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Thread: mech vs hydro

  1. #1
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    mech vs hydro

    which do you prefer and why? Just looking to get some info..

  2. #2
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    without a doubt hydros. they not only give WAAY better power but they also give you more modulation instead of that on off feel that my friends avid mechs have
    All Mountain was so 2005

  3. #3
    Curtlo Hardtail(liatdraH)
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    I have to say Hydro too

    I don't think my Juicy's or my Maguras have any more power than my Avid mechs, but where they shine is in modulation. The Juicy's are much easier to feather on and off than the mechanicals.
    My mechanicals were much easier to adjust than my Maguras, but my Juicys have the same mount system as my mechanicals do, so mounting either Avid brake is a wash( and very easy). I am not a big fan of DOT fluid, so that is why I liked Magura, but without a GannOMatt my Maguras were a pain to adjust. DOT fluid eats paint, but if they don't leak there is no problem, and I haven't had a leak with my Maguras or my Avids, knock on wood, of course cables never leak.
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  4. #4
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! mechanical for budget concious rider

    mechanical has advantages such as lower cost and less weight compare to hydro brakes. However, hydro brakes have much more power and it is self modulated due to brake fluid the brake lever chamber.

    If cost is priority in your budget, then mechanical brakes is the best alternative. There are different hydro braks in the market. You don't have to get top of the line hydro for performance unless you intend to ride downhill or you are heavy weight rider. You can get shimano deore hydro for reasonable cost. It is not sexy brakes like hayes but deore is very reliable and has strong power. Deore is like honda which is reliable but not sexy.

  5. #5
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    That's funny: every mech brake I know of is heavier than any hydro...
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  6. #6
    xc racer wannabe
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    eh, yeah... pretty much all hydros are lighter than mechs unless you're talking about formula activas...

    also, i would dispute the claim that avid mechs are as powerful as the juicys...

    i'd just like to add:
    i had mechs on my bike, but ended up switching to hydros and if you're a lever action feel junky like me, you can't go back.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishercat
    which do you prefer and why? Just looking to get some info..
    You can get hydros now or you can get them later, but you're probably going to eventually get them and kick yourself for waiting so long. Yep, they come with a new set of problems, but I doubt you'll find many riders choosing to revert back to mechanicals. Good luck. - Dave

  8. #8
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    Hydros are fine for some, cable works great for me. Avid mechs are easy to install, plenty of power and modulation, adjustable, super reliable (two sets for 3 years, no problems).
    And I can carry spare cables, no way I want to deal with a broken hydro line during a ride (I've seen it happen); I can also continue to use my favorite shifters/levers from other non-disc bikes.

    Many of my riding buddies with hydraulic discs have had problems in getting the things adjusted, bled, or simply being reliable. I've used hydraulics (Hayes), they were nice but I didn't like the lack of adjustability (altho some of the newer stuff has more adjustability).
    Self adjusting pads would be nice on the Avid mechs, but it's not that big a deal to touch up with the dials (altho some of those self adjusting setups drag too long before they adjust, that would drive me nuts, I hate extra noises).

    YMMV
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  9. #9
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    I just switched

    I just bought a set of juicys to replace my bb7 mechs, and not to get more power, the mechs always had plenty power often too much, I ran a 185mm rotor on the front 160 in the back. I want better modulation. I found that your cable on the mechs can make a big diffrence.
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  10. #10
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard
    mechanical has advantages such as................and less weight compare to hydro brakes. However, hydro brakes have much more power and it is self modulated due to brake fluid the brake lever chamber.
    Pardon meeeeee? Can you back up your claim that cable disc (I'll assume that by "mechanicals" you mean cable disc brakes) are "less weight compare to hydro brakes".

    I can quote you figures that will show Avid cable disc brakes are heavier than ANY xc hydraulic disc brake. I won't even bother with your last two statements. They're as true as your first one.
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  11. #11
    2003 Giant NRS 1
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    Wow, those last two responses put me more at ease... Anyway, I got Hayes Hydros that came with my NRS 1 and for some reason ended up having to deal with bleeding and they weren't the same after that. I feel really unconfident about them when I go to brake, especially on fast downhills. I really loved them in the beginning though because they did have a lot of stopping power. Anyway, I'd say if you like having more power prepare that you might have a lot of maintenence when the time comes.

    For me, I've never tried mechanicals but I think there won't be much of a difference for how and how much I ride. My feeling is mechanicals will act more like V-brakes and that they will have the greatest reliability since it's a cable. They sound a lot cheaper to take care of too.

    I got one quick question though...

    I'm selling my hayes set and I think they are... Hayes Hydraulic HFX-MAG XC 6" Front & Rear Disc?

    If so is $180 high or low I looked at a bunch of places to see if mine were "reasonable" but I just want to make sure.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishercat
    which do you prefer and why? Just looking to get some info..
    Avid Mechs for me. Power & Modulation of Avids vs. Hydros isn't worth arguing -- it's a wash.

    Cons: No automatic pad ware adjustment. Small weight penalty.

    Pros: Leverage adjustment (modulation). Pad engagement point adjustment. Inboard pad adjustment (moudulation). Return spring adjustment. Choice of levers. Easy to service. There's also the CPS system which is shared with the hydro Juicys, and lever reach which some hydros have.

    Those who insist their Avids are too on/off simply have their inboard pad set too close.

    There is a reason the Avid mechs have endured for so long: They work!

  13. #13
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    re: Mech Vs Hydro

    I 've had Avids'( 160 front and rear) on the Id for 3 years or so, now have Hope Mini's (185 front 160 on back, old style not new Mono Mini)

    Currently have Avids on my 2ed bike( Giant AC).

    I run XT lever's and full Avid Flack Jacket cables on both ends.

    For me the Avids are easier to modulate then the Hopes and just about as strong.
    Avids have more options for how to set them up, easier to adjust, about as realiable as an
    anything ever made and so simple anyone can make them work well and set up takes about 5 minutes.

    When the factor in the set up time for the Hopes and cost.. If I had to do it again I'd just stay with the Avids.

    A possible option might be the new Avid Jucy models.

  14. #14
    Riding dirt since 1970
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    Avid mechs here

    I've been running these for 2 years (same cables) and love 'em. Simple and bombproof. 7" up front and 6" rear on my Bullit. After having major shock/frame (Romic/Ellsworth), failures on expensive trips halfway across the country, I've learned the value of reliabilty. The more complex any machine becomes, the greater chance of failure. IMO the extra cost & hassles of hydros aren't worth it. I've seen a friends hydros lock up after sitting in his hot van for awhile-bike wouldn't budge
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard
    mechanical has advantages such as lower cost... If cost is priority in your budget, then mechanical brakes is the best alternative...
    Not necessary true.

    Look at Jeff Jones' custom Ti bikes. They cost over $4000 and there is up to a two year waiting period on them. What kind of brakes on 'em? Avid BB7 mechs. Setup Avids properly and they are fantabulous stoppers.

    I went from Avid Mechs to Magura Louise FR and now back to Avid mechs. It's just a personal preference.




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