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Best brake setup for 20"?


matt slegg
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You've got a bit more leeway with a 20" bike, so something cable pull like the BB5 or BB7 would be fine, or something like the MT4s or Hope Tech 3 Trial Zones. They'll all have plenty of power, and should all have some upgrade pad options like the Trialtech or Jitsie pads to help bring a bit more performance if you need it.

I've used BB7s on a mod before and didn't really have any complaints, although they do take a bit more maintenance to keep them in the sweet spot than hydraulic brakes do. It's not like they're hard to work on though, so it isn't much of a disqualifying feature.

EDIT: Forgot to say, but seem to remember that there aren't any IS to PM 160mm adaptors that'll work for the MT5 or MT7 brakes.

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23 minutes ago, matt slegg said:

Any experience of the Magura MT sport brakes?

NO!

I had some MT2s, which if rumour be true became the MT Sports, and they were a nightmare. A friend has just got some and they're the same. Really temperamental, and even when they're working they feel soooooo spongey, and I never feel like it can be trusted. Seen him loop out on it a bunch of times even with Jitsie pads.

Ideal world: 2x BB7 calipers, 2x SD7 levers, 2x Trialtech/Jitsie pads, 2x Linear Slic/SP51 cables. The cable is a huge deal on the rear - getting a cheap one leaves it feeling spongey.
Failing that, if you want hydraulics, Hope or Shimano. The old SLXs felt and worked amazing and were crazy cheap. Unsure since they all changed to the newer style though.

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54 minutes ago, aener said:

NO!

I had some MT2s, which if rumour be true became the MT Sports, and they were a nightmare. A friend has just got some and they're the same. Really temperamental, and even when they're working they feel soooooo spongey, and I never feel like it can be trusted. Seen him loop out on it a bunch of times even with Jitsie pads.

Ideal world: 2x BB7 calipers, 2x SD7 levers, 2x Trialtech/Jitsie pads, 2x Linear Slic/SP51 cables. The cable is a huge deal on the rear - getting a cheap one leaves it feeling spongey.
Failing that, if you want hydraulics, Hope or Shimano. The old SLXs felt and worked amazing and were crazy cheap. Unsure since they all changed to the newer style though.

Thanks man.

Does the cable outer make any difference?

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9 minutes ago, matt slegg said:

Thanks man.

Does the cable outer make any difference?

Yes - that's the main thing that makes a difference. The Slic and SP51 have different types of cable outers to the cheapo coil type. Very much stiffer and less compressable.
No idea if they use the same inner or not - it's the outer that makes the difference.

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Outer: SP51 - wants to be stiff under compression, which regular outers from Wilko's etc are not: https://www.tartybikes.co.uk/disc_brake_spares/shimano_sp51_outer_cable/c110p11637.html
Inner: Regular - doesn't matter too much as you're just trying to stretch steel: https://www.tartybikes.co.uk/disc_brake_spares/clarks_inner_brake_cable/c110p11671.html

Slics were always touted as being great for the same reasons - also smoothness of pulling through - but I never actually had one. SP51 cable outer transformed my BB7s lever feel completely.

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2 hours ago, aener said:

Outer: SP51 - wants to be stiff under compression, which regular outers from Wilko's etc are not: https://www.tartybikes.co.uk/disc_brake_spares/shimano_sp51_outer_cable/c110p11637.html
Inner: Regular - doesn't matter too much as you're just trying to stretch steel: https://www.tartybikes.co.uk/disc_brake_spares/clarks_inner_brake_cable/c110p11671.html

Slics were always touted as being great for the same reasons - also smoothness of pulling through - but I never actually had one. SP51 cable outer transformed my BB7s lever feel completely.

Thank you for explaining this. I understand now! 

Have you tried both the bb7 and bb5 caliper? I'm wondering if there's much difference?

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I've used BB5s and been impressed, but not had one on my own bike so don't know them intimately. I got lucky and got a BB7 with my first bike.

The extra adjustability is a nice feature but doesn't effect performance. The bigger pad surface area might be more noticeable, but I'm not too sure. Brakes aren't really my speciality. 

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I’ve run shimanos on my alias - I first off just had deores 160mm with ebc reds on rear and greens on a 180 front. Never slipped, very easy to setup and maintain and stiff levers. I then moved to XT twin pots with same size rotors. Loads and loads of power - if anything too much! Only mention is change the adapters as they bend and it snaps the calliper mount. Once you change them over you’ll be fine. I’m 13 and a half stone and never had an issue with power or the callipers once adapters changed. 

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