Help me out: Shimano MT200 or Deore brakes? Or anyone with good experience with Avid Elixirs?

At least over here, there seems to be a big price difference in Shimano brakes -you can either go for cheapy MT200 or then it seems to jump by 100% in price to the next level of Deore brakes. While I'm a gentle xc person, there are times on descents where my errr.. overweight body needs decent braking. I do have some old generation Alivio hydraulics that aren't quite cutting the mustard on my hard tail. At times I really have to haul on them and they still seem to have a problem stopping with some really awful wailing. I should add they are bled properly with non spongy levers and I run a generic 180mm disc up front and have BS01 Shimano pads. Changing pads and cleaning the disc don't seem to make any difference, so I'm attributing the issue to the brakes not having enough power for me.

So, has anyone used MT200s? Are they comparable to Deore level brakes for power? I'm happy to give up fancy features just not braking power.....

Secondly, I also seem to be the only person in the world who has had great luck with Avid Elixir brakes. In comparison they give me really easy one finger braking and power wise are streets ahead of the Alivio brakes. So I'm tempted to just buy another set which are comparable or lower in price than the MT200s. I've got all the bleeding tools necessary (for both Avids and Shimano) and have found I can bleed the Elixirs really well and for them to keep that bleed for a long, long time (yes, I know, so many people say that is a problem, but while they are tricky blighters to bleed, I've found with care and determination I can do a pretty good job and they perform excellently and consistently). However, I'm really afraid my brakes are a "one off" (or at least not built on a late Friday afternoon) and if I get another set of Elixirs I'm throwing my money away...... Can anyone convince me that Avid Elixirs aren't as bad as people say?
 
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Drago

Flouncing Nobber
The MT200 should stop you just fine. The biggest variables are pad selection, bedding in and cleanliness. Get that right and they feel like some one has shoved a broom handle through the front wheel - get and one even slightly wrong and you may as well not have bothered.

I've never found any model or Avid hydro especially robust or trouble free, although I have had hassles with Shimano hydraulic systems too.
 
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OP
Nigeyy

Nigeyy

Guru
Well, an update: I ordered some new in box Avid DB1s. Yes, yes, yes I know, I know so many people have had problems with them, but honestly my Elixir 1's have -and continue to be -great brakes for me and for my gentle XC riding. I believe the DB1s are little more than rebranded Elixir 1s.

The DB1s were at the right price, though they are on a slow boat from China at the moment, but I'm willing to wait. Add in the fact I have the Avid bleed kit for them, as well as some pretty good spare pads, and I was too tempted.

A bit of a gamble and I always have a tinge of doubt having stuff shipped to me from far off countries, but I think I like the feeling of Avid/SRAM brakes over Shimano stuff, at least for the brakes I've tried. I hope I don't regret it as I get the impression I'm in the minority in having reliable, strong, good modulating Avid brakes!!!

FYI: I realized the other day thinking about it, the last time I bled my Elixir brakes was at least 3 years ago (gulp, I've had them since 2012 and bled them only twice). This will also be an excuse for me to rebleed them with some fresh fluid -which I'll definitely buy on the assumption all that jostling in the bowels of a rusty freighter in confused seas will have spoiled the bleed in the DB1s. Wish me luck!
 
OP
Nigeyy

Nigeyy

Guru
Yet another update: after almost a week I was contacted an informed that the Avid DB1 brakes were not actually available (got a full refund) So.... just ordered some Avid Elixir 1's -at least I'm familiar with them!

I'm going to order some new 5.1 dot fluid and do a bleed of my existing set and new set when I get them. Hopefully the new brakes will be as good as the ones I've had.
 
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