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Bicyclochondriac.
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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a set of XT M785s. I bought them just as they were being discontinued, because everything I was reading said these were totally reliable. Well, they have been a lot better than the sets that came before, but I still have frequent issues requiring bleeds (sometimes multiple) and the performance is not very consistent (my latest issue is in another thread).

I am totally happy with the stopping power and feel of them when they are working 100%, but unfortunately, that is only about 2/3 of the time.

So I am looking for an alternative, and I want to know what brakes have a long standing, rock solid reputation for being trouble free. Few things about what I am looking for:

-Acceptable stopping power. I don't have huge needs in this regard. If they are as strong as my XTs, then they are fine (more would be nice, but not required)
-I would prefer mineral oil, but DOT is not a dealbreaker
-I am willing to spend more if needed.
-Don't care if they are heavy
-Any wandering bite nonsense (or even the possibility) is a total non-starter (does this simply rule out Shimano?)

So, what is the conventional wisdom on this these days?
 

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EAT MORE GRIME
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
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magura mt 5 or 7 series

mineral oil

strong braking

you have to know how to bleed them
and do minibleeds, but once bled properly, they are fine*

*actually most brakes are fine, I don't understand how anyone can have
issues as you describe except a bad unit...but I have no issues with shimano
OR my (shudder) Avids either....but I prefer the feel and power of the maguras
 

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Magura MT5 and 7. Once bled and set up they are reliable and fuss free. I've got three sets on the go and they have all worked flawlessly and been problem free.
 

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TRP's Quadiem and DHR-Evo are both quite consistent and reliable.Most any professional review will mention the same.

I've got a set of Quadiems on my bike, and they have been nothing but consistent for me. My biggest single day with them was 13000ft of descending (bike park day), and my longest single decent was ~1300ft. Never had any issues with the bite points wandering, no weird noises, or fading, or pumping up.

I've never used Maguras, but I hear good things about them. I have heard they can be more difficult to bleed correctly IIRC, but as I said, thats more hearsay than actual experience.
 

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Disgruntled Peccary
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The more time I have with my dominions, the more I like them. Long term reliability, I don't know, but bleeding is a breeze and from the manual rebuild's not difficult either.
 

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8,773 Posts
TRP Quadiem, strong, consistent, durable.

I run them on both my bikes, three years in one set, one year on the other set, no issues with either.

For perspective, I go through two to three sets of semi metallic pads per year on my primary bike.

Longest continuous descent 4K, no heat up issues.
 
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Formula Cura - 2 piston

Or 4 piston, it depends on your needs. I have 2 piston for Enduro. Positive reviews, simple mechanism, mineral oil. Good price
 

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Boom bap ambassador
Evil Insurgent LB, Knolly Warden V2
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I have direct experience with the following - Magura Trail (4 piston front, 2 piston rear), Magura MT7 (4 piston front/rear), Formula Cura 4

Lots of people seem to dig the TRP and Dominion brakes but I don't have direct experience with them.

Magura and Formula have been pretty much change pads for maintenance, bleed if I change hoses for a new frame.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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Discussion Starter #13
I replaced my M-785's with M-8100's and have been very pleased.
I considered these, but the wandering bite point issues I have seen discussed make these a non-starter for me.
 

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Echoing what the posters above have said. Formula Cura or Magura MT. Andew Major from NSMB.com is a BIG fan on both, he rides all hear on the North Shore...tough conditions, and has been reviewing them and updating his reviews for years.

See the "Bigger Brakes & Bigger Rotors" section of this link for his most recent article: NSMB.com - Your Next Bike : 2023 Edition
 

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Echoing what the posters above have said. Formula Cura or Magura MT. Andew Major from NSMB.com is a BIG fan on both, he rides all hear on the North Shore...tough conditions, and has been reviewing them and updating his reviews for years.

See the "Bigger Brakes & Bigger Rotors" section of this link for his most recent article: NSMB.com - Your Next Bike : 2023 Edition
I can't take him seriously though. A freaking animal that rides a fully rigid singlespeed.




Or I am jealous.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, all. I am interested in the TRP Quadiem and the Magura 5/7s. I have a question regarding how close you can run the lever to the bar, but I'll start a different thread for that.
 

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I have never experienced the wandering bite point that many refer to.
Same. I have a few bikes with different versions of XT brakes and Saints that I've never had an issue with.

My Trickstuff Direttissima's are my favourite brakes, but I had seal issues initially that kept them off the bikes for about a year sending them back to Germany, then having the lbs fix the issue themselves.

My Magura MT7s with the HC3 levers are not far behind the TSD. They are powerful, consistent and feel great. Fitting the HC3 lever was an interesting process, punching the old pin out of the carbon lever body and fitting the new one!
 

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Once the Shimano problems start they don't end. Whether it starts depends on how dirty your conditions are. If you ride in a lot of mud, it will start sooner.

Currently on XT M8120 4 pistons. So far so good, but no illusions. I know the day will come. At that point I will replace them with something else.

Historically Deore have been more reliable than XT, so now when they have 4 Piston Deore I would focus the research on that. May be too early to have user reports.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the input, all! I did look into everything suggested.

I decided on the Magura MT7 HC. I was very tempted by the Quadiems and the MT5 (both being cheaper and apparently equally reliable), but I like short levers that can be adjusted pretty close to the bar, and the MT7 seemed the most likely to offer that. Definitely more than I ever thought I would spend on brakes, but this is one of the few things I know I can take with me to my next bike when I change wheelsize.
 
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