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  1. #1
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    New question here. Shimano Hydraulic Brakes: How important is Servo Wave?

    I'm speccing out a custom built now for mostly city and occasional singletrack riding. As I understand it, hydraulic disc brakes are lower maintenance and better at stopping, so I'm considering them. I've also heard repeatedly that Shimano makes the best brake sets.

    I have a strong preference for polished handlebars and the nuVinci shifter is ridiculously large. Therefore, I'm looking for a long, polished brake lever.

    The Shimano Deores are black anodized (yuck) and have really short levers. The Alfines have long, polished levers that should look a lot better on a polished handlebar, but they don't have Servo Wave.

    How important is Servo Wave? If I go with Alfine, am I going to regret it? (Are there any alternative levers that work with Shimano hydraulic brakes?)

  2. #2
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    Servo-wave is Shimano's way of getting the leverage & power of a longer full size lever in a short stubby lever while still having decent brake pad clearance. With a longer lever you don't need Servo-wave or other such mechanisms to change the leverage ratio in mid-pull, the lever by itself gives enough leverage to brake with authority without bottoming out or requiring super tight pad clearances.

    Short version. You shouldn't have any performance related problems with the Alfine levers. They're much longer than Deores so they'll give you the leverage you need even though they don't have Servo-wave. Besides, many Shimano brakes in the past such as my M755 XT worked just fine even in DH use and they didn't have Servo-wave levers.

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