Q: Been working on my braking skill and feel that my front brake is not powerful enough. I have a 7-inch rotor and metallic pads, but it still doesn’t feel like enough. I’m using Avid Juicy 5 brakes on a Trek Fuel EX 8. Does it make sense to go to
an 8-inch rotor?
Stéphane, who wants some serious stoppers
A: Sure. Going to a larger rotor size is the most cost-effective way to eke more braking power out of your current setup. As long as your fork will accept the larger size, which we suspect it will, you should be good to go. Remember to break in the new rotor with 15 to 20 controlled stops before hitting the trail. A surprising increase in braking power can be had if you don’t do your break-in on the trail.
Braking feel often comes down to your riding style and the terrain you ride. It is better to have a bit too much braking power than too little. Just be sure to ease yourself into riding with the new rotor up front. The extra power may require you to change how you brake. A strong pull at the lever required with the old rotor may result in an over-the-bars excursion with the new one. Old riding habits can die hard, especially on familiar terrain, so try to remind yourself of the different setup on the trail.
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