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  1. #1
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    Best bang-for-the-buck disc brakes

    well, I spent a while with V-Brakes and i've been riding harder and in much wetter conditions than i originally expected myself to.. .and while i dont NEEEEEED the disc brakes, i figure i'm going to upgrade them at one point or the other, so i see no reason to delay the upgrade >=)


    so what would you suggest for the best value disc brakes out there?


    i dont need super-preformance or super-lightweight... but i dont want chinsey things that weight 25lbs. and will stop less effectivly than my V-Brakes.



    thanks.

  2. #2
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    best performance vs dollar would go to the Avid Mechanicals w/o a doubt

  3. #3
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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  4. #4
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    avid mechs

  5. #5
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    how much more do disc brakes weight than Vs?

  6. #6
    Life's Too Short urbanking's Avatar
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    Twice as much will you really notice??
    Live To Ride, Ride To Live!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by urbanking
    Twice as much will you really notice??


    lol, dont worry i'm not a weight-weenie.




    i've come to terms with the fact that while my legs are powering about 210 pounds fowards, the difference between 206 pounds and 212 is nothing


    i was just curious as to how light they are able to make them

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    Gotta agree with the Avid Mech's. Another advantage is they are easy to install and adjust. My bike came with Hayes hydraulics, but I would rather have the Avids.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Brennan
    Gotta agree with the Avid Mech's. Another advantage is they are easy to install and adjust. My bike came with Hayes hydraulics, but I would rather have the Avids.



    can i use my current brake levers with the mechanicals?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    That's another great point, Jas. I believe most V-levers will work with Avid Mechs. This is another reason why they are such a cost-effective upgrade. But double check with Avid or your bike shop for compatibility.

  11. #11
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    anybody know of a good begginers guide to disc brakes sort of write up? explaining maintence.. how the different kinds work, how to use them most effectivly.. etc etc?

  12. #12
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    Yes, most v-brake levers work with avids. That is one good reason to get them. Other reasons include great stopping power (I got the 205cm rotors with mine from www.beyondbikes.com for the same price as the normal 6" rotors.... I think $70 per brake). The adjustability and installation are also superior to most hydros. They aren't really very heavy, either, although I'm not sure how the weight actually compares to others. I also got the Avid Full Metal Jacket cables for them (~$24) , which reduce cable friction, and make them feel more like hydros. You could get hayes hydros from jenson or pricepoint for about $99, but then you have to buy new shifters at ~$45. If you really need hydros, though, that's probably the best deal for you. I like the avid mechanicals because you don't have to worry about bleeding the fluid and also worrying about the cables getting cut and spurting costic fluid all over your calipers and pads.

    At any rate, disc brakes are a very wise investment. You will be very happy you upgraded!!! One thing to keep in mind is that since you do most of your braking with the front brake, you can just upgrade to disc on the front, and leave the rear as V-brake. I actually like this better, because it leaves the rear to be more of a softer braking to finesse around corners better....

  13. #13
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    i'm considering the front-disc rear-V brake setup, because my front shock has postmounts on it... but i would need an adapter for the rear.



    so i figure i'll try the front disc setup first, and if i want to go rear too i will.



    i'm a bit worried though.. about noise levels. how bad is squeaking?

  14. #14
    The Zon Is On! Middi-zon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JasBike
    i'm a bit worried though.. about noise levels. how bad is squeaking?
    Will you be using the bike to sneak up on people?

    If discs are properly maintained (which doesn't take a lot of time, effort, or money) they should be almost silent, mine are.

    -Middi-zon
    That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

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  15. #15
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    The Avids have a break in period of about 2 or so rides where they squeal, and then are fine. I know a lot of disc brakes (some Maguras in particular) have intense squealing problems all the time.

  16. #16
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    how loud is the break-in squealing?





    what should be done to maintain them to prevent squealing?



    (i really hate squealing )

  17. #17
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    Hey, I am also considering getting disc brakes. For that $70 Avid mechanical kit, what else would we need? Assuming that my levers are still usuable, could someone sum up everything we'd need to buy? thanks!

  18. #18
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    Hubs, rebuilt wheels, a frame w/ disc mounts

  19. #19
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    If these weren't such a great deal, I'd also recommend the Avid's, but for a few dollars more you get a hydraulic brake.

    Hayes are the ones I use and I love them. After initial set-up they've been maintenance free.

    Here's a link:Hayes Hydro's

    They come pre-bled and ready to install.

    Other things you'll need:

    Disc ready hubs or a new wheelset with disc hubs. The latter is probably the best way to go unless you know how to rebuild a wheel and need new spokes anyways (shorter due to larger hub flange) and have a killer rim already. If not, buy a new wheelset as well. There are some pretty good deals for complete wheelsets right now. Just make sure that the rim is "rim brake" compatible if you're going to keep your rear as a vee-brake.

    Buy some DAWN dishwashing detergent, and when you clean your bike, scrub your rotors with the Dawn+water. For some reason Cannondale recommended using DAWN to clean their rotors and I've always done it and it works really well.

    Some people use Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol) to clean their rotors, but I just wash my bike with Dawn and scrub the rotors at the same time.

    Also, DON'T TOUCH the rotors with your bare hands. The oil on your skin is enough to contaminate the brake pads. What else, if you DO get hydros DON'T squeeze the lever without the wheel/rotor in place.

    Besides that, you need to make sure your forks and your frame are "Disc-Ready" if you don't have the disc tabs welded on, you might as well forget upgrading (it'll cost too much) and just buy a new bike. Unless of course, you have some on the forks, but not the frame and keep the rear as a vee-brake.

    Personally, I don't like the frame adapters. I've tried a couple and they make the brake "feel" spongy (soft). Plus, they add more weight and are expensive. You can almost buy a new frame for the cost of an adapter (if you shop around).

    L8R
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  20. #20
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    Dam those Hayes are a deal! Forgot to mention earlier that Hydraulic brakes are superior to mechanicals in lever feel and stopping power, and IMO they take less maintance since you dont have to worry about stretching the cable, and DAM those hayes are a screaming deal. Personally i have Hope Minis

  21. #21
    bike/raft DrGonzo's Avatar
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    Heya, I just bought the new Z1 FR fork w/ disc only, so i'm getting a front wheel (mavic 517/xt hub) built at jensonusa.com and I'm still trying to decide on what disc brake to run up front, as i will just be running V in the rear. Is that Hayes disc brake really better than the avid mech?

    Also on those Hayes, you have to get a mounting adapter?
    These brakes mount directly to Manitou forks. Adapters are needed to mount to other forks using the International Standard mounts and frames using the International Standard mounts.
    practice, practice, practice...
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  22. #22
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Ummm, YES! The Avid is probably the Best Mechanical brake and it's performance is almost as good as the hydraulics (probably better than some off brand cheap ones), but the "Feel" doesn't compare to a quality Hydraulic brake.

    Plus, it's only $30 more. If you consider the Avid only has the rotor and the caliper, you have to add the cost of a cable ($5 for standard, $20 for Flax Jackets) and then the cost of a lever. They end up having the same cost.

    Sure, if you already have a lever then it's cheaper, but let's compare apples and apples.

    L8R
    L8R
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  23. #23
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Don't know for sure, but I think the Hayes also come with an adapter for ISO, however, these are OEM take-offs, so you may get them "as-is".

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  24. #24
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    well i'd like to use my current levers for the sake of simplicity/cost... is there THAT much difference between the mecs and the hydros?

  25. #25
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    "Is that Hayes disc brake really better than the avid mech?"
    I have Hayes Hydros on my bike. The Hayes have smoother operation and better feel. I've never done any kind of comparison test in stopping power, but they are probably slightly better. Still, I would rather have the Avid Mechs. Here's why:

    1. After about a month, my left lever was pulling too close to the handlebar. It was actually hitting my knuckles. The only way to fix this was to re-bleed the braking system (a pain). Avids can be adjusted with the levers/cables. Much easier. Also, it is near impossible to get the Hayes levers to pull back evenly (where the lever's inward stop limit is at the same angle to the handlebar).

    2. The Hayes sometimes rub slightly, especially after hard braking. This is just the nature of hydro brakes. I had the same problem on my motorcycle. On the Avids, you can easily adjust the pad distance to correct this.

    3. If you remove the wheel and accidently sqeeze the brake lever, the pads will be locked closed. To fix this, you have to open the caliper assembly and push them back, then close it up again. Another pain. Mechs don't have this problem.

    4. If you have a problem on the trail, it would be much easier to fix the mechs than the hydros.

    So, for me, I'd sacrifice a little bit of performance for easier maintenance and lower price. I think of the hydros are more trouble than they are worth.

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