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Upsizing Disc Rotors (203 front/180 rear)

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Upsizing Disc Rotors (203 front/180 rear)

Old 05-13-19, 08:53 PM
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DarKris
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Upsizing Disc Rotors (203 front/180 rear)

Iím looking to get better braking performance out of my brakes and Iím currently running 180/160 rotors, both post mount. The front has an adapter and the rear doesnít. Iím looking to moving the 180s to the rear and putting 203s on the front. I would have to replace the front adapter since it only goes up to a 180, but Iím having trouble finding a post-to-post adapter that go up to 203 from a 160mm post mount base.
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Old 05-13-19, 09:07 PM
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While I'm not going to do a Google shopping search for you, I will ask you to research and find out what the maximum size rotor your forks are rated for.

Similarly, an upgrade of caliper &/or pads can go a long ways in the right direction.

On one bike I have 180/180 rotors with TRP Spyres on 26 inch wheels & can't imagine ever needing more. Most of our terrain is hills on the order of around 100 feet/mile no matter which direction you go for your ride. Heck, I wouldn't even consider anything in my area a "hill" if it's less than 6-7% grade.

Even my bikes with 180/160 & TRP's or BB7's have never left me wanting.

I only use sintered pads & IceTech rotors.

Even at my usual weight of 200 pounds I tend tend to brake late & brake hard. That allows things plenty of time to cool between applications.

Constant/long term drag to hold speed is the best way to foster fade, warpage, & failure. All the more so on organic pads.

You're not upgrading a tandem, are you?

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Old 05-13-19, 09:58 PM
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Would be looking at what is causing you to you need better braking performance, and what you can do with your current setup, rather than just replacing with a larger rotor.

You have given zero info on your current setup/bike, as base2 notes, check if your frame/forks can take any larger than what you currently have, as most bikes can't take much larger than what they are shipped with, MTB's are generally 160-180F/160R, road/gravel 140-160F/140-160R; Enduro, DH and tandems being outliers

For a very simple/cheap update, look at the pads you are using, often these can give a big performance boost for minimal cost, say by going from stock resin (most commonly fitted) to Sintered 9metal) or kevlar pads.
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Old 05-14-19, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
I’m having trouble finding a post-to-post adapter that go up to 203 from a 160mm post mount base.
Here's one......
https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-F2...-Brake-Adapter
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Old 05-14-19, 05:27 AM
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Thanks Cobba.

So if it helps Iím 360/370lbs and these would be going on my Specialized Helga running 29 x 3.0 and/or 26 x 4.6-8 tires. I find the flat braking performance to be just fine but when it comes to steeper downhills I have to grab my brakes fully and drag them to slow myself down. I havenít ridden off road at relatively high speeds but I do know at least one of the trails that Iíll be riding has some downhill sections, but I donít know how my brakes would handle it.

Im also not sure how things like brake pad compounds would play into all of this and whether changing those might help but I wanted to get some feedback at the very least. From how my brakes performed and what I researched I would have to guess my current pads are either metallic or semi-metallic.
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Old 05-14-19, 05:28 AM
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Current brakes, pads and terrain the bike is used on? 180 front and rear or 180 front and 160 rear should be more than enough. I'm 235 lbs, that set up works great for loaded bikepacking or extreme mt biking. Shimano hydro brakes work well.
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Old 05-14-19, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Current brakes, pads and terrain the bike is used on? 180 front and rear or 180 front and 160 rear should be more than enough. I'm 235 lbs, that set up works great for loaded bikepacking or extreme mt biking. Shimano hydro brakes work well.
Check the above for that info.
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Old 05-14-19, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
Check the above for that info.
Hydraulic, mechanical? Brand?
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Old 05-14-19, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
Hydraulic, mechanical? Brand?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CPDQZB6..._jKR2CbHDFPVG8

a quick note due to my current setup I am limited to mechanical pull disc brake calipers.

Last edited by DarKris; 05-14-19 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:35 AM
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I'd probably go upgraded pads and discs before I went to a 203mm disc on that bike with the alloy front forks, especially since it came out with 160mm as standard.. No experience with those calipers however. I'd be worried about the mounts on the alloy fork. If you do go to 203mm make sure you have a Shimano or other internal cam QR, check it regularly, make sure it's always really tight to minimise the chances of wheel ejection, since you'll now be able to put a lot of force into the brake system.

Last edited by Trevtassie; 05-14-19 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:29 AM
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Darkris, without knowing what two wheeled riding experience you have, its important to understand how to brake the most effectively, and using the front brake at its maximum is a huge part of this.
I'm a touring guy, so am familiar with a bike that is heavier due to all my panniers, but even then, you are twice of me+100lbs more, so I realize there is a heck of a diff here.

That said, using your front brake at its maximum will make a big difference, and I realize that a lot of people are uncomfortable using their front hard and or dont appreciate the importance of using it hard, and the affect this has on braking effectiveness.

I guess all I can suggest is to look at videos like this


that give you tips on both using your front brake, and how to use your body position during hard braking to allow you to use the front as hard as possible, as this will significantly decrease your braking distances, as well as reducing the time you are dragging the brakes, which means they will heat up less, and be more effective.

hard braking skills are not something you learn just be reading or watching how to do it, it comes from a lot of practice and developing the instincts, so if you are not familiar or comfortable with what is shown in this video, practice, practice and practice.

even then, you may well do better with larger discs, but do be aware of the tech limits and the fact that because of your weight, the forces going into the fork are significantly more, so Ihope you can get an informed answer on changing disc sizes for your bike.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:36 AM
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I wouldn't go to a 203 on the front, I would buy a pre-bled Shimano hydro front brake. Something like an XT BR-M8000 can be had for ~$100, an entry level brake like the MT201 is about 40 bucks, and there are tons of sellers on Amazon and eBay offering full F/R flatbar hydro setups for as low as $60.

Going to hydraulic is an absolute world of difference.

I see tons of "SRAM-ano" MTBs come through the LBS, that is SRAM drivetrain and Shimano brakes.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Darkris, without knowing what two wheeled riding experience you have, its important to understand how to brake the most effectively, and using the front brake at its maximum is a huge part of this.I'm a touring guy, so am familiar with a bike that is heavier due to all my panniers, but even then, you are twice of me+100lbs more, so I realize there is a heck of a diff here.That said, using your front brake at its maximum will make a big difference, and I realize that a lot of people are uncomfortable using their front hard and or dont appreciate the importance of using it hard, and the affect this has on braking effectiveness.I guess all I can suggest is to look at videos like thishttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsXGMeMc75U&ab_channel=GlobalCyclingNetworkthat give you tips on both using your front brake, and how to use your body position during hard braking to allow you to use the front as hard as possible, as this will significantly decrease your braking distances, as well as reducing the time you are dragging the brakes, which means they will heat up less, and be more effective.hard braking skills are not something you learn just be reading or watching how to do it, it comes from a lot of practice and developing the instincts, so if you are not familiar or comfortable with what is shown in this video, practice, practice and practice.even then, you may well do better with larger discs, but do be aware of the tech limits and the fact that because of your weight, the forces going into the fork are significantly more, so Ihope you can get an informed answer on changing disc sizes for your bike.
Thanks, Iím usually always shifting my weight back as much as possible under hard braking especially when going downhill so I donít go OTB. I guess it was just one of those things where I didnít know if there was more I could/should do
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Old 05-14-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
Thanks Cobba.

So if it helps Iím 360/370lbs and these would be going on my Specialized Helga running 29 x 3.0 and/or 26 x 4.6-8 tires. I find the flat braking performance to be just fine but when it comes to steeper downhills I have to grab my brakes fully and drag them to slow myself down. I havenít ridden off road at relatively high speeds but I do know at least one of the trails that Iíll be riding has some downhill sections, but I donít know how my brakes would handle it.

Im also not sure how things like brake pad compounds would play into all of this and whether changing those might help but I wanted to get some feedback at the very least. From how my brakes performed and what I researched I would have to guess my current pads are either metallic or semi-metallic.

I very much doubt your fork is engineered for 203mm rotors. Doing this retrofit will like cause your front fork to snap like a twig under breaking at speed.
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Old 05-14-19, 11:06 AM
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Using named bike for search, Specialized Helga is one of these,* a 'fatbike' & not a road bike..

May I suggest a upgrade to Hydraulic disc brakes? a 4 piston front , probably only need 2 piston rear ..
weight shift physics ..
OEM Pick, for stock brakes , a modest cost mechanical cable brake ...


*https://www.specialized.com/us/en/hellga/p/118687


..


.....ktro Aries, mechanical disc,

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Old 05-14-19, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post

a quick note due to my current setup I am limited to mechanical pull disc brake calipers.
Why? Tektro Aires was a price point pick.. Maybe TRP Spyke would be better

you can still put on a Hydro Front ..

maybe even TRP Hy Rd, I went from BB7 MTB to the short cable pull Hy Rd hydraulic caliper
and use Avid Speed Dial brake levers ..
the dial adjusts the cable pull moving it nearer or further from the pivot...

Tektro Aries,
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Old 05-14-19, 12:04 PM
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Those tektros are really basic stuff. Not that good. You will want some shimano hydraulic brakes. Deore, slx xt will work so much better for you. I just put shimano dual piston XT brakes on my Krampus, works great, 180 rotors front and rear.
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Old 05-14-19, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Why? Tektro Aires was a price point pick.. Maybe TRP Spyke would be better

you can still put on a Hydro Front ..

maybe even TRP Hy Rd, I went from BB7 MTB to the short cable pull Hy Rd hydraulic caliper
and use Avid Speed Dial brake levers ..
the dial adjusts the cable pull moving it nearer or further from the pivot...

Tektro Aries,
The Spyres or HY/RDs would be good options as well. Since Iím running integrated shifters/brake levers I would have to replace quite a bit to go to full Hydro.
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Old 05-14-19, 01:20 PM
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SRAM X5 2x10 trigger shifter pair, $47.95 @ Amazon.
Shimano MT200 F/R hydro brake set, $67-69 @ Amazon.

I used TRP Hy/Rd calipers for quite a few miles, and they are quite good... but they're also $80-100 per caliper, so you'd spend less replacing the shifters and completely converting to hydro. This is not the case with dropbars, where my take-off Rival 1 HRD levers were $240 all by themselves.
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Old 05-14-19, 01:22 PM
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1st thing out of the gate in cable to hydro conversions was a double master pair ..

It sat under the stem..with hoses from there on down.. hydro calipers..

Soma Yokozuna hydraulic disc brake 2 piston https://store.somafab.com/morodibr.html

& 4 piston https://store.somafab.com/youl4rodibr.html

are another cable to hydraulic caliper.. a little different design still short cable pull ..
marketed for road/cross/gravel ..


If you have mountain, long pull brake levers on straight , not drop bars , with integrated shifters

then Spyke ,their double acting MTB caliper, not Spyre is probably the way to go...

I get away with the HyRd because of the Speed-dial levers ,
which change the cable pull to be less .. ..




...

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-14-19 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 05-14-19, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
1st thing out of the gate in cable to hydro conversions was a double master pair ..

It sat under the stem..with hoses from there on down.. hydro calipers..

Soma Yokozuna hydraulic disc brake 2 piston https://store.somafab.com/morodibr.html

& 4 piston https://store.somafab.com/youl4rodibr.html

are another cable to hydraulic caliper.. a little different design still short cable pull ..
marketed for road/cross/gravel ..







...
That 4 piston caliper looks nice. Had no idea there was a quad piston cable to hydraulic calipers around.

these would be paired to SRAM Rival 10 speed shifters so I think itíll work well
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Old 05-14-19, 01:39 PM
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OK Drop Bar.. you have..
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Old 05-14-19, 03:49 PM
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Most of what i would recommend has already been said above, but

At the weight you're at I'd strongly recommend spending the money to fully upgrade your brakes at the current size rotors. Separate your brake levers and shifters and go full hydraulic, something like the shimano XT Trail brakes (m8000, current m8020) and ice tech rotors. Not only are you stopping your body, but rolling mass plays a pretty significant roll in the brakes ability to effectively stop quickly. I can't speak too much on fat tires, I have little experience in that field, but 26x4.6 tires are pretty big so it takes more effort to slow them on principle (please correct me if I'm wrong here guys. I speak from automotive experience. We see brakes wear faster with A/M wheels and tires due to weight, and more hotspots)
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Old 05-14-19, 05:08 PM
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The biggest thing you can do with your current brakes is to not drag them. Pulse brake, on off, on off. Discs hate being dragged, heat is easily transferred into the pads from the discs and they get cooked. When you pulse brake you dump a bunch of energy into the disc, it heats up rapidly then cools down rapidly when you let the brakes off. The higher the temperature difference between the disc and the environment the faster energy can be transferred. Pulse braking also allows the pads to cool off from the air dragged between the pad and the disc..
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Old 05-15-19, 04:27 AM
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The OP asked a simple question, knows what he wants, and it is a totally reasonable (and inexpensive) way to get more braking power. For a guy his size on a mountain bike, a 203mm front rotor is absolutely appropriate.

Just check that the fork is OK to take a 203mm rotor. I would guess it probably can, but do check. If so, get the larger rotor, two adaptors, and go for it. It will make a noticeable difference.

I would also be sure to get compression-less brake housing.

All of these other solutions (different pads, different brand rotors, cable housing) are fine ways to improve brake performance, but none make the sort of difference that a bigger rotor does. Bigger rotors are not always better if you donít actually need the power as they can be a bit harder to modulate at lower braking forces. But at the OPs weight, he is using a LOT of braking force.

Last edited by Kapusta; 05-15-19 at 05:46 AM.
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