Hydraulic Disc Brakes

So, this subject is all very new to me. Can any of you suggest a few models to check out and compare for a XC bike? Are certain brands easier to maintain than others? What tools am I going to have to go buy? I’m looking for something that uses ISO mounts.

Or how about just Avid Elixir vs XT?

XT all the way. avid brakes suck, although the elixir may be better than juicy’s - which really really suck.

shimano uses mineral oil (non-corrosive). avid and hayes both use dot fluid which is corrosive and eats away at the hose/rubber seals.

also shimano brakes are really easy to setup. avid brakes are a bitch - they have these stupid conical washers which makes getting the correct position/angle way too difficult.

p.s. i’ve heard good things about shimano slx as well - heavier, but cheaper and also work awesome.

I really like Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. They feel good and are so easy to set up that I want to throw my Formulas away. Avids are a fucking pain in the ass. A friend of mine has the Elixir CRs and I’m not sure what I think of them. They are powerful, but modulation feels not so great. They are a little bit on/off, but he is also a 200+lb dude using 203mm rotors F/R on a hardtail with a 140mm fork. He needs the power, but they might work better for me with 180/160 f/r.

My friend who is a beast of a rider and an equally good mechanic swears by his XT brakes, with which he has won a couple of XC races and ridden on Santa Cruz’s finest trails pretty much every day for over a year now. I really want a pair.

avid are lighter and easier to setup if the frame happens to be bent, twisted or otherwise jacked up. shimanos have better lever feel.

i have big hands and i prefer the lever reach on the shimano brakes. if avid had better reach adjustment that actually moved the levers away from the bars i would be all about them… but they dont.

anyone who cant setup an avid brake as easily as a shimano is doing it wrong.

also, ive seen way too many avid elixir brakes just plain stop working after less than a years worth of use which is never good. silver lining to that is sram has an excellent warranty program and almost always sends out a better brake than the one that broke.

shimano saints >all

or clarks if your’re looking for something cheap.

What about Hope?

a friend has the 4 piston units and they’re not the most user friendly to set up/get aligned. but god damn they could prolly be put on a scooter and stop that thing just fine.

I realize it of course depends on surface area. But goddamn, some cars don’t even use TWIN pots. Fucking 4 pots are sports car territory.

8 pistons or bust

I could probably use 'em. I’m about 275, and got up close to 30mph my last downhill on my mountain bike.


HOLY FUCK. i’ve spent most of my time on the bike with v brakes and road calipers stopping me. spent a week on hydros on pops bike during a trip to co and it was amazing.

I like how Klondike’s solar car is being built mainly out of bike parts.

I ran Hope Mini’s for a while, were good, would ride again.



it’s a crabon fibre trike with solar cells on top,

dick brakes in the front
v brake in the back with a hub motor

Yeah, this, pretty much.

Fuck Avid.

They break…all the time.

I love me some Sram but Avid stuff accounts for 100% of the brakes we have warrantied this year and the number we have sent back is higher that I want to admit.

Shimano SLX is the way to go. I have SLX on one bike and XT on another and they feel the same. Shared master cylinder design. XT is just a tad lighter.

Also Avid uses Dot fluid and Shimano uses nice friendly mineral oil.

Never had issues cutting lines on the many pairs we have installed this year.

Rarely see any in the shop for bleeding either.

Was stupid and dumped the fluid out of one of mine when I was installing it and it was super easy to bleed the whole system and took the first time.

Formula and Magura make some really solid stuff now too but parts are obviously harder to find. So unless ultralight is important I would just stick with the workhorse Shimano stuff.

SLX it is. Found a set of levers and calipers with line for $180 shipped.