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I'd suggest either the Shimano Deore XT or XTR or Hope Disc Brakes Like The Mono Minis. Stay away from Hayes, they aren't as good as they used to be.
 

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aka Willy Vanilly
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I'd also recommend the Avid's. A bit heavy but I think they'll match the feel of a cable rear (I'm assuming v-brake) better. Also, they're very easy to work on/adjust. Good luck
 

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only one?

not sure if you've used discs before, but had the same thinking as you, getting only a front one (was too poor to get a full set). after about a week i had decided that i couldn't live with vee's anymore, simply because of how much better the disc felt, especially as it was coming into winter when i got it. anyway, just keep in mind that you might be able to get a better deal on a pair bought at the same time rather than one now and one in the future. (or like me, struggle to find a matching brake - the old shimano xt four pots)
 

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ashwinearl said:
XC racing
SW-Virginia
hardtail
135lbs

Front disc only.
Not afraid of wrenching but want something easy to work on.
What are your suggestions?
I'm not sure if your looking for light weight or low cost, but if your only buying the front break to save weight, you may want to look at the formula B4 SL, or magura marta sl. Both should have plenty of stopping power for a 135lb rider, and both are light weight.
 

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A hopped on pop.
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1,397 Posts
ashwinearl said:
XC racing
SW-Virginia
hardtail
135lbs

Front disc only.
Not afraid of wrenching but want something easy to work on.
What are your suggestions?
if you want to use the same levers as you have for the rear v-brake, and you want something what feels similar to the rear lever, the avid mechs are great.

quite honeslty, it'll be hard to find something that sets up really easy and has this much power as the avids. i have my avid mechs set up to some ultimate levers and 185/160mm galfer rotors and i am amazed by the power (before install, i placed the pads in my toaster @400* for about 10 minutes, then slightly sanded them). after install, i rode around in the driveway and was doing one-finger nose-wheelies!!!

they are cheap and ultra reliable/adjustable. they are abit heavy but 100g or so doesn't win/lose races...it's the rider, not the ride.

if you're looking for a lightweight hydro...check out the shimano and hope offerings. with the shimano stuff, it's going to be hard to find a front-only system. with the hope stuff, you can get a mono mini or m4 and get a pretty nice, reliable system. the hope lines are also VERY easily trimmable. follow the directions (it isn't hard), be patient, and bleeding will not be necessary (they are pre-bled from factory).

both hope and shimano systems are easy to bleed, no bleed kits needed. you can just use gravity as your friend. with any disc system you chose to look at, a 160mm rotor will be good enough because you are relatively light.

cheers!
 

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464 Posts
another vote for avid mechs

If I put a fork on my Kona (it's currently with a Kona P2 rigid fork) I'm going to use avid BB7s. They're great brakes (had them on my 5 spot in the past), simple to set up even for the mechanically dyslexic and, as others have noted, you can still have the same levers front and rear.

Duncan
 
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