Looking for brake hardware opinions

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Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby petie » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:19 pm

Hi,

Looking for a few opinions about brake hardware after I've convinced myself into a dead-end. I'm building up a dual suspension XC bike that I plan to do a few overnight rides on. I don't get the chance to race and am a bit "conservative" when it comes to technical tracks. I'm not spending big bucks either, I'd prefer to go on riding holidays with my money. I was originally going to swap over a set of Shimano br m-575 brakes from my old bike but put new rotors and pads on. I was never in love with those particular brakes, but I also never had any problems. They certainly don't have amazing "feel" or anything, but they work. So I'm looking at prices of pads (need new rotors anyway so I bought them) and wondering whether I should use different calipers instead? I have a set of bb5 brakes with new pads in my spares, which I would rate about the same as the hydraulics performance-wise. I have been considering whether bb7s could be another option with their mechanical "fixability" for my overnight/more remote rides? I did have a bike with Hayes 9s that let me down on a few rides.

So, the two cheapest options are to buy pads for the hydraulic brakes, or new cables/outers for the bb5s. Not much in it, and I do have an aversion to bleeding brakes after owning those Hayes 9s. I will also be putting the bike on a few planes, do hydros survive being in aeroplane holds?

The bb7s come in more expensive, but won't be too much difference because I will only need the calipers themselves and new cables/outers. I have used bb7 roads on my commuter, but with brifters which I don't feel is a good comparison to flat bar levers. Has anyone used bb7 mountains and compared them to low-level hydros? Should I spend a bit extra and upgrade/sidegrade?

Thanks in advance!
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by BNA » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:06 am

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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby Duck! » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:06 am

If you thought the Hayes were bad for bleeding, then avoid Avid Elixirs like the Plague..... :wink:

Theoretically you can get metallic-compound pads for the M575s, but in reality they're pretty uncommon and hard to get. The metal compound does offer more bite than the resin you've got, so that will boost the performance a bit. Bear in mind though that they're still relatively entry-level hydro brakes and still won't be face-peelingly powerful even with the better pads.

If you jump up a step to the Deore M615 brakes, you'll get a seriously good set for a decent budget; they carry down most of the tech from the top-level brakes in the range. You can just upgrade the calipers and mate them to your existing levers, but they do work better paired to later model levers.

I wouldn't bother with the cable brakes. Sure the fixability in the field is better, but you need to do routine adjusting a lot more frequently than hydros, which are basically set and forget. As for the flying, they'll be fine, just make sure you chock the pads when you take wheels out for travelling.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby petie » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:16 pm

Thanks for the reply. I haven't seen to many online store selling the calipers only in the lower end gear, do you have a link?

To be honest I didn't need to adjust my bb5s all that often, and have only touched my road bb7s once. I don't do heaps of kms, but ride regularly. Am I missing something?
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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby Duck! » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:35 pm

Below SLX level you're fairly unlikely to find calipers on their own, although they do exist; pretty much everything will be in complete kits.

I've had two sets of SLX hydro brakes on my bike, an earlier M665 set, and now a M666/M675 IceTech set. Neither set ever needed anything more than brake pad replacement in about two years of use for each pair. I only got rid of the M665s to make room for the newer model, not because there was anything wrong with them. I'd call that pretty reliable. :)
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:05 am

I'd stay with the hydraulics for a mountain bike. BB%'s and BB7's will work just fine with flat bar levers but they don't have the modulation of well sorted hydraulic brakes.

As someone who runs both Avid and Shimano hydro brake systems...bleeding them is a non-issue. They are both simply bled if one follows the right procedure. One perceived advantage of Avid brakes over Shimano out in the sticks is that Avid brakes use standard DOT brake fluid whereas Shimano uses a specific mineral oil.

Frankly, grab some new pads for your Shimano brakes (Pushys has the metallic ones for $24 http://www.pushys.com.au/shimano-br-m57 ... -pads.html )...that's the cheapest best option. You could also consider an upgrade on the pads and hoses - check out the Jagwire stuff. Alternatively, you can get a set of new Shimano XT M785 brakes for $200 plus delivery from Pushys in QLD at the moment http://www.pushys.com.au/bike-component ... rakes.html but you'll have to be quick. All you'll need is the rotors...which you have.
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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby petie » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:21 pm

Weeell, ended up buying some Jagwire pads for the old hydraulics. Will bleed them if they need it once fitted.

I so nearly pulled the trigger on those XTs, but just couldn't justify the spend.

See how I go with these pads and new rotors and go from there, thanks for the helpful advice!
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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby petie » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:51 am

So I have fitted the new pads and a larger front rotor. What a difference! Still not awesome modulation, but better power. Happy with the choice.

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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby koen » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:53 am

I just post this for a perspective for someone without discs who might also wonder about upgrades. The industry seems to trend away from making bicycles simple.
Sometimes its seems too complicated.. I have raced mostly XC hard in all kinds of terrains and still use V brakes. I don't know sh** about modulation. It might make a difference to a super downhiller? And if you always ride in the wet, discs would save your rims. But I still ride ocassionally a set of mavic rims I bought to race 20 years ago and they have been thrashed, though to be honest I am expecting they might wear away one day. It is a pain now to upgrade forks though as I will eventually have to get a disc. I have used some cheap cable discs that seemed okay when I've tried new forks. I also have put cheap cable discs on a tandem I built up and that was fine for the road but underbraked on dirt with two blokes.
I am guessing for a tandem or on really long descents and people with smaller hands then the lighter feel of hydraulics is much better??
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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby Duck! » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:57 pm

Disc brakes really are not all that complicared. People were saying the same things (both positive and negative) when cantilever brakes were the big new thing over side-pull calipers (these also needed special forks in the day), then when V-brakes supplanted cantilevers. Technology is continually evolving everywhere we go, and nothing will last forever.

Now, about modulation..... Rim brakes can be modulated very well, just set the pads with 1-2mm of toe-in & they'll be sweet. You have a light brake action when the tips of the pads first contact the rim, then more lever effort will progressively squeeze more of the pads onto the rim, so they're not as grabby. Incidentally, not all hydro brakes are well-modulated; Hayes are notorious for their "light switch" action, either on or off, with no playability in between.

The big advantage in hydro brakes is the consistency. All cable brakes suffer from cable friction, which varies from only slight with good quality new cables, right through to appalling when they get full of crud. That friction affects how much of your effort actually goes into the brake. Then there's the periodic adjustment to compensate for pad wear and cable stretch, otherwise you'll find you have no brakes. Hydraulic systems are largely set and forget. They self-adjust for pad wear, and there is no friction, so the feel at the lever remains constant. The controllability of the brake power has benefits for all riders, not just the small or the insane downhillers.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby koen » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:25 pm

Duck! wrote:Disc brakes really are not all that complicared. People were saying the same things (both positive and negative) when cantilever brakes were the big new thing over side-pull calipers (these also needed special forks in the day), then when V-brakes supplanted cantilevers. Technology is continually evolving everywhere we go, and nothing will last forever.

Now, about modulation..... Rim brakes can be modulated very well, just set the pads with 1-2mm of toe-in & they'll be sweet. You have a light brake action when the tips of the pads first contact the rim, then more lever effort will progressively squeeze more of the pads onto the rim, so they're not as grabby. Incidentally, not all hydro brakes are well-modulated; Hayes are notorious for their "light switch" action, either on or off, with no playability in between.

The big advantage in hydro brakes is the consistency. All cable brakes suffer from cable friction, which varies from only slight with good quality new cables, right through to appalling when they get full of crud. That friction affects how much of your effort actually goes into the brake. Then there's the periodic adjustment to compensate for pad wear and cable stretch, otherwise you'll find you have no brakes. Hydraulic systems are largely set and forget. They self-adjust for pad wear, and there is no friction, so the feel at the lever remains constant. The controllability of the brake power has benefits for all riders, not just the small or the insane downhillers.

I'm sure thats all entirely true and I appreciate the descriptions but I just have never ever felt the need for better brakes. I am not sure if that means I don't go fast enough, slow enough or I am just not fussy. It probably is significant that I am a tradesman with strong hands. I should qualify that..I have wanted more stopping power on the tandem (approaching 200kg) I did want more brakes on a downhill.
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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby trailgumby » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:37 pm

How many fingers do you use on the lever with your cable brakes?

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Re: Looking for brake hardware opinions

Postby boyracer » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:13 am

deore 615 anybody? They look same as slx/xt....
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