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Any advantages of hybrid brakes vs full hydraulic brakes?

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Any advantages of hybrid brakes vs full hydraulic brakes?

Old 10-02-15, 11:10 AM
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Refreshing
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Any advantages of hybrid brakes vs full hydraulic brakes?

Hey guys, I am building up a Surly Straggler from scratch and my wife has given me permission to spend pretty much what-ever I want on it! I have never owned hydraulic brakes before because I didn't want to deal with re-learning a new form of bike maintenance. However, after testing out the top road mechanical disc brakes (TRP Spyre and Avid BB7's) I decided that I need more breaking power which leaves me two options:

OPTION 1: Full hydraulic TRP Hylex System
OPTION 2: Mechanical levers with low compression cables and TRP Hy/Rd calipers

I have been unable to test these locally but from what I read the TRP Hy/Rd system isn't much different from a full hydraulic system if set up properly. So my question is, are there any advantages to choosing the hybrid system? Possibly easier maintenance? Maybe less chance of leaky seals since all of the hydraulic-goodness is contained in the caliper? Long term durability? Less messy? Any input you have would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!
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Old 10-02-15, 11:32 AM
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I'm running hydraulic disc brakes on my GT Eightball. They have good modulation and stopping power. Basically set it and forget it.

They're comparable to the mech disc brakes on my other bikes.
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Old 10-02-15, 11:37 AM
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You Can get more power by fitting bigger discs .. typical road is 160F, 140R, bump up to a 180F, and 160 R or 210/180.

BB7 can flip you on your face if you grab lever hard enough.

I have the MTB 'V' pull version, on my Bike Friday, I have to be careful.. it doesn't take much..

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-22-15 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 10-02-15, 03:18 PM
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I have been running Hy/Rds on my Grade for almost a year now, and I I have never had any issues with them. Great stopping power and very minimal maintenance. One advantage I could see is a field repair might be easier with wire cables vs hydraulic hose lines. Also, you a have a greater range of shift/brake levers to choose from. That being said, I found a great deal on some RS785/ST-RS685 hydraulics today, and made an impulse buy.
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Old 10-03-15, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
BB7 can flip you on your face if you grab lever hard enough.
That's the key difference right there.

I've got Hy/Rds with compressionless brake cable on my commuter. They work great, but I do have to give the levers a solid squeeze to get their full power. I've got full hydraulic XTs on my mountain bike. They give me great power with a light touch at the lever.

There is some difference in the leverage of a drop bar lever and a flat bar lever, but from what I've heard full hydraulic road discs like the Hylex have this same sort of response.
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Old 10-03-15, 07:38 AM
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Hydros give more power. Hands down. Less chances for mud and muck to get into the cables. Only downside is if you're a serious rider/racer you should probably learn to bleed them (fairly easy once you learn it). A good weekend of racing can and will contaminate even the best hydro setups so if you're looking to get the best performance you may find yourself a little more involved with the servicing of your ride (more time to sip beer, jam to favorite tunes and wrench - tough life, i know)
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Old 10-21-15, 05:38 AM
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With a cabled system you can install interruptor brakes on the tops.
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Old 10-21-15, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by EastCoastDHer View Post
Less chances for mud and muck to get into the cables. Only downside is if you're a serious rider/racer you should probably learn to bleed them (fairly easy once you learn it). A good weekend of racing can and will contaminate even the best hydro setups
I realize that racing, especially CX racing, does crazy things to a bike, so I'm not disputing what you're saying here, but I've had zero issues with contamination on my Hy/Rds. In about 2400 miles all I've had to do to them was change the pads. The bike they are on sees a lot of rain miles, so they're definitely exposed to road grime -- just not submerged in mud for 45 minutes at a time.
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Old 10-21-15, 01:24 PM
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The big advantage of the Tektro Hy/Rd calipers is their compatibility: they allow you to get most of the benefits of hydraulic calipers without changing your controls. That's a big deal for folks that already have expensive brifters (though it sounds like you're using separate brake levers and shifters).

If you're building it up with all new parts, I see no reason to use Hy/Rd calipers over full hydraulic. The Hylex brakes include the lever and hose for the same price as the Hy/Rd (where you have to provide your own levers, cables, and housing). So, the Hylex setup is cheaper.

Most of the Hy/Rd reviewers feel that they're in-between mechanical calipers and full hydraulic.
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Old 10-21-15, 04:28 PM
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Maybe give these a look?

https://www.sram.com/sram/road/produ...-disc-brakeset
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Old 10-21-15, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ddeand View Post
I have the Sram rival 22 hydro on my Specialized Roubaix. Love them, two fingers is all you need.
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Old 10-21-15, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by 3gun View Post
I have the Sram rival 22 hydro on my Specialized Roubaix. Love them, two fingers is all you need.
I had originally written a longer response, but I accidentally deleted it. I agree that the Rivall 22 brakes are the best brakes I've had on a road-style bike. You're right about the two-finger thing. My feeling is that they are at least twice as powerful as any caliper brakes I've had and probably 25% more powerful (and smooth) than the mechanical discs. This is speaking solely about road-style bikes - on my mountain bikes, I'm still a fan of Shimano hydraulics. If I were building up a new bike, I would most likely do the disc brakes.
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Old 10-23-15, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I realize that racing, especially CX racing, does crazy things to a bike, so I'm not disputing what you're saying here, but I've had zero issues with contamination on my Hy/Rds. In about 2400 miles all I've had to do to them was change the pads. The bike they are on sees a lot of rain miles, so they're definitely exposed to road grime -- just not submerged in mud for 45 minutes at a time.
You'd be surprised what your brake fluid can look like after a few days of rain riding. If you're serious about performance and/or racing I'd suggest even a monthly or bi monthly bleed will get the grime out and more importantly reduce the junk your brake system has to push through in order to work. This equates in the long term to a brake system that will offer better performance over a greater period of time.
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Old 10-23-15, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by EastCoastDHer View Post
You'd be surprised what your brake fluid can look like after a few days of rain riding. If you're serious about performance and/or racing I'd suggest even a monthly or bi monthly bleed will get the grime out and more importantly reduce the junk your brake system has to push through in order to work. This equates in the long term to a brake system that will offer better performance over a greater period of time.
I'm usually a naysayer about hydro brakes, but if you are getting significant water in your brake system after a few days of riding, it isn't sealed correctly, and you have water getting in where it shouldn't be. My experience comes from years of working on automotive brakes - which operate in FAR harsher conditions and have many more entry points for water (albeit they do have more robust, heavy seals). I would check all of your hoses, seals, and connections, and replace parts as necessary. If water is getting in that fast - you also have an avenue for pressurized brake fluid to get OUT. In the even that your seals are functioning as intended, then hydro brakes have no business being on a bicycle if that is the best they can do to keep water out.

FWIW I still run wide-profile canti's which have excellent stopping power and modulation, and require re-adjustment maybe once every 2000 miles. No fancy hydros for me!

Last edited by DirtRoadRunner; 10-23-15 at 09:53 AM.
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