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Brakes Chat

March 15, 2019, 10:02 a.m.
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov. 14, 2017

Those MT4/3s sound intriguing.  I have been using XT and LX 2 piston brakes for 5 years because the work well and, are reliable.  I recently bought a set of take off Deore 4 piston brakes and installed the callipers on the front of my 2 mountain bikes.  4 piston front, 2 rear and I love this setup, it feels very balanced to me.

March 15, 2019, 11:11 a.m.
Posts: 10975
Joined: June 4, 2008

Posted by: pedalhound

I ran Shimano Saints for the past few years and loved 'em...but they never had the stopping power I wanted. Over the past two generations...took em to a few different mechanics for bleeds, tried different brake pads...could not even do a stoppie. I mean, I am a big dude...but these are bigass brakes on 203 rotors...should not be an issue.

That's crazy.. I could easily go OTB if I grabbed my front and I hover anywhere around 220-245.

March 15, 2019, 11:23 a.m.
Posts: 1470
Joined: July 11, 2014

Shimano fan here and 215lbs... 2-pot XT on trail bike (4 didn't exist at the time) and used Zee/Saint on DH. The shape/lever feel is my favourite thing about them after the power. I don't like the shape of SRAM's levers.

March 15, 2019, 11:28 a.m.
Posts: 1151
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: grambo

Shimano fan here and 215lbs... 2-pot XT on trail bike (4 didn't exist at the time) and used Zee/Saint on DH. The shape/lever feel is my favourite thing about them after the power. I don't like the shape of SRAM's levers.

Ya I'm 190. Think I'm leaning towards the 4 piston XT's for the braking power/reliability. Nice to hear who likes what.

March 15, 2019, 11:33 a.m.
Posts: 9191
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Posted by: ReductiMat

Posted by: pedalhound

I ran Shimano Saints for the past few years and loved 'em...but they never had the stopping power I wanted. Over the past two generations...took em to a few different mechanics for bleeds, tried different brake pads...could not even do a stoppie. I mean, I am a big dude...but these are bigass brakes on 203 rotors...should not be an issue.

That's crazy.. I could easily go OTB if I grabbed my front and I hover anywhere around 220-245.

It was possible, but I would really have to squeeze hard on the levers (I am 260ish) whereas with the Magura's I feel I get way more modulation and the power really turns on as you squeeze harder...I love 'em!

March 15, 2019, 11:54 a.m.
Posts: 90
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Magura MT5's love em.

March 15, 2019, 1:51 p.m.
Posts: 1065
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

I'll throw in a plug for the TRP Slate T4. They use the same finned/non-finned pads of Shimano 4 pot brakes, same mineral oil. Better power than the Guides that came OEM, modulate better than Shimano 2 or 4 pot brakes (not that Shimano's modulation has ever been a problem for me). They were half the price of Zees which make them pretty sweet value.

The big x factor is parts availability if you're in a pinch, though realistically thats a concern with anything not Shimano or SRAM.

March 15, 2019, 2:19 p.m.
Posts: 159
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

Posted by: legbacon

Those MT4/3s sound intriguing.  I have been using XT and LX 2 piston brakes for 5 years because the work well and, are reliable.  I recently bought a set of take off Deore 4 piston brakes and installed the callipers on the front of my 2 mountain bikes.  4 piston front, 2 rear and I love this setup, it feels very balanced to me.

Check out the Magura mt trail sport. About 250cad for a complete set, 4 piston front 2 piston rear and the newer style single finger levers.

March 15, 2019, 11:11 p.m.
Posts: 223
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: Hepcat

You know what I want to see? 5 second reviews. Someone jump on a product and calls it.

Hope brakes- Wow beautiful...why the fuck are the levers too sharp to touch?

Guide R- Ok, still modulating and definitely not ever stopping.

Shimano anything- Ooh lever feels nice, holy $#@!*+# hammer of Thor I have stopped.

Magura- Why's the lever spongy? Where's Thor's hammer? Oh there it is.

Yup. This is exactly right. Except with shimano it should also read "shit, feather of Icarus, why art thou not braking on this long downhill. Damn, too hot again!


 Last edited by: RAHrider on March 15, 2019, 11:16 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
March 16, 2019, 7:43 a.m.
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

prefer #4

March 16, 2019, 4:02 p.m.
Posts: 161
Joined: July 24, 2009

Zee on my old bike, Saint on the new one. Love 'em. Modulation is ok, tons of stopping power (I'm probably approaching 200lbs) even on long descents. Did I mention stopping power? XT 785 on my other bike. Great for everything but slowing down really quickly from super high speeds or in very steep terrain. Ok for everything if you remember they're not Zees/Saints. Overheating is only an issue in very long, steep descents.

Had Code Rs and Guide RS on various demo bikes. Code R is ok if set up properly, but even then still has not enough power. Horrible if not set up perfectly. Guide RS was engineered by someone who hates mountainbikers and wants to kill as many of us as possible. Not nearly enough power, modulation is hit or miss (as in, you're either gonna hit that obstacle or have enough room to steer around it, cause you're sure as hell not gonna stop before). Worst brakes I've used in years. Worse than 2008 XTs, worse than Elixirs.

March 17, 2019, 11:33 a.m.
Posts: 188
Joined: April 15, 2017

What’s up with the Hope levers being sharp? I’d love to hear where that came from....intriguing!

Maybe I’m lucky with the Guide RS set I have - modulation is what I wanted but short of constant Whistler I’ve not hit a point where they fade or fail to stop me here on the Shore. 

I do work on them to keep the pistons advancing correctly as crud does seem to gum them up easily. 

Maguras, Codes or Hopes seem like the next step to create a burly enduro that can handle WBP

March 17, 2019, 2:45 p.m.
Posts: 29
Joined: Dec. 1, 2008

I feel that brake performance depends heavily on the user. Therefore i'm quite hesitant with blanket statements like "brake A is good, brake B is bad". I vividly remember a very long, steep alpine descent: Me running Avid Juicy brakes, the guy in front of me (heavier than me, but not massively so) on Magura Gustav M (strongest brake ever built for bicycles).  At the bottom we notice the burning smell of overheated brakes and i immediatly assume that my tiny Juicys have overheated. Turns out it was the rear Gustav which had overheated and even started to fade.

March 19, 2019, 8:54 a.m.
Posts: 188
Joined: April 15, 2017

I agree. Attributes like modulation, bite point etc are quite subjective.

What I'd like to see in a quick review is the mechanical side - how easy to bleed, how easy to adjust (if adjustability is available), does a more expensive version represent a better item from a repair standpoint, what's the longevity, heat dissipation. 

For example I have guideRS - I find them really easy to bleed, but the pistons are prone to sticking. They can be rebuilt from scratch. Do the Codes represent a large change in the mechanical attributes  (as opposed to the subjective feel). Is there a difference between the R or RSC ?

Do brake systems have longevity or does this never become an issue if riders are swapping out framesets every 3-5 years?

March 19, 2019, 9:36 a.m.
Posts: 1288
Joined: Feb. 17, 2009

Hope brakes- Wow beautiful...why the fuck are the levers too sharp to touch?

I haven't found it to be an issue on the trail, I ride with gloves. They've also softened to the touch over the last year of use.

I have Hope Tech3 V4 brakes on my Enduro, and they are beautiful, so darn beautiful. They don't have the sheer stopping power of the Saints on my other bike but they are very consistent, even on extremely long descents, they just don't fade.  My only perceived downside is that for the life of me, I haven't managed to ever bleed them correctly, there always seems to be a bubble hiding somewhere.  Fortunately, Steed is just around the corner from my place, so I'm able to drop off a messy bleed and have them do it properly.  It's not like I haven't bled brakes before, I'm very comfortable with all Shimano brakes that I've tried and have had reasonable success with Avid, just can't seem to get it done properly with the cup style master cylinder.

Maybe I should lure Andrew Major over with a case of beer and some homemade snacks so he can give me a proper tutorial.

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