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Convert to Hydraulic Brakes?

Old 08-06-20, 07:17 PM
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Kokiafan
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Convert to Hydraulic Brakes?

Can someone provide details on the conversion from normal disk brakes to hydraulic? Was it worth it?
I have a Marin Four Corners bike with Sora brakes, but the TRP/SPYRE-C brakes are weak at best. Thinking I could do better with hydraulics.
Does this kind of setup even allow for the use of hydraulics?
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Old 08-06-20, 07:31 PM
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As it's a drop-bar bike, you'd have to change... most everything. I don't think there's a set of 3x9 STis for hydraulic, so to go full hydraulic, you'd have to replace not just the levers and brakes, but the derailleurs, cassette, and chain as well.

I don't think it's really cost effective. If it was a flatbar bike, no problem. Pretty cheap. For your Marin, you could try a hybrid caliper, like the TRP Hy/Rd or the JuinTech R1.
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Old 08-07-20, 07:00 AM
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What have you done to adjust your spyres? They are pretty good mechanical disk brakes when setup correctly.
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Old 08-07-20, 07:05 AM
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If your brakes have resin pads, you might want to try metallic or semi-metallic brake pads for more power.

As others have posted, swapping from mechanical to hydro brakes will be complicated and expensive.
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Old 08-07-20, 07:09 AM
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I wouldn't switch as what DrIsotope says it's true. You'll have to replace almost everything and it's going to be really expensive.

I don't have experience with Spyres, but Avid BB7's brake more than enough. Anyway I prefer hydraulics (or, on a road bike at least, rim brakes) because, unlike mechanical discs, they don't require constant adjustment and tweaking.

In your case I'd try hybrid calipers like DrIsotope says. JuinTech R1 and TRP Hy/Rd are really expensive though... I'd maybe give a try to Zoom's Xtech HB100. A pair of calipers can be had for around 35€ in ebay. I've read of some people that have upgraded spyres with these and they seem happy.
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Old 08-07-20, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Canker View Post
What have you done to adjust your Spyres? They are pretty good mechanical disk brakes when setup correctly.
Have you done any pad wear compensation at all? it never was automatic, but manual.. a thing you do..

Advantage to the Hy Rd Is It's self pad wear compensation.. Juin Tec (Yokozuna branded in US market) is still a manual pad wear adjustment..







...
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Old 08-07-20, 01:31 PM
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I agree with the advice to replace/adjust pads first, try hybrid calipers second.

About ten years ago, there were a few different cable-to-hydro converters, which mounted below your stem, so you could use your cable levers with hydraulic brakes. TRP had one called Parabox. These all seem to be consigned to the dustbin of history, but you might have some luck trawling ebay.
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Old 08-08-20, 12:06 PM
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I have bikes with both spyre and bb7 mechanicals. I've owned bikes with slx hydros. Your spyres should be more than up to the task. Try new pads and take a sander to the rotors. Spyres should
not be weak
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Old 08-08-20, 06:59 PM
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In the past year, I have had Spyre, HY/RD, and now fully hydraulic brakes on my gravel bike.

Spyre - Perfectly serviceable in my opinion. Feel and outright power were lacking, but they were still much more predictable and better than the canti brakes I had used on previous bikes.

HY/RD - Pretty big upgrade up from the Spyre, and very easy to setup with caliper only replacement. Very good power with a good squeeze, and decent brake modulation. Best used with compressionless housing (e.g. Jagwire KEB-SL).

Ultegra hydraulic (previous generation) - You can find these on eBay right now as a set with both shifters, calipers, hoses, and other misc parts for $290. Really good deal. The brake feel and modulation is much better than the HY/RD. Setup is more involved than cable brakes, but maintenance should be less, and cable / housing wear will not affect feel, or performance.
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Old 08-08-20, 07:13 PM
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Sigh: OK, another cable brake thread.
New better pads first. Koolstop, Swiss Stop, resin or semi-metallic if your discs will cope.
Next: Compressionless housing and mandrel drawn inners with decent ferrules. My recommendation is Jagwire Pro cables. Comes in a packet with everything you need to optimise your cable system. Don't be tempted by the cheap kits on Ebay, they are better than generic, but no where near as good as genuine.
Need more?
Next: Biggest decent discs you can fit within the specs of your bike. Bigger the disc the less brake force needed
Still not right?
Next: HY/RD Good thing is all of the previous steps are compatible with this option so you haven't wasted any money.
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Old 08-08-20, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by zen_ View Post
Ultegra hydraulic (previous generation) - You can find these on eBay right now as a set with both shifters, calipers, hoses, and other misc parts for $290. Really good deal. The brake feel and modulation is much better than the HY/RD. Setup is more involved than cable brakes, but maintenance should be less, and cable / housing wear will not affect feel, or performance.
OP has Sora drivetrain. Upgrade to Ultegra will require changing pretty much everything else. Very expensive. Not a good suggestion. $290 does not cover the full upgrade
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Old 08-08-20, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
OP has Sora drivetrain. Upgrade to Ultegra will require changing pretty much everything else. Very expensive. Not a good suggestion. $290 does not cover the full upgrade
Just stating the difference based on my experience.

I would first take a look at the brake housing, and if it's lower end housing, upgrade that to compressionless if sticking with cable brakes. If you're still not happy with the Spyre after that, the HY/RD calipers are still available for around $140 grey market. I was perfectly happy with the performance of HY/RD setup with 105 levers, but the maintenance long term for a large volume of riding in bad conditions caused me to look into the full hydraulic setup.
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