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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 08-03-11, 12:15 PM   #1
Clownbike
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Disc Brakes - Hydro vs Mechanical

The Gobike has Tektro (Ho or Io ?) mechanical discs, front and rear. They work well enough, but wondering what the relative advantages/disadvantages are compared to hydraulic. I noticed that Tektro only has hydros on their site, so maybe the cable ones are for OEM. I guess my main concern is whether pads are going to be a problem in the future.

If hydros are preferred, any one brand/model better than another, and any to stay away from? Are the disc diameter and mounting bracket a factor?

Thanks
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Old 08-03-11, 02:23 PM   #2
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Hydros have better feedback and require no adjusting. Once set up,you only replace the pads and bleed the system occasionally(about 2yrs for street bikes,more often for MTBs). I'd be concerned about using them on a folder because you would have to be very careful the lines were never pinched by the folding.

How do you like the Gobike? Wish my Brompton had discs.
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Old 08-03-11, 03:09 PM   #3
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Hydros are better/work better/stronger.
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Old 08-03-11, 03:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Hydros have better feedback and require no adjusting. Once set up,you only replace the pads and bleed the system occasionally(about 2yrs for street bikes,more often for MTBs). I'd be concerned about using them on a folder because you would have to be very careful the lines were never pinched by the folding.

How do you like the Gobike? Wish my Brompton had discs.
It can!

(Sorry for the off-topic, but at least it shows that hydros are possible on a folder)
http://www.kinetics-online.co.uk/blog/?p=267
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Old 08-03-11, 04:04 PM   #5
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IMHO hydraulics are unnecessary on a bicycle. Sure you don't have to adjust them but if they go bad (the master cylinders seem to be the biggest point of failure) it's an expensive fix. In fact the very small volume of a bicycle's hydraulic system makes it very sensitive to water contamination and the need to make the system as light as possible makes it relatively fragile when compared to say, a motorcycle's hydraulic system. Strong braking power and good feedback are not exclusive traits to hydraulics... cable actuated discs can be just as effective if designed/matched properly and set up by a good mechanic. However that last point is one major issue with all disc braking systems for bikes. It seems that not many bike mechanics know how to set them up, maintain them or adjust them properly. I've had my fair share of having to correct issues deemed "hopeless" or "the nature of the beast" by other mechanics.

My MTB probably has the cheapest cable actuated disc brakes you can find yet I can controllably find my tire's limits of adhesion when at speed... I certainly don't think that hydraulics would serve me any better.
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Old 08-03-11, 04:45 PM   #6
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While hydro is a plus for real downhill and MTBing, I also do not see the need to ditch the cables for folder riding. Having discs avoids rim wear, but even there, judicious use of brakes can enormously reduce that problem.
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Old 08-03-11, 04:46 PM   #7
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I agree with BNB's post .. I wouldn't retrofit hydraulic brakes if my cable actuated ones worked (assuming you can get replacement parts) .. I have a '76 Honda CB 200 road bike with factory cable operated disc.. it has always worked very well.. a common upgrade for the CB200 was to swap in a hydraulic kit.. I never considered it .. for a folding bike, I'd prefer cable because of the possible contortions the cable/line might have to go through.

Clownbike, I've had a repair shop in Marin for the last 38 years...
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Old 08-03-11, 05:12 PM   #8
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I have Avid BB7 cable discs on my bike friday pocket Llama, 160 discs..

definitely have to be careful, they grab quick , at low speeds..

supposedly IRD dual banger pinches the disc, between 2 moving pads,

rather than push the disc with one pad into the other..

curious if it makes a significant difference in grabby ness..
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Old 08-03-11, 10:28 PM   #9
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Thanks all -

Will stick with the current setup and see how it goes. Maybe pick up a couple sets of pads for spares.

The Tektros work well. 30+ years of motorbikes has gotten me well used to disc brakes and two wheels. Seems that with the single sided design, wheel to caliper adjustment is more critical than a double sided pot. Will check into the IRD as single sided deflects the disc, and this will increase as the pads wear.

One thing I particularly like about disc brakes is once you get a nice wheel build, you don't have to worry about brake pad wear requiring a new rim.
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Old 08-03-11, 10:50 PM   #10
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How do you like the Gobike? Wish my Brompton had discs.
Too soon to tell. It's rather heavy, but seems to have several options for weight reduction. It rides very nice, and once you get the fold figured out is about the same as a Birdy in that regard. Will see what can be done about the weight, but so far the Birdy rides about the same and is much lighter and folds more compactly. Unfortunately they seemed to have gone for cheaper components to bring it into a price point. I guess they had difficulties recouping the R&D and frame fabbing costs. Not unusual for small companies like that. By the time they get to market, not enough resources to do proper advertising and distribution.

The Go is a marvelous bit of industrial design. Will be interesting to see if it can be made more practical as well.
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Old 08-03-11, 11:03 PM   #11
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This thread needs Go-bike pron...
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Old 08-04-11, 05:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I agree with BNB's post .. I wouldn't retrofit hydraulic brakes if my cable actuated ones worked (assuming you can get replacement parts) .. I have a '76 Honda CB 200 road bike with factory cable operated disc.. it has always worked very well.. a common upgrade for the CB200 was to swap in a hydraulic kit.. I never considered it ...
Usually people would swap out the cable operated drums or discs for hydraulic discs... supposedly for reasons of better performance. The problem was that they didn't know how to set up a cable actuated drum or disc brake properly, that's why it wasn't performing up to par. My CB175 with CB350 cable/drum could outbrake any other bike near it's class... even dual disc hydraulic equipped bikes.
http://www.jz63.com/XS650/images/175_1.jpg
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Old 08-04-11, 05:52 AM   #13
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... Seems that with the single sided design, wheel to caliper adjustment is more critical than a double sided pot...
+1.
Of course the logical fix is to design a floating caliper. That would benefit both hydraulic and cable systems but it would most likely also add weight.
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Old 08-04-11, 10:45 AM   #14
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Hydraulics with 2 pistons coming in from both sides of a disc are easy to balance,
you just have a common oil pressure source.

My Magura rim brakes have an obvious hose. though 1 pad touches the rim earlier

than the other, but does not exert force until the other pad is also in contact,
then they work together., equally.
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Old 08-04-11, 11:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bendembroski View Post
it can!

(sorry for the off-topic, but at least it shows that hydros are possible on a folder)
http://www.kinetics-online.co.uk/blog/?p=267
do want
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Old 08-04-11, 09:34 PM   #16
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This thread needs Go-bike pron...
Will get some pics up when I get a chance.
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Old 08-13-11, 11:18 AM   #17
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This thread needs Go-bike pron...
Hi Jur - Here ya go.
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Old 08-14-11, 10:13 AM   #18
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