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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm building up an AM hardtail.

I have Shimano LX hydros on my Cannondale Rush. Power is just adequate with good modulation. I also have BB5s on my Redline Monocog Flight 29er. Power is again, just adequate with modulation being a little less than the LX hydros.

For the HT build, I'd like to run a 180/160mm combo.

I hear good things about the Elixirs' modulation. But bad things about bleeding the brakes. The Hope tech X2 look real nice and appear to be lightweight. But a) they are pricey b) wonder about dificulties of running DOT fluid

The LX brakes are super easy to maintain. Heck, I screwed up once and popped the piston out. I ran to the drug store and picked up some baby oil at 11pm so I could have brakes for the ride next morning.

So not looking for top shelf stuff or the end all of power. But something with budget in mind, good modulation and ease of maintenance is what I'm after.

My initial thought is to look for some XT brakes on e-bay. But open to other suggestions.

I may, in the meantime, pull the LX brakes off the Rush and run them on the HT for the winter.
 

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Official ***** Idiot
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I would suggest BB7's, 160 rear 185 front. Easy to maintain, set up properly they have good modulation and great power. On the heavy side, but meh.......not by a whole lot, until you get into the pricey range. Keep a couple of cables handy, in the odd chance you manage to break one. Stick with SD 7 levers, you'll have a great feel.

DOT vs mineral oil (btw, baby oil is not the best thing to put in there......fragrances and additives and such can ruin your seals, and it's not as heat conductive as pure mineral oil......increased fade) DOT is corrosive, and has a seal sweller. Has a higher boiling point than mineral oil, so you do get a bit less fade on long braking runs. Mineral oil, otherwise, works fine, and isn't harmful to the environment if you do blow a seal and spray it all over the place. Just don't swap fluids, is all...........you can't run DOT fluid in a brake designed for mineral oil, you'll dissolve the seals.
 

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SmilingSteve - I can't believe you suggested V-Brakes. I despise mine and I just converted my front brakes from them in the last few months (after running them since '97). I currently run Avid BB7 160mm and XT V-Brakes in the rear. In all conditions the BB7 have performed way above what expected. Especially in the wet/muddy conditions that Traffic and I ride in. I am converting to BB7 185mm front and moving the 160mm to the rear.

Traffic002 - Man, you should have specified Disc only. As always, you can ride my bike and try them out once I get the bike assembled.
 

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You might despise your V-brakes eggroller, but that doesn't mean everyone does. I have bikes with both types, and still admire the light weight simplicty and efficiency of V- brakes, and their quietness. Definietely an option to consider, not that everyone would choose them.
 

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Last Gen XT's

Hayes Stroker Trails

Heck, you'll even get choice of colour on the hayes!

Both brakes are/were the cream of the crop offerings from the respective manufacturers (as far as technology goes, perhaps not weight). I find the xts modulate better than the strokers, but the strokers are not as on/off as previous generation hayes were and have plenty of power. I think both are suitable for your application. I have no experience with the current gen of xt brakes so I'm not sure how much of a difference the servowave levers make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have been eyeing the pre-bled XT levers/calipers. I already have the rotors, so this may be the best alternative.

I find the LX brakes adequate. So hopefully the XTs would be just as good, if not better. I noticed the XT brakes have different pads than the LX brakes. More pad surface in contact with the rotor.
 
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