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I hate rock gardens
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My trail buddy has a Trek Fuel. Pretty nice bike and has hydraulic brakes on it...what kind they are, I am uncertain, but I know I may be able to breathe on the grip lever hard enough to get the bike to slow down. It is that smooth and effortless.

This raises a few questions for me...

First, how reliable are they when it comes to NOT leaking? This would pose a serious issue I think when going downhill...I could be wrong.:D

Second, Is it something I can adapt to fit to my mechanical disc set-up or do I need new calipers?
 

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I Have Cookies
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Very reliable, But depends on the brand.... Some of the cheaper brands (Avid,Hayes) have had their issues on certan things. To me if the bike is not gonna be used much id stay with the mechanical disks,
It depends on what system you have now if you have a avid system you can just swap levers and calipers and you will have Hydro's, I'm not to sure about other brands but I'm sure it's the same. Why do you have to put so much effort into your current brakes? I have Mechanical Bb7's and if I'm not carefull it will send me OTB.....
 

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We get titles?
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They don't leak. It just doesn't happen. There are so so so many things that will go wrong with your bike before you leak break fluid that it should literally be the last thing you're concerned about.
No, if you want to switch to hydros, you'll need new levers, lines, and calipers. Your present rotors may be compatible.
 

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local trails rider
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Hydraulic disc brakes are usually very reliable, and require little maintenance once set up properly.

You'll find exceptions: there's no products that never have any issues. In recent years, I've managed to break two hammers...

I've been using Shimano LX hydraulics for a couple of years. Mainly troublefree but the cold last winter did not really agree with the pair on my commuter bike. Or maybe it was the twice daily move from a sort of warm storage space to -25 Celsius causing condensation in the system.
 

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I have a bike with Avid Juicy 5 and one with Shimano XT. The XT are my preference. WAY easier to install and maintain, and they work great.
 

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I hate rock gardens
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ae111black said:
Why do you have to put so much effort into your current brakes? I have Mechanical Bb7's and if I'm not carefull it will send me OTB.....
I have plenty of stopping power right now. I ride my bike all the time and it is something I will upgrade to down the road.

My bike has the stock Hayes MX4 brakes on it...I am certain it is a lower end brake, but they function well. 2 fingers on the front and rear and I can stop going down any descent I have come across, so in that aspect, I will not fix what ain't broke.

My questions come, because ultimately, when I upgrade to them, I want to make an informed decision/cost justification. I am sure I could be fine with simply replacing pads for several years to come. A lot of my questioning at this moment is educating myself on them. Perttime brings up a great point that I didn't think of and that is cold weather. Living in Wisconsin, I see plenty of it in the winter.

I must say, it was an amazing thing to feel how well those brakes moved though. The "OOH I gotta get me those" lights turned on very brightly. :D
 

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local trails rider
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Mechanical brakes can have their problems in the cold too: let a little humidity freeze in the cables and they don't work all that well...
 

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Professional Speed Bump
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I think it comes down to what you really want in your brake system. Stopping power is pretty much the same between both systems.

The hydros will be more dynamic than mechanical discs...but then again, if you have mechanical discs with cable that tend to stretch a lot, it might feel almost the same as hydros...sort of.

Problem with cable brakes are that while they can be setup to brake hard without too much effort, this makes the system too sensitive and cause unintended lockups on quick braking situations. You can slack the line to make it less sensitive but this in turn makes hard stops difficult.

Depending on your hydro system and how you have yours setup, the hydros will give you enough room that you're not locking up unintentionally, but also be able to brake hard without too much effort.
 

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I have ridden BB7's in temps as low as -6 and not had problems with them freezing . That's not to say it never happens , it just has not happened to me .........................yet .
 

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meow meow
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captainjoon said:
Depending on your hydro system and how you have yours setup, the hydros will give you enough room that you're not locking up unintentionally, but also be able to brake hard without too much effort.
i feel like this is the main advantage of hydros over mech.
 

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oldskoolbiker said:
?? Avid and Hayes aren't "cheaper brands". I think Tektro and Promax when I hear cheaper brands.
He's referring to cheaper hydraulic brakes made by these companies (e.g., Avid Juicy 5s, or Hayes 9s). I have actually found the Hayes MX mechs to be just as reliable as my BB7s, and better than my Hayes 9 hydraulics.
 

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johnlh said:
He's referring to cheaper hydraulic brakes made by these companies (e.g., Avid Juicy 5s, or Hayes 9s). I have actually found the Hayes MX mechs to be just as reliable as my BB7s, and better than my Hayes 9 hydraulics.
+1 Yes I was referring to them as "affordable" not realy "cheaper" than Magura and Hope (the "expensive" brands)
 

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I recently swapped from BB7's to Elixer R's and I'll never go back to mechanical brakes. Modulation and braking effort are no comparison. BB7's work great and I had no complaint really. I found the deal of the century on the avids so I gave them a shot and haven't looked back.
 
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