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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of converting my wife's bike to disk brakes. I have them on my bike and find them invaluable for my weight (200 with a pack). For her, I'd just like her to have an easier time on those long descents and maybe just a little more control - no problem with her weight and vee brakes. My main concern is finding something that fits her hands well. She is currently using the Avid Speed Dial levers tweaked in quite a bit to cut down on the reach. I know that most disk brakes can have their engagement point changed, but how about the overall reach. She has pretty short fingers.

I'm very happy with my Hayes hydros, but I don't see any way to adjust the reach. Am also considering the Magura Martas and Avid Juicys. Anyone out there using hydraulic disks and has short fingers? And no, I'm not considering mechanical brakes. I know they have good stopping power, but cables can be a real pain to keep clean sometimes, especially in early season riding up here in the Inland Northwest.

I'll also be needing to change over the wheels on her Juliana and was thinking of a set from oddsandendos.com. Anyone else out there have recommendations? Would prefer not to dump over $500 on a set of disk wheels. We ride mostly XC with the usual rocks, ruts and small (6") drops.

Thanks.

MTBmoose
 

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Try the hope minis

I've had a set of Hope minis (last year style) on my cannondale and they work great. They are light and have been ultra reliable for me. And if you call the folks at Hope USA, they do actually pick the phone and answer your question.

On mine (which should be the case on the newer 2004 models as the lever assemble looks the same on the pictures), lever reach is adjustable via a small allen screw. They are reasonalby priced to as you can find them for $150 (front or rear).

Call them at 800-303-6863 to get more info.

DRC
 

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I would serioulsy reconsider writing off the mechanical discs. I've had them on both my bikes (a custom Ti Seven Sola and an Intense Tracer) for 3+ years and I love them.

A good set of teflon coated brake cables properly installed with the correct cable ends can do wonders against the elements. Some people also run full cable housing to help protect against the elements..... not a solution I particulalry like because of the added weight and it makes the brake lever squishier. Some of the wins with cables are that you don't need any special tools, brake fluid, or have to deal with bleeding brakes. Another win will be that your wife can keep her Avid levers..... a setup she's already familiar with. The Avid Mechanicals will run you about $70-$80/wheel on the internet. I think you can get a set of teflon cables with housing (front and back) for about $20.

Give the mechanicals a second thought.

FRC
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the pointer to the Hopes

Denis,
Thanks for the pointer to the Hope Minis. I'll have to take a closer look at them.

And to address the suggestion about another look at cable-actuated brakes - I'm still sold on hydros. I know several folks with the mechanical brakes and they do like them. But I've had it with cables. If they made hydraulic shifters, I'd really be interested. Yeah, teflon or gore-tex cables have helped, but nothing is as smooth, for as long, as a good set of properly working hydros. I absolutely love my Hayes.

And yes, I know where the mtbr reviews section is. But I thought the fine women in this forum would have far more experience finding components that fit and work for them. This is one of the best forums on mtbr hands down.

Thanks,

MTBmoose

Denis said:
I've had a set of Hope minis (last year style) on my cannondale and they work great. They are light and have been ultra reliable for me. And if you call the folks at Hope USA, they do actually pick the phone and answer your question.

On mine (which should be the case on the newer 2004 models as the lever assemble looks the same on the pictures), lever reach is adjustable via a small allen screw. They are reasonalby priced to as you can find them for $150 (front or rear).

Call them at 800-303-6863 to get more info.

DRC
 

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Those speed dial levers will work great with avid mech's

MTBmoose said:
I'm thinking of converting my wife's bike to disk brakes. I have them on my bike and find them invaluable for my weight (200 with a pack). For her, I'd just like her to have an easier time on those long descents and maybe just a little more control - no problem with her weight and vee brakes. My main concern is finding something that fits her hands well. She is currently using the Avid Speed Dial levers tweaked in quite a bit to cut down on the reach. I know that most disk brakes can have their engagement point changed, but how about the overall reach. She has pretty short fingers.

I'm very happy with my Hayes hydros, but I don't see any way to adjust the reach. Am also considering the Magura Martas and Avid Juicys. Anyone out there using hydraulic disks and has short fingers? And no, I'm not considering mechanical brakes. I know they have good stopping power, but cables can be a real pain to keep clean sometimes, especially in early season riding up here in the Inland Northwest.

I'll also be needing to change over the wheels on her Juliana and was thinking of a set from oddsandendos.com. Anyone else out there have recommendations? Would prefer not to dump over $500 on a set of disk wheels. We ride mostly XC with the usual rocks, ruts and small (6") drops.

Thanks.

MTBmoose
Not onlyt that but using the same levers will give her a sense of familarity and the modulation of the avids doesnt kinda emulate that of v brakes.

I have been on my avids for about 4 years. I also run full housing to the rear brake. It really reduces the contamination of the cable especially at the stops.

A 317 / XT disc wheel set can be had for just over $200.
 

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internet axe murderer
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But, but, but

MTBmoose said:
I'm very happy with my Hayes hydros, but I don't see any way to adjust the reach.
I don't think you've gotten a response from a woman yet, let me be the first. I have Hayes hydros and my husband adjusted the reach to the levers for me. I'm afraid I don't know how he did it though, but it is possible. Unlike your wife, I don't have small hands so maybe they can't be adjusted enough for her.

Spike
 
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