SRAM has a new brake on the way, one that uses mineral oil rather than DOT fluid to activate its four pistons. The DB8 brake will initially be showing up on complete bikes sometime in the near future, but at the moment there's no definitive timeline for when they'll be available aftermarket. When they do finally hit store shelves, they'll be priced at $137 per wheel.
Why mineral oil? After all, every other brake in SRAM's lineup uses DOT fluid, and they've long touted that fluid's benefits. The goal for the DB8 brakes was to create a very low maintenance option, a brake that can be used for more than one season without requiring a bleed.
With their DOT brakes, SRAM recommends bleeding them at least once a year. That service interval is extended to once every two years for the new DB8 brakes, which will be welcome news for riders who'd rather, well, ride, instead of spending time wrenching, and for newcomers to the sport who are still developing their bike maintenance skills.
To avoid any possible contamination, the DB8 brakes use an entirely different bleed kit than SRAM's DOT fluid brakes. They also use Maxima's mineral oil, which is green, instead of the yellow DOT fluid.
The DB8 brake has a similar caliper design to SRAM's Code brakes, and they also use Code pads. The lever feel is said to be similar, although the DB8 brakes do have 10% less power than the Codes. Code brakes will still remain the higher end option, with less seal friction and a higher range of operating temperatures due to the use of DOT fluid.
I had run codes since the first gen, and they are great brakes, however, the last 3 seasons I have been running Magura MT7's. I've convinced my friends to get on the MT5 bandwagon as well (because I am their mechanic). MT5's are relatively cheap for what you get as well, simple pad swap and they are basically MT7's.
I am never going back, lighter lever feel, noticeably more power, never get bite point bubbles that I need to bleed (looking at you SRAM and Shimano). After and entire year of shuttles and bike park, barely any contamination during the bleed. Also, despite SRAMs video, DOT fluid does suck worse if you get it on your hands than Mineral oil (wear gloves kids).
The MT7 performance isn't even subjective, go look at the Enduro Magazine tests results where they use a lathe test bed to get braking force/heat/stopping comparisons. SRAM even mentions those tests in their own video (which fails to mention they get outshined by other companies using mineral oil).
If Magura and Shimano can make mineral oil brakes that have more stopping power than SRAMs, What's with the claim that mineral oil isn't for "performance" users?
The issue with mineral oil, compared to DOT, is the lack of standardization, though. AFAIK there isn't any specific standard for what mineral oil brake fluid contains aside from some unknown quantity of mineral oil and other unknown quantities of unknown additives. AFAIK (and the Shimano sheet confirms), it's not 100% mineral oil and does contain some additives. Those aren't the fluids in use here, though.
Point being, mineral oil in baby oil being safe doesn't mean it's the same substance/makeup as what is in mineral oil for brakes, which is not standardized. It's most likely safe for skin contact, but unless they come out and say it is, it's better to be safe and take precautions. The mineral oil itself may not be an issue, but additives could be an irritant. Since it's not standardized, we don't know for sure.
The lack of a specific standard is also why brands will void warranties if you use fluids outside if what they specify.
I am merely attacking the blanket claim that Sram made by saying mineral oil isn't safe for skin. They were not trying to be scientific in that video and say, "mineral oil is safe but the additives may not be." I don't appreciate science or language being twisted for the purpose of marketing and to be sold a product.
So, pick a brake (fluid) and be a dick about it.
Haven’t noticed any effect.
Using a different fluid such as mineral oil or DOT gives other advantages such as longevity, increased boiling point (for us bike park brake draggers), hydrophobicity, non-toxicity, corrosion protection, etc.
"science!" yeah but once contextualized or just with numbers, everything in it is false or really exaggerated. No context, no numbers, no proof, no idea of how they had their conclusions, basically the opposite of science.
Yup, smooth and creamy peanut butter can be used as hydraulic oil, but it ain't great for hand fatigue! or a bunch of other parameters you mentioned. Every thing in mechanics has trade offs, doesn't matter what subject. To me personally, I don't care about the whole DOT vs mineral debate, it's just funny when marketers get into the game of playing bullet point maker for Pro's and Con's and list things a that are unrealistic as the con's of something. In this case mineral oil not have as high a boiling point..
Here's the test setup. As good as I've seen from any MTB news source. Sorry PB..
Pads do run close, I tune my own stuff, and spent years in shops, I do find them obnoxiously close but can generally keep them from rubbing. Most rubbing has to do with how you close your quick releases and tighten axles, and knowing tricks to setting up 4 piston brakes (pushing specific pistons back) but they are the same issues across all brakes, once I get them dialed, I generally don't have to play with them again until it's pad swap time.
Without trying to be discouraging, lots of practice. Here's a few tips.
1. The caliper position and the pads/pistons positions are separate things. The only reason you end up moving the 'caliper' because it's easier than micro adjusting each piston one by one. Ask yourself, is my caliper centered over the rotor (not the pads)? Then separately ask yourself are my pistons retracting equal distance on both side from the rotor? Two distinct questions that change how you solve the issue.
2. Each piston extends and retracts with a different amount of friction, the piston that has the least friction moves first, then others will move after in order of friction. With two pistons it's annoying, with 4 it can be very tough to get things just right.
3. The individual piston positions relative to the caliper CAN be reset/changed/corrected. This gets missed ALOT. You can push the pistons back into the caliper to reset positions, then using a small screwdriver, hold a specific pad/piston back while pumping the lever to get each piston to extend the way you want.
I don't have time to finish this thought right now, but check out @bee_kay77 on instagram, he has some pretty good pointers! Practice makes perfect.
Just like used engine oil is much more unsafe than new??????
I definitely plan to switch back to real Shimano oil though, I just did it as a fun experiment.
I run MT7s and yes, the rub sometimes. But its an easy fix. See which of the pads that are rubbing, and use a screwdriver to press/hold that piston/pad back while pumping the lever, then the rub is gone and you have Wonderful brakes again
I’m a huge fan of Code RSCs(nothing else Sram brakes but yes to those RSCs) and agree with everything EnduroMag had to say about them. Now being around 190lb and very much into DH racing, I sometimes desire slightly more power. Not always but sometimes. Have mostly dialed in with Galfer 2.0 rotors or TRP 2.3 rotors and MTX Gold label pads. But I still wonder if I were to try Cascade if I could get everything I desire in power but never lose any of the feel and adjustability of the Code RSC that I enjoy so much
The science says you won't catch covid if you get the vax. Oh wait... just trust the science you bigot.
I'm running dominion A4s on my 130ish lbs surron. 220 rotor up front, 203 rotor in the rear. So far they are working great. I can 1 finger brake with them.
It felt totally normal for the most part, except on cold mornings last fall the bite point was all over the place. On the first pull the lever would bite on the normal spot, then on the next pull it would bite almost instantly. I'm interested to see what the fluid looks like when I bleed it next lol.
However, I came here to say that mineral oil is great, safe, and much less nasty and toxic than DoT brake fluid but there are no Mineral Oil Industry Standards that I am aware of and M.O. brakes I've used in the past required you use their own blend as it's not an off-the-shelf item you can get at any lubricant shoppe. Something to consider in addition to the usual boiling-point and viscosity arguments. Sry if this was covered - I didn't read all the comments
This comment runs the risk of a weird personal preference pissing match here. I encourage you to run whatever you feel fits with your riding/braking style. Since you asked me, in my personal opinion, I want maximum power within a few mm of lever blade stroke, with as little finger effort as possible, on top of that, I want 100% consistency all the time, or as close as I can get. I don't enjoy the brake lever feel where the lever continues travelling 10mm past the initial engagement point before I am at maximum power. The term "modulation" gets thrown around a lot. I dislike the term because it's generally used in a way to say, more lever throw before maximum power is a good thing. Which I don't agree with.
There's so many different braking scenarios in a single downhill run, it's not always scrubbing a little bit of speed, or slowly controlling the wheels while creeping down something very steep or full speed to a hard stop, or this or that, it varies infinitely. Heat changes the pressure and lever throw I need to apply to generate braking force, that's an inconsistency that your brain has to constantly adapt to on the fly all the way down a run.
So I run 220mm rotors on 4 piston brakes. Not just because of the peak power (I would under-utilize that feature, as all l would do is skid around constantly). I run high power brakes because in every scenario in between they are better and more consistent than less powerful brakes. If I need 25% power, I squeeze lever with 1.33mm of lever travel and 6.2367psi of lever pressure. If I need 76.3% power, I move the lever 3.437mm and apply 8.962psi (JK). The point is the brakes do exactly the same thing, every single time, with certainty. What my brain expects to happen when I pull them a specific amount, is what actually happens each and every time. That consistency with such little effort is what I am after. The more powerful and consistent my brakes, the less I use them and the faster I go. I know they will be there when I need them, and I know exactly how much to pull them at the last possible second.
Prior to bleeding the brakes I clean the brake caliper cylinders/ pistons. Usually eject them carefully out ( pay attention not to pop them out completely ) You can place some 5-6mm spacer ( Allen wren woudl work ). If you have the 4 pot version use the transport ( yellow) block on the other couple of pistons in order to prevent then from fully popping out .
The procedure for cleaning is as follows :
eject them out( not fully , i.e. max 5mm) , use a ear swab with some brake cleaner and clean the piston walls until the swap is light grey ( or white at best, it will be close to black when you start if those have not been cleaned recently). After each clean I use another swab soaked in the Magura mineral oil to oil the cleaned piston and I push it back in so the oil can work on the seal and clean it .
Repeat that procedure for both cylinders 2-3 times . You have to achieve symmetrical action of the cylinders when you pump the brake level . Meaning both cylinders shall come out in a similar manner. if you have one of the cylinder stuck when the other one pops out during pumping , repeat the procedure and clean it and oil it. Or just use oil to clean it . The end result shall be symmetrical action of each pair of cyclinders
Following the cylinder( pistons) cleaning. bleed the brakes.
Clean them with brake cleaner so they are not oily.
Bolt down, but do not tighten the caliper with the fully contracted pistons in and then install the brake pads. The bolts shall be loose and give some freedom to the caliper to adjust to the rotor. ( please consider that although the rotor position is standardized there are still some tolerances).
Work with the brake lever to collapse the brake pads to the rotor. Not that when brake is enabled and the lever released the pads shall contract back in and leave a small gap.
Now this is where the finicky part comes in. place a white sheet of paper behind the rotor to see the gap and lightly tighten the caliper to the frame at the "best" middle position( you shroud see equal gaps on both sides).
Spin the wheel if there is no rub continue slowly to tighten the caliper and check for rotor rub . I think 4.7Nm is the maximum torque that you should crank the bolts.
If you detect rubbing , the readjust . Be patient and it will pay off . Once adjusted you should be good for at least nice 2-3 months . This depend where are you riding and what is your style of braking . If you pump and modulate you will have cleaner brake pistons for longer time . if you press the brake continuously and hang on the brakes then you will need to clean them more often . Magura brakes require more patience when adjusted but I think it is worth it .
Good luck !
If your pistons are working cleanly or you are in the field and just trying to make a quick fix you can also just loosen caliper bolts and pull the brake lever so the pads contact and then tighten the caliper down. :
Mineral oil brakes are the best - and those of us who barely have time for bike maintenance, let alone a tuesday night top off on the bleed on the steed, appreciate ease of service.
With the Goodridge braided steel houses houses you rear brake will become better than your current front
I ride mostly in the Santa Cruz mountains area and adjust them once in 3 months but then again at that point I am looking for a new brake pads I average ~300miles per month
Even better- Minaar is a true hero of the people, with his simple, shabby, mineral oil brakes.
The Whistler survey is such a neat survey, but be careful in thinking that it accurately captures what people would actually ride IF they could afford to choose each part individually 'a la carte'.
Some parts in the survey like tires for instance, do show what people prefer, because people CHOOSE the SECOND set of tires they install, once the OEM set wears out.
Brakes on the other hand are part of huge deals with bike manufacturers and component companies. SRAM Codes are everywhere, not because they are the best, but because they come INSTALLED at the OEM level along with derailleurs/cranks/cassettes/Forks/shocks. If you take the data at face value without context, the survey shows that SRAM and Shimano absolutely dominate the market in every way. But what it actually shows is that SRAM and Shimano dominate the pricing for packages they can offer to bike companies.
Something like brakes is misleading, because if your bike came with SRAM code R's, not many folks can justify upgrading to CODE RSC's or anything else for that matter (Except the dentists).
a) more power
b) less clearance between disc and pad
Too tired to dig it up, but I think Klaus from trickstuff mentioned it some time ago (they are obviously keeping an eye on the competition)
The calipers are the same though.
My comment was more towards the prop 65 warning labels on everything.
Have a sense of humor this is the internet don't take it to seriously.
Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. These chemicals can be in the products that Californians purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.
You may want to have your own Humorometer calibrated, my dude.
(My English teacher would be proud...)
Count me as 2
Seems to me that all the brakes I've had with large lever reservoirs have been the best performance, easiest bleed an last the longest in-between bleeds.
The light weight brakes with no reservoirs have been the most annoying bleeds, need tuning every other ride an required the most maintenance. Just my experience tho
1.They removed bleeding edge(one of the only good things sram has for bleeding brakes)
2. Oil now spills out of both ports when your finished bleeding.
3. If you don't use Maxima mineral oil you will void your warranty
3:I think Maxima oil is available at most moto shops to if I’m not mistaken…at least a positive..it’s more available.
Will wait until they’ve been in the wild a year or so though….
I do find that the seals weep oil, which is annoying (and means a quick lever bleed before any day doing park laps).
Marketing and earnings ..check.
The mineral oil does seem nicer to deal with though…less burning the eyes and face when things go sideways.
Having given up on Sram brakes in the past and now being deep into the TRP fanboy realm, the "it just works" nature of TRP would seem to trump whatever pluses this Sram is supposed to have.
If the two are close in performance, I'm going to buy the product that doesn't potentially leave me screwed out of a trip because I have to special order the parts for replacements.
They might be close in performance, but not in reliability. TRP is far more reliable. And having had a few Sram brakes die in the way Sram does (stuck master) on trips, I can tell you that those parts aren't on a shelf in most bike shops. You have to get a whole new brake.
TRP is universally supported these days and far more reliable than the other two mainstreams, so you likely won't have any issues in the first place and therefore wouldn't need to visit a shop, unlike Sram and Shimano which need constant repairs.
I've been on many trips over the years with my Quadiems and DH-R EVO's and haven't been screwed yet, which is unlike my experiences with the other two and why I will only ride with TRP now.
The hardest part with SRAM's method is to get enough fluid in the line. Too much fluid leaks out when you take off the syringe and put the bleed port screw in. Afterwards, there usually is too much play in the lever. The newer SRAM "bleeding edge port" solved that problem, but since I have older model SRAM brakes, I just use a thinner caliper block when bleeding to get more fluid in the lines.
I'll hold out hope that these will perform on par with the code/g2 but without the constant bleed that those brakes need; if so this may become my next brakset. If not, it'll at least be nice to sell MTBs with sram brakes that I don't have to wince while I talk about them.
PB commenter 2: M-7 is too thick for Downcountry brakes so I stick with M-6, but I run it on my Enduro bike for sure.
PB commenter 1: You d1ck.
*Mineral Oil Industry Standard Type rating system coming soon....
Poor advice on Sram's part, bleeding should be an annual maintenance task regardless of fluid - this is asking for trouble.
Ps I'm not suggesting you shouldn’t bleed your brakes in over three years but at this point I’m curious to see how long I can go without a bleed before the brake starts to be inconsistent.
It starts of cloudy, then starts to look like earl grey tea before finally going very dark almost black. Every time I do a lever bleed on my shimano’s (5-10 rides) I’ll get a bit of dirty black / grey fluid pulled back into the bleed cup.
I rarely find shimano brakes that don't do this after half a year.
I can reduce the bite point in a pair of Levels by squeezing the lever once without the rotor installed... Is this a 'clever hack' given there's no adjustment screw, or have I messed up the bleed at some point?
I've tried "Shigura" before but I didn't like the mix of servowave with Magura calipers. Shigura works best with the cross country XTR race levers. Thing is, XTR Race levers aren't cheap, so Sramgura it is.
Oh, and pro tip, use Red Line LikeWater with all your mineral oil brakes. The fluid is much less viscous than other mineral oils and it does better with temperature swings. I hated how little lever throw I'd get in colder temps with OEM fluid. With Red Line LikeWater, the lever feel is consistent all year long. That's all I run in all my mineral oil based brakes. You get as close as you can get to the performance of DOT fluid but without actually having to deal with DOT fluid. Win win.
Who ever thought that we want low maintenance ...
Same saying for me though: ive not had a single issue with Sram brakes since I learned to bleed them
^ Touché is the word you're searching for.
*Leaves tab open to read comments with popcorn after work*
YouTude Link: youtu.be/oF2vAOmplUI
It explains their take on DOT vs Mineral Oil
As in what kind of "debate" will I have with sram when I call them next month when they stop working.
LESS power than a Code!?
Maybe it isn't about the fluid, but the design of the literal worst brakes in the world???
I've run Saint for several for iterations and for more than 15 years. Magura MT 7's seem to be doing alright for my buddy too. I've ridden each version of Codes that have been released as well, and it is requisite they get swapped for Saint immediately.
We ride DH only with big vert with long sustained steeps. Codes have significantly less power and fade worse than sidewalk chalk.
Just an observation. Likely other factors but I have found Shimano to have better reliability/quality control.
You know you're a shit rider on shit trails in shit terrain when when u think code's are OK.
Bro, you're in Lancashire. Maybe u flounce over to morzine to hit some "steeps" a couple times per year, but you're a f*cking peasant when it comes to big, steep riding.
If in any way, shape, or form, you think code's are superior brakes, then there is a fundamental difference between us, and I'd wager it's the fact that you spend your time riding on itty bitty juvenile terrain
My girl is from Yorkshire, so I know your neck of the woods well.
Your. Trails. Are. Short. Flat. And. Basic.
Codes probably work great for you riding those mini tracks. When u step up to some big terrain, I'm sure you'll soon find you need some proper stoppers