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Improving the “feel” and modulation of brakes

GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
edited February 2015 in MTB workshop & tech
A bit of background. I had a very quick ride on someone else’s bike the other day, it was equipped with two-piston (as distinct from four – I don’t know the model) Hope brake calipers, regular black hoses and what appeared to be 180 front/160 rear floating rotors. I couldn’t see any difference in ultimate stopping power compared to the 596 Deores on my own bike, but the difference in feel was remarkable. The impression I got was that there was a lot more gradation between all and nothing, that you could easily pick an exact amount of braking that you wanted to apply and not worry about being able to find it.

So the question is, how can I get that with my brakes? Could it be down to the choice of pads? I have standard out-of-the-box pads on mine, and forgot to ask what the other guy had. Is there some degree of adjustment where it’s possible to improve the feel of the brakes? There’s nothing wrong with the Deores, by the way – they stop perfectly well, don’t stick or squeal and the lever feels solid under full braking.
Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
XM-057 rigid 29er


  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    The OE Shimano Resin pads are not the best, replace the pads with almost any decent organic/sintered/Kevlar and try again, I trust your pads are fully bedded in?
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    The Rookie wrote:
    I trust your pads are fully bedded in?

    Very thoroughly - no squealing and plenty of power. Of the three options you've mentioned, which type of pad is likely to give the best feel? I had the impression (possibly wrong) that sintered were more of an all or nothing proposition, is that the case?
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • poahpoah Posts: 3,369
    2 pot shimano brakes are not the best for modulation which is what you are talking about here. only way to change it is by changing brakes. Its the reason I went from SLX to ZEE on the front.
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    Could also try changing to more /holey/wavey rotors, like the Hopes, which tend to adjust the pressure curve slightly so that the brakes feel less binary (off/on). Only down side is that a little more pressure is required to lock the wheel up.
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