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  1. #1
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    Hydraulic disc brakes, or mechanical???

    I am getting a Santa Cruz Juliana built and need to decide on the components. I currently have mechanical disk breaks on my Cannondale, upgraded from rim. The mechanical disks are MUCH better than the rim brakes were. My bike guy is suggesting I go with the hydraulic. Anyone have any opinion on mechanical vs. hydraulic? Is hydraulic worth the extra cost and are they hard to maintain? Thanks, Michelle
    Last edited by MudSplattered; 01-14-06 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Hydraulic disk brakes VS. Mechanical, Opinions???

  2. #2
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    Typo in the header, Dammit!
    Last edited by MudSplattered; 01-14-06 at 03:45 PM.

  3. #3
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    I started out long ago with Avid mechanicals, and they were a big step up from the v-brakes. On my most recent MTB, I run the Shimano XT hyd. They are the bees knees IMHO. I'm a XC guy, so I don't use my brakes that much, but in temps from -20C to +30C, sand, snow, slime, etc. I've had no trouble at all. The mechanicals still have a cable in there, so when that gets grimy, performance suffers. Just my $0.02...
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  4. #4
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    Do you have the intergrated brake/shifters? That's another option. Not sure about them though. I ride in all kinds of envoriments: dry, mud, snow, whatever, so performance consistancy is a good point. Thank!

  5. #5
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    ^^^ Yup, I'm fully integrated. Those rascals work like the dickens for XC [note that my definiton of XC means anything that doesn't involve hucking, a chairlift or shuttling].
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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  6. #6
    Senior Member zx108's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    The mechanicals still have a cable in there, so when that gets grimy, performance suffers. Just my $0.02...
    same happens with hydros, if they feel a little "spongy" you got to bleed them.

    i just did the switch. mostly becasue i fell in love with the feel of hydro levers while at my lbs.

  7. #7
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    hydraulic. they are not hard to maintain. it will be good practice for you to learn how to bleed something anyhow. might come in handy on something else one day.

  8. #8
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    I'm in love with my Avid Juicy 7 hydro brakes.

    No really...I love...these...brakes. The difference between the Juicy 7s and my old Hayes Soles (also Hydro) is hard to put into words, the Avid's are so much better. Shop around, you should be able to get a good deal on them as MSRP is pretty heavily inflated.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudSplattered
    Typo in the header, Dammit!
    There were two, but who's counting?

  10. #10
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriate
    There were two, but who's counting?

    Double Dammit!! That's my publik skool edumacashun four u.

  11. #11
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    I'm happy with my Avid mechanicals. I'm not a pro and I'm not at the point where I feel I need the best.
    When all else fails, read the directions.


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  12. #12
    Just biking along....
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    I'd go for hydros. My bike came with Avid Juicy 7s and I also thought it'd be a hassle to bleed them etc.... For one, they don't need bleeding very often.... and secondly, it's actually very very simple to bleed them. Just buy the bleed kit and off you go!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    If you're happy with mechanicals, why bother switching? I'll just point out a few practical things:

    With mechanical discs, you get to choose any lever you want. And if you have a bad stack and break a lever, they're dirt cheap. You can also store your bike upside down for as long as you want. When your wheel is off, you don't need to worry about some yahoo squeezing your lever and locking the pads together. A replacement brake line costs about $3.

    Hydraulics provide better modulation. Multi-piston designs can provide more stopping power, but how much do you need? We use Avid mechanicals with XT 203mm rotors on our tandem. They stop us just fine. I'm not opposed to hydraulics, as we have a set of Magura brakes for our tandem. I just haven't gotten around to ordering the braided lines.

  14. #14
    Commited Suicide WannaGetGood's Avatar
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    I like Mechanicals, they stop you, take a little longer but they get the job done. Hydros are kinda wierd to me cuase I hit the lever and I fly off my seat. Might just be becuase I am not used to such a sudden stop.

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    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Sounds like crappy brakes to me. Both of whatever ones you're referring to.

  16. #16
    Just Ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudSplattered
    I am getting a Santa Cruz Juliana built and need to decide on the components. I currently have mechanical disk breaks on my Cannondale, upgraded from rim. The mechanical disks are MUCH better than the rim brakes were. My bike guy is suggesting I go with the hydraulic. Anyone have any opinion on mechanical vs. hydraulic? Is hydraulic worth the extra cost and are they hard to maintain? Thanks, Michelle
    Depends on what riding you are intending to do. By the sound of it, i don't think you really need the hydraulics, but its up to you. If you are looking for mechanicals, go with the best ones out there... Avid BB7s.

  17. #17
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim? scrublover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudSplattered
    I am getting a Santa Cruz Juliana built and need to decide on the components. I currently have mechanical disk breaks on my Cannondale, upgraded from rim. The mechanical disks are MUCH better than the rim brakes were. My bike guy is suggesting I go with the hydraulic. Anyone have any opinion on mechanical vs. hydraulic? Is hydraulic worth the extra cost and are they hard to maintain? Thanks, Michelle

    if your budget supports it, go hydro. if not, mecahnical. i just recently swapped from a paul love lever/avid bb7 setup on two bikes, to avid juicy-5 setups on both. i now *much* prefer the hydros. that said, i've not really tried other hydros. the juicy's are quite nice though, and were dead simple to setup and bleed (had to shorten the lines on one set) with the juicy bleed kit. worth it, in my opinion.

    if mechs: avid bb7 paired up with some decent levers and a good quality stainless cable setup, with full housing runs.

    caveat: the cost of doing the above isn't too much less than a decent set up hydros anyhow........
    I believe the clouds in my coffee more than the weatherman on t.v.

  18. #18
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Code:
    Standard answer reposted yet again
    The Avid BB7 is sufficient for what 95% of the riders here do on a regular basis.
    I have never been disappointed with the braking power or modulation of these brakes. Smoothness and control are simply functions of lever choice and cable selection. With the right selection they can even rival hydraulics.
    Pair them up with a set of Avid levers (such as the FR-5 which is specifically designed for the Ball Bearing Disc or one of the Speed Dial series for extra tuning options) and a set of Dry Cables and you're golden.
    In terms of ease of maintenance the Avids are second to NONE. The adjustment knobs give you superior "no tool" tunablilty. as a bonus cable brakes are also easier to work on in terms of "in the field" repairs owing to the fact that you can easily get a replacement cable and / or lever at any Mom and Pop bike shop (heck you could go to K-mart and get parts that would work to get you back on the trail that day.)

    Who wants to mess with brake fluid in the boonies?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn

    Code:
    Standard answer reposted yet again
    The Avid BB7 is sufficient for what 95% of the riders here do on a regular basis.
    I have never been disappointed with the braking power or modulation of these brakes. Smoothness and control are simply functions of lever choice and cable selection. With the right selection they can even rival hydraulics.
    Pair them up with a set of Avid levers (such as the FR-5 which is specifically designed for the Ball Bearing Disc or one of the Speed Dial series for extra tuning options) and a set of Dry Cables and you're golden.
    In terms of ease of maintenance the Avids are second to NONE. The adjustment knobs give you superior "no tool" tunablilty. as a bonus cable brakes are also easier to work on in terms of "in the field" repairs owing to the fact that you can easily get a replacement cable and / or lever at any Mom and Pop bike shop (heck you could go to K-mart and get parts that would work to get you back on the trail that day.)

    Who wants to mess with brake fluid in the boonies?
    I would think if you have kevlar and braided hoses you wouldn't have too.

  20. #20
    yuth
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    Yeah,

    hydraulics are good if your hands are small or you want extra stopping power really quickly if your, let's say, trailing or going cross country. Although they have the fluid in them, I think it's worth the little extra maintinence for the braking power and I've got small hands.

  21. #21
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    I recently got my Hayes HFX-9 Cabon hydros and they are amazing. I rode 50 miles yesterday, quite often through foot-deep mud and they were great. There was a bit of rubbing at the end of the ride but I was told that it was normal for disc brakes (I ended up taking out the pads and pushing the pistons back manually and now they run smoother than before). After that I rode my friend's stumpy with Avid rims brakes and flew past the turn is was trying to make...HUGE DIFFERENCE. My vote goes to the hydros!
    2006 Kona Kula Primo

  22. #22
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim? scrublover's Avatar
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    that was everything i used to think about my avid mechs.

    ......until i swapped them out for a set of avid juicy-5 brakes.

    yeah, the mechs work just fine, and aren't problematic at all. in fact, i had both my sets of mechs (two bikes worth) set up very nicely with full housing runs, and paul love levers. they felt great! and worked great. and i sold them for nearly enough to pay for the new juicy setup. if you are on a budget, mechs can save a bit of cash, but that margin of cahs difference seems to grow narrower every season.

    the juicys feel even better. better modulation, still super easy to setup and maintain (if anything, i've had less trouble setting the juicys up; and that is saying alot, as the mechs are pretty d@mn easy to set up).

    i've not noticed any increase or decrease in power. (kept the same rotor sizes) and i have yet to have any trouble with them.

    if you do something while riding to pull apart some hydro hose (this used to be the main reason i didn't want to switch), you very likely would have messed up a cable system as well. i've yet to see anyone actually mess up a hydro line, and i've been riding with plenty of people using hydros for a long time. so long as you run your hoses properly, not too short and not too long, should be a non-issue.
    I believe the clouds in my coffee more than the weatherman on t.v.

  23. #23
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudSplattered
    Is hydraulic worth the extra cost and are they hard to maintain?
    Yes and no.

  24. #24
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    Around here the price diffference between the BB7 and juicy5 is not-so-much. Given that you ride in Alaska (?) I'd take the plunge and go full-hydro. I've found they work a little better than cable-disks at low temperatures, and in the muck.

  25. #25
    Banned. Jason222's Avatar
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    Avid Bb7's, like Raiyn said, are the best choice.

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