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Hydraulic Vs mechanical brakes

Old 02-09-22, 12:17 PM
  #26  
KJ43
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_
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How so? Itís a discussion about hydraulic, and mechanical brakes. My response is about mechanical and hydraulic brakes.

Dan
The thread was about hydraulic vs mechanical disc brakes. Not whether there is a need for disc brakes. There are plenty of threads where the horse is beaten into submission already about that topic.
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Old 02-09-22, 12:34 PM
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...I'm just here to say I these "which brakes is best ?" threads. Thank you to everyone for contributing.
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Old 02-09-22, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by KJ43
The thread was about hydraulic vs mechanical disc brakes. Not whether there is a need for disc brakes. There are plenty of threads where the horse is beaten into submission already about that topic.

...it would be a great loss to the forum if the long arguments about disc versus rim on road bike were to suddenly go away.
A musical analogy would be Tex-Mex conjunto versus Reggae. In my world, we all dance.
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Old 02-09-22, 04:56 PM
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Better buy a new bike since a lot have been upgraded since 2014.
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Old 02-09-22, 09:51 PM
  #30  
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No mention of what kind of cable operated disc brake. Juin-Tech GT is probably the best, since it's a hydraulic 4 piston caliper, with relatively large Saint pads. It's also possible to use a 180mm front rotor. I've got this setup on my bikes with force axs. I like the minimal maintenance. I use jagwire compressionless housing. There's no slop.
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Old 01-18-23, 04:23 PM
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Post to send pm 1
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Old 01-18-23, 04:31 PM
  #32  
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Here is the cheapest and best way to upgrade.

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Old 01-18-23, 04:40 PM
  #33  
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I prefer mechanical discs because of simplicity and ease of service if something went wrong. The worst that could happen with mechanicals is a broken cable which is a lot easier to deal with than hydraulic brakes leaking oil or brake fluid from their piston seals...Not all mechanical discs are created equal, there are some cheap ones that offer mediocre stopping performance and there are more expensive ones which offer excellent braking performance.
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Old 01-18-23, 04:51 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Rolla
but you'll rarely hear of people trading in their hydros for cable brakes. Just sayin'.
i did just exactly that way back in 2008 and never looked back. The main reason why i did that was because my Shimano Deore XT hydraulics were nothing but a headache when riding in very cold weather and on roads with a lot of road salt. I had leaking piston seals on the rear brake caliper, it was rebuild twice worked great in warm weather, nothing but problems during winter time. I prefer mechanicals and have them on two different bikes.
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Old 01-18-23, 05:02 PM
  #35  
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All brakes require periodic cleaning and maintenance to continue working well.
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Old 01-18-23, 05:06 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
i did just exactly that way back in 2008 and never looked back. The main reason why i did that was because my Shimano Deore XT hydraulics were nothing but a headache when riding in very cold weather and on roads with a lot of road salt. I had leaking piston seals on the rear brake caliper, it was rebuild twice worked great in warm weather, nothing but problems during winter time. I prefer mechanicals and have them on two different bikes.
Hydros that use DOT fluid are reportedly better in the cold, but perhaps there have been improvements to mineral oil seals in the 15 years since you tried them. I'd still wager that far more people switch to hydros than switch from them.

Last edited by Rolla; 01-18-23 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 01-19-23, 08:18 AM
  #37  
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I switched two bikes from Juin-Tech cable operated hydraulic calipers to Force hydraulic last year, along with trading to one new frame and built up a third bike with Force hydraulic. I've been working with DOT fluid in auto brake systems for over 50 years. I don't get all the complaints about it. It can be wiped off with a damp rag. I don't bother to wear nitrite gloves either.
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Old 01-20-23, 07:20 PM
  #38  
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How much of an improvement hydraulics will make depends on what youíre coming from. All mechanicals are not created equal. And it also makes a lot of difference what kind of cables and housing are using.

What mechanical calipers do you have, and are you using compressionless housing?
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Old 01-20-23, 10:06 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by John_1252
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Hold on you just posted this in a thread from a year ago? Why are you here? If you don't want to get involved with the awesome bike forums then just use Google. Otherwise get involved with the hundreds of ACTIVE threads that are going on, plenty of things to discuss and talk about and plenty of knowledge to share or learn from. There is zero need for posts like this that don't further the discussion and aren't even related to the topic in any way, shape or form. Especially when there are some great topics going on at the moment which we would love to have new voices involved in.
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Old 01-21-23, 06:21 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Marbles67
Hi all
we have a 2014 Trek 3700 it has mechanical disc brake
A friend suggested hydraulic brake upgrade
But my bike has shifter and brake lever in on combined unit so probably fairly expensive.
His bike was simpler then mine!

Is the gain Worth the price?
I own two bikes with Tiagra 4700. Both came with TRP mechanical disc brakes, which, Imo, doesn't perform anything like the internet would like you to believe. I upgraded one bike to 4700 hydraulic disc brakes and Its MUCH better. Its an expensive upgrade, replacing both the shift/brake units and the calipers, but well worth it. I had a bit of learning curve to get it all installed, but doable and I've hade zero maintenance for months. Imo hydraulic brakes is the single most important "innovation" in drop bar bikes for a long, long time.
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Old 01-25-23, 10:11 AM
  #41  
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People that have hydraulic brakes tell us they they have better feel. However if a brake line should be pulled lose 30 miles from home, that front or rear brake is useless till you get back home. OTOH if a cable get pulled loose, you just reattach it and ride on.
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Old 01-25-23, 02:25 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by rydabent
People that have hydraulic brakes tell us they they have better feel. However if a brake line should be pulled lose 30 miles from home, that front or rear brake is useless till you get back home. OTOH if a cable get pulled loose, you just reattach it and ride on.
That's why bikes have two brakes -- if one fails, you still have the second.
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Old 01-28-23, 01:52 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by tyrion
Hydraulics are better - there is less slop in the system when compared to wires and wire housings. You have to decide if it's worth the money to upgrade.

It's a fair amount of money. I wouldn't - I'd just get bigger rotors if you want more braking power.
Iíve never used disc brakes on a bicycle yet.

But I remember riding a friends YZ250 20 years ago. He had a bigger front rotor and it definitely seemed to make a bigger difference than braided lines.

I see no reason greater mechanical advantage wouldnít have a similar effect on a bicycle.
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Old 01-28-23, 04:35 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
That's why bikes have two brakes -- if one fails, you still have the second.
No that's not the reason... the main reason why bikes and all vehicles have two brakes is because using two brakes will stop you better than just using one brake.
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Old 01-28-23, 07:03 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz
Iíve never used disc brakes on a bicycle yet.

But I remember riding a friends YZ250 20 years ago. He had a bigger front rotor and it definitely seemed to make a bigger difference than braided lines.

I see no reason greater mechanical advantage wouldnít have a similar effect on a bicycle.
By that logic, rim brakes offer the ultimate in mechanical advantage.
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Old 01-28-23, 08:25 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan
I own two bikes with Tiagra 4700. Both came with TRP mechanical disc brakes, which, Imo, doesn't perform anything like the internet would like you to believe. I upgraded one bike to 4700 hydraulic disc brakes and Its MUCH better. Its an expensive upgrade, replacing both the shift/brake units and the calipers, but well worth it. I had a bit of learning curve to get it all installed, but doable and I've hade zero maintenance for months. Imo hydraulic brakes is the single most important "innovation" in drop bar bikes for a long, long time.
I have TRP Spyres on my work/rain bike and in my estimation they are on par with the Ultegra 6800 rim brakes on my bike which has them. The biggest reason for discs was all-weather instant response, and also the ability to run CF wheels (I have never heard many good things about rim brakes and CF wheels in all-weather riding.) I didn't want hydro discs on this bike (even though I have a complete, unused hydro set-up in a box on a shelf) because of what Rydabent mentions below:
Originally Posted by rydabent
People that have hydraulic brakes tell us they they have better feel. However if a brake line should be pulled lose 30 miles from home, that front or rear brake is useless till you get back home. OTOH if a cable get pulled loose, you just reattach it and ride on.
On a bike designed for occasional mixed-surface use, bad-weather use, light touring, and load-carrying often far from home, I wanted the added security of the simplicity of cables.

Do brake hoses tear loose much outside of competition use? I doubt it. I cannot recall hearing such a story. However, knowing that if I lost a brake cable, I could replace it at any town or city which has a Walmart, as opposed to needing a lot of specialty- and proprietary pieces, made cable discs seem like the better option for this specific bike.

I have hydro discs on my mountain bike, which, even with my lame , low-key pace, is a lot more likely to sustain hose damage (in my estimation,) and I don't worry about it a bit .... and the hydro brakes are Much more powerful, which is good because off-road, on sketchy/changing surfaces, being able to use less force means I can modulate better and still have lock-up-level power with just one or two fingers. With the cable discs, I need to grab the whole lever and clench it really tightly, and at that level of effort, trying to "feather" the brakes (say, in case of rear lock-up) is more of an on-off affair, whereas with the hydros, there is less force involved so using a tiny bit less is easier---in my experience.

For almost every rider, I would suggest ignoring the issue of complexity---there are so many parts on a bike which can fail catastrophically. Bend a derailleur hanger, or snap off the whole derailleur in a crash or hitting an unavoidable obstacle, and then what? So should we only ride SS-Fixed? Taco a wheel, and I don't care what kind of brakes you have ... or just get a really big slash in a tire which cannot be booted .... you are done for the day, and walking however far. (Though while seriously touring I usually carry a spare tire ... )

Choose brake systems based on what you want. Hydros should give you instant stopping power with good modulation and low effort while cables should give to immediate stopping power with more effort. The big difference might be cost---you don't need special brifters to run cable brakes, either rim of disc.

If you find you cannot lock up both tires at will with cable discs, and for some reason you want to ... well then. If your hands are losing strength, or you are arthritic, or some such, hydros might be a better choice.
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Old 01-28-23, 09:26 AM
  #47  
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Brake hoses pulling loose? Sounds like a made up concern. Cant imagine that happen. Most of the hose is tucked away under the bar tape and inside the frame, and the olive/barb connection is (in my estimation) very secure. By that logic you should move to wireless gear shifting for fear of gear cables pulling loose .. ? Of course they may leak and loose brake power, but likely not both brakes at the same time.


Imo the real concern is the expensive and complex sis brake/shifter having some odd issue and no spare parts available, except getting a new unit. That was always a concern with sis brifters, but somewhat exacerbated with the addition of hydraulics. On the other hand, the brake callipers are much simpler than the average Shimano rim brake and much less susceptible to dirt, that in case of rim brakes is sprayed directly into the brake calliper from the tyre.
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Old 01-28-23, 10:19 AM
  #48  
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Once you get into brifters, forget it ....

With friction shifting you can wrap the cable around a stick, and yank the stick to shift (same with cable brakes.) (Of course, you can only shift in one direction .... ) If you have brifters you have a mess of tiny, fragile parts which conveniently stick up off the bars where they can get impacted in almost all sorts of accidents .... and if the cable snaps, the cable end can fall inside the brifter body and when you try to shift again, do terminal damage (don't ask me how I know.)

But no, it is hydro brakes which cause all the concern.

Seriously, the most common way to get sidelined is to do more damage to a tire than you can fix with a boot, or to poke more holes in a tube or tire than sealant/ emergency patches,/patch kits patches can cover. I have gotten four flats on one short ride--just once--but that was enough hole sin enough tubes that I was left limping.

We all know the real issue .... it is that of you ride a bike with disc brakes, the brakes will Cut Off All Your Limbs!!! This has been categorically proven by dozens of posts on this very site, all made by people who didn't own disc-brake bikes. Remember those glorious threads?
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Old 01-28-23, 10:47 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz
Iíve never used disc brakes on a bicycle yet.

But I remember riding a friends YZ250 20 years ago. He had a bigger front rotor and it definitely seemed to make a bigger difference than braided lines.

I see no reason greater mechanical advantage wouldnít have a similar effect on a bicycle.
Yes the physics is fairly simple and undeniable.
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Old 01-28-23, 10:54 AM
  #50  
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I was a late adopter to discs and hydraulics. I always had rim brakes that worked great.

Eventually, in the process of wanting new bikes, discs became part of the package. The reason I mention this is twofold, so you know that Iíve been working on rim brakes successfully for 30 years and so you know Iím not one to just jump on whatever is new.

Discs with cables are meh. Kind of a pain to get right, almost impossible to eliminate rotor rub. Get it right, then take the wheel off and put it back on, rubbing again. I honestly canít feel a difference between them and nice clean and adjusted rim brakes. To me these are cosmetic, so people can see their fancy disc brakes. Or so manufacturers can spec a low end bike without changing the frame.

Hydraulics on the other hand are amazing. Strong, easy to engage, stay in adjustment, usually quieter (I said it), low maintenance, and easy to work on.

Any dunce can watch a video and get them perfect. Thereís nothing to it. Iím proof of that.

I like the feel and maintenance of hydraulics so much better that my new cargo bike, which is not compatible with discs, will be getting Magura HS11ís. It wasnít even a question for me. If I have to rebuild the wheels every 5 years, I can live with that.
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