hydraulic disc brake upgrade...any suggestions

pygmypony

Well-Known Member
#1
hey folks, i'm looking to upgrade the the brakes on my 2012 trek x-cal...

i currently have the original avid elixir 1 hydraulic brakes that came with the bike (i bought it used 2+years ago)

the brakes are pretty erratic in terms of requiring frequent bleeding, etc...and they've been pretty mushy lately, and i have no interest in doing the bleed yet again...

any suggestions / recommendations? i'm not looking to brake the bank (see what i did there?), but would be willing to spend around $250 give or take for new levers, calipers & cables...i think my rotors are fine (not really sure what i would check to confirm that tbh)...

thanks in advance!

joe c
 

qclabrat

Well-Known Member
#5
XT and SLX have worked well for where I ride, but will likely be switching the enduro to something with 4 pistons

did they figure out the problem with the Guide levers? I was looking at them, but want to stick with the same brands for easier maintenance
 

pygmypony

Well-Known Member
#8
XT and SLX have worked well for where I ride, but will likely be switching the enduro to something with 4 pistons

did they figure out the problem with the Guide levers? I was looking at them, but want to stick with the same brands for easier maintenance
i guess 4 pistons are better than 2? just more power or are there other advantages?...thanks!
 

Ryan.P

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#9
did they figure out the problem with the Guide levers? I was looking at them, but want to stick with the same brands for easier maintenance
The master rebuild kits seem to do the trick and are pretty easy to install . On the plus side you can find sram level and guide takeoffs dirt cheap cause peeps be scared . My last build I found on eBay mid range level brakes complete for under 100 bucks .
 

qclabrat

Well-Known Member
#11
2 of 6 SRAM Guide levers had that issue after 2 years flawless service - replaced internals: http://www.jensonusa.com/SRAM-Guide-RS-Lever-Internals-Parts-Kit/ - they are good again
The master rebuild kits seem to do the trick and are pretty easy to install . On the plus side you can find sram level and guide takeoffs dirt cheap cause peeps be scared . My last build I found on eBay mid range level brakes complete for under 100 bucks .
is the failure gradual or catastrophic? don't want to find out at the wrong time if the latter
But interested, will check them out

Ryan, what brakes would you recommend for DH which wont break the budget?
 

pygmypony

Well-Known Member
#16
I think unless you are DHing 2 piston is fine. If you need more stopping power, a bigger rotor makes a big difference and is usually a cheaper option.
i'm definitely not downhilling (unless this segment counts?)...sounds like the XT might be a really solid option in terms of price / performance, based upon what i most often ride...

one more question...

how can i tell if my rotors are compatible? or is it best to swap rotors at the same time?

thanks again!

jc
 

jackx

Well-Known Member
#17
Hope - all day.
Tech 3 X2
seconded.
X2 is 2 piston (for XC)
E4 is 4 pot (for Enduro).

Hope use DOT 5.1 brake fluid, not mineral oil like Shimano. Not sure if brake fluid type is a concern or consideration for you.
Hope are WAY easier to bleed than Avid Elixir 5, per my experience.

Hope and Avid have great modulation, whereas my understanding is that some people say XT (or maybe all Shimano) is either on or off light a light switch, with minimal in between. Maybe its just what you get accustomed to. I rode a demo bike with Shimano and just had to get used to the braking.
 

jShort

El gran perdedor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#18
i'm definitely not downhilling (unless this segmentcounts?)...sounds like the XT might be a really solid option in terms of price / performance, based upon what i most often ride...

one more question...

how can i tell if my rotors are compatible? or is it best to swap rotors at the same time?

thanks again!

jc

You need to make sure you have the right size caliper adapter. That will make it line up properly with the rotor.
 

pygmypony

Well-Known Member
#19
seconded.
X2 is 2 piston (for XC)
E4 is 4 pot (for Enduro).

Hope use DOT 5.1 brake fluid, not mineral oil like Shimano. Not sure if brake fluid type is a concern or consideration for you.
Hope are WAY easier to bleed than Avid Elixir 5, per my experience.

Hope and Avid have great modulation, whereas my understanding is that some people say XT (or maybe all Shimano) is either on or off light a light switch, with minimal in between. Maybe its just what you get accustomed to. I rode a demo bike with Shimano and just had to get used to the braking.
a little pricey...$185 x 2 = $370, plus maybe another $100 for rotors...getting into N+1 territory!
http://www.jensonusa.com/Hope-Tech-3-X2-Disc-Brake/

also, i hadn't even thought of brake fluid type as a consideration...i had no idea that was even a thing...a quick google search turned up this article which is seems pretty detailed...looks like the main downside of mineral oil is the cost, and the potential for water pooling in the caliper...