Disc brakes and forks for mountain bike

    Hi all, I think there are one or two mountain bikers on this forum and I'm after some advice.

    I'm thinking of upgrading both my brakes (current Tektro Mech Discs) and forks (Manitou Black 100s) in the near future (I want to build up my old bike and improve my current bike). Really can't afford to spend much more than £250 on the whole lot so wonder if anyone had any good suggestions?

    Basically looking for a complete set of hydraulic disc brakes (f+r brakes, rotors, levers and pre-bled cables) and also some 80mm-100mm XC forks (ideally remote lockout ;-)).

    Looking to pay as little as possible over £100 for the brakes and £150 for the forks - any ideas?


    Gonna struggle to get much for that kind of money M8.I would look at these for brakes.

    Shimano XT Hydraulic (Mineral oil) set.I run these on Aztec Wave Rotors,Good brakes.…Set

    Avid BB7 Mechanical (cable) Disc brake.Don't be but off by cable operation these are mega powerful and easy to upgrade from your current set up as you keep your existing brake levers.…tor

    Also noticed company (used them myself) on eBay selling these as well check out item no. 270110945376

    Magura Julie's (£100 here),Hayes HFX-9's & Avid Juicy 5's are all good,Excellent company too,Ring them for advice there very helpful :…tml

    Any of these above would be huge upgrade from the brakes your running,I had Tekro disc brakes on a training bike I ran a couple of years back and found them useless.

    For forks firstly have you considered getting your Manitou's serviced ?.My Dad just had his Manitou Splice's done and they came back like a new fork.The Blacks are a decent fork and one your not really going to improve on in this budget.I use a local guy for mine could find out if does mail order,he's really good.Found a company that does:…htm

    Have a look at these for your budget:

    Rock Shox 302 with lockout (good price):…007

    Merlin also sell Rock Shox forks (302 Poploc has remote lock out):…tml

    Like I said this company is fantastic.They custom built a set of XC wheels for me earlier this year,Very helpful and the wheels were superb.Ring them for help and advice they may sort out a deal for a fork & brake set within your budget.

    Hope this helps.:)

    Just a quick message regarding Brakes -
    I've got some Avid BB5s (Mechanical also) essentially they're the same as th BB7s, but are missing an external adjustment knob, just use an allen key instead. They're VERY good and rival most entry level Hydraulic systems. Link…265

    P.S. Well within your budget! So you could also get some Avid Speed Levers, they allow you to alter the pad contact through using a little red knob on the lever. Effectively making them as adjustable as the BB7s.


    Original Poster

    Many thanks for the replies both, er, pete, thought this thread had sunk into the depths lol (teach me for not subscribing to it...)

    My housemate has BB5s and whilst they are decent as mechs I'm going to go hydraulic if I do this (me and him have this silly little my-bike-is-better-than-yours rivalry, and he is just edging it at the moment with his crank bros pedals :-D). Know merlin are real good pete, most my bike is from there. Already contacted them and they recommended either the Mag Julies or Hayes HFX-9s as brakes (£100/£125) - what do you reckon would be better? Also heard dual-control levers get slated, but you can get Shimano LX dc brakesets for around £100 (which would really be great as I'll need new gear levers anyway...) - are the LX set no good compared to Julies/HFX-9s?

    They said for the fork Tora 318 U-turn+poploc for £150 which sounds decent, but the bloke said Rock Shock Reba SL (£225) was 'unbeatable' and I'm wondering if its worth saving for... Bare in mind I have Manitou Blacks (100mm coil sprung, a little over £100 from merlin last year) and want decent upgrade. So, £350 he reckons for the Hayes and the Reba - best choice do you reckon?

    BTW Pete (1st) might get those Manitou serviced like you say, although I'm still after another pair of forks as I have another bike (or 70% there of) to build up (as my town/uninsured bike ;-)). I guess I could get some cheap Judys or something but I was thinking might as well go the air+lock out upgrade route and move the Manitous onto my old bike. If you know somewhere I could get working yet cheap basic susp forks (say £50 tops) I could afford better brakes.

    If it helps, one of the reasons I'm after this upgrade is because I get cramp-like hand pains (particularly right hand) when going on forest trails etc, I've tried gloves and hand excercises but I think the brakes don't help...

    So, £350 he reckons for the Hayes and the Reba - best choice do you reckon?[/QUOTE]

    Sounds good if your budget with cover it mate.You will be will happy with either brake,The Magura Julies and Hayes are both V.good.Regarding the fork I had a look at the 07 Scott Spark (which is fitted with the Reba fork) and its a nice piece of kit mate.Think my dad is goin to buy the bike just to p*** me off !!!.Was v.impressed with the Reba fork.Apart from a Fox Talas (my top choice but have checked the prices of them !) is one of the best forks Ive seen.Worth the extra bit of cash IMO.:thumbsup:

    Original Poster

    Yeah, I guess as I'm upgrading from (good value) £100 forks I should be looking at the £200+ arena and the Rebas sound good (yes lol I don't think I'll get getting fox forks any time soon much as I'd like to :w00t:). Any thoughts on dual-control LX hyrdualic sets? (Like I say I need new gear levers anyway so have to budget them in)

    I upgraded from Shimano Deore shifters which kept sticking (and didn't index that great either).Went to Shimano XT much better (think there a ball bearing driven system),Perfect indexing every time and bulletproof reliability.The dual controls are mainly found on cheaper bikes and I think you can only run Shimano brakes using them (Not the Magura or Hayes).Got my shifters from a company on eBay called highonbikes.Check out item no.170134620265 if your interested.Running them with XT rear mech and XT 9 speed cassette and LX front mech.Literally swap straight over and come with new inner and outer cables.V.pleased with results,Bike runs great.

    Original Poster

    Using deore shifters now but they will move to my other bike, so I was looking at an LX hydraulic brakeset (2007) with DC levers for £100. As this would mean I don't need to buy new levers (at least £30 really) this makes the LX set effectively £70 (so at least £30 less than the julies and £55 less than the hayes overall). Really impressed with the other LX stuff that I have overall (crankset and mechs are noticably better than Deore and very, very similar to XT in most regards) so it looks good value in that respect, but reviews are a little bit mixed.

    I don't need incredible braking, just a smoother/better modulated system then my Tektro mechs would be nice (I ride the red routes but not the black routes if you know what I mean).

    Check the local bike shops if they have "for sale" boards.

    I got a Front Hope XC Pro with a Wheel (cant remember but it was a Hope XC hub and skinny Mavic Rims) all for £100.
    Brand new the brakes were like £150 by themselves.

    Snapped them up as soon as they went on the board lol.
    This was a couple years ago, and still think the brakes damn great value.

    Always worth having a look, as you might get a bargain off of some nutter that buys new parts every month lol.

    Unused Rock Shox Reba on eBay with just over a day to go (currently about £130 !) item no. 130138265207 if your interested.Would whip your old fork off and check length on header before bidding though.Regarding Shimano Hydraulic discs brakes,run them myself but had to upgrade parts on them to get them to work well.Calipers use the mineral oil instead of the conventional hydraulic fluild,I find this system gives good braking (any slight loss in braking power is set off by a more gradual yet controllable action.However the rotors that came with mine were very poor (Brake fade once you got some heat in them was horrendous,They were heavy too.) and the standard resin pads were just pants.I fitted Fibrax sintered pads and Aztec wave rotors and its a different brake,The improvement was massive.However if you are forced down the same route it makes these brakes expensive (Aztec's cost £60 for the pair and Sintered pads £15).V.happy with the system now but should have just bought a better brake in the first place.

    Original Poster

    Thanks for that advice, very interesting, will watch those Rebas. What model Shimano brakes do you have?

    V. similar to these M8 (think they might be the previous years model,running on 160mm rotors) :…Set

    Basically a good brake (levers and calipers v.light and work fine) but supplied with poor quality rotors and when I bought mine cheap and nasty resin pads.Ring the guys @ Merlin the later models might be a bit better.Mine work fantastically well now but like I said cost me another £85 to get them sorted (which would more than buy you the Magura & Hayes which I know work great out of the box).

    Hope this helps .:)
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