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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: miles wadsworth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Hygia elite disc brakes

    I just saw these brakes on E-Bay.Look nice,ano colors, light 330 grams.Cheap, under $300.They use Shimano xtr/xt pads.Has anybody used these?

  2. #2
    Reputation: SteveUK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Looks like cheap, unserviceable, faux-high-end pish to me. All of the Hygia calipers seem to be 'polished' versions of Shimano Deore or XT calipers and levers (except that they use DOT fluid over Shimano's mineral oil), so they may perform OK, but, as I said, you may run into difficulties should you require a service or warranty claim. Unless you can find a 'physical' retailer, I'd suspect that you'd have to buy a whole new system should you catch a lever or incur some other similar damage. They also look as though they have a tiny fluid reservoir built into the lever, so the lack of facility for fluid expansion may make them unsuitable for anything more rigorous than light-XC.

    As you can see, I'm sceptical. I'd rather pay the extra $$$ and get a set of Shimano's...
    Last edited by SteveUK; 01-25-2008 at 04:14 PM.

    What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings? -

  3. #3
    The plough
    Reputation: vmajor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    I have a set of Hygia Elite brakes. Service from them has so far been stellar. Mind you I live in Taiwan and try to be nice and I also give them honest feedback on the performance of their product and any issues I encounter.

    Lever seems to be replaceable, and the reach is adjustable using the ole 2mm allen bolt thing. Hoses are likewise replaceable and I can recommend using a stainless steel hose upgrade option as the standard kevlar hose for the rear brake is a bit flexy causing a slightly spongey feel during braking. Front brake hose is fine as is since it is a lot shorter.

    I weigh 210lb + gear + bike, so total around 260lb and they stop me very well even while using them inappropriately ie. riding the rear brake without letting go for hundreds of meters. They did harden during that occasion, but I think its also my fault, besides my disregard for good braking technique. I was playing with the lever action and I screwed the actuator bolt too far in, pushing the handle piston too far in and thus effectively reducing the system volume exacerbating the inevitable fluid expansion problem. Even so, the rear brake had enough power to lock the wheel when using two fingers, albeit with very limited modulation. The brake fully recovered in about one minute or less and I was back to single finger braking.

    Hygia is also an OEM manufacturer for several other brands. I think they OEM component systems only, instead of complete brake systems, but I may be wrong. I also suspect that their resemblance to the Shimano monoblock systems is not accidental or sinister.

    Here is a pic of them on my bike.



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