Mech to hydro?
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Thread: Mech to hydro?

  1. #1
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    Mech to hydro?

    I bought a 2017 spec roubaix elite when it came out. I have put a lot of miles and thought I had bedded the brakes right(TRP Spyre mechanical). Unfortunately they have been terrible. I have ridden a lot more large down hills lately and some with gravel and I really need better brakes. I feel like I have to practically break my hand to slow down and it's so weak. I rode a buddies new diverge that has Shimano tiagra level hydros and they are light years ahead of my mechanicals.

    So primary question can I purchase just the caliper and lines with my 105 brifters or do I have to replace the whole thing because the shifters are mechanical specific only?

    I have also been told the pads may just be bad and to replace them. So secondary question if I decided to try the pad route first. would I need to replace the discs as well as the pads? Or can I just clean the the rotor with some brake cleaner and get new pads?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigpen2 View Post
    I bought a 2017 spec roubaix elite when it came out. I have put a lot of miles and thought I had bedded the brakes right(TRP Spyre mechanical). Unfortunately they have been terrible. I have ridden a lot more large down hills lately and some with gravel and I really need better brakes. I feel like I have to practically break my hand to slow down and it's so weak. I rode a buddies new diverge that has Shimano tiagra level hydros and they are light years ahead of my mechanicals.

    So primary question can I purchase just the caliper and lines with my 105 brifters or do I have to replace the whole thing because the shifters are mechanical specific only?

    I have also been told the pads may just be bad and to replace them. So secondary question if I decided to try the pad route first. would I need to replace the discs as well as the pads? Or can I just clean the the rotor with some brake cleaner and get new pads?

    Thanks!
    Your mechanical disc brakes should stop you nearly as well as hydro brakes. It is very easy to adjust them improperly and eliminate virtually all power from them. NEVER use the barrel adjuster or pull the cable tighter in an effort to make them work better.
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    The correct way to adjust them is at the caliper w/ the pad adjusters. Also good rotors make a noticeable difference, I really like the Shimano Ice Tech rotors.
    Of course if you're going to switch to hydro brakes you're going to have to get new shifters...how would you pump fluid from a mechanical lever?
    If you replace the pads I'd recommend new rotors as well, and I'd recommend Shimano IT.
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  3. #3
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    I have TRP Spyer mech disc brakes for my beach cruiser. They stop very well. I'm not sure how you set it up but sounds like some adjustment / fine tuning is needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pigpen2 View Post
    So primary question can I purchase just the caliper and lines with my 105 brifters or do I have to replace the whole thing because the shifters are mechanical specific only?
    You'll need to buy a brifter/caliper combo that matches your current setup (ie-Mechanical) They run from 300-900$ for a set depending on the model. You can use the same discs.

    My gravel came with Hayes mech disc brakes. I replaced with TRP HY-RD cable actuated hydraulic brakes and they are way better than the mech brakes. Super easy install and half the price of the hydrauluc brifter/brakes alone.

    It's still not as good as Shimano Full hydraulic brakes but performance wise they are certainly better than the mech brakes were.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by wilmingtech; 1 Week Ago at 10:57 PM.

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    The Giant Conduct Brake System allows you to convert your mechanical disc brake setup to a semi-hydraulic system
    Cable-actuated master cylinder is fully integrated into the stem faceplate creating a clean, aero-looking design

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/conduct-brake-system
    Giant TCR

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    Check out TRP Hy/Rd calipers. It's a hybrid setup that will allow you to keep your cable shifters.

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    The TRP Hy/Rd brakes are good but the reservoir is in the caliper. Where all the heat is. Definitely not the best way to design a disc brake system but it works ok. A properly designed system has the reservoir at the lever, farthest away from heat is generated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by threebikes View Post
    The Giant Conduct Brake System allows you to convert your mechanical disc brake setup to a semi-hydraulic system
    Cable-actuated master cylinder is fully integrated into the stem faceplate creating a clean, aero-looking design

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/conduct-brake-system
    Just...nope

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    Quote Originally Posted by threebikes View Post
    The Giant Conduct Brake System allows you to convert your mechanical disc brake setup to a semi-hydraulic system
    Cable-actuated master cylinder is fully integrated into the stem faceplate creating a clean, aero-looking design

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/conduct-brake-system
    This would certainly work, and allow you to keep your existing shifters. However, as a system it has it's issues, and it's very heavy. You would be better off putting that $200 towards some new shifters to go with your new calipers (they can be purchased as a set).

    Re: the TRP HY/RD, they are definitely an upgrade over mechanical. They land somewhere between mechanical and full hydraulic in terms of efficiency and feel (with the downsides that CX Wrench mentioned). They do have the added benefit of being a completely sealed system that doesn't require servicing (bleeding, etc..), beyond just replacing brake pads once in a while. I put some on a friends cross bike last year and he loves them (they replaced TRP Spyre). They are not quite as good as full hydraulic, but are more budget friendly.
    Last edited by Finx; 1 Week Ago at 01:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Your mechanical disc brakes should stop you nearly as well as hydro brakes. It is very easy to adjust them improperly and eliminate virtually all power from them. NEVER use the barrel adjuster or pull the cable tighter in an effort to make them work better.
    N
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    The correct way to adjust them is at the caliper w/ the pad adjusters. .
    Sram and Campy levers have a different pull ratio from shimano. Can't see anything wrong with setting the cable a little shorter to adjust for that, by applying a little preload to the caliper lever arm when tightening pinch bolt, and then one or two turns to adjust for feel.

    Barrel adjuster is primarily for adjusting for slack/stretch but 1-2 turn either way isn't going to drastically affect performance.

    Then use the pad adjusters to center, set pad distance and adjust for wear.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlosflanders View Post
    Sram and Campy levers have a different pull ratio from shimano. Can't see anything wrong with setting the cable a little shorter to adjust for that, by applying a little preload to the caliper lever arm when tightening pinch bolt, and then one or two turns to adjust for feel.

    Barrel adjuster is primarily for adjusting for slack/stretch but 1-2 turn either way isn't going to drastically affect performance.

    Then use the pad adjusters to center, set pad distance and adjust for wear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Guess how I know what you don't do for a living...
    Fair enough, but are you suggesting we make no attempt to compensate for differing pull ratios at all? (Other than buying new levers)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlosflanders View Post
    Fair enough, but are you suggesting we make no attempt to compensate for differing pull ratios at all? (Other than buying new levers)
    I would never reduce the amount of power a brake caliper has. The lever doesn't make that much difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I would never reduce the amount of power a brake caliper has. The lever doesn't make that much difference.
    Thanks,

    fwiw, TRP explicitly say that you can fine tune the feel and compensate for pad wear by using either the barrel adjuster or pad adjustment.

    They also explicitly say not to apply preload to the lever arm, but are silent on any questions concerning different brake lever travel.

  15. #15
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    If I ever get a new high-end road bike that is disc, I'm going hydro to mech! Hydro stuff going on eBay and I'll use mechanical 9100 shifters with Spyres.

    Honestly, though, Spyres on my gravel/CX bike seem to work great.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlosflanders View Post
    Thanks,

    fwiw, TRP explicitly say that you can fine tune the feel and compensate for pad wear by using either the barrel adjuster or pad adjustment.

    They also explicitly say not to apply preload to the lever arm, but are silent on any questions concerning different brake lever travel.
    Any time you use the barrel adjuster you're going to reduce the leverage the actuating arm has. It doesn't matter if you use the adjuster or move the arm by pulling the cable, you're doing exactly the same thing. I find it odd that TRP says it's ok to do one thing but not the other when in effect they're the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlosflanders View Post
    Thanks,

    fwiw, TRP explicitly say that you can fine tune the feel and compensate for pad wear by using either the barrel adjuster or pad adjustment.

    They also explicitly say not to apply preload to the lever arm, but are silent on any questions concerning different brake lever travel.
    The HY/RD has a locking mechanism that is used to set maximum cable tension via barrel adjuster. If it's too tight, one can't undo the locking mechanism. I use these with my 11 spd Chrous mech group, but they really do not provide sufficient adjustment range to work well with the Campy pull ratio.

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