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  1. #1
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    Reputation: MTBCanuck's Avatar
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    Should I go hydraulic or stay mechanical?

    I know this is probably an age old questions but I feel I need advice because I can't seem to find my answer with seartch. I'm try to decide if I should swap out my older non-series shimano mech disc brakes for some non series 2011 Shimano M445 hydraulic discs. I've tried them and they seem pretty decent and might be a reasonable upgrade. Is it really that much of a hassle having hydros? How does maintenance compare to basic mechs? Is it worth going hydro if I don't go top of the line? The old mechs I have work fine but modulation is poor and they are relatively weak compared to my Hayes mechanicals. The alternative is I just go for BB7 and stay mech. Really need some advice here!

    Cheers.
    Keep the rubber side down

  2. #2
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    Since you already are setup for mechanical discs. I think bb7 are the ticket. Will be a big upgrade for not a lot of money. Consider avid speeddial levers too.

    I run hydros cause they came on my bike but could not justify them on their own when bb7s are so close to hydro performance. Sometimes they are better since a lot of hydros could use a bleed.

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  3. #3
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    Shimano hydraulics don't usually need maintenance once properly setup. Less than mechanicals. I had Shimano mechanicals and was regularly adjusting the brake pads for optimum performance. This is never the case with hydraulics.

    I suspect these M445s you found are pretty cheap, no? If so, it might be the way to go. No need to be intimidated by hydraulics (though I can certainly understand the apprehension). I hear the BB7s are great, but my own personal preference is Shimano and I enjoy the low-maintenance of hydraulics, so that's what I use.

  4. #4
    Shortcutting Hikabiker
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    BB7 and be done with it.
    "Listen here you beautiful *****, I'm about to **** you up with some truth"

  5. #5
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    BB7s rock for everything except the nastiest of DH runs, where you find their limits and wish you were on your big hydro's.

  6. #6
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    Test ride a bike with the new XTs. I think you will have your answer.

  7. #7
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    I just shelved my BB7 with FR7 levers. Modulation was fine braking was great esp with levers. Prob is they weigh a ton. Have xo's on 3 bikes hope minis on another and CR's on a superfly. Hve to give the nod to thhe xo's. Can be had cheap if you watch and wait

  8. #8
    Riding free's the mind
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    Power, light lever feel/effort & low maintenance made hydraulics the only way to go now. I used to run BB7s, really as a way of easing my way into the disc brake thing. Pretty good for what they are, but you still have all the downsides of having to use cables, with the related adjustments & inherant drag.
    [SIZE=2]Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"[/SIZE]

  9. #9
    Huckin' trails
    Reputation: David C's Avatar
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    Get the BB7... unless you wanna equip yourself with bleed kit, more tools and more wrenching... And they are as good as hydro, except maybe for WC DH competition... But then again, they are the best in their class.

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  10. #10
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    if I lived far from a bike shop I'd get mech', but other wise I like my hydro (Hope & Formula), but I didn't like the cheaper Hayes hydro that gave out (front) while riding a rough trail
    The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.

  11. #11
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    from what Im told hydro's are lighter..I dunno if that makes a difference or not....Ive got 2 bikes one with mech's and one with hydros...Ive never had much problem with either.

  12. #12
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    I've got some non-series shimano hydro's on my 29'er HT. Stopping power isn't any greater than bb7's, (however, they are the OEM pads, probably would have more luck with a burlier pad or rotor) however I have had no issues and have had to do nothing to them. They are a lot more maintenance free than any cable disks I've ever had were. You can't even compare them in the modulation department, and for doing things like 1 finger braking.

    In my eyes, if you're on a budget, or these are for a commuter, by all means get cables, but if it's any sort of a serious trail bike, hydro's 100%
    -Eric
    Keeping the hardtail dream alive, one ride at a time.

  13. #13
    Huckin' trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by esundell90 View Post
    I've got some non-series shimano hydro's on my 29'er HT. Stopping power isn't any greater than bb7's, (however, they are the OEM pads, probably would have more luck with a burlier pad or rotor) however I have had no issues and have had to do nothing to them. They are a lot more maintenance free than any cable disks I've ever had were. You can't even compare them in the modulation department, and for doing things like 1 finger braking.

    In my eyes, if you're on a budget, or these are for a commuter, by all means get cables, but if it's any sort of a serious trail bike, hydro's 100%
    Yeah, but cheap hydro are not good... Hydro are better then mech to an extend, but they cost lot more for a good, reliable kit.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  14. #14
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    Well that goes for anything. I don't have the nicest hydro's on the market, but they aren't crap.
    -Eric
    Keeping the hardtail dream alive, one ride at a time.

  15. #15
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    Another vote for BB7. They really don't weigh that much more and it's not rotational weight so the real savings would be minimal. SD7 levers and good cables, they stop better than Hydros that cost twice as much.

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