Disc Caliper Replacement

Mango1234

New Member
Region
USA
While replacing the pads on my Promax 310 front disc brake, I broke the arm that the cable clamp screws into. So I was looking for a replacement and so far the choices are a Shimano caliper for $35, an Avid caliper for $32 (I'm pretty sure the pads I just bought would fit), or an off brand for $14. Which is better?
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
What bike do you have?

Use this opportunity as an excuse to upgrade to hydraulic! :)
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
While replacing the pads on my Promax 310 front disc brake, I broke the arm that the cable clamp screws into. So I was looking for a replacement and so far the choices are a Shimano caliper for $35, an Avid caliper for $32 (I'm pretty sure the pads I just bought would fit), or an off brand for $14. Which is better?
To answer your question, I would not recommend that particular Shimano caliper, if I squeeze on brake hard, it was flexing (caliper getting wider due to pad pressure) which shouldn't have happened.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
The AVid BB5 only has one side that adjusts easily, and it gets out of adjustment quick. Go with the BB7, both sides adjust with allen wrench.

If you go cheap, you have to guess when buying new pads, plus it's probably only one side adjustable. I never got that far as new pads as I found the cheap units to be cheap. In my journey to disk brake nirvana, I have gone....

cheap > BB5 > BB7 > Shimano Hydraulic.

Along the way, I found that Tektro Aries disk brakes are somewhere between BB5 and BB7, and that some bikes are fine with rim brakes.
 
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Mango1234

New Member
Region
USA
Sorry, another question. Are these parts interchangeable as in direct replacements? In other words will the Shimano calipers bolt in where the Promax was with no issues?
 

Rongo

New Member
Region
USA
Sorry, another question. Are these parts interchangeable as in direct replacements? In other words will the Shimano calipers bolt in where the Promax was with no issues?
Not sure about that specific bike, but there are two types of caliper mounts: Flat and Post (formerly Hayes).

You can get adaptors to go from one to the other, in either direction, Post-->flat or Flat--->post.

cable systems are *mostly* interchangeable in the lower-mid range systems, but when you get into the higher-end stuff, Shimano and SRAM add in things like Servo-Wave™ and such that make them not work quite as well with you mix and match.

TRP and Avid are both very good at solving this issue, as they both have systems that work well with other brand's calipers.

So, hydraulics vs cable? That's the $24,000 question.
Hydraulics are much better stoppers, in nearly every situation. The downside is that you are adding complexity to a machines that is already quite complex. they are typically sealed systems, requiring no daily maintenance, etc, but when something goes wrong, it can be Bad-Day Wrong.
Cable-actuated systems are much more simple and can be repaired (usually) trailside, where a hydro system might not. They're also usually much less expensive and you can typically keep your existing brake levers.

And then there is the TRP HY/RD cable-operated hydraulic caliper. It's a bit of both. it's a hydro caliper, so you get the incredible stopping power of a hydro, but with the simplicity and compatibility of a cable-actuated system. I've got them on one of my gravel bikes and they're quite good, but not as good as a full-hydraulic system.

All perfectly clear, right? ;-)
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Not sure about that specific bike, but there are two types of caliper mounts: Flat and Post (formerly Hayes).

You can get adaptors to go from one to the other, in either direction, Post-->flat or Flat--->post.

cable systems are *mostly* interchangeable in the lower-mid range systems, but when you get into the higher-end stuff, Shimano and SRAM add in things like Servo-Wave™ and such that make them not work quite as well with you mix and match.

TRP and Avid are both very good at solving this issue, as they both have systems that work well with other brand's calipers.

So, hydraulics vs cable? That's the $24,000 question.
Hydraulics are much better stoppers, in nearly every situation. The downside is that you are adding complexity to a machines that is already quite complex. they are typically sealed systems, requiring no daily maintenance, etc, but when something goes wrong, it can be Bad-Day Wrong.
Cable-actuated systems are much more simple and can be repaired (usually) trailside, where a hydro system might not. They're also usually much less expensive and you can typically keep your existing brake levers.

And then there is the TRP HY/RD cable-operated hydraulic caliper. It's a bit of both. it's a hydro caliper, so you get the incredible stopping power of a hydro, but with the simplicity and compatibility of a cable-actuated system. I've got them on one of my gravel bikes and they're quite good, but not as good as a full-hydraulic system.

All perfectly clear, right? ;-)
excellent post.