Your thoughts on SRAM's new DB 8 brakes

longpete

New Member
Jun 14, 2023
12
6
world
@longpete thanks for sharing your feedback on the DB8.

From everyone's comments so far, it seems that these new sram brakes would be ok for moderate riding styles, may be beginner level, trail or gravel use, but would be insufficient for demanding or more advanced MTB or DH use.
I think a 20.3 or 22 rotor would make a difference in power and heat resistance. But at home I prefer 18 rotors. 20.3 and 22 bend fast, so have to true them after a few rides. 18 stays straight. I will also change the Sram rotors for magura MDRP (good price)or Brake stuff(expensive but work very well with organic pads because they have so many small holes).
 
I will also change the Sram rotors for magura MDRP (good price)...
I've been using magura MDR-P (220mm F/R). Very good floating rotor IMO, 2mm thick. Braking power (with MTX Red Label Race pads) has been second to none.

On a side note, I didn't experience the "loose" floating rotor issue that some people have reported with MDR-P's.
 

Winryn

Active member
Nov 10, 2019
135
190
Shropshire
Well I was ready to swap these as soon as my bike arrived but they are absolutely superb. Loads of power, much more modulation than my shimanos, no noise, no issues with glazing, blown away. For reference my previous e-bikes have had 4 pot xt's and Shimano mt520 4 pots. Also ran Saints in the past. Ran them all with genuine Shimano resin and sintered pads. Levers don't look amazing but great brakes
 

Dax

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 25, 2018
1,564
1,936
FoD
I tried a pair of DB8s on a rental bike in the alps this week, I was quite impressed. They had plenty of power and excellent heat tolerance, my only complaint was they felt a little wooden, but that’s probably pad choice for rental bikes.

A ~100kg mate used a set for approximately 30,000ft of downhill in the last three days, with no overheating.

I don’t know if I would buy a set, they lacked initial bite compared to my saints (but everything lacks bite compared to saints) but definitely work and are very cheap.
 

Healy

Active member
Oct 4, 2020
337
239
Forest of dean
Just give them a honest try. If they work for you they work. I’m carrying a bit of timber and probably used the excuse that they were bad to justify nee brakes for e-bike, then put ebike brakes on the manual
 

Definitely not coming to the right place if you're looking for unbiased, objective reviews! ;) We all have our subjective opinions... But let's count the votes we have so far:


So here you have it! From the feedback so far, most folks like the DB8 brakes!.:cool:

[Updated per additional feedback from forum members]
 
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tomato paste

Active member
Mar 18, 2019
220
142
Germany
Lots of riders here think brakes are junk if they aren’t an on/off switch. Codes (when bled properly) have a lot more modulation than shimano, so riders think they’re not as powerful. It’s what you’re used to/what you prefer. I used to sit in the shimano camp, but 5 years of abusing codes has made me appreciate modulation. Can’t comment on the new brakes thou.




RSCs are the one brake I will never run, after a mate had sudden complete brake failure halfway down a bike park in Italy. The free stroke adjuster had vibrated round and disconnected the lever from the master cylinder, so absolutely nothing happened when you pulled the lever. Code Rs are very reliable and have decent power if they’re bled well, but most aren’t.
Modulation just means low power brakes. That's what I've learned now, having read on forums people discussing it, that's how I would describe it. Something like: "Here's a car that is more difficult to stop quickly".

I wouldn't take the DB8 on anything other than a city bike because they require more applied force to stop and I cannot wait to get them off my bike. :mad:
 

Winryn

Active member
Nov 10, 2019
135
190
Shropshire
Modulation just means low power brakes. That's what I've learned now, having read on forums people discussing it, that's how I would describe it. Something like: "Here's a car that is more difficult to stop quickly".

I wouldn't take the DB8 on anything other than a city bike because they require more applied force to stop and I cannot wait to get them off my bike. :mad:
I’ve Always read take user reviews and forum opinions with a pinch of salt but comments such as this have really cemented that fact for me 😂
 

Dax

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 25, 2018
1,564
1,936
FoD
Modulation just means low power brakes. That's what I've learned now, having read on forums people discussing it, that's how I would describe it. Something like: "Here's a car that is more difficult to stop quickly".

I disagree. Modulation is how gently the brakes apply between you first pulling the lever and the wheel locking. As long as the wheel locks before the lever hits the bar, they are powerful enough for you, then it’s a case of tuning for feel and heat tolerance.

I don’t think anyone would argue that hope tech 4 v4’s are low powered brakes, yet they have great modulation.

Suggest you buy saints.
 

longpete

New Member
Jun 14, 2023
12
6
world
Modulation for me : the further the lever is pulled the more power comes. No modulation: you just have to pull the lever harder with more force but the lever is not really moving, just pulled harder. Dosing is very difficult. I have big hands and like two finger levers. DB8 has modulation, al lthe magura's have (prefer MT5 but also ride MT4 and MT7 and even the Louise Fr is stil a nice break). Also have XT, sometimes unpredictable. Winter breaks : the price of shimano brake pads is very good. DB8 : was going to replace them with mt5(had an extra pair lying around) but decided to keep them. Curious about the rotors longevity. Sram's weak point. If they don't come wit the bike (so you have to pay for them) SLX and certainly MT5 are a better choice in my opinion. Don't know the price point of Magura in the US. In Europe set MT5+180 mdr rotors+adaptors les than 150 EUR.
 

For me, braking modulation is a must-have when selecting a brake system. I want be able to gradually and precisely control the clamping force on the rotor (before wheel lockup) depending on the force I apply to the levers.

In my opinion, modulation is about progressive braking behavior. No modulation is more like an on/off switch.

I personnaly use Magura's MT5 caliper and lever with MDR-P rotors. Getting good modulation with these, and no surprise OTB! :LOL:o_O
 

RickBullotta

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Jun 5, 2019
1,824
1,556
USA
For me, braking modulation is a must-have when selecting a brake system. I want be able to gradually and precisely control the clamping force on the rotor (before wheel lockup) depending on the force I apply to the levers.

In my opinion, modulation is about progressive braking behavior. No modulation is more like an on/off switch.

I personnaly use Magura's MT5 caliper and lever with MDR-P rotors. Getting good modulation with these, and no surprise OTB! :LOL:o_O

The "M" in Magura is for modulation!
 
Here's another short review of the DB8 brakes with a comparison to the Code. Their modulation is emphasized in the vid.


I'm having a difficult time to understand the mixed feedback and strong feelings about these brakes. Some seem to like them a lot, some seem to hate them!

Is there an issue with inconsistent quality, not using adequate rotors or pads (for the type of bike or riding style), other concerns? 🤷‍♀️ 🤷‍♂️
 
Curious about which manufacturers opt to fit these new DB8 brakes on some of their ebike models, I've been updating a non-exhaustive list in this post:
 
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Dax

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 25, 2018
1,564
1,936
FoD
I'm having a difficult time to understand the mixed feedback and strong feelings about these brakes. Some seem to like them a lot, some seem to hate them!

Some people just have to upgrade stuff, because standard parts are terrible, some people expect their brakes to be an on/off switch. There may also be issues with inconsistent factory bleeds, which SRAM have suffered from (I have SRAM code Rs on both my e-bikes, one set are 5yo and have never been bled but feel amazing, the other have almost pulled to the bar from new last year and inspire me to take to the internet for a rant and a set of XTs).

My data point on the DB8s is watching a 15stone mate do three hard days around Les Gets, Chatel and Morzine on a rented patrol with those brakes, without overheating them (more than I can say for the code rsc and code r’s that other mates had, which both boiled a few days earlier). I only rode the DB8s down Crosets and they were fine with my skinny ass, lots of modulation and power, although they felt a little wooden in the initial bite.

I certainly wouldn’t rush out to replace a set if they were fitted to my next bike, but I wouldn’t go buy a set either.
 

Mario Antony

Active member
May 5, 2023
188
125
Portugal
Spoiler alert - I was suprised and like the DB8

Just an initial words, to clarify anyone:

POWER
Power for me, is being able to block the wheels from turning, when amd where I want. So for me power is that force that permits skids (front or rear) when I think about it.
Any GAP between , thought&action on the lever, and the actual blockage of the wheel will determined it's power.
The bigger the GAP, less power the brake has.

MODULATION
Modulation for me, is the sensitivity I have on the lever, allowing me to know where I am, and when I'll reache wheel blockage.
How much I need to wonder/guess, how close I'm to block the wheel, will determine the lack of modulation.

At this moment, I have Hope Tech3, Guide RCS and SLX 2 pot on other bikes.
I ride MTB for more than 35years, so used to have the cantivelers and even Ubrakes at the rear.
[Edit: I weight between 85 to 87kg, 1.81m height and ride agressively but not as fast as a Pro!
Bike weight around 25/26kg, and has 170f/160r - Enduro style bike & ride
I normally have 2 ride types:
#1 35/40km and 1500m/1700m
#2 50/60 and 1200/1500m
]

My ebike came with Db8, 220f&200r, and before arriving, was already thinking changing the Hopes or Guides, but wanted to give a go with new brakes, and being in warranty, etc...

After initial rides, I was suprised with the brakes. Really suprised!
Brake power is great, and woulnd't need to ask for more.
Modulation, I like it, althought I feel less modulation then Hope tech3, but is a little better than Guide. Lever is lighter on Db8 than Guide RCS.

What is the catch then?

Brake lever adjustment aren't tool free.
This ain't a problem for me, because brake lever maintains it's position and bite point throught the ride.

Disk rub - yes! And this can become annoying... But a subtil pump on the lever and it'll stop.

Would I buy then has aftermarket?
Yes, if I found at a stellar price, otherwise, no!
I've tried Deore 4pot, I really like those brakes at lower price point, so Shimano has raised the bar at entry level & price point, and sorry... but I don't feel the Db8 is in the same level as M6000 (4pot Deore)

Will I swap the db8?
Probably yes!
But it's not my priorities!
 
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barry162

New Member
Sep 17, 2023
4
6
Switzerland
This doesn't sound reassuring. Are the Sram DB8 not rated for eMTBs? You would think that bike manufacturers know better and would include brakes that are adequate for the bikes they are selling.
I bought the CANYON strive:eek:n underdog with DB8 brakes as I wanted my bike black not green. The first 3 rides the brakes worked ok but not good as you have to push very hard in order to get an acceptable brake performance. Yesterday I was the first time in the alps in Grindelwald and I had a horrible experience during a long down ride.... 1st you get spasms in fingers and arms when you have to squeeze the brakes. After 2/3 of the down ride my back brake lost completely the pressure and I was lucky that on the right side was only gras as I turned right with 50 Km/h and jumped off the bike... nothing haamppend to me beside some minor blessings... the brake pressure was completely soft for 1/2 hour and came back partially again. It is a brandnew bike with brandnew brakes. This brake is dangerous and not constrcuted for Enduro or Downhill EMTB.... I will exchange my DB 8 brakes against Shimano, Magura or Acura... need first to study the latest test. SRAM DB 8 is dangerous and you risk ur life with it.
 

Mario Antony

Active member
May 5, 2023
188
125
Portugal
I bought the CANYON strive:eek:n underdog with DB8 brakes as I wanted my bike black not green. The first 3 rides the brakes worked ok but not good as you have to push very hard in order to get an acceptable brake performance. Yesterday I was the first time in the alps in Grindelwald and I had a horrible experience during a long down ride.... 1st you get spasms in fingers and arms when you have to squeeze the brakes. After 2/3 of the down ride my back brake lost completely the pressure and I was lucky that on the right side was only gras as I turned right with 50 Km/h and jumped off the bike... nothing haamppend to me beside some minor blessings... the brake pressure was completely soft for 1/2 hour and came back partially again. It is a brandnew bike with brandnew brakes. This brake is dangerous and not constrcuted for Enduro or Downhill EMTB.... I will exchange my DB 8 brakes against Shimano, Magura or Acura... need first to study the latest test. SRAM DB 8 is dangerous and you risk ur life with it.
To balance such negative report, and because Internet attracts more negative comments than neutral/positive, I leave my comments from last 800km with this brakes on similar ebike:

The longest descent I've tried is around 1000m descent over 9,5km, and never had any problems with the brakes.
[Meaning "no problems", as: vague bite position, lack or changing locking power, lever pressure.
I do have a problem, and already comment on it, that is basically pad drag! It's really annoying!]


The only problem, is that rear brake pads have almost no meat left, and had to change front pads to rear brake and vice versa until the new sintered arrived. This was around 700km.

Until now, no bleed needed.
Lever hasn't move, besides the normal adjustment due to pad usage.
I live at low altitude (around 30m) and ride the ebike up to 1200m high. Highest altitude was around 1300m something
So no high altitude things (Over 2500m, when you really start to notice changes on everything).

From what you describe, it would be wise to have a bleed on both brakes, but I wouldn't bail out, and would just pump it until I had some pressure (so many times happen to me, on Shimanos old design...).

But I understand that if you don't have confidance, change is required!
 
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barry162

New Member
Sep 17, 2023
4
6
Switzerland
To balance such negative report, and because Internet attracts more negative comments than neutral/positive, I leave my comments from last 800km with this brakes on similar ebike:

The longest descent I've tried is around 1000m descent over 9,5km, and never had any problems with the brakes.
[Meaning "no problems", as: vague bite position, lack or changing locking power, lever pressure.
I do have a problem, and already comment on it, that is basically pad drag! It's really annoying!]


The only problem, is that rear brake pads have almost no meat left, and had to change front pads to rear brake and vice versa until the new sintered arrived. This was around 700km.

Until now, no bleed needed.
Lever hasn't move, besides the normal adjustment due to pad usage.
I live at low altitude (around 30m) and ride the ebike up to 1200m high. Highest altitude was around 1300m something
So no high altitude things (Over 2500m, when you really start to notice changes on everything).

From what you describe, it would be wise to have a bleed on both brakes, but I wouldn't bail out, and would just pump it until I had some pressure (so many times happen to me, on Shimanos old design...).

But I understand that if you don't have confidance, change is required!
Thank you for your comments. I am not biased pro or con for SRAM as I trusted Canyon that they are building a proper brake solution. I did not expect that DB8 is a high end performance brake as I am also not high speed downhiller... but I expected it works for longer downhills... yesrerday the downhill started at around 2200m altidude and it was a 1000m down ride... quite steep and deep. Today the brake discs are still coloured red from the heat. This brake is ok on a normal MTB... but on a Enduro bike and eMTB with its higher wait it is too weak... with 82kg I am not the heaviest driver. At the moment I am not trusting the DB8 on my bike.
 

Mario Antony

Active member
May 5, 2023
188
125
Portugal
Thank you for your comments. I am not biased pro or con for SRAM as I trusted Canyon that they are building a proper brake solution. I did not expect that DB8 is a high end performance brake as I am also not high speed downhiller... but I expected it works for longer downhills... yesrerday the downhill started at around 2200m altidude and it was a 1000m down ride... quite steep and deep. Today the brake discs are still coloured red from the heat. This brake is ok on a normal MTB... but on a Enduro bike and eMTB with its higher wait it is too weak... with 82kg I am not the heaviest driver. At the moment I am not trusting the DB8 on my bike.
I respect, but me being 87kg naked, and descending stuff as steap as you stated, if I was you, I'd revise and overhaul the brakes.
You might have a piston that is not fully rectracting, leading to pad/disk drag (somethimg I personally complain, but without any problems like you described), leading to higher temp/boiling the oil, and having what you stated.

Personally I haven't got any problems, being heavier and descending stuff that is steep (some parts are over 40° - yes... it's steep).
One thing that I missed, is that I haven't ride with rain or mud. It has been quite dry around here, except this weekend).

Hope you sort it out, but I would look into the brakes before swaping them.
But as I stated, better swap and have confidance, then thinking on the problem, rectrating your riding style
 
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