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brassell31

ANSWERED Brake Rotor Upgrade for X Bike?

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I bought a X Bike last January which I am very pleased with. I had to get an extended seat tube with a 20 mm setback to get the bike to fit my 6'-2" frame, but cost was minimal and nothing new in the biking world for me. The question I have is about upgrading the brake rotors to a larger size for better stopping power. I frequently tow a cargo trailer for camping in the back woods, and hunting in the fall. The roads are dirt logging roads which have some long very steep grades (8% +). Going up is so much easier now with the electric assist, but going down with a heavy load (up to 100 lbs.) can be a literal white knuckle experience.  Did I mention I weigh 215 lbs.? Add on the weight of a 70 lb. bike and that's a lot to slow down, probably more than what the brakes were designed for. Anyway, I have to constantly adjust the brakes to get barely adequate stopping power, and yesterday lost the brakes almost entirely. I got new brake pads at the local bike shop, and the bike mechanic there suggested bigger rotors also.  As I am new to disc braking systems, what size rotors would one of you who knows suggest? I have 160 mm discs now. Would 180 mm be OK, or should I go to 203 mm?  I guess I would have to get brake mount adapters to accommodate the larger discs. Thanks for any help.

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@brassell31,  buy pads in bulk from Aliexpress. My first modification, was the very traditional 203mm front disc  and 180mm rear, since 70% or so of the stopping power is on the front. Towing a trailer on steep grades,  I can see using a 203mm disc, also on the rear. That’s a very economical starting point.  I used to carry half that weight on my rear rack but on mostly level terrain (now pay twice as much for less than half the weight in Salmon & Sweet Potato kibbles to have Rachel Ray cook my Border Collies’ meals). 😁

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Brake modificaction options from forum posters,  go from the logical / eccomomical to the extreme. Check out Matt Robinson’s Magura Brake Project here on the forum, if you’re happy to throw a fist full of $50’s at your brakes. You’ll have be best and the sexiest setup in the industry short of dual front rotors ..... I was convinced. 

We’d all love for you to post pictures of your back woods adventures in our forum’s Gallery.

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     Reddy

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@brassell31 if you are going to pay for an upgrade, you may as well go all the way.  You have to pay for a new caliper height adapter, and you have to pay for a new rotor... so make them 203's front and rear.  You won't be hurting anything and its better to have too much capacity than too little.  If too much, just don't squeeze as hard.  In reality 203's front and rear are not going to make the brakes too grabby... the reality of a 50-60-lb ebike means that will never happen.

Something to consider:  Magura Storm HC rotors are super thick.  2.0-2.2mm thick.  Lots of others are a lot thinner.  About $28 each on Fleabay delivered.

Interestingly enough, your current 160mm Tektro rotors are very nice.  They have the same thickness as the Maguras, which is unusual.  By way of comparison, Avid rotors are often in the 1.3mm thickness range.  I re-used my Sondors stock rotors on my Stumpjumper - that I put a 3000-watt Cyclone on.  Stopped freaking great with the AVID BB5's I had on that bike.

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