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Mechanical versus hydraulic disc brakes

Old 10-24-10, 01:25 PM
  #1  
RossThompson
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Mechanical versus hydraulic disc brakes

I'm going to upgrade the brakes on my Felt and considering the choices of mechanical vs hydraulic. The bike has some lower end mechanical on it now and seem to work fine. What are the pros and cons of staying with the mechanical or going to hydraulic.

Where I'm located it's flat nothing to drastic as far as down hill, mostly xc type stuff. From my experince in other forms of racing, I can see that there is some advantage of mechanical over hydraulic like brake fade and brake pump. Is it easier to set a brake bias on hydraulic the mechanical?

Whats your opinion? Other than I like really expensive hydraulics because their cool.
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Old 10-24-10, 01:41 PM
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If your mechanical brakes work fine, what are your reasons for upgrading? I'm all for upgrades, but it would be easier to make a recommendation for new brakes if we knew what you're looking for in new brakes.

I have hydraulic brakes (formula rx) on my bike and I love them. Good Hydraulic brakes usually have the advantage of better power and sometimes lighter weight over mechanicals. Also, hydraulic brakes that are bled correctly and used for xc type riding are highly unlikely to fade or pump up, that kind of thing typically only happens on extended steep downhills like you would find while riding DH. As far as brake bias, I may be misunderstanding, but you control your front and rear tires independently, so I'm not sure what exactly you mean by setting brake bias.
If you're considering the mechanical disc route (besides the ones you have), Avid BB7's are popular and fairly cheap. Often good mechanical disc brakes like these will be better than low-end hydraulics.
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Old 10-24-10, 02:03 PM
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I have stock Tektro IO mechanicals, looking at Avid BB7. Altough, they look like their the same price point and not much difference between the two makers.

I understand that brakes are independently operated and brake bias is more in your hands than your brakes. By brake bias, I mean the point of ingagement that the brakes ingage in relation to lever pull. I like to be able to grab full pull on the front with out having the wheel stop, just slow down and set the front suspension for a turn. Where on the rear I want the brake to ingage sooner and have more stopping power or swing the rear of the bike around a tight turn.

I'm looking at BB7 mechanicals or Avid Elixer CR hydraulics.
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Old 10-24-10, 03:22 PM
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Personally, I would go with the avid elixir cr's. the Cr's have a bite point adjustment, so you could make the front bite later than the back like you want. However, with the elixir's, unless you put air in the brake lines (bad idea, obviously), you will definitely lock the front wheel when pulling the lever to the bars, no matter what the bite point. This kind of power isn't a bad thing though because with brakes like these you should get good modulation as well, allowing you to reliably slow down the front wheel without locking it up.
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Old 10-24-10, 03:33 PM
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Just get some hydros. Tha Avids Elixrs rawk, you'll love 'em.
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Old 10-24-10, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RossThompson View Post
I like to be able to grab full pull on the front with out having the wheel stop, just slow down and set the front suspension for a turn.
I understand what you're saying about wanting the rear engaging smoother and stronger than the front, but this just sounds like a wreck waiting to happen.
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Old 10-24-10, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
Just get some hydros. Tha Avids Elixrs rawk, you'll love 'em.
Hey, Fred Flintstone, what could you know about the fine are of brakes?
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Old 10-24-10, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RossThompson View Post
I have stock Tektro IO mechanicals, looking at Avid BB7. Altough, they look like their the same price point and not much difference between the two makers.

I understand that brakes are independently operated and brake bias is more in your hands than your brakes. By brake bias, I mean the point of ingagement that the brakes ingage in relation to lever pull. I like to be able to grab full pull on the front with out having the wheel stop, just slow down and set the front suspension for a turn. Where on the rear I want the brake to ingage sooner and have more stopping power or swing the rear of the bike around a tight turn.

I'm looking at BB7 mechanicals or Avid Elixer CR hydraulics.
You do know that most of your braking is done with the front brake...right? Good brakes with nice modulation will be easy to control. Don't be afraid grasshopper.
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Old 10-24-10, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hambone40 View Post
Hey, Fred Flintstone, what could you know about the fine are of brakes?

I weep for the future of ourchildren.
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Old 10-24-10, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
You do know that most of your braking is done with the front brake...right? Good brakes with nice modulation will be easy to control. Don't be afraid grasshopper.

To each his own I always say. But I would be very careful before I took the advice of an old, gay, spandex roadie from the hills of North Carolina....just sayin.
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Old 10-24-10, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Hambone40 View Post
To each his own I always say. But I would be very careful before I took the advice of an old, gay, spandex roadie from the hills of North Carolina....just sayin.
Don't make me.....
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Old 10-24-10, 05:03 PM
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I have juicy 3's. They are nice brakes and have excellent modulation compared to a pair of tektro IO's I had on another bike but are a pain in the a** to adjust. You have to take the front wheel off, squeeze the lever a couple of times put the wheel back on and see if its good enough. If it goes further than you want, your screwed. The juicy 7's have a pad contact control knob so you can adjust it right from the lever. But they dont make them anymore as far as I know. The CR's are sweet. There is also the hayes stroker cr which is $100. little less. Has the knob like juicy 7's I think.
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Old 10-25-10, 08:29 PM
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i always thought that most braking is done by the front brake, whether it's a mtn bike or a roadie or a bmx? and i always thought good modulation requires practice by the user/rider?
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Old 10-25-10, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by gundamzaku View Post
i always thought that most braking is done by the front brake, whether it's a mtn bike or a roadie or a bmx? and i always thought good modulation requires practice by the user/rider?
....and i always thought caps were over rated.
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Old 10-26-10, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_man_14 View Post
I have juicy 3's. They are nice brakes and have excellent modulation compared to a pair of tektro IO's I had on another bike but are a pain in the a** to adjust. You have to take the front wheel off, squeeze the lever a couple of times put the wheel back on and see if its good enough. If it goes further than you want, your screwed. The juicy 7's have a pad contact control knob so you can adjust it right from the lever. But they dont make them anymore as far as I know. The CR's are sweet. There is also the hayes stroker cr which is $100. little less. Has the knob like juicy 7's I think.
the tektros i have use an adjusting knob exactly like the BB5s i have on my other bike. you can set the inboard pad with the knob and you set the outboard pad with cable tension. not sure what brakes you are talking about. shouldnt have to take the wheel off at all to adjust
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Old 10-26-10, 07:16 PM
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I have juicy 3's. They are hydraulic. You cant exactly set tension. To set the lever where I want the pad to grab I have to remove the wheel, squeeze the lever which brings the pads closer and then put the wheel back on. Its called their caliper alignment system or something. Thats the only way I can or know how to do it.
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Old 10-26-10, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
Just get some hydros. Tha Avids Elixrs rawk, you'll love 'em.
you've never bled an avid elixr, have you?
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Old 10-26-10, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by pablosnazzy View Post
you've never bled an avid elixr, have you?
Are you serious********** You work in a shop and you find that hard?? I worked for years as industrial maintenance mechanic, bleeding a set of bike brakes is about as easy as it gets.
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Old 10-26-10, 08:41 PM
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didn't say it was hard.
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Old 10-26-10, 08:51 PM
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You're right, expensive hydro's are cool bling... plus they're got real grip, way more gripping power than a mechanical.
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Old 10-26-10, 08:51 PM
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You implied that it was or I may had misunderstood. Get the proper tool for the job.....
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Old 10-26-10, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
You implied that it was or I may had misunderstood. Get the proper tool for the job.....
I don't think we need any more tools around here.
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Old 10-26-10, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by electrik View Post
I don't think we need any more tools around here.
Word......where is '01 ?
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Old 10-26-10, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
Word......where is '01 ?
In the past!
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Old 10-26-10, 09:44 PM
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Back on thread, I upgraded the brakes on my Felt Q720 also, I had Hayes Sole hydros and they sucked, went with AVID BB7s and the difference is great, I know they aren't high end hydros but a great brakeset for the money, cheap, simple and effictive.
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