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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title suggests, I'm wondering what the differences between brakes tagged as being XC or DH are.

I'm kinda assuming that DH brakes have better overall power and are less prone to overheating.

Are there any other main differences?

The reason I'm asking is because I'm a pretty light guy (~120lbs) and I do quite a bit of all mountain riding, including some long decents as well as proper DH courses. I'm wondering if I can get away with using XC brakes or even AM brakes for this or if I should just play it safe and use DH brakes like everyone else.
 

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Old man on a bike
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12,395 Posts
I suppose one generalization might be two piston vs four piston brakes.
 

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Meh.
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17,508 Posts
Less thermal mass - less fade resistance. Different pad compounds. Different rotor sizes. Different piston sizes. Different lever materials (don't usually see carbon on DH brakes).

Generally... DH brakes will be much more powerful and harder to fade. But they may also be heavier.
 

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Official ***** Idiot
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DH brakes are also designed to haul heavy bikes down from high speeds on a good, steep slope. They work well for that situation. Put them on your XC bike and hit them a little too hard on a mild slope, and you're going over the bars. Get the right brake for your needs.
 

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sime dh style brakes have 4 pistons or pots vs only 2 pistons or pots. more is usually better, helps dissipate heat much better and the gives the easier 1 finger braking...
 
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