Brakes

JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
edited 22 April in MTB beginners
I’ve just bought myself a second hand bike a Marin rocky rider 26”, that’s had a few upgrades but the brakes are a bit naff. And I don’t know lots about holes so thought I would ask for some advise.

The brakes now are Hayes x7 and about 6 years old the guy said. And just don’t have a lot of stopping power.

I was hoping that I could have some recommendations on what brakes to upgrade to and should I upgrade rotor size.
Hoping not to spend loads maybe around £100 to £150. Are second hand ones worth looking at?

Posts

  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 771
    Welcome to the forum.

    You have a few options. For £100-£150 you get yourself a sensible set, brand new or 2nd hand.

    To be fair, most `entry level` brakes are pretty good but a quick Google shows some good offers right now:

    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/shi ... prod148226

    You may as well fit new rotors as well. Don't worry too much about rotor size. 180F and 160R are pretty standard but hardly essential. I ran 160/160 for years with no issues.

    I have XT M8000 on one bike and SLX on another. Both work very well. There are other brands as well, not just Shimano.

    You can also buy 2nd hand. I sold a set of older XT brakes to my mate for £75 and he loves them.

    Have a look round and see what you can find.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
    Thanks for that, will have a look. I’ve been recommended the xt before as well as hope brakes but I think hope are a bit expensive unless I looked second hand.

    With rotors are any ok or should I choose Shimano xt rotors
    Also are bigger rotor better
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 771
    XT and Hope brakes are quite high spec and as lovely (and expensive) as they are, you probably don't need them.

    It does also depend on what sort of riding you want to do. For normal riding and XC, entry level brakes will suffice. If you want to ride downhill (DH) then some nicer brakes and bigger rotors might help but again not essential. I've ridden plenty of hilly places using standard brakes/rotors.

    SLX or standard Deore disk brakes are plenty good enough.

    As for rotors - it depends again how you intend to ride. Standard solid rotors will be fine - some people like to save a bit of weight or add colour and get some floating rotors. I have them on my bikes but don't really notice any improved braking performance. They just make the bike look nice.

    You can save money and get something like this:

    https://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-slx-20 ... isc-rotor/

    Ignore the reference to 203mm - it's the 160mm that you are looking at.

    You could add 180mm to the front but you'd also need an adaptor for your brake caliper and again, it would be a nice to have, but not essential.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • yonnyyonny Posts: 36
    Get on ebay mate. Lots of guys buy new higher end bikes and swap the brakeset out straight away for their fave top end brakes. You can therefore get a brand new high end brakeset for next to nothing. Sram Guide 4 pistons come up all the time for less than you want to spend. Decent brakes.

    What size rotors do you have on now? Upping rotor size, bleeding the system, and replacing pads can have a big impact on performance.
  • JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
    Thanks for all the advise, some one has offered me a set of old hope brakes and rotors for next to nothing, is it worth having them and just rebuilding them with new seals
  • yonnyyonny Posts: 36
    Jacktegla wrote:
    some one has offered me a set of old hope brakes

    Which ones?
  • JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
    Not sure which one going to try and have a look this weekend
  • yonnyyonny Posts: 36
    Good call. I don't think swapping 6 yr old brakes out for another set of old brakes is the one. Yes they'll be better but modern brakes are another level imo, even the cheaper options. You can get a lot of brake for 100-150 quid.
  • yonnyyonny Posts: 36
    Have a look at the Sram Guides - they're on sale @ most places as they're being replaced by the G2 series.
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 771
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,396
    Don't forget yonny's advice: "Upping rotor size, bleeding the system, and replacing pads can have a big impact on performance."

    The pads may not have been properly bedded in, they may be contaminated, there may be air in the system (do they get better if you pump the levers and then it fades again?)

    Instead of spending a load of cash, check out a few simple things first.
  • JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
    Don't forget yonny's advice: "Upping rotor size, bleeding the system, and replacing pads can have a big impact on performance."

    The pads may not have been properly bedded in, they may be contaminated, there may be air in the system (do they get better if you pump the levers and then it fades again?)

    Instead of spending a load of cash, check out a few simple things first.

    Some one recently recommended cleaning the pads with some light sanding and giving the rotors a clean but that didn’t do anything. I will give some different pads a go to see if it makes a difference.

    The lever stayed the same each time, it still has pressure but doesn’t clamp around the rotor slowing it down with a lot of pressure
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 771
    Plan A is try to `fix` current brakes.

    Clean rotors
    Check pistons (just check both are moving in and out freely - don't squeeze too hard without pads in or the pistons fall out or get stuck)
    News pads
    Bleed brakes (inc replace brake fluid i.e - put enough fluid through to replace old fluid) *check whether they take DOT or mineral oil.

    They might just need fresh fluid and/or have air/moisure in the pipework. New pads might help. The rotors could also be worn. My brakes weren't great and I tried everything until I checked the rotors - they were more worn than I realised. Fitting news ones made the brakes so much better.

    I get to a point with brakes that if after doing the above they still aren't right, I change them. I'm having an issue with one of my SLX brakes where the rear brake lever keeps going long on me. I have to almost pump it to get some pressure but it keeps going soft on me. I've bleed them twice (full and quick bleed) and no joy. Having read up on it, it seems that the piston seals in the lever may have either failed or trapped some air. I've got one more thing to try before I decide it's knackered. As Shimano don't do spares, I'll just get a new lever for £25 and be done with it. I didn't realise until I looked into it that the Shimano brakes are basically disposable once something fails inside (I'm happy to be corrected if spare parts can be sourced).

    Plan B

    Buy new bits.

    Who doesn't like an excuse to buy new kit? :D
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • yonnyyonny Posts: 36
    billycool wrote:
    I didn't realise until I looked into it that the Shimano brakes are basically disposable once something fails inside (I'm happy to be corrected if spare parts can be sourced).

    Yup, that's about right mate.

    To the OP: Bleeding should be first thing on your list with brakes that old - it should have a pretty big impact.
  • JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
    So if I was looking at buying brakes would Shimano secondhand not be a good option.

    Just been into a local bike shop and they had a look at the bike and said everything seems ok ish but the brakes need new pads on for £30 and then the rotors need cleaning up again but they don’t know if it will come up to being useable. And up to the standard I would like

    So as I don’t want to waste money should I put some new brakes on and get on with it or try the £30 and see if it works.
  • JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
    If it is the new brake option I know theirs

    Shimano slx and Deore range

    But don’t know about sram
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 771
    edited 18 April
    Can't you fit the new pads yourself? £30 is a bit steep. If that fixes it then great. If not, then they need bleeding.

    If that doesn't fix it then consider new brakes?

    As for 2nd hand brakes - my SLX are about 4 years old, so a bit disappointing to have an issue. The older XT brakes (6 years old) that I sold are still going strong and not been touched in 12 months by the current owner. It's a bit of a lottery.

    As has been suggested before - look for people selling brakes on eBay that have been taken off a new bike - they will be brand new but less £££'s. There are quite a few deals on at the moment on-line as well.

    I know SRAM do some service kits but not sure for which brakes. Hope are very good but cost a fair amount but can be bought 2nd hand and are very serviceable.

    I'm happy with Shimano as they work well, easy to bleed and if I have to swap something out every so often, I can live with that.

    Go through things in order - see if the exsting brakes work okay and go from there.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • yonnyyonny Posts: 36
    Jacktegla wrote:
    So if I was looking at buying brakes would Shimano secondhand not be a good option.

    Probably not mate.

    New pads are 5-10 quid max for top quality ones, 30 quid is just not right.

    All modern brakes are decent but they tend to deliver power differently.
    Shimano tend to have great power but poor modulation i.e. they feel either fully on or completely off.
    Sram slightly less power (but still plenty) with much better modulation i.e. as you apply the brake the power comes on smoothly; the harder you pull, the more power you feel.
    But there's loads of other options; Formula, Magura, Hope, TRP etc....

    Have a read of this, it'll give you an idea of what to look for in new brakes:

    https://enduro-mtb.com/en/best-mtb-disc-brake-can-buy/
  • JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
    I’ve had a look on the internet now for the pads and their much cheaper :D

    Ones from Evans cycles sintered pads 4.99 a per brake. Much cheaper than the local bike shop and can fit myself still unsure but might give it a go

    Also if I were to change the brakes should I change to rotors for new ones and also should I increase the size to some thing like 180/180. I don’t know.

    At the moment It’s on 180 front and 160 back
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,376
    Get a pair of THESE and you'll be sorted. It will save a lot of time and hassle messing about with the brakes you currently have.
    I have just fitted a set to a hard tail I have built up for a mate and they are excellent.

    180mm front and 160mm rear is fine. Clean the rotors with IPA, fit the new brakes and enjoy riding your bike.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
    JBA wrote:
    Get a pair of THESE and you'll be sorted. It will save a lot of time and hassle messing about with the brakes you currently have.
    I have just fitted a set to a hard tail I have built up for a mate and they are excellent.

    180mm front and 160mm rear is fine. Clean the rotors with IPA, fit the new brakes and enjoy riding your bike.

    Is there any difference between the Deore and SLX

    also if my rotors we’re glazed over when I started this project (have buffed them up now) would it be better to swap for new, instead of using them or not.
  • JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
    Are their any advantages of upgrading the size of the rotors
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,376
    SLX have a knob to adjust the reach but you need an allen key for the Deores. Make sure you bed the pads in properly if you get new brakes or replace the pads in your current brakes.

    Larger discs provide more braking power but you should be fine with 180F/160R unless you are doing proper downhill riding.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • JackteglaJacktegla Posts: 14
    So I’ve gone ahead and I’ve ordered a set of Shimano slx with 180mm Rotors for the front and 160 for the back.
    I think this is the best option in the end, who doesn’t love new parts any way :D:D
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 771
    Those are good brakes and should serve you well.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
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