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Which brake configuration? Shimano M315 hydraulic disc + Magura HS33 or TRP Spyre

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Which brake configuration? Shimano M315 hydraulic disc + Magura HS33 or TRP Spyre

Old 07-07-18, 05:31 PM
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wuser92
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Which brake configuration? Shimano M315 hydraulic disc + Magura HS33 or TRP Spyre

Hi everyone,

me and my girlfriend are about to invest into new bikes for our first long-term bike tour across South America and Southeast Asia for roughly 12 months. We're going to get bamboo bikes and because of the bamboo frame we kind of have a tricky situation with the brakes as caliper brakes can only be installed in the back with additional mounts. Therefore we have five options now for this 12-month ride through South America and Southeast Asia:
  1. Use the default Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes (our least preferred option; $0),
  2. Keep the Shimano M315 in the back, but install a Magura HS33 in the front (where we have a regular fork to mount it on; $90),
  3. Magura HS33 (front and back; $400)
  4. Upgrade to Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes (most expensive option; $300), or
  5. Upgrade to TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes (front and back; our preferred option; $140)
We'd like to hear some experts / experience long-term bike tourers to find out what you would recommend in terms of maintenance, worldwide availability of spare parts and performance for a 12-month backcountry trip.

Thank you so much in advance! We really appreciate your feedback and thoughts
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Old 07-07-18, 10:48 PM
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Why bamboo? I would stick with a good quality steel frame personally.

I would also probably not go Hydraulic for touring but if I were to do so I would probably go with XT or something of that quality so I have better piece of mind but if you use quality parts (levers, cables, housing and rotor/pads) with the TRP Spyres you will be just fine.

I am currently running TRP Spyres with Jagwire Elite Link cables and housing (though needed to go tandem for my rear brake simply because I have road levers and the road cables aren't designed for placement of disc brakes on a touring frame) and because the actual inner lining is quite lightweight you could take extra for when you need to replace and find a slick stainless cable and be OK if you needed to replace in another country. Since my bike is drop bar I went with the Gevenalle levers but honestly I wish they made them with the SRAM drop bar levers which have a more ergo profile. However it seems like you might be doing a flat bar build.

If you go with the TRP Spykes you can use the Avid Speed Dial 7 levers which I use for V-brakes (Shimano Deore) on my hybrid and like them. I dislike ScRAMs brakes but their levers are usually quite nice. If using Spyres I would use Paul canti levers which are short pull compatible and super high quality. Another reason for TRP Spyres is they also use a Shimano pad that is generally more easily available which is a nice thing.

I wouldn't go rim brakes but if I had too I would probably go Paul MotoLites or XT V-Brakes (again with high quality other parts** but I wouldn't want to mix and match brake styles and I like discs a little better touring.
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Old 07-07-18, 11:11 PM
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Although I don't currently have TRP Spyre, I will be putting them on in the future sometime. I would prefer them over any Hydraulic version and they are only highly sort after they are highly recommended and easy to maintain. Having hydraulics could be an issue in out of the way places. I have a friend whom was an avid hydraulic brake user here In Australia, they let go on an 2000klm corrugated and stoney rough road, and left him with out brakes unitl he got to Darwin 16 days later. He has not had luck with them since and has recently gone to Spyre's. This is not saying they are not any good, but I think rough currugated roads will test them..
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Old 07-07-18, 11:45 PM
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If they're set up properly I don't think OP is likely to have problems with any of those brakes. I'd probably opt for the Spyres if I was worried about serviceability, but rim brakes are probably a (slightly) better option.

IME whenever something broke it was while abusing the bike and catastrophic to the point where what I was running wouldn't have made much difference.
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Old 07-08-18, 12:57 AM
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Biggest problem with rim brakes is finding decent quality rim brake rims now. Choices are getting limited in wider sizes, Rhynolite XL is what I got last, and that was scratching around. The TRP Spykes work pretty good with Avid Speed Dial Black OPs levers, but the stock pads I got with mine are junk, Koolstops went straight on after trying to get the stock pads to work. Mind you, the brakes were out of China, so some kind of OEM excess stock so maybe not the best pads. Around USD$85 for two with shipping, mounts and 180mm discs.
And yeah, I wouldn't go on a 12 month trip on an exotic material like bamboo...
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Old 07-08-18, 05:26 AM
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Thanks everyone, that's been super helpful! You confirmed the TRP Spyre as our preferred option. Regarding the bamboo frame, we personally know the manufacturer. It's a German company and others have cycled thousands of kilometers on their frames without a single issue so far. They perform great on all the regular stress tests etc. so we're not really worried about the frame and they offer great service and support also.
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Old 07-08-18, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wuser92 View Post
Thanks everyone, that's been super helpful! You confirmed the TRP Spyre as our preferred option. Regarding the bamboo frame, we personally know the manufacturer. It's a German company and others have cycled thousands of kilometers on their frames without a single issue so far. They perform great on all the regular stress tests etc. so we're not really worried about the frame and they offer great service and support also.
Does the frame manufacturer have any suggestions on brakes? Rim brakes put less stress on a frame than disc brakes. The disc brake mounting point is a high stress point. The TRP comes in the older style post mount and also in the newer style flat mount. The frame configuration will determine which mount you would need. And some disc mounting points can interfere with rack mounting.

I agree with the others - for a long trip you want something you can easily fix and cables are easier to fix than hydraulics.
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Old 07-08-18, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Does the frame manufacturer have any suggestions on brakes?
Yes, after having a discussion with them, they provided us with these 5 options and we should choose depending on budget and preference.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Rim brakes put less stress on a frame than disc brakes. The disc brake mounting point is a high stress point.
Their default setup is equipped and tested with hydraulic disc brakes. The last couple they had that toured 10,000 km+ from Europe to China used Magura HS33 (front + back). But we personally just wanted to also benefit from disc brakes and didn't want to pay extra for the special mount and then be stuck with Magura's once we're back to Europe after the trip.

They are still pretty young and their typical clients don't take the bikes to remote locations in South America and Southeast Asia (even though they had 2 or 3 successful around the world travellers already). They are called my Boo (and that's the bike: bit.ly/2KWFAnW) and want to produce more sustainable and fair-produced bikes, so they are slowly replacing more and more parts of the bike with more sustainable parts.
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Old 07-08-18, 11:40 AM
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I have had German, Magura HS 33 rim brakes on a 14 year old bike
I've had for 10 years..

They are the best brakes on V brake posts, for a bike using straight,
or in my case, trekking handlebars .
only issue is they use a unique brake pad, but they are available,
and easy enough to bring spares,
They Literally snap on, to replace them.. EZ .


But V brake posts may be difficult to pull off on a near DIY Bamboo bike frame..

But for BMX there have been adapter plates made,
to put V brakes on a center bolt mounted side pull brake frame.







....

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-08-18 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 07-08-18, 06:55 PM
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It'll be the TRP SPYKES you'd want, not Spyres. The Spyke has the same cable pull as a V brake. That way if you break a lever somewhere remote, you can use one off any old straight bar bike. No difference in cost, pads are the same. Also, make sure they spec very high grade cable, as someone else has said. I've got good results out of the Jagwire Mountain Pro cables.
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Old 07-08-18, 07:18 PM
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@Trevtassie: That was probably me but I also mentioned spec'ing good compressionless housing like the Elite Link which has lightweight inner liners and then reusable lightweight links. However I will say Yokozuna also makes a fine compressionless brake housing but it will be a touch heavier and won't look quite as cool or Jagwire does a standard housing called the Pro Compressionless housing but I like the link stuff.
I try to avoid coated cables as the coating can wear off and could gunk things up.
I realized the difference some of the smaller cheaper upgrades like cables/housing and pads can really make on a bike. You can spend a lot of money on great new derailleurs or brakes and certainly in many cases it can improve things quite a bit but sometimes those little upgrades can also make a good difference.

I guess with bamboo you can easily repair it almost anywhere but I still am a steel advocate. Curious who the frame builder is mainly to see new exciting bikes but also out of curiosity to see how they are doing their frames.
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Old 07-10-18, 12:48 AM
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Get the Spyers, NO doubt.
I am on tour now on a 120 lb heavyweight. Before I started I made, for my custom steel frame, a diy ALu wishbone and steel bracket. I found a great welder in Seattle. I then got compressionless cable and a tandem HD cable. The IGH expert then said my SA long pull levers wouldn't work. LOL.... I put it together myself. I also defied normal and maxed the pad gap, 1 mm each side. Because they are designed for a track dropout and I don't want to fuss with it ever.

My Motel was right on a steep hill. I got up some speed and instant success. With the lever half cocked it was like glued together and the tire was burning rubber. No break in, no cleaning the disc required. NO slipping or squeaking at all since. I expect it will go 10,000 miles now.
My 2002 hybrid DB5 one side pull discs were at best 30% of this Spyre. Pathetic.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
@Trevtassie: That was probably me but I also mentioned spec'ing good compressionless housing like the Elite Link which has lightweight inner liners and then reusable lightweight links. However I will say Yokozuna also makes a fine compressionless brake housing but it will be a touch heavier and won't look quite as cool or Jagwire does a standard housing called the Pro Compressionless housing but I like the link stuff.
I try to avoid coated cables as the coating can wear off and could gunk things up.
I realized the difference some of the smaller cheaper upgrades like cables/housing and pads can really make on a bike. You can spend a lot of money on great new derailleurs or brakes and certainly in many cases it can improve things quite a bit but sometimes those little upgrades can also make a good difference.

I guess with bamboo you can easily repair it almost anywhere but I still am a steel advocate. Curious who the frame builder is mainly to see new exciting bikes but also out of curiosity to see how they are doing their frames.
I think the Jagwire Pro is probably the sweet spot for price versus performance, the inners are nice too, tightly drawn through the mandrel so they are stiff. Haven't needed to switch to link.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:58 PM
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Quite an adventure you have planned. I haven't done a tour like that but I'd seriously consider the hydraulic discs. Route surely includes many steep hills where hydros shine. I have TRP Spyre & Avid BB7 cable discs which are pretty nice but on steep descents require a lot of lever effort. If the hydros get a problem I figure worst case is a few days to get new parts shipped in. & I'd go for the XT's or similar upgrade, IME brakes are the one component where it really pays to get the best quality.
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Old 06-13-19, 05:09 AM
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I've done some trips in Latin America and highly recommend a good working solid mechanical system that uses cables.
I have avid bb7's and while an older design, they just plain work.

Keep it simple is my opinion, mechanical discs vs hydraulic.

And learn how to work on them.

Bamboo, hey, that's your decision and you've already made it.
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Old 06-13-19, 10:59 AM
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I dont know how serious you are about this trip, but here is my take on it.
Discs are great for a long trip cuz you wont deal with rim wear in wet dirty sandy conditions. On a heavily loaded bike, discs also brake stronger and for less finger force, which is a anice bonus in mountains.

you can buy brake cables anywhere, and my experience in good stores in mexico, guatemala, honduras, costa rica is that you will find BB7 pads, and Im sure any and all popular shiimano models , the big advantage to commonly used parts.

hydro cables will always have the small chance of damage, so if your bikes are thrown haphazardly ontop of a bus roof or whatever, this could happen.....will it, probably not, but thats the thing with mechanicals, its one less issue or possibility , and in my experiienced opinion, mech discs work great and for touring, work perfectly fine, so for me , its a no brainer, go with robust and simple.

sure you have to learn new wrenching skills, pad adjustment usually, and thats not often, and changing pads, it aint that hard, or you pay a bike store to do it once in a while.
carry spare pads,
be familiar with the brakes before hand , if you have the inclination.

make sure your bikes can fit at least up to 2in tires, 50mm. With crap roads you will appreciate it.
good luck with your research and decisions.
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Old 06-13-19, 01:27 PM
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It's a year-old-thread, OP's trip probably already passed.
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Old 06-13-19, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
It's a year-old-thread, OP's trip probably already passed.
oh geez, I missed that.

thanks
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Old 06-13-19, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
It's a year-old-thread, OP's trip probably already passed.
No, it was less than a year age. The OP is probably reading replies and putting new brake cables in their Amazon shopping cart while biking up the Amazon. ;-)
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Old 06-13-19, 02:22 PM
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not a bad South America joke there buddy
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Old 06-13-19, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
It's a year-old-thread, OP's trip probably already passed.
Yeah, dunno what happened, came up as a new mention, so I answered without checking the date, ghost/zombie in the machine....
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Old 06-13-19, 08:15 PM
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Zombie threads are more common since a fairly recent website software update. For many years the OP date was listed immediately below OP's username on the subforum page. A year or two ago an update removed this detail.
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