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Roll on Spring Time!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for the thread title, couldn't think of the right phrasing.
I am expecting my new ride to arrive soon and have one last unkown to solve, which brakes? There are alot of threads on which brakes should I get but I am interested in a different angle, how much power do I need. I run XTs on both my hardtail and Wildcard and with a good bleed and the right pads they seem perfect. I am so impressed with how seldom I need to touch these brakes and they are rediculously simple to bleed and change pads on. Recently I fitted a set of 2.4 Big Bettys and I swear my braking power went up 25%, at least. Into a corner I had to dab the brakes and I came upright. Rolling down a steep loose section they wouldnt let go, really impressed. I havent had the chance to try anything more powerfull and I am riding solo, so now testing other riders gear.
I plan to run the XTs on the new ride since I am happy with them and I need to save cash and make sure of my new brake choice before I make that order. What I am interested to know from other riders is why do you need really powerfull brakes? At the end of a long fast trail I ride, I do notice my front loses power when I brake hard or try do a front end stoppie, but other than that if I brake too hard I lose traction. So I am wondering how does a more power brake help if your tyres are going to lose traction anyway? My other concern is being thrown over the bars:D Is it just a case of the brake providing good modulation?
I was watching Fluid Ride again last week and they even mentioned peoples desire for more powerfull brakes and in most cases it can make things worse. I think I relate to that.
I would like to stick with Shimano since they are so nice and easy to work on, are quiet and just plain work but it seems like a big jump from XT to Saint.
 

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Modulation IS the key. And yeah - a lot of brakes out there that are overkill (twin piston designs like Codes). Personally I favor Formula brakes because they've had the best combination of modulation and braking power that I've used. The new Saints are supposed to be similar in performance so if you really want Shimano then go that route.

Have FUN!

G MAN
 

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If you like the XTs, then stick with them. If you are a big guy (200+ lbs) then the twin piston brakes are not overkill at all. This is especially true in the tight and technical stuff that you find on the Shore, for example. There it is steep to boot, so if your brakes can't modulate, you are DONE. Personally, I am running Juicy 7s and I like them. My next set might well be Saints.
 

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Now with More Wood
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The reason for going to more powerful brakes is specifically to help with really steep and/or long descents that involve lots of braking. For example, I ride with a bunch of guys regularly on +1500 vertical feet technical descents, we usually shuttle 5-6 runs in a couple of hours in the morning, and almost everybody is OK on the first run, but a few runs later I always find a couple of them complaining of massive arm pump and having to move 2 fingers onto the brake levers. Those of us who run Codes or Saints don't have those issues...(well there is this one guy who runs out of finger power with the new Saints...but he seriously needs a bit of a work out in general... :D ...).

And then, for the next step up - once you get into lift assisted resort riding, you'll really want all the power and fade/boil resistance you can get!
 

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NOT Team Sanchez
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You never want any amount of break power, however the right amount of brake power is up to you, your type of riding, weight, length of the descent, and frequency........I run avid bb7 mechanicals with 203mm rotors at 230 geared up just fine though I do get some arm pump on the really long tough descents, but then everyone does. The most powerful, best brakes I ever used were the Hope Mono 4's which had four pads and four pistons per wheel, the only reason I got rid of them is because I prefer the ease of maintenance with mechs, if you're ever pinched a line miles from anywhere you'd run mechs too :D
 

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the faster and faster I go, the more and more I want stronger brakes.

I like grabbing a pretty massive handful of brake right before a corner (or as big as I need) and I rarely feather/touch them anymore when I'm in rocky stuff.

Mainly its just descent steepness (and how sustained it is) and how many runs I'm doing.
 

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Roll on Spring Time!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No shuttles for me in Korea. I do a whole lotta pushin and my runs are short so I think my brakes dont get nuked. I have one long run which is about 45min push up and 5min down. This is the only trail where I feel my brakes fading at the end. My only concern is the jump in power, just in case I get trigger happy, but like stated its a case of modulation.
From what I am understanding, you are all saying its not the final wheel locking power but the power that is delivered in a modulated amount which slows the wheels rotation over an extended time but not necessarily locking it up?
I am still working on reducing my braking over rocks and roots, in the mud and through corners. I think I will stick with the XTs or a similar brake till my technique is on the money.
180ish Lbs and possibly 190Lbs kitted. Mostly trail and freeride but trying to improve my DH skills. Riding a Cotic steel hardtail and Wildcard with a Maelstrom on the way.
Last night a took a dive on the hard tail and bent a lever so ease of spares is prolly a big part of my next choice since I live in the sticks.
 

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Roll on Spring Time!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh and thanks for the help. Breaking is one huge technique I am tackling this year.
 

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juan pablo said:
My only concern is the jump in power, just in case I get trigger happy, but like stated its a case of modulation.
From what I am understanding, you are all saying its not the final wheel locking power but the power that is delivered in a modulated amount which slows the wheels rotation over an extended time but not necessarily locking it up?
if you think youre gonna grab a massive amount of front brake, and because of the jump in power, take a spill, you probably should worry about technique more than power. good 4-pot brakes like the codes and saints have excellent modulation. you'll learn how much brake you need once you get used to the extra power.
you shouldnt be locking up your brakes that much any way. feathering and modulation are the best ways to slow down. think ABS on your car.
 
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