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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Need link for hydraulic vs. mechanical disc brakes

    Anybody know the advantages/disadvantages of each in terms of performance and reliability?

  2. #2
    Bodhisattva
    Reputation: The Squeaky Wheel's Avatar
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    It's a can of worms questions.

    Both work equally well.
    Hydros are:
    - generally lighter
    - maintenance free, provided they are installed correctly
    - limited to the provided brake lever
    - more expensive

    Mechancials
    - generally heavier
    - easier for the average Joe to maintain if Joe is a hydro-phobe
    - can use any lever (biggest advantage in my book)
    - cheaper

    I own hydros & have for years but frequently ride my friend's bike which has Avid mechanicals and I really don't have a performance preference.
    Life....the original terminal illness

  3. #3
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    I would have guessed that the hydraulic brake would generate a greater clamping force and that the mechanical brake would be lighter, but whaddya know! Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    stay thirsty, my friends
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    Generally hyrdros have better modulation, however the avid mechs seem to do a good job of that also. I have hayes nines on my bike and they're been generally good to me so far (few issues with rubbing).


    btw . . . if you go with mechs, definetely get Avids.

  5. #5
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awai04
    I would have guessed that the hydraulic brake would generate a greater clamping force
    That totally depends on the mechanical advantage designed into the systems by the maker. It's not possible to generalize. Makers don't give out power figures or clamping forces.


    and that the mechanical brake would be lighter
    Not even close. The most popular mechanical disc brake - Avid - is the heaviest xc disc brake setup that I have weighed. Some light hydraulic setups are 2/3rds the weight.

    You fellows in this whole thread who are speculating should read our FAQ at the top right of this page. It will answer many questions.

    Mike T. (mcm # 717)
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  6. #6
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    I the weighing I've, the Avid mechanicals do come in as heavier, however you can:
    1. Team them with a light lever
    2. Buy lighter hubs with the $s you save over hydros.

    Light hydros can set you back some serious coin.

    With ebay having Avid mechanicals fo ~$130 a pair, it's very hard to justify anything else.

    I'm hoping I've overlooked a cheap and light hydro combination, as I would like to try them...

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