads easy to find; they come in white which will match the rest of the planned build; bang on the price point.

Magura - Only their lowest option (MT2?) is in my budget range (though at the upper end). I don't know anything about Magura I have to say, though their marketeers would pleased to know that I associate them with good gear (with or without reason).

Anyone got any other options I should consider, or views on what is listed above?

Cheers
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by BNA » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:39 am

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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby Mugglechops » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:39 am

I have the old slx brakes and they are great. It will only be a matter before the pads come out after.

After Juicy 3s pretty much anything on that list will be a vast improvement.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby uglybob » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:48 am

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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby Mugglechops » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:04 pm

Was going to mention those but thought the offer had finished.

I bought some for my 29er when I get it.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby trailgumby » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:04 pm

I have 2010 XT dual controls on my trails bike, and every Avid user comments "Sheesh, I almost sent myself over the bars then :lol: " whenever they first throw a leg over my bike. The difference in stopping power is very noticeable. :D That's with just the index finger on the brake lever.

The MY2012 XTs are even better. Aftermarket pads will be available in due course, although my experience to date has been that the OEM metallics are the best pad going, especially if you ride in the wet like I sometimes do when it rains at events. Organics (all brands) dissolve before your eyes in the wet.

If your budget doesn't stretch that far, the SLXs will still be excellent and I would preference them over anything Avid. The current Avids have a reputation (whether it's deserved or otherwise I can't comment) for being a bit variable, and tricky to bleed.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby Crittski » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:01 pm

I have a set of 2010 Shimano XT hydro brakes you can have for $150, and $50 for a pair of XT centre lock rotors. Brakes have been used for light XC work for about 500km and were replaced with XTR, but are in great condition incl lots of pad left. Rotors are barely used.
Pm me if interested.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby drubie » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:49 pm

Can't comment on the other brakes, but I fitted the Elixir 5's to my bike and I'm very impressed with 'em. A doddle to fit. If what Trailgumby says is true, his brakes must the king of all brakes, anywhere :D
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby Jean » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:28 pm

Crittski wrote:I have a set of 2010 Shimano XT hydro brakes you can have for $150, and $50 for a pair of XT centre lock rotors. Brakes have been used for light XC work for about 500km and were replaced with XTR, but are in great condition incl lots of pad left. Rotors are barely used.
Pm me if interested.


Thanks for the offer but I won't be buying brakes until later in the year - frame, forks & wheels to worry about first.

XTs certainly look the goods, but I don't know that the budget will stretch that far. I will have to see how things pan out. I bit of a dig around the Shimano tech docs this morning indicates that the finned pads are not the only option for XT and SLX, and that 'normal' pads can be used too, which certainly helps the case for SLX M666.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby trailgumby » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:59 pm

drubie wrote:Can't comment on the other brakes, but I fitted the Elixir 5's to my bike and I'm very impressed with 'em. A doddle to fit. If what Trailgumby says is true, his brakes must the king of all brakes, anywhere :D


Yep, seems to have been the subject of a bit of comment in mags like Australian Mountain Bike. I certainly don't need anything bigger than a 160mm rotor. :D

To do, I think, with what they call the "servo wave" lever that they've introduced from SLX and up for MY2012. The geometry is worked so that it closes up the gap to the pad fairly fast, and then the master cylinder piston pushrod moves closer to the pivot on a little roller in the lever and the mechanical advantage ramps right up.

I've got dodgy front pads at the moment - a greasy fingerprint on the rotor when lubing the Lefty telescope roller races on the weekend did it, possibly. I dowsed it in degreaser and brake cleaner and boiled the pads for 10 minutes, so hopefully that fixes them. Or maybe they just need to bed in - can't remember if I replaced them while waiting for the collarbone to mend. :oops:
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby mitzikatzi » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:04 pm

Looking at brakes at "CRC"Disc brakes

Those 2012 XT linked above are a good deal, you might still need mounts another $10 to $20 each end. At CRC SLX M666 are $115 each end plus $70 for cheap rotors, maybe mounts a total of $320.

If you only want to spend $200 Avid offer a couple of options. Avids come with mounts and rotors.

$150 for the 2010 Xt's offered above seems very fair to me. Deore M596 will be $72 an end at CRC when in stock.

Some people like Avids some don't. I like the Juicy 5 and 3's that I use.
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trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby Jean » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:38 pm

The XT for $300 is a pretty good deal, but this is purchase set out for mid year and I'm not in a position to swoop on the deal (saving for the frame ATM). The CRC Shimano brake prices are OK, but there are other better deals about, at Bike24 for example, which has a SLX set, without rotors and shipping, at <$AU150. I just hope the exchange rate holds up OK :roll:
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby drubie » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:40 pm

trailgumby wrote:... with what they call the "servo wave" lever that they've introduced from SLX and up for MY2012...


dammit I hate the MTB section of these forums - not only having to deal with suspension envy but brake envy too. :evil:

(want me a dual suspension 10 speed mega hydro braked freak bike of doom but ain't gonna happen this year...)
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby Mugglechops » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:50 pm

My 09 SLX brakes have the servo wave lever. One fingered braking down the steepest of hills no worries at all.

Even with my 122kgs making them work hard.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby Jean » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:42 am

drubie wrote:dammit I hate the MTB section of these forums - not only having to deal with suspension envy but brake envy too. :evil:

(want me a dual suspension 10 speed mega hydro braked freak bike of doom but ain't gonna happen this year...)


+1. My 29er hard tail project is all well and good, but in an ideal universe it would be a low-tech SS or 1x9 project to sit beside something built upon a Liteville 301 frameset, which is so far the only MTB to really get my drool glands a going.

Image

It was the review linked here that set me off; damned magazines.

http://syntace.my1.cc/liteville/pdf/201104_301_in_MB_Australia.pdf

Anyway, back on topic, I think the SLX M666 brakes are shaping up as the favourite. Too many nice things said about them, reasonably priced and and I now know that they take 'normal' aftermarket pads if I want them to. The finned pads are no doubt great, but I doubt the 10 minute dash down Skyline at Mt Stromlo, my biggest regular descent, would really demand that much in the heat dissipation stakes.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby drubie » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:14 pm

I'm reading that review Jean and going hmmm, hmmm, interesting, hmmm then:

..post mount 180mm rear brake...just bolt the caliper straight on the frame...


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So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby trailgumby » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:52 pm

There was a review on that Liteville in AMB a couple of issues ago. I think the mag guys liked it. :wink:

That shock link looks interesting - nice to see there's still scope for something "different" to come out in the market.

Although I'm not so sure my interest extends to 6" travel bikes and 180mm rotors. Was talking bike shite with one of my usual riding buddies and he's looking to get rid of his MY2011 Reign and go back to a 5" travel bike. With the arrival of his second son he no longer has the appetite he once had for launching his bike off stuff and he finds the Reign too much bike for pedalling up hills.

I must admit I'm of the same mind: riding above your abiities and then crashing and injuring yourself hurts, a lot, and the rehab and recovery time is a right royal pain.

5" allows you still to blast through most stuff you'd encounter in a race and for the longer events (50km and over) they're a nice balance of comfort and pedal-ability and general recreational trail work.
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby Jean » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:25 pm

trailgumby wrote:There was a review on that Liteville in AMB a couple of issues ago. I think the mag guys liked it. :wink:

That shock link looks interesting - nice to see there's still scope for something "different" to come out in the market.

Although I'm not so sure my interest extends to 6" travel bikes and 180mm rotors. Was talking bike shite with one of my usual riding buddies and he's looking to get rid of his MY2011 Reign and go back to a 5" travel bike. With the arrival of his second son he no longer has the appetite he once had for launching his bike off stuff and he finds the Reign too much bike for pedalling up hills.

I must admit I'm of the same mind: riding above your abiities and then crashing and injuring yourself hurts, a lot, and the rehab and recovery time is a right royal pain.

5" allows you still to blast through most stuff you'd encounter in a race and for the longer events (50km and over) they're a nice balance of comfort and pedal-ability and general recreational trail work.


+1. I took up MTB at 39 and will be 42 this year. Blasting off rocks and getting any more air than your average bunny hop has no interest for me whatsoever. A point of view probably reinforced by my roadie background. My dream Liteville would very much have a XC/Enduro setup. The review linked to is the AMB review - and the reviewer certainly did like it :)
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Re: Hydro brake options - opinions please?

Postby Mugglechops » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:24 pm

That liteville does get a good wrap.
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