Two different brakes?

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Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 20:55 Quote
Hey all im new to this forum i started mtb earlier this year and just now signed up on this forum because i have so many questions and i want to get more serious into mtb haha, anyways my question is does anyone use two different type of brakes? like shimano xt for rear brake and idk a guide R for front brake? i was just wondering because i feel like my current front brake is fine but my back brake sucks i want to get the xt but ive done some google searching and havent found anyone saying they run two different brakes.

sorry if this question has already been asked.

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 22:26 Quote
I use two different brakes! My preferences for my Downhill bike are a Shimano Zee for the rear (Locks up easy when i need it to slide or stop me with little feathering) and a Hope V4 for the front (I use a hope here because they have alot of modulation and with that i am able to have a brake that feathers more than locking up which is a plus for a front brake) It takes a bit to get used to two different brake types but ultimately, it runs fine and they do their individual jobs really well. Socially people might get picky with it, but thats probably because they've never tried it! Hope this helps

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 22:26 Quote
The two brakes are isolated from each other, they are two different closed systems without any interaction, so you could do it.
I guess people do not do that because
- they often come as a pair
- the feel might be quite different from front to rear (lever feel)
- maintenance is more complicated (different pads, different fluids...)
- A clean look is associated with having the same brakes (and thus, levers)
- could require different discs

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 22:43 Quote
It's odd that you like the front but not the back. I would have thought the opposite as the front brake is usually the one that you notice if you don't get enough power from your brakes as it does more work and has higher forces. This is also why it is common to see a bigger front rotor than rear.
Can I ask what it is that you do not like about the rear brake and what you think the XT is going to give you?

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 22:51 Quote
Thank you for all the replies much appreciated!
I think I’m gonna try the XT on the rear first worse case scenario is I buy the front brake later.

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 22:53 Quote
reedholden wrote:
It's odd that you like the front but not the back. I would have thought the opposite as the front brake is usually the one that you notice if you don't get enough power from your brakes as it does more work and has higher forces. This is also why it is common to see a bigger front rotor than rear.
Can I ask what it is that you do not like about the rear brake and what you think the XT is going to give you?

The current brake that I have doesn’t feel like it stops much like there is no locking up power at all it just kinda slows me down and I had the xt brakes on my hardtail and really liked them but I did have front and rear so I wonder if it’ll be weird with just having the back brakes

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 22:57 Quote
By the way, maybe you could start by just bleeding it, see if it solves the issue.

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 22:58 Quote
Nothing wrong with mixed brakes. If we look outside of cycling, motorcycles have dramatically different brakes from front to rear: two calipers with up to six pistons apiece on the front and one small rotor with two pistons on the rear. Cars may even have entirely different types of brakes, with discs on the front and drums on the rear.

TibZ makes some good points about potential downsides. Another point: when purchasing replacement pads, you can find good pads at great prices via shops like Discobrakes.com and you'll get especially good deals if you buy four pairs at a time.

If you want different levels of power or "bite" on the front and rear, you can use different rotor sizes. Many people prefer more power on the front, so you'll often see 8" rotors on the front and 7" on the rear.

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 23:17 Quote
TibZ wrote:
By the way, maybe you could start by just bleeding it, see if it solves the issue.

Yeah I think I should actually try this before jumping into new brakes my current brakes by the way are Shimano mt200.

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 23:20 Quote
R-M-R wrote:
Nothing wrong with mixed brakes. If we look outside of cycling, motorcycles have dramatically different brakes from front to rear: two calipers with up to six pistons apiece on the front and one small rotor with two pistons on the rear. Cars may even have entirely different types of brakes, with discs on the front and drums on the rear.

TibZ makes some good points about potential downsides. Another point: when purchasing replacement pads, you can find good pads at great prices via shops like Discobrakes.com and you'll get especially good deals if you buy four pairs at a time.

If you want different levels of power or "bite" on the front and rear, you can use different rotor sizes. Many people prefer more power on the front, so you'll often see 8" rotors on the front and 7" on the rear.

Yeah! I actually will look into the larger rotor! I never thought of that! Mostly if that helps the “bite” which is basically what I’m looking for in addition to better braking overall

Posted: Nov 4, 2019 at 3:27 Quote
mtbchris94 wrote:
Hey all im new to this forum i started mtb earlier this year and just now signed up on this forum because i have so many questions and i want to get more serious into mtb haha, anyways my question is does anyone use two different type of brakes? like shimano xt for rear brake and idk a guide R for front brake? i was just wondering because i feel like my current front brake is fine but my back brake sucks i want to get the xt but ive done some google searching and havent found anyone saying they run two different brakes.
sorry if this question has already been asked.

You could mix brakes, but why do it? There are reasons already mentioned above, thats why rarely anyone does it...

Just buy 4-pot XT front and back with metallic pads and ice-tech rotors (180mm minimum, you can even go 200mm front) and sell current brakes if you are serious into MTB.
Brakes are VERY important in MTB because of terrain, so you must be absolutely sure in them. With i.e. non-working deraileur its inconvenience, with failing brakes going full speed down its not just inconvenience Big Grin

Posted: Nov 4, 2019 at 4:23 Quote
mtbchris94 wrote:
TibZ wrote:
By the way, maybe you could start by just bleeding it, see if it solves the issue.

Yeah I think I should actually try this before jumping into new brakes my current brakes by the way are Shimano mt200.

Making sure your brakes are functioning correctly should always be the first step. If you want to learn how to do your own brake maintenance the brakes you have now would be perfect to practice with.

With that being said the mt200s are reliable but don't have much stopping power. It was the first thing I upgraded when I bought a bike with those on it.

Posted: Nov 4, 2019 at 5:53 Quote
Stay away from Shimank brakes. They are total pieces of shit. In the last 3 months I’ve had two failed Slx rear calipers that leaked at the ceramic piston and smooged oil All over the pads and disc. I ordered an xt caliper and it spurts SHIMANO mineral oil out of the caliper casing where the two halves meet. I’m done with SHIMANO brakes. F’them. Don’t waste your money.

Of course I invested in a full bleed kit/block new hoses and big jug of mineral oil which I’m likely not going to use soon as I get these terribly incompetently built Calipers replaced with hopes or something better.

Posted: Nov 4, 2019 at 6:25 Quote
Ohiomtbwannab wrote:
Stay away from Shimank brakes. They are total pieces of shit. In the last 3 months I’ve had two failed Slx rear calipers that leaked at the ceramic piston and smooged oil All over the pads and disc. I ordered an xt caliper and it spurts SHIMANO mineral oil out of the caliper casing where the two halves meet. I’m done with SHIMANO brakes. F’them. Don’t waste your money.

Of course I invested in a full bleed kit/block new hoses and big jug of mineral oil which I’m likely not going to use soon as I get these terribly incompetently built Calipers replaced with hopes or something better.

I have had exactly zero issues with my XT M785 for over 2,300 miles. No leaking seals and only needing to be bled for pad replacement. This seems to be pretty typical for people with Shimano brakes and you don't need to deal with DOT brake fluid.

Posted: Nov 4, 2019 at 7:41 Quote
I know this is really bad but I have a set of the original XT brakes that I rode for 20 years, switched them onto many different bikes and never bled them once. They are on my single speed and still working perfectly. They don't get a ton of use anymore as after 20 years of relative poverty, I now make enough to upgrade my brakes - all of which have needed to be rebled many times Frown

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