Looking for some user experiences with brakes..

Lee c

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
259
202
Uk
I've had all-sorts over the years. But more recently can run direct comparisons between the Shimano MT520's Zee's M8120's + Magura MT5's and MT7's. Ignoring all the 2 pots for obvious reasons, and ignoring anything SRAM - I'd rather use Clarks M2's 🤣.

The more basic Shimano stuff seems to have a more consistent lever feel, M520's have no right to be as good as they are, powerful and consistent. The other Shimano stuff all suffered with wandering bite points, the rear M8120 was particularly bad. But this has been cured by using GPR6 as brake fluid (have a search it's well documented). Mineral oil holds dissolved air, and turns to syrup at low temps. Use the GPR6 and warm it before you bleed, pull a vacuume on the syringe before bleeding etc etc....

The MT5's were superb but the rear lever never felt quite as firm or consistent as the front. The MT7's were on a DH bike that got hammered and they were hands down the best brakes I've ever owned. Ultimate power, endless modulation, and were consistent pad after pad over 4 years and multiple bleeds.


Wow that’s brilliant feedback mate, so if it was your money you would be going for the 7’s then ….?
 

militantmandy

Well-known member
Jan 18, 2022
399
369
Tweed Valley, Scotland
From my personal experience:

Code R - to the bin

Code RSC - Very, very good performance. It is totally possible to get a rock hard bite on RSCs, but only if you bleed regularly (maybe too regularly) and clean / lube the pistons. Feel and power is superb. and the adjustments actually do something. (Run on 2 bikes, both with HS2 220mm rotors)

TRP DH Evo - Really well made, very reliable and great power. Sharper than codes, not as sharp as Shimano. (Run with the thick TRP rotors @ 200mm)

Magura MT5 - Amazing power and very good modulation. Not as "premium" as other brakes. Lever a bit floppy, can get quite creaky etc. Generally very reliable but bleeding can be a pain and they are very sensitive to caliper alignment. That said, I've been using the same set for 3 years and they're going strong. (Run with 220mm Galfer rotors and standard giant levers)

Hope Tech 3 V4 - I've had very poor experience with these. Power felt totally inadequate, bleed process literally instructs you to spill dot fluid everywhere. They look nice though I guess. I have 3 friends with the new Hopes. Power is much, much better, but all three have constant issues with levers pulling to bars randomly.

If you want budget, I'd go Magura. If you want to spend some money, I would probably go TRP. I love the RSC, but they just feel like they need a bit much fiddling.
 

Lee c

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
259
202
Uk
From my personal experience:

Code R - to the bin

Code RSC - Very, very good performance. It is totally possible to get a rock hard bite on RSCs, but only if you bleed regularly (maybe too regularly) and clean / lube the pistons. Feel and power is superb. and the adjustments actually do something. (Run on 2 bikes, both with HS2 220mm rotors)


TRP DH Evo - Really well made, very reliable and great power. Sharper than codes, not as sharp as Shimano. (Run with the thick TRP rotors @ 200mm)

Magura MT5 - Amazing power and very good modulation. Not as "premium" as other brakes. Lever a bit floppy, can get quite creaky etc. Generally very reliable but bleeding can be a pain and they are very sensitive to caliper alignment. That said, I've been using the same set for 3 years and they're going strong. (Run with 220mm Galfer rotors and standard giant levers)

Hope Tech 3 V4 - I've had very poor experience with these. Power felt totally inadequate, bleed process literally instructs you to spill dot fluid everywhere. They look nice though I guess. I have 3 friends with the new Hopes. Power is much, much better, but all three have constant issues with levers pulling to bars randomly.

If you want budget, I'd go Magura. If you want to spend some money, I would probably go TRP. I love the RSC, but they just feel like they need a bit much fiddling.


Super feedback mate thank you very much , the Magura look super tempting I must say
 

Lee c

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
259
202
Uk
After doing a little online research I’m wondering what the difference is in performance between the latest slx brakes and the saints, apparently you get the same performance if you use the right brake pads … is this true form your experiences ?
 

Paulquattro

E*POWAH Elite
May 7, 2020
1,958
1,066
The Darkside
Personally, I find the saints great they are really powerful
But I've had good service out of SLX stuff in the past you won't go far wrong with either to be honest
and it can be as with so many things a very personally preference your wallet does also have a say.
 

Lee c

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
259
202
Uk
Personally, I find the saints great they are really powerful
But I've had good service out of SLX stuff in the past you won't go far wrong with either to be honest
and it can be as with so many things a very personally preference your wallet does also have a say.


Thanks very much guys, I was just thinking/hoping the slx maybe more available and at a cheaper price than the saints for the same power , probably better waiting for saints then
 

Bndit

Active member
Jul 14, 2022
166
207
Finland
I have SLX on Turbo and replaced core R's on Status with XT¨s and love them both, not so huge difference. Both running on Galfer rotors and also Galfer pads...on rear, don't remember what's front, not Shimano. Brake pads make big difference, Galfer purple are great.
 

Lee c

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
259
202
Uk
Ordered and on way, thanks for the help guys , I’m going to try and fit them with my current sram 220mm rotors and see if I can get lucky with the current calliper adapters on the focus sam2 for the codes I have a funny feeling them shimano compatible but they may only be for 203mm
 

Slapbassmunky

Active member
Aug 1, 2020
279
292
Isle of wight
Wow that’s brilliant feedback mate, so if it was your money you would be going for the 7’s then ….?
If money were no object absolutely, with the biggest mdr-p rotors that fit the bike 😁

But I'm a cheepskate, so if I wasn't worried about car park kudos I'd get the M520's - and the biggest mdr-p rotors that fit the bike. Bleed them with GPR6 2.5wt, fit EBC sintered pads (by far the best pads I've used). Then enjoy some really good stealth stoppers at a really good price.

FWIW I use XT 8120's, with a 220/200 mdr-p rotor setup, and the aforementioned pad and fluid combo. They've been faultless. But I swear the M520's are just as powerful.
 

irie

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
May 2, 2022
2,139
2,071
Chichester, W.Sussex, UK
.

FWIW I use XT 8120's, with a 220/200 mdr-p rotor setup, and the aforementioned pad and fluid combo. They've been faultless. But I swear the M520's are just as powerful.

I think 8120's and M520's are the same calipers but with different labelling?

I have M420 calipers which I suspect are the same as the M520's but with resin pistons rather than the ceramic in the M520's. Was thinking about upgrading to M520's but the M420's paired with M6100 levers work really well.
 

Lee c

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
259
202
Uk
If money were no object absolutely, with the biggest mdr-p rotors that fit the bike 😁

But I'm a cheepskate, so if I wasn't worried about car park kudos I'd get the M520's - and the biggest mdr-p rotors that fit the bike. Bleed them with GPR6 2.5wt, fit EBC sintered pads (by far the best pads I've used). Then enjoy some really good stealth stoppers at a really good price.

FWIW I use XT 8120's, with a 220/200 mdr-p rotor setup, and the aforementioned pad and fluid combo. They've been faultless. But I swear the M520's are just as powerful.


Thanks mate I’ll be doing the same with the gpr 6, I’ll definitely try those pads now too, not sure what the standard ones will be like
 

Jurassic

Active member
Subscriber
Jul 22, 2022
226
236
Helensburgh, Scotland.
Thanks mate I’ll be doing the same with the gpr 6, I’ll definitely try those pads now too, not sure what the standard ones will be like
Standard pads are very good but expensive to replace in my experience. I don't think the cooling fins make much difference with most riding I do but on the odd occasion riding really steep trails I've got the brakes super hot and I reckon if you lived somewhere with long descents (like the Alps) they might be worthwhile.
I've found Uberbike RaceMatrix work well and are relatively cheap. I've also read great things about Galfer pads as well but not tried them yet.
 

2WheelsNot4

E*POWAH Master
Oct 17, 2021
895
694
Scotland
Hope Tech 4 V4s as another option? Easy maintenance and bleeding. Really good modulation on the brakes. Replacement pads reasonably priced. Swapped out my Code R's for them and not looked back. Having said that I also really like the Shimano XTs I have on another bike. Both good powerful brakes, would say Hope has the better modulation.
This is what Im moving on to. Looking to get the new tech 4 levers to use with my existing tech 3 V4 calipers, on the 2.3mm HD rotors. I'm hearing good things about these levers, so anxious to get a pair in to give them a try.
 

Roundbadge

Member
Jan 9, 2022
50
49
Los Angeles
I have Magura MT 7’s w one finger levers on my turbo levo and TPR evo’s on my nomad 6
The Maguras could stop a truck,so powerful.fantastic on an ebike.
The TPR’s are a little more subtle ramp up modulation wise but great stopping power and never overheat
Both amazing
 

Charliep

Member
May 17, 2021
19
33
Greenisland
MT7 here upgraded from 220 SRAM R and the feel is in a different league with the Maguire and stops with 1 finger. I have have xt 202 on my heckler which is a lighter bike also very good very little in it

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Ché

Member
May 7, 2021
15
11
Hull
Hi all so basically I have code r and I’m looking to change , currently they are on my sam2 ebike and the stopping power is fine but I’m sick of the faff with sticky pistons and the lever losing a lot of feel as the pads wear down even slightly, so I’m looking at a change but you read horror stories of wandering bite point and shitty levers with shimano and magura, I was thinking about shimano zee or Magura mt5s.. what’s your experiences and recommendations?? Wandering bite points sound like a crash waiting to happen….
Hi Lee, I've had code R and XT but I've my new Saint are the dogs balls on my kenevo in opinion, but each to there own, but I highly recommended them.
 

Silent Drone

Member
Jan 23, 2022
73
78
Salt Lake City
From my personal experience:

Code R - to the bin

Code RSC - Very, very good performance. It is totally possible to get a rock hard bite on RSCs, but only if you bleed regularly (maybe too regularly) and clean / lube the pistons. Feel and power is superb. and the adjustments actually do something. (Run on 2 bikes, both with HS2 220mm rotors)

TRP DH Evo - Really well made, very reliable and great power. Sharper than codes, not as sharp as Shimano. (Run with the thick TRP rotors @ 200mm)

Magura MT5 - Amazing power and very good modulation. Not as "premium" as other brakes. Lever a bit floppy, can get quite creaky etc. Generally very reliable but bleeding can be a pain and they are very sensitive to caliper alignment. That said, I've been using the same set for 3 years and they're going strong. (Run with 220mm Galfer rotors and standard giant levers)

Hope Tech 3 V4 - I've had very poor experience with these. Power felt totally inadequate, bleed process literally instructs you to spill dot fluid everywhere. They look nice though I guess. I have 3 friends with the new Hopes. Power is much, much better, but all three have constant issues with levers pulling to bars randomly.

If you want budget, I'd go Magura. If you want to spend some money, I would probably go TRP. I love the RSC, but they just feel like they need a bit much fiddling.

I recently switched from code R to RSC and the difference is very noticeable. The R’s were okay, but the RSCs have a much better feel with a solid bite and great modulation, plus the adjustability is really nice. I’m running 220 F/R with organic pads.
 

JZA

New Member
Jul 12, 2022
8
1
Wanaka, New Zealand
Hi all so basically I have code r and I’m looking to change , currently they are on my sam2 ebike and the stopping power is fine but I’m sick of the faff with sticky pistons and the lever losing a lot of feel as the pads wear down even slightly, so I’m looking at a change but you read horror stories of wandering bite point and shitty levers with shimano and magura, I was thinking about shimano zee or Magura mt5s.. what’s your experiences and recommendations?? Wandering bite points sound like a crash waiting to happen….
Hi Lee, I have had the Magura MT7’s for about 3 years. I had them on my old bike and then moved them onto my new bike and they have seen a lot of use. I love them and I won’t be buying any other brakes. Once these wear out beyond repair I’ll just buy another set of MT7’s because they’re that good. Just be careful with the screws when attaching them to your handlebars because the lever body is made of a carbon fibre composite and you can strip the screws if you’re not careful. It’s easy to do it right, just use your head when installing them.

The MT5’s are almost identical to the MT7’s if I remember correctly. It’s just the contact point adjustment that’s different I.e. it’s not on the 5’s. I don’t think it’s necessary and it doesn’t work that well anyway so the MT5’s should be sweet.
 

Clustertoad

Member
May 13, 2021
14
11
Colorado
MT7 calipers and XT levers make my Turbo Levo stop with one finger. Storm 203 rotors all that's needed there - no need to go up to 220 for me. The SRAM Guides that came with it were not up to the task.
 

unclezz

Member
May 3, 2020
175
91
CZ
Just sharing my experience too.

I had on my recent bikes the following brakes:

- Shimano MT520 kit: excellent power. They are more than enough for average use. I honestly replaced them just to get experience in servicing the MTB, not for a real need. I would not do that again with another bike with same brakes.

- Sram Code RS: surprised by them on my TL. I was reading a lot of bad words about Sram Code (at least for the R version) and thought that would be my first upgrade on the TL. I don't think I am going to change them anytime soon. Also here: for average use is more than enough. Maybe for DH there is something better.

- Magura MT7: wow, what brakes! Amazing power! But honestly I am very unhappy because of the bleeding needs. Bleed is required pretty often, much more than on other brakes I owned. Strongly recommended to use one of the original Magura kits if you are just a passionate and your bleeding skills are not the same as a mechanic. I was using a Jagwire kit that was giving me a lot of headache. Now is better with one of the cheapest Magura bleeding kit
 

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