Thursday, 30 October 2014

Top 10 mountain bike brakes used in the Enduro World Series 2014

Mountain biking has progressed a lot through the years, and nowadays DH and XC race bikes are extreme machines that limit their use only to those disciplines. But, what if you just can afford one bike only, and like to pedal to the top but also going downhill as fast as you can?. Here is where enduro makes sense. 

Originating from France, the basic definition of enduro is timed downhills and untimed uphills with a series of special stages. The fastest combined time after all the stages wins. Enduro World Series is the most professional enduro competition nowadays with races around the world, from Italy to Chile. Let´s see which are the brakes used by the top 10 riders in the Enduro World Series 2014.

Jared Graves 2014 Enduro World Series champion with Shimano XTR / Saint brakes in Whistler

Thursday, 2 October 2014

How to reset mountain bike disc brakes - calliper pistons

When the brake pads are replaced or if accidentally the brake lever is pressed without a rotor or spacer between the pads, you will have to reset the brake calliper pistons. Basically resetting your brake pistons is just only pushing your calliper pistons back to their original position. It is an easy task, and will ease the new brake pads installation.

Shimano M615 brake with the pads fully retracted
Shimano M615 brake calliper with fully retracted pads as it comes from the factory

Monday, 15 September 2014

Top 10 mountain bike brakes used in the Downhill World Cup

Focusing on the mountain bike brakes, Downhill World Cup is probably the most demanding mountain biking competition today, because the brakes work under very severe and changing conditions. So we ask: which brake brands and models have been used by the top 10 downhill riders in the World Cup 2013?.

Steve Smith 2013 DH World Cup Winner
Steve Smith 2013 DH World Cup Winner with Avid brakes

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Buyer's guide - Mountain bike disc brakes explained

Mountain bike hydraulic disc brakes are very simple in principle. There is a lever attached to a master cylinder at one end, a hose in the middle and finally a calliper pushing some pads on to a metal disc bolted to your wheel hub. Tiny changes to the brake system can make a noticeable difference to how well it performs, so let´s see which are the main parts of your mountain bike disc brake system.

Lever/master cylinder
All disc brakes have a master cylinder (brake lever body) with a piston inside pushed by the brake lever, but on some brakes the piston is parallel to the handlebar (e.g. Shimano Deore), while on others like in Formula´s it’s perpendicular to it. The master cylinder contains the brake fluid reservoir allowing to automatically adjusting for pad wear and heat expansion of braking fluid. Brake levers can be very different in shape and material (aluminium, carbon fibre) and designed for one finger use, two fingers or more. Potential adjustments include reach, leverage ratio and bite point.

Mountain bike brake parts
Mountain bike lever/master cylinder parts - Hope Tech3 V4

Monday, 28 July 2014

Quality mountain bike disc brake pads extreme testing results

If you want to improve the performance of your mountain bike brakes and are looking for online mountain bike brake pad reviews, it´s easy to find subjective tests that usually end up with conclusions like "good durability", "they have great power", or similar. This type of evidences even though they are very important, rely heavily on the rider perception and the testing conditions, which tend to be highly variable.

Gorilla riding a bike

Below you can see how a pair of disc brake pads finished after an extreme test performed to check the reliability againts critical failures that could put ourselves in danger.

Monday, 14 July 2014

2015 Giant Defy road bikes with TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes

Giant makes a move forward, including disc brakes in the Giant Defy road bike model, becoming the first major bike brand to use only disc brakes in the entire Defy Advanced line-up. Cheaper alloy Giant Defy models will be sold with conventional road brakes, while the Defy Advanced model will get TRP Spyre mechanical brake callipers.

Giant Defy Advanced
Giant Defy Advanced

Saturday, 21 June 2014

How to choose the best MTB disc brake pads: Pad compounds explained

We don’t usually worry too much about mountain bike disc brake pads until they start losing braking performance, getting wear down, squealing or everything at the same time.
With the increased reliability and performance associated with the change from old-school cantilevers, we sometimes forget that the brake system performance can be easily modified changing the disc brake pads. So what's the science behind your brake pads, and are you using the best brake pad compound for your riding style or conditions?. Let's take a closer look at the different brake pad compounds.
There are mainly three different types of pads: Sintered, Semi Metallic and Organics.
MTB pads comparison organics-sintered-semi-metallic

Friday, 16 May 2014

Magura 2014 dual piston brake range unveiled: MT2, MT4, MT6, MT8

Magura is definitely an innovator of hydraulic brakes for mountain bikes, manufacturing the first hydraulic braking system for mountain bikes in 1987. With over 60 years of experience developing brakes for motorcycles, now the company introduces the new MT range of mountain bike brakes, revamping everything across the entire MT range.

Magura MT dual piston range

Friday, 11 April 2014

High performance mountain bike brake pads extreme testing - review

Placing a mountain bike brake pad under the blowtorch is not the most reasonable kind of test to check the quality and reliability, especially if you are not 100% sure of the results

Anyway, we placed a Shimano BR-M445, BR-M446 type mountain bike semi-metallic brake pads (with our SuperSpeed compound) under the butane blowtorch (1.430°C; 2.600°F) for more than 40 seconds, and the results were very impressive.

The bond between the friction material and the backplate survived the test, the friction material didn’t get any kind of fracture due to thermal expansion/distortion and the steel backplate ended without any deformation or bend after being exposed to a very high temperature.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Prueba de disco Shimano XT RT86 con tecnología Ice-Tech

Hay múltiples posibilidades a la hora de mejorar la potencia del sistema de freno de nuestra bicicleta de montaña. Desde cambiar las pastillas de freno, hasta cambiar el disco por uno de mejor calidad o de mayor diámetro, aumentando la capacidad de frenado de nuestro sistema.

Existe una gran variedad de discos de freno en el mercado, discos fijos, flotantes, con diferentes diseños, pero los discos de Shimano con tecnología Ice Tech nos llamaron la atención y decidimos probar uno de sus discos con nuestras pastillas de freno, viendo que los resultados presentados en su web eran prometedores (link aquí).

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Resultados de prueba extrema de pastillas de freno mtb

Si quieres mejorar el funcionamiento de tus frenos y buscas pruebas de pastillas de bicicleta de montaña por Internet, es fácil encontrar tests subjetivos, que terminan habitualmente con conclusiones del tipo "buena durabilidad", "tienen muy buena potencia", o similares. Este tipo de pruebas aunque son muy importantes, dependen mucho de la persona y de las condiciones en las que se realizan, que suelen ser muy variables. 

Gorila probando bicicleta

A continuación se puede ver como quedan un par de pastillas Rahox tras realizar un ensayo extremo, con la finalidad de comprobar que las pastillas de freno no fallan de forma peligrosa poniéndonos en peligro.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Prueba de pastillas de freno mtb RAHOX (por Douglas McDonald)

A continuación podéis leer la traducción del artículo que ha escrito Douglas McDonald, de sobre nuestras pastillas de freno (artículo original aquí).

Pastillas de freno RAHOX mtb – Prueba de corta duración
¿Cuántas pastillas de freno creéis que gastamos durante nuestra temporada de ciclismo de montaña?. En mi caso suelen ser uno o dos juegos al mes, más incluso si tenemos mal tiempo. Sumando, suponen unos 15-20 juegos de pastillas al año, y si las estás comprando en tiendas incluso a un precio asequible, esto implica unos cientos de euros. He probado varias tiendas online con éxito desigual, algunas de ellas han sido excelentes y otras con resultado variable. Recientemente fui contactado por Rahox para probar algunas de sus pastillas de freno mtb. Sigue leyendo para saber qué pasó.