Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Well I have decided it is time for new brakes on the 5 spot (2008). For reference, I am a 220 pound rider that rides everything from SF Bay Area trails to the occasional Downieville/Tahoe trip. I am currently running Avid BB7's (180/160) and have been happy with them for years, but have had issues with them on the spot where the rear suspension travel causes the rear brake cable to pull.

So I have been looking at replacing the BB7's with hydros. Juicy Sevens are off the list, I had an early pair and after all the trouble with them, will never touch them again. I have narrowed the choices down to the Magura Louise Carbon, Magura Marta, and the Formula RX. I really like that the Magura brakes are mineral oil based and I like the bit point adjustment on the Louise. While I am not a weight weenie per se, when given the opportunity to easily drop as much as 3/4 of a pound off the bike for no extra cost, the Formula RX brakes and Marta's start to look really good.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I keep vacillating between all three. Will the Martas in a 180/160 or 180/180 be adequate for me?

FYI, as I compute the weights, my current avids are 1015 grams, the Louise come in at 886, the Marta at 806 (786 for the SL), this is with the heavier drilled SL rotors, and the Formula's at 733 grams.

Thanks
 

·
ride
Joined
·
5,274 Posts
If you've got the cash, go for the Formula The One. Best brake I've ever used and it's weight is on par with a Marta SL. I've never been a fan of the Marta or Marta SL (had 'em, didn't particularly enjoy the lack of power). The Louise is a good brake, though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Scratching the Marta off the list, the ones I was looking at are the pre-2009 models.
 

·
Committed
Joined
·
1,775 Posts
I have been unimpressed by the RX brakes I have time on.
I do love the Avid Elixir brakes though. Formula Ones are nice but not worth the money (at retail) IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
I've been very happy with my older ('06 model) Marta's on my Spot. Never had any issues with them and the stopping power has been more than adequate for me (210lb rider in the midwest, so probably not doing some of the downhills you'll be doing) and the modulation is awesome! I would definitely go with the 180 rotors if in your position though.

I'm currently running new XT's on my Flux race bike. I was planning on switching the Martas to the Flux and XT's to the Spot since the XT's are 180...but after further review, I would be giving up a considerable amount of stopping power going from 180 XT's to 160 Martas.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Spoke to Chad at Red barn and he recommended the Martas. He has never steered me wrong and gave me an excellent price so a pair is on the way.
 

·
It ain't easy being Green
Joined
·
1,208 Posts
Once you get the pads broken in you will be amazed at the stopping power! I switched from BB7's to hydro (hayes stroker 180/160) two years ago and sent myself OTB a couple times until I moved the levers _way_ inboard and discplined myself to use just one finger. I had the BB7's on my spare bike for a while but one-finger-braking just doesn't work with those things and I had the reverse problem (not stopping fast enough!) so I dumped them and went hydro on that bike too. I'll never go back to cables.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Cant look past the elixr brakes, easy to bleed and maintain, excellent power and modulation and depending on which model, light weight.

Try snap out a pair of xx or mags, i have xx and love them very much.
 

·
Delirious Tuck
Joined
·
2,471 Posts
Hope V2s. I have a couple pairs of The Ones and love them, the V2 though isn't a noticeable weight gain and the adjustment and bleed-ability are substantially easier with identical-to-superior braking performance. I'm speaking from a DH perspective on the V2s, but also run The Ones on my DW Sultan (240lbs rider w/out gear so I need me some pow-ah) and on my Tracer VP. You won't go wrong with the Ones but check out the V2s.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No Hopes. I love their hubs but have seen way too many problems with their brakes over the years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
sdcadbiker said:
I had the BB7's on my spare bike for a while but one-finger-braking just doesn't work with those things and I had the reverse problem (not stopping fast enough!) so I dumped them and went hydro on that bike too. I'll never go back to cables.
One finger braking does work - check the BB7 other reviews on mtbr.com...

Use decent pads, rotors, levers and cables and they are excellent, plus you can back off the rotor/pad gap for muddy conditions whilst all your hydro friends (apart from the new Shimano servos apparently) are grinding away and wearing down their pads.

After two sets of hydros I am never going back...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
CDMC said:
I am currently running Avid BB7's (180/160) and have been happy with them for years, but have had issues with them on the spot where the rear suspension travel causes the rear brake cable to pull.
Is that with full length cables ?

I have not noticed this myself with full-length gore rideon cables.

The new Shimano servo system looks interesting as the rotor-pad gap is larger so less problems riding in muddy conditions.

If only Magura had the same adjustablility they had on their HS33 rim brakes that would be even better.
 

·
the refurbished one
Joined
·
723 Posts
formula the ones are good brakes. good modulation and very lightweight.

the v2 are over 250 gramms heavier than the ones. but the modulation is a bit better and the overal power the same.
what makes them outstanding is the damn sexy cnc machined finish and feel.

a bit less cost intensive but as good as the both above metioned brakes are the shimano saints.

if money doesnt count go with formula and when weight and money doesnt count go with the V2s. you can even let them custom anodized at your local anodizer.

if money counts and you want max performance go with the shimano saints.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
37,947 Posts
AndrewDrummond said:
One finger braking does work - check the BB7 other reviews on mtbr.com...

Use decent pads, rotors, levers and cables and they are excellent, plus you can back off the rotor/pad gap for muddy conditions whilst all your hydro friends (apart from the new Shimano servos apparently) are grinding away and wearing down their pads.

After two sets of hydros I am never going back...
That doesn't even make sense, if you back off the pads you'll decrease your braking, lever will go to the bar without slowing you down much. Your hydro friends won't have to adjust their pads after a big downhill, or ever, as you will have to do with the avid mech brakes. Not to mention my BB7 pads would back out by themselves if the descent was rough enough (very scary!). The pad adjusters flew off, never to be found. The biggest problem they had though was heat and extremely poor pad life. Sure, they stopped fine when they were cold, but I went through pads every couple months. They would also overheat easily and glaze-over. Maybe I just use them a lot harder than others, but I never had these problems to any big extent with any hydro brakes. Hydros are just better, and for a while BB7s were a good solution for those that didn't have the money for hydros, but hydros are so cheap (wholesale on my LXs was $25 for the caliper w/both kinds of rotors and bleed kit) that there is little reason anymore to go with them. There is little difference between most hydro brakes these days, but sometimes fairly significant differences between pad composition and of course rotor size.

I don't see how anyone would "grind down" their pads any less or more with hydro brakes with smaller gaps, as increasing the gap on your avids will just allow more crap to get in there-if that's your concern?:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Jayem said:
That doesn't even make sense, if you back off the pads you'll decrease your braking, lever will go to the bar without slowing you down much. Your hydro friends won't have to adjust their pads after a big downhill, or ever, as you will have to do with the avid mech brakes. Not to mention my BB7 pads would back out by themselves if the descent was rough enough (very scary!). The pad adjusters flew off, never to be found. The biggest problem they had though was heat and extremely poor pad life. Sure, they stopped fine when they were cold, but I went through pads every couple months. They would also overheat easily and glaze-over. Maybe I just use them a lot harder than others, but I never had these problems to any big extent with any hydro brakes. Hydros are just better, and for a while BB7s were a good solution for those that didn't have the money for hydros, but hydros are so cheap (wholesale on my LXs was $25 for the caliper w/both kinds of rotors and bleed kit) that there is little reason anymore to go with them. There is little difference between most hydro brakes these days, but sometimes fairly significant differences between pad composition and of course rotor size.

I don't see how anyone would "grind down" their pads any less or more with hydro brakes with smaller gaps, as increasing the gap on your avids will just allow more crap to get in there-if that's your concern?:confused:
Check this post which describes a recent enduro here in the UK where many people had to retire way early because they had worn down their brake pads and also their spares. One of the guys on the post who lasted the race had the new Shimanos with the larger gap and better leverage on the levers.

With the BB7s I can adjust adjust the speed dial to give me better leverage so I get pad contact in the normal place.

http://www.singletrackworld.com/for...u-werent-there-mannnnn-you-wouldnt-understand

Obviously you don't ride in mud often...

I will trade occasional pad adjustment for all the other headaches involved with hydros (not including bleeding as a hassle...)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
CDMC said:
No Hopes. I love their hubs but have seen way too many problems with their brakes over the years.
I have the exact opposite experience; my Pro IIs go thru bearings and freehub bodies like it's going out of style and my X2s have been flawless. I guess YMMV...
 

·
It ain't easy being Green
Joined
·
1,208 Posts
AndrewDrummond said:
Check this post which describes a recent enduro here in the UK where many people had to retire way early because they had worn down their brake pads and also their spares. One of the guys on the post who lasted the race had the new Shimanos with the larger gap and better leverage on the levers.

With the BB7s I can adjust adjust the speed dial to give me better leverage so I get pad contact in the normal place.

http://www.singletrackworld.com/for...u-werent-there-mannnnn-you-wouldnt-understand

Obviously you don't ride in mud often...

I will trade occasional pad adjustment for all the other headaches involved with hydros (not including bleeding as a hassle...)
And that's why all the pros use BB7's? C'mon, don't be so defensive.

There's so much BS spouted about the "hassle of hydro"; I have been hydro for 2 years now, riding 4-6 day/week year round and I HAVE NEVER BLED MY BRAKES! Oddly enough, they still work just fine... The only problem I have ever had was when a friend got a little too physical putting the bike on a rack and pinched the rear brake tube, damaging it.

It's the easiest thing in the world to carry spare pads in a saddlebag, I have always done that, but pad wear just isn't an issue here in Socal, to us "mud" is that goopy stuff that English people have to ride in :D

If you're happy with your BB7's, fine, I have no problem with that. I was happy with mine too until I tried hydro and realized what I was missing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
AndrewDrummond said:
Is that with full length cables ?

I have not noticed this myself with full-length gore rideon cables.
Yep, full length cables. Interestingly, I don't have full length cables on my hardtail and the brakes feel much better on that bike than with the full length ones.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top