Old 10-22-20, 06:21 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 52

Bikes: DaVinci Joint Venture Ti S&S, DaVinci Symbiosis 27.5", DaVinci Symbiosis XC 29", Motobecane Century Ti ETap AXS, Motobecane Fantom Ti hardtail, Diamondback Haanjo Carbon, Motobecane Fantom 4x4 29'er, SE F@R fatbike

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-disc vs. rim?

Disc. No questions. Better in the wet, safer when they get hot, require less adjustment and fiddling, easier to replace a worn rotor than a worn rim.

-cable vs. hydro?

Hydraulic for self-adjusting and self-centering abilities. Cable actuated hydraulic (TRP Hy-Rd) aren't bad either.

-best disc/caliper combo?

I've used BB-7 mechanical (road and MTB), 4-piston Shimano XT (MTB), Shimano Ice-Tech road, and TRP Hy/Rd with Campy levers, Rotors have been mostly Shimano and Avid, all at 200mm or 203mm. Best combo has been Shimano hydraulic (road or MTB) with Shimano Ice-Tech rotors.

-best mini-V, best standard V?

I don't have fond memories of any of the V-brakes on our early tandems.Inverse of everything good I said about discs.

-best entire system: lever model + cable/hose model + caliper model + pad model?

Shimano hydraulic from end to end. Standard resin pads with cooling fins.

-any other system thoughts?

I just replaced our rotors after about 7,000 miles and it made a noticeable difference in the feel of the system. The old rotors had seen some pretty rough use, had a very slight pulsing feel, and would rub a little when they got hot. The new ones have been perfect so far.

-any personal tricks and hacks?

Not really a personal hack, but sometimes people are surprised that we built a coupled bike with hydraulic brakes. The frame was built with guides that use zip ties to secure the hose, so I cut 3 zip ties to remove the brake and use 3 new ties when reassembling. We remove the calipers from the frame and coil up the hose to keep the brake with the handlebars. Getting the brakes aligned right when putting them back together should be easy but sometimes takes a little while to get right. It helps to remember to remove the post from the frame and not the caliper from the post (lesson learned the hard way).
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