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What bike and what....

model year. Sounds like you are talking about a early model Trek 99 to about 01. But without knowing it's impossible to say.

Good Dirt
 

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I looks like you'll have to go for a hydro brake like shown in this photo.
I don't think you'll find any mechanical disc brake that'll work with the brake tab setup that you have.
IS tab hydro brakes aren't necessary as that model bike is sold with Post Mount Avid brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How about a hydro brake that has brake pads that can be mechanically adjusted like the Avid BB7's? My experience with hydraulic brakes is that over time they get less and less throw - (brake pad travel) resulting in drag. This is ok when I am close enough to home to do a rebuild but I am thinking this may be a problem on a big trip.
 

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current hydraulic brakes self adjust for wear, sometimes they need a quick lube, but it's infrequent. Don't be afraid to go to hydro, the amount of time spent adjusting pads on the BB7s is far greater than the amount of time needed to service a hydro system even including the occasional bleed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have a fear of hydraulics from the one model I have owned that at the 500 mile mark needed a complete rebuild with new seals and pistons. Maybe some lubing maintenance would have prevented this or maybe other brands and models can get more mileage without maintenance? It would have been nice to be able to back the pads off so i could limp home instead of drag home. There doesn't seem to be much that can be done in the way of maintenance out in the field?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
User error was likely to blame as this was my first set of Hydraulics. Technical support from Hayes was amazing... they helped me figure out the problem and set me up with a rebuild kit. So I don't want to dis the brake by naming it - but since you probably need to know in order to understand where I am coming from: it was the HFX Nine model.

I couldn't push the pistons back in and recenter as it just continued to drag when I did this. I then tried lubing the piston but it was too late -it then cracked and jammed in the cylinder. This may have happened when I was trying to lube it to free it up or maybe this is what caused the drag problem in the first place? The was a big chunk broken off the back of the cylinder. I was surprised it was made out of a strange composite like substance.
 

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Nines are/were absolute junk. I would not let that isolated problem scare you from Hydraulics in general. There are a lot of good brakes out there. Each may have a small 'imperfection' (avids like to make noise, shimanos are not DOT fluid, and rebuild parts are hard to find), but overall, most are pretty good.

Stick with a simple version of a two piston brake. Avid Juicys, or any of the two piston shimanos (would be my pick/opinion) would be simple, proven and relatively inexpensive. Keep an eye out and you can find great deals on both of these as well (last years model/color or an OEM take off). They seem to show up farily often at significant discount.
 

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A lot of the early brakes were pretty bad as the companies were new to the game, or had trouble scaling their existing brakes down to managable weights. Hayes made motorbike brakes before bike ones, and what works in one application doesn't necessarily transfer.

If you want simple and corrosive DOT fluid-free, its hard to go past Shimano XT, LX or deore level. The latter has just been updated with higher groupset features too.
 

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vtdavey said:
What makes a brake junk? I know what makes a cheapo bike junk, but to me one brake looks just like another.
Very cheap at full retail usually means some corners were cut in mfg. For those particular brakes, the quality of every part was suspect. This resulted in low power, poor hoses that would kink, or burst. Cheap pads, leaking master cylinders, sticking pistons.. hardware was very cheap. I worked on a pair that I had to close the bleed valve with as much effort as I could to prevent the bleeded from simply pouring out fluid.

Hayes was once a well respected mtb brand. Then they went the way of low price (cheap junk) to try to garner the OEM market (product that comes on a complete low end bike)...and that market is all about how cheap you can make stuff (think manitou around 2005).

The hayes 9 was exactly that product. Every corner was cut to make a product super cheap for OEM applications... VS... The original 'purple' or 'champaign' hayes brakes of the early 90s were the best of their time and they were not cheap nor found on complete bikes at the LBS (not great compared to current procduct, but solid, well built, with avialable parts everywhere).

As of the last two years, hayes has re-grouped and decided that selling more cheap junk leads to a poor business image. They have re-designed all of their products (and bought manitou) and have changed their direction to try to make quility products over quantity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sticking pistons, bad bleed valve design - I hear you there. I did not experience leaking m.c. or bad hoses. This brake gets a rating of 3.33 at this web site (194 reviews). However 25 people who own the carbon version -which is the same thing with just a carbon lever? thought it rated a 4.04! The generic Hayes brake - appears to be OEM brake? rated by 401users rated the Hayes as 4.42!

Obviously someone working in a shop is going to see a trend in what brakes come in for repairs for what reasons and are going to be a better judge than the average rider with 3 or 4 bikes.

Otherwise the Shimanos and the Hope Minis are the only hydraulic brakes with above 4 ratings with more than 100 reviews. Even the Juicy 7 get a wanking solid 3.69 with almost 300 reviews. So you can see how this is a tough one to research. Maybe more bike mechanics could weigh in here?
 
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