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

After the final race of the Enduro World Series 2014 held in Ligure (Italy), the final men's standings were the following.

Enduro World Series 2014 Final Results
Top 10 Enduro World Series 2014 men final standings

The brakes used by the top 10 riders are displayed in the following table, with the lever/calliper combination.

Rank Name Brake brand Lever model Calliper Model
1 GRAVES, Jared Shimano XTR Race Saint
2 OTON, Damien Sram Guide RSC Guide RSC
3 LEOV, Justin Shimano XTR Race XTR
4 LAU, Nico Shimano Saint Saint
5 NICOLAI, Florian Shimano XTR Race XTR
6 WILDHABER, Rene Sram Guide RSC Guide RSC
7 BARNES, Joe Sram Guide RSC Guide RSC
8 BAILLY-MAITRE, Francois Shimano Saint Saint
9 BARELLI, Yoann Sram Guide RSC Guide RSC
10 MAES, Martin Shimano XTR Race XTR/Saint

Two mountain bike brake brands dominate the top ten positions of the Enduro World Series 2014, Shimano with XTR and Saint models, and SRAM with the new Guide model. Although the Shimano XTR brake is mostly XC oriented (low weight) and is usually installed in high-end XC bicycles, we can see that it is a very capable brake for enduro use, combining brake power, reliability and lightness.

Some riders aiming for more brake power, combine Shimano XTR Race lever with four-pot Saint callipers, increasing the braking power and modulation. This combination is also used in the DH World Cup by Aaron Gwin or Steve Peat.

The rest of the riders use the new SRAM Guide RSC, the latest creation from SRAM, with four-pot callipers and big braking power.

Let's look more thoroughly each brake models used.


Shimano XTR/Saint
Shimano XTR brakes are known to be extensively used in XC competitions around the world, as very good and reliable light stoppers. The power is remarkable despite offering only dual pot callipers (one piece forged or two piece bolted depending on the version), and XTR brakes feature all the adjusters you would expect from a high end brake system (bite point and tool free reach adjustment).

XTR brakes are provided with Freeza rotors, which are steel/alloy/steel sandwich construction with additional cooling fins to help heat dissipation during braking.
XTR Freeza rotor and XT Ice-Tech rotor
XTR Freeza and XT Ice-Tech rotorsd use the same steel/aluminium/steel sandwich construction

There are two XTR 2015 brake versions, the XTR Trail M9020 and the XTR Race M9000. The levers and callipers are different between XTR Trail and Race, being the Trail the most powerful for the more aggressive riders, but 50g heavier. Shimano XTR Trail brakes feature carbon / aluminium alloy levers with the Servo Wave leverage changing system, and one piece forged aluminium callipers for increased brake power, whereas the XTR Race features lighter magnesium alloy two part callipers with titanium bolts, and levers with magnesium master cylinder and carbon lever blades. Both Trail and Race brake versions come with finned pads and insulated brake pistons (glass fibre phenolic) for increased heat dissipation and fade reduction under heavy braking.

XTR M9020 Trail and XTR M9000 Race callipers
Shimano XTR Trail M9020 (one piece forged) and Race M9000 (two piece bolted with titanium bolts) callipers

Shimano XTR brake Race and Trail lever differences
Shimano XTR Trail M9020 and Race M9000 lever differences (no tool free reach adjuster in the Race lever)

Shimano Saint brakes are also used in the Enduro World Series, and are well known by gravity riders for it's good reliability and big brake power (see the riders that use it in the UCI DH World Cup here). Shimano Saint brakes, offer levers with the Servo Wave leverage cam, and Ice Tech rotors with finned pads for reliable performance on long descents. Enduro World Series riders who use Saint brakes, commonly use the whole Saint brake system, but others like Jared Graves for example combine the XTR levers with Saint four-piston callipers, aiming for a lighter system.

Shimano Saint lever and calliper
Shimano Saint lever and calliper with finned pads for cooling

SRAM Guide 
The Guide is the new brake from Avid's parent company SRAM, looking for an improved reliability and control, over other simillar brakes from Avid like the X0 Trail.

Guide range features brakes at three price points, starting with the R's cast alloy lever body and tool-free reach adjust. Next up is the forged alloy RS, which adds SRAM's new swing-link technology to improve the feel. Swing-link is basically a new cam actuated master piston, that reduces the leverage when the brake starts to bite, improving the lever feel and brake modulation. The top of the line RSC used by the top 10 riders in the Enduro World Series, offers a tool-free pad contact adjuster along with different anodised finishes.

SRAM Guide brake range - RSC, RS, R
SRAM Guide brake range levers - RSC, RS, R
The calliper end of the Guide is heavily based on the XO Trail brake, with dual-diameter four-piston callipers. There is also a new rotor design, primarily to reduce vibration and to provide a more consistent feel.

Avid brakes had built a reputation as great performing but frustratingly temperamental brakes as they are pretty intolerant to any air entering the system. The SRAM Guide hopes to remedy this with more fluid, new bladder material and a new design, which should keep air out of the system and work better.

SRAM Guide power is great but you can improve it with our semi metallic brake pads Made in Japan. Check it our HERE.

SRAM Guide RSC with lever calliper and disc
SRAM Guide RSC with lever calliper and disc (375 grams in this version)

Check the technical advantages our Made in Japan semi metallic brake pads HERE and improve the braking power of your enduro mountain bike. Our SuperSpeed and HyperSpeed compounds are ready for enduro riding and will improve the brake power and reliability of your brake system.

Follow Us:


Google +
Google +


Rahox Brakes

1 comment: