Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    162

    Hydro or mechanical brakes??

    I am going to do a Karate Monkey build. Been thinking about it for a year now! My question is: Hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes? All the bikes I have had have always had mechanical brakes. ANy suggestions???

  2. #2
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
    Reputation: donalson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,359
    I'm partial to the simplicity of BB7's... some SD7 leavers and a good set of pre-lubed full length type cables/housings and you've got muck proof, great feel and simplicity... once they are setup they need nothing more then an occasional click of the adjustment knobs

    but a good set of hydros do feel nice
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  3. #3
    I do what I want
    Reputation: Guy.Ford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1,010
    Im building up a KM currently, went with the BB7's for simplicity and cost.I wanted to keep my build basic, clean and simple, plus BB7 are amazing esp for the type of riding a KM will be used for.
    Last edited by Guy.Ford; 12-30-2011 at 02:31 PM.
    Guy.Ford

    I'm not really an @sshole, I just act like one online.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GrampBredo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    386
    I use BB7's on my monkey, I think the simplicity fits the rest of the bike nicely.

  5. #5
    Dianetics Junior
    Reputation: CBizzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    164
    another one for BB7s....I found the hydros a bit too easy to "lock up" (maybe I didn't have them tuned quite correctly) and feel the BB7s have more than enough stopping power and I am 215lbs...consider going with a larger front rotor which can help as well... BB7s have been a great fit on my KM...

    ...one more thing that hasn't been mentioned is the field repair factor- if your hydros take a crap on you out in the boonies they are much more difficult to repair....could be an issue if you plan on doing any bikepacking, etc.....enjoy the build!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: esundell90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    768
    I'm going to go against the crowd here and recommend hydro's. STRONGLY recommend hydros.

    Nothing wrong with BB7's, but in my experiance you'll be playing with/adjusting your mechanical brakes far more than you will EVER have to touch a good hydro brake. Bleed them once a year with fresh fluid, and check your pads, you're good for a year of trouble free operation.

    They stop harder, have better modulation, require less physical pull and less maintenance. Only disadvantage is the cost.
    -Eric
    Keeping the hardtail dream alive, one ride at a time.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally Posted by esundell90 View Post
    I'm going to go against the crowd here and recommend hydro's. STRONGLY recommend hydros.

    Nothing wrong with BB7's, but in my experiance you'll be playing with/adjusting your mechanical brakes far more than you will EVER have to touch a good hydro brake. Bleed them once a year with fresh fluid, and check your pads, you're good for a year of trouble free operation.

    They stop harder, have better modulation, require less physical pull and less maintenance. Only disadvantage is the cost.
    What type have you used and would recomend? I have some Avid Juicy's in my watch list on ebay. So many choices!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: esundell90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    768
    As good as Avid Mech's are, there hydraulics blow imho. They are like on/off switches for stop or no stop. The modulation is terrible and their lever design with that straight blade is not ideal for one finger breaking imo. Some really like them, but I've never been a fan, even of their high end stuff.

    I have really been impressed by my Non-series and series Shimano's, and Hayes Strokers. Getting Strokers for my next bike. Don't have any experience with Formula or Magura tho, perhaps someone here has used them can tell you more
    -Eric
    Keeping the hardtail dream alive, one ride at a time.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,726
    I'm with Esundell90 on this one. I've had BB7s and several different Formula brakes and the BB7s needed a lot more attention than the Formulas. I would recommend looking on Ebay for Formula K18 or K24s - they are the older versions so you can save some money that way. (The only difference is that the K24s have a modulation adjustment that I never really used anyway).

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Skywalker22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    138
    I run BB7's on my 40lb. pugsley and i just use one finger on each lever to stop!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    79
    If you want some versatility, like going for dropbar, choose a BB7.
    So you don't need to change/buy new brakes. Only a set of Tekrto RL520 levers for dropbar.

    But, if you don't nedd this - go for hydraulics.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    152
    I run three bikes with BB7 and Paul levers. I've never had to bleed the air out of them yet!!?

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: es254's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    59
    I've run all my mountain bikes with BB7s up until my most recent, which was a complete-build that came with Avid Elixirs. I have to say, for the cost, I don't think that I would buy these over BB7s. They're decent brakes, and I will admit I've done less maintenance on them (although I had one re-bled in just a couple of months, but the shop admitted it may have just not been done right the first time), but what I don't get from them is a sense that they are significantly better on the trail in terms of stopping and modulation, and for the cost I think that would be the driving factor in decision making.
    That being said, I am still intrigued by hydro's, and I would like to try a set of Shimano or Formula brakes in the future, maybe.
    You can't go wrong with BB7s though! I still run them, and continue to love them.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: esundell90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    768
    You really should, Avid hydraulics are just not that good..
    -Eric
    Keeping the hardtail dream alive, one ride at a time.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    162
    I am going with avid bb7's and fr7 levers. Any opinions on single speed rear hubs?? I am thinking I might use Surly hubs and a white industries free wheel.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: es254's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    59
    Sounds like a good setup. I've done Surly hubs, and have always been happy with them for bang-for-buck. The only pricier setup I've done is a Hope ProII, which is a pretty nice option as well, but a bit more. Very easy to work on though.

    Looks like you're almost there. Enjoy!

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    698
    Quote Originally Posted by akclimber49 View Post
    I am going with avid bb7's and fr7 levers. Any opinions on single speed rear hubs?? I am thinking I might use Surly hubs and a white industries free wheel.
    I like the Surly hubs, and I definitely like the white freewheel over the bargain-y ones I've tried (Shimano, ACS).

    If I had to do it again I would get only fixed-gear threading on surly rear hubs (I have a couple of fixed/free flipflops, no disc ones); you can thread a freewheel onto fixed or free threading, but you can't put a lockring onto the freewheel-threaded hub. I am sure you figure you never will, but hey, why rule it out?

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    121
    i like bb7s for their simplicity and ease of setup, not to mention repairability on the trail

    as somebody said early on, if you're going to do some "touring" with your bike, and want to bring your own supplies, it's far easier to bring replacement cables/ pads than to bring a bleed kit/ brake fluid, etc

    i agree with what has been said about surly flipflop hubs, just get the fixed-fixed ones so you'll get the same chainline for both sides (if and when you flip it)
    biker boy

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cutter spalding's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    39
    I have BB7s with 180 mm rotors on my monkey and i am very happy with them. The key with mechanical s are to use good cables and housing. Jaguar ripcords are the best
    ...top secret clown business

  20. #20
    Monkey Junkie
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    593
    Really depends what terrain you're riding the bike on. If you really need maximum braking power and modulation, then Hydros are the way to go. However, you could just run BB7's with 180mm rotors and probably be fine.

    I run a Front BB5 and a rear BB7 on my KM (with 160mm rotors). I like the simplicity of mechanical brakes. Yes, you will have to play with the adjustment knobs now and then. It's not a big deal though. No tools needed.

    I have had a total of 4 bikes with hydros on them, one of which I recently bought. My experience with hydros has only been with Avid or Hayes models. I just miss having the nearly infinite amount of adjust ability that you get with BB7's. My hydros almost always rub at least a little bit, and the only way to fix that is really to "true" the rotor (assuming the rotor is aligned properly with the caliper). I have little knowledge of higher end hydros, so perhaps some have other adjustments you can make to eliminate rubbing.

Similar Threads

  1. Disc brakes, Mechanical vs. Hydro
    By Lovetheland in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 10-09-2010, 04:35 PM
  2. Hydro vs mechanical
    By rf37 in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03-11-2010, 05:25 PM
  3. Mechanical Brakes front, Hydro Rear
    By Topgun514 in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 10-06-2009, 11:56 PM
  4. Mechanical vs Hydro
    By RXB in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 02-10-2009, 07:14 AM
  5. Hydro or mechanical?
    By dynamic213 in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 12-04-2007, 05:43 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •