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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Currently running BB7's (203F/160R) with Speed dial levers. But Getting sick of having to adjust them all the time. Also after riding my local trail centre yesterday after heavy rain, I managed to slice my thumb trying to adjust them half way around (then gave up) ended up having no rear brake and a very weak front brake at the end of the trail (was only 9.5 miles). And because the pads need to sit so close to the rotors to get any decent strength they rubbed all the way around due to mud/grit getting onto the rotors.

Anyway, not looking to spend a fortune on a new set up but want something that'll last me a few years and be fairly trouble free. Budget is around £150.

My favourites at the minute are the Shimano Deore M595 and the M665 SLX's. Not sure if the SLX's are worth the extra money or not as the M595 seem to get very good reviews. Was originally looking at trying to get something with contact point adjustment, but that doesn't seem to be very common on brakes at this price point (is it actually required with hydro's?). i've read that the shimano's give very good rotor clearance, which is something i'd like as i hate it when the rotor drags slightly.

Was thinking about pairing these up with superstar disc. probably 185's front and rear. Although i might go with 203 up front again (probably over kill though).

Anything else i should take a look at? and anyone know of anywhere selling the above cheap. Best deals at the minute seem to be from merlins. but both these sets are with 160 rotors for £120 and £150 with 4% and 6% discount on top.

I'm currently 15 stone, ride mostly trail centres and I commute to work 2-3 times a week. But like to do a little DH and AM too, albeit limited with the hardtail.

Bike is a commencal combi disc 05 (hardtail). Brakes are about the only thing i think i need to sort out now.

The only thing slightly putting me off the Shimano systems are that they run with mineral oil which i've read doesn't cope with heat very well, and therefore use organic pads with don't last very long.
 

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Daz_1983 said:
The only thing slightly putting me off the Shimano systems are that they run with mineral oil which i've read doesn't cope with heat very well, and therefore use organic pads with don't last very long.
You can use sintered metal pads in mineral oil filled brakes just fine. The heat build up line is not true, or rather, it's not relevant to current mtb brakes.

Organic pads turn up in all brands of brake, they're the best in dry conditions, but suck (specifically, they wear extremely fast and lose power) when it rains relative to sintered pads. I've been using sintered pads in old XT (756) brakes with no problems, beats changing pads twice in a ride...

My vote goes to the Deore brakeset. It's a little easier to bleed than the SLX, Shimano altered the layout slightly inside from the XTR/XT/SLX/Saint layout. Has the same adjustability too, only very slightly heavier.

Rotor wise, Superstar stuff is fine, ask them if they fit the Shimano calipers. 185 ought to be plenty, but go 203, better to have more brakes than to need more brakes!

#PS, just read your profile. Swap out the organic pads for sintered BEFORE you go to Cannock, especially if you're riding the Stile Cop trails, they eat brake pads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.

Does anyone know what the rotor clearance is like with the Deore's, having read that shimano's are best for this, i'm wondering if it only really applies to the servo-wave versions.
 

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Last September, I got a takeoff Shimano Deore XT M775 brakeset with 180/180 Shimano rotors for only US$193.61 (GBP119.20) shipped from Wiggle.co.uk. (That was for front AND rear complete.) They arrived in the USA via Royal Air Mail just 9 days after ordering. Thopugh they were described as being as being "Ex-Demo" I didn't find anything to indicate that the levers, calipers or rotors had ever been mounted to anything. There were a some minor nicks and small scratches here and there - perhaps as though they'd been in and out of a display case a number of times. The front line was just the right size for my 19-inch 29er hardtail while I ended up shortening the rear line by about 3-inches.

The "Free Stroke" adjustment screw on these was a bit of a puzzle a first. I searched a bunch and never came upon a good explanation of how it works so here's my own: the Master Cylinder piston stop behind the brake lever is on a hinged plate. The angled Free Stroke screw moves the piston stop in or out by about 3mm. At the minimum setting, the Master Cylinder piston rests just short of the small port at the bottom of the reservoir. With Free Stroke at the maximum setting, the brake lever initially just pushes some fluid back into the reservoir before the port is passed and brake line pressure builds. It really doesn't do much unless your reservoir is already very full or you snatch the brake lever so fast that most of that initial fluid pulse doesn't have time to flow back into the reservoir.

Anyway, these are nice brakes at a spectacular price for the few people who got in on the Wiggle deal. I've been very happy with the standard resin pads which seem to either absorb or clear sand and grit better than the Avid semi-metallic pads I had before. The Avid pads would get scratchy unless I took them out and washed them every few weeks. I don't ride in heavy mud or rain though and so don't know how they'd last in UK weather.



 

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Of course brakes are a personal choice (as is everything I guess) but the latest servowave brakes are something I've been looking for ages. I.E. Fit and forget. Pull the lever - slow down. Get home. Eat. Go out again. Pull lever - slow down. No squealing, rubbing, faffing. When the pads need replaced, get a pliers, squeeze the pin, remove fit new, go ride. This is with one 5-10 hour ride once a week and 3 or 4 shorter rides in all conditions.

I'm comparing them to Avid Juicy's, Formula Oro's and Deores (but Ive never had the latest ones!). Overall - they're more than capable of chucking you over the bars (I got 180 front and 160 back on a variety of bike) but have enough feel for this never to happen. If that makes sense.

The only caveat I have is in really really low temp's (we had -25 deg Celcius this year-I've no idea what that is in US terms) some shimano calipers seem to go a bit funny. Apparently some seals get stiff when this cold. But in comparison to Formulas that squeal like a pig when cold or Avids I'd pick SLX's every time.

Oh - and - they look nicer. But they arent as racer light as Oros.
 

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Just to follow up on the above. I just remembered you mentioned Superstar so I guess you're in the UK. There have been a few reports of problems with SS wavy rotors and certain calipers. Check out STW for more details.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah i'm in the UK.

I've done a quick search on stw and not come across much negativity towards the rotors. Just a problem with a batch of there pads and customer service during that time. Seems the pads are fine now. Although i have read of judder issues with the bigger rotors elsewhere.

I've actually opted for some Alligator Windcutters (http://www.xcracer.com/shop/viewproduct.php?productid=132) (203F/180R) with the deore brakes.

Only went for the 203 because that's what i'm currently using. Will see how they go i guess. Only needed to buy one new adaptor too then (if it's too much it shouldn't cost much to go down to 180F probably about £20 with Alligator's). If the Rotor's are just no good i'll just have to look into something else. But there isn't anything i've found so far that suggest that will be the case.

Went for the Deore's because there cheaper, but also should be easier to maintain. and there actually more powerful looking at the recent dyno testing done my bikeradar (http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/categ...ake-systems/product/deore-m595-brake-10-37554) and they came out top of a test covered by there mag What Mountain Bike out of 25+ brake setups over all price ranges.
 

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Daz_1983 said:
Currently running BB7's (203F/160R) with Speed dial levers. But Getting sick of having to adjust them all the time. Also after riding my local trail centre yesterday after heavy rain, I managed to slice my thumb trying to adjust them half way around (then gave up) ended up having no rear brake and a very weak front brake at the end of the trail (was only 9.5 miles). And because the pads need to sit so close to the rotors to get any decent strength they rubbed all the way around due to mud/grit getting onto the rotors.

Anyway, not looking to spend a fortune on a new set up but want something that'll last me a few years and be fairly trouble free. Budget is around £150.

My favourites at the minute are the Shimano Deore M595 and the M665 SLX's. Not sure if the SLX's are worth the extra money or not as the M595 seem to get very good reviews. Was originally looking at trying to get something with contact point adjustment, but that doesn't seem to be very common on brakes at this price point (is it actually required with hydro's?). i've read that the shimano's give very good rotor clearance, which is something i'd like as i hate it when the rotor drags slightly.

Was thinking about pairing these up with superstar disc. probably 185's front and rear. Although i might go with 203 up front again (probably over kill though).

Anything else i should take a look at? and anyone know of anywhere selling the above cheap. Best deals at the minute seem to be from merlins. but both these sets are with 160 rotors for £120 and £150 with 4% and 6% discount on top.

I'm currently 15 stone, ride mostly trail centres and I commute to work 2-3 times a week. But like to do a little DH and AM too, albeit limited with the hardtail.

Bike is a commencal combi disc 05 (hardtail). Brakes are about the only thing i think i need to sort out now.

The only thing slightly putting me off the Shimano systems are that they run with mineral oil which i've read doesn't cope with heat very well, and therefore use organic pads with don't last very long.[/QUOTE

I'm almost in the same boat here, thorn between m595 and slx's for my 2nd bike. I have been on m775 xt's for the past 2 years but I want a cheaper alternative. Most likely I'll be getting the m595, I will be able to tell what they're like in a a couple of weeks!
 
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