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How reliable have your disc brakes been?

  • I have mechanicals, have had zero rides delayed or missed due to service issues

    Votes: 90 43.5%
  • I have mechanicals, have had 1-2 rides delayed or missed due to service issues

    Votes: 21 10.1%
  • I have mechanicals, have had 3+ rides delayed or missed due to service issues

    Votes: 4 1.9%
  • I have hydraulics, have had zero rides missed or delayed due to service issues

    Votes: 96 46.4%
  • I have hydraulics, have had 1-2 rides delayed or missed due to service issues

    Votes: 18 8.7%
  • I have hydraulics, have had 3+ rides delayed or missed due to service issues

    Votes: 5 2.4%
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

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Old man on a bike
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12,395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just curious how reliable disc brakes have been for everyone here. Personally I've had zero issues with my Avid bb discs, just change pads and once in a while a cable/housing and am good to go for several years now. Personally I've experienced being on rides where folks with hydraulic disc brakes have had fitting failures, split housings, leaks, etc where their rides have been delayed at best and cancelled in some cases as well as time lost to the mechanics if they don't do their own work. So thought I'd make a poll out of it...
 

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Freshly Fujified
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8,199 Posts
Here we go

Should be interesting to see the results we get and how quickly this turns into yet another mechanical vs hydraulic debacle. :D

Here's to hoping for sanity in the replies.

Bob
 

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Rider of Bikes
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224 Posts
I have both mechanical and hydraulic. I did have a problem on my bike with mechanicals on a cold weather ride. It was wet at first, and the temperature dropped through the day. The cables eventually froze up from ice. Don't think that would've happened on hydraulic brakes.

I haven't missed or had a delay due to general maintenence issues. Both styles are prone to problems, but most are avoided if you maintain your machine on a regular basis.
 

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..probably out riding..
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182 Posts
I've run avid mechs for probably 2 years now without any issues except the rotor rubbing the caliper housing, especially when out of saddle mashing. I was sold on them until I tried a buddy's hydros that worked far superior. Mine used to work better, now they feel more like a crappy vbrake. I put new pads on and lined up everything, but still no better. Probably just me.
 

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Premium Member
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48,238 Posts
Bikinfoolferlife said:
Trying to avoid debate and just collect some data this time...
To that end I will do this:

Any posts in this thread that argue (debate) the experiences of other users may be edited and/or deleted.
The question here is not why or how the issue occurred, only if/that it occurred.

 

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Portland, OR
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3,112 Posts
I run hayes mechanical in 8 inch rotors, never really had any severe problems, just some common stuff like bent rotors and needing pads.the new 6 inch wavy rotors work well too, better than the old style rotors ...i dont know why.

never really liked my hydros, just a little too much maintainence needed.
 

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Old man on a bike
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12,395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
bikeboyjeff said:
I have both mechanical and hydraulic. I did have a problem on my bike with mechanicals on a cold weather ride. It was wet at first, and the temperature dropped through the day. The cables eventually froze up from ice. Don't think that would've happened on hydraulic brakes.

I haven't missed or had a delay due to general maintenence issues. Both styles are prone to problems, but most are avoided if you maintain your machine on a regular basis.
Poll should allow multiple votes, so if you've had both types of brakes hope you reported both experiences...
 

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122 Posts
I have run the old style XT (4 pot) brakes on my Bullit for about three years, first in the wilds of New England (cold and wet winters, warm and humid summers), and then in So Cal (always nice and warm). Back East I had no problems whatsoever. Very reliable, good braking, and no tubing breaches despite occasional branch/tree contact. In So Cal I experienced some fading and rubbing, particularly toward the bottom of long downhill runs. Diagnosed the problem as old pads and rotors too small. Went to 8" rotors and put in new pads. Trouble free again, aside from some minor rubbing from the rear caliper. These brakes take some shimming to mount up properly, so I probably just need to spend a bit more time getting the shims right.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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38,771 Posts
My avids overheated and glazed over, leaving me with little power, this was by the far most important issue because the brake would turn to crap when it overheated, and it became very inneffective.

The pad adjusters would back out from rough terrain.

Long descents would also "eat up" a significant amount of pad life, requiring an adjustment.

The overall pad life stunk compared to the hydros that I've owned.

I've had a couple crappy hydro sets, both were maguras, but my hydro experience has been very good overal. Much more reliable in the long run for me. No adjustments necessy, no loose metal parts that wear out, etc...
 

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Don't touch me!
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839 Posts
Avid mechs: 2-3 years, no real problems. Minor nuances such as the inner pad backing out under hard braking, lever throw tightening up when moving backwards and braking, and rotor rub/warping.

Magura Martas: 1-2 years, one moderate problem: pad re-centering issue when removing front wheel. One or two delayed rides trying to sort it all out. And of course, the recurring theme: rotor rub (with some minor warping).
 

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ride hard take risks
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25,423 Posts
My son has the 2nd generation Avids on his Haro, pain in de ars to adjust. He has raced DH, rec riding, DJ & street riding no problems 5 years stock pads.
I had them on my Marin Team Streb never a problem, adjustment much easier. Sold the bike still working strong, 2nd set pads 4 years.
Hays on my Versus & sons Norco, adjusting caliper for pad wear once in awhile, hose on sons bike pin holed "rode 2 days no rear brake Downieville" nice to be young.
Overall Avids better modulation "brake preasure feel" very good effect.
Hays must learn how much preasure to apply without locking, can use 1 finger if you like, very good effect.
Bottom line they are both awsome! take you choice.
 

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Registered
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4,014 Posts
New Avid BBDB7's, newer version, 160mm front and rear (custom adaptor for rear), using for about 4 month's. No rain, no snow, just fair riding conditions.

Zero issues caused by the brakes. Zero downtime, unless you count the few minute's here and there fiddling with adjustments. Solved with 1Up USA Quick Nuts (thanks Shiggy!).
 

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Registered
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9,436 Posts
I have a set of Hayes HMX 1 mechanicals. The inner pad adjuster is prone to seizing which is a pain if an on trail adjusment is needed. I may switch to hydro's because of the constant pad adjustments needed during heavy use.
 

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MattSavage
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2,481 Posts
I have had Avid BB7's with 185 rotors and Shimano Deore hydro's 8" and 6" for about the same amount of time, 3 years, +\- a few months.

It's a toss up.

The only thing I like better about the Deore's is I don't have to replace cables and housing 3 or 4 times a year.

Can't wait to try Juicy's...
 

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Registered
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1,645 Posts
i've have 185 mm avid BB7 for 13 months and 2616 miles

they are excellent brakes but all i knew were v-brakes

i will say that my brakes make noise alot, this is due to the pads being able to wiggle just a bit in the caliper, so when your not riding and just rolling the bike down the corridor at work, it makes a moaning or squeking noise...this is annoying...but on the trail no issues

maintaining them is pretty trivial, only tool needed is a 5mm allen

you can ride fast with these things even if you don't know what your doing
 

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Old man on a bike
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12,395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the input and votes. Looks pretty much like it doesn't matter, at least among the group visiting the brake forum, whether we use mechanical or hydraulic discs to keep the rubber rolling...
 

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Premium Member
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48,238 Posts
Bikinfoolferlife said:
Thanks for the input and votes. Looks pretty much like it doesn't matter, at least among the group visiting the brake forum, whether we use mechanical or hydraulic discs to keep the rubber rolling...
More reveling for me is despite all of the "I'm having trouble with my disc brakes" posts here, 82% have never missed a ride because of brake issues. 97% have missed 2 or fewer rides.
 
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