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  1. #1
    Senior Member Woot! Woot! diamondback_man's Avatar
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    Hydralic, And Mechanical Disk Brakes...Why Pay More?

    Is it really worth the extra money to invest in Hydralic disk brakes, or should i just go with mechanical? I dont know if i should pay more, and just get the hydralics.
    "If you've been into freeriding for very long, then you are no stranger to the letters DBR. Diamondback was pioneering freeride and mountain biking and winning world titles in downhill before most people had evern heard about this type of riding."-Diamondback Ltd.

  2. #2
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    This question comes up often and it based on experience. Typically hydros have better modulation, and good mechs (avids) offer equal power. I say typically because every Avid supporter in the world would flame if I made that a blanket statement Mech supporters will claim easier maintenance, well, I have rebuilt and bled an entire system (master cylinder blew up) in 15 minutes. When I had mechs I had issues with cables gunk. I have the same problem with my drive train. Crap gets inside and I need to rip it all apart and lube everything.

    Personally I would, if I was buying a bike, still get hydros. Just my take having used both quite a bit.

  3. #3
    bac
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    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    When I had mechs I had issues with cables gunk.
    That's why I'm switching from mechanicals (Avids) to hydros (Hayes) on my single-speed.

  4. #4
    Member Structure0's Avatar
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    Hydro all the way. The Avid folks seem to love their brakes too, but it seems like almost anyone who can afford to goes to hydros sooner or later.

    This should draw some flames...;P

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    This question is just like so many others. It really comes down to personal preference, IMO. A well designed cable actuated brake (Avid) is going to perform as well as a hydro. The feel at the lever will of course be different, but the brake is going to stop you. I use Avids for several reasons. One reason is that if there is a malfunction on the trail, I have a chance to jury rig something to get out, whereas if I had a malfunction with a hydro brakeset, chances are slim to none that a trailside repair could be improvised. Another reason I favor mechs is the need to mess with brake fluid or mineral oil when you have hydros. I know there are gadgets you can get to help minimize the chance of making a mess, but if I'm working anywhere near an open bottle of brake fluid, I'll probably find a way to knock it over. I also like Avid's patented CPS deal. I think it stands for caliper positioning system, and it makes mounting and setting up a caliper a 5 minute job at most. I run my brakes with the Avid Speeddial levers, and these things, in conjunction with the adjustment on the caliper itself make these brakes so tunable it's not even funny. As for the guys who have had issues with cables gumming up, I find that full length housing does wonders to avoid that problem. I don't have any exposed cable on my bike, every run has housing from start to finish. And then there is the peace of mind you get when your buddy is loading the bikes onto his rack, and you know that even if he accidentally hits your brake lever, nothing bad is going to happen. One vote for Avid mechs.
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  6. #6
    Part of the furniture math2p14's Avatar
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    I perfectly agree with all the advantages that buzzbomb mentioned about avids.

    But, i got XT discs for 1.5yrs in veeeery bad weather conditions (enter UK winter). The result is 0 problems, 0 cleaning, 0 maintenance, 100% performance during the last 18months. Hence i vote for hydros.
    Where the skid marks stop...the tree begins....:D:D:D:D:D

  7. #7
    ...and bless the trails leadbutt's Avatar
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    I've rode both...and personally, the advantages of hydros (better modulation, little more power) just aren't worth the aggravation. The thing you don't hear from alot of these guys is their bikes came with hydros as spec'd parts, so of course, they aren't gonna switch right off...I won't say that I wouldn't...

    If you're building one up, I'd recommend the mech. Avids or Hayes. And definitely run the full cable on the front...(mine has an open area but I don't have the cable gunk problem, but I clean mine more religiously than other folks)...

    The Avids have good modulation if you want to tune it in...takes about 10 minutes, but it's fun and builds confidence...

    The power is also good, just shy of being as good as hydraulics...I prefer the Avids 'cause I'm not worried about tying the bike down and skidding thru the corners...

    As far as the money issue...whatever...

  8. #8
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    I was lucky when I bought my Stumpjumper recently; the lbs bought back the hydraulic brakes for a decent price so I could put my 2-year old Avids on it. The hydraulics were not impressive to me, but it was only in the parking lot.

    I ride in the Georgia/Tennessee mountains and sometimes in Moab. I just don't need better braking, modulation, etc. The big advantage is the lack of maintenance an the simple adjustments of the Avids. I've read and have discussed with several bike mechanics, who happen to be friends, the maintenance and repair issues with hydraulics. Not for me, thanks.

    By the way, you can't beat the Avid adjustable pull levers either. You can dial in the sensitivity to suit what you like.

    About four monthes ago I bought a set of Avids to complete converting my wife's bike. They were $45.00 plus shipping.

    Al

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    Sorry to hijack the thread, but the V-Brakes on my bike lock the front easily, in the dry, wet or muddy, so what advantages would I gain by switching to discs? Is there really that much more feel at the lever to justify the cost?

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    Quote Originally Posted by P.R.Moffatt
    the V-Brakes on my bike lock the front easily, in the dry, wet or muddy,

    This certainly hasn't been my experience, but the conditions I ride in may be different. Besides that, it's the area from zero brakes to just before locking up that is important.
    1 Chainring; $35, 1 Cog; $25, 14 Gears; Priceless.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P.R.Moffatt
    Sorry to hijack the thread, but the V-Brakes on my bike lock the front easily, in the dry, wet or muddy, so what advantages would I gain by switching to discs? Is there really that much more feel at the lever to justify the cost?

    Looked at your Rims recently? I was convinced that there was no advantage in having Discs, as My V's work superbly. I used to go through a set of rims each year, but no real worry. Then a 240lb friend of mine got a new bike with Discs. He used to punish rims, and was lucky to get a year out of them. 2 years later on the new bike with discs, and wheels perfect.

    I am still on V's but the replacement wheels have disc hubs, so guess what my next upgrade will be?

  12. #12
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    my rims are re-enforced, thickness is fine, but surely front wheels with discs weigh more, and do no the discs eventually wear through? Does this not offset the advantage of sharper braking?

  13. #13
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    One of the biggest advantages of disc for ME is that you can ride a damaged rim back to the trailhead and still have functioning brakes. You see, I'm a big guy who likes to ride aggressively. That means, I like to jump and toss my bike around. The result is usually a whacked rear wheel. I can't tell you how many times I've knocked a rim out of true on the trail (full on TACOED WHEEL), removed it and bashed it against a tree to get it semi-straight, put it back on and ridden back to my truck. With a rim brake, you just CAN'T do this!

    And yes, this happens to me a lot! I've gotten very good at rebuilding wheels!

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  14. #14
    Senior Member iamthetas's Avatar
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    im with ya A2 its like having a warped rotor on discs.you slowing then not,slowing then not,etc.cant get down a hill safely if you have little if any brakes ive never tried hydros cuz my mechs do just fine.i was happy with v brakes too but bike came with them so i upgraded to a better disc(avid) so when i hit mud above the TOP of the rotor,i still got brakes,and i mean that sticky orange stuff or even worse,the white slicker,yet sticks to everything it touches baby poop smeeling stuff.my rims havenot been true for any length of time since i took them out of the box.its nice to have dependable stuff so i can concentrate on what i am doing and not think about can i rely on my equipment to get thru this.i wold go to hydros if they came with the bike but see no need now for i do not seriously downhill.the fastest i usually get going is no more than30mph and that is not for long due to corners or climbs
    for the creation was subjected to futility,not willingly , but because of Him who subjected it in hope...that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:20-29
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  15. #15
    Senior Member headn4thehills's Avatar
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    I have not run hydros, so i cant speak for their performance, but have the avids and love them. They grip alot better then rim brakes and I have never had a problem. I too ran full length cable housing to keep them smooth and also speed dial levers. They will put me over the bars as easy as any brake I suppose, but at a lesser cost. One thing to remember, no brake will feel right fresh out of the box, or out of the store in the parking lot. There is a brief break in period and it is noticable. They will get better after a few hits and once the pads get worn in. It all boils down to what you deem worthy of your money. Hydro fans love em, and avid fans love theirs. The only difference I could really see is if you break a lever and ruin the resevoir. It may cost you a bit more to replace. Other than that, they both serve the same purpose.

  16. #16
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    What I find funny are the arguments of cost...avids really aren't that cheap if you get the levers to really get them modulating

    Hayes brakes (8in)- 183 cdn (includes everything)
    Avids (8in) - 145cdn (just the brake and rotor)
    Avid lever - 40 to 60$...

    I don't understand how this saves money.

    Head, it costs like 25$ cdn to fix and replace the master cylinder on a hayes.Easy job and not expensive.

  17. #17
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    Great thread and very interesting reading for me because I'm finally going to replace my old Rocky Mtn Fusion (yes - steel frame, cantilever brakes, rigid fork!). Bikes have changed so much over the years that it is overwhelming. One dilema when buying a new bike is where to compromise ... if I get V-brakes (base stumpjumper) I'll get sweeter wheels and awesome front fork ... go for hydraulic brakes (Rocky Vertex 50) and the components are just one step down.

  18. #18
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    yeah avid mechs really aren't that cheap. i haven't tried any hydro discs but i can say that my magura hs-22 rim brakes feel so much better at the lever than my avid levers with avid mechs. it gets costly to try to make a mech 'feel' like a hydro, though... like with those fancy housing and stuff, they cost a lot..
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  19. #19
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    Worth saving for discs then? Or would I be better off ploughing the money into some tasty rims?
    EDIT: Looking at disc spec they are going to add 1kg over V's!, never mind.
    Last edited by P.R.Moffatt; 03-16-04 at 10:43 AM.

  20. #20
    DocRay
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    Quote Originally Posted by P.R.Moffatt
    Sorry to hijack the thread, but the V-Brakes on my bike lock the front easily, in the dry, wet or muddy, so what advantages would I gain by switching to discs? Is there really that much more feel at the lever to justify the cost?
    This is pad problem, assuming your rims aren't glazed, you may want to try a different pad compound for your riding style.

  21. #21
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocRay
    This is pad problem, assuming your rims aren't glazed, you may want to try a different pad compound for your riding style.
    Welcome to the Forums but please check your last post dates before reviving dead threads

  22. #22
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocRay
    This is pad problem, assuming your rims aren't glazed, you may want to try a different pad compound for your riding style.
    Welcome to the forums. The canadians are taking over muwahhhh

  23. #23
    DocRay
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Welcome to the Forums but please check your last post dates before reviving dead threads
    Why? I had something to add to the discussion so that future readers could follow the thread after a search (like I did). Simply calling a thread "dead" makes no sense , the topic is still current and relevant. Otherwise, you'll end up with hundreds of threads with the same topics re-iterated, which does no one any good to get to info they need.
    This is the first time I've ever been advised against this on a forum, and I've moderated a few.

  24. #24
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocRay
    Why? I had something to add to the discussion so that future readers could follow the thread after a search (like I did). Simply calling a thread "dead" makes no sense , the topic is still current and relevant. Otherwise, you'll end up with hundreds of threads with the same topics re-iterated, which does no one any good to get to info they need.
    This is the first time I've ever been advised against this on a forum, and I've moderated a few.
    That's why we have "sticky" posts. If the thread isn't responded to within say 2 months obviously it's relevance is no longer an issue. If someone wants the information all they need to do is do a search for the info, then if their question is unanswered then they started a thread looking for the information not covered. It's an unwritten rule around here that you let dead threads die. As far as getting hundreds of posts on the same thing anyway we'd get that even if we did keep old dead threads running
    Last edited by Raiyn; 06-17-04 at 03:35 PM.

  25. #25
    DocRay
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    That's why we have "sticky" posts. If the thread isn't responded to within say 2 months obviously it's relevance is no longer an issue.
    So brakes on bikes are no longer a relevant issue? been replaced with carbon fibre boat anchors?
    The rule should be "search first before posting". Good advice is still good advice, months later.

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