What makes e-bike brakes, e-bike brakes?

PB Forum :: eMTB
What makes e-bike brakes, e-bike brakes?
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Posted: Jan 5, 2022 at 9:01 Quote
I'm keen to replace my avid brakes as they overheat and seize very, very easily.

My question is, what qualifies a brake to be 'designed for e-bikes'? Could I get away with any 4-pot brake with a decent sized rotor and hardy pads, or is there some other factor that I'm not aware of?

I get the feeling any brakes designed for this purpose will automatically be more expensive because they're eBiKe-SpEcIfIc...

Posted: Jan 5, 2022 at 10:27 Quote
The only ebike specific brakes I'm aware of are within the Magura line. Looking at those they just appear to be a bit beefier than their non e specific comparable model. If you are replacing with a quality 4 pot system and larger rotors you will be more than ok.

Look at what brakes are being used on the high end bikes in their top build kits and you will see they are simply using high end 4 pot systems but nothing branded for ebike specifically.

I recently did the "Shigura" mod with Shimano XT levers and Magura MT5 4 piston calipers and the results are fantastic highly recommend this option.

Posted: Jan 12, 2022 at 4:56 Quote
interesting- I was sure that my POS SRAM Guide REs were meant to be ebike specific.

I find they cook themselves and end up seizing far, far too easily. Plus the lever blade is horrible after being used to shimano for x number of years. And the lever adjust knob is finicky to use.

Overall just prefer shimano!

Posted: Jan 12, 2022 at 7:17 Quote
Nope you got it right, Guide REs are simply POS.

If you like Sram get Codes. Personally I've never liked any Sram brakes, but the Shimano 4pot lineup is excellent (slx, xt, xtr). Essential the same caliper, but you can pay more for more features at the lever and less weight. And yes, Shigura is IMO excellent (run them on my DH bike). Running larger rotors can help as well.

No such thing as ebike specific brakes, that just marketing.

Posted: Jan 12, 2022 at 11:11 Quote
I'm no e-biker, but some mechanic was telling me that e-bike brakes didn't stop when you were on the gas.

Posted: Jan 14, 2022 at 9:55 Quote
Not eMTB specific brakes but very good for our hill. Magura MT7 w/220 rotors f/r.
I found that the 4 pot Shimano brakes started to fade on the long decents and a few times failed completely. I even changed out the rotors but still they sucked.
Once I installed the Mt7’s and 220mm rotors, broke-in the pads, and rode to a higher elevation, I started a long decent. About 3/4 of the way down my levers felt spongy. When I got back to the garage I opened up the master cylinder screw (on both brake levers) and did a mini-bleed (installed funnel, a bit of royal blood, pumped the levers and a little shake of the bike).
Obviously there was some trapped air in the system which was released on the initial ride. Now they work great. I’ve installed several Mt7’s kits since(friends and family) and they always need a mini-bleed after the initial run. I’m on my 3rd set of pads so far and preform a mini-bleed each time. I haven’t had an issue with brake fade, spongy levers or failure. I’m not worried about stopping anymore.

Posted: Jan 19, 2022 at 23:39 Quote
Thanks for the advice folks.

While I can't ctually fault the performance of the SRAMs stopping power, the fact that they seize so easily is a real confidence killer.

I've always got on well with shimano brakes so will probs look into getting a pair of those- I've no recent experience of the maggies other than some julies I had back in the day (which were brilliant admittedly) but will look into those too. They seem pricy though.

Posted: Jan 26, 2022 at 17:02 Quote
As far as I know the only ebike specific brake parts that have been used by manufacturers is heavier duty rotors but other than maybe Magura nobody makes an e specific brake. I run SRAM Code RSCs on all 3 of my ebikes which are a 22 Levo Pro, Yeti 160e, and 22 Norco Range VLT. I also run 220mm rotors ff/rr and use MTX gold brake pads. I have no issues with brakes seizing or over heating. I’m not light at 208lbs and 215-220 ride ready. I’m an expert level rider and ride huge mountains and lots of enduro style downhill. The MTX brake pads seem to help a lot. The Magura MT5s and MT7s have a lot of power but I don’t think that they are better suited to ebikes than anything else. My 2020 Kenevo had Shimano Saints and those were ok, not stellar, just ok. I didn’t find the Saints to be a huge upgrade from XTs which I’ve also used. The Shimano brakes work fine but seem like you have to grab them harder. I’d use them without complaint if I had to. Although I’ve never tried them myself, I have a bunch of friends that are what I’d call heavy hitters and they absolutely swear by TRP brakes.

Posted: Jan 28, 2022 at 10:19 Quote
I know I mentioned this in an earlier reply but now that I have several rides on this set up I think Shigura are the way to go.

I already had the levers as I was running Shimano XT 4 pots. Picked up new MT5 calipers from ebay at a really good price.

I did switch to magura rotors due to their increased thickness but I stuck with 203 dia front and back.

Lots of power and modulation, closes feeling to a motorcycle I have felt in a bike brake so far, which was what I was wanting.

Posted: Jan 28, 2022 at 14:14 Quote
a lot of them have e-kill switches so you cant engage the brakes while the motor is running

Posted: Jan 30, 2022 at 3:43 Quote
As far as I know, the brake cutout switch is only needed for commuter ebikes with a throttle.

When I built my Chinese frame ebike, I used a Tektro M745 kit I already had as a spare but I swapped the original pads with ebike specific pads. I believe that the ebike specific pads have a ceramic coating between the pads and the caliper pistons to reduce heat transfer (I'm sure some other pads do too). We don't have very long descents where I live, so I'm currently using 203mm discs front and rear, but going with an bigger front disc is always an option.

Posted: Jan 30, 2022 at 17:55 Quote
Typically the biggest changes between low cost brakes to high cost (and stopping power!) comes from a stiffer caliper IE more material, and changing the hydraulic ratio which for better stopping brakes is usually smaller piston area in the brake lever and larger piston area in the brake caliper. This however means the brake lever needs to move more per brake piston movement, but you gain much more clamping force.

Another thing that can be advantageous is different size pistons to help with how the calipers bite when clamping down IE larger piston in front (for top mount calipers as seen on most bikes) Think about how your old MTB or road bike brake pads wore on rim brakes, they would start wearing more at the rear.

IE Code Rs and Code RSCs have the same pistons in both levers and calipers. However the RSCs do have a different material used for the caliper piston.

Posted: Feb 25, 2022 at 11:53 Quote
I purchased a Trek Rail last Aug. Put 900km on it in 2.5 months before the end of the season. Typical rides are about 800m vertical, so lots of descents. My experience is that 4 piston SLX brakes are not up to the task. Rear rotor and pads are shot. Front calliper and pads shot. I don't see why XT or XTR stuff would be any better. Higher end usually just means lighter, not more durable. IMO the manufacturers need to come out with heavier duty brakes for emtb. On average, we ride further, go faster, do more vertical and the bikes are heavier. These are all things that put more wear on the brakes. And we're not going to notice the weight difference of thicker rotor and beefier calipers and pads.

Posted: Feb 25, 2022 at 12:10 Quote
Shimano XT levers, Magura MT5 4 piston calipers, Jagwire hose, Shimano oil and Magura 203 rotors seems to be the winning combination for me so far.

I wasnt overly impressed with either the full shimano or magura set ups (ran 203 F/R on both). since I had both and stumbled upon the "Shigura" mod thread I figured give it a try and happy I did.

Its a costly route to go but I was able to score the magura full kits open box on ebay for $175 for two kits (F/R).

If you can find deals on the components needed i feel its a good option for ebikes and especially DH focused riders.

Posted: Feb 25, 2022 at 17:48 Quote
amphib wrote:
I purchased a Trek Rail last Aug. Put 900km on it in 2.5 months before the end of the season. Typical rides are about 800m vertical, so lots of descents. My experience is that 4 piston SLX brakes are not up to the task. Rear rotor and pads are shot. Front calliper and pads shot. I don't see why XT or XTR stuff would be any better. Higher end usually just means lighter, not more durable. IMO the manufacturers need to come out with heavier duty brakes for emtb. On average, we ride further, go faster, do more vertical and the bikes are heavier. These are all things that put more wear on the brakes. And we're not going to notice the weight difference of thicker rotor and beefier calipers and pads.

What rotors and pad material are you using?

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