Upgrade from mechanical brakes to hydraulic breaks?

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Gul15, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Gul15

    Gul15 New Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    Likes Received:
    [SIZE= medium]A few months back I purchased a 2011 Cannondale Sl4 as an entry level bike as I was new to the sport.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE= medium]Since then I have really taken it up and ride at least 3-4 times a week on some very technical trails. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE= medium]While most components of the bike handle my local trails fine, I would like to upgrade the mechanical breaks. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE= medium]As the Bike is only a few months old I don’t want to upgrade to a whole new bike just yet.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= medium]Is it possible to upgrade from mechanical brakes to hydraulic breaks?[/SIZE]
    [SIZE= medium]If so what is the best hydraulic option?[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= medium]Or should I just I deal with It for now until i’m ready to upgrade to a new bike?[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= medium]Cheers [/SIZE]

  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Yes, you CAN simply change the brake calipers & levers ...

    BUT, depending on whether or not your shifters are integrated with the brake levers, you could be adding an additional cost if you need to buy a separate set of non-integrated shifters ...

    And, while there are some benefits to hydraulic brake calipers over mechanical calipers, I think the advantage may be more for the mechanic than for the rider UNLESS you are aware of a deficiency in being able to control the bike's speed and/or come to a stop.

    Most mechanical disc brake calipers (except for the type which was used 30+ years ago) are probably more than adequate for most riding conditions ...

    So, FWIW, I would recommend that you wait until you outgrow the capabilities of your entire bike (if ever) before spending the money for a set of hydraulic brakes.
    rluttrell likes this.
  3. Conniebiker

    Conniebiker New Member

    Jan 1, 2005
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    While I agree with the above reply, I will say that even as low as a base level Shimano hydraulic system (mine are 525 model) can be very satisfactory. Those have been in service on my primary bike in racing and commuting use for over 8 years without problem. Total cost in my case was less than 100 usd.

    The more cost effective($25-40) short term could be as simple as changing the brake pad compound. If it is a mainstream brand of caliper you should be able to find at least a couple variations. Some will grip more than others or shine in certain conditions. To get an exact feel for what you would like, a local shop could point you into a direction.