From the first lap on the Dissent 297, I felt comfortable and in control, gaining more confidence as the lap counter ticked over. Everything about the Dissent is active; the shorter wheelbase, cushy suspension, and 27.5” rear wheel.
The suspension sags quickly into the stroke to give a slack feeling with a sizable chunk of front wheel ahead of you for tackling obstacles head on. In the 21% progression setting, I was surprised to learn how plush the Dissent remained off the top, yet still progressive at the bottom end. The amount of movement at the beginning of the travel seemed a little imbalanced and too reactive for my liking, primarily due to the slight regression leading into the sag zone. Bumping up the low-speed compression slowed this down, although it can’t totally overcome that leverage curve.
I liked how well that slight regression kept the rear wheel hugging the ground at low speeds, however, I would trade that forgiveness if I could settle down the balance of the bike. For that reason, I switched to the 17% progression setting and preferred the added composure, never needing more ramp on heavy landings. This switch calmed down its eagerness to dive into the first part of the travel and worked more efficiently for trucking through the upper reaches of the Garbanzo trails.
When it came time to slow down the Dissent, I was impressed with how active the single pivot remained and the lack of suspension rise. Of all the bikes in the test, the Nukeproof weaved in and out of corners on command, needing less encouragement to whip it sideways. For riders who focus on splitting their time between honing all-out speed and goofing around on machine-made trails, the Dissent caters well to either. I wouldn’t peg it as a freeride bike, nor does it require as much muscle to ride as the Orange 279 or Antidote Darkmatter. The shorter wheelbase is compensated in terms of stability by that initial squish the Dissent relaxes into, yet doesn’t feel laborious to pump your way through flow trails.
If you’re looking to add some stability and racer influence to the Dissent, there is the chainstay length adjustment. Primarily, I stuck with the 440mm rear center, although I experimented by stretching that 5mm to 445. No doubt the extra wheelbase brought in more traction and straight line capabilities, but lengthening the chainstay increased the leverage ratio and brought back that very independent, eager rear shock movement I found at the 23% progression setting.
Despite the dusty conditions and constant punishment, those two modular hardware chips never creaked or wiggled loose once. They’re easy to swap in the parking lot and a single brake adaptor takes care of all three chainstay lengths. Changing the progression can be accomplished without removing the rear wheel or crankset too.
Besides the nature of the leverage curve that didn’t quite align with my tastes - although it’s simple to react to - there were only two minor quibbles with the Dissent. First was the chainstay protector that lost its adhesion near the chainring, and the second was a strange pedal kickback sensation felt in deeper bowl berms. The best I can do to explain that predicament is by describing the sound that the drivetrain made. You could hear the cassette spin across the pawls as the chain and derailleur recoiled back into position. This only happened a handful of times in particular corners, and thankfully never caused any ride disruptions.
You can become a better rider in more ways than just feeling to need to push it to a speed you can't control.
Maybe you noticed you were crashing less because you are getting better and better?
@mattbeer, did you get the chance to try this with an air shock? It seems to me that moving to the 30% progression setting would make the coil feel better, rather than the 17%...
I found the most linear 17% position to offer tons of small bump sensitivity and enough progression. As you move to the more progressive settings, you increase the leverage ratio at the start too. That makes the suspension dive into the travel quickly - a feeling I don't gel with.
It's simple: they've done the calculation incorrectly. They've taken the change and divided by the initial rate, not the final rate. Do it properly and the numbers are significantly different.
Marketing take on that is clear, but what’s the real difference? From my perspective it’s as well only about that additional adjustability which is indeed a benefit, but to what extent (price gap)?
Reading all the reviews across the web it seems like these two brakes are sooo different.
They say it’s an e-bike specific combo. I was afraid I was gonna get too much lever throw, didn’t happen. Feels solid!
Only problem is my pads bedded in all wrong, and might have cooked the rotor. I gotta swap both.
perhaps you're blaming a brake when it's your setup, maintenance, and/or riding technique.
I haven't ridden the new Hopes but my friends all say they are flawless.
I'm talking the new Hope Tech 4 V4
Codes performance drops off the radar after about half a run. Not to mention outright power is only 60-70% of the others noted. Codes are a laughing stock in my neck of the woods and an immediate take-off on new bikes. Historically Saints have been the only brakes up to snuff, but now magura and hope have stepped up as contenders.
I weigh 200 lbs kitted and ride arguably some of the steepest trails out there. Turns out I'm pretty dialed on maintenance and no slouch on a bike either. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Colorado bike parks are not the most comprehensive test for a DH brake lol
The purpose of these leverage modifiers is to use a high motion ratio to push more fluid prior to pad contact, then transition to a low motion ratio for more force after pad contact.
These features add several cents to the manufacturing cost, hence the near doubling of the MSRP. (Sarcasm, of course; higher margins on upper tier parts are unavoidable elements of sales and marketing.)
Not sure if Mr. Badass is going to try and pull some Whistler cred next, but that's my prediction (I can imagine the sudden halt of fingerless gloves and the nervous adjusting of a duster jacket as he reads this)
Codes, top brakes since they started surveying opening day at Whistler. If you can't ride well-set up and maintained code RSCs, it's on you as a rider. Maybe try not dragging the brakes the whole way down. The More You Know!
Got some TRP quadiems, and the rears have been trouble with stuck pistons. About to warranty them if some weird bleed to remove air trapped in the caliper doesn't work.
I did manage of overheat my first gen Guide RSs, either on 100 degree days on descents like gunny loop, or at the bike park when I was a totally, hand cramping, brake hold newb.
I'm responding to someone else's specific, ridiculous claims.
Keystone has trails that require some heavy breaking, Trestle is the most brakeless park I've ever ridden, Snowmass has a couple of runs but also a bunch of brakeless stuff. Granby and Vail both require hitting lots of precise braking points but aside from old nine line don't require much heavy braking. Can we claim Angelfire even though it's hours into New Mexico?
Whistler is 11 hours away from me, so no affiliation here. That park is generally not super steep and taxing from a braking perspective though. Also, do you really think the punters in the Whistler lift line reflect ultimate performance in their component selection? No. That survey reflects which components have had OEM dominance in the last 5-6 years of gravity bike sales.
Ya sure I could ride and survive on codes, but I certainly wouldn't be thriving. They are probably totally suitable in a hurting Colorado bike park, but they aren't even close to suitable on my local DH tracks. Based on me and my crew's experience, it's Saint, MT7's, or Tech 4's. That hold water. Codes are underwhelming brake, simple as that. See blister review link for corroboration.
As to blisterreview, it's not a particularly objective test. It also doesn't say the brakes fail halfway down one of these amazing Canadian runs that you do.
Sadly, this one has aged a bit, but it's the best approach to getting objective info. You'll never guess what brakes beat Saints, Deores, and XTs...
Still, dude is claiming he rides such steep lines that his Codes overheat halfway down. Still waiting to hear what these lines are.
I'd agree that those code comments are a bit OTT but it's annoying that the big S's only make the 5th or 6th? best brakes on the market yet they come on nearly every bike.
I don't doubt that Canada has stuff that would make any brakes beg for mercy, the mount 7 phycosis stuff surely would?
Brake burners are 10 a penny in the Alps, one ridden stuff that drops 1500' in a mile and 3500' in 4, amazing stuff.
You should get yourself up to Vail sometime, crap park overall but TNT and Magic Forest to Old Nine Line are some of the best runs in the state. The dirt is magical after rain.
If you ever had east Ore Chute at Maryland Mountain and lots of the Lefthand stuff are properly steep especially for CO.
-someone whos local bike park has maybe 900 feet of vert.
The big S's brakes are good enough that speccing an alternative isn't a big enough selling point. With the resources they have these companies should have the best brakes out there but here we are still dealing with shimanos wandering bite point, srams fade, the ridiculous dead space in the code r lever throw and reviewers constantly complaining that G2s aren't powerful enough for modern trail bikes.
With smaller companies offering better performance at a similar after market price point the OEM duopoly is definitely annoying.
tell me more about this dead space in code R lever throw. I swapped over to Code R's at the very tail end of last season and haven't had enough seat time to notice that yet apparently.
Basically you have to pull the lever a long way before you get any actual engagement. If you have small hands it really sucks as the lever gets really close to the bar at full engagement.
This guy makes a cheap simple solution that has been a game changer for me, though it should never be an issue in the first place IMO.
Ya they've got names. If you're ever in the kootenays, hit me up and I'll take you on a tour.
Both blister and enduro show Saints out-classing Codes on the one stat that matters when it comes to riding steep rowdy terrain: power. I personally don't care about modulation. Raw power and heat management are all I'm really looking for
The fundamental problem with Codes is that they lack power. Since they lack power, they overheat like the bejesus as you've got to use them so f*cking much. They also require completely reinventing your braking points by like 5 metres upslope. Between me and riding crew, we all run Saints, mt7's, or Hope Tech 4's. Those brakes can handle our local trails. And no, we're not shitty brake draggers. We just have big mountains and steep, fall line, wide-open DH tracks.
Codes are probably fine if you're riding small hills that are relatively flat. For downhill on big, steep mountains, codes don't stack up to the competition. Friends don't let friends ride Codes.
I've got tech 4s on my enduro rig, had em 6 years on 3 bikes. Love the fast engagement combined with fine control that they give but find them a little fatiguing on really long steep stuff. Would love a set of the new ones!
My wife has a set of the new XTs that seem to be unicorns in not developing wandering bite. Don't like the feel as much as my hopes but they are great for hands fatigue. Just dont trust shimano for reliability, wish they'd up their game.
All my friends love their TRPs.
I'm not going to start measuring gnarly cred, not been to BC, but if you're saying Boulder Gulch doesn't test brakes, I'm just walking away laughing. Sort of like I do with the guy who swears that stronger brakes generate less heat...
Stronger brakes inherently generate less heat because you don't need to use them as much.
Short blitzes of heavy/powerful braking are much better from a heat perspective than long, drawn out periods of moderate braking. More powerful brakes allow you to be more precise with your braking points equating to less dragging.
It's just like pumping your brakes in a car vs riding them consistently down a long mountain pass.
How long ago was it that Codes and a 200mm rotor were found on many full DH rigs? Did we all get faster than that? On our trail bikes..?
It's truly mind bottling that they'd spec such turd of a brake on a $10,000+ super bike. That being said, the mainstream mtb SRAM nutswingers will voraciously eat it up, so you might as well give it to them!
Thank you. I didn’t have the nutsack to put it like that..
I can’t help but feel partly responsible..
Good feedback on brake preferences though!
Yeah it doesn’t take much..
I’m going for the HS2 is it? The thick one.
Or another brand..
There’s really isn’t anything there- just laser cut whatever steel.
I ruined a front rotor riding down a ski hill road. Yeah it was fast, but even rim brakes would have been the same by the bottom.
I assumed there might be a compatibility issue between stock SRAM pads and different brand rotor. I think I’ve proven I’ve already got that with all stock SRAM!
I gonna look hard at Formula.
You’d prefer aluminum cranks over carbon, am I to assume it just because of the added flex from aluminum, or is there another reason?
(That said, when I was a kid racing BMX I watched someone shear an aluminum crank the long way and it went through his calf. Gross.)
Right, that’s what I’m running. I have little plastic booties over the ends for pedal strikes.
Mine are Blackbox from a SRAM employee, and say “Prototype- Not For Use” right on them.
No issues, just wondering if I could get more cush out of aluminum.
Ok, so just swap carbon cranks for better brakes. Nothing about ride quality of aluminum vs carbon crank arms.
It's more a question of how much weight matters to the rider. If a rider is chasing grams, carbon parts are usually the safe(ish) way to do it. Of course, that raises questions of whether the weight-focused rider is allocating their dollars most efficiently for performance ROI, but that's a whole new discussion.
I wonder if there was a bit of post-Covid parts shortage speccing going on with this bike?
So there was a hole in supply due to COVID, then production ramps up ASAP, and now we have new bikes and parts again. Or so it looks.
Post COVID shortage is excellent question!
I’m wondering if we’re seeing some older parts that haven’t seen an upgrade for 2023- nothing more than “bold new graphics”.
Don’t remember when the Codes were last updated, but could these be maybe 2021 model year parts?
I think my question is- when production was able to kick on again, were manufacturers focused on filling the lack of current stock first, or sacrificing that for next year’s model. Or the year after that?
And, did COVID cause a delay in upgrades.
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