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Frankenbrakes and brake improvement discussion

PsyCro

Chimp
Apr 10, 2011
40
1
Been thinkin' for a while now to upgrade my old M665 SLX's.. just not enough power for real riding which is causing arm pump aaand makking for less control. I've had my eye on the Zee's for a while as well, but after reading various sources of similar information, i figured why not save some $$ aaand have problem free levers as well. So, i now have a Zee caliper and M665 lever up front, waiting for one more hose set to complete the rear. So far only parking lot testing, but with not yet bedded in pads i pretty easily get my back wheel off the ground whiiile sitting on the seat, and there isn't a hint of the grabiness i've felt on XT's or Saint's (older generation) on friends bikes.. power comes on nice and smooth.

For now thumbs up to this frankenbrake concoction!
 

Tim300wsm

sensitive teenager
Jul 18, 2015
66
17
Pennsylvania
I just got a set of magura mt7 for $250 directly from magura usa. I should have my new bike together in about 2 weeks and will report back. I have guide rsc on my other bike. I have had them for about a year and no complaints so far. Great power and lever feel from the guides ( I am 6'3" & 250 ) with no fading on my trail bike
 

maxyedor

<b>TOOL PRO</b>
Oct 20, 2005
3,218
359
In the bathroom, fighting a battle
I keep getting outbid on On their dysplay models on eBay. Some smoking deals, but then I forget to up my bid at the end.

Still procrastinating on new brakes while I spend millions of dollars of fork rebuilds, rear shocks, and cassettes, but I think my Louise lever mt5/7 caliper combo is going to be a winner. Rode my Yeti the other day and remembered just how much I loved those levers.
 

rscecil007

Chimp
Oct 18, 2007
48
7
I hadn't seen this mentioned yet (although I read through this whole thread over a week ago, so apologies if it has), but the new M8000 XT brakes are not the same as the M785 versions, in terms of feel. From what I've read, the servo wave has been changed a bit to offer more modulation. I can't find any documentation on this to understand specificaly what they did, except on the product specs listed at say Jenson, etc.

But I can tell you from experience, it's true. I've had a few sets of the XTR M988's and a few M785's over the years, so I'm very familiar with them and their on/off feel. I put the new XT M8000's on my Nomad, and at least to me, the difference is not subtle. The M8000's have a shit ton more modulation than the previous gen M988/M785's. FWIW all I run is sintered metal pads, so the type of pad has always stayed consistent.

My guess is this is also why you see so many of the EWS Shimano sponsored folks running Saint Calipers with the new XTR M9020 trail levers this year. They used to run the non-servo wave Race levers instead of the Saint/XTR Trail lever for more modulation in past years, but this year all I've seen is the Saint caliper/XTR 9020 combo. And after riding my new XT's, I can see why this would be a killer set up.

I'm very happy with mine so far, but that being said, they still pump up a bit on long extended downhills. Guess I need to do more work to get those air bubbles out of every nook and f*cking cranny.
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,738
843
Been on the new Formula RO-Racing for about a month now.
They're excellent.
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,738
843
you were on The One's previously, right? How much of an improvement are the R0's?
Mathematically they have 7% more power assuming both are used with the same lever.

In my case they're not, so you'd have to calculate lever geometry to be sure - but I think Formula kept the mechanical leverage pretty close to the same anyway. I'll measure them both sometime.

Just to keep this numerical, the weight difference is non-trivial. At a full 100g/end lighter than the Saint or T3V4 (200g saving over both ends) you could run a third complete RO-R brake and squeeze it with your foot or something. Formula are destroying the competition.
 

csermonet

Monkey
Mar 5, 2010
940
122
Mathematically they have 7% more power assuming both are used with the same lever.

In my case they're not, so you'd have to calculate lever geometry to be sure - but I think Formula kept the mechanical leverage pretty close to the same anyway. I'll measure them both sometime.

Just to keep this numerical, the weight difference is non-trivial. At a full 100g/end lighter than the Saint or T3V4 (200g saving over both ends) you could run a third complete RO-R brake and squeeze it with your foot or something. Formula are destroying the competition.

nice. i have been on t1's for a few years now and couldn't be happier. have been interested to try r0's, maybe one day
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,738
843
nice. i have been on t1's for a few years now and couldn't be happier. have been interested to try r0's, maybe one day
Yeah I ran my T1 for 5 years, I found them more consistent and reliable than other brands. Only bled them once every 1.5 years or so and they needed one caliper seal change after two full seasons in the swiss alps and BC respectively (back in 2012). They're still going strong on a friend's bike.

I think the power increase on the RO is noticeable, the other non-critical (but welcome) change is that the new racing lever has much nicer ergonomics, and the reach can be set much closer without modification. Snapped a pic of mine:



Also sorry my weight comment wasn't related to the T1 at all, just noticed that might have been confusing. They're only about 15g per end lighter than the T1 (already a very light brake). They've also got some super light new 203mm rotors (142g) that I grabbed a pair of, I wish they'd make a 220 version with the same level of optimisation.
 

csermonet

Monkey
Mar 5, 2010
940
122
Yeah I ran my T1 for 5 years, I found them more consistent and reliable than other brands. Only bled them once every 1.5 years or so and they needed one caliper seal change after two full seasons in the swiss alps and BC respectively (back in 2012). They're still going strong on a friend's bike..
They look very nice. I am currently about 1 year deep on my bleed without any ill effects so far. My trail bike has Oro Bianco's which leave much to be desired in terms of power(I weigh 190-195 with gear), I have been keeping my eye out for a nice set of used R0's to put on the downhill bike and relegate the T1's to trail bike duty. I never understood why so few people run/recommend Formula's. my experience has been nothing but good. I have been through a pair of pistons and caliper seals, but that was user error.
 

CraigS

Monkey
Oct 13, 2012
123
11
upstate ny (518)
I own a set of the ROs. Purchased them last year, so this has been my second season on them.

First year they performed perfect. Not a single issue, no rubbing and gobbs of power.

This year not so much. I cannot for the life of me get the rear brake to stop rubbing. I adjust it and center the caliper and then do a run, the rubbing comes back. Center it again and the same thing happens. Repeat, repeat , repeat.
VERY FRUSTRATING.
I have bled them and even cleaned and "lubed" he pistons.

The power is there, just excessive rubbing.

Will the new R1 levers make a difference with piston rollback?

Any other suggestions?
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,582
886
Seattle
My guess is this is also why you see so many of the EWS Shimano sponsored folks running Saint Calipers with the new XTR M9020 trail levers this year. They used to run the non-servo wave Race levers instead of the Saint/XTR Trail lever for more modulation in past years, but this year all I've seen is the Saint caliper/XTR 9020 combo. And after riding my new XT's, I can see why this would be a killer set up.
I have a set of 9020s on my Megatrail. I broke one of the levers off in a crash at Trans Cascadia, and the Shimano support guys there only had an 820 lever to replace it, so I ran with that. It definitely modulates less well than the 9020, but the lever feel was actually a little better. My 100% unconfirmed suspicion is that that has to do with the carbon lever blade on the 9020 flexing a little.
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,738
843
Will the new R1 levers make a difference with piston rollback? Any other suggestions?
Nope, levers will make zero difference to piston rollback. Replace the pistons and seals. Sounds to me like they are tired and lubing won't be the solution in that case. They sell all small parts and they are priced reasonably, the piston and seals usually come as a kit and the parts for one caliper are around $30 usually. Take your time (I'd rate this an advanced job, get a good mechanic who has done this job before if you aren't doing it yourself) and make sure you get all the air out afterwards, the new Avid pro bleed kit or similar makes this a very easy job. If you want to save money you can just get the seals but where there's a problem I'd buy both.

My only advice beyond that is to make sure the parts come fresh from a distributor, and if possible request batch dates. Minor running updates are often done on things like this and it's worth getting a fresh batch of replacements after confirming backwards compatibility.

Also depending on how old yours are, they improved rollback in 2013 or 2014 calipers. I have new ones so can't comment on the old ones.
 

csermonet

Monkey
Mar 5, 2010
940
122
the one thing to definitely be careful of should you decide to replace the pistons, make sure to push the new ones in squarely and with even pressure. it is fairly easy to crack/shatter the pistons if you aren't careful. its also easy to pinch the seal with the back edge of the piston so be weary of that as well
 

CraigS

Monkey
Oct 13, 2012
123
11
upstate ny (518)
Nope, levers will make zero difference to piston rollback. Replace the pistons and seals. Sounds to me like they are tired and lubing won't be the solution in that case. They sell all small parts and they are priced reasonably, the piston and seals usually come as a kit and the parts for one caliper are around $30 usually. Take your time (I'd rate this an advanced job, get a good mechanic who has done this job before if you aren't doing it yourself) and make sure you get all the air out afterwards, the new Avid pro bleed kit or similar makes this a very easy job. If you want to save money you can just get the seals but where there's a problem I'd buy both.

My only advice beyond that is to make sure the parts come fresh from a distributor, and if possible request batch dates. Minor running updates are often done on things like this and it's worth getting a fresh batch of replacements after confirming backwards compatibility.

Also depending on how old yours are, they improved rollback in 2013 or 2014 calipers. I have new ones so can't comment on the old ones.



Thanks Udi, sent you a message.
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,738
843
Thanks Udi, sent you a message.
You're lucky, apparently I posted detailed instructions on changing pistons/seals once already.

Take heed of the Avid pro bleed kit suggestion if you want the job to be easy. I also think it's worth checking you don't have the first-gen RO, later models saw rollback improvements. I am not sure of details but a call to your national Formula distributor or some research will tell you.

Formula distributors in EU, CAN, AU have responded fast to me and been well-stocked at reasonable prices. In the US I believe you can use their online store: http://store.formula-brake.com/spare_parts

I'm replying in public as this may benefit others.
 

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
14,851
3,257
behind you, don't wait up.
I used to own a pair of Formula teh One brakes. Worked amazing and tons of power, but the bleeding process was as painful as owning Avids. That was the only complaint I had.

DH and trails bikes have m820 Saints.
 

CraigS

Monkey
Oct 13, 2012
123
11
upstate ny (518)
Nope, levers will make zero difference to piston rollback. Replace the pistons and seals. Sounds to me like they are tired and lubing won't be the solution in that case. They sell all small parts and they are priced reasonably, the piston and seals usually come as a kit and the parts for one caliper are around $30 usually. Take your time (I'd rate this an advanced job, get a good mechanic who has done this job before if you aren't doing it yourself) and make sure you get all the air out afterwards, the new Avid pro bleed kit or similar makes this a very easy job. If you want to save money you can just get the seals but where there's a problem I'd buy both.

My only advice beyond that is to make sure the parts come fresh from a distributor, and if possible request batch dates. Minor running updates are often done on things like this and it's worth getting a fresh batch of replacements after confirming backwards compatibility.

Also depending on how old yours are, they improved rollback in 2013 or 2014 calipers. I have new ones so can't comment on the old ones.


Thank Udi !
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,036
1,049
01776
A question regarding brake hoses and compatibility. My Magura hose is too short. My Shimano XT hose is too long. Can I swap them, cutting the non-banjo end, inserting a new olive, and be on my way? They both use mineral oil. I THINK the shimano is 2.2 and the magura is 2.3mm ID. I have plenty of shimano olives/barbs.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
A question regarding brake hoses and compatibility. My Magura hose is too short. My Shimano XT hose is too long. Can I swap them, cutting the non-banjo end, inserting a new olive, and be on my way? They both use mineral oil. I THINK the shimano is 2.2 and the magura is 2.3mm ID. I have plenty of shimano olives/barbs.
The banjos are different - the ID of Magura's is smaller, I could not make a Magura caliper work with a Shimano hose/banjo. The only hose that I found to work with Magura MT calipers (MT8 and MTS) is unfortunately the genuine $50 Magura hose.
 

maxyedor

<b>TOOL PRO</b>
Oct 20, 2005
3,218
359
In the bathroom, fighting a battle
A question regarding brake hoses and compatibility. My Magura hose is too short. My Shimano XT hose is too long. Can I swap them, cutting the non-banjo end, inserting a new olive, and be on my way? They both use mineral oil. I THINK the shimano is 2.2 and the magura is 2.3mm ID. I have plenty of shimano olives/barbs.

You looking for a front or a rear line? How long does said line need to be?
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,036
1,049
01776
I would be looking for a front. I measured my current at 75cm, I need maybe 4cm more. My old line was 88, but it was a bit long. I think I'll be OK, it's not too bad after all. Maybe a bit pinner for me, but I think it'll work. I do need a barb and olive for the rear hose...has anybody used shimano?
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
I would be looking for a front. I measured my current at 75cm, I need maybe 4cm more. My old line was 88, but it was a bit long. I think I'll be OK, it's not too bad after all. Maybe a bit pinner for me, but I think it'll work. I do need a barb and olive for the rear hose...has anybody used shimano?
I have a barb and olive for Magura (from a Jagwire kit). When are we riding again? :pilot:
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,036
1,049
01776
Will those work? I thought you just said they wouldn't!

How about soon? Whenever the weather clears up. I got some 100% brisker gloves so my hands don't freeze in cold weather riding...but I'm not a fatbiker either.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
Will those work? I thought you just said they wouldn't!

How about soon? Whenever the weather clears up. I got some 100% brisker gloves so my hands don't freeze in cold weather riding...but I'm not a fatbiker either.
The olives and barbs for the lever end work fine, it's the banjo + alum/rubber o-rings for the caliper end that are IMHO poorly designed. I don't ride a fatbike either but night rides are pretty much the name of the game.
 

maxyedor

<b>TOOL PRO</b>
Oct 20, 2005
3,218
359
In the bathroom, fighting a battle
I would be looking for a front. I measured my current at 75cm, I need maybe 4cm more. My old line was 88, but it was a bit long. I think I'll be OK, it's not too bad after all. Maybe a bit pinner for me, but I think it'll work. I do need a barb and olive for the rear hose...has anybody used shimano?
Checked, I have like 5 Magura lines, but none have a banjo fitting, they're all straight fittings.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,036
1,049
01776
So it looks like Magura says I cannot combine the new one finger lever with reach adjust with my MT5 brakes, I have to use the tool adjust system, which makes no sense as an upgrade.

Therefore, it makes more sense to swap the levers from my MT5 with my levers from my XT 785 brakes to get an even lighter setup on my trail bike and more power from my DH bike. What do I need ot know before swapping?
 

hitar_potar

Monkey
Sep 23, 2011
155
6
Ruse, Bulgaria
Hello, guys, i've got a question: got a pair of Hayes Stroker Aces for years and they are still rocking hard, now on my girl's bike and she loves them. However, the levers have a lot of play now, the front one especially. I'm thinking about new complete upper assemblies (master cylinders, levers - all without hoses and calipers). However, there are no Stroker or Prime kits available or if i happen to find some, they cost as much as complete brakes. Since the Stroker uses DOT fluid, what are my chances with Avid Code/Sram XO/Sram Guide master cylinders and levers? Anyone have an idea abot this franken combo - Avid levers with hayes stroker ace calipers? :)
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,738
843
Hello, guys, i've got a question: got a pair of Hayes Stroker Aces for years and they are still rocking hard, now on my girl's bike and she loves them. However, the levers have a lot of play now, the front one especially. I'm thinking about new complete upper assemblies (master cylinders, levers - all without hoses and calipers). However, there are no Stroker or Prime kits available or if i happen to find some, they cost as much as complete brakes. Since the Stroker uses DOT fluid, what are my chances with Avid Code/Sram XO/Sram Guide master cylinders and levers? Anyone have an idea abot this franken combo - Avid levers with hayes stroker ace calipers? :)
It's unlikely to work - Avid uses fairly small MC pistons while Hayes tend to use larger ones, so the result of this combo would be a very long free-stroke before engagement (possibly hitting the grip). A more likely match would be with a Hope or Formula MC.

I think I have 2x new Prime Pro lever/MC assemblies here, PM if interested and I can check.
 

Mo(n)arch

Turbo Monkey
Dec 27, 2010
4,190
1,115
Italy/south Tyrol
So, since the Saint thread is telling me that pretty much everything from Magura, Sram and Shimano sucks nowadays, what about the new TRP Quadiem?
Vitalmtb seem to be happy with them.
Plenty of power and good modulation and it seems like they are very consistent.

http://www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Hydraulic-Disc-Brakes,11/TRP/Quadiem-G-Spec,18662#product-reviews/2742

What really stands out with the Quadiem brake is the consistency. Whether it’s the increased oil volume in the lever, or the placement of the timing ports and the materials used for the piston (probably all of the above), the fact is that we have so far not once been surprised by any kind of lever pump or any other kind of difference in feeling at the lever. Squeeze the blade, and the pads bite at exactly the same point each time. Hit a long descent, drag brake like mad, and it’s still the same at the bottom as it was when you started your run.

Has someone here real life experience on them?
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,036
1,049
01776
thanks for bumping this thread. I wanted to derail the magura conversation here to avoid damaging @hitar_potar's delicate sensibilities.

No time on the TRPs. I have HYRDs and they're just OK. That's all I can add to this conversation. I imagine that they'd be a good option with gwin on the team.
 

troy

Monkey
Dec 3, 2008
843
408
I will try mixing the shimano servo levers with the Magura Julie (28mm piston dia.) calipers this week, so stay tuned.
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,738
843
A buddy of mine rode the TRP and didn't sound impressed, I'll reserve judgement for when I ride them. Reading between the lines on the review gives me this though:
There is a bit of give in the lever itself, you can actually see it flexing on the bar a little bit, and the hoses appear to be on the softer side as well ... there were times initially when we were surprised by a lack of bite at around 2/3rds pressure on the lever
I'd just get Hope V4s for a reliable, high quality option. I am yet to hear from an unhappy owner, and even with the included stainless hoses the V4 is lighter than those TRP Quadiems. The pricing is reasonable these days.

For those without a budget, the best brake I've ridden to date is the Trickstuff Direttissima. The price is completely ridiculous though.

@troy I think the throw will be way too long, but let us know how it goes.