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Help me choose a new set of brakes please

Chaka PingChaka Ping Posts: 1,451
edited January 2008 in MTB buying advice
I'm trying to pick which brakes to spec for an as-yet-undecided new bike build (5"-6" travel trail bike).

For complicated reasons, I have to buy the components now - and my current options seem to be either...

1. Formula ORO K18s - heard great things about Formula, well-priced, love the all-black look - but only 160mm available for front.

2. 2007 XT - nice and cheap, learning to love the set on my Handjob. But only 160mm available front again.

3. 2008 XT - good reviews thus far, option for 180mm front - bit more pricey - look a bit clunky though.

4. Avid Juicy Carbons - My Juicy 7s perform excellently, but squeal like a stuck pig. Did this get fixed now?

And this brings me to another question: Do I need bigger rotors on the front for a longer travel bike, or will 160mm do me fine still?


  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    K24's 180(5)mm front and rear.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • I've got K24s and coped with the original 160mm rotors but wanted a bit more power. There's a marked difference with the 180mm I'm now using, either end locks with dangerous ease yet with loads of that elusive "feel". I'd strongly recommend them.

    With whatever you choose, I'd go for the largest disc size you can afford (always better to have power in reserve than be found wanting at some point).
  • SplasherSplasher Posts: 1,528
    The travel of your bike is relatively unimportant when choosing a rotor size. Where you ride and how heavy you are are more relevant.
    "Internet Forums - an amazing world where outright falsehoods become cyber-facts with a few witty key taps and a carefully placed emoticon."
  • I have the 2008 XT servowaves and they are great, I'm running 180mm up front 160mm rear and they have oodles of power and a nice lever feel, not sure what you mean about the clunky looks, I think they look cool as.
  • Chaka PingChaka Ping Posts: 1,451
    Budget is up to £200, but restricted to what Merlin stock - as I'm getting them as part of a bike build.

    Plan is to transfer to a long-ish travel trail bike for use in Scotland, Wales and other hilly places.

    I'm pretty light (12-13 stone) and ride pretty light (due to many years on a rigid bike).

    Might plump for new XT as part of a full gruppo, after your glowing testimonial Dave. I just meant they look quite industrial - but I'll always pick function over form.

    Thanks for your responses.

  • zero303zero303 Posts: 1,162
    I'm only 11st and I find a 180 rotor on the back overkill, not being much heavier you might find the same. I really, really noticed the benefits up front (to the point where i transitioned from two to one finger braking in my first ride) but with the rear one I just found myself locking the rear too much and laying off more, some riders might like this of course but I felt no benefit.
  • SplasherSplasher Posts: 1,528
    For someone of your weight and riding in the UK, 160 would be fine, so if you wanted to go Oro's that wouldn't be a problem. You could get Oros from Merlin for £130 a pair and if you wanted to take the bike to the big hills overseas, you could upgrade to 180 or 200mm rotors for the trip and still have change from your £200 (£50 gets you 2 rotors and the appropriate adapters from CRC).

    That said, as long as you can bleed brakes, XT are very good.
    "Internet Forums - an amazing world where outright falsehoods become cyber-facts with a few witty key taps and a carefully placed emoticon."
  • Mr_OrangeMr_Orange Posts: 198
    Ahhh, with that budget, it has to be XTR. You know it makes sense 8) 8)

    Only £199.95 at Merlin - go on, go on, go on, go on.

    Check my sig for a good picture of the levers, and not so good pic of the callipers and rotors.
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