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As I can't comment on all the different brands you mentioned, I can comment on a few of them.

I'm currently using XTRs with the XT STi shifters and haven't had any problems with them. I have also used the Avid's and hated them. They were super finicky and every time I removed/added my wheel to my frame I had to readjust the calipers...plus I like the smooth feel of hydraulics versus the gritty feel of a mechanical brake line.

One thing I would recomment is to find something that provides a lot of modulation...or allows you to adjust the reach on the levers. It will save your forearms over the course of 24 hours!
.nathan.
 

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Ridemore24 said:
Any recomendations? Light, reliable and no fade over long descents?
I was thinking about Magura SL's, Hayes Mag plus or maybe the avid mechanicals?

Thanks!
Fred
Most of the riders in my group (including myself) use Avids and have for several years. They are reliable, strong, fade-free (especially with a 185 mm front rotor), very adjustable for power, modulation and feel. Have had no problems with adjustment after reinstalling wheels. Can have to realign the calipers if changing from one wheelset to another (as with any disc brake) but that is a 3 minute job to do both ends.

The Avids have been used for many finishes in the Cascade Cream Puff 100 and the long training rides preparing for the event.
 

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Been on the avids for 4 years

Ridemore24 said:
Any recomendations? Light, reliable and no fade over long descents?
I was thinking about Magura SL's, Hayes Mag plus or maybe the avid mechanicals?

Thanks!
Fred
i really like um alot. They will lose some modulation on rides where your dragging the brakes alot due to the technical aspect and /or lenght of the descent. But they are easily readjusted on the fly. If you do go the avid route go with a 185mm rotor up front. It makes all the difference and the increase in modualtion is noticable.

I have experienced what nathasm mentioned with the constant changing of the wheels orientation in the drop outs. I went from XT disc hubs to CK's and the problem went away. I dont know what in particular remedied the situation but im damn glad its no longer a problem. Some one once mentioned it has something to do with axle lenght and how the axle fits in the drop out with the pressure of the QR.
 

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Ridemore24 said:
Any recomendations? Light, reliable and no fade over long descents?
I was thinking about Magura SL's, Hayes Mag plus or maybe the avid mechanicals?

Thanks!
Fred
I have xtr's and dont really have that much an issue with them other then the sticky piston problem they have but thats kinda easy to fix ( still going to warrenty them sometime though). The 165mm discs are ok but now I'm kinda leaning towards wanting a 185mm front for more braking power. Some say it'll be too much for xc but I think it'll be good for how I ride.

If you dont mind the wieght the 185mm will give you then I would def get it over a 165mm for the front anyways.
 

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Avid Mechanicals... they are durable and they stop great. I do some 70+ mile XC rides with about 10K feet elevation gain/loss... the Avids hold up and provide much more assurance and power than my old v-brakes... long, steep descents are no problem for these, much improvement from v-brake.
 

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Avids

Have to agree, the Avids have done good by me. Easy to maintain, great stopping power - maybe not quite the bite of hydraulics, but still better that V's. I ride 40-50 mile rides, with lot's of climbing as well.

I haven't had to touch my setup since installation, other that adjustments for modulation and leverage, as the pads wear.
 
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