Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

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Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Wakatuki » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:04 pm

Was not sure if this should be posted in the shed or here, but as this is really a MTB specific issue thought best in here.
I ride a Charge Cooker hardtail 29er. I weigh in at 97-100kg depending on self-restraint!

The Avid elixir 1 with 160mm rotors front and rear came as standard along with a X5/X7 SRAM mix.
I am new to both SRAM and AVID, happy with both, especially love the reassuring click of the SRAM gears.
My skill level and experience of disc brakes was zilch until I bought this bike. I was constantly locking up the rear on the loose stuff and could not believe the power of them. I am using the bike more and more in preference to the roadie on the night hill rides as it carries the bigger lights and gearing is better suited to lazy days! It also helps stop me constantly switching night gear over between bikes.

Have had brake fade once, but the bike was new and I was new to the bike and thought nothing of it, perhaps bedding in or us just getting used to each other. Then on Friday night I went down the razorback from Montville to Palmwoods and went lever to bar on the rear with the front getting close too, not fun as we were still near the top. I do not cover the brakes either I am on or off, surprised how quickly it came about. Bike has covered about 200k’s, of that perhaps 70k’s is in fast decent. Averaging around 50-75kph on twisty tarmac roads with average distance down being 8k’s.

My thoughts are to go 180 front and rear using the AVID HS rotors + calliper adjustment kit. As it’s not really a DIRT bike more fire roads and up to grade 3 single track. I am also weather sympathetic and ride to conditions, so if the bike is wet and covered in mud, I expect a loss of stopping power.
My local knowledge squad say scrap the AVID go Shimano XT M785. LBS says Magura…
Weight of brakes is not important, price $200-$300 upgraditis does not concern/ frighten me as much as a crash :shock:
Over to you, my peers !
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by BNA » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:09 pm

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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Mugglechops » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:09 pm

I would go the XT Ice Techs.

I am 122kgs and run 160mm rotors and never had an issue with them.

Best brakes I have ever used.
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Wakatuki » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:32 pm

Mugglechops wrote:I would go the XT Ice Techs.

I am 122kgs and run 160mm rotors and never had an issue with them.

Best brakes I have ever used.


Just about to say I have been looking at these on Wiggle.
Shimano XT RT86 Ice-Tec 160mm 6-Bolt Rotor $42.14 or 180's $46.81 (you don't think I will need the 180's) http://goo.gl/MQLpY7
with fully bled Shimano XT M785 Disc Brake Lever and PM Caliper $113.71 per side. http://goo.gl/aQGaZJ spare pads http://goo.gl/hZl8qs $400 all up! :shock:
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Duck! » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:01 pm

I'd put another vote in for Shimano. Also look at the SLX (M675) brakes (although they never seem to get the publicity as XT); with the exception of one small bolt in the XT reservoir, which doesn't actually do anything outstanding (contact stroke adjustment), they are absolutely identical. You won't need bigger than 160mm rotors.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby su-pista » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:04 pm

Slx brakes are great value for money with more than enough power. A lot better than the previous generation of XT brakes.

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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby trailgumby » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:21 pm

Go the XTs. I have elixir 9s on my Scalpel 29r with 180/160 rotors and they are adequate but not confidence inspiring. XTs are much better. Just take it easy the first few rides until8l you adapt.

The best thing about my Avids is being able to play the horn and bell solo from Sons of Science "M************ Bike" when they're wet. The whole street can hear it :lol:

I would advise against 180 on the front with those brakes. You can use any 160mm rotor and they will be fjne. Ice tech rotors are heavier and you only need the cooling on long steep descents like such as you can get in Winmalee or Europe
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:26 am

Honestly...I'd actually get your LBS to re-bled/replace the brake fluid first. Or learn to do it yourself.

I have the Elixir 1 brakes on the day2day hardtail and while they are not the greatest disc brakes they are more than adequate when sorted. Straight off the bat they didn't have great feel compared to the much blingier Elixir CR brakes on my duallie but I persisted until I too started pulling the lever to the grip. So I flushed and bled them with new Motul Dot 5.1 fluid from the motorbike shoppe...never had to touch them since. The exchange pulled a surprising amount of crud from both ends but the big win was the feel - much better. Hell of a lot cheaper than $400.
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:41 am

I have exactly the same bike - Charge Cooker Hi.

I've only noticed a little bit of brake fade on single trails which goes away when I start climbing again. As everyone says get it bled first as a cheap option. The LBS did mention to me they would do a free bleed at first service because something about the lower end avids being bled crap from factory.

The other cheap option is to change rotors. I run HS1 rotors on a road bike (roadies have more brake heat dissipation requriements under long descents) and haven;t had issues. I managed to find a cheap pair online and will chuck them on my cooker to see how they go. Of course there is also icetech etc. but they are very pricey options and these rotors were super cheap so worth a shot.
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Wakatuki » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:10 pm

Wahoo another Cooker Hi. That makes 3 I know of!

Well, I have only gone and done it, ordered the XT with Ice... the XT over the SLX was under $30.00 difference.
The rotors are exxy though. But do it while I can.... I did feel that a brake bleed could have been the option, but after another hill run last night at a gentler pace, with the wife, the buzz sound and other noises, and again the poor response has left me feeling a bit disenchanted with the performance. Will be VERY interested to hear about the HS1 as I looked at that option too Calvin; I will grab some for the wife's bike (another Cooker Hi) if your review is favourable, at least I have spares now :)
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby alf » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:46 pm

The current Shimano XT brakes are significantly better than the Avids. I'm sure you will be more than happy with them.

I have both on separate bikes and it does take a few minutes to get used to the lower power of the Avids between rides.

The noise you mention however could also be caused by air in the Avid calipers, I find that I cannot get away with more than 6 months between bleeds on the Avids.
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Wakatuki » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:00 pm

Well they are on.
The levers feel like a step up to the penthouse, very tactile and positive. Reached the top of the hill last night and did the usual U'y at the top, not having used them for the last 30 minutes I forgot and locked the front on loose gravel. (stayed on, phew) Very positive feel on the way back down, I like the gradual bite they seem to offer, I got a much more satisfying sense of speed being scrubbed off and so much more in reserve.
Happy as :D
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Calvin27 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:43 pm

Update, HS1, didn't do much. I think the issue was having 38c slick tyres (winter commuting) - the fork just couldn't handle that much grip. Put the knobbies and took it to single track and bike was happily compliant again.
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Wakatuki » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:23 am

Thanks for the update. Still very happy with my decision.
Actually used the bike this week! Boy do I enjoy messing around without Strava on, looking at stuff, riding up curbs and holding conversation. I even rode it 1k to the local school to do some oval running meandering on a foot path!
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:48 am

Lol it seems we are on the same upgrade path with our cookers wakatuki!
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Wakatuki » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:14 pm

Yep ,my planned upgrades with money no issue, would be a new ISM MTB saddle, and bigger forks.
Oh and non clipless pedals, clipped in off road still terrifies me when it gets technical.

So not much really, oh a saddle dropper might be nice, and undecided if I should chop original bars or buy others.. :D
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby mitzikatzi » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:29 pm

Wakatuki wrote:....snip....
Oh and non clipless pedals, clipped in off road still terrifies me when it gets technical.
...snip...


What terrifies me is when a good flat pedal (with nice gripping pins so your foot doesn't slip off the pedal in technical stuff) whacks into my shin.

Get shin guards too

Me I like clipless it is a "mind" thing
Xplora wrote: Do not get cheap SPDs, your body will hurt you.

trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:29 pm

Here is my upgrades/modifications so far:

Completed:
- HS1 160mm rotors installed - this helped and I haven't had brake fade but I have only used it on mountain single tracks with plenty or rest stopping. I have these with BB7 on my road and haven't had issues with long descents yet although never tried in summer.
- Nukeproof electron pedals
- Conti Race King 2.2 wire
- Took all the reflectors and crap off it

Planned:
- XT brakes - Avids are ok but in need of a bleed so I figure fork out for a new set of shimanos.
- New fork - Looking at something less than 1800g. Recon solo air or something - just waiting for a sale.
- Conti Race King Racesport - The 'normal' race kings are 760g - no wonder they were $12 each!
- Wheelset - Something lighter and with a 15mm front axel.
- SRAM x7 RD type 2. I am sick of chain slap!

Pretty happy with the X5 gear train so far though.
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Duck! » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:25 pm

Calvin27 wrote:Planned:

- New fork - Looking at something less than 1800g. Recon solo air or something - just waiting for a sale.
- Wheelset - Something lighter and with a 15mm front axle.

Buy these together! (Unless you're already running a 15mm TA). Some wheels are convertible by means of swapping end caps, but more often they're built for either 9mm Q/R or 15mm TA, with no scope for swapping. And the wheel must match the fork; there is no bodging one way or the other.

There are two levels of Recon, Silver and Gold. The Silver models have steel staunchions, the Gold have aluminium, therefore are the lighter ones.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:54 pm

Ditto. Although if the doctor rules out MTB for a while (injury) I will sell up and start a build from scratch!
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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby trailgumby » Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:35 am

Ouch... not bike related I hope?

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Re: Upgrade HYD Brake set or just rotors...

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:45 am

Nope, tennis is the culprit. Although it means hard impacts ruled out for next few months. MTB is out and roadie is in.
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