Well, as a newb my frame of reference is limited. I have however ridden $5k plus bikes before, albiet in the 90's so old tech. These 445's on my new C'Dale SL2 29er are absolutely insane. I'm sure compared to Avid 5's and other newer top of the liners they have comprimises, but I have never felt so much stopping power on a bike. They have excellent modulation are noiseless so far after ~60 miles. I can't imagine needing more. Maybe(and i mean maybe) they would overheat with repetative heavy use, but that won't happen unless you compete.
Quick example, I was booking it down a hill the other day at an indicated 34mph, and had to slow down to 10 in about 50 feet as a pedestrian enterd the bike path. I barely touched both brakes simultaniously and they just did thier job undramatically, and powerfully without even applying near lockup power. Stoppies are easy as pie, and the rear wheel drags at about 40% of application.
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