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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this isn't the brakes forum but there seems to be a lot of guys in the know here.

My question is this- which brakes do you recommend that will not overheat on long Alpine descents, i will use the biggest rotors available and am deciding between Hope 6 pots, Saints and Louise FR's. Thanks for any input.
 

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it's sorta hard to tell you what system won't overheat "on long alpine descents".

there are too many variables:

your weight (including bike, armor, hydration pack, etc)

your braking style

brake pad compound

terrain steepness

bad weather or trail conditions

I have Hope Mono M4 (200 front / 180 rear) on one bike and Magura Louise FR (210 front / 190 rear) on another bike, both see FR duty. Both have plenty of stopping power for me. I weigh 155 lbs and usually about 165 lbs with gear and hydration pack. My bikes weigh 34 and 43 lbs.

Hopes require more detailed attention to setup and any errors in setup can cause the brake to feel weak, spongy, etc.
 

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Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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im no expert, yet, but the hopes are well loved by many although i despise the c.s. there. the saints (repainted xt's im told) are also said to be as powerfull and trouble free as they come but ya may have probs findin a complete pre bled set. shimano is supposed to be fixin that this year but ive yet to see a part number in my catologs. still waitin for the '06 books though.
 

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The folks att Bike Verbier call Hope "Hopeless"...

I've never had any problems with my Magura Louise's (a FR 2005 front and a non-FR 2002 rear). And they've seen both Alps (two weeks in Austria) and long DH-runs at Are in Sweden (which had longer runs then Whistler until Whistler opened the top part). Never heard anyone have a complaint about them either.

Shimano should also work well but I have no first hand experience with them (other than short test runs).

I've read several reports of folks loosing their brake power in alps with Hopes (not paid attention to models and no first hand experience). Also, Hope seem to squel more then others on our group rides (strangely enough since England is a wet country).
 

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Just roll it......
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Consider replacement parts as well.

One thing I haven't seen anyone else comment on regarding "fr brakes" is the availability of replacement parts. If you're progressing as a rider, you're gonna ditch the bike off of something and the brakes need to be durable, but expect something to break. Hoses are gonna get ripped out, master cylinders get smashed, etc. It's kind of a reality....

I say this because anyone that's walked into several shops looking for a more obscure brand's replacement part has felt my pain on this. Going with my utilitarian motto, I've got totally unglamorous brakes on my bike (Hayes HFX 9's 203mm), but I can find replacement parts at any shop here in Washington and definitely up in BC where they're sold in every shop and it's saved my arse more than once. We've performed several parking lot brake overhauls when a hose has been ripped out or a master cylinder needed to be rebuilt. I think these brakes stop pretty well overall and have handled 3 seasons in Whistler, but they definitely lack the adjustability of the Juicy's or El Camino's.

Just something to consider....

Chers,
EBX
 

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Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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gotta agree with that. guess its another reason why im in no hurry to repalce my mags. simple, solid stuff. not too heavy, not too light and not at all bling but on a ride like mine, as much as ill use it and as lame a rider as i am, theyre perfect for me at the moment. and cheap in comparison to most, specially on closeout. dont ask what i paid. i wouldt tell ya anyway. you guys think i could afford all these bikes if i paid retail or even wholesale? not a chance. its good to be a shop geek.
 

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FR brakes

Most of my FR oriented friends ride with Hayes HFX9 HD. Cheap, tons of power and easy to service (as well as you can get parts and replacement very easy). And yes, we are in Alps.
 

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all the stuff below is irrelevant if you don't like the way Hayes brakes feel.

and I sure don't.

I have ridden plenty of FR and DH while "progressing as a rider" and never have damaged anything more than a bent rotor, which is irrelevant to the issue you're discussing below.

when I first got into FR/DH, my friends at the local FR-oriented LBS suggested Hayes and laughed at other brands, pretty much saying what you've said below.

in the mean time, I used Hayes for ONE SEASON and have used Avid, Hope and Magura exclusively ever since then.

Hayes = POOR MODULATION

that's more important to me than whether I can find a tiny fitting somewhere in east BF Egypt.

BTW, I live in the Northern Rockies where we have plenty of "alpine" riding and descending.

I don't think that you have to listen only to those cross-pond folks who live near the Alps.

ebxtreme said:
One thing I haven't seen anyone else comment on regarding "fr brakes" is the availability of replacement parts. If you're progressing as a rider, you're gonna ditch the bike off of something and the brakes need to be durable, but expect something to break. Hoses are gonna get ripped out, master cylinders get smashed, etc. It's kind of a reality....

I say this because anyone that's walked into several shops looking for a more obscure brand's replacement part has felt my pain on this. Going with my utilitarian motto, I've got totally unglamorous brakes on my bike (Hayes HFX 9's 203mm), but I can find replacement parts at any shop here in Washington and definitely up in BC where they're sold in every shop and it's saved my arse more than once. We've performed several parking lot brake overhauls when a hose has been ripped out or a master cylinder needed to be rebuilt. I think these brakes stop pretty well overall and have handled 3 seasons in Whistler, but they definitely lack the adjustability of the Juicy's or El Camino's.

Just something to consider....

Chers,
EBX
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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theTnT said:
I've read several reports of folks loosing their brake power in alps with Hopes (not paid attention to models and no first hand experience). Also, Hope seem to squel more then others on our group rides (strangely enough since England is a wet country).
I can't fathom what "loosing" power would feel like with my hopes. I had the original DH4s and now have the Mono M4s. Sometimes in the wet they work even better. They don't squeal any more than any other brake, squealing is determined by external factors like frame flex, brake tab facing, loose things setting up resonance frequencies, incorrect alignment.

Also, I agree with gonzo, stay way from the HFX brakes. They are "cheapened" hayes mags, but with plastic "plugs" holding in the fluid. It's a step below the mags, but cheaper for them to produce.
 

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What the german mag says about the FR brakes in that article in terms of use in the Alps (long, steep, often wet):

Louise- Modulation 4/5, Power 5/5, Fade resistance 5/5, Wet performance 4/5
Worry-free system offering power to the end. Heavier riders in particular could rely on the consistent performance of the Louises.

Saint- Modulation 4/5, Power 4/5, Fade resistance 4/5, Wet performance 3/5
Despite a somewhat porky package, the Saints fall far short of achieving the power of the Louise FRs. Heavier riders on long descents have to pull hard at the levers to accomplish stops with alacrity. Good modulation for technical courses, but their bite could be harder.

Hope- Modulation 4/5, Power 4/5, Fade resistance 5/5, Wet performance 4/5
Freeriders and downhillers looking for a brake with a high resistance to heat fade will find what they need in the 6 Ti. Modulation and power are impressive.
 

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Not to get in a pissing match with you here, Gonzo. I'm not saying Hayes brakes are the end-all, be all....rather I've met more than my fair share of dudes that were forced to buy a full new brake when their brand's part wasn't available in Vancouver or Whistler. This guy may never bail off of a skinny many feet off the ground, but it's just something to consider for FR brakes. I'm not saying that Shimano's or Magura or Hopes aren't better, but the original poster should consider what parts are available where HE rides when buying brakes. In the PNW, Hayes are everywhere and make it a no-brainer for many of us.

I ride with a talented, but crash-prone crew and I'd say we've broken ~8 brakes on rides (I've had three personally break on rides) and each time we've been able to get the necessary parts to be riding within a few hours - after a parking lot rebuild. Maybe I need to work on my skills, but I happen to crash when I ride at my personal threshold. Bailing sometimes IS the only option and shite breaks when that happens. In the past month, I've broken two shock bolts and severely bent the steel steerer tube on my 66 RC so I'm hard on my parts despite weighing a buck sixty five. As a result, durability and replacement parts are a big factor for me. For others, maybe not. Just trying to throw a different perspective on the situation.

Chers,
EBX

gonzostrike said:
all the stuff below is irrelevant if you don't like the way Hayes brakes feel.

and I sure don't.

I have ridden plenty of FR and DH while "progressing as a rider" and never have damaged anything more than a bent rotor, which is irrelevant to the issue you're discussing below.

when I first got into FR/DH, my friends at the local FR-oriented LBS suggested Hayes and laughed at other brands, pretty much saying what you've said below.

in the mean time, I used Hayes for ONE SEASON and have used Avid, Hope and Magura exclusively ever since then.

Hayes = POOR MODULATION

that's more important to me than whether I can find a tiny fitting somewhere in east BF Egypt.

BTW, I live in the Northern Rockies where we have plenty of "alpine" riding and descending.

I don't think that you have to listen only to those cross-pond folks who live near the Alps.
 

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I'm just offering another perspective. if someone read your first post alone, without any other comments, it might read as though you were saying that the only brake worth using for FR/DH is Hayes, and that the ONLY reason to use Hayes or ANY disc brake is availability of replacement parts.

if you are a good rider, which I assume you are, you definitely know what I'm talking about when I say that compared to Avid, Hope, Magura, Hayes DH and HFX have a lot of power but very little modulation.

whether modulation is the most important feature in brakes is for each individual rider to decide. scan the bikes at any world cup race, you won't see Hayes exclusively.

it's quite possible for modulation and feel to be more important than small parts availability. especially if you are a feel-oriented, finesse-oriented, lighter-weight rider.

Hayes discs work well. and Hayes parts can be found at a lot of shops.

but there are many reasons to choose one disc brake over another, and small parts availability is just one of those many reasons.

that's my point! ;)

ebxtreme said:
Not to get in a pissing match with you here, Gonzo. I'm not saying Hayes brakes are the end-all, be all....rather I've met more than my fair share of dudes that were forced to buy a full new brake when their brand's part wasn't available in Vancouver or Whistler. This guy may never bail off of a skinny many feet off the ground, but it's just something to consider for FR brakes. I'm not saying that Shimano's or Magura or Hopes aren't better, but the original poster should consider what parts are available where HE rides when buying brakes. In the PNW, Hayes are everywhere and make it a no-brainer for many of us.

I ride with a talented, but crash-prone crew and I'd say we've broken ~8 brakes on rides (I've had three personally break on rides) and each time we've been able to get the necessary parts to be riding within a few hours - after a parking lot rebuild. Maybe I need to work on my skills, but I happen to crash when I ride at my personal threshold. Bailing sometimes IS the only option and shite breaks when that happens. In the past month, I've broken two shock bolts and severely bent the steel steerer tube on my 66 RC so I'm hard on my parts despite weighing a buck sixty five. As a result, durability and replacement parts are a big factor for me. For others, maybe not. Just trying to throw a different perspective on the situation.

Chers,
EBX
 

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ebxtreme said:
I ride with a talented, but crash-prone crew and I'd say we've broken ~8 brakes on rides (I've had three personally break on rides) and each time we've been able to get the necessary parts to be riding within a few hours - after a parking lot rebuild.
Chers,
EBX
LOL, I have to chime in on this. :p

Lets see, ~8 brake problems, I'd call that estimate on the low side! Easily the vast majority of problems we've seen have been with avid juicy brake levers. Smash an avid lever into something and it seems like the lever clamp breaks every time. Why make the lever stronger than the clamp body? Thats just poor design imho. Levers are easy to replace, but a broken clamp requires replacement of the whole assembly and bleeding.

I've got the old 4-pot shimano M755's on two bikes and they have been great. One set is like 5 years old! I broke one lever after bending it, and bending back 5-6 different times. When it did finally break, I was easily able to find a cheap single replacement. My old XT's are compatible with any other shimano hydraulic hoses or brake components, and I can also use hoses made by jaguar, hope or goodridge. In fact my LBS had a bin of generic hydro parts that I was able to use. Modulation is excellant, the mineral oil is envro-freindly and easy on the rest of the bike. The pads have more surface area than other brands too. I'm not a big shimano fan but I've been really happy with the M755 brakes. The best part is, I paid $200 new for each full set. Thats cheaper than juicy 5's.

Anyways, it seems like a key factor is wether companies sell their brakes pre-bled or not. Avid seems to sell everything pre-bled and our buddy had poor luck getting spare parts for them (what was availabe, was expensive). Hays and shimano are everywhere, pre-bled or as parts, so parts are easy to get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the input everyone.

I'm still undecided which way to jump, i've never owned any brakes other than Hope but i think everyone else has caught them up now and i maybe fancy a change.
 

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here is my 2pence worth;

On my spot i used to have hope mono minis, they were great for power and modulation with 180/160 rotors but you do have to look after them a bit more than the shimano XT's that i swapped them for. Personally i never had any problems with them in the alps, but i am not very heavy.

The XT's that are now on my spot i am running with some 180 rotors from red raven and some plus 20 adaptors, they were very easy to fit are very strong and have loads of modulation. so they get a great big thumbs up :)

on my DH bike i have some Hope mono 6ti 200/180 and they are amazing!! :eek: just require a bit more care and attention.

so if you good and look after your bike then the hopes are great and if you want something to fit and forget get some shimano's, obviously in my own personal opinion of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After talking to a fair few people i've decided on a set of brakes that were not on my original list and ordered some Juicy 5's- time will tell if i made the right choice, but if i have any rotor related problems i may run Hope's two-piece offerings. Thanks.
 

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A MAN CALLED HORSE said:
I know this isn't the brakes forum but there seems to be a lot of guys in the know here.

My question is this- which brakes do you recommend that will not overheat on long Alpine descents, i will use the biggest rotors available and am deciding between Hope 6 pots, Saints and Louise FR's. Thanks for any input.
This not being the brake forum isn't HALF as funny as the fact that you are inquiring about "freeride brakes" on a forum where the headlining manufacturer doesn't even make a freeride bike!

I'm gonna get me a Highline with a Chris King bottom bracket and some e13 pedals!
 

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Dusty Bottoms said:
This not being the brake forum isn't HALF as funny as the fact that you are inquiring about "freeride brakes" on a forum where the headlining manufacturer doesn't even make a freeride bike!

I'm gonna get me a Highline with a Chris King bottom bracket and some e13 pedals!
yeah, for Pete's sake, EVERYONE knows you can't do any "freeride" on any bike that isn't officially a "freeride" bike. all you people who have done "freeride" on your RFX, 6-Pack, DHR, 5-Spot... whatever you think you were doing, it wasn't "freeride" because none of those bikes officially is a "freeride" bike.

:eek:
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Dusty Bottoms said:
This not being the brake forum isn't HALF as funny as the fact that you are inquiring about "freeride brakes" on a forum where the headlining manufacturer doesn't even make a freeride bike!

I'm gonna get me a Highline with a Chris King bottom bracket and some e13 pedals!
6pack.

All Mountain - Freeride.

So what part of "freeride" do you not understand, as listed on the turnerbikes website?
 
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