Quantcast

The REALLY best dh brakes in the world

csermonet

Monkey
Mar 5, 2010
940
122
Not really, not at all actually. I'm sure many of you remember/have seen/heard of the 8 piston atrocity that is the Gatorbrake. Any one ever actually seen them in real life? Or ridden them? Would love to hear someone share some real world experience. Any body think a caliper with more than 4 pistons will ever be relevant in dh? Share any other weird brakes you may have seen out there.

bremszange_8k_ohne_leitung.png

ZOMFG so sickkkk

Gatorbrake-dual-hydraulic-front-disc-brakes-carbon-rotors01-600x450.jpg

Dual 8 piston calipers, and carbon rotors. Carbon rotors obviously make up for the added weight of two ginourmous 8 piston calipers o_0
 
Last edited:

tabletop84

Monkey
Nov 12, 2011
893
15
A good brake is not all about raw power but feel. My codes with x0-levers had opwer but the feel was not consistent under heavy use. My shimanos are probably weaker but feel perfect.
 

csermonet

Monkey
Mar 5, 2010
940
122
i found my elixr(x0)/code combo to have basically the same power as my normal elixr caliper/lever assembly
I had some elixir's a few years ago on my dh bike, and hayes 9's before that. the elixir's were a huge upgrade, loved them and thought they were amazing. coming from the hayes 9's probably had alot to do with it though haha I found my elixir's to be a little outgunned on real resort style dh, but for my local trails they were fine. I think being 180lb's may be on the high side of being able to use elixir's for dh purposes. have formula the one's now, the power is awesome, much more powerful than the elixir's. But with very manageable control of that power, much like my elixir's. I have also rode my buddies bike around the parking lot once to test out his new style codes. the stopping power seemed to blow my formula's out of the water, but it felt like that power was hard to control.
 
May 25, 2006
62
0
Any body think a caliper with more than 4 pistons will ever be relevant in dh?
No one will ever take my Mono6s from me. Out of my cold, dead hands, perhaps... I should really buy a backup set. They feel so damn good.

That said, I'm mostly running dual piston Shimano brakes now. Feel pretty good, easy to work on, cheaper, and lighter. But my god, those Mono6s are heavenly.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
10,008
2,300
AK
Would only consider if they combined it with a V-brake, drum brake, regenerative braking, and speed-brakes.

People get all worked up about brakes every couple years. The finned pads are a neat idea, is it ground-breaking? Adjustable leverage? Not really. Brakes are simple hydraulic mechanical advantage, and there are some things that flat out don't work, like systems with no expansion capability, improperly weighted/designed calipers, some combos of brake materials, etc, but for the most part they are very simple systems. They all have the same basic design. They all bleed the same basic way. They all have similar rotor materials. Etc. About the neatest thing on the horizon/out there is the new brake from whatever company that has a replenishing design that doesn't change lever feel while braking. Cool, but probably not a significant improvement over anything else. Having two or four pistons can work. It's a balance of leverage and braking area. With flippin 8-piston brakes you are going to have to move a massive amount of fluid to move the pistons at the caliper, and something has got to give. Either it's going to have ridiculous tolerances and drag all the time, or have way too much lever throw and effort required. This 8 piston thing has been kind-of on the market for years. It's like flinging poo and seeing what sticks to the wall, rather than designing something like shimano or any other reputable company does (oh, wow, sandwitching pads inbetween TWO rotors is way too much, and water-cooled brakes are really not necessary).
 
Last edited:
May 25, 2006
62
0
i hear that. my DH04's have to be around 10 years old now and just flat out work. i couldn't imagine parting with them unless they happen to break in half...
Yeah, I lost my M4s (along with the bike they were on) and I really regret that. The raw aluminum was great, and the old levers (Mini or whatever they were called) were perfect for me. Treated myself to a pair of the bling Mono6s with the same style levers on the replacement bike. :D Around that time, I also remember seeing a picture of Gee Atherton doing a particularly stupid move on his Mono6 equipped bike and was totally blown away.
 

csermonet

Monkey
Mar 5, 2010
940
122
Would only consider if they combined it with a V-brake, drum brake, regenerative braking, and speed-brakes.

People get all worked up about brakes every couple years. The finned pads are a neat idea, is it ground-breaking? Adjustable leverage? Not really. Brakes are simple hydraulic mechanical advantage, and there are some things that flat out don't work, like systems with no expansion capability, improperly weighted/designed calipers, some combos of brake materials, etc, but for the most part they are very simple systems. They all have the same basic design. They all bleed the same basic way. They all have similar rotor materials. Etc. About the neatest thing on the horizon/out there is the new brake from whatever company that has a replenishing design that doesn't change lever feel while braking. Cool, but probably not a significant improvement over anything else. Having two or four pistons can work. It's a balance of leverage and braking area. With flippin 8-piston brakes you are going to have to move a massive amount of fluid to move the pistons at the caliper, and something has got to give. Either it's going to have ridiculous tolerances and drag all the time, or have way too much lever throw and effort required. This 8 piston thing has been kind-of on the market for years. It's like flinging poo and seeing what sticks to the wall, rather than designing something like shimano or any other reputable company does (oh, wow, sandwitching pads inbetween TWO rotors is way too much, and water-cooled brakes are really not necessary).
I recently facked up my piston seals on my Formula the One's. Got a little more acquainted with the inner workings of my brakes than I really cared to. They are surprisingly simple, from someone who has no knowledge about fluid dynamics, hydraulics, etc. I don't even know if that is the correct terminology for it haha I spoke to a Formula rep on the phone extensively and he explained exactly how they work, the master cylinder side, caliper side, etc etc Once I understood how the mechanics of them more clearly, I was able to therefore understand the bleed process better and get much better results in the end. I can see how all of the current systems would have to be similar in overall design. On such a lightweight application, and no sort of brake boosters like in a motorized application, there can only be so many ways to skin a cat effectively..if you will.

The idea of having 8 pistons is cool though, moar is better, right? Having 16 pistons on your bicycle brakes definitely makes your cock bigger. In all honesty though, 8 pistons on each caliper for a 40, even 50lb bicycle seems a bit overkill. I imagine 4 can generate much more stopping power than actually needed. Especially after experiencing the power of my 2 piston brakes I have now. Would be cool to see a major motorsports brake manufacturer to get involved. I mean Fox is a leading msport suspension manufacturer, Maxxis for tires, Renthal(much smaller scale) bits for motorcycles, lots of crossover companies Yet no real ones for brakes as far as I am aware. I would like to see Brembo step in the ring, they have the ability to make something good and the brand power to sell it. Would seem like a no-brainer? With rumors of Ohlins producing their own line of mountain bike dampers it appears more are catching on to the idea.
 
Last edited:
May 25, 2006
62
0
I would like to see Brembo step in the ring, they have the ability to make something good and the brand power to sell it. Would seem like a no-brainer?


Old news. ;) They first announced their entry to the mtb market in 2004/2005. Haven't heard much about them since...
 

tabletop84

Monkey
Nov 12, 2011
893
15
i found my elixr(x0)/code combo to have basically the same power as my normal elixr caliper/lever assembly
Sounds legit. My mates elixirs felt to have way more bite than the code combo. I had no issues with fading but still they felt ****ty.
 

Verskis

Monkey
May 14, 2010
458
8
Tampere, Finland
The "booster valve" is a neat idea, but I can't understand why they made the brake closed system. I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work with open system as well.
And the carbon fiber reinforced plastic at least looks very cheesy, anybody tested these brakes to be able to tell if the lever or lever body flexes when pressing the brakes?
 

tabletop84

Monkey
Nov 12, 2011
893
15
They didn't live up to the hype. Many quality issues and the power is medicore as far as I interpret the user-reviews.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
2,402
286
I really don't think having the biggest bore brake hose is something to brag about, yeah it will take longer to heat up but hot coolant in what is effectively an insulated tube is a bit silly, it will still have to radiate the heat through the slave cyl to cool back down.
 
Last edited:

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,786
447
Warsaw :/
Tried the most 8 piston option. They work like throwing out an anchor. For a while nothing happens and then you see the stem hitting your junk in a violent manner.
 

Tomasis

Monkey
Feb 26, 2003
681
0
Scotland
Formula Ro may be the choice as the best dh brake :D 210 euros for that sounds okay. First I checked T1, it costs like 10 euros less.
 

valve bouncer

Master Dildoist
Feb 11, 2002
7,791
36
Japan
i hear that. my DH04's have to be around 10 years old now and just flat out work. i couldn't imagine parting with them unless they happen to break in half...
Yep, just waiting for a seal kit from Old Blighty and my E4s are going to get a complete rebuild. Never attempted anything like this before but how hard can it be? I know, I know, never ask questions you may not like the answer to. Nevertheless, tally-ho!
 

RoboDonkey713

Monkey
Feb 24, 2011
679
462
Maine
The "booster valve" is a neat idea, but I can't understand why they made the brake closed system. I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work with open system as well.
And the carbon fiber reinforced plastic at least looks very cheesy, anybody tested these brakes to be able to tell if the lever or lever body flexes when pressing the brakes?
There was an interview with the guy that makes floating around the internet a while back. I believe it was closed to keep the weight down. I think the guy who invented these is 19 or 20.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,493
1,265
01776
i hear that. my DH04's have to be around 10 years old now and just flat out work. i couldn't imagine parting with them unless they happen to break in half...
dude, if you like your DH04s...you owe it to yourself to try virtually any modern brake. Every brake I have ever tried since has been better than my DH04s outside of the hope mono mini. Every brake. Avid, Shimano, Magura, Tektro mechanicals. Those were the worst brakes I've ever owned, and getting rid of them was the single best upgrade I've ever made to any of my bikes. I was instantaneously faster knowing I could stop when I needed to. I'd have three fingers on the lever by the end of a run at plattekill.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
22,880
2,488
In my pants
Would only consider if they combined it with a V-brake, drum brake, regenerative braking, and speed-brakes.
I could just stand on the side of a trail and throw sticks in your spokes instead.



Actually that would be a pretty fun drunk olympics game. Lay down about 50 feet of mattresses and see who gets the most distance. Sea Otter secondary events........I'm looking at you.
 
Last edited:

marshalolson

Turbo Monkey
May 25, 2006
1,463
119
i loved the moto6's too. but compared to modern brakes, they are a joke.

go ride some new SLX, XT, XTR TRAIL, or SAINT brakes and tell me that you would prefer a moto6 / dh04, gustav, alligator, whatever.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,786
447
Warsaw :/
i loved the moto6's too. but compared to modern brakes, they are a joke.

go ride some new SLX, XT, XTR TRAIL, or SAINT brakes and tell me that you would prefer a moto6 / dh04, gustav, alligator, whatever.
Gustav with the later lever design. They were awesome but heavy.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,493
1,265
01776
my gustavs were awful. zero modulation. Riding in the slick was a joke, you'd just lock both wheels and slide ahead. Maybe I was just used to four knuckling my hopes.
 

tartosuc

Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
202
0
montreal
my gustavs were awful. zero modulation. Riding in the slick was a joke, you'd just lock both wheels and slide ahead. Maybe I was just used to four knuckling my hopes.
my Gustav's were the ebst thing ever. I had them setup with shimano xt levers, smooth, great modulation and stopping power on demand

A friend distributer here in Quebec had a set of brembo when they first introduced them..retails was around 600$ per wheel! no **** they did not catch up!
 
Last edited:
May 25, 2006
62
0
i loved the moto6's too. but compared to modern brakes, they are a joke.

go ride some new SLX, XT, XTR TRAIL, or SAINT brakes and tell me that you would prefer a moto6 / dh04, gustav, alligator, whatever.
I've tried a lot of brakes and modern shimano is what I'll buy for cost and convenience. However, for straight up feel, my Mono6s are still my favourite brakes - hands down. The only reason they won't be on my new dh bike is because I want to try being a weight weenie.
 

csermonet

Monkey
Mar 5, 2010
940
122
I've tried a lot of brakes and modern shimano is what I'll buy for cost and convenience. However, for straight up feel, my Mono6s are still my favourite brakes - hands down. The only reason they won't be on my new dh bike is because I want to try being a weight weenie.
Never ridden any Shimano systems, new or old. Utilizing mineral oil could be nice. DOT fluid is some nasty stuff, I would feel much better about doing my living room brake bleeds with mineral oil haha Those mono6's look sweet! Never knew Hope made a 6 piston caliper. The current Hope 4 piston systems, are they on par with other top level brakes? If they perform as good as they look, I am envious.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
10,008
2,300
AK
my gustavs were awful. zero modulation. Riding in the slick was a joke, you'd just lock both wheels and slide ahead. Maybe I was just used to four knuckling my hopes.
Ok, I gotta ask. You couldn't get DH04s/M4s to work nor Gustavs? The gustavs stayed on top in terms of power AND modulation for years. They were just excesisvely heavy. I had both brakes, and the gustavs were great when working. Again, these aren't complicated systems. I can't think any modern bike would be "under-braked" with gustavs, just that they are heavier than most people usually want. This is classic "doing it wrong", although maybe you just got a bad batch or whatever. Lots and lots of people used those brakes with no problem over the years.

I'm all for the modern brakes from Shimano and others, but this is taking it to the extreme.
 
Last edited:

WestCoastHucker

Turbo Monkey
dude, if you like your DH04s...you owe it to yourself to try virtually any modern brake...
i've never been one for upgrade-itis. i even have a set of 13 year old 755 xt's on my big bike. i'm the kind of guy that just kills it on any bike regardless of geo, suspension setup, or whatever the kids are raving about these days. after almost 40 years of riding, i never make excuses, i adapt. even if i jumped on a bike i'd never seen before, it would take me about 30 seconds to not even notice anymore. not saying there aren't better products out there, but i guarantee i am equally as fast as most even with my 68 degree HA, 14"+ bb and "outdated" parts. anyone i ride with can easily attest to this...
 

no skid marks

Monkey
Jan 15, 2006
2,514
27
ACT Australia
i've never been one for upgrade-itis. i even have a set of 13 year old 755 xt's on my big bike. i'm the kind of guy that just kills it on any bike regardless of geo, suspension setup, or whatever the kids are raving about these days. after almost 40 years of riding, i never make excuses, i adapt. even if i jumped on a bike i'd never seen before, it would take me about 30 seconds to not even notice anymore. not saying there aren't better products out there, but i guarantee i am equally as fast as most even with my 68 degree HA, 14"+ bb and "outdated" parts. anyone i ride with can easily attest to this...
Good points. I have a couple of sets of Formula The Ones, and am really happy with them. But I've bought a couple of pairs of Juicy 7s in good condition lately for next to nothing, and like them better than the XTs I had in a few ways. Similar weight, feel much the same power and modulation wise, and the Juicys have pad contact adjust. Good bleed and good pads would make more difference between the two and many other brakes I think.
 
Last edited:

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,786
447
Warsaw :/
my gustavs were awful. zero modulation. Riding in the slick was a joke, you'd just lock both wheels and slide ahead. Maybe I was just used to four knuckling my hopes.
The crazy yellow ones were like that but when I switched to the later model the modulation was there. Yes it was a different feel and the throw was shorter but with a longer lever it felt very nice.