Brake confusion?

Stephen Merritt

New Member
I'm confused when i watch/read a review about a bike and people go meh at it if it has mechanical disk brakes rather it's the reviewer or comments from random spectators... However, I've only ever had bikes with v brakes... I assume since these bikes have transitioned from v brakes to disk in general, the bike i just purchased has mechanical disk it will still feel light years better than V?
 

antboy

Active Member
the bike i just purchased has mechanical disk it will still feel light years better than V?
Yeah, it will.

Disc brakes, even mechanical have much better stopping power than old school V brakes, which you want on an e-bike.

Hydraulics have more stopping power than mechanicals, but unless you're riding fast, I think mechanical disc brakes are more than adequate in *most* situations, and they're just fine.

There's a ton of articles and forum discussions even in pedal bike forums about cost/performance/benefits, and some of it is personal choice.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
I've ridden bikes with mech disc brakes. My daughter in-law rides one routinely. My impression was that the mech disc brake performed on par with some of the best V-brakes I've ridden, but were clearly better in wet weather. My daughter in-law reports the same.

There are a number of articles discussing mech vs hydraulic. Here's one; https://bikeshaven.com/mechanical-vs-hydraulic-disc-brakes/

For the extra weight and speed of an ebike, I'd go with hydraulic disc brakes, esp if you'll be riding any hills.
 

Stephen Merritt

New Member
Yeah, it will.

Disc brakes, even mechanical have much better stopping power than old school V brakes, which you want on an e-bike.

Hydraulics have more stopping power than mechanicals, but unless you're riding fast, I think mechanical disc brakes are more than adequate in *most* situations, and they're just fine.

There's a ton of articles and forum discussions even in pedal bike forums about cost/performance/benefits, and some of it is personal choice.

Thanks for the info...I figured as much but people seem to be on this hydraulic kick. I personally like no fluid required on a bicycle
 

Stephen Merritt

New Member
I've ridden bikes with mech disc brakes. My daughter in-law rides one routinely. My impression was that the mech disc brake performed on par with some of the best V-brakes I've ridden, but were clearly better in wet weather. My daughter in-law reports the same.

There are a number of articles discussing mech vs hydraulic. Here's one; https://bikeshaven.com/mechanical-vs-hydraulic-disc-brakes/

For the extra weight and speed of an ebike, I'd go with hydraulic disc brakes, esp if you'll be riding any hills.
Well i will be doing some hills but, then again i'm use to V brakes not on a ebike but mech's is what its coming with... don't plan on doing over 20 mph anything more than that on a winding bike path, street side with a curb , or sidewalk makes me nervous on a bicycle in general... Thanks for your input.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info...I figured as much but people seem to be on this hydraulic kick. I personally like no fluid required on a bicycle
No fluid? You normally have no idea there is fluid in the bike. I ride 2016 models, nearing 4,000 miles on one. I've never touched the hoses, burped them, or had anything to do with the fluid. But I also have the distinct advantage of never having to adjust the brakes. That was not the case on a fat bike I owned with mechanical disc brakes. Hydraulic brakes are not a fad, they are just plain better than mechanical.
 

Stephen Merritt

New Member
Hydraulic brakes are not a fad, they are just plain better than mechanical.
Didn't mean to say they were a fad, I just really don't think for my use they are needed ....To down a bike simply because it has mech instead of hydra as i've been seeing people do just doesn't make sense to me, but then again i'm not looking at it as i guess they are since i have little to no experience.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Disc brakes, even mechanical have much better stopping power than old school V brakes, which you want on an e-bike.
Hydraulics have more stopping power than mechanicals, but unless you're riding fast, I think mechanical disc brakes are more than adequate in *most* situations, and they're just fine.
My 160 mm mechanicals will stop me & 60 lb groceries in 15' from 35 mph. Pull me right off the seat. How fast were you planning to go?
Use the switched handles from the conversion kit, they are 1" longer than the handles the bikes come with.
Every auto disk brake caliper I put new pads on has leaked unless I replaced the cylinder. Why would I want that problem on a bicycle where hydraulics are not required? Plus the fluids are non-standard and cost more than fine wine.
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
Hydraulic brakes are not a fad, they are just plain better than mechanical.
I don't want to stop in 5 ' from 35 mph. Problably throw me chin first over the handlebar. Hydraulics are a mania. Total waste of money. BTW my hands are so fragile the thumb shifter has destroyed my r. thumb joint.
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
Rich is right about the maintenance. Mechanical brakes require adjustment in order to keep the pads in optimal position to brake well. Hydraulic brakes require no adjustment and rarely need service between replacement. The best thing about hydraulic brakes is being able to cover the brake lever with just a finger or two with full braking power. This allows full control of the steering and brakes when required. With cable actuated brakes you have to overcome cable stretch and they require more effort. That's not to say mechanical brakes are bad, just not on par with hydraulic brakes.
 

antboy

Active Member
Thanks for the info...I figured as much but people seem to be on this hydraulic kick. I personally like no fluid required on a bicycle
I think the key takeaway is that since the bike you purchased comes with mechanical disc brakes (and it's your first experience with disc brakes at all), you'll be just fine. :)

It doesn't sound like you're going to be riding hard on downhills or other hard-riding on an eMTB, where hydraulics would definitely have an advantage.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Rich is right about the maintenance. Mechanical brakes require adjustment in order to keep the pads in optimal position to brake well. Hydraulic brakes require no adjustment and rarely need service between replacement. The best thing about hydraulic brakes is being able to cover the brake lever with just a finger or two with full braking power. This allows full control of the steering and brakes when required. With cable actuated brakes you have to overcome cable stretch and they require more effort. That's not to say mechanical brakes are bad, just not on par with hydraulic brakes.
Takes me 5 minutes every 1000 miles to tighten the pad on my tektro mechanical. Quicker than moving the cable position. Takes twice as long to remove/replace the pannier bag to reach the caliper, than to adjust it. Much quicker than adjusting rim brakes, which take 3 tools instead of 1.
Cable stretch is caused by cheap discount store cables. Use Clark's or jaguar, also upgrade to SS lubricated for no rust. Upgrading the shifter cable reduces shifter adjustment frequency, also. The cables that came with my $1500 yubabike were better than the ones on my $200 Pacific Quantum MTB. Probably better than Radwagon and other cheap ebikes, too.
The brake handles on 1970's 3 speed "racer" bikes are 5" long. The brake handles on the tektro 2120 were 3". I think that is because tektro makes more money on hydraulic brakes. The handles that came with my power wheel converter kit were 5" long. Same reason auto manufacturers went to 10" brake drums in 1960 instead of 11" in 1959, to make the customers buy extra cost power brakes.
 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I like the hydraulics after having both .mechanical the longest. I was adjusting for pad wear way too often to get the brakes feeling the same and changing the pads is a lot more work. all I do is take out a bolt take the pads out and drop a new set in and put the bolt back in. I don't have to take the wheel off. Plus they jut feel better and they take less fingers to use.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I don't want to stop in 5 ' from 35 mph. Problably throw me chin first over the handlebar. Hydraulics are a mania. Total waste of money. BTW my hands are so fragile the thumb shifter has destroyed my r. thumb joint.
I was waiting for your reply. Every time I respond with a positive for hydraulic brakes, you reply with the opposite. At least you are consistent, buy not very tolerant of my opinion.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I'm confused when i watch/read a review about a bike and people go meh at it if it has mechanical disk brakes rather it's the reviewer or comments from random spectators... However, I've only ever had bikes with v brakes... I assume since these bikes have transitioned from v brakes to disk in general, the bike i just purchased has mechanical disk it will still feel light years better than V?
I have been riding MTBs since I was a kid, I had Shiman XTR V brakes on my bike, and when I got a Juiced CrossCurrent Air, it came with a Shimano BR-M375 mechanical brakes, it was trash.

The brake feel, stopping power, the XTR V brake was way better.

My point is, it depends.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I don't want to stop in 5 ' from 35 mph. Problably throw me chin first over the handlebar. Hydraulics are a mania. Total waste of money. BTW my hands are so fragile the thumb shifter has destroyed my r. thumb joint.
I'm all for high stopping power brakes.

It's not about how fast you can stop.

Even when I was riding my motorcycle, people said "why do you want to upgrade your brakes? your stock brakes are already strong enough that you could lock your wheels"

To me, I feel a lot more control when I get better brakes. It feels safer.
 
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Stephen Merritt

New Member
I have been riding MTBs since I was a kid, I had Shiman XTR V brakes on my bike, and when I got a Juiced CrossCurrent Air, it came with a Shimano BR-M375 mechanical brakes, it was trash.

The brake feel, stopping power, the XTR V brake was way better.

My point is, it depends.

they are Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc .160mm Thats all i know
 

PaD

Well-Known Member
I had Avid ( I think) mechanical disc brakes on my Gary Fisher Utopia. They needed regular adjustment that is not needed on hydraulic.
With a bit of patience they could be set very tight and I liked that riding in city traffic. I then switched to hydraulics. I was a fairly easy job with complete Shimano sets for front and rear. Caliper, brake line and brake lever ready to use. Braking power maybe a bit better but I could not get the same tight action as the mechanical. Liked not having to adjust them regularly though.
 

antboy

Active Member
I don't want to stop in 5 ' from 35 mph. Problably throw me chin first over the handlebar. Hydraulics are a mania. Total waste of money. BTW my hands are so fragile the thumb shifter has destroyed my r. thumb joint.
If you have issues with your hands, I would think that hydraulics would be a lot more comfortable, as they need a much lighter touch.
 

Cyklefanatic

Active Member
Hydraulic brakes are easier to modulate giving you slightly better control and the do take less effort. I wouldn’t say they are a game changer just slightly better.