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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-16-14, 01:10 AM   #26
pdthiem
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
Errrrrm...how much experience do have with maintenance of decent hydros? I switched to hydraulics, in part, because mechanicals are so fussy and expensive to maintain.
I was a professional bike mechanic in college, and worked at a Performance Bike as a mechanic for nearly a year last year. I built and set up literally dozens of sets of hydraulic brakes. In my experience as a PROFESSIONAL MECHANIC, (I've completed UBI's certification, and Performance's "Spin Doctor" certification), the BB7's and TRP Spyre's I've worked on, with compressionless housings, lack for very little over hydraulics. You also don't have to worry about not squeezing the brake lever with mechanicals like you do with hydraulics when there's no disc in the caliper.

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Old 04-16-14, 01:14 AM   #27
pdthiem
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I ride significant elevation gain in terrible gritty wet conditions and had to fuss with my bb7s at least once a week -- sometime more often. Moreover, pad changes are, IME, more time consuming and annoying (alignment issues) with mechanicals than a decent hydraulic. Mechanicals also require more re-adjustment when you swap wheels (see my handle). I now run XT hydraulics and have 5 wheelsets that I can swap onto my two commuters with no more than a couple lever squeezes worth of adjustment.

Mid-level or better Shimano are set up and forget for 5-10 years (depending on your paranoia about mineral oil stability). Moreover, since both pistons auto adjust there is, IME, very little problem with scraping/noise. My brakes basically never need adjustment and only rub/squeal when the pads are extremely low. I tend to agree that low end shimano hydraulics are not much better than mechanicals but once you get to SLX ($70-$80 online) or better there really is no comparison, IMO.

And anther thing: shimano/magura mineral oil is dirt cheap -- compressionless brake cables not so much.
I've run BB7's on my commuter hybrid with over 10,000 commuting miles on it in the past seven years. With the exception of replacing the pads about once a year, I have had to adjust them less than two or three times a year. Perhaps you simply aren't setting yours up correctly.
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Old 04-16-14, 01:50 AM   #28
TransitBiker
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Originally Posted by jmilleronaire View Post
If "above 0F" makes someone a fair-weather commuter, what am I? I've been waiting for 50F!

Do I need to go shopping for skirts?
I'd say that is solidly in the "fair weather" category. Lot of recreational & fitness riders fit that as well, and there's nothing wrong with it. But, for those who use a bike instead of an automobile/truck... waiting till spring doesn't work when you need to go get groceries in January.

On my new bike, i may look into disc brakes, but i think I'll let others test all this stuff out before i even bother saving up....
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Old 04-16-14, 08:42 AM   #29
spare_wheel
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Originally Posted by pdthiem View Post
I've run BB7's on my commuter hybrid with over 10,000 commuting miles on it in the past seven years. With the exception of replacing the pads about once a year, I have had to adjust them less than two or three times a year. Perhaps you simply aren't setting yours up correctly.
get back to me when you descend hundreds thousands of feet each year on gritty wet pnw streets.
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Old 04-16-14, 08:53 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by pdthiem View Post
the BB7's and TRP Spyre's I've worked on, with compressionless housings, lack for very little over hydraulics. You also don't have to worry about not squeezing the brake lever with mechanicals like you do with hydraulics when there's no disc in the caliper.
the fact that you wrenched a few disc brakes gives you no special authority when it comes to judging performance.

imo, auto adjusting pistons, one finger braking, linear modulation, and rapid engagement make decent hydraulics a far better choice than any mechanical on the market.

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You also don't have to worry about not squeezing the brake lever with mechanicals like you do with hydraulics when there's no disc in the caliper.
i don't worry because it takes ~1 sec to push back the pistons -- something that is done when inserting a new pad in any case.
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