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brake advice

Sept. 19, 2017, 11:28 p.m.
Posts: 84
Joined: March 28, 2012

Sounds like you are looking for more modulation. I've found that SRAM guides provide way better modulation and almost as much power as my old XTs, better lever feel too

"Constant rage: could people f*cking up all the time be to blame?" - The Onion

Sept. 20, 2017, 5:52 a.m.
Posts: 2389
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

Guide RS

Sept. 20, 2017, 5:53 a.m.
Posts: 175
Joined: July 24, 2009

If you've got the money, Hope brakes are great. Their full power comes on late in the lever stroke. Much easier to control than Zees IMO. Older Code models had great modulation (and a lot of power) as well, don't know about the current generation. Wasn't to keen on the last Avid/Sram brakes I had (2013 X0 Trail), but newer models may be better. What rotor size are you running? Maybe a SLX with 200mm rotors or a Zee with 180mm rotors would be what you're looking for.

Sept. 20, 2017, 9:13 a.m.
Posts: 12967
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Posted by: Bagheera

If you've got the money, Hope brakes are great. Their full power comes on late in the lever stroke. Much easier to control than Zees IMO. Older Code models had great modulation (and a lot of power) as well, don't know about the current generation. Wasn't to keen on the last Avid/Sram brakes I had (2013 X0 Trail), but newer models may be better. What rotor size are you running? Maybe a SLX with 200mm rotors or a Zee with 180mm rotors would be what you're looking for.

I run SLX with large rotors on my Stylus and when I ride really fast I do not have the feeling that the brakes slow me down at all.

Sept. 20, 2017, 5:55 p.m.
Posts: 1178
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

I run a front Zee caliper on XT lever with my hardtail, 180mm rotor. Power is more than adequate, but I found the 4 piston caliper gave notably more modulation. 

The big bike has the XT caliper with Zee lever, 200mm rotor. It feels like it has more power, but I think thats more the on/off nature of the setup

Sept. 21, 2017, 4:08 a.m.
Posts: 175
Joined: July 24, 2009

Posted by: Mic

Posted by: Bagheera

If you've got the money, Hope brakes are great. Their full power comes on late in the lever stroke. Much easier to control than Zees IMO. Older Code models had great modulation (and a lot of power) as well, don't know about the current generation. Wasn't to keen on the last Avid/Sram brakes I had (2013 X0 Trail), but newer models may be better. What rotor size are you running? Maybe a SLX with 200mm rotors or a Zee with 180mm rotors would be what you're looking for.

I run SLX with large rotors on my Stylus and when I ride really fast I do not have the feeling that the brakes slow me down at all.

I run XTs  (200mm/180mm) on my XC/Trail bike and that's enough to stop me (90kg sans gear) in all but the most hairy situations. The Zees (200mm/200mm) on the AM bike are remarkably more powerful, though. A lot more reserves when things get steep and long. IceTec rotors and pads on both bikes. Had SLXs on my old XC bike and they did well enough for an XC bike.

Sept. 21, 2017, 11:57 a.m.
Posts: 12967
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Posted by: Bagheera

Posted by: Mic

Posted by: Bagheera

If you've got the money, Hope brakes are great. Their full power comes on late in the lever stroke. Much easier to control than Zees IMO. Older Code models had great modulation (and a lot of power) as well, don't know about the current generation. Wasn't to keen on the last Avid/Sram brakes I had (2013 X0 Trail), but newer models may be better. What rotor size are you running? Maybe a SLX with 200mm rotors or a Zee with 180mm rotors would be what you're looking for.

I run SLX with large rotors on my Stylus and when I ride really fast I do not have the feeling that the brakes slow me down at all.

I run XTs  (200mm/180mm) on my XC/Trail bike and that's enough to stop me (90kg sans gear) in all but the most hairy situations. The Zees (200mm/200mm) on the AM bike are remarkably more powerful, though. A lot more reserves when things get steep and long. IceTec rotors and pads on both bikes. Had SLXs on my old XC bike and they did well enough for an XC bike.

They are fine for my local trails. Was in a place called Sölden in Austria, quite a few machine built trails and the ht was fun until my speed was a tad too high for the brakes, so I had to up my skillset. It did not feel as if I slowed down that much.

Which was fine because I pissed off quite a few squishy Enduro type riders without any style, serious kills or social competence/the right behaviour towards slower riders or beginners. Money can buy only so much.

Sept. 21, 2017, 1:50 p.m.
Posts: 12967
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Posted by: JBV

^^ funny commentary!

I have no idea how bad it is in BC, but over here Mtb has really become proper mainstream with all the bells and whistles that come with it. At times it is hilarious, at other times funny or just sad.

Sept. 22, 2017, 9:39 a.m.
Posts: 1351
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I'd be hesitant to go for Guides - everyone I know with Guides has had troubles with them.  Wifey has them and they are shockingly inconsistent for a modern era brake; one day they work, the next they don't. 

For brakes, stick with Shimano.   The upcoming 4-piston XT looks very promising, if it isn't urgent I'd hold out for those.  If you do end up going for Guides, I'll sell you a lightly used set for cheap; they'll be coming off wifey's bike when we upgrade her to the new XT's.

Sept. 22, 2017, 10:12 a.m.
Posts: 642
Joined: June 8, 2005

Ran several versions of XTs over the years, worked okay, but wanted more.  Tried the Guide RSC's and felt they had at least the same power or perhaps more, but better control.

I bike I purchased has a set of Codes calipers with World Cup XO levers (tool free bite adjustment, requires allen key for reach).  These have been fantastic.  I did one brake bleed when I swapped the line out to a longer one and that's it.

Been through 2 -3 sets of pads and am liking how these work.  Definitely more power than XT or Guides along with a nice feel at the lever.  The brand new version of the Codes have a slightly larger caliper capacity, and use the Guide RSC levers, so the thought is the new version Codes are now improved.  Can't comment on this.

Have always wanted to give the Saints a try to see how the increased power from the XTs feel, but haven't as yet.  The new XT's with the 4 pistons will hopefully bridge the gap from the current XT to Saint and with any luck will stay around the same XT pricepoint.  The Saints have always been big $$$.  The only comment on the Shimano front versus Avid or most other top brakes is the lack of bite point adjustment.  Most will agree the Shimano only has the reach adjustment as the servo thing does nothing.

Sept. 22, 2017, 10:12 a.m.
Posts: 642
Joined: June 8, 2005

Ran several versions of XTs over the years, worked okay, but wanted more.  Tried the Guide RSC's and felt they had at least the same power or perhaps more, but better control.

I bike I purchased has a set of Codes calipers with World Cup XO levers (tool free bite adjustment, requires allen key for reach).  These have been fantastic.  I did one brake bleed when I swapped the line out to a longer one and that's it.

Been through 2 -3 sets of pads and am liking how these work.  Definitely more power than XT or Guides along with a nice feel at the lever.  The brand new version of the Codes have a slightly larger caliper capacity, and use the Guide RSC levers, so the thought is the new version Codes are now improved.  Can't comment on this.

Have always wanted to give the Saints a try to see how the increased power from the XTs feel, but haven't as yet.  The new XT's with the 4 pistons will hopefully bridge the gap from the current XT to Saint and with any luck will stay around the same XT pricepoint.  The Saints have always been big $$$.  The only comment on the Shimano front versus Avid or most other top brakes is the lack of bite point adjustment.  Most will agree the Shimano only has the reach adjustment as the servo thing does nothing.

Sept. 22, 2017, 10:14 a.m.
Posts: 351
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

This. My first set of Guide RSC were replaced under warranty. The second set are better but still inconsistent at times. Coming down LOTS the levers got closer to the grips. Went back after a couple days as I had to readjust the reach and pad contact. I ran out of adjustment on the first pair. The symptoms were the same for front and rear brakes and one would think there was a leak as I kept adjusting the lever pad contact out until there was no more adjustment and had to adjust the reach out. A bleed helped but was temporary. Levers did not snap back as they should either.

Sept. 22, 2017, 10:30 a.m.
Posts: 1171
Joined: June 20, 2010

hated guides. just had the cheapo guide r's i think and they were ok but inconsistent. Chucked a pair of new codes on the trail bike. So far so good, definitely a lot of power, similar overall to the old ones, but only had them for half a dozen rides or so cant comment on longevity.

Sept. 22, 2017, 10:41 a.m.
Posts: 1616
Joined: July 11, 2014

Posted by: Bagheera

I run XTs  (200mm/180mm) on my XC/Trail bike and that's enough to stop me (90kg sans gear) in all but the most hairy situations. The Zees (200mm/200mm) on the AM bike are remarkably more powerful, though. A lot more reserves when things get steep and long. IceTec rotors and pads on both bikes. Had SLXs on my old XC bike and they did well enough for an XC bike.

Identical setup here, bit heavier at 210lbs san gear. XT M8000 with 203mm/180mm Icetech rotors on my trail bike, just got through the stock resin pads and am throwing in metal for the winter.  Perfect trail riding brakes, consistent power and I don't notice much fade at all. Have had no issues after 4 months of use.

DH bike has Zee with 203/203 Icetech rotors and metal pads. More power and modulation than the XT and no issues. Definitely need bleeds more often but I am doing way more vert on the DH bike and the brakes are a few years old.

I won't even consider SRAM brakes... sold the Guide RS from my trail bike as take-offs immediately and put the XT on.

Sept. 22, 2017, 1:40 p.m.
Posts: 987
Joined: June 26, 2012

XT M785s on one bike, Guide RSs on the other. I vastly prefer the feel, modulation and lever ergonomics of the Guides. Overall power is similar, but the XTs are quite touchy. Reliability has been similar. Both are over a year since their last bleed.

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