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Brake upgrade - SRAM Force vs. Mavic SSC vs. ?

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Brake upgrade - SRAM Force vs. Mavic SSC vs. ?

Old 10-06-10, 02:05 PM
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DirtRoadRunner
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Brake upgrade - SRAM Force vs. Mavic SSC vs. ?

I have a 2010 Cannondale CAAD9-4, with the stock Tektro brakes. I really think the Tektro brakes suck. My commuter touring bike with cantilevers, aero levers, and cheap "Jagwire" pads really stops quite a bit better and has much better lever feel. When I take the CAAD9 on steep decents (there are many I ride on where you can easily hit 40-45+), I do not feel very confident in the ability of the brakes to slow the bike down.

I've been looking at upgrading the brakes. Yeah, I could just put on some Kool Stop pads, but then I'd just have a crappy brakeset with nice pads. I'd rather upgrade them to something better.

1. SRAM Force - on sale for $135 now at Amazon, and I like the idea of keeping my bike mostly SRAM rather than a hodgepodge. However, I've found zero reviews or info on how well these actually work.

2. Mavic SSC - great reivews online, and a 2009 set is only $99 from ChainReactionCycles (anyone every dealt with them?). I'd probably get these, but I'm not sold on the lack of a quick release lever, or the reliability of buying them from a company in the UK I really haven't heard of.

3. Something else....Ultegra maybe? I could probably spend up to $175 for a good pair of brakes.

My main motive for upgrading is safety rather than bling or shaving weight - I want a set of brakes that will stop me and my bike quickly and safely. As mentioned eariler, my rides are either in the city on roads with moderate traffic, or on steep rural roads. Both can require stopping very fast.
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Old 10-06-10, 02:08 PM
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I'll just comment on the two you listed. The Mavics don't appear to have a quick release, which is no biggy for Campy users, but a pain for others depending on tire size and how closely you set your brake pads.
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Old 10-06-10, 02:18 PM
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not to hijack, but I'm also interested in this topic as I'be been looking at possibly upgrading my brakes as well. Almost bought a set of Shimano 105's but figured I'd research more to see what the differences are between breaks in the Shimano groupsets and SRAM groupsets. Seems to be mostly weight
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Old 10-06-10, 02:26 PM
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DirtRoadRunner
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Originally Posted by Triguy View Post
I'll just comment on the two you listed. The Mavics don't appear to have a quick release, which is no biggy for Campy users, but a pain for others depending on tire size and how closely you set your brake pads.
I usually set the pads further out (I like a little bit of lever movement before the pads hit the wheels). I also understand that you can just adjust them with the cable tension screw out about halfway, and then just screw it in all of the way when you want to remove the wheel. It isn't a deal killer, but I would like to have QR if possible...
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Old 10-06-10, 02:37 PM
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fwiw- my friend who has a fully campy record set up swears by Shimano brakes. He temporarily switched his campy brakes back to his Ultegra 6600 cause he felt they had better stopping power, but switched back again because he is a purist.
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Old 10-06-10, 05:11 PM
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I'm currently using SRAM Rival brakes and I'm pretty happy with them. They stop pretty quickly with excellent control. I've had them for 3 years now with NO issues other than replacing the brake pads (regular maintenance). I can't imagine the Force group being worse. I'd vote for SRAM Force.
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Old 10-06-10, 05:16 PM
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caloso
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Originally Posted by bhdavis1978 View Post
fwiw- my friend who has a fully campy record set up swears by Shimano brakes. He temporarily switched his campy brakes back to his Ultegra 6600 cause he felt they had better stopping power, but switched back again because he is a purist.
I have to agree. You can probably find older Ultegra or even 105 brakes for cheap on eBay. With good pads, nothing is going to stop you any faster.
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Old 10-06-10, 05:35 PM
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I have force brakes on one of my bikes, they're fine. Pads/Rim make a difference, but the mechanics of the brakes themselves are solid.
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Old 10-06-10, 06:41 PM
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DirtRoadRunner
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Perhaps I will go with the Mavic brakes....

https://cozybeehive.blogspot.com/2010...g-failure.html
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Old 10-06-10, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner View Post
Perhaps I will go with the Mavic brakes....

https://cozybeehive.blogspot.com/2010...g-failure.html
Sheesh. Never mind the fact that it failed -- I wouldn't have expected them to use plastic on such an important piece. That's a pretty stupid engineering decision.
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Old 10-06-10, 08:08 PM
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Chainreaction is fine.

Mavic SSC are incredible, but not for you without the release lever.

I'm one to mix and match (like my SSC brakes with Campy Record), but I'd stay with SRAM brakes for this one. SRAM actually copied the upper split arm of Mavic.
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Old 10-06-10, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner View Post
Perhaps I will go with the Mavic brakes....

https://cozybeehive.blogspot.com/2010...g-failure.html
Wow, this is news to me. So disappointed...
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Old 10-07-10, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
Sheesh. Never mind the fact that it failed -- I wouldn't have expected them to use plastic on such an important piece. That's a pretty stupid engineering decision.
It was a stupid decision indeed...SRAM may save $0.09 per set of Force brakes, but just lost a lot of potential buyers (myself included). Or, a single lawsuit from injuries caused by brake failure would probably cancel out all of their profits. Likely some of those "bean counter" decisions that tends to bite companies in the rear later down the road.

FWIW, I checked and my crappy Tektro brakes have a metal piece at the QR cam. I'm pretty glad I googled "SRAM Force Brakes" a little more before buying.

Now down to Ultegra vs. Mavic SSC, or more accurately, is it worth having a QR lever or not? I almost never remove a wheel unless I'm chaning a flat or cleaning/servicing the bike. I'm leaning towards the Mavics...
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Old 10-07-10, 12:38 PM
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Cane Creek SL or 200SL brakes. My next build will pair these with DA7900 shifters.
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Old 10-07-10, 01:25 PM
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See if you can pick up a pair of Dura Ace 7800 brakes off of ebay, pretty amazing, and the standard by which many other brakes are judged
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Old 10-07-10, 01:46 PM
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Ultegra. They are the standard by which other brakes are measured. AND, they have a quick release and offer very easy adjustment.
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Old 10-07-10, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner View Post
...or more accurately, is it worth having a QR lever or not? I almost never remove a wheel unless I'm chaning a flat or cleaning/servicing the bike. I'm leaning towards the Mavics...
In that light, I might go with a Campy set instead. I like how they use a single-pivot in the rear to make it harder to lock up (based on the week I had with Chorus 11sp).
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Old 10-07-10, 02:16 PM
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ultegra 6700 brakes are the bees knees.
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Old 10-07-10, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
ultegra 6700 brakes are the bees knees.
Hopefully so, I just pulled the trigger on a new set from Nashbar. $130 shipped after being onsale for 25% off plus a 20% off coupon they have this month. The Mavics would have been nice, but a QR may come in handy in an actual race. Anyone know how these "new" Shimano pads are? I'm debating on if I should try them or just put some Kool-Stops in out of the box...

I looked for some DA 7800's on Ebay, and found several used sets for $130-ish, but I don't like the idea of used brakes. I wouldn't put a set of used calipers on my car...I'd at least get a rebuilt set!

Thanks for the info.
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