Hydraulic Discs for Kids- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hydraulic Discs for Kids

    I'm getting my daughter a Trek Roscoe 20 for her 7th birthday. It comes with cable discs, but I know how much easier it is to use hydraulic discs and I'd like to set it up with some hydros. Can anyone recommend some hydraulic discs that have levers that are good for small hands?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vermont29er View Post
    I'm getting my daughter a Trek Roscoe 20 for her 7th birthday. It comes with cable discs, but I know how much easier it is to use hydraulic discs and I'd like to set it up with some hydros. Can anyone recommend some hydraulic discs that have levers that are good for small hands?
    Our spawn came with Hydraulic Tektro brakes. They work fine ergnomic and brake wise.

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    The cheap Tektros are fine. But Shimano XT or Deore is ideal. The lever itself is shorter so the possibility of 2 finger braking is there. Reach is fully adjustable on almost everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    The cheap Tektros are fine. But Shimano XT or Deore is ideal. The lever itself is shorter so the possibility of 2 finger braking is there. Reach is fully adjustable on almost everything.
    Was going to suggest anything current shimano. I've seen the Deores as low as about $50 for both the brake and the lever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    Was going to suggest anything current shimano. I've seen the Deores as low as about $50 for both the brake and the lever.
    I'd go with SLX (is this Deore now?). IIRC they don't have the on/off-switch braking issue that the old XT's do (thankfully they fixed it in their new brake release). For a kid you definitely want something with a little feel/feedback for it if they are riding anything dangerous.

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    Magura MT2 is another option. Cheap ($50 a side), lighter than Deore's, mineral oil, reach adjustable, and short lever for small hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I'd go with SLX (is this Deore now?). IIRC they don't have the on/off-switch braking issue that the old XT's do (thankfully they fixed it in their new brake release). For a kid you definitely want something with a little feel/feedback for it if they are riding anything dangerous.
    Deore's are one step below SLX.

    I think only the XT and XTR had the bite issues, I haven't heard of them in Deore or SLX. From personal experience, I have thrown myself off my bike because of the XT's.
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    General brake-buying advice that applies doubly here: Never buy a brake that doesn't have tool-less reach adjust.

    SLX would be a good option for sure. No complaints with the Guide Rs on my sons Rokkusuta or the Hayes Prime that came on his Flow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    General brake-buying advice that applies doubly here: Never buy a brake that doesn't have tool-less reach adjust.

    SLX would be a good option for sure. No complaints with the Guide Rs on my sons Rokkusuta or the Hayes Prime that came on his Flow.
    Why is tool-less reach adjustment important? How many people adjust reach after initial settings especially on the trail? 1 in 100 maybe, probably even less. I ride all around the Midwest with h a nice variety of trail styles and terrain. Literally NEVER touch my reach adjustment after initial set up. So tool-less is useful for few but mostly gimick.

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    I upgraded the brakes on my bike to Zee.

    My sonís Scott Scale 20+ got the Deores. I kept the 160mm rotors from the cable Tektro brakes. He didnít need the 180s from my bike.




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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Why is tool-less reach adjustment important? How many people adjust reach after initial settings especially on the trail? 1 in 100 maybe, probably even less. I ride all around the Midwest with h a nice variety of trail styles and terrain. Literally NEVER touch my reach adjustment after initial set up. So tool-less is useful for few but mostly gimick.
    -The premium to get tool-less is usually minimal. SLX is +$12 over Deore on Jenson right now. The question is not why, but why not.
    -I have small hands so I'm finicky about reach.
    -Kids are more likely to need the reach tweaked. Also, see above, they have small hands too.
    -It's recommended to back the reach adjustment all the way out before bleeding. Much easier with tool-less.
    -IME, most tooled reach adjusters are placed in terrible locations that aren't conducive to multi-tools and are a general PITA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    -The premium to get tool-less is usually minimal. SLX is +$12 over Deore on Jenson right now. The question is not why, but why not.
    -I have small hands so I'm finicky about reach.
    -Kids are more likely to need the reach tweaked. Also, see above, they have small hands too.
    -It's recommended to back the reach adjustment all the way out before bleeding. Much easier with tool-less.
    -IME, most tooled reach adjusters are placed in terrible locations that aren't conducive to multi-tools and are a general PITA.
    Crap, I just bled my son's tektro brakes without backing out the reach!! How big of a deal do you think it is? They seem to have a lot of lever throw even after a bleed...

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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Crap, I just bled my son's tektro brakes without backing out the reach!! How big of a deal do you think it is? They seem to have a lot of lever throw even after a bleed...
    I've never done it. Only because I ALWAYS forget lol. Never had a problem except of course you don't have full lever travel if needed during bleed which can take a tad more work to bleed.

    It just makes it a little easier to get the air out is all, has 0 effect on performance since all that matters is air is out and they are working properly.

    As for SLX vs deore, ya for $12 each it doesn't sound like much but with that level of thinking that starts to add up fast as that rule gets applied to everything. I have 2 boys, I'd be homeless if I went with "what's another $12" lol. Especially having to replace bikes every couple years at most. My oldest gets "hand me downs" from me. I upgrade he gets what came off if it's perfectly good. Youngest is just now really pedaling so I've got time before that bill starts racking up.

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    Side note, I just topped off the reservoir at the lever then rolled back the lever adjustment (out). This brought the bite back to normal, tho when I adjusted the lever throw after screwing it all down again, then the bite was still pretty late and only a little better. Seems like its just the brakes. Not perfect for tiny hands but fine for my larger 6yo, I'll just leave the levers out a little extra.

    being that we are dealing with little, light kids...it'd be nice to just get a nice XC brake that is really light but not super expensive either.

  15. #15
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    The Deore brakes on my 7 year olds Riprock work pretty well for her. (Size L Specialized kids gloves).

    For really young kids there is some merit to cable brakes too, since they donít need a ton of brake power, so you can easily fine tune the balance betweeen reach, power and pad contact point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tjaard View Post
    The Deore brakes on my 7 year olds Riprock work pretty well for her. (Size L Specialized kids gloves).

    For really young kids there is some merit to cable brakes too, since they donít need a ton of brake power, so you can easily fine tune the balance betweeen reach, power and pad contact point.
    Except the amount of force necessary to pull the lever and create enough friction. Hydraulic is easier to pull and modulate.

  17. #17
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    I ended up going with Deore hydros based on the shop's recommendation of them along with folks here, and the nice short levers. The guys at the shop said it's easy to get a good tight bleed out of them, which will be important with the levers close to the bars.

    I'll be sure to post some pics with her hands for reference when we get the bike.

    Lucky kid, it's going to be a nice ride.

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