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Brake and drivetrain upgrading!?

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Brake and drivetrain upgrading!?

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Old 12-05-03, 12:06 PM
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Evo
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Brake and drivetrain upgrading!?

I have only recently got back into biking, I got the best bike I could to start with without spending to much money, because a) I did not have much money b) I did not want to spend a fortune, only to leave the bike in the shed all year, and c) I do not have much money. I got a GT Aggressor from Halfords at a discount.
Now I've decided I love biking and I want a better bike so I've been customising my ride
I got new handbuilt wheels, after pinch puncturing and dinting the rim on the sort of o.k stock wheels. Mavic F519's on Deore disc hubs with decent DB black spoke's. Replaced the dull RS Judy TT's with MX comp ETA's 105mm. A mix of Easton and RaceFace stuff to replace stock GT stem, bars etc.
In time I want to get a fully sus'd frame for aggresive XC riding which I mainly do, and all the upgrade's I have put on the GT will go into building up my dream fully sus'd bike in time, I'll still keep the GT.
I like robust stuff that can take abuse and keep running fine, and when it does go wrong is simple to maintain.
For the chainset I'm looking at Shimano XT 04 stuff, or an ISIS alternative like RaceFace Prodigy or Truvativ equivilant? my budget is around 100 for the BB Cranks and chainrings. Is Shimano going to be the toughest option? anyone got an opinion on what I should get.
The toughest one for me is brake's should I go hydrualic or stick with cable? Disc or Rim brake's? I'm on a bit of a tight budget and want a tough reliable braking upgrade so I'm thinking XT or maybe even XTR rim brake's or Avids Arch Rival, I like the look of the pallellogram linkage thing. I can see that disc brake are good for competition especially DH comp's. But for me an average rider who just wants trouble free riding, lasting performance and simple maintenance V-brake's are by far the better choice (so I am led to believe anyway).
Unless someone can give me a reason why disc would be better than V-brake's for me? would I have to spend a lot of money to get decent reliable performance or are there cheap Disc brake's out there that are worth having? Something like Magura's Julies are in my price range, but will they be better than XTR V-Brake's, also Magura HS33 hydrualic rim brake's I see them used a lot in trials, and have used them myself and like them. But would they be upto all year round aggresive XC?

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Old 12-05-03, 12:19 PM
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Good grief man, break your messages up from the stream-of-thought thing!

I think the 2004 XT is the way to go, and have a set sitting on my workbench as I type. The 04 XT is very light, very stiff and uses LARGE BEARINGS that are bigger and "set wider" than anything in the ISIS platform. There is one catch: Shimano ships the 04 XT without the tools needed to install them! This won't matter if you have a shop do it: the tools are the same that are used to install XTR. But, if you're going to install them yourself (easy!), you gotta find somebody with tools to loan.

As for the brakes, well the Vees are certainly lighter and easier to set up and maintain, particularly if you go with Avid 7's and Kool Stop dual compound pads (instead of the cartridge pads from Avid). If you pair the 7's with Avid 5 or 7 levers and a good cableset, you'll have brakes that work REALLY well and both weigh and cost a fraction of what discs do. They will also stop just as well, UP UNTIL: long descents and really high speed braking. At that point, the discs will outperform the best vees (and surpass crappy vees a long time before that). If you go eBay, you can get your 7 levers for 30 and your 7 vees for the same, with a set of Avid Flak Jacket cables for 20 and Kool Stops from the shop for 6-8.

If you go discs, and want easy setup and low maintenance, then the Avid Mechanicals are the best deal going on price, setup and effectiveness. Oh, there are better brakes out there, but not by much in performance and for way more in price. The thing with Avid discs is that they modulate really well (use Avid 7 levers to actuate them!!), handle rain and mud pretty well and improve mud/tire clearance at the fork and frame. The downside is that you must take much more care in their maintenance and in how you install and remove the wheels from the bike. I think you can get two wheels worth of Avid 160's for about $130 on the 'Bay these days.
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Old 12-05-03, 12:38 PM
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Quote
"Good grief man, break your messages up from the stream-of-thought thing"

Yeah well I know :S thing is trying to put down what I want to say without it getting to long winded is not that easy for me I have a brain dysfunction.
Still you seemed to of understood what I was getting at, which was nice.
Hmmm disc's I really would like a set of disc's Hope Mini's, Haye's HFX-9's and Shimano XT or at a budget Deore. But maintaining the hydrualics put me of I thought of cable actuated Disc's like the Avid you EBasil mention. But again they still seem a lot of trouble to maintain and I'd always feel not as happy that I did'nt just go for decent hydrualic set in the end.
So for the simplicity V's it will be, intresting that you only mention the Avid 7's EBasil from what I understand they are Avids top of the line V's but without that pallellogram linkage thingy that Arch Rivals or XT and XTR have. Any reason for this? I was always going to use Avids top brake levers, and either Arch Rival or XTR brake's is the pallellogram feature not that good? I heard they can squell like a pig if not set right!
And again Magura HS33 are seeming even more attractive as a purchase

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Old 12-05-03, 01:00 PM
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Whoa dude, you did it again!

Use seperate paragraphs for different ideas. PLEASE!

I concur with EBasil (again) on his advice for the Avid's. The parrallel link of the XT's and XTR's are nice, but don't significantly improve braking and there is a higher potential for slop to develop as there are more pivots/links. (this has been a problem in the past).

The Avid's are solid, work very well, light weight and very cost effective. I'd choose those OVER more expensive products.

As far as mechanical discs. If your new wheels have disc hubs and you have money burning a hole in your wallet then the Avid mechanicals are a good option.

As far as component groups. I recommend the XT level as a great upgrade. Personally, I don't really like Shimano Cranks (not even the new XTR) and would much rather have a set of Race Face cranks.

Good Luck
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Old 12-05-03, 09:17 PM
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i'm looking at the xt cranks myself but they are a bit pricey. imo they are definately good to go.

in my experience, vbrakes "melt" in wet conditions. i don't do extreme stuff but i had a set of xt v's before and they worked decent. i got avid mechs and they are a bit heavy, but the performance is unparalleled by v's. i find i'm wearing out the pads on my discs pretty quick, but that's better than having my pads melt against my rims during messier rides.

the magura hydraulic rim brakes are VERY powerful. i got a set of hs22's on another project of mine, and they feel much better at the lever than my avid discs. to quote from mtbr "the maguras are so strong that they crush my rims" i agree, they got some awesome stopping power.

so the feel of hydraulic at the lever plus the stopping power of discs make for a good combo. verdict: get hydraulic discs.
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Old 12-06-03, 06:33 AM
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O.K sorry about my disjointed style of writing, I will try to improve on it
There is so much I want to ask and know.
I was pretty screwed up until recently, and now I am always trying to improve my lifestyle and health. I like being outside, its relaxing and calming. I do a lot of walking, and quite often go to Wale's or the Lake district on holiday, but I craved a bit more excitment and speed whilst also being in the countryside. So now my life is more stable I have taken up mtb'ing again and loving it.
I describe my riding as aggresive XC, I like steep climbs and hairy decents, and challenging technical single track. I'm also not a very delicate rider, and have this strange disorder which can make me feel like I'm super talented and that yes I can do that 4 ft gap jump..... less said about that the better. And I ride all year round in all but the worst conditions.
I'm only telling you all this so you get an idea of what I'm after!

So far out of everything I've had to buy, the brake's are turning out to be the hardest choice. I am deffinetly not rich, paying upto 250 on a decent set of disc brake's better be the best choice I ever made.
I travel a lot with my bike and I'm always taking the wheels off, from what I've heard taking wheels on and off with disc is a bit tricky, and you have to get them alligned right to work properly? (I'm trying to weigh up the pro's and con's here). It worrys me that tFUnk says he managed to melt V's to the rims! But I also heard disc brake pad wear pretty fast in the wet, surly its a matter of pad choice?
O.K the linkage system type V brake's may not have any performance gains over normal V's, but I like the way they always make the pad hits flat when set right. So surly XTR or Avids best version of its Arch Rival brake's should be strong enough to last me a couple of years, then maybe I will upgrade to disc's when I have a Fully sussed frame.
I want brake's that will give me trouble free riding, when I go on 2 week biking holidays to Wale's in all seasons. I sometime's go on ultra long ride's for like 5-6 hours mainly on tracks through Wale's. I sometime's have to make trackside repairs in the middle of nowhere, and I want to be able to fix punctures easily, and to me it seems rim brakesare going to be the sensible option. I'm worried I'll crash and it'll cause the hydrualic fluid to leak with disc's.
The Magura HS33's are still a favourite of mine but I just do not see many XC riders using them, it only seems to be dirt jumpers, street and Trial bikers. Will they just wreck my rims to quickly? I expect to go through at least one set of wheels a year anyway. But could'nt I just get ceramic rims will they work well with the HS33?
So to sum it up I think I'll stick to rim brakes for now, and make disc's a future upgrade for my fully sussed bike. So its going to be either Magura HS33's, XTR or Avid V's.
Gotta make up my mind soon.

Thanks for the help so far its been helpful

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Old 12-06-03, 08:16 AM
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XTR brakes the best i'v ever used.Man those things stop,now.I had a set of magura hydraulic rim brakes, HS 12's that i took off my 2000 cannondale.Still got them,anyone wanta buy them,only about 1000 miles on them.
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Old 12-06-03, 10:20 AM
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i have disc brakes on both my bikes. magura julies on my tassajara and hayes mechs on my fluid. both came stock on my bikes.

with regards to getting the wheels off, i've gotten a ton of pinch flats from practicing bunnyhops and whatnot (mostly from not getting my backtire high enough or timing the hop wrong and hitting the backtire on sharp edged curbs i'm trying to hop over) and i've never had any problems getting the wheels off or back on. really, the only thing i can think of that you'd have to be careful of - with hydro discs - is locking up the calipers when the wheel's off.

as for feel, then i prefer the julies over the hayes mechs. the julies (hydros) have a way better feel at the lever and have a whole lot more stopping power than the hayes.

if you want a set of disc brakes that don't need a lot of setting up, go for the maguras. they come ready to install, pre-bled and everything. they also got a 5 year warrantee against any leaks.
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Old 12-06-03, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Evo
O.K sorry about my disjointed style of writing, I will try to improve on it
There is so much I want to ask and know.
I was pretty screwed up until recently, and now I am always trying to improve my lifestyle and health. I like being outside, its relaxing and calming. I do a lot of walking, and quite often go to Wale's or the Lake district on holiday, but I craved a bit more excitment and speed whilst also being in the countryside. So now my life is more stable I have taken up mtb'ing again and loving it.
I describe my riding as aggresive XC, I like steep climbs and hairy decents, and challenging technical single track. I'm also not a very delicate rider, and have this strange disorder which can make me feel like I'm super talented and that yes I can do that 4 ft gap jump..... less said about that the better. And I ride all year round in all but the worst conditions.
I'm only telling you all this so you get an idea of what I'm after!

So far out of everything I've had to buy, the brake's are turning out to be the hardest choice. I am deffinetly not rich, paying upto 250 on a decent set of disc brake's better be the best choice I ever made.
I travel a lot with my bike and I'm always taking the wheels off, from what I've heard taking wheels on and off with disc is a bit tricky, and you have to get them alligned right to work properly? (I'm trying to weigh up the pro's and con's here). It worrys me that tFUnk says he managed to melt V's to the rims! But I also heard disc brake pad wear pretty fast in the wet, surly its a matter of pad choice?
O.K the linkage system type V brake's may not have any performance gains over normal V's, but I like the way they always make the pad hits flat when set right. So surly XTR or Avids best version of its Arch Rival brake's should be strong enough to last me a couple of years, then maybe I will upgrade to disc's when I have a Fully sussed frame.
I want brake's that will give me trouble free riding, when I go on 2 week biking holidays to Wale's in all seasons. I sometime's go on ultra long ride's for like 5-6 hours mainly on tracks through Wale's. I sometime's have to make trackside repairs in the middle of nowhere, and I want to be able to fix punctures easily, and to me it seems rim brakesare going to be the sensible option. I'm worried I'll crash and it'll cause the hydrualic fluid to leak with disc's.
The Magura HS33's are still a favourite of mine but I just do not see many XC riders using them, it only seems to be dirt jumpers, street and Trial bikers. Will they just wreck my rims to quickly? I expect to go through at least one set of wheels a year anyway. But could'nt I just get ceramic rims will they work well with the HS33?
So to sum it up I think I'll stick to rim brakes for now, and make disc's a future upgrade for my fully sussed bike. So its going to be either Magura HS33's, XTR or Avid V's.
Gotta make up my mind soon.

Thanks for the help so far its been helpful

Evo
What they are trying to tell you regarding breaking your post up is that it is easier to read forum posts if you only put like 3-4 lines together than insert a space.

I just did it right here and it helps to make it a lot easier to read. Just do it like this.
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Old 12-07-03, 05:47 AM
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Yeah I guess it does'nt look so much like an essay when you do it like that.

I hate reading essays. Essays? crap what I am thinking?

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Old 12-07-03, 09:46 AM
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Hmmm.. on the braking note.. a good option for going hydraulic is the XT disc. While I dislike Shimano, it's not really a Shimano product anyway. And you can't beat 100 dollars per wheel, either. I run Avids and love everything except for the modulation.
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Old 12-07-03, 11:02 PM
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personally, based on my experience:

avid mechs>magura hs22's>xt v's

but the V's worked great for me as well. also the avid mechs shouldn't cost that much more than a set of high-end V's. i've been told that running special avid cable housings(the metal ones) drastically improves lever feel, but i have yet to spend the extra $30 to try.
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Old 12-07-03, 11:22 PM
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I run Avid cable housing. Not the full metal jacket housings, but their other housings. Very good lever feel, and their kevlar ones are even better.
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Old 12-08-03, 02:44 AM
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I've only just got back into biking again, so for now I think V's are the best option for me!
In time I probably will upgrade to disc but not until the end of next year.

There will probably be even more option availible by that time anyway and the price should fall a little.

I've noticed that Avid are bringing out a new set of disc brake called Avid Juicy (I think?) something like that, I think I heard that they will be availible in both Hyd. and Mech. and should be good value.

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Old 12-08-03, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Evo
I've only just got back into biking again, so for now I think V's are the best option for me!
In time I probably will upgrade to disc but not until the end of next year.

There will probably be even more option availible by that time anyway and the price should fall a little.

I've noticed that Avid are bringing out a new set of disc brake called Avid Juicy (I think?) something like that, I think I heard that they will be availible in both Hyd. and Mech. and should be good value.

Evo
if you know you're eventually going to upgrade to disc, why wait?
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Old 12-09-03, 08:09 AM
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Please, I'm already so confused, I know that having Hydrualic Disc's on your bike is very "pimp". And that they are very powerfull

I feel that rim brakes are still the best solution for me because of their simplistic low maintenance design. And XTR or Arch Rivals V's are powerful enough brake's (when set right) for my style of riding. And I think that those V's will still look good on my bike and will be an improvement.

Disc would improve my bike further and look "pimp" but they do tend to be heavier. And I can't see them being easier to set up and maintain than V's are, or as light. Main thing is I still think Disc are going to give me more problems if I got them.

And I still want HS33's, but I have had no real opinion from anybody on wether they are any good or not. I've been told they are powerfull but crush rims!! how quickly do they brake the rims, are they reliable?


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Old 12-09-03, 08:53 AM
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What did the say on MTBreview and roadbikereview.I'd go with XTR,great brakes.
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Old 12-09-03, 09:33 AM
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Yo evo - count me as another for v's. Discs are for DH, or for trials, or for looking cool. Cool is good too though. Discs do feel better, but for a lot of reasons are not always the best choice. Let the flaming begin heheh.

We'll school you on brakes AND school you on grammar
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Old 12-09-03, 08:58 PM
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Evo,

the magura HS-33s will be very good brakes. that rim-crushing part was just an exageration i pulled off a MTBR review to illustrate how powerful they are. IMO the hs33's are very simple once you've installed them. mine came pre-bled so that was easy, and they adjust very easily for pad-wear. the lever feel on the hydraulic brake also feels really good compared to cable-actuated levers. tell you the truth, i haven't used the hs33's in wet trail conditions yet, but i can imagine they will perform as well if not better than V's will (of course depending on brake pad compound). one thing to add is that i picked up my pair of HS22's used for like 40bucks(and they look it). they work well, but i think the new retail for those are like over 100bucks, which i think may be a bit extravagant. but because they are hydraulics if you break something on the trail, it will probably be more difficult to fix quickly. that, and they aren't all that common, so replacement parts may be problematic.

regarding discs, i have not had any complications setting them up on my bike, and actually, they adjust much easier for pad-wear compared to v-brakes (the avid mechs have those dials on each side of the caliper, don't know about other disc makers). they do tend to be quite a bit heavier, though. reason i went disc is because i picked them up cheap for $50 they were beat up and well used, though. if i didn't find a deal i would've stuck with my XT-v's.

so if you want to go with V's, i think that's a good choice also. but please do not be intimidated by the other brakes, because they aren't really all that much more problematic. one more thing regarding the V's is that i found my LX vbrakes to be substantially more powerful than my XT's. perhaps goes to show that budget V's aren't always inferior to pricier ones. good luck!
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Old 12-09-03, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tFUnK
regarding discs, i have not had any complications setting them up on my bike, and actually, they adjust much easier for pad-wear compared to v-brakes (the avid mechs have those dials on each side of the caliper, don't know about other disc makers).
my julies have an automatic adjuster for pad-wear. i assume magura has the same feature on their other hydros.
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Old 12-10-03, 09:34 AM
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Thanks for the really great advice, its helping me a lot to better understand the options. I'm not rich but if I find something I enjoy I don't mind spending the money on it. I know now that I bought my bike to hastily, if I realised how much I was going to enjoy riding again I may of got a different bike. Although I'm far from unhappy with my bike, to me half the enjoyment of biking is buying the upgrades

A dilemma for me now is, that biking has changed a lot, I mean like with all the other dis-a-plin-s (I can't spell it).
Its like the weather its been pretty bad even for me and my usual trails are unrideable. So last night I was riding in a carpark near me, I used to be pretty good at endo's, wheelys and bunny hops, it was good fun larking about like a fool. Whilst I was trying to do tail whips (not sure if thats the correct term?) I was thinking how much easier it might be to do them with disc's.

It make's buying upgrades very hard, as I'm not sure what type of riding I'm going to end up doing most. I like XC especially cause its good exercise, I like pushing myself hard! I also like jumping and technical riding. Charging downhill like a nutter and North Shore stuff looks like my sort of thing as well.

So I've finally decided to go for HS33. I've seen a set of Magura HS33's for 95, I'm pretty sure that include's everything levers, booster plate etc. I've used them before, and am familiar with them, I think they are a good comprimise.

I've now decided that I'm not going to be happy with one bike. The next bike I get I will build myself so all the parts I can get will help in future bikie projects. I'm already dreaming about a good jump bike which the Maguras will end up on.

Evo
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