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Hydraulic Rim Brakes? Why?

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Hydraulic Rim Brakes? Why?

Old 02-24-13, 10:30 PM
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Hydraulic Rim Brakes? Why?

There are some hydraulic rim brake systems, Magura being the one that comes to mind.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of these? When would you want a set of hydraulic brakes instead of a good set of cantilever or v-brakes?

Just curious. I have never had the chance to ride a bike with hyadraulic brakes.
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Old 02-24-13, 10:43 PM
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crushing rims could be viewed in either a positive or negative light.
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Old 02-24-13, 10:55 PM
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My understanding is that these are primarily used for trials style riding, where absolutely locking the wheel is integral to the riding style. Apparently hydraulic rim brakes have a more positive feel than discs because the spokes can't introduce flex.

Magura also has a model aimed at the time trial/triathlon market, and SRAM will soon as well. I think the primary selling point on these is improved aerodynamics?

Generally speaking hydraulics should allow for greater breaking power and modulation and not suffer from cable friction, but at greater cost and more annoying serviceability.
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Old 02-24-13, 11:32 PM
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Another weakness might be unavailable parts down the track; a snazzy braking system isn't worth a crap if you have to put it on the shelf because you can't find replacement seals or something...
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Old 02-24-13, 11:40 PM
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Arent those popular in eurpoe? i assume its the same philosophy as to why they also have full chaincases there. Maintenance and parts are much more complex; but also much less frequent. The rider can just ignore the bike till something fails; then its a trip to the LBS.
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Old 02-24-13, 11:57 PM
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Lighter with no cable friction, lower maintenance, nerd points.
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Old 02-25-13, 01:45 AM
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Have a set. Lighter, Not, [want lightweight go with Magnesium TRP euro X cantilevers. ]

easy to replace Hoses for longer lengths, a closed system, no expansion tank needed.

Smooth Modulation, no squealing , HS33 mounts on V brake Bosses, but,
pad moves in a straight line to rim rather than an arc,
so pad wear does not take the pad off the rim's edge.
+ the pads snap in and can be easily flipped over .

and they got Kool Stop in Lake Oswego, to make the salmon compound pads for a long time,
now for US/CDN sales , KS sells to US distributors , an aftermarket
rather than re shipping them back from Germany. so not so proprietary on brake shoes.

I had them as part of the NL factory build on my Koga WTR trekking bike.

real plus on Step through frames (as I kept seeing housing full of rust and water in upturned U of cable types.)

and no friction increases in long runs to IHPV low racer wheelbases , tandems and Bakfiets.

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-25-13 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 02-25-13, 02:05 AM
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Hydraulic brake systems can be made to feel a lot stiffer than pretty much anything wire-operated, less flexing going on.
Not that they'll necessarily will shorten your braking distance that much, but they feel more definite.

And I'd say they're not exactly common in Europe either, I guess I see the Magura ones maybe 3 times a year. But yeah, maintenance is extremely rare, even less than on hydraulic discs.
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Old 02-25-13, 02:58 AM
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Very popular in Germany on the ubiquitous ´Trekking´ bikes that everyone uses.

My LBS mech hates the Magura ones, I tried to get out of him why, but he started frothing at the mouth. I would imagine it´s because they have some cheap plastic bits that snap & are difficult to work on.

I have the HS33 on my winter bike & they work beautifully. Pad adjustment after replacement is the only horrid thing about them.
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Old 02-25-13, 03:42 AM
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HS33's are a good option for MTB's without the mounting hardware for discs at the rear, they give consistent performance, and for servicing, this is rarely needed, but it's even easier than hydraulic discs, push a syringe of new Royal Blood in from the caliper, till the fluid in the syringe at the lever end is clean, job done.
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Old 02-25-13, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Barchettaman
Very popular in Germany on the ubiquitous ´Trekking´ bikes that everyone uses.

My LBS mech hates the Magura ones, I tried to get out of him why, but he started frothing at the mouth. I would imagine it´s because they have some cheap plastic bits that snap & are difficult to work on.

I have the HS33 on my winter bike & they work beautifully. Pad adjustment after replacement is the only horrid thing about them.
+1

very common in germany and the "trekking" bikes that most people use.

at the uni, roughly 50% of bikes the have rim brakes have them.

they do seem to chew through rims quickly ... most guys commuting on a trekking rim only get 2-3 years or 20000-30000km out of a rim with them.
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Old 02-25-13, 10:45 AM
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Thanks everyone.

I bought my wife a used recumbent. It doesn't really need new brakes, but I like to tinker and the 'bent will be my new guinea pig. Thinking about putting some Magura HS33's on it.
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Old 02-25-13, 10:56 AM
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Recumbent? cool, Hydraulic benefit is when you have a long run from lever to brake caliper.

new hose, cuts with a sharp knife, and "olives", compression seal rings, are farly cheap ..
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Old 02-25-13, 10:57 AM
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I have a set on my Cannondale from "01", the brakes work fine, no leaks in 11 years, the frame is designed for canti's so if there ever is a problem with getting parts, I can just switch over to canti's or V-brakes.

I don't know about any advantages but I won't swap these brakes to any of my other bikes since it could get messy.
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Old 02-25-13, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac
Hydraulic brake systems can be made to feel a lot stiffer than pretty much anything wire-operated, less flexing going on.
Not that they'll necessarily will shorten your braking distance that much, but they feel more definite.
This. You have an incompressible fluid inside a tube of a fixed size. Movement/force at the lever will pretty much directly translate into that of the brake pad. Certainly more direct than a wire-operated brake, where there is a slight stretch of the cable and compression of the housing, especially over long runs of cable.
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Old 02-25-13, 02:51 PM
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Why even bother with hydraulic rim brakes??....Just wait for the inevitable.....hydraulic disc brakes for road bikes.....
I just see hydraulic rim brakes as the equivalent to drum brakes on cars....Seen any new cars lately with drum brakes??
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Old 02-25-13, 03:28 PM
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On the back, a parking brake grabbing on a hot rotor almost guarantees it warping.
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Old 02-25-13, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl
Thanks everyone.

I bought my wife a used recumbent. It doesn't really need new brakes, but I like to tinker and the 'bent will be my new guinea pig. Thinking about putting some Magura HS33's on it.
Darn it. I sold my set at one of the Portland Bike Swaps a year or two ago.

One advantage Magura hydraulics have on a SWB recumbent is that there's no need for convoluted cable routing. On the other hand, the single pivot caliper on my Lightning works great- grabbing the brake lever with all my strength just slows the bike down... fast. I may be imagining it, but I think I hear the tire rippling.
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Old 02-25-13, 11:43 PM
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I'll go to the next swap, maybe a set will pop up. A new set just sold on eBay for $150; I wasn't quite decided yet so let it pass.

Pretty sure the V-Rex doesn't need hydraulic brakes but I just feel like trying stuff on it that I won't do on my regular bikes. Because on those, all the bits have to match.
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Old 02-25-13, 11:44 PM
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As long as you're staying with rim brakes, there's no inherent difference between cable and hydraulic. Both use a caliper of some sort to press shoes against a rim.

The only real difference is how the riders hand force is transmitted to the caliper. Hydraulic has certain advantages over cables, which other has the advantage of simplicity.

Hydraulics can transmit the power around tight bends, whereas cables can bind, so hydraulic brakes became popular on suspension mtn bikes with their more complicated cable runs.

However the main advantage of hydraulic systems is that they can be proportioned or split easily and apply uniform pressure regardless of distance. This isn't as useful on a bike where each lever typically controls on brake, but is critical to auto use, where the braking is proportioned 60/40 front to rear, and split to the right and left wheels. This is impossible with cables (or actually could be done, but would be a maintenance and adjustment nightmare).
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Old 02-26-13, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
On the back, a parking brake grabbing on a hot rotor almost guarantees it warping.
Quoted for truth.

Many 4 wheel disc cars have tiny drum brakes in the rear for parking. My '84 Supra did.
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