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  1. #1
    Bearded highlighter
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    Mech or hydraulic brakes

    I am building up a mountain commuter for getting around town. Going to eventually become fixie in the rear but right now its a SS 29er with disc mounts. I have 3 brake sets to work with right now BB7's, Juicy 3's, and Elixirs; one is in the box and two are one my mountain bikes. what would be the most maintenance free set to put on the bike?
    I will have a 160mm front with a 140mm rear rotors if that matters.
    I am leaning towards the BB7's because they are known to be reliable.
    Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    No-Brakes Cougar
    Reputation: Gary the No-Trash Cougar's Avatar
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    Mechanical discs should be more than sufficient for commuting. I would go with the BB7s, too.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  3. #3
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
    Reputation: donalson's Avatar
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    with those options i don't see that it matters much... once setup the bb7 would need a very occasional knob twist for the pad ware... cables on the bb7 might get nasty with time if you are riding in rain so maybe go with full cable...

    but what do I know... i've got a set of old LX canti's for so i can use my discs on REAL mtb's lol
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  4. #4
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    If you eventually want to switch to some different bars and need/want to change your brake levers, the cable brakes are going to be what you will have to use. For example, if you were to put drop bars and brifters on the bike, the BB7s would probably work. I say "probably" because you may need the BB7 Road because it has a shorter pull designed to work with road brake levers.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: majura's Avatar
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    IMO Hydraulics are more 'set and forget' as opposed to mechanicals. However it really isn't difficult to turn a bolt to adjust for pad-wear/cable stretch- which I think is something we all agree on.

    I would simply go with cable discs because it's going to be a commuter.
    -Maintaining them is relatively cheaper (steel cables vs. price of fluid).
    -Easy and quick to fix most issues on the go if they occur.
    -Makes it slightly less showy
    -You're not losing out on the extra power that a hydraulic can give in a commuting situation.

  6. #6
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    There are pros and cons to either system. To answer your question though, hydraulics are definitely the easiest to maintain. There are no cables to adjust, lube, or replace and the pad clearance always stays constant. As long as there are no leaks in the system you should not need to add fluid. I run Shimano hydraulics on my hybrid commuter and love them. They are a heavier than the mechanical discs but they have much better stopping power (yes, I do notice this on my commuter). The only maintenance I have ever done is replacing the pads periodically. A friend has mechanical discs and has never been happy with the stopping power.

  7. #7
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    Elixers are the best but for your commuter use the BB7 Brakes change the pads to
    EBC pads and you will get the best modulation and braking in all conditions...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug4sail
    Elixers are the best but for your commuter use the BB7 Brakes change the pads to
    EBC pads and you will get the best modulation and braking in all conditions...
    I will have to try those. My discs are very grabby sometimes. At least they always work.

  9. #9
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    BB7's. Easiest to maintain and repair on a whim. Cables are standard and easy to come by. Hydraulic brakes require specific fittings and things. BB7's will always work. And if your rotor gets bent or something you can just back the pads out and keep riding with less effective brakes, but brakes. Hydraulics would wear and rub for your entire commute until you could get home and fix them.

  10. #10
    Blind biker
    Reputation: harry2110's Avatar
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    If you live in a hilly area I would go for hydraulics as I have cables and my brakes wouldnt stop me and i ended up in someones yard at the bottom of a hill mind you i was going 40+mph and only have 6in discs.

  11. #11
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
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    Hydros on a commuter is expensive overkill. The BB7 is more than enough brake for your intended use.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

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