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I got a new Chisel a few months back and it’s shimano with the resin pads. 180 front and 160 rear. I have heard the resin pads are not great so new rotors and metallic pads would be an improvement. If going with new rotors should I up the size? 200/180? Or 180/180? I have center lock and I was gonna go with XT or SLX rotors which would be a little lighter than what’s on there now. I ride mainly XC with some fast sections here and there. Stopping power of the current brakes are adequate. I do plan on going with lighter and more adjustable XT or SLX brake levers. So rotors, keep 180/160 size or go up to 180/180 or 200/180. Metallic pads?
 

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Magically Delicious
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Brake Pad selection
There are pros and cons for both. However, most folks that I know prefer sintered and so do I. I can only speak for my locale. I have never fully content with organic / resin pads. YMMV

There is plenty of solid information floating around Internet land on brake pads and their differences.
 

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I would second the recommendation of going from Resin to sintered... You do NOT need to get new rotors (unless the old ones are really worn out).. just replaced the pads and re-seat them (pedal fastish ~15mph then hit those breaks hard about 4-5 times).. and you are set. As far as going bigger on the rotors.. you are running an XC fork.. if you go much bigger than 180 I would worry about getting a lot of flex in the fork when braking.. not worth damaging your fork...if you need more breaking power you either need to get into a more aggressive bike with 36mm forks.. or loose some weight.
 

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For XC riding... I feel 180/160 with organic pads is typically enough. This is what my XC bike has. My trail bike has 203/180 with sintered pads. The only time I notice a difference in braking is when I ride 1+ mile non stop 15-20+ MPH steeper downhill runs. So yeah, for traditional XC, no need for 203 and metal. For reference, both bikes are all XT braking hardware, including Shimano's IceTech rotor's. The XC bike has 2 piston calipers, the trail bike 4 piston front, 2 piston rear.
 

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I got a new Chisel a few months back and it's shimano with the resin pads. 180 front and 160 rear. I have heard the resin pads are not great so new rotors and metallic pads would be an improvement. If going with new rotors should I up the size? 200/180? Or 180/180? I have center lock and I was gonna go with XT or SLX rotors which would be a little lighter than what's on there now. I ride mainly XC with some fast sections here and there. Stopping power of the current brakes are adequate. I do plan on going with lighter and more adjustable XT or SLX brake levers. So rotors, keep 180/160 size or go up to 180/180 or 200/180. Metallic pads?
If stopping power is good enough why bother changing anything? You will gain almost nothing in terms of weight by going XT or SLX. You upgrade brakes when stopping power is not enough or some other problem.
 
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