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I have ridden my Hayes brakes for five years with annual bleeds and one new set of pistons and rotors. I am due for a new rotor, pad, piston/bleed, but I plan to buy new brakes instead.

My current plan is to use an eight inch rotor on the front and five inch rotor on the rear of my Burner frame. Fade has rarely been and issue, but I wouldn't mind more modulation if I don't have to give up much braking power.

-I am intrigued by the Formula 'ORO's' for their simplicity and weight.
-The El Camino has too much slop in the brake lever for my taste.
-The Juicy 5 or 7 has earned a reputation for being finicky with regards to frequent bleed issues.
-The Magura's have a bad historical reputation,

What is your favorite disc brake for cross country riding?

Thanks,,

Kane
 

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I think I need to Upgrade
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zkampyman said:
I have ridden my Hayes brakes for five years with annual bleeds and one new set of pistons and rotors. I am due for a new rotor, pad, piston/bleed, but I plan to buy new brakes instead.

My current plan is to use an eight inch rotor on the front and five inch rotor on the rear of my Burner frame. Fade has rarely been and issue, but I wouldn't mind more modulation if I don't have to give up much braking power.

-I am intrigued by the Formula 'ORO's' for their simplicity and weight.
-The El Camino has too much slop in the brake lever for my taste.
-The Juicy 5 or 7 has earned a reputation for being finicky with regards to frequent bleed issues.
-The Magura's have a bad historical reputation,

What is your favorite disc brake for cross country riding?

Thanks,,

Kane
Hope Mini!! Done End of story Good Night!
 

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Trampelpfadbenutzer
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692 Posts
I have also have ridden the Hayes Mag since the last 5 years and was switching to Formula Oros some weeks ago.I have the K18 version and they work very well.As you said they are lightweight,have great stoping power and are relative cheap,too.I use a 8 inch rotor in front and 7 inch in the rear of my ´Pack.What realy surpised me is how simple they are to bleed (but you need a special kit) and how nice the levers feel at the hands.On my Hayes Mags I had mounted a pair of Razorrock Stiffie levers wich are quite a bit wider, shorter and stiffer than the stock Hayes levers and was amazed to see that the stock levers of the Oros are shaped nearly identical so no need to upgrade (if there is a product?) for me.The only thing I had to get used to is that the Oros did not have that "digital" engament feeling of the Hayes.
Hope I could help you out.

Later
RaD
 

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M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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3,584 Posts
Juicy 7's hands down - for XC all you need is a 160mm rotor setup (front and rear) and you'll have more than enough power. Plus, in my opinion, they are the easiest system to bleed.

I've owed Hope's for the past 8 years, and since switching to Avid i can honestly say I'll never use Hope ever again.
 

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It's a Turner!
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Here we go again...the great brake debates.

Hayes are very reliable brakes, but they do have that on/off feeling, so if you're looking for more modulation, reliability, ease of bleeding, and stopping power, then Hopes are a good choice. You just have to set them up properly.

Up until a few weeks ago I was going to sell my Hope mono M4s because of their noise and inability to lock them up, but then I switched the pads around so I'm running EBC pads in the rear and Kool-stop in the front, and all of a sudden they are phenomenal. I rode DH's in Pisgah and they had unbelievable amounts of stopping power and modulation. Hands down the best brakes I've ever owned. Easiest to bleed as well.

Now I am regretting my choice of Juicy 7s for my Pack build. I haven't even tried the Juicy's yet and already I'm pissed off at them - the one lever was leaking right out of the box, the hydraulic lines they come with are cheap, flimsy, kink-o-matic plastic tubes that should be replaced with Goodridge right away, adding to their already bloated cost. The bleed process despite their advertising as being easy to bleed, is anything but. Instead of bleeding the whole system, you bleed the caliper (which requires removal, BTW), then line, and then the lever. And you need their special (read: $$$) kit. Holy brake fluid, Batman! Also, if you use grip shifts beware, the new lame one-piece level clamp design will not go far enough in on the handlebar.

Magura's have incredible power for their size, weight but I've had long-term reliability problems with the Martas (seals went bad) and other weird issues. The Magura Louise FR are really good. I've only tried them and thought they were awesome brakes.

If I had to do it over again I'd probably go with the Hopes. I'd even consider the Shimano Saint brakes if they sold a complete pre-bled kit (currently, you have to buy the brake calipers and the lever/line separately - jeeze, how hard is it to stick it all in one box).
 

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It's a Turner!
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Oh yeah, I should mention that now that Hope has updated their caliper design to use adapters and easy alignment (no shims), it's the perfect brake.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Bring Back Buck said:
Yes. Great brakes. They have the hope-reliability that I loved so much with my DH4s. I think I'll have these brakes for a long time.
 

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Never enough time to ride
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Juicy 7's. Easy to set up, easy to bleed, reliable, and once you get rid of the polygon rotors, quiet. Ran these all year, with very little maintenance. I did have Avid replace the rotors, and all is quiet, but you do have to go through a shop to have any Avid warranty work done. They no longer work custy direct now that they're in bed with SRAM. Only had to bleed them once and that was just last night, just did it as routine year end maintenance. Pads are looking a little on the worn side too.

Can't really say enough about them. Great lever feel, excellent power (I'm 225 and even with 6" rotors the pucker effect is still good), great modulation, and the contact adjustment is nice. Haven't had any fade issues. They just work, kinda like they're other products.

happy trails...

Josh
 

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Now with flavor!!
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Let me preface this by saying I honestly don't believe there's a "bad" hydraulic disc brake made these days from any of the major manufacturers.

But shimano brakes lay to waste every other brake system, leaving the hulking masses of weak, inefficient hose, caliper assemblies in flames, the sound of their tears, rising up in steam the only intermission between screams of pain while they wallow in their inadequacy.

Plus that red mineral oil tastes like cherry.


Just go to a well stocked bike shop and pedal around on bikes with different brakes. I've ridden people's bikes with brakes they say have massive stopping power, and had to split muscle fibers in my forearem trying to get them to slow the bike down. I've ridden bikes with brakes people say have tons of modulation that send me over the bars when I breath heavy on the levers. I don't believe anybody any more.

Don't let the maguras of the past dictate your opinions on the newer ones though. They make some good brakes these days.
 

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carpe mañana
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I wish I could say I had a good experience with Hopes. They had everything but stopping power. They were obnoxiously loud as well. I tried everything with exception of EBC red pads, which wear very fast, to make them work and I gave up. I wish they worked, because they are the finest looking brake out there. I moved on to Magura Marta SLs and loved them (with exception of the carbon lever). Amazing stopping power for their size and beautiful modulation. I had them on my Burner, then 5 Spot then race bike. I replaced Martas with Louise FRs on my 5 Spot, 210/190 setup, and I can't imagine a brake with more stopping power. They modulate beautifully as well. They are pretty easy to bleed once you do it a few times and figure out your personal tricks to get the bleed done well. I also have an older set (2003) of Louise FRs on my townie, performing dual duty as a urban/DJ bike, and they work great as well. I agree with el Camino levers, in addition, the bolt which controls the extension of the levers, loves to back off. I had a set of Hayes Nines and didn't like them much. I am a big fan of Maguras, and haven't been let down yet. They require no aftermarket mods to make them strong, no stainless hoses, no EBC pads. They're beautifully powerful and modulate so wonderfully straight out of the box!

_MK
 

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Hope

"Hope has reacted to feedback from customers by introducing the phenolic piston upgrade to all brakes to increase its ability to deal with serious downhill use".
('what mountain bike' mag this month)
erm, whatever phenolic means...
...but hopes can squeal like a cat with its knackers in a vice.
otherwise great brakes, with colour-cap and lever bling potential.
 

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I used to be a big Hope fan but with my last set of Mono4's I had to bleed them so often it was getting stupid. they'd work fine for 5-6 weeks at a time then all of a sudden big loss of stopping power, no fluid leaks, no fluid on pads or glazing, just a drop in performance which only a fresh bleed would cure. Hope's normal great customer service was also lacking on this one too, my LBS had no better luck with them either.
Also noise in the wet was a bigger issue than any other disc I've tried.

Hayes, very good solid performers but lacking fine modulation. I've not owned Maguras or Formulas but have tried them, although not enough to have a worthwhile opinion one way or the other. They are pricey in the UK compared to the opposition with Maguras being the most expensive available apart from J7 carbons! Shimano Saint/XT/XTR are nice and smooth with very good stopping power, but fit issues with splined rotors and expense due to buying in kit form put me off.

Lastly my 185 J7's have been great, even with the polygon rotors, strong power, superb modulation, great adjustments, and easy to bleed. Mind you I did fit Goodridge hoses from the start, superb, super strong, and very flexy, ideal for a suspension frame.
My wife also has a set of J5's on her bike and again no problems at all just less adjustable for lever feel.
 

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Yay! Bikes !
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maybe a less popular choice here (unless you're Kidwoo) but I 2nd the Shimanos.

I use XT 755 brakes on both my bikes. They have tons of power AND tons of modulation, are no more difficult to set up than any other system, and use mineral oil. As I rebuild my hardtail into more of a street/park bike I intend on swapping my existing 4-piston brakes and trying out the new XT or Saint calipers. The current brakes are total overkill on that bike. Shimano stuff maybe not as "cool" or flashy as some other systems :rolleyes: but that's ok with me. I really don't need nor want some of the features that newer brake systems include. More stuff that can go wrong or brake.

I switched the stock braided lines to XTR hydraulic lines and that made a huge improvement over an already great brake. All the new systems come with the newer coated lines, which is a good thing.

I've tried older Hope brake and was underwhelmed, haven't had an opportunity to try their new Mono brakes. You can't really go wrong with Hayes I suppose but compared to my XTs I don't like any of the Hayes that I've tried. I have tried the new Louise FR brakes from Magura and I really like those a lot.

I'd vote for XT or Saint with 6" rotors, then probably the Louise brakes also with 6"ers.
 

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Now with flavor!!
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Nick. said:
I'd vote for XT or Saint with 6" rotors, then probably the Louise brakes also with 6"ers.
That's something to consider too.............the extra power some of the newer brakes over hayes mags doesn't really necessitate a big rotor.

I finally switched all my bikes over to shimano after some time (2 years) with the xtrs on my xc bike. I got sick of hopping on my dh bike and feeling like the hayes brakes with 8" rotors on that thing weren't as strong as the shimanos with 6" rotors on the little bike.

After getting some time on newer hopes, newer maguras and some juicy's, shimanos have the nice balance I was after for sure. Hopes felt too weak (never tried the monos though), juicy's too stabby with almost no modulation even though they felt like they could stop my tacoma, maguras good on power but a little too much lever throw between engagement and lock up (yeah too much modulation), and the shimanos just about right all around.......great 1-finger power with a good amount of lever throw between extremes without adding too much more force.

I'm going to sit back and laugh at the fact that I completely invalidated other people's opinions in my first post and then proceeded to offer my own......cuz it's like right and stuff. Join me won't you? :)
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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kidwoo said:
That's something to consider too.............the extra power some of the newer brakes over hayes mags doesn't really necessitate a big rotor.
I disagree.

I've used more than one set of 6" brakes that I felt had enough power for anything I did.

The big problem was fade and how heat affected that 6" rotor.
 

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It's a Turner!
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Alright. We get it. Shimano has it figured out. Now if they would just simplify the whole product naming/configuration thing I might be able to figure out what to order so I can try it ;)

kidwoo said:
That's something to consider too.............the extra power some of the newer brakes over hayes mags doesn't really necessitate a big rotor.

I finally switched all my bikes over to shimano after some time (2 years) with the xtrs on my xc bike. I got sick of hopping on my dh bike and feeling like the hayes brakes with 8" rotors on that thing weren't as strong as the shimanos with 6" rotors on the little bike.

After getting some time on newer hopes, newer maguras and some juicy's, shimanos have the nice balance I was after for sure. Hopes felt too weak (never tried the monos though), juicy's too stabby with almost no modulation even though they felt like they could stop my tacoma, maguras good on power but a little too much lever throw between engagement and lock up (yeah too much modulation), and the shimanos just about right all around.......great 1-finger power with a good amount of lever throw between extremes without adding too much more force.

I'm going to sit back and laugh at the fact that I completely invalidated other people's opinions in my first post and then proceeded to offer my own......cuz it's like right and stuff. Join me won't you? :)
 

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Bodhisattva
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10,843 Posts
I agree with the "no bad systems" comments.

I also believe that choice of pads has a lot to do with it.

For instance, I find the stock Juicy pads to be grabby but the J7s with Galfer red to be the best setup I've tried in terms of power, modulation, etc.

There are just so many variables.

I currently own the J7s and prior to that spent 3 years on Louise FR. Both are great.

I'll be using either Formula puro oro or Hope Mono minis for my soon to be ready SS.
 
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