System 8 is composed of a handlebar pump, hydraulic pipe (also available in stainless steel) and caliper with 4 opposite and differentiated pistons. This small, lightweight, and reliable brake is highly recommended for use on-road as well as for cross-country riding and freeriding.
a Cross Country Rider
from CENTRAL TEXAS USA
Date Reviewed: January 7, 2003
Strengths: Good power when they work.
Weaknesses: These brakes suck, they were made for road bikes, too fragile for dirt riders. I dropped my bike and the lever broke off in the housing. F_____g Grimeca wont warranty them. I hate these brakes,bleeder valve broke first day I had these. I am going Avid mechs.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 2, 2002
Strengths: Good stopping power worked extremely well early in the piece.
Weaknesses: The spongyness of the levers are concerning I couldn't agree more with the "mushy" end feel more from an earlier review. My brake levers have also broken at the slightest provocation.
Have enjoyed having disc brakes as the stopping power (even when the brakes are spongy) is far greater than V-brakes. I will definately stick with discs but I definately will not stick with Grimeca! Hayes and Shimano seem (again) to be the way to go.
Similar Products Used: First experience with Disc brakes
Bike Setup: KHS Alite 3000 - LX/XT mix
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2002
Strengths: levers are comfortable very durable awesome stopping power excellent modulation easy pad replacement coated braided hoses
Weaknesses: frequent bleeeding
Very happy with the power and modulation of the brakes. Superior to the hayes in every way. Been using them for over three years now, and not a single reliability problem. I use one finger braking even when downhilling. The only drawback is when the bike is turned upside down the brakes must be bled (open system). I have hit trees several times and nothing has broken (loosened a brake hose at the lever one time from tree impact, lost fluid and the brakes came back on that ride) I have read all the other reviews and have not had any of the other problems. With correct setup they work great. If I ever did have a problem with them, I would not hesitate to get antother pair.
Similar Products Used: Hayes 2001 (set 'em and forget 'em)
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz, Race Face, Marzocchi, etc.
Tim in Wi
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 28, 2001
Strengths: Great looking-red calipers, oooooh! Stong-nothing ever bent or broke Never had a problem with setup
Weaknesses: Inconsistent-they would sometimes have no power, and other times too much. Sqeaul-These things howl if you get something on the pads DOT-this fluid eats everything
They were OK, but not very nice brakes. They had this thing that sometimes the brake lever would squeeze all the way to the bar, and other times it would engage instantly, all for no reason. I know it wasnt air in the lines because it would do this all on one single ride. They look nice, and work great, when they work. I prefer the consistancy of a Magura product, as the reason I am on HS-22s now, and plan on the new improved Louise for this summer. Also, make sure you keep the resevoir cap tight, when that crap leaks out, its a real mess. I also noticed that when mud got on the rotor, they squealed like hell, and people following me said they smelled like burning brakes, almost worse than a car. Something obviously has to be worked out to make it a 5 star product, but they were alright, and a pretty good deal at 250 front and rear.
Similar Products Used: CODA Discs, Magura HS 22/33, Avid SD and Arch Rival.
Bike Setup: Cannondale CAAD5, Fatty Ultra, Sram stuff, Hugi wheelset
from New Hope, PA, US
Date Reviewed: December 2, 2000
Strengths: works better than anything else(when its working, which is rare), never makes noise
Weaknesses: 1.plungers break easy- broke 3rd time i used em and they replaced the brake 2. bleader valves are extremely cheap- broke off 3. the brake levers are like twigs, it snaped off right near the end this morning 4. rotors are flimsy as hell, i had to bend them back like four times 5. grimeca is slow on repair
they work great but the brake levers aren't replaceble, and these aren't the most durable brakes there are. do yourself a favor and buy avids or hayes cause i've had nothing but problems with these since i put them on my bike.
they're way over priced for how they're made
if they don't do something about it this time i'll just go get myself a reliable pair of hayes
Strengths: great modulation makes for total control in panic situations, no wash-outs from over breaking in sandy corners. plenty of strength means nose wheelies anytime you want, even when frozen and wet, or hot after a long run. never clog with mud, or get dirt packed in the calipers. the coated steel braided cables are AWESOME. never scratch your frame, or catch a frayed wire with your leg.
Weaknesses: brake fluid eats finish.
the 4 caliper system on these brakes provides better stoping power and control than any i've used. hayes hydraulics are awesome, but i had trouble getting them to brake lightly - it was too easy to brake too hard. perhaps that's cause i only weigh 135#. these grimeca system 8 discs ROCK. i can control the braking strength perfectly, and still get way too much stopage if i want to endo for some reason. if you are willing to put in the extra effort to do hydro brakes, and get the corresponding extra performance, these ROCK.
Weaknesses: Master cylinders have built in overflow valve which will result in brake fluid leaking out until correct level is obtained (after bleeding). This results in the paint on the master cylinder being removed if the fluid isn't wiped off immediately. However, a little bottle of black car touch-up paint fixes this problem.
Excellent product especially for the money. Contrary to the notion that Bassano makes the XT disk brakes they don't. Rather it appears to me that Shimano "reverse engineered" the system 8's.The big difference is that the XT brakes don't work nearly as well.
Similar Products Used: XT V brakes, Avid 20's, Magura HS 33 etc.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Tazmon, Marzocchi Superlight 100, Risse Astro 5, Shimano XT disk hubs,derailleurs,Roox post and stem, 545 pedals, race face cranks and rings, chris king headset, easton bar, etc.
a Weekend Warrior
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: October 11, 2000
Strengths: Motorcycle quality for your bike. Easy set-up, no adapters needed for I.S. front or rear. Easy break-in, one steep run down Mount soledad and they burned right in. Extra-thick 2mm rotors. Actually uses real DOT 3-4 brake fluid. Quad piston calipers and adjustable lever throw allow a full range of modulation, not just on/off. (like Hayes)
Weaknesses: For those with limited experience with hydraulic/disc technology, trying to follow the 'instruction manual' could be the kiss of death.
For an ex-motorcycle nut, these are the closest thing. I would consider Hayes or Hope 8" the only choices for extreme downhilling, but these Grimeca's are an excellent choice for the 98% of us who want all-around weekend warrior performance, at a reasonable price. Plus, you can get both of the Sys8 brakes for the cost of ONE of those big-named brands!
In my opinion, this is the most comfortable set-up I've used, due to the adjustable lever travel. 1-1.5" of lever range, vs. 0.5" hayes lever travel = less hand fatigue. You can bleed off speed more gradually, or lock'em up at will. This is especially efective on longer XC rides, or epic days at Big Bear.
If your looking for really inexpensive discs, be sure to check out the Avid mechanicals, and the Hayes HMX-1 cable brakes. These are $85-$99 ea, work fantastic (for all but the truly extreme), and are very user-friendly.
Do yourself a favor; if you're not disc-saavy, find a local bike tech who is, to install these for you. and be sure to do a proper break-in.
Value? @$109 each? are you kidding? 5 big ones!! Overall? these are an awesome brake for the majority of riders, including myself. If you're on the NORBA circuit, you need something bigger/more powerful. For the rest of us, the System 8 is a great choice.
Similar Products Used: Hayes Hydro, Avid AR50, Assorted V's, canti's.
Bike Setup: custom FSR MaxBB, Z1CR, XTR, Kore B-52, bonty Crow bar, King HS, BETD 5"-6" long travel kit, Stratos Helix pro, Thomson, Mavic x317, Grimeca Sys8 front and rear.
from Cherry Hill, NJ
Date Reviewed: September 6, 2000
Strengths: Easiest disc brake to bleed, best modulation, coated steel lines, four pistons=little to no squealing, very little pad movement in caliper (unlike hayes or CODA), pistons retract over time if lever squeezed w/o disc and light.
Weaknesses: The only thing I can think of is the use of a 90 degree hose joint at the lever. Make for a weird twist and turn of the hose.
Better than the Shimano XT eventhough Grimeca makes the Shimano's. The System 8's are cheap, easy to set up, and provide enough stopping power even for trials riders. Light enough for XC riders but rugged to stand up to DH use. Set up for international disc mounts. If you already have a set of disc's but want to try something new, Grimeca's are the best out there. They've been making brakes longer than any other mt. biking disc co. out there.
[COLOR=#000000]Will 7 speed derailleurs work on an 8 speed system?
[/COLOR]I plan on upgrading to 8 speed derailleurs in the future. For now I hope the 7 speed derailleurs will work.
[COLOR=#000000]Also, will a 9 speed chain negatively impact the 7 or 8 speed derailleur?
Thank you[/COLOR]Read More »
Two separate questions:
1.) I'm working on an old Cannondale Super V for a buddy, and it has a pair of older Magura Louise discs. All of the instructions I've been able to find show brakes with a seperate bleed screw, that these do not. Does anyone have any tips or advice on how to bl ... Read More »
I've finally got a working prototype for my LED system. Basically, a single front and rear light come on at low speed, and the rest switch on at around 8km/hr. About 620lm of front facing Cree LED light when riding over 15km/hr. See [url]http://www.malleegum.com/bike/project4.html[/url] for details.Read More »