a Weekend Warrior
from Goldsboro, NC USA
Date Reviewed: February 21, 2011
Strengths: power & control
Weaknesses: stock pads suck
I picked these up on ebay witht he dual control levers. At first I thought these brakes were terrible. They didn't seem to have any power, no control and absolutely no feedback. Apparently Shimano spec'd resin pads stock. Well I had destroyed those in a few rides. I bought a set of sintered pads and it was like I put new brakes on. I had more power than I knew what to do with, great control and finally some feed back. The sinitered pads helped with fade on long downhills but didn't make it go away completely. I have no idea how they would perform with a 160 rotor since I already had 203 f/r on my bike but I know with the big rotors and sintered these things are awesome.
a Weekend Warrior
from Annapolis, MD
Date Reviewed: May 18, 2009
Strengths: good quality, great feel, good modulation, price($50 for both the brake and STI levers), confident one fingered braking, all around good
Weaknesses: definitely loses some power on long downhills, I was kind of indifferent to the STI levers
amazing price($50 each), good quality and dependability, i feel safe going fast
the STI levers neither improved nor detracted from my riding experience...not sure i like them but i definitely don't mind them
consistent and predictable performance
(i have both brakes in 160mm)
Similar Products Used: Hayes HFX 9, Avid BB7, juicy's
Bike Setup: 03 GT avalanche, xt-ish drivetrain, dt/xt wheels, old manitou axel fork
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2009
Strengths: Great stopping power, awesome feel / modulation, reliable, good price.
Weaknesses: None so far.
Great brakes for the money, these replaced the Avid Juicy 5’s that were stock on my hi-fi and I will not look back. They are super responsive and unlike my juicy’s they are very quiet. I had so many problems with the juicy’s, replaced pads/ rotors, finally switched because Jenson were selling these cheap. I love the feel of the LX’s and stop me just as good as the juicy’s. Though I do miss having the 185mm rotor in front, for the shimano’s I had to with 160 front / rear, but I have not noticed a difference. I have heard from others that they do not perform well on long downhill’s because of the mineral oil, well I did not have that problem, I took the LX’s to Colorado on some long fire road/single-track descents and did not lose any power. That’s just my $.02
from Rocklin, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2009
Strengths: Super value
Weaknesses: Not the coolest looking brakes, and a little heavy. Lever adjustment is kind of a pain
I havent seen a better brake for the money. I get a lot better bite with EBC Red pads but they are not the greatest for the wet. Yes the new brakes with the adjustable pads are much tricker. I wish these didnt work so well because it makes it so difficult for me to drop $400 on the Elixir CRs or new XT's. I just noticed this set for $40 at Jensen. I ride hard and drop all the big hills in Nor Cal. 15 years of hardcore experience....
Weaknesses: Every WINTER they leak oil down at the Calipers onto the rotor and that ruins the pads. So plan to have to replace the pads EVERY winter at least once, or 2-3 times if you ride a lot in the cold weather...
This is just a pain in the ass and costs a little more money that I wish, but the brakes are still awesome and this little problem is an inconvenience but that's about it...
Similar Products Used: avid bb, xt 775, saints, louise, marta
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 9, 2008
Strengths: Maintenance (basically none required other than cleaning in 3 years) and reliability - no failures, ever.
Weaknesses: Technical downhills can show up some fairly substantial limitations. To be fair, these are not downhill brakes though, so I push them a little further than they were designed for. I do not like the integrated shifter and lever combination, but I should have thought more about the implications of this when I bought the bike; my fault.
Very shimano - not very pretty, but ultra reliable and functional. As I mentioned, they can be made to show their limits fairly easily, but my basis for comparison are my Hope Mono M4's on my other bike which is not really comparing like with like. I have used shimano pads, BB pads and I think Grimeca (?) pads which were sintered. To be honest, I have not felt any difference and the longevity appeared to be similar. The modulation is not bad, but the limitations shown on long downhills result in a very perceptible reduction in lever travel (and modulation - much more resistance to the lever pull) and this can give you some old-school (from cable canti brake days) forearm fatigue. Good if you want to work that forearm definition though... Overall, think about what you want to use them for - cross country and small downhills they would be an excellent choice. Any longer or more technical downhills and I would consider looking elsewhere for something a bit more substantial.
a Weekend Warrior
from Durhamm NC
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2008
Strengths: very inexpensive, reliability, modulation, availability of parts, ease of setup, tons of options for setup
Weaknesses: stock resin pads lose power in wet conditions, shimano brake lines are very thin and kink easily
This is going to be a lengthly description, mostly because I think these brakes have a lot of potential that most folks don't realize due to the LX label. I'll try to organize my comments :)
Overall performance: I've run these and the Hones (exact caliper, different paint and metalic pads)for a year now and I've been very pleased. I've used most brands disc brakes and am very critical of modulation and progressive power. The LX units have a very smooth application of power, they're easy to feather in rough conditions, yet still can apply consistent power with one finger when needed. I would say as an all around brake, these (w/metalic pads) are a better option than the M4's I was running. They don't put out the fade-free power under long descents, but the modulation and feel is better. They're quiet and smooth, but I would definitely recommend running the metalic pads for more power and wet weather. The resin pads in my experience have lost significant power under muddy/wet conditions, but my hones with metalic pads don't have the same effect. this is an easy fix for the LX caliper by just swapping pads.
Setup: This is an area where the shimano units really shine. Almost all shimano disc calipers on the market now are the same general unit with subtle style differences... Hone, LX, XT, Deore, they're all pretty much the same brake, so to get it for $32 a wheel is outstanding. The best part is you can mix and match adapters, rotors, and levers. Any shimano lever will work with any shimano caliper. I wanted to run 185mm hope rotors with my hones so I just used an avid 185mm PM adapter and voala perfect match. the calipers are all PM like avid's units so you just mate them with the appropriate adapter and you're set (even if the adapters are from different brands). I use Avid G2 185's and 165's on my ventana and hope 185mm lightning bolt rotors with the hones and the setup works perfectly. If you mix rotors, do check thickness. Shimano rotors are a bit thin if I'm not mistaken, so you might not get the appropriate pad clearance with a thicker rotor. I can account for Hope, Avid, Shimano, and Hayes rotors though - they all worked for me. (magura might be too thick)
Complaints: hose! they work fine in most conditions, but the hoses are thin - compare to Magura especially. Mine got kinked from a minor pull when removing a fork. If you're doing higher impact technical riding, I'd recommend running SS lines or something with say a magura hose and shimano fittings. I have yet to try this though. Suprisingly, it's hard to find hose kits for Hone/LX... most kits available are for XTR (use banjos). Hone/LX uses dual M8x.75 male fittings. I've found MANY errors on websites for goodridge lines saying the 108 kit works for LX/Hone... but it's not the right hardware - no banjos. I've already mentioned the pad issue in wet weather, but the metalic pads included with hone or available separately solve that. If you're a DHer, these will show some minor fade. I pushed the resin pads several times on a fairly high speed (~35mph) 9 minute DH trail and the last few minutes they were showing fade. I haven't pushed the hones w/metalic pads on the same run yet though.
Overall, with the metalic pads and a solid line, these brakes are hard to beat for a versatile and reliable all around setup. If you are doing prolonged high speed descents, you may want a larger caliper (Gustav/M4/Code) with less fade, but for the vast majority of trail riding, these are a great buy and perform exceptionally well.
a Weekend Warrior
from Manchester, Manchester, UK
Date Reviewed: February 18, 2008
Strengths: They work, they're cheap, they give good feel at the levers. Most important...they WORK!!!
Weaknesses: Mine squeal a little when wet. Maybe not the lightest
OK...they came with the bike. OK...they're Shimano. BUT...They do the job. Never missed a ride due to the brakes, never had a bad moment due to the brakes. Good for most people on most bikes formost general applications. Hey..they work!!! ;O)
Weaknesses: Pistons in caliper became sticky after extended wet riding...worked them loose with some lube and they are back to normal
I switched from my BB7s with reservation. I love the maintainability and adjustablity of the BB7s. The LX brakes have proved to be a great set of brakes with plenty of stopping power for the riding I do...no serious DH. I love the shape of the levers. The pistons in the calipers got stuck/sticky after about 6 muddy wet rides in a row, I worked the pistons in an out using some lube (off the bike without pads installed) and they went back to normal. Definitely worth the money.