hydraulic brakes

clubby

New Member
now that radpower bikes is selling a rad 6plus with hydraulic brakes, can we buy these brake system to upgrade my radrover step-thru 5
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
now that radpower bikes is selling a rad 6plus with hydraulic brakes, can we buy these brake system to upgrade my radrover step-thru 5
Yes, NUTT brakes are available on AliExpress.


NUTT brakes are what Rad Power use for Rad Rover 6.
There are other option, for example Bolton and Electro Bike World sell Shimano hydraulic.
Looks like they're out of stock though.

There is also Tektro E725 available. It's a 4 piston brake so much more powerful.
You will also need to solder the right connector for motor inhibitor though.
So if you're looking for plug and play, this brake may not be for you.
 
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RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA

Timpo

Well-Known Member
The only thing ebike specific about the hydraulic brakes Rad uses is the cut off switch. You can buy a switch to attach to a non-ebike brake lever, or just rig a kill switch if your bike doesn't already have one if you want to use different brakes.

https://ebikes.ca/product-info/grin-products/tripwire.html

They also sell hydraulic brakes that are actuated by cable that can work with your existing levers.

https://trpcycling.com/product/hyrd/
The Grin inhibitor does not have Higo(or Julet) connector Rad use.
In addition, add-on inhibitor does not look as clean as integrated one, I don't want my bike to look like a DIY project.
Silly or not, aesthetics matter to a lot of people, including myself.

The cable activated hydraulic caliper will still be exposed to cable friction and cable stretch, as you know.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
okay but are these plug an play
If you're referring that one that's on AliExpress, yes it should be.
They have Higo red (2 pin) connector, which I believe is what Rad Rover has. Though, I would make sure that's what you have, just in case.

But remember that NUTT brake on AliExpress does not come with oil, so you will have to bleed the oil first.
And I believe you will need to cut the brake hose, which require another tool. But you may not have to cut it, I am not sure.

Shimano brakes from Bolton / Electro Bike World on the other hand, I believe they're already pre-cut (length adjusted).
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The Magura MT5 and MT7 also use the red HIGo/Julet plug. Additionally, there are adapters out there that go from yellow to red, or you can have some made (e-bike-technologies.de used to do mine for me). But the MT5's are widely regarded as the best ebike brakeset out there. Priced accordingly at about $100-125 per axle. More when you consider they need thicker rotors and you can't re-use what you have. But if you are looking at the price of those Tektros, the Maguras are far better brakes for much less money. I use the same rotors as the Tektros do though. Tektro Type 17. They are cheap at about $21 each and thicker at 2.3mm than even the 2.1mm Magura rotors, meaning they almost never wear out. Normal brake rotors are 1.8mm thick or less.

Before you buy any brakes, check to see if the cutoffs you have now are 'openers' or 'closers'. Brake cutoffs work one of two ways: Pulling on the lever closes a circuit (closers) or pulling on the lever opens a circuit (openers). Everything I have ever worked with is a closer. But I know openers exist. Magura makes both and the only way you can tell the difference is in the product descr if they mention it, or in the part number. Find out what you need in advance so you don't find out the hard way.
 

CT-Scott

New Member
Region
USA
Can someone provide some added context here as to just how much better hydraulic brakes are compared to the non-hydraulic brakes are that Rad still uses on all of their other bikes? Are there particular use cases where the difference is more/less worthwhile for considering doing this sort of upgrade? Said another way: I'm close to buying a RadMini Step-Thru - how sad should I be that it doesn't have hydraulic brakes?
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Can someone provide some added context here as to just how much better hydraulic brakes are compared to the non-hydraulic brakes are that Rad still uses on all of their other bikes? Are there particular use cases where the difference is more/less worthwhile for considering doing this sort of upgrade? Said another way: I'm close to buying a RadMini Step-Thru - how sad should I be that it doesn't have hydraulic brakes?
You won't be sad for having mechanical brakes, because you don't know what's missing.
But once you switch to hydraulic... you would feel like, that's it, no more turning back.
At least that's what happened to me.

Mechanical brakes work fine, just with more friction and constant cable adjustments. Hydraulic brakes are easy to pull, and feels like butter compare to mechanical brakes.
And typically hydraulic brakes are much stronger too.
Yes, I know you can lock your front wheel with mechanical brakes, so why you need more braking power?
For me, it wasn't about more braking power, but when I have stronger brakes, I get a lot more control.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
What @Timpo said, exactly.

If you need to take a trip, you can arrive at your destination if you take a U Haul van, or a Mercedes-Benz. Both will get the job done. You will prefer the Mercedes if you take a drive in one though, for a variety of reasons.

Its the same with hydros. To all intents and purposes, everything about them works better. You'll find a few cranks who will tell you the U Haul is better due to some manufactured reason that is important to them (and more about them not being on the right side of the argument than it is about the van being a preferable ride for reals).

Look at it another way: What kind of brakes do all the cheap bikes have? Now look at all the high quality bikes. What kind of brakes do they all have?
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
What @Timpo said, exactly.

If you need to take a trip, you can arrive at your destination if you take a U Haul van, or a Mercedes-Benz. Both will get the job done. You will prefer the Mercedes if you take a drive in one though, for a variety of reasons.

Its the same with hydros. To all intents and purposes, everything about them works better. You'll find a few cranks who will tell you the U Haul is better due to some manufactured reason that is important to them (and more about them not being on the right side of the argument than it is about the van being a preferable ride for reals).

Look at it another way: What kind of brakes do all the cheap bikes have? Now look at all the high quality bikes. What kind of brakes do they all have?
True.

The biggest advantage of mechanical brake is price.
They're much cheaper for ebike companies.
But everything else, hydraulic wins, hands down.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
I'd agree with that assessment if running high-power motors. But as I've posted before, I've gone back to <20MPH riding. More often <15MPH.

Magura brakes sell out faster than they can be sourced. I just can't justify those cheap budget hydraulics. BB7 and my Tektro rim bralkes will out perfrom.

I run all my builds on the local MSF course and at my riding speeds, good rim brakes perform very well and with safe braking distances.

SRAM BB7 MTB Disc Brakes are an excellent preforming disc brake. I guess 60 years of adjusting cables makee it an incredible easy adjustment. I seldom use my "third hand".

 
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tomjasz

Well-Known Member
The biggest advantage of mechanical brake is price.
Great mechanical brakes are not exactly cheap. BB7 Road SL

DESCRIPTION
This race-ready mechanical disc brake takes the proven power and performance of BB7 and dials it up a few notches with its sleek "Falcon Grey" anodizing and weight-saving hardware. So you'll be just as confident on the climbs as you are on the descents. Compatible with RED, Force, Rival, and Apex levers.
MSRP
$122 - $173
MODEL ID
DB-BLBG-7RSL-A1
FEATURES
  • Lightweight
  • Titanium hardware
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Yeah if you held me down and forced me to use mechanical brakes, I'd pick BB7's too. I still have a nearly new set of them (calipers only) in a box in the garage. Last time I used them was on the Mongoose on the initial build. I consider myself something of a brake whisperer when it comes to adjusting brakes to perfection and on that bike I just could not get it done (it was mostly to do with the cables, the factory housings that were not compressionless and the rear cable length on that mid-tail cargo bike) I reminded myself in that exercise of why I should not bother with half-measures as the money I spent on the calipers, plus the time and effort of futzing with the damn things... I bought a set of Maguras and had them on the bike and perfect in minutes. The fact that they always line up perfectly by just bolting them on is another reason I just default to them and don't even think about it anymore.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Simply writing hydraulics are better is just not very accurate. Many of the factory-direct eBike brands have chintzy hydraulics.
 
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m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
True dat. I found a formula that works and stuck with it. The whole 'no half measures' lesson - extends to saving money on brakeset brands.

The one time I cheaped out was on the aforementioned Mongoose, where I did MT5's and not MT5e's. Got some take-offs cheap from a German bicycle shop - $165 delivered for both axles and the rear cable was long enough somehow. I think Rad is now using brakes from some no-name Chinese supplier. Not sure a) whether they are any good and b) I can blame them since mainstream companies are just plain refusing to take orders period. Tektro (in)famously shut down all manufacturer ordering through 2021 ... in 2020.

I just scored three sets of blue front pads for my Bullitt for 11 Euro each. Piggybacking along with a 13 Euro belted Schwalbe tire that Stateside vendors want $70 for. I need one of the pad sets in a couple of weeks but the rest of it I won't touch until some time in 2022. I was happy just to be able to find the tire let alone score that kind of price.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Great mechanical brakes are not exactly cheap. BB7 Road SL

DESCRIPTION
This race-ready mechanical disc brake takes the proven power and performance of BB7 and dials it up a few notches with its sleek "Falcon Grey" anodizing and weight-saving hardware. So you'll be just as confident on the climbs as you are on the descents. Compatible with RED, Force, Rival, and Apex levers.
MSRP
$122 - $173
MODEL ID
DB-BLBG-7RSL-A1
FEATURES
  • Lightweight
  • Titanium hardware
Right, top of the line mechanical brakes are better than cheap hydraulic brakes.
Just like top of the line V brakes, cantilever brakes, etc... are better than cheap disc brakes.

My point was, a bit more generalized.
In general, hydraulic brakes are better than mechanical brakes.