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Thread below riders are debating the difference in braking power between Avid mechs and Hayes hydros. I've always thought the real difference between good and bad disc brakes was more about modulation and feel. I guess if you are at 200lbs running an 8" rotor and routinely hitting 40MPH on the DH course power might be an issue, but I have a hard time believing that any main stream decently setup disc brake running the proper size rotor wouldn't provide enough power. The only other issue beside modulation might be fad, but other than that are riders really running out of stopping power?
 

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Derailleurless
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I think it's pretty much a non issue with most disc brakes (gotta duck any absolutism since I haven't ridden them all).

For me, V brakes did have a power issue, and my Avids fixed it, as have the various hydro units I've ridden (never owned). Even the single 6" rotor I relied on for a couple of years had enough power, even though I was regularly (and obviously) overheating it on one particular descent.

And despite discs solving my "power want" once and for all, my greatest satisfaction comes from the increased modulation they afford: the effortless one finger feathering that inspires confidence when the trail is neither wet nor steep -- just fast.

My opinion is that the tireless Avid Mech vs. hydro debates are for the most part, completely bunk. It's not about power, it's not about modulation, and it's only about "feel" if you like standing in your living room in your bare feet and your drawers squeezing brake levers for the sheer boredom of it. The only debatable points should be, do you prefer the attributes and negatives of the mechanics of a cable system over the attributes and negatives of the mechanics of a hydraulic system.

Frankly, other than that issue, the Avid design with all of its pad, spring and leverage adjustments, is far too customizable to be labeled as "too soft" or "too grabby" or "too strong" or "too weak" compared to some generic ideal hydro (Adjustability: one of the cable attributes that the hydros can't touch).

So the question really boils down to, Do you want to f around with cables and regular manual pad adjustment, or do you want to f around with hydro fluid and limited ability to adjust? and I'm not suggesting there is one single correct answer, just that the words "power" nor "modulation" should be part of any answer.

How's that for 2¢ worth?
 

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Uhhhhh...
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Speedüb Nate said:
I think it's pretty much a non issue with most disc brakes (gotta duck any absolutism since I haven't ridden them all).

For me, V brakes did have a power issue, and my Avids fixed it, as have the various hydro units I've ridden (never owned). Even the single 6" rotor I relied on for a couple of years had enough power, even though I was regularly (and obviously) overheating it on one particular descent.

And despite discs solving my "power want" once and for all, my greatest satisfaction comes from the increased modulation they afford: the effortless one finger feathering that inspires confidence when the trail is neither wet nor steep -- just fast.

My opinion is that the tireless Avid Mech vs. hydro debates are for the most part, completely bunk. It's not about power, it's not about modulation, and it's only about "feel" if you like standing in your living room in your bare feet and your drawers squeezing brake levers for the sheer boredom of it. The only debatable points should be, do you prefer the attributes and negatives of the mechanics of a cable system over the attributes and negatives of the mechanics of a hydraulic system.

Frankly, other than that issue, the Avid design with all of its pad, spring and leverage adjustments, is far too customizable to be labeled as "too soft" or "too grabby" or "too strong" or "too weak" compared to some generic ideal hydro (Adjustability: one of the cable attributes that the hydros can't touch).

So the question really boils down to, Do you want to f around with cables and regular manual pad adjustment, or do you want to f around with hydro fluid and limited ability to adjust? and I'm not suggesting there is one single correct answer, just that the words "power" nor "modulation" should be part of any answer.

How's that for 2¢ worth?
What about Avid Juicys? There hydro and have a hella lot of adjustements and will be my next step because i love hydros and i love Avid.

-TS
 

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Maybe...

I tend to think that some folks just want to get their grubby mitts on the biggest and baddest stuff possible. I know I am one of them, and I suspect that over 90% of folks who would be likely to read this are too.

It's why some people buy a fast car. Not because they can drive it fast, not because they race the thing, just because they can own one and that it's the meanest thing going.

I use a 185/160mm F/R Avid mech system. Do I really need that kinda braking? 99% of the time the answer is a definitive NO. But I do dip into that remaining 1% where I really do use up all the brake has to offer, and while a smaller 160mm front rotor would do the job and put up with the load without too much trouble, why push it that hard if I don't have to? By spending a few extra bucks, and dealing with the extra finickyness of the bigger rotor, I have more brake than I really need most of the time, and enough brake for when I decide to push a little harder.

Heck, I know the extra initial bite the larger front rotor has is largely responsible for throwing me onto the deck once, and that is a VERY rare occurrence. But I still keep it there and have no plan to remove it. I think it may have saved my bacon more than the one time it threw me, so I think I am playing the odds and making like a bandit.

As for a Hydro, if I were in a position to get anything I might desire, I don't think I would lose the mechs. After a little bit of attention, they are smooth and reliable, and I doubt that I could match them with a hydro of any brand to be perfectly honest. While I like the silky smoothness of a hydro, I don't mind at all that my Avids are a teensy bit less smooth, simply because I the point am moot. Would I exchange my smoother than average Avids for say, a sloppy (from the factory) hydro? Do I look that stoopid?

At the end of the day, if you are running out of brake with discs, you at least have the option of using larger discs. I know of only one guy who ran out of disc at 200mm, and he ended up running 29" wheels to gain clearance on the 250mm rotor he had made up. That guy is a serious nutcase, and no flyweight, so I could understand. But for someone who pedals, I think there is more than enough brake available in any disc system these days (save a few selected and outdated ones).

My grandpa always told me "anyone can go fast, but don't forget you have to stop sometime… Make sure your brakes are good."
 

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ballbuster
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I'd say the issue is feel...

rprice said:
Thread below riders are debating the difference in braking power between Avid mechs and Hayes hydros. I've always thought the real difference between good and bad disc brakes was more about modulation and feel. I guess if you are at 200lbs running an 8" rotor and routinely hitting 40MPH on the DH course power might be an issue, but I have a hard time believing that any main stream decently setup disc brake running the proper size rotor wouldn't provide enough power. The only other issue beside modulation might be fad, but other than that are riders really running out of stopping power?
... and modulation. I weigh 196# and had Avid Mechs, and recently stumbled upon a set of Magura Claras. I know, Clara is the cheap ho of the Magura family, but I dig them. Oh, and I got 6" rotors front and rear.

I noticed the difference is mostly in how they feel. I can p-ussyfoot around downhill switchbacks more easily with the Claras, becuase they offer a lighter touch on feathering the front brake. With the Avid Mechs, I often found myself stopping the front wheel and then letting it go again to get around the tight stuff. Grab, off. Grab, off. The Claras I can lightly drag them through.

As far as power goes, I can cook either one if I push them too hard. This is usually on super steep technical downs going too fast, like Saw Pit or Braile. This only happens when I know I'm doing something wrong, but I do it anyway.

To answer your question, I can apply monster stopping power with one finger with either brake, and that is still with my 196 pound tucas. Brake power is not an issue, but sometimes the thermal limit can be reached. Again, only if I push it too hard, and I usually know when I'm doing that.
 

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just along for the ride
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Mechanicals work but remember those cables wear housings so your mileage varies. Hydrolics have no internal wear, they just boil the medium if not bled well if they are set up right say cya to carpal problems if you ride a LOT ;)
 

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"El Whatever"
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Most of it it's just ....

Hype or personal preferences.

Modulation and Feel is the issue. We already had enough power when we got vee's (at least when dry)...

We should remember we have as much braking power as we have traction. Vees already could block a wheel. The real advantage or discs are just that, modulation and feel and differences are not really that big amongst them. We notice them 'cause we ride the thing over and over.

All of them (and all things under the sun) have their issues and particular advantages and hassles. I prefer the Avid Mechs for adjustability and reliability. They're so freaking simple you ask yourself why the thing lasted like ten years of the sport to emerge. I would like a better "feel" but as for modulation it depends on how true my rotor is and how far each pad is from the rotor, so I can tune it from biteless beggining to endo-contact at my desire.
Trailside repairs are quite simple too. I can buy a brake cable in Asstown, Mexico but doubt I could find a hydro brake hose or special ferrules. But this is my personal preference.
 
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