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I want to swap out my XTR brakes for something with better modulation, and am trying to decide between the Guide and Hope Tech 3 E4, both of which get great reviews for modulation. From what I've read and felt just squeezing levers in the shop, the Guides modulate with lever throw whereas the Hope levers don't move a lot after the bite point and modulate more with pressure. The Hopes sound a bit like my XTR brakes in that respect. Any comments from anybody with experience with both brakes? Thanks!
 

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I have both. The Hopes definitely offer good modulation, but frankly, for the difference in cost, I would buy the Guides if I was buying new brakes today. The Guides on my HT feel "more powerful" than the Hopes on my FS bike. I'm happy with both, and the Hopes came with my bike when I bought it. For the difference in price, I think it's hard to beat the Guides. For full disclosure, I'm one who doesn't like the on/off nature of Shimano brakes. The perfect setup would be the modulation of the Guides/Hopes, but using mineral oil for fluid. Someday....!

AM.
 

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Have you thought about TRP? They fit your description exactly. SRAM style modulation, but with mineral oil, and as a bonus, they Shimano saint/Zee pads, and use shimano mineral oil. So you should have no problem finding new pads in a pinch, as pretty much everywhere has Shimano pads in stock.

WorldWideCyclery has the TRP Quadiems (the normal ones, not the G spec ones) as a set for $237. They are the downhill brake line for TRP, and have power similar to the SRAM Codes from what I understand.

I picked them up for a bit less than that while they were running a sale, and have been using them for about a month or so now. Also, I went to a bike demo day here locally last weekend, and rode 3 bikes with SRAM Guide R/RSC brakes, as well as one bike with XT 2 piston brakes.

After about 3 hours on bikes with Guides, I think I can say that the Quadiems feel like the guide on steroids. Same style of lever feel (modulation), but with more power on tap (the guides didn't have me "panic braking" leading into the first turns, but I did have to apply more finger power).

The bike with the XT's I had to re-caliberate my fingers after the first corner, as they are quite a bit more "grabby" than the TRP/SRAM brakes. If I owned XT brakes, I'm sure I'd get used to it, but swapping between them it was very noticeable.
 

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No Clue Crew
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Hope Tech 3 E4. I like Guides fine when they're working properly. The Hopes are at another level of fit, finish, performance and ease of maintenance.
 

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I would throw Formula Cura 4's into the mix as well. Better modulation than my Hopes with a lot more power. Not any real experience with Sram except for a few parking lot spins and just didn't like the feel.
 

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I would throw Formula Cura 4's into the mix as well. Better modulation than my Hopes with a lot more power. Not any real experience with Sram except for a few parking lot spins and just didn't like the feel.
Cura, even Cura 2.

Please don't buy Guides. Why subject yourself to the possibility of sticking pistons? [edit: sticking master cylinder pistons when the the temperatures get too high. Have you seen the thread about it? The situation is appalling.]
 

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Cura, even Cura 2.

Please don't buy Guides. Why subject yourself to the possibility of sticking pistons? [edit: sticking master cylinder pistons when the the temperatures get too high. Have you seen the thread about it? The situation is appalling.]
Does that apply to all the brakes in the Guide lineup?
 

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Hope Tech 3 E4. I like Guides fine when they're working properly. The Hopes are at another level of fit, finish, performance and ease of maintenance.
I've got Hope Tech 3 E4's on all 4 of my bikes. I love the brakes, but man does that little squeak from the pads get annoying. Even with brand new pads, and clean rotors, I get that little squeak. I call it the "Hope squeak". A quick Google search referencing said squeak will get you a lot of people griping about that same squeak.

I'm actually building up a new bike soon and was looking hard at the Guide RSC in the silver finish. Should I not be looking at them?
 

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Does that apply to all the brakes in the Guide lineup?
You'll have to go digging for that in detail, but 60 seconds searching MTBR via google has told me it affects R, RS, RSC, Ultimate. I've read that it affects silver ones less b/c they absorbs less sunlight.

Hint: to search MTBR via google, use this text in google, in this case searching for guide ultimate lever stuck
site:forums.mtbr.com guide ultimate lever stuck

SRAM have recently released updated Guide models (though they've downgraded things eg. RSC no longer has a bearing at the lever pivot)...and...maybe...maybe they've fixed the issue with sticking levers...but given that there are so many great brakes on the market, I wouldn't be a guinea pig for testing updated Guides. SRAM have been advising for years that the issue was fixed, but it kept re-appearing.

Here are some comparison reviews, food for thought:

https://www.vitalmtb.com/features/W...isc-Brakes-Reviewed-by-Vital-MTB-Members,2401

https://www.vitalmtb.com/features/Vital-MTB-Face-Off-The-Best-DH-Brakes,2152

https://enduro-mtb.com/en/best-mtb-disc-brake-can-buy/
Scroll to the bottom for individual reviews

https://www.mbr.co.uk/buyers_guide/the-best-mountain-bike-disc-brakes-333317
 

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Are you (the OP) in the US?

I read tons of reviews prior to purchasing my TRP's (including many of the ones linked above). The Formula Curas get great reviews, and I was initially pretty interested in them. Unfortunately, they're not very easy to find here stateside, at least as far as I was able to tell. Same thing with pads/etc.

I decided to grab the quadiems partially because they get good reviews (great modulation, super consistent), but also because replacement parts for the brakes themselves are easy to get from TRP, and because I can get pads for them anywhere (any non-finned Saint/Zee pad will work). Oh, and because the deal at WWC for them has them at 50% of the normal price of the Gspec versions (which are functionally identical, just aesthetically different).

From what I have read, I thought that SRAM had the whole piston seizing issue fixed, and they'd warranty any guide that had the issue. That said, I've got a buddy who picked up a 2018 model year bike used, and his guide R's have the same siezing issue, but since he's not the original purchaser, he's kind of out of luck. You "should" be fine though. For what its worth, I hear the Codes have been more reliable for people.
 

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I have Guide RS brakes on my bike. They've been a little more finicky than Shimano to keep in top shape (took a few rounds to get a solid bleed, and the caliper pistons benefit from a good cleaning once in a while to keep them retracting smoothly) but with aftermarket pads they've been wonderful on the trail.

One friend had a set with the sticky master cylinder pistons on his 2015 Enduro, but they got warrantied no questions asked and have been good since then.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

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No Clue Crew
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The Hopes I view as legacy brakes. My current pair are roughly 3 years old and I just swap them from bike to bike. I run mixed pads (one resin, one metallic) in each caliper. They've never made a noise. Ever. But I ride in a very dry environment.
 

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A question about the TRPs...

Are you able to dial the lever in close to the bar?

With Saints I can get the lever dialed in very close. So that when the brake is fully applied the lever almost touching the grip. That allows me to keep more "hand" on the grip for rugged DH runs. Use to run my levers farther out, and still do a bit on my trail bike where speeds are lower, and slow speed tech is common. But for "hang on for dear life" DH runs, levers close to the bar are the ticket.

I can get Hopes at cost but won't because I can't get the lever close enough to the grip.


And BTW, I've got a set of excellent condition Saints I'd let go if I could find what I wanted in a different brake. There is that very subtle wandering bite point you get with all Shimano brakes - but I find it only occurs in cold weather riding. Since most people don't DH in the cold it shouldn't be an issue, but where I DH temps do drop at times.
 

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I had thought all the stuck levers occurred with the older Avid brakes and that SRAM branded brakes fixed that problem. I can say that both of my bikes have SRAM brakes and I have never had any issue with either of them. I haven't tried Hope brakes. TRP brakes feel like Shimano copies to me in every way. I don't have a strong preference regarding brakes but I prefer the SRAMs over their competition.

I prefer DOT fluid to mineral oil as well. If I run out, I can get some at the store. Bicycle brakes never see the temperatures car brakes see anyway, so while the fact that the fluid absorbs water is an issue on paper, it's highly unlikely you'll see an issue with that on a bicycle. If you do, flushing the fluid is cheap and easy. If we all had a time machine and could get the auto industry to choose a non-hydroscopic fluid, I'm sure we all would, but in the real world, it's just not a problem, which is why the industry has kept it for so long.
 

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I have had several Guide's and now a set of Code's. Only one lever has been an issue. The Guides were my favorite so far.

However, the Magura's on my XC bike have great modulation and feel too.
 

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The trp brakes have a pretty wide lever reach adjustment range. I seem to remember reading a review that said they had like 49 clicks of adjustment. I'll go check in the garage later and see how close they can run to the bar.

For what It's worth, I run mine so most of the braking power occurrs while the lever blade is right in the "crook" of the first knuckle joint (closest to the palm). So I also run them moderately close to the bars.

And them feeling like Shimano clones? I've only really ridden Shimano xt brakes to compare my trp brakes to... But they feel wildly different to me. They don't have any swinglink/servo wave leverage designs. Just a big long lever blade. They really did feel like a stronger version of the guide to me.

Pretty much every professional review seems to say things like "best in class lodulation", with the comments furthest from that being "a blend of Shimano and sram" in terms of lever feel.

Anyway, I'm not saying they are the best thing ever. Just saying that if you want modulation, power, and mineral oil, they should at least be on the list.
 

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I had one set of Guide RS's warrantied by my LBS. I was not original owner, but didn't matter. I liked them enough, I bought a second used set for my HT. I'm sure I could have warrantied them too, but I opted to buy the aluminum Chinese pistons and install those. Time will tell which way works better, but in the meantime, I have two sets of Guide brakes that I very much like the overall feel of.

AM.
 

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...

I had one set of Guide RS's warrantied by my LBS. I was not original owner, but didn't matter.

...
Ooo, that's good to know.

Do you know if that was just the LBS being super cool, or is that a SRAM thing? I'll have to let my buddy with the sticky lever know if they'll still replace used ones.

Its only happened to him once so far, but it was enough to annoy him (as you'd expect).

And, OP, I haven't gone out to the garage to measure how close I can adjust the levers yet. Fathers day stuff got in the way. Perhaps I'll be able to get it tomorrow.
 
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