Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
I'm going to need new ones for my Bottle Rocket soon. I'm currently on Deore hydros, which are actually pretty good brakes. They're just old and dying, plus I'm looking for some more power/ less weight. Neither of these should be too hard to achieve. I'm fairly picky about lever feel, and I like the way Shimanos feel. I like Formulas and Maggies too. Hate hate hate Juicys, and no experience with Hopes.

I'm considering:
-Formula The Ones
-Formula Biancos
-Hope M4s
-Magura Louises
-'08 XTs or XTRs

Thoughts? I'm a little worried that I won't like the lever feel on the newer Shimanos, since I like a fairly short lever throw, and I've heard reports of issues in cold weather. I have zero experience with Hopes, but they seem to be popular. Maguras seem to be a bit finicky, but when they're working, they're awesome. I rode a bike with Biancos this summer, and was very, very impressed. I'm not that interested in the K18s/ 24s, since I like the shape of the DH lever better. How do the Ones compare in lever feel to the Biancos?

FWIW, I weigh about 150, and ride mostly aggressive AM with this bike. It'll get taken DHing a few times too.


Turbo Monkey
Mar 6, 2004
The 909
I have the '08 XT levers mated to Saint calipers on my Blindside and love 'em so far. The lever throw is very short, and their adjustability is good too. Remember, the XT's have the servo wave stuff going on which helps with a short lever throw while keeping plenty of pad/rotor clearance, so they have a leg up on XTR's in the function department...just something to keep in mind should you go Shimano.