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CEO Product Failure
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I replaced my M-785's with M-8100's and have been very pleased.
Same here. Using XT 4 pistons on 4 different bikes. All of which work superb. Only issue is one set tends to need to be bled twice a year. The fluid is very dark every time. I tried others but no bueno.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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Discussion Starter #22
Since Shimano keeps coming up.... the reason I want to try something else is because I have not been happy with the ones I have. I don't know if I have the often mentioned "wandering bite point" (these supposedly don't have this problem) but what I do know is that too often the brakes are not engaging quite where I am expecting them to. Combine that with how hard they innitially bite (which I do like if I know exactly when to expect it) and I find they can be a bit distracting and nerve wracking at the very moments when I can afford it the least. To be honest, I am still more comfortable in hairy situations on my BB7s simply due to how much more predictable they are for me.

And I am needing to bleed them about every 3 months when in use. And these bleeds can take multiple tried to get stubborn bubbles out of the caliper. This is just more work and down time than I care for. Hydros are supposed to be LESS work than mechs, not more.

So, maybe I just got a pair of lemons, but I'm really looking to try a different brand.

OTOH, I think the Ice Tech rotors are great. They never go out of true on me.
 

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Oh, So Interesting!
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5,088 Posts
Lots of good choices, IMO it comes down to the feel you like and budget. I hear Trickstuff are next level if budget isn't an issue, but never tried them myself. I don't feel like any other brands are clearly superior but the wandering bite point on Shimano is concerning. Probably some inconsistency in manufacturing since some don't get it and others do. SRAM used to have big issues with inconsistent processes but now seem pretty solid. My Code RSC have been excellent if you like a brake with that requires a bit more lever travel and force to lock up.
 

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CEO Product Failure
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1,562 Posts
Kapusta-my guess is something is wrong with your Shimano set up. Consider test riding another bike with the same brakes to verify.

I state this because I ran BB7's on 7 different bikes from 2005-2016. In 2016 I tried XT hydros and never went back to BB7's There should be a day and night difference between the two systems.
 

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Magically Delicious
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9,271 Posts
Since Shimano keeps coming up.... I don't know if I have the often mentioned "wandering bite point" (these supposedly don't have this problem) but what I do know is that too often the brakes are not engaging quite where I am expecting them to.

And I am needing to bleed them about every 3 months when in use. .
In many years on multiple bikes and most with Shimano brakes, I have never had any of the OP's described problems. Perhaps you could articulate a bit more on what your idea of Wandering Bite Point is?

I rarely need to bleed any of these brakes outside of caliper or brake line removal. I do semi-regularly purge the brakes with fresh brake fluid, but that's not really 'bleeding' the brakes. I'm not bleeding air, I'm just pushing fluid through.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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14,451 Posts
Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
Kapusta-my guess is something is wrong with your Shimano set up. Consider test riding another bike with the same brakes to verify.

I state this because I ran BB7's on 7 different bikes from 2005-2016. In 2016 I tried XT hydros and never went back to BB7's There should be a day and night difference between the two systems.
Yes I have tried other XTs, SLX, and Deore. And various SRAM. Nothing gravity oriented (like Saints) They all work great when they work great. A couple didn’t work so great (felt like they needed a bleed to me), but the people whose bike they were on didn’t seem to notice or care.

I have also run BB7s on too many bikes to count since 2002. Still do on my Fat Bike, and my wife's HT.

I have always felt that the claimed difference between many hydros (at least all the non-gravity ones I’ve tried) and BB7s was a bit overblown. Hydros are better for sure, but I never felt it was night and day. But I am also very good at setting BB7s up (which is not easy to do really well) and don’t mind giving the knobs a quick twiddle every few rides. Whenever I try someone elses bike with mechs, they never feel or work as well as mine.

But at this point I would trade the power and silky feel of my XTs for the reliabilty and consistency of the BB7s. I’ve given these XTs 6 years to change my mind. Maybe I got lemons, I don't know and at this point don't really care.

However, don’t want to go back to BB7s on my FS bike, I want reliable, consistent hydros. That is why I started this thread.

And I’ve got my answers and I’ve ordered something.

Thanks.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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14,451 Posts
Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
In many years on multiple bikes and most with Shimano brakes, I have never had any of the OP's described problems. Perhaps you could articulate a bit more on what your idea of Wandering Bite Point is?

I rarely need to bleed any of these brakes outside of caliper or brake line removal. I do semi-regularly purge the brakes with fresh brake fluid, but that's not really 'bleeding' the brakes. I'm not bleeding air, I'm just pushing fluid through.
Hey I appreciate you asking and trying to help, but I think this has run its course. I've already bought something else. I am glad you are happy with your brakes. Don't take it persnally that I want to try a different brand. It is not a statement on your choices. We are talking about brakes here, not family honor.

Thanks again.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I was in a similar boat, but I had still been mostly satisfied with my Shimano brakes. Not thrilled, but satisfied. I've noticed the wandering bite point, but it's fallen into the category of annoyance for me, and nothing more.

Still, I decided to try Hayes Dominions on my latest bike because I wanted to try something new, and I knew that a few manufacturers had been stepping up with more competitive brakes recently. The consistency and reliability has been stellar. I like the lever feel better than Shimano (and I like that Shimanos come on a bit strong). They still have a lot of power on tap without a ton of lever throw, but it's way more predictable through application and modulation.
 

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Very typical Shimano problems described here. If you need to constantly bleed, or if the oil is dark, you can either replace the caliper or throw them away. Wandering bite point is solved by a bleed, but this is usually temporary until you have air in the system again.
 

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Good choice on Magura, very reliable and excellent modulation. I have a pair of 7 year old MT8s that still work great and loving the power of MT7s on my latest ride.
 

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My (three pair of) Hope brakes have been the most consistent and reliable ones I have used up to now. Outperformed my Shimano’s and Magura’s in both categories combined. Not the most powerful though, but completely rebuildable by the end user and all spare parts available on the web.
Now sold some organs for Trickstuff brakes, will see how that works out.
 

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I'm currently using mt5's which are my favorite brakes to date but they haven't been perfect. I've had two leaky levers, and one sticky piston that wouldn't fully retract (that was a fun ride). The sticky piston is on me. These brakes need piston lubrication like all brakes but unlike most brakes, they are prone to seizing up if you neglect this. In spite of the issues I've had I'm sticking with them because modulation and power are excellent. Best overall performance I've experienced and I've run a lot of brakes over the years. I was all in on shimano for years dealing with the wandering bite point and excessive bleeding before I decided to move on. I haven't owned sram brakes in while so I won't comment. I wasn't impressed with hope v4's. 2 pot power, 4 pot weight. The lever spring rebound was so strong they wore my hands out more than other brakes. Beautiful craftsmanship you don't see in other brakes though. Modulation was excellent but I had to ride the brakes for a second before I could stab them for quick bursts of power, and I felt like I had gone down a rotor size compared to the shimano zee's they replaced. While the v4's had a modulation range like nothing else, I like mt5's modulation better. The Hope's offer too much modulation IMO. The beginning stroke is so soft you end up dipping into mid stroke to get enough power to do anything. MT5's let you feather while still having a ton of power before dipping into the mid/end stroke.
 

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Formula Cura 2-piston is a great way to have a LOT of power, with out the hassle of ensuring that 4 pistons per caliper are clean and balanced.


 

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Formula Cura 2-piston is a great way to have a LOT of power, with out the hassle of ensuring that 4 pistons per caliper are clean and balanced.


Both great articles.

I nearly went with the Cura 2 when I was buying. But the lower parts availability swayed me to something a bit more common. But definitely a great choice for someone that doesn't want to deal with 4 pistons, but get nearly 4 piston power.
 

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Oh, So Interesting!
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I just put MTX pads in my Code RSC brakes, this is by far the best braking performance I've ever experienced. Both power and modulation are better vs OEM metallic pads. I just can't see brakes getting better than this.
 

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Both great articles.

I nearly went with the Cura 2 when I was buying. But the lower parts availability swayed me to something a bit more common. But definitely a great choice for someone that doesn't want to deal with 4 pistons, but get nearly 4 piston power.
I hear you about parts availability. Unfortunately, living in Australia I have a different perspective. Why does living in Australia matter? Distribution & availability is sometimes non-existent, and other times may as well be. 20 years ago I wanted a heavier coil spring for my Big Hit. The shop I purchased the bike from (a good one) called me 2-3 months later to tell me that my spring had arrived... Another example is that a lot of shoes don't come in half-sizes here

Anyway, for stuff like Formula, that might be very expensive or unavailable or hard to find or special order in Australia, I buy & stock-up on wear items and key service items from oveseas (US/UK and most recently the Germans. Check out shops like bike24, r2-bike, bike-components.de and bike-discount.de Some of these have Formula service parts dating back ~15 years...and it's inexpensive.
 
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