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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started doing some research and while I thought the El Camino would be my best bet for All Mountain/Freeride (8" front / 6" rear), I'm starting to wonder what a better alternative would be since I've read a lot of bad reviews.

Would a DH brake be too much for all mountain (8"/8")? I ride a decent amount of aggressive trails, and ride some DH on my AM bike, so I do want at least an 8" rotor in front.

If it matters, I ride a 05 Reign w/ the stock So1e brakes w/ an 8" rotor up front, 6" in the rear, 40mm stem, flats...

thanks!
 

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Freshly Fujified
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8,199 Posts
Avid Code Perhaps?

Lot of hype behind them. Probably too early to tell if they'll live up to it. Certainly worth considering.

Bob
 

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011100000110111101101111
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1,247 Posts
I have the 07 Magura Louise BAT. The levers are ass ugly, but
the more I use them, the more I like them over my Juicy 5s with Dangerboys.
They have a very very solid and silky feel at the lever and great modulation, and don't rub so far!. Plus not a squeak out of them! Juicies are great too, but they are grabbier, and make noise in certain trail conditions. The only plus about the Avid is they look a lot more sleek, and I can get them real close to the bar.

I would love to try to out the Formula brakes.
 

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i'm running 203/180mm juicy 7's on my reign and love them. I ran hopes before these and these are a lot easier to setup and i don't have to fiddle with them at all like the hopes.
 

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I dig trails!
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5,611 Posts
I've ridden the Soles on some DH and I was pretty impressed for what they are. Like yours they were 8"/7" and I didn't get the arm pump I got from the Hayes 9's I have.

A brake to consider is the Formula K24.

A bit pricey but modulation is amazing, as is the stopping power (especially in such a lightweight package) So big power (DH) + lightweight (uphill) = AM.

Formula designed the Juicy 7s, so if you are on a tighter budget look into them.

Mr. P
 

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sam575
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163 Posts
HOPE all the way in my opinion. I have never used such a fine brake. Perfect modulation and power, plus they look factory, they're light, strong and totally rebuildable. You can change the colour scheme too with coloured levers, bore caps and master cylinder caps available after-market.

Everyone complains about how tricky and time consuming they are to set-up, I just think they're all lazy! It's not hard at all - just shim the calipers until you get the perfect alignment and off you go. Set and forget.

I've been using them since the start of 2005 and they haven't faulted once. (one piston was sticky for a while but that was an easy 30min fix). I took them off my old hardtail and put them on to my new Yeti 575, but I needed longer lines so I replaced the standard black ones for Goodridge braided and man the difference is awesome. Much crisper lever feel.

I highly recommend HOPE.
 

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Shimano brakes are really good and deadly reliable.

From LX to XT/Saint. Even the Deore is a super good brake with big rotors.

I have Saints with 8" rotors front and rear.

I´ve been on shimano discs for the past 6 years. Almost all my friends ride shimano.
All these discs (maybe 20 sets) have been absolutely flawless, no sticky piston, they didn´t even needed to be bled. Just change pads (which are cheap!) and go on.

They offer very good modulation, decent braking power and are not that expensive.

Also you can get spareparts everywhere and most stores have the pads in stock.


The Saints with sintered pads and large rotors are really strong btw.

I guess there are a lot of other great brakes out there, it´s just that most of them are more expensive or have a less good finish and are therefore less reliable.
Shimano really knows how to do it, that every single xt lever looks exactly the same as another xt lever of the same year/series.


Greetings Znarf
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for all the info....

I've used Hayes exclusively for almost 6 years so It's hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of another company being trust worthy, but it seems as though every other company is really out smarting hayes in a lot of ways. Don’t get me wrong, they make great products, in fact I have been really blown away at how my Sole brakes have held up to a lot of riding w/o any issues other that adjusting the lever now and then.

As far as prices, "you get what you pay for", and brakes are a part I'm not going to go cheap with. I've started looking at the Avid carbon’s, which seem to fit every need I can think of, and the Formula's look like a really good option as well. The fact that the Hope's require some tinkering to perform like the Avid's do out of the box is kind of discouraging, but I'll take a look at them.

Thanks again.
 

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Not the El Camino.

Not bad (I have ECs with an 8"/8" rotor setup), but not the best.

I do like the lever reach adjustment (when it stays where I set it), but I don't like the lever slop. They also pump up sometimes on long downhills, but that could be a bleeding problem.

I also like that you load the pads from the top...not sure how many others are that way.

Heck - I guess they aint that bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah I guess the EC's are a decent brake but I've heard a lot more bad than good.

ie: the lever reach almost never stays in the desired possition, the reach knob in faulty, they need to be bled more than average to maintain desired stopping power, they heat up really fast and lose power on Dh runs...

all of these points are steering me in another direction.
 

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I've been running a set of Hayes Mags. Bought them used actually...they just plain work. Not a whole lot to say about them, nothing fancy, just good reliable brakes that need little maintenance.

I have a set of Formula K24's about to go on & the Mags will go on another bike. The Formula's are a very nice looking package, hope to have them installed this week & test 'em shortly after. I hope they'll live up to the rave reviews I've seen.
 

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I have been thoroughly unimpressed with my hayes el caminos. the lever return is vague, modulation is vague, the actual brake body is made of super soft material that just screams cheap. I have ridden on alot of brakes... Avid BB5's and BB7's, Hope Minis, Formula B4 SL, Magura Julie, Magura Louise, Shimano XT, Shimano Deores. Aside from the BB5's you'd be better off with any of those brakes over the Caminos. A riding buddy has hayes sole's on his kona dog - the lever rod has pushed through the brake a few times causing us to search for tiny little parts while on the trail. IMO hayes makes inferior products. If you are looking for budget get Deores. If you are looking for quality get the Hope's. If you are looking for something inbetween get the Magura Louise.
 

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livin' large
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534 Posts
Shimano deore brakes are great! easy set up, reliable, cheap and easy to find pads and they have a better feel than my other bikes supoosed superior hayes 9hd set up which eats exspensive pads and always rubs no matter how much shimming and messing about i do with them, as well as reach screws that have their own ideas on set up.

Shimano seems to be the brand everyone loves to hate, but they make a quality product that works well and is reliable. My next brakes will be shimano, probably saint to replace the hayes junk
 

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2nd shimano

Shimano brakes are good stuff. I have run both XT and XTR and nary a peep from either. Mineral oil "fluid" is nice to work with, and BTW, Singer Sewing Machine oil from Wal mart works perfectly well.

The XTR caliper is a little more challenging to set up, using shims instead of sliding around to line up the caliper. And running a 203mm rotor up front with my XTR has required regular rotor truing to avoid/minimize the "ching ching" under heavy pedaling or on asphalt. I think the XTRs (or my individual caliper) may not release as far or as consistently than the XTs did.
 

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Magura SL 180/160

psunuc said:
On my all mountain rig I have Juicy Carbon's, 8" front and rear. This is probably a bit of overkill but I would rather be safe than sorry, I love them!
Are all I need for one finger-brake riding (my weight is 155). Very reliable ... not a blip in 18 months.
 

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Brackish
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Juicy 5 or 7, two of our bikes have them and they work great: hard stoppers with good modulation. They are a good brake for a one-finger grip, too, as they take a only a light touch to activate. We have many a friend who swears by them as well, and the 5s are a great value.
 
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