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  1. #1
    Senior Member euroford's Avatar
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    if i go with mech. instead of hyrdo will i be bummed?

    i'm building up a jamis komodo fx to use as my urban bomber, winter commuter and occasional trail rider (i live in downtown chicago) and i'm thinking i'll go with pricepoints x.9 disc group which includes the bb7 mechanical disk breaks.

    i've never had disks before (my other bikes are canti built ultralite XC specific sworks machines), but i'm excited about using them.

    i'm just curious, will i end up wishing i had spent more on hyrdo disks?

  2. #2
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I imagine you will be very happy with the BB7's. They are the best mechanical disc brake out there. In order to get a nicer hydraulic brake you are going to have to spend a good bit of money. I'm not sure if money is a concern or not, if it is go with the BB7's.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  3. #3
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroford
    i'm just curious, will i end up wishing i had spent more on hyrdo disks?
    yes


  4. #4
    dirt is good trevor's Avatar
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    Depends, Hydro's cost more and more things could break on them, but they might be a bit stronger. Mech's have less parts to break and cost less, but they might be a little weaker (barely weaker IMO).
    I like riding bikes :)

  5. #5
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    nope...i have both and prefer the mechanical discs as I can do a quick fix or adjustment on the trails...I carry an extra cable on those bakcountry trails as well

    After having my front hydo fail last year and having brake fluid leak and burn my hands about 10km into the woods, I think that all of my future builds will be mechanical

    As far as performance goes...both are Hayes, both have identical 6" rotors, and I can't really notice much difference between the two

  6. #6
    Senior Member jalexei's Avatar
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    My friend's bikes with hydros have a slightly better lever feel, and there have been a couple of situations where I felt I could modulate near lock-up more easily, but the drop-off in performance when they do need service (most (all?) hydros automatically adjust for pad wear, but when air gets into the system, they feel like mush) is very noticeable. My BB7's are so much easier to service, so close in performance, and so linear in their performance over time (a click or two on the dial to adjust for wear, and an occasional check of the cable tension) that I've never felt even the slightest urge to upgrade. Adding in the fact that you're less likely to suffer a complete loss of power if you hole or tear a cable housing makes the decision even easier.

    Keep in mind also the Avid BB7s (unlike many other mechanical discs) have an easy-to-use and nearly foolproof way of aligning the caliper that makes installation (and later adjustments) very simple.

    I'm sure you'd be prefectly happy with hydros, but I'm confident you'd be nearly as happy with the Avid mechs, enough that not spending the extra money would never be an issue.

  7. #7
    Senior Member vw addict's Avatar
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    I would never trade my Juicy's for BB7's.

  8. #8
    Senior Member FreeRidin''s Avatar
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    For the gnarly dh trails we have here, you will be more than pleased with your BB7s. Many people would rather use bb7s for urban types of riding opposed to like hayes 9s.
    Quote Originally Posted by Killer B
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    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    I'm in the BB7 camp. I've spent a lot of money building up my bike and the last thing I considered changing was the brakes. But the BB7s work so well for so much less money. Also, go read the reviews in MTBR - there are way too many problems with hydraulic disc brakes. If I paid the money it costs to buy a set of Hopes or Maguras, I'd expect flawless performance and low maintenance. Neither is a sure thing.

  10. #10
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    According to your post, you're coming off of cantis. I'm not sure, but I did not see where your current brakes are hydraulic. I have Avid BB5's. They can out anything any of our cantis including the one oversized set up with brake booster, and the BB7's are supposed to be better than the 5's. I think you'll be real happy with the BB7's.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    The amount of horrible "advice" that can be found in this forum is absolutely mind-boggling.

    Carry on!
    Please, submit your own good advice. It will help.

    Personally, I've got a BB7 and I'm happy with it. I haven't had a lot of experience with hydros (and none on a trail, so I can't directly compare) but I can testify that a BB7 works great for most things.

  12. #12
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    I've used Hayes, Magura, and Avid Hydraulic brake systems and now I use the BB-7 Mechanical system. In my experience, the Avid BB-7 mechanical disc brakes, installed with the Full Metal Jacket housing/cable kit* and FR-5 or Speed Dial 7 levers is the "best" disc brake choice - easy installation and adjustment, excellent performance (Including modulaton and one-finger operation), minimal maintenance, low initial and on-going cost, field serviceable, extremely reliable, light, etc.

    *Be creative with the stainless steel housing to get the best results (For instance use it between the top tube but install a stick-on guide half way between the two braze-ons to eliminate flexing, zip-tying it to the braze-ons and stick-on guide; and on the rear triangle it's possible to carefully bend the tube - no kinks - into a slight "S" shape to fit the braze-ons there).

  13. #13
    Forecaster WeatherMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    The amount of horrible "advice" that can be found in this forum is absolutely mind-boggling.

    Carry on!
    As if your pedantic quip is any better sparky.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vw addict
    I would never trade my Juicy's for BB7's.
    I wouldn't either. Personally I like hydro way better: more power, more modulation, harder to break it (in case it does that's a bummer but snapping a line is really rare compared to the not so rare broken brake cable on mechanics) and lower mantainance.
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  15. #15
    Forecaster WeatherMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunken Chicken
    I wouldn't either. Personally I like hydro way better: more power, more modulation, harder to break it (in case it does that's a bummer but snapping a line is really rare compared to the not so rare broken brake cable on mechanics) and lower mantainance.
    Lower maintenance? Not hardly. Turn a knob every few rides versus bleeding funky and often toxic fluids? I'd rather use a mechanical system where [ B]if[/B] in the unlikely event I snapped a cable I could fix it in a matter of minutes trailside with a spare cable from my CamelBak or from any Mom and Pop bike shop or even Kmart. A failed hose is a ride ender.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ankush's Avatar
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    braking power with avid mechs and most hydros are more or less the same. the main difference between mechs and hydros is modulation. a well set up pair of decent hydraulic brakes will usually have a better feel than a well set up pair of bb7s. i think maintainance is a non issue in both types, esp if you are a little mechanically inclined. if you have the cash go for hydros (formula oro's are v nice), though avid bb7s are very good brakes too..
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  17. #17
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeatherMan
    blah blah blah mechs are good enough for 95% of the riders on here blah blah blah
    welcome back.

  18. #18
    Senior Member euroford's Avatar
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    thanks for the feedback everybody. most likely, i will go with the bb7's, but the tech weeny/mechanic/perfectionist is still lusting after the idea of a nice hyrdo setup.

    it seams most poeple are split into two camps:

    I have BB7's and they rule, i would never bother with hyrdo's.

    I have Hyrdo's, they are not as troublesome as the BB7 guys fear and do have a superior edge.

  19. #19
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroford
    I have Hyrdo's, they are not as troublesome as the BB7 guys fear and do have a superior edge.

    That's my P.O.V.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  20. #20
    Senior Member vw addict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeatherMan
    Lower maintenance? Not hardly. Turn a knob every few rides versus bleeding funky and often toxic fluids?
    First of all, I've had two sets of Hayes that are 5 and 6 years old and have NEVER been bleed once, and the pads changed twice on both.
    Second of al the fluid in Avid's brakes is not toxic, and they also have a pad adjustment knob, and it's easier to use than a barrel adjuster.

  21. #21
    I'm simply not credible. Terrapin Ben's Avatar
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    i don't really know too much about hydros other than they are more complicated adn require more service than mechanical breaks. and even that might be wrong. i have heard that you never want to flip your bike upside down if you have hydraulic discs because you could get an air bubble in the fluid. any truth to this? i dont have a cool parks tool stand because i am cheap and do most of my maintenance by flipping my bike upside down. so for me, i imagine hydrualics would be a problem. i also fall a lot when i am descending and my bike gets flipped around or up-side down. is this something i should really worry about when deciding to upgrade to hydraulic breaks? the biggest selling point i have heard from the folks who love there hydraulic breaks is that they have remarkable modulating abillities and amazing power. the maintenance and possability for complications kinda freak me out though....
    Every time that wheel turn round,
    Bound to cover just a little more ground

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  22. #22
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    yes hydros are more complicated and harder to setup INITIALLY, but once set properly you shouldn't have trouble. I went from mechs to MAgura Gustavs (yes they are WAY overkill on my Santa cruz chameleon but hey why not have the most powerful on the market?) Being 200lbs, I have found I have way less hand fatigue as i can flip myself over with one finger now. Obviously you have to take a hit in convenience when you go hydro but until you actually trail ride on them you'll never know what you are missing. As for reliability, I haven't touched mine since i put the bike together in the spring. if you are mechanically inclined and have the money, go hydro

  23. #23
    Flatland hack Flak's Avatar
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    In this instance, i don't there is a wrong answer.

    For an urban bomber/commuter, mechs will do the job nicely, hydros will do the job just as well, only they feel better at the lever imo.

    If you have the money, go for it, if not, i think you'll still be happy on bb7's.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeatherMan
    Lower maintenance? Not hardly. Turn a knob every few rides versus bleeding funky and often toxic fluids? I'd rather use a mechanical system where [ B]if[/B] in the unlikely event I snapped a cable I could fix it in a matter of minutes trailside with a spare cable from my CamelBak or from any Mom and Pop bike shop or even Kmart. A failed hose is a ride ender.
    Right, because we bleed hydros before each ride right? Surely a bleed once a year is considered lower mantainance than turning knobs and adjusting brakes after a few rides. A failed hose is very very unlikely as they're very strong and if you're that worried about it get Goodridge steel braided lines, no more snapped hoses.
    Quote Originally Posted by Terrapin Ben
    i don't really know too much about hydros other than they are more complicated adn require more service than mechanical breaks. and even that might be wrong. i have heard that you never want to flip your bike upside down if you have hydraulic discs because you could get an air bubble in the fluid. any truth to this? i dont have a cool parks tool stand because i am cheap and do most of my maintenance by flipping my bike upside down. so for me, i imagine hydrualics would be a problem. i also fall a lot when i am descending and my bike gets flipped around or up-side down. is this something i should really worry about when deciding to upgrade to hydraulic breaks? the biggest selling point i have heard from the folks who love there hydraulic breaks is that they have remarkable modulating abillities and amazing power. the maintenance and possability for complications kinda freak me out though....
    Think of hydros as a sealed pipe, if you seal it properly and bleed it with no bubbles in it it should be perfectly fine. The reason people think that flipping the bike upside down puts air in the lines is because then the bubbles which are in the fluid after a bad bleed suddenly come out from their hiding places (stuck to the side of the caliper, somewhere in the lever, etc) and suddenly affect braking. As long as you have a good bleed everything should be fine.
    2005 Ironhorse 7.3
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  25. #25
    dirt is good trevor's Avatar
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    When I was riding my friends HFX-9's had terrible modulation IMO... But I have heard that hfx-9's arnt the greatest.
    I like riding bikes :)

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