So what decent brakes would you pick ?

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  • So what decent brakes would you pick ?
  • callmetc

    love my hopes.

    but thinking of converting to caliper brakes as discs have no advantage over them.

    XT’s on two bikes are fine and Guides on another. Both makes are great.

    Cannot stand hope, always seem to go “off” after a few years and even rebleeds or services don’t seem to get them back.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago

    but thinking of converting to caliper brakes as discs have no advantage over them

    Now, that has to be a contentious statement.


    After having M785 xt brakes on one bike and m615 deore on the other I can safely say Deore 615 brakes are all I need.

    Ok neither are top line like xtr but I can’t tell the difference between the two and Slx is in the middle.

    I have XT on both my full sussers, and they have been ace, but I really fancy a pair of Zees.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I’m a formula fanboi, love my The Ones. They’re an older design but I don’t think they’ve been topped… The set that’s now in my fatbike, used to be in my scandal 29er xc bike, and before that they were in my 224 evo downhill bike- how many brakes can do all those jobs equally well?

    Been pretty impressed with recent Hopes and Avid Guides though, they’re catching up with my 2010 brakes 😉

    Premier Icon bigblackshed

    Hope E4

    What do I win?

    Premier Icon bramblesummer

    Hope, love them or hate them. Personally I’m a hope brake fan boy. Of the 5 bikes in the house, only one is not a hope setup. We have the full range from x2 to v4 and each is excellent. They do need a little more tlc than other brands, but if you do have a problem then parts are very easily available and they’re a doddle to strip and rebuild. There is also a lot to be said for supporting British industry.


    Nobeer – funnily enough just had new M8000 fitted to the XC bike and really impressed with them. They’ve a lot more modulation than XTs I had a while back.

    I know everyone says SLX are just as good but they are just too on/off for me. I like a lot of feel/modulation in my brakes.

    This bike was only built up beginning of Feb and I’ve had to bleed the brakes already today. Fluid in rear brake was black and cloudy and cannot get the pressure into that I’ve got on the front. That’s been my experience with shimano throughout. They’re good when just bled but it only lasts a 2-3 months and then they’re rubbish again. I want something that can be left for a whole summer at least.

    Northwind – Formula, no experience of them whatsoever. I’ll have a look at them.

    Avid Juicy 😈

    I got a pair of the ones about the same time as Northy – formula were selling them off cheap as chips on their site. They were ace, really brilliant brakes, so much bite. But they were hope prices without that deal, I wouldn’t have paid full price for them.

    I’m tempted to buy a new bike soon, but it comes with SRAM guides. They’ll be the first thing sold!.


    Might be worth trying them you know. Got a set of borrowed Guides on the bike today – really bloody good it turns out! I assume sticky pistons will turn up before too long though


    I’ve got a set of guide RSCs that came off the XC bike – noisy buggers but loads of bite and modulation. Grudgingly have to admit they’re rather good. Did think about sticking them on the mojo but just can’t bring myself to do it, can’t explain it as nought wrong with them.


    I had some Formula R1’s which were probably the best brakes I’ve ever owned by a slim margin, but I never had to bleed them and I have a pretty strong hatred of Dot Fluid, my XT are nearly as nice to use (they’re MUCH easier to modulate as the R1’s came on like deploying a parachute) and re easy to maintain, they got over all that variable bite point thing quiet quickly, Deores were just as good most of the time though, a little less power and probably not as good in extreme use, but they did 2 weeks in the Alps without going off.

    I liked my Hope V2s but the bulky Tech Levers were a pain and they lacked feel, if not power I could feel my face pulling off my skull using them on my DH bike!

    but thinking of converting to caliper brakes as discs have no advantage over them



    I’ve gotten thoroughly fed up with my XTR brakes inconsistency. It’s time for a change.

    These ones are the older XTRs with the orange bit but I have the M9020 on another bike and they’re only a bit better so thinking of going for something from another brand.

    Gut is that it’s Hopes but what would the hive recommend?

    Needs to be hard wearing and easy to bleed. I ride 4/5 times a week and regular long days and steep descents in which I like braking since I’m no riding goddess….

    Thanks for your help.

    Premier Icon colournoise

    After two sets of XTs I’ve gone to Zee.

    Won’t be switching back any time soon. Cheaper, barely any heavier, more power and better modulation thanks to the extra pistons.

    Hope E4s here. The may not be THE BEST BRAKES IN THE WORLD according to some, but they’re pretty chuffing outstanding. And they look nice so it’s a win win. Had Formulas before which were also very good and had Avids before that which I also had no problems with, but only ran them for a year so maybe I got out in time.


    Same as colournoise ^^^ except I stupidly presumed xtr would be the best so started with xtr trails, both brakes were replaced under warranty a few weeks apart (about 3 months in) after both failing at the master cylinder (piston stuck down lever wouldn’t return), I then had xt’s after selling my xtr’s but found them a bit too on off with little modulation before all the power was delivered. I really wanted some hope tech e4’s by this point but couldn’t afford them so I decided to try the zee’s, glad I did, they are brilliant.

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    Hope on both my bikes, wonderful and British to boot. OP my brakes get a lot of use too !

    Slx m675 have stood me well. Just got a new bike and put xt m8000 on them, felt inline with the slx, then I got them properly bled, liquid pushed from calipers to lever reservoir and back again and they are quality, so sharp..

    My mate swears by his hopes, but they are double the price of the m8000

    Premier Icon stevied

    I’m with NW on this.
    Had Hope, Shimano in the past but went for some Formula RO’s after trying my mates T1’s. Amazing brakes, just bled them after 3 years use (with no issues) and it’s sharpened them up again.
    Shimano just felt too bitey, Hope’s always needed a little ‘something’ doing to them.
    The Formula’s have really been fit and forget.

    My Hopes (Tech M4) have been fit and forget for 8 years, but not got a lot to compare them to apart from some Avid Juicy 5’s back in the day (awful brakes).

    New bike comes with Guides, so I’ll see how I get on with them and if I do change them, it will be for Hopes


    I really like Shimano brakes and were generally really lucky. My 785’s were a bit dodgy (always a bit spongey but loads of power) but the Saints, Zee’s and both sets of Deores (615’s) were great. I bought done cheap XTR trails from Merlin which felt great but needed lots of bleeding to resolve an inconsistent lever feel.

    My new DH bike has guides on them and I’m pretty impressed so far; the power is there but you need to pull harder than with my previous Shimano ones. So far pretty happy with them and I’ve just bought a set of RSC’s for my trail bike.

    Xtr trail here. Previously formula the ones which feel great but very narrow between the pads. No trouble with either and I don’t tend to look after.


    M785s – loads of power, never found them on/off but I’m 100kg so could be a factor, reliable and easy to bleed

    M8000s – avoid unless you get the levers with NK on the sticker. Apparently this is the batch that have been tested and won’t pump up. Scary that Shimano don’t test all their kit. When they work, awesome, power + control. If not, bite point is a gamble.

    Zees – early days, feel less ‘solid’ when using resin pads compared to metal pads in XTs but seem to have plenty of power. Would prefer metal pads + the tool free lever adjust, bite adjust, proper pad bolts not split pins but the latter points are more to do with working on them than riding.



    I’m a massive 2nd hand Formula The One fan boy 🙂
    Just changed my 2009 The Ones which I bought a few years ago at least 2nd hand and they had been lovely brakes. Loads of modulation and didnt require any maintenance except at the end where I think the seals had gone (proving too expensive to replace).
    Got some newer ones on my HT which are very powerful, but not as much modulation, and just bought some spotless/almost new condition The Ones for £85 to replace old ones! I also found some for a mate that were boxed with original stickers etc for £115!
    There are some incredible bargains out there for these brakes. Must be a lot of haters or people that dont get on with them. All the better for the bargain hunters 🙂

    Premier Icon Daffy

    I can’t be bothered reading everything above as the last time I posted on one of these I got slammed by the Shimano crowd.

    What I will say is what I’ve said before, I sold all of my XTRM988 and XTRM9020 trail brakes due to inconsistent performance, shrieking in all weathers and the need for constant pad and disc maintenance.

    I’ve since fitted Tech 3 E4 front and Tech 3 X2 rears to all of my bikes. They’re phenomenally good. Loads of modulation, proper BP adjustment (that screw on XTRs does naff all) and they’re lighter than XTRs too.

    The greatest compliment I can give them is that I don’t even think about them when riding the bike or removing it from the garage to use. They just work and each set, on each bike works the same. Flawless.

    The Tech 3s are also much easier to bleed than the old Tech 2s and the lever is much neater.

    Premier Icon colournoise

    jruk – Member
    proper pad bolts not split pins but the latter points are more to do with working on them than riding.

    If you can get hold of some spare bolts, the Zee callipers already have the right threading in them to replace the split pins.

    Tech 3 E4 or X2 depending on how much power you need. I have the four pot ones on both bikes, the older set (Race Evo M4) are almost 5 years old and still feel fantastic. They have tons of power but the joy is you can actually use them with proper control in slippery conditions.


    I’ve got M615 deores on one bike and M8000 XT’s on the other, they both stop the same.

    The XT’s look and feel a little nicer, being smaller and with the dimpled lever.


    @colournoise – just need to get around ordering some from SJS. They seem to stock all the random stuff!

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