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  1. #1
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    hydraulic brakes need new shifter?

    Ok i am a beginner so take it easy i tried the search function to no avail so now i am asking.I have a trek 4300 that came with 8 speed shimano EF50 shifters if i go with hydraulic disc brake set will i have to change my shifters.I hope i can just remove the old brake lever and bolt the new one in place .after researching It does not look good for me i have taken a look at the exploded diagram on shimanos website so i think i may have to replace shifters because they are integrated with the brake handle.Any advice would be helpful.i dont really want to replace the shifters because they suit my needs but the conditions i have been riding in are requiring disk brakes lots of wet and mud if i cant go with hydraulics without replacing the shifters i guess i will go with a good set of mechanical discs

  2. #2
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    Shifters are relatively cheap and very easy to replace. I would suggest just going with the hydraulic brake you want and ponying up for a new shifter. Since you are looking at 8 spd it might be a little tougher to find these days so I would try ebay.

  3. #3
    g3h6o3
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    Unless you buy some dual levers (integrated brake+shifter), no you don't need new shifters.

    Some brakes might interfere with the shifter though so you might get a sub optimal lever position.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  4. #4
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    i dont want to replace the shifters i have the work fine for me the shifters i have integrate the brakes levers i am assuming this is what you meant so it looks like i am going for mechanical instead of hydraulic because i dont want to upgrade working shifters just so i can run hydraulic brakes for me being a beginner rider im sure the bb7 brakes will be good enough and should improve significantly over the current v brakes

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Punctuation! Spacing!

    I hate to ask this, but you do know you need new wheels, right?

    Honestly, if you want hydraulics and have the budget for hydraulics, get 'em. Acera or Alivio shifters are available for $30 and under - so a very cheap swap compared to the wheels and brakes. Getting mechanical disc brakes is a false economy if later on, you decide to get hydraulics anyway.

    While I'm being "that guy," here's another thing that will be a significant improvement over your V-brakes. Your V-brakes, properly tuned. The OEM housings for new bikes tend to be pretty poorly finished. Get some new housings, and do the ends well. The OEM brake pads for most brakes are not all they could be. Get some Kool Stop pads. I recommend the replaceable pads in housings.

    You need to be careful with upgrade projects on entry-level bikes. Price some of this stuff and you'll see why.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPW0504 View Post
    i dont want to replace the shifters i have the work fine for me the shifters i have integrate the brakes levers i am assuming this is what you meant so it looks like i am going for mechanical instead of hydraulic because i dont want to upgrade working shifters just so i can run hydraulic brakes for me being a beginner rider im sure the bb7 brakes will be good enough and should improve significantly over the current v brakes

    Make this your new best friend on the internetz. It will help you on your journey to acceptance and to be understood by others.

  7. #7
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    dbl post
    Last edited by JPW0504; 07-15-2011 at 05:34 AM. Reason: double post

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post

    Make this your new best friend on the internetz. It will help you on your journey to acceptance and to be understood by others.
    im new to biking not mechanical things , working with my hands, tools,or computers i was bright enough to find an exploded diagram of my shifters and levers but could not find one of the hydraulic brakes but judging from the pictures it looked like it would not work with my current shifters i was just reaffirming my suspicions like i said before i would like to reuse the shifters that work perfectly well for me if hydraulics are a no go ill get mechanical its not a money thing im just not that vain nor do i compete professionally so i dont have to have top of the line stuff to make me feel better.As far as my v brakes they are professionally tuned and i have upgraded the pads to jagwire switchbacks which was an improvement over stock but not enough to stop my big ass going down steep inclines with really tight switchbacks and wet trails.I do know i need new wheels .The only reason i went with the trek 4300 was because i was informed it was a good entry level bike and i was coming from a 20 year old Schwinn badlands that was to big for me i do not need anything more than this 500 dollar trek if i can upgrade it to discs it will satisfy my needs the only mistake i made was not buying it with discs to begin with and posting here to be critiqued on my punctuation Im assuming you want me to use periods to bad jump this guy because he misspelled internet Punctuation and spacing that is what your concerned with i asked a question about shifters and compatibility with brakes. if my poor typing skills annoy you dont read the post or bother answering . im not writing a novel or term paper i will just be sure to stay out of this forum forget the question and keep your advice i will figure it out on my own or go to my LBS where true professionals work who wont harass me about my grammar .I should have known better than to ask people on the internet that get joy out of being clowns to others for there own enjoyment .I dont recall seeing any rules stating your punctuation grammar and spelling must meet a certain criteria So shame on me for taking the easy way and posting to a forum in hopes of not having to go through the work of figuring it out for myself

  9. #9
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPW0504 View Post
    trek 4300 ...
    ...have to replace shifters because they are integrated with the brake handle.
    With shifters integrated to the brake unit, you will need new shifters if you want hydraulic brakes. New shifters don't have to be all that expensive.

    BUT

    as AndrwSwitch says, your hubs probably cannot take the brake rotors. You'll need new wheels or hubs to make it work.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  10. #10
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    Thanks perttime for useful information and reaffirming what i thought i will be replacing the wheelset and going with a mechanical brake set which should be adequate for what i am doing the mechanical brakes should give me the stopping power i am lacking in the wet and muddy conditions that the v brakes can not cope with.Buying two wheelsets will also allow me to run street tires on one when i ride with my family and the more aggressive tires for offroading on the other thanks again for answering the question i was trying to pose in a sweet to the point manner

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    So, new brakes and two new wheelsets to go on a 4300?

    Price this stuff yet?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    yes i have done my due diligence in searching for disc brakes for my bike it may not be as cost effective as buying a bike with discs in the first place but it will run me about 150 for a wheelset and another 100 for bb7's plus maybe another 20 bux in cables so under 300 i can swing compared to 700 dollars for a bike that is the same level everywhere else as mine but has disc brakes since i bought a 2010 clearance model for under 500 to begin with my total investment in the bike will be about around 800 dollars which would have gotten me a trek 4500 with slightly better components and low end hydraulics had i went with that bike to begin with i would not be upgrading anything i purchased entry level 4300 because i was unsure of how much biking i would do (im hooked now )and a bike like a car is not somewhere i chose to make a huge investment instead i am happy with something that performs well enough and is reliable.hindsight is 20/20 but a trek 4300 is more than capable for the riding i do (singletrack riding with the bike tires occasionally leaving the ground not exceeding more than 12 inches) just as trek has on there website but the original question was only to reaffirm my suspicions that the hydraulic levers would not work with my integrated shifters but the mechanical will .I dont want to put aside a completely capable bike that fits my needs lacking only in one area braking .I will feel safer and more comfortable with a set of brakes that grab better in all conditions.lastly i do not want to deal with trying to sell my used mountain bike in order to recoup very little on my initial investment so it is more economical to upgrade this bike to disc than sell mine and use that money towards a new bike.Maybe one day if i feel that my bike can not meet the demands i am putting on it i will buy a new one .for now it is a great bike and while i am somewhat envious of those people riding expensive bikes my practical side says why do i need a professionals bike when i am clearly not a professional.my quest for discs brakes is simply purpose driven a 250 lb man in wet muddy conditions trying to stop on v brakes on long descents is sometimes a bit unnerving i have experienced the difference between the two types of brakes firsthand and i am more confident with having discs brakes so thanks for all the concern for a new mtb'er but i have researched this matter.

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