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Hydraulic disc vs mechanical disc brakes?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Hydraulic disc vs mechanical disc brakes?

Old 05-18-19, 05:22 PM
  #26  
JohnJ80
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
If we include the most basic and budget bikes, then sure, but only because its cheaper. Not better or even equally good. Cant imagine any half decent road or gravel bike with mechanical discs in a few years, just like hydro have replaced mechanical in mtbs.
Well, for one reason to use mechanical, if you have to disassemble your bike for air travel such as a bike with couplers. That's more difficult or at least more problematic with hydraulics. Paul's components now make a mechanical disc brake so there will be a mechanical disc brake available for a very long time.

There are also a ton of frames out there set up for mechanical and they will continue to need support. This is the same thing that has happened with cantilevers, V-brakes, long pull calipers etc.... All still available. I doubt there will be any difference with mechanical disc brakes either.
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Old 05-18-19, 08:14 PM
  #27  
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Didn't everyone have this discussion 20 years ago re mountain bikes? I still have my Titus Racer X with mech discs and they still work great. Hydros have always worked a little better, but with a tradeoff of complexity. Cable selection has always been critical for mech discs.
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Old 05-18-19, 08:36 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Mechanical discs were a hassle, issues with noise, rubbing, etc.
My experience with hydraulic disc brakes has been far bar better.

No idea if they've improved mechanicals since then but I'd personally be hesitant to buy anything other than hydraulic for disc brakes myself.

sounds like you mech disk is not properly setup, also most newer internal routing disk brake frame is designed for hydro, for my Niner, I have to route the rear brake cable outside the chainstay, the internal routing creates too much bending of the cable
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Old 05-19-19, 05:59 AM
  #29  
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It really doesn't take much to haul a bicycle to a controlled stop. I have built 2 disc brake bikes in the past year and I went with mechanical disc in both cases. TRP Spyres on one and Spykes on the other. The Spyres took a little breaking in and are still what I would describe a s soft, but perfectly adequate for my touring bike. I put the Spykes on an MTB. I have yet to really challenge them, but I can tell they will serve me well in the mountains.

Comparing the hydros on one MTB to the Spykes on another several things stand out. The hydros are easier to finesse with one or two fingers in technical stuff, and that is where I think hydros really stand out. They are also a bit easier to accidentally lock up in panic or emergency braking. I took a good spill last year on account of an accidental front end lock up. That never happened on the mech disc brakes I had on my previous MTB. My hydros also decided to act up last year in a way that I couldn't fix myself, so it had to go to the shop as I didn't have bleeding equipment. I can't see the same thing happening with mechs.

For the OPs intended use I don't see hydros offering any tangible performance advantage.

Last edited by Paul Barnard; 05-19-19 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 05-19-19, 09:03 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
It really doesn't take much to haul a bicycle to a controlled stop. I have built 2 disc brake bikes in the past year and I went with mechanical disc in both cases. TRP Spyres on one and Spykes on the other. The Spyres took a little breaking in and are still what I would describe a s soft, but perfectly adequate for my touring bike. I put the Spykes on an MTB. I have yet to really challenge them, but I can tell they will serve me well in the mountains.

Comparing the hydros on one MTB to the Spykes on another several things stand out. The hydros are easier to finesse with one or two fingers in technical stuff, and that is where I think hydros really stand out. They are also a bit easier to accidentally lock up in panic or emergency braking. I took a good spill last year on account of an accident front end lock up. That never happened on the mech disc brakes I had on my previous MTB. My hydros also decided to act up last year in a way that I couldn't fix myself, so it had to go to the shop as I didn't have bleeding equipment. I can't see the same thing happening with mechs.

For the OPs intended use I don't see hydros offering any tangible performance advantage.
Completely agree. I doubt there will be any noticeable advantage especially if the brakes are installed with high quality compressionless housings. Compressionless housing is fantastic on any mechanical braking system but especially beneficial on mechanical discs with the long housing run. That done, I think it's going to be difficult to tell the difference.

J.

Last edited by JohnJ80; 05-19-19 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 05-19-19, 10:04 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Completely agree. I doubt there will be any noticeable advantage especially if the brakes are installed with high quality compassionless housings. Compassionless housing is fantastic on any mechanical braking system but especially beneficial on mechanical discs with the long housing run. That done, I think it's going to be difficult to tell the difference.

J.
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Old 05-19-19, 12:01 PM
  #32  
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I was watching the Amgen Tour of California on the stage when Alex Hoehn got the mountain jersey, and when the camera zoomed in to his Cannondale, I noticed he was using mechanical discs. I thought that was pretty interesting.
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Old 05-19-19, 02:36 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I won't put something on my bike if it has no regard for my feelings.
Compassionless housing... funny autocorrect.
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Old 05-19-19, 04:00 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I won't put something on my bike if it has no regard for my feelings.
Given me a whole new way of looking at bike parts. Hmmm.

Originally Posted by f4rrest View Post
Compassionless housing... funny autocorrect.
no kidding. I fixed it. But I'm sure compressionless housing is, in fact, compassionless.

Originally Posted by Jack Tone View Post
I was watching the Amgen Tour of California on the stage when Alex Hoehn got the mountain jersey, and when the camera zoomed in to his Cannondale, I noticed he was using mechanical discs. I thought that was pretty interesting.
And this is interesting for sure. Wonder which brakes?
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Old 05-19-19, 05:02 PM
  #35  
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^ They looked like the ones fietsbob mentioned earlier with the U shaped actuating arm.
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Old 05-19-19, 05:29 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Jack Tone View Post
^ They looked like the ones fietsbob mentioned earlier with the U shaped actuating arm.
Ah. TRP Spyres then.
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