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  • Upgrading my disc brakes.

     MiniMental updated 11 years, 4 months ago 8 Members · 29 Posts
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  • Steve Kish

    Member
    11 August 2009 at 7:28 pm

    I went out with my ol’ blokes today and whilst about 11 of them fell off (so-o-o-o funny …. sorry! 😳 ), I did notice that my brakes were slightly below my expectations and so I’m thinking about short-term upgrades, for which I wouldn’t mind a bit of help.

    Ground rule one – I’m sticking with cable-operated brakes for the moment. Yes, I know that hydraulics are sexier etc. but cables it is for the minute.

    I currently have a pair of standard Shimmy 160mm discs with ISO 6-bolt fitting and am looking to get a 180mm front and 203mm rear, with the required +20mm and +40mm adaptors. Back brake is important, as they seem to go down quite a few ‘steepies’ that need the rear wheel on a lock/unlock situation.

    So, anyone able to offer any advice as to how much this slight upgrading will help?

    Will these saw-shaped discs be an improvement or is it just a pose?

    My current SM-RT50 discs are for resin pads only, but I’m assured that these mean ‘non synterised or metallic’ – would organic be better?

    TIA

  • tomlevell

    Member
    11 August 2009 at 9:23 pm

    You want bigger discs at the front.

    If you can’t lock the rear with a 160mm rotor your brake is either rubbish or in need of attention.

    Locking the rear wheel does not slow you down although it can help with positioning sometimes. Steeps are tackled with far more front brake as all your weight is on it anyway. The back helps but doesn’t really do much slowing down in that instance. Big grippy front tyres are also ace.

    Personally I’d look at hydraulics but I’ve never used cable. Are your cables clean and operating nicely?

    Best thing you can probably do is clean the rotors with Isopropyl Alcohol or similar thinner that doesn’t leave a residue and put new pads in. Then break them in properly. 20 or so rapid decelerations from 20mph is a good way.

    180mm disc on the front would probably be a good upgrade. No need for bigger unless your slowing down from warp speed. Your frame probably can’t take a 200mm in the back and might struggle with a 180mm as a lot of hardtails only work with 160mm discs.

    I use sintered pads only because they last far better in wet conditions. Organic/Resin (not sure on any difference between them) pads are “better” but disappear rather rapidly in winter.

  • miggeth

    Member
    12 August 2009 at 12:46 am

    I wouldn’t even consider using anything other than hydraulic disc brakes ever again. I know had a tantrum with mine at first but they’ve saved me from a few accidents since then. One car cut across a junction as I was coming down the middle of the road turning right, I stopped within about 6 feet. I thanked my hydraulics that day.

  • Steve Kish

    Member
    12 August 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks guys.

    Your frame probably can’t take a 200mm in the back and might struggle with a 180mm as a lot of hardtails only work with 160mm discs. Tom, not sure what you mean by this – do you mean clearance between the disc and the seat/chainstays? There’s easily enough clearance there for a 180 or 203mm one.

    Yes, the brakes have new resin pads but as the discs are slightly warped, I’ll need to replace them soon, hence my initial posts as a short-term upgrade.

    Cables are 100% fine, new inners and outers a short while ago and really, as best that cables can be.

    Front tyre is an original Smoke Dart 2.1 HC, rear is a Smoke Lite 1.9 and I’m happy with both. It’s just that the pads seem to have glazed over and although I’m a big lad and have a strong grip, feels like they’re lubed up a bit, even though they contact surfaced have been cleaned with both meths and cellulose thinners.

    So, abandon the 203mm idea and go for a pair of these?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280381083680&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    -and these?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290335379314&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

  • tomlevell

    Member
    12 August 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Have you tried straightening the discs?

    Big adjustable on the warped bit and tweak it back to round. I’ve only ever replaced one which was snapped.

    Seriously DH bikes run with 180mm rotors on the back they are overkill for everything else.

    Yes bigger discs often foul on the chain/seat stay on hardtails.

    Front yes. Again 180 is more than enough.

  • tomlevell

    Member
    12 August 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Oh yes and try some new rubber.

    Smoke darts went out with the Ark ;0)

  • Steve Kish

    Member
    12 August 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Smoke darts went out with the Ark

    Best front I’ve ever used! 8)

    BTW, am now considering these:-

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260450064423&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    A high claim about rivalling hydraulics but seller has a good reputation – anyone heard of these?

  • SeanO

    Member
    12 August 2009 at 11:17 pm

    For that price I’d look for some 2nd hand Deore hydraulics. Usually £50-60 a pair on ebay. I’ve not had to rebleed mine in nearly 4 year!

  • badblood

    Member
    13 August 2009 at 8:20 am

    At that price you should seriously consider hydro discs, deores are pretty much fit and forget brakes. You will have better modulation, you will need less effort to pull them on, you will not have any cables to get contaminated/need cleaning and you may even have slightly more power.

  • tomlevell

    Member
    13 August 2009 at 10:59 am

    Best front I’ve ever used! Cool

    Says it all really :0)

    I’d echo the Deore ones. Last time I looked you could pick up a pair of new Deore brakes complete for about £110 from Chain Reaction.

    Magura Julie are a similar price too.

  • Steve Kish

    Member
    13 August 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Best front I’ve ever used! Cool

    OK, what’s the big ‘everyone uses it’ frontie these day? I’ve used WTB, Spesh, Cinders etc and not one is better than this old wired-on classic.

    Well, I give up – I ask for a bit of advice about discs and stipulate that I’m staying with cables and nearly all the replies are ‘get hydraulic’. 😕

  • badblood

    Member
    13 August 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Best front I’ve ever used! Cool

    OK, what’s the big ‘everyone uses it’ frontie these day? I’ve used WTB, Spesh, Cinders etc and not one is better than this old wired-on classic.

    Well, I give up – I ask for a bit of advice about discs and stipulate that I’m staying with cables and nearly all the replies are ‘get hydraulic’. 😕

    Doesn’t that tell you something?

    I run conti 2.2″ Mountain King Pro-tection. expensive but very good with the black chilli compound- apparantly the cheaper ones are crap. Or if you can get a pair of Conti Verticals -a also good tyres -even the cheap ones!

  • tomlevell

    Member
    13 August 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Up there I did say 180 on the front and leave a 160 on the back. If you can’t lock that up on the back your brakes aren’t working properly. It’s more when your talking about spending £50+ you might as well buy new brakes.

  • Steve Kish

    Member
    13 August 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Up there I did say 180 on the front and leave a 160 on the back.

    Based in this advice, I’ve bought a pair of these 160r/180f with new calipers, albeit cable ones. I’m assured that they will be better than my Deore cable ones.

    I’ve actually tried a Conti Gravity 2.3 and found it to be average. IMHO, Conti make great road tyres but …… ? Dart has NEVER let me down sideways – God only knows why they stopped making this. 😕

    Cheers for the advice, guys.

  • tomlevell

    Member
    13 August 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Oh I’ve just realized they are called Kooka. Didn’t realise someone was making stuff under that name again. No idea what they’ll be like. Nice big disc braking surface though.

    For normal riding I’m on Mountain King 2.4″ with the cheepy on the rear which is fine. It’d have been a cheepy on the front too but noone had any left locally and I needed it NOW :0)

    If/when your in the market for something have a look at Schwalbe. The ones I’ve ridden have been good. Racing Ralph should have been rubbish IMO looking at it but was superb. Currently running rather heavy and sticky Big Bettys which are slow slow slow due to the stickyness but flaming ace downhill or technical uphill.

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