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I'm pulling the trigger on a new 5 spot and am unable to make a decision on brakes. I have searched this forum, read the reviews and they are all over the place.

I know I want hydraulic disc's. I was leaning towards the Magura Louise FR. The bike shop is telling me the Hayes Mag's are the most trouble free. Everyone has an opinion, but many don't actually use the latest products.

Can anyone with the latest vintage Louise FR's give me a thumbs up or down on these.

Same on the Hayes Mag's.

I'm open to other hydro's as well.

I want to avoid constant adjustments and noise so I'm asking for the experts advice.

For info, I weigh 160 and will be riding agressive XC and rocky technical trails. Some fairly steep so I want something with good modulation and stopping power. The fork is a Talas RLC

Thanks in advance and I'll be sure to post the pics when I get it.
 

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You can't go wrong with the Hayes. I've upgraded to an 8" rotor up front, the stopping is impressive. Even the cheap Hayes are great brakes.
 

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bike moron
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Hayes for me

t0land said:
You can't go wrong with the Hayes. I've upgraded to an 8" rotor up front, the stopping is impressive. Even the cheap Hayes are great brakes.
Agreed. I have Hayes brakes on two bikes, one of them is Mag Plus (on the Spot), and they are essentially trouble free once set up properly. I say essentially only because I find I have to periodically tweak to eliminate brake rub. That's somewhat typical of hydraulic discs....not that I would know from personal experience since I'm such a Hayes homer.

Some would say that Hayes don't modulate the best, but I've never had a problem with that; I've found them easy to get used to in that respect. I'm also about 160 lbs, xc, medium aggressive (less so with age!). Power is absolutely not an issue for me, even with regular rotors.
 

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CalEpic said:
I'm pulling the trigger on a new 5 spot and am unable to make a decision on brakes. I have searched this forum, read the reviews and they are all over the place.

I know I want hydraulic disc's. I was leaning towards the Magura Louise FR. The bike shop is telling me the Hayes Mag's are the most trouble free. Everyone has an opinion, but many don't actually use the latest products.

Can anyone with the latest vintage Louise FR's give me a thumbs up or down on these.

Same on the Hayes Mag's.

I'm open to other hydro's as well.

I want to avoid constant adjustments and noise so I'm asking for the experts advice.

For info, I weigh 160 and will be riding agressive XC and rocky technical trails. Some fairly steep so I want something with good modulation and stopping power. The fork is a Talas RLC

Thanks in advance and I'll be sure to post the pics when I get it.
I've been on a quest for good brakes for awhile. Most of my friends have had success with Hayes. However, they all have updated the levers and brake lines. I've tried Hayes, Shimano, Avid mechanical and Hope mini, M4, mono M4 and M6. I absolutely love the Hope Mono M4's on my Spot. The levers are great as well as modulation and power. I run a 203mm in front and 185mm in the rear.
Brakes are very subjective, just like saddles. Just my .02 I suppose.
 

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Waiting to exhale.
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I have had some bad experiences with hayes. I have used some of the 8inch hayes HD brakes on my Gemini, modulation was either brake or more brake. I am running hayes mags on my 5spot and I don't like them much either. Not much power, no modulation, and the "Feel" at the lever is strange. I have had some deore hydros and they where excellent. Great power, modulation, and a nice feel at the levers. The hayes levers feel loose and flimsy and even with reach adjusting they still don't feel quite right.


Hayes good points for me are that I have not had any reliability or mechanical problems. I have crashed the heck out of the levers and even popped one out of the little socket thing. I popped it back in and they still work.

I would look for the juicy 7's.
 

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Can't go wrong with the Hayes?

Well I did ! HFX as well as Mag were just trouble and poor braking.

i went with the Formula Oros very few lineage so far...
yeah, iI know what you'll say "you cna trust thoses brakes, you don't know how they'll age..."
Hayes was so much trouble and Hope sort of cheap, that I went with the second hand OROs and it brakeslike mad. If you like late braking in curves, go for them
 

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Lookin for that extra can
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CalEpic said:
Can anyone with the latest vintage Louise FR's give me a thumbs up or down on these.
.
I put the '05 Louise FRs on my Pack and have been quite happy with them. I've also ridden '03 Louise and '04 Martas.
A couple of things I don't like:
The Magura bleeding process is just silly. They don't have the typical (auto, motorcycle, etc) bleed valve so that you can just pump up the lever, open the valve, push the fluid through, close the valve... rinse, lather, repeat. Instead you get into this dual syringe push, pull, suck, spill fiasco.
There is no pad wear adjustment so as your pads wear down (and they wear fast), your lever pulls closer and closer to the bar. This can be fixed by pushing more fluid into the system.

Things I like:
Awesome customer service and a 5 year leak warranty.
Mostly squeak free.
Great stopping power and modulation.

I think all of the current hydros have their issues, but compared to my buddies who ride Hayes, Hope, and Avid Mechs I seem to have the fewest problems.

--rip
 

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vote for Louise FRs

I have the 04' Louise FRs on my Spot and run 160r and 180f. I weigh 185 without riding gear and these brakes are definitely powerful enough. I have had zero problems with them and they remain quiet even though I ride through several creek crossings on a typical ride.

I am a below-average bike mechanic but I was able to bleed the rear brake the first time I tried it. Because I have a Fox fork and King hubs I did have to have the fork and frame faced a bit for the initial install in order to get the caliper centered over the rotor.
 

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carpe mañana
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7,307 Posts
I had a pair of used 03 Louise FRs, for about a month 180/160 combo and liked them so much that I got the 05 210/190 combo. The lever on 05s feels awesome, I just love pressing it. Stopping power and modulation is the best I've ever ridden. I also have Marta SLs on my race bike. I'm a big Magura fan, I find these to be super reliable, best performing brakes I've tried. I've had Hopes, Avid mechs and ridden Hayes. The bleeding process is a mess the first couple of times, but once you get a hang of it, it is fast and easy, 5 minute job.

_MK
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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I have 3 sets of the Louise/FR brakes and they have treated me very well. I had 2 sets of Juicys (now down to one, and they are in a box) but winter wet weather squeal drove me away from them. The Maguras have been very good overall. I have been happy with how durable the pads are (after hearing horror stories), power is good, modulation is good, they are quiet, life is good. There are things I would change on them, but on the whole they are the brake to beat in coastal Alaska as far as I can tell...
 

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Hayes

I have an anciant mismatched set of hayes on my DH bike and a 2 year old set on my Spot and I've never had any issues. There not the lightest but they work great and no matter where you ride you can find parts. The only downsides I see is the Dot fluid and a little extra weight.
 

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I have been running Magura Louise FR on my 5 Spot for the last 2 years, and as long as they are bedded in correctly they are very powerful and reliable. They havn't leaked and the hoses are easy to shorten and also pass through the top tube to seat tube gusset.
 

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No Justice = No Peace
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Hayes

I just got a 5 spot this year. My first FS bike and my first disc brakes. the Hayes work great. no headaches. I went for the carbon cause the levers feel so good in my big clumsy hands compared to the skinny little levers in others. Ivbe nver had such excellent braking on any off road bike - with or without a motor.

I'm 210 and I have a 2005 TALAS on my spot. I rode andraced dirt bikes for years before MTB took the front seat
 

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trail fairy
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FRs for me 2

I've run 04s Lousie Frs for a year now 180mm fr 160mm r, no problems to date, and when the pads are worn change em to cool stops they last forever are quiet and improve braking performance, basically these are way stronger than any other disc brake I've used (hayes Cdale, Shimano 03s,Hope ti 6pot only ones to compare (should with 203mm rotors) plus I had the unique opportunity to run an FR on one side and the J7 on the other I realy got a impression of the 2 the FR is way stronger plus had better feel for me anyways bit dispointed in the J7s glad I did'nt go there now.
I've also gone for Maguras braided hoses these really boost performance again, well worth IMO, enjoy they rock..
 

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Daniel the Dog
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Something is wrong with your Hayes

SMOKEY said:
I have had some bad experiences with hayes. I have used some of the 8inch hayes HD brakes on my Gemini, modulation was either brake or more brake. I am running hayes mags on my 5spot and I don't like them much either. Not much power, no modulation, and the "Feel" at the lever is strange. I have had some deore hydros and they where excellent. Great power, modulation, and a nice feel at the levers. The hayes levers feel loose and flimsy and even with reach adjusting they still don't feel quite right.

Hayes good points for me are that I have not had any reliability or mechanical problems. I have crashed the heck out of the levers and even popped one out of the little socket thing. I popped it back in and they still work.

I would look for the juicy 7's.
Certainly Hayes Mags don't modulate as well as the Juicy's for example; however, they have every bit as much power. However, no modulation sounds strange to me. I would call Hayes or go to a good LBS and see what is happening with your brakes. Something is wrong.

I have ridden lots of brake systems. I rode Magura Marta's for a year. I really like Hayes' brakes. Color me stupid but I really like 'em.

Jaybo
 

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Avid juicy 7s

CalEpic said:
I'm pulling the trigger on a new 5 spot and am unable to make a decision on brakes. I have searched this forum, read the reviews and they are all over the place.

I know I want hydraulic disc's. I was leaning towards the Magura Louise FR. The bike shop is telling me the Hayes Mag's are the most trouble free. Everyone has an opinion, but many don't actually use the latest products.

Can anyone with the latest vintage Louise FR's give me a thumbs up or down on these.

Same on the Hayes Mag's.

I'm open to other hydro's as well.

I want to avoid constant adjustments and noise so I'm asking for the experts advice.

For info, I weigh 160 and will be riding agressive XC and rocky technical trails. Some fairly steep so I want something with good modulation and stopping power. The fork is a Talas RLC

Thanks in advance and I'll be sure to post the pics when I get it.
185mm rotor up front and 160mm in the back..
 
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