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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ever have one of those days?? Last night's ride proved to be one of the scariest crashes I have ever been in with an encounter with a wrong-way rider. Bloodied, pissed, and broken, I had to limp my Goblin home with no rear brakes, and no shifter. I got your angry single-speeder right here! Needless to say, I faired better than the other guy with a tacoed wheel and a broken nose, he had to walk out.

Back to my question - since my rear brake (the housing, not the lever)
is out of commision, it is time to upgrade - but to what? Anyone have experience with the XO or XX brake setup? Is that the way to go or should I find another Elixer 7 to replace it? Any help or shared experience with other brakes is very welcomed here. I am already on the hunt for an X9 shifter as well.
 

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man that sucks. Good to hear that neither of you was more seriously injured. From all of my research I've found that the best value in brakes is SLX or XT. Both are essentially the same. XT is slightly lighter, has one more adjustment that is essentially useless, and the pad retention set up is a little nicer. I have two sets of XT's and one set of SLX. The only reason I bought XT over SLX was that they came with metallic pads which I prefer to the resin, for longevity. And they were only $10 more. You can usually find SLX for $90-100 and XT for $100-120.
I love them, very powerful great feel and modulation, easy to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
man that sucks. Good to hear that neither of you was more seriously injured. From all of my research I've found that the best value in brakes is SLX or XT. Both are essentially the same. XT is slightly lighter, has one more adjustment that is essentially useless, and the pad retention set up is a little nicer. I have two sets of XT's and one set of SLX. The only reason I bought XT over SLX was that they came with metallic pads which I prefer to the resin, for longevity. And they were only $10 more. You can usually find SLX for $90-100 and XT for $100-120.
I love them, very powerful great feel and modulation, easy to work on.
So Shimano brakes are better than upgrading to XO or XX? I only ask as I have ZERO knowledge when it comes to Shimano altogether - but what I am looking for is better modulation, so perhaps a test drive is in order at the LBS. Thanks for the input swildnm!
 

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Sorry to hear it.

Disclaimer: The stuff I say here is just based on second-hand info. Hopefully it is more right than not.

I've heard good things about the Hayes Prime Comps from the Goblin Evo as well. Jeremy mentioned that he has become a fan. They use DOT 4 or 5.1 just like the Elixirs. Many of us have had troubles with our Elixirs. Too many have noise issues. The Hayes brakes, like the Elixirs, are also more touchy to bleed because DOT strips paint.

Still, DOT has some advantages as well. Although it attracts water, it absorbs it rather than allowing it to pool in the caliper like mineral oil. When this happens to a mineral oil brake system the boil-off temp is exactly that of water--not great. Mineral oil is also not as generally available. The oils are proprietary and should never be mixed.

But mineral oil systems often seem to last far longer between bleeds and offer some advantages too. Mineral oil doesn't attract water the same way. It doesn't strip paint either.

Most of the time, Shimano brakes are the default choice for upgrades because they have proven reliable and comparably quiet. But that has nothing to do with the oil used. Other brands like Hayes are probably better than the Elixirs too and use DOT 4-5.1 if you prefer it.

You probably know this already, but be sure to completely clean and-or sand the rotors when changing pad types, assuming you keep your rotors. This is what a bike shop tech told me.

You'll need to measure your cables and either buy them correctly cut or cut them and bleed them yourself.

Good luck.
 

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Recently there was an article here on MTBR regarding the new SRAM Guide brakes. The notable thing is the lack of Avid Elixir branding. The article speculated that this is possibly due to the damage done to the brand by the over-abundance of problems.

There are a number of new 4 piston brakes from Avid as well. Maybe they wouldn't be as noisy?? Dunno.
 

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So Shimano brakes are better than upgrading to XO or XX? I only ask as I have ZERO knowledge when it comes to Shimano altogether - but what I am looking for is better modulation, so perhaps a test drive is in order at the LBS. Thanks for the input swildnm!
I have no experience with Avid/SRAM brakes, other that a friend who has a Stumpjumper 29 Carbon EVO that came with 4 piston XX Trail brakes. They seem to work well enough, but despite much effort on his part, cannot be silenced. They honk and they honk loud. Purely anecdotal evidence, and an isolated case. THe general consensus from a lot of reading of reviews is that Avid has some issues, (which probably explains the recent rebranding), and you cant go wrong with SLX/XT.
I can say that I do love my Shimanos, modulation and power are excellent. From what I have seen, pricing compared to the Avid tends to be better too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fluid type doesn't really bother me - I tend to be an over the top cleanie, so I am usually very careful when it comes to fluid exchanges. If I go with Shimano, how much of the system will I actually have to replace? It would be ideal for me to reuse as much as possible due to budget, such as mounting hardware and rotors.
 

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Rotors and hardware should all be reusable. I'd sand your rotors to help the pads bed in, regardless of what brakes you get.
 

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Wish I knew. The spacer mounting blocks would be pretty universal if it wasn't for the different shapes that calipers come in. I *think* you could reuse the rotors. I believe that our Elixir 7s come with metallic pads. If you opted for the same in a Shimano brake, just some simple rotor cleaning should be required. Consider giving Airborne a call. At least they know this stuff with some certainty.

A friend recently purchased some Shimano Deore brakes from Fibica and got a really great deal. They were oriented correctly with the right brake/rear, left brake/front (which can be a big problem if purchased from some sites like Amazon). Even though they came from oversees, they were there in less than 5 days too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sanding down the rotors is a given as that is part of my normal routine to help with the noise of the Elixirs. Thanks for all the help guys! I am looking now at some Shimano's - will keep the post updated as to what I find out there. I need to pull the trigger quick as I cannot stand being without my ride!
 

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I have been extremely happy with the Elixir R brakes from my 1st Gen Goblin. They brake great and have been quiet too.

Those new Avid brakes have a GREAT feel to them but I haven't actually been able to ride them. Also they're not available yet so you would have to wait.

I would stay with XO or SLX you're looking for something compatible or better than what you have and want something now.
 

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I had the famous sticky piston issue on my elixir 7s and took them to my LBS (I ride with the owner). SRAM warrantied them and sent me avid xo trail brakes as an upgrade. The LBS owner did a straight trade for xt brakes and the difference is night and day. If I had to choose between slx and xo trail brakes and both were free, I would take the slx brakes without hesitation even though they are less expensive.
 

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Absolutely, positively recommend going with the slx brakes. I had them on another bike and miss them. I thought when I bought my goblin "oh it has elixir 7's, thatll be a nice upgrade".....couldn't have been more wrong. The elixirs have been a nightmare. No matter what I try the turkey gobble WONT GO AWAY!!!

I'll pick up a set of slx's as soon as I can find them for a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, seems my search may be over, I found a set of front and rear SLX's with almost the same length lines for 186.

Again, thanks for all the help everyone! I really, really do appreciate all the feedback!
 

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Glad to hear it! Just be sure that the levers are oriented to US standard and you'll be fine.

Oh, and be sure to let us know what you think of the new ones. I'm pretty sure that I'll be needing a set as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Will do Mike! I just pulled the trigger on the SHIMANO SLX BR-M665 BL-M665 Hydraulic Disc Brakeset 800/1300 - I am really looking forward to getting back on the trails again. Updates as they come in, and get a good weekend ride (if they are here in time) on the new brakes for a review. Thanks again everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Received the SLX brake kit last night, and have it all installed ready for tonights bed-in ride. One of the biggest differences between the Avid 7's and the SLX's, are the SLX's do not require any adjustment bushings on the caliper bolts. 160mm front and rear ready, all I needed was the 180mm adapter for the front caliper, and the rear bolted directly in place of the Avid adapter. Directly mounted, the SLX's are right on the money, and didn't require any adjustment at all - no rotor rub, nada. STOKED! I will post up pictures after the bed-in process later tonight.
 

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I'm sorry I just saw this... I hope you're ok! Had a bit of a string of luck here haven't you?

Good choice on the SLX's. I was going to recommend those or the XO Trails. I've got the XO Trails on my bike after a warranty replacement from SRAM and they absolutely rock. Way better than my friends standard XO's and the Elixer's I've ridden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm sorry I just saw this... I hope you're ok! Had a bit of a string of luck here haven't you?

Good choice on the SLX's. I was going to recommend those or the XO Trails. I've got the XO Trails on my bike after a warranty replacement from SRAM and they absolutely rock. Way better than my friends standard XO's and the Elixer's I've ridden.
Oh man - I have had the run with crashes - what don't kill ya make ya more strong!! Thanks Skyphix!

OK, bed-in ride done, and not a single peep out of the brakes from start to finish. I had the Mrs. take me to the top of Municipal and let me ride down the long hill, pick me up and roll it again for a total of ten times (she got really, really bored :D). LOVE THE BRAKES! Great improvement over the Elixirs with a lot more modulation, and zero brake fade on the last mile run down the hill.

Side note: The SLX vs. the Elixir 7's in terms of weight, are heavier by 200 grams. If you are a weight watcher, these are not for you unless you love stopping...

Now it is time for pics!

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13728192964" title=". by s0ul_chicken, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7145/13728192964_cc273bf347.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="."></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13727820953" title=". by s0ul_chicken, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5495/13727820953_e42cfd2bb1.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="."></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13727820503" title=". by s0ul_chicken, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3810/13727820503_4f8b13b947.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="."></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13727820203" title=". by s0ul_chicken, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5137/13727820203_aff2b79907.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="."></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13727780715" title=". by s0ul_chicken, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7375/13727780715_dbe681fa12.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="."></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13727780225" title=". by s0ul_chicken, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7111/13727780225_5e2dc23773.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="."></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13727779425" title=". by s0ul_chicken, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7263/13727779425_36e841066d.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="."></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13727815233" title=". by s0ul_chicken, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7421/13727815233_c8c519a735.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="."></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13727817703" title=". by s0ul_chicken, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7295/13727817703_75a559efe3.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="."></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13728188644" title=". by s0ul_chicken, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3708/13728188644_af94778969_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="."></a>
 
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