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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Mechanical versus Hydraulic. What are you after? Two very different things with two very different sets of different Pros/Cons.

    For example:
    -Mechanical discs are not self adjusting as the pads wear down, so you'll need to manually barrel adjuster them. But they'll work in any weather.
    -Hydraulic brakes are self-adjusting for wear...however in the Siberia-like temps of the US Great Plains Winter, you'll need to pump your brakes early because brake fluids used don't like those temps (and the rotors/calipers are designed to sink heat too well)
    -Both make noise, unless/until you bed the pads well.

    PS-get a thru-axle frameset. Many bike brands still sell QR disc brake bikes, which is just lazy product development and planned obsolescence.


    Also note that cheap disc brakes are about as bad as cheap rim-brakes.
    Not sure about your statement regarding thru axles. More than half of my rides require removing the front wheel for transport. My experience with thru axles is admittedly limited but I find them to be just another part that requires set-up, tear-down time and that you have to keep track of.

    There is little question that a large thru axle may create marginally more rigidity in the front fork, however, I've experienced no problems on my hi-mod over three full seasons in the mountains with skewers.

    Alignment problems/ disc rubbing are caused by pushing rather than squeezing the levers closed. Changing the lever side is the key with discs as it allows you to get your fingers around the seat stay to squeeze the lever and avoid the side pressure that causes alignment issues.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    Alignment problems/ disc rubbing are caused by pushing rather than squeezing the levers closed. Changing the lever side is the key with discs as it allows you to get your fingers around the seat stay to squeeze the lever and avoid the side pressure that causes alignment issues.
    The fact that u have no problems, does not change the fact that about 1/4 of the riders don't know how to change a wheel properly.
    BANNED

  3. #28
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    Total agreement on the subject of wheel remove and replace. Same for the QR issue. My tandem is a Ritchey Breakaway, and I have taken it apart and put it together in a very few minutes. The wheels take well under a minute to install.

    I did have to change the brake alignment when I changed brands of wheels. The old ones were Hope, the new were Spinergy. I think the Spinergy were a little bit narrower than the 100 mm spec. That is why tools were invented.

    Also note that I can adjust the calipers on a disk setup in under a minute.

    My wife's bike uses mechanical disc brakes. They are also not a problem, but she does not ride in the winter. The muck they put on the roads here in the winter is very bad for all things steel. Including cables, stainless steel or not. That is why my new winter bike is Ti and the other bikes don't go out until the muck is washed away.

    I can bleed the Hope brakes with a vacuum pump and it takes maybe 5 minutes for the pair. The Avid are a little worse since they require two syringes, but not a big deal. My son's bike has mineral oil disk brakes, and they are not a big deal either, but Autozone doesn't have fluid for them.

    I haven't had any wear issues with the pads. The tandem went a season on the same pads with at least another left. I do replace the pads on the Dura Ace 7800 brakes at the front of my summer bike once a year. Aligning them is as much of a chore as bleeding the hydraulic brakes.

    And I always seem to forget to put the cable release lever back in the ride position when I have the wheel off my summer bike, so I wind up having to stop to restore brake performance.

    Lastly, there are lighter ways to make a disc than a single piece of steel. Weight should not be an issue for recreational riders, and for the high end folks, they can spring for the expensive materials.

  4. #29
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    I guess I don't understand all the comments about aligning caliper brakes when changing pads - if you are just replacing the pads why would you need to reset the alignment? I've never had to do that.
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  5. #30
    What the what???
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    Disc brake review...not debate

    Quote Originally Posted by MoPho View Post
    Now I get that some people are not willing to just get rid of what they have a lot invested in, it can be expensive to switch and rim brakes are obviously good enough, but if you are buying a whole new bike there is no reason not to consider disc brakes
    This describes my situation pretty well. I'm still at 10 speed cassettes and cantilevers and wondering if it's time to make the leap. My riding is mostly fair-weather and flat land. For me it would be more about the larger tire clearance and gearing option this type of bike affords. And the majority of them now seem to have discs. It's been reassuring to hear from so many people with no regrets about the tech and to know that it shouldn't be a deal-breaker.
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  6. #31
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    The pads I use on my Dura Ace 7800 have the attachment stud bonded to the pad, so I have to remove the entire assembly. That requires me to set the height, the rotational angle, and the alignment to the rim.

    It is not a big deal, but neither is bleeding a disk caliper or swapping disk brake pads, or changing a wheel on a disk brake bike. I consider the maintenance to be about equal in effort and cost between my tandem and my summer bike.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DangerousDan View Post
    The pads I use on my Dura Ace 7800 have the attachment stud bonded to the pad, so I have to remove the entire assembly. That requires me to set the height, the rotational angle, and the alignment to the rim.

    It is not a big deal, but neither is bleeding a disk caliper or swapping disk brake pads, or changing a wheel on a disk brake bike. I consider the maintenance to be about equal in effort and cost between my tandem and my summer bike.
    How do you bleed a disc caliper? and what tools are required?

  8. #33
    The Slow One.
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    I've had more than a couple 'cross bikes with mechanical disc (BB7)/quick releases. For that environment, they were superior to canti brakes. They were nice on wet road days, because they did stop better than rim brakes. On dry days, they were meh. I liked that they allowed me to run wider tires than with caliper brakes, but to be honest outside of 'cross season and a handful of nasty shoulder-season rides, I rarely rode them. Each 'cross bike was sold after a season or two, as I tried to find something I liked better. Eventually I stopped racing 'cross (because I suck at it and kept hurting myself).

    Now I'm starting a ti gravel/foul weather/anything bike, and I decided I wanted hydraulic discs and thru axles. I picked up a cheap SRAM S700 10-speed road disc groupset, and hopefully this bike will scratch the itch those other bikes couldn't. If not, I'll probably just stick with caliper brakes on road bikes until I can't support them anymore. With my current parts bin, that should take about 10 years.

    I'm not a Luddite, but I generally don't jump to technology advances just because the industry moves in that direction. All of my bikes are still 10 speed. I still like a English threaded bottom bracket. Internal routing is something I can do without, especially on metal bikes (derailleur cable routing around the bottom bracket). Electronic shifting is interesting to me, but not at the premium it commands...

    At the end of the day, if a technology's cost/benefit doesn't add up, I don't jump. I can see the clear benefit to discs in certain environments, and hydraulic discs expand that range even more. Still not trashing my Madones because they have caliper brakes, though.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    How do you bleed a disc caliper? and what tools are required?
    I use the big Shimano syringe and collection funnel - put the funnel on the brake lever and the syringe full of fluid attached with a hose to the bleeder on the caliper, open the bleeder and push fluid in from the bottom until you get the bubbles out of the stream at the top, then close the bleeder. It works much better than the method Shimano recommends which is pumping it from the top.
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  10. #35
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    I have three different brands of hydraulic disk brakes and the bleeding procedure is different for each brand. The basic process is similar: replace the fluid with clean fluid and get all gas bubbles out of the system.

    For the Avid, I use a dual syringe system, I put fresh fluid in the one on the caliper and suck it out the one on the master cylinder (the one the lever attaches to). A little clumsy, since you need to press both syringes. I just don't want to spill the DOT fluid on my bikes.

    For the Tektro, I did the same as Srode. Tektro uses a mineral oil so I am not as worried about spilling it all over the place.

    For the Hope, I attach a hand operated vacuum pump to the caliper, fill the master full, and pull the fluid out with the vacuum pump.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    How do you bleed a disc caliper? and what tools are required?
    Shimano® Hydraulic Brake Service and Adjustment | Park Tool

    Avid® Juicy Caliper Brake Bleed Service | Park Tool

    Hayes® Hydraulic Brake Service | Park Tool


    You probably note that Park Tool doesn't have a dedicated page for SRAM....
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  12. #37
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    So far so good for me. Just had a Gunnar Hyper XX built up, steel, carbon fork, went with Rival Hydro 22 with a force 46/36 crank and a 11-28 cassette. So far about a month and almost 200 miles and some wet rides, in Western WA, like today, and it is performing much better than the older cross check with a nice set of parts which used to be my rain bike...even with really nice Paul Canti brakes. I still prefer the shifting a ergonomics of Campagnolo shifters which I run on my other geared bikes.
    I've used BB7 brakes on a SS mountain bike and hydro is much better, actually went most of the way through a set of brake pads and had to manually turn the red knobs during a wet and muddy mountain bike race last year, so having self adjusting Hydo brakes will be nice, not that I do super muddy rides very often.
    The new bike is basically my rain/wet roads/some gravel roads bike, and so far as a road bike it is nice, and reasonable weight, about 21# with pedals, with 30-32mm Specialized road tubeless tires, but before fenders, similar or slightly lighter than my Cross check which had a decent carbon fork and fairly light nice parts.
    Adam

  13. #38
    Is it the future yet?
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    I have a Synapse that came with Promax mech. disc brakes. They were horrible. I had close calls because of how bad they were. I switched them out for TRP Spyres. A little better, but still have to squeeze the crap out of the levers to stop the bike.
    I think some of it is cable routing on the bike. The front grabs pretty good, but the back barely does anything. Changing pads hasn't helped either.
    I only use this bike for wet days, and don't feel the need for disc when it's dry either. Of note, I will never buy a p.o.s. cannondale again.
    I bought a GT townie bike for family rides. Front shocks, etc... My scale says it weighs in at 38 pounds. It has Shimano Altus disc brakes and I can stop that pig almost on a dime. So better braking, with the lowest level Shimano, on a bike that weighs twice as much, doesn't make sense to me. I'm thinking the way cannondale routed the internal cables for the brakes doesn't allow for an efficient pull.

    I do think for wet riding, disc brakes are the way to go. They save your wheels from early wear and are more consistent except with the synapse. I will be changing the Synapse for a Giant with hydro discs soon.
    Another downside is that there aren't a lot of light disc wheel options right now either.

  14. #39
    What the what???
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    All right. Thanks in no small part to the info here (and the "quiver killer" thread) I decided to take the plunge. A Diamondback Haanjo with SRAM 1X11 drivetrain and hydraulic discs with thru-axels. We'll see what I've gotten myself into...

    Thanks, all for the feedback and the suggestions. It clarified things quite a bit.
    Last edited by Opus51569; 02-22-2017 at 07:10 AM.
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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by maximum7 View Post
    I have a Synapse that came with Promax mech. disc brakes. They were horrible. I had close calls because of how bad they were.
    Just curious, in what way were they horrible, braking power, maintenance, noise...etc.?

    I switched them out for TRP Spyres. A little better, but still have to squeeze the crap out of the levers to stop the bike.
    I think some of it is cable routing on the bike. The front grabs pretty good, but the back barely does anything. Changing pads hasn't helped either.
    That (bold) sounds very atypical for disc brake. Was it set up properly?

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