Pros & Cons of Mechanical vs. Hydraulic Disc Brakes

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by rtsy, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. rtsy

    rtsy New Member

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    As a follow up to my post on V-brake vs. Disc, here's another one. Can mroe experienced folks kindly please share your experiences and insights on the above?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. CrazyCourier

    CrazyCourier New Member

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    Hey Matey,

    to put it simply, here are the pros and cons of disc brakes:

    Pros: Hyrdo Brakes

    Cons: Cable Brakes

    Hahahhaa. Nah cables are ok i guess.

    I currently have hayes cable on my bike, and they were awesome!!! for like the first week!!! You have to adjust them very regularly to suck the juice out of them.

    They are good in the fact that they work in the wet, and you don't replace pads as often etc. But cable actuated discs in my short experience arent nearly as good as hyrdos.

    I have heard that if you really do need to get cable discs (if ur on a budget) then avids are the way to go. Also, check out Liquid's. They are pretty good, my mate Jed swears by them ( but he runs the company, hahaha), they are dual actuating like hydros (hayes cables are single actuating) which is a big improvement and they also run on bearings.

    Liquid Bikes

    I plan to get some hyrdos (or maybe the liquid cables) soon, with some new levers as they hayes set up eats large amounts of penis.

    Ride away!

    Cheers,

    Ken
     
  3. Adski

    Adski New Member

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    Cables: cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain, less power.

    Hydraulic: better modulation, meaning a more progressive feel at the lever.
     
  4. Alnamvet

    Alnamvet New Member

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    Unless you are a 6 figure mtb pro racer, the mechanical discs like Hayes using your existing brake cables are more than adequate; for me, my xtr rim brakes are more than I need, but going disc appears to be more for techno weenies who are desirous of one upping the neighbors. Just ride everyday, enjoy, and you'll soon forget the latest and greatest gimmicks out their.
     
  5. iamdigital

    iamdigital New Member

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    in case you have not noticed cantilevers and v-brakes destroy your rims. whether your going with a mechanical or hydraulic disc brake system you are making a wise choice. increased braking power, less maintenance, no wear to your rims, and more safty are just a few of the benefits.

    As far as whether mechanical vs. hydraulic thing goes:

    Mechanical disc brakes are heavier, require more maintenance, and provide less brake power

    Hydraulic disc brakes are lighter, require less maintenance, and provide more brake power. However prey they don't start leaking
     
  6. jmitting

    jmitting New Member

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  7. Zozzle

    Zozzle New Member

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  8. the blur

    the blur New Member

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  9. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    Hydraulics - good when they work, S%^T when they don't !!!

    I was trying to bleed mine tonight and it almost drove me insane, everytime I almost had them done the filler bottle would slip off the nipple and DOT 3 would leak everywhere and the system would get full of air.

    I am bloody angry now especially since the Hayes bleed kit cost an extortionate amount for bascially a plastic squeeze bottle and a length of tube and the tube they supplied kept slipping off.

    :(
     
  10. moparchris

    moparchris New Member

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    pft wearing rims, BAH go buy some descent rims then lol, ive got some 5 year old mavics (which ive wanted to replace for a while now anyway) that are only just showing wear, its hardly anything though but if i put up a straightege to the rim its SLIGHTLY curved in, my mate has some cheaper rims, i dunno what brand they are but theyre probly not 2 years and theyre pretty wasted

    the reason i dont get discs is if i got them id want hydraulic ones and instead of that, why not just put some light as V's on ?
     
  11. mjw_byrne

    mjw_byrne New Member

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    jmitting: I wore a rim out on my commuter bike in about 6 months. I live in a hilly area, so the brakes get used a lot. In wet conditions, a rim brake will chew through rims in no time.

    However, what you say is surely true for dry, clean brakes - my road bike never sees wet conditions and after several hundred miles, the rims look and feel as new as when I bought the bike.
     
  12. jmitting

    jmitting New Member

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    Hmmm, pattern occuring here, wet place + V-brakes = wear on rim sidewall. I could be wrong I suppose, unlikely as it seems. What can I say I live in a dry place and getting dryer every year too. Which could be why I've never seen or even heard of the problem except here in these forums.
     
  13. andygard

    andygard New Member

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    Pattern here! Correct, I live in the North of the UK and ride a Marin Mount Vision with good Mavics. I wear through rims every year with my XT V's. I have now gone over to Hope's new mono mini's 180 from and 160 rear. http://www.hopetech.com/products/hyd_07.htm
    Good modulation, less finger effort on long hard rides with technical downhills. These come with either sintered or normal pads. Use sintered every time they last longer, (still only around 2 months with 2 hard rides/week in the mud/rain)

    The mud is very abrasive on rims but doesnt effect my discs at all so no more messing with new rims.

    Was a good move for me if a little expensive as I had brake/shifter pods and had to buy new XT shifters as well as the brakes and new hubs.
     
  14. chileanrasta

    chileanrasta New Member

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    I run Avids and have never said I don"t have enough brake.
    They work great if they are setup correctly.
     
  15. sugufish

    sugufish New Member

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    I'm using Mechanical Hayes Disc Brake... no complains... more than sufficient stopping power...
     
  16. kridgley

    kridgley New Member

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    I've had a Avid Mechanical on the front for about 6 months. (Had a XT-V on the rear). I do a 90 minute ride each morning during the week and some long ones on the weekend. The Avid feels as good now as it did just after break-in. Yesterday, I put one on the back too. I don't think the extra cable and housing are going to be able to deal with the daily grime as well. I'll know for sure in a few weeks. I think one of the keys is how often you wash your bike. Since I stopped washing it, I get almost no crud in the housing. Anyway, I think I'm going to get some hydraulic down the road. Here a money shot of my clean new parts:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. lpschafer

    lpschafer New Member

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    Oh puhleeze! Nobody I ever heard of or met anyone who ever wore out a set of rims with their brakes. Speaking as a mechanical engineer the sort of miles you would need to do to wear hardened (sometimes anodized) alloy rims to the point of failure with rubber brake blocks would see your whole bike wear out several times over.
    jmitting,
    I have personally worn through 2 sets of Mavic Open4CD rims at the 8,000 mile mark on my commuter and one set of Mavic 231 on my mtb at 1200 miles. I attribute the wear to riding in the rain and Shimanos' abrasive compound pads. I now run Mavics new Speed City 700c disc wheels with Avid cable disk brakes on my Surly Karate Monkey commuter. The setup is awsome for wet weather riding and avids are no trouble at all to adjust (no tools needed). I also think they stop just as good as my Ultegra equiped road bike and without locking the wheel up in a skid. I now run Hayes hydros on my KHS Mtb. They stop more aggresively than the Avids but the bleeding proccess is a pain and I worry about destrying them in a crash because of the cost and no brake for the ride back.
    Larry S.
     
  18. ultraviolet

    ultraviolet New Member

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    hydraulics are more powerfull, but, i like the fiddling required setting up cable disk brakes
     
  19. Adam-from-SLO

    Adam-from-SLO New Member

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    I think if you walk into any bike shop, they will all tell you that the lowest quality hydrolic disc brake is just as good(possibly better) then a mechanical disc brake (in terms of its application off-road trail- XC riding), and this has no relation to how much $$-profits are generated off the sale of such item. Now, if your a AM and/or DH rider, given how good hydrolic disc brake modulation is.... I'll bet if you go to any race( semi-pro or Pro), they will all be using a Hydrolic system. If its for Road application, then I can totally see using a mechanical disc brake. It all comes down to application and how much stopping force you need. I believe in not "skimping" on your quality of brakes used(especially for MTB use). Road brakes, you can get away with any kind of dual-pivot brake in the last 15-18 years of manufacture, however in off-road application having a brake system in place that yields a longer stopping distance versus its competitor, could result in a crash of some kind (depending upon certain factors such as speed, terrain(slope), etc).

    As a side note, on my trail/XC MTB, I use a Formula RX hydrolic disc brake(with a 180mm/7in rotor), with V-brake on the rear(manily due to not having disc brake tabs on the rear). On the rear, standard alloy rim is decent stopping power/modulation, but I prefer to use one of Mavic's CD/Ceramic rims as it provides nicer modulation in a variety of weather conditions and no squeaks.
     
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