Mechanical brake upgrade considerations.

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
Jerry's Final Thoughts: Give up, too many unknowns for now. I'll leave the saga in place below for Alien archaeologist. -S

Tektro Auriga E-Sub brakes with cut-off switch, possibly available from EBR member Chris Nolte & LongIslandElectricBikes. I have emailed him for advice, will update with any progress or part installs. -S (Chris looked into it for me, advised against, but they do have the parts).

Thread History (motivations):
As a aggressive daily rider and short stopping mad man I'm finding myself spending way too much time adjusting the stock mechanical brakes, and from the threads I've read up here I'm not alone. Cable stretch, pad wear, disc deflection, and that pesky inner back pad adjustment...

There has been talk of Avid BB5's BB7's (linked above) and even ProMax Render callipers as replacements that are compatible with the brake cutoff switch (more on that latter) because you simply use the existing levers. If you have replaced your brake components and can share your experience please do. Brian(J) did have this to say "The problem with the AVID BB7 caliper is that the inner adjusting wheel is so stiff they put a Torx drive recess in the center of it and most people use a Torx drive screwdriver", He latter describes dismantling the caliper and softening the detent indexes with a power tool, gotta love that DIY spirit!

BTW - I've even found hybrid brakes that are cable pulled with a hydraulic conversion (reservoirs) at the caliper body, maybe this gets you some self centering pads and a bit more torque but that cable run has me looking elsewhere.

So back to the question that is on everyone with mechanical disc brakes, and that funny little switch mind, is there anyway to upgrade to hydraulic? If it were not for the brake cutoff circuit this would be cake, 180mm disc up front, 160mm in back (Dash), standard post, done & done. Of course we want and need that circuit inline for the bike to operate, but are we going to let a simple interface problem keep us from hydraulic love? I doubt it.

Now before voiding the warranty let's just have a look at the existing setup, put our small collective on the problem, maybe get some parts and mock up a test bed. Since I accidentally cut the leads while fixing a rear flat (actually those sharp adjuster locknuts did the cutting) I have discovered that this is a NC, normally closed circuit. I'm guessing there is a reed switch in the sensor body that screws to the bottom of the brake lever, and since I'm a visual guy here is a little breakdown:


It seems Step 2 will be; Look at available hydraulic brake levers and design a way to get an NC switch in there. Would be great if we could just bond a magnet somewhere, replace a small shaft with a magnet, drill a hole in the handle body and install the thing - whatever. Maybe even tap the line with an NC plunger switch that opens when the line is pressurized?

That's all I have for now, things to do, but I'll put some more effort into this latter, see what if anything you all have to say/show. Maybe bb7's and koolstop pads are enough, or maybe we will find a way, I welcome your ideas and bad jokes.


EDIT: Below is the search history, with this latest resource I'm bumping to top row. Tektro parts from and EBR member Chris Nolte & LongIslandElectricBikes. Not sure about compatibility with those 203mm rotors, mounting etc but this feels like light at the end of the tunnel. Now I can eat and ride. I've emailed Chris for advice.

Search Results: here is a guy that wired mechanical brake lights with an NC switch.
Ok, here is an e-biker with a clever workaround and hydraulic brakes. Awesome.
And yet another DIY, see we are not alone my peeps.
Look at these TEKTRO AURIGA E-COMP levels, a few pages down. Wrong size rotors but sweet wire-out design. And a whole page of levers with circuitry from the Tektro website. Looks like OEM only - wait a source in NY, link bumped to top.
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Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
Here is what the open lead looks like near the brake sensor (brown wire repaired), 3 wires as pointed out by Chris (in email). Maybe it is not a reed switch or requires 5 volts to signal back to the controller? Might be easier to sell the Dash and get something with the brakes I want, maybe sell the Super Six too and get something with some range. I will just sit on the fence for now.

Bike ambassador

New Member
Glad to know i'm not the only one who's considered upgrading their brake levers on their 2014 Dash E3. I've since upgraded both calipers/rotors with Avid BB7's and 203mm/200mm rotors but after heavy mileage, the standard levers are really showing how cheap they are. There is too much wiggle in the levers arms, any update to any company's which offer levers with electric cut offs?

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
I think the best approach would be to get your Izip dealer to order a set of Peak replacement brakes, since the bikes are cousins they are probably exchangeable with regard to the electric cutoff. You may have to revert your rotors. Of course you'll let us know if it works right. -S

  • Brakes Details : Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors and Motor Cutoff Levers