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  1. #1
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    TRP Hybrid vs Hydraulic disc brakes

    Which brake system requires less maintenance and is still very reliable. Don't wish to be bleeding brakes a lot. I am building a gravel bike for both road/and off road? Any thoughts.

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    Hydraulic disc...either Shimano or SRAM.
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    What do you define as "a lot"? I don't think you need to bleed hydraulic brakes more often than every 3 years. CXWrench?

    Once hydraulic brakes are set up, they require no adjustment unless you accidentally pull one of the brake levers when a wheel is out. Don't do that!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    What do you define as "a lot"? I don't think you need to bleed hydraulic brakes more often than every 3 years. CXWrench?

    Once hydraulic brakes are set up, they require no adjustment unless you accidentally pull one of the brake levers when a wheel is out. Don't do that!

    Brake bleeding is recommended once a year to keep brake performance optimal.
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    Thx for your reponse. Confused about you're comment " you can't fix stupid"???? Does that mean that they can't be repaired if damaged???
    My dilemma is....I am trying to make a decision between two gravel bikes-one is a used Pivot with TRPHybrid braking system of which I've read mixed reports and the the other is a 2019 Argon Argon Dark Matter with Hydraulics. I was told that with mechanicals vs hydraulics you have the ability to make adjustments which you don't have on hydraulics. Thoughts

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    Quote Originally Posted by hartley1 View Post
    Thx for your reponse. Confused about you're comment " you can't fix stupid"????
    That's his auto signature. Note the line above it.

    Personally, I would go with full hydraulic. Hybrid or cable actuated hydraulic just seems like the worst of both worlds. And you would still need to do a bleed eventually. Once a year is overkill. It's a sealed system.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    What do you define as "a lot"? I don't think you need to bleed hydraulic brakes more often than every 3 years. CXWrench?

    Once hydraulic brakes are set up, they require no adjustment unless you accidentally pull one of the brake levers when a wheel is out. Don't do that!
    completely fairytale to think that hydro disc needs future no adjustment once they're setup. Yeah, Magura marketing material says the same thing, but real world we know it's not (and I ain't talking about the accidental lever squeeze while the wheel is out either, which you don't even need to adjust anything to fix)

  8. #8
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    completely fairytale to think that hydro disc needs future no adjustment once they're setup. Yeah, Magura marketing material says the same thing, but real world we know it's not (and I ain't talking about the accidental lever squeeze while the wheel is out either, which you don't even need to adjust anything to fix)
    What adjustments are required once they're set up?
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  9. #9
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    You should bleed once a year. If one piston gets a little dirtier than the other they'll need to be cleaned but 'adjusted'? Normally, no. Unless you ignore them and don't do any cleaning they won't need 'adjusting'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You should bleed once a year. If one piston gets a little dirtier than the other they'll need to be cleaned but 'adjusted'? Normally, no. Unless you ignore them and don't do any cleaning they won't need 'adjusting'.
    and if you can't completely clean out the piston, ie., it's still a little sticky to one side, then you now have a decision to make: Should you now do an overhaul of the caliper or shim the caliper and hope shimming is enough to compensate for sticky piston. I've had to shim my dirty caliper in the past many times until it got to the point where I can't shim anymore than do an overhaul. But maybe on road, dirty piston is a lesser issue or less frequent issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    What adjustments are required once they're set up?
    I have had to do caliper shimming due to sticky piston (where cleaning with rubbing alcohol didn't help), many times, in order to get rid of brake noise and rubbing. When I can't shim anymore, then it's time to buy the rebuild kit to build the caliper, which is pretty much cleaning it and changing out all the seals and o-rings. It's just like your car's hydro brakes in terms of maintenance. Whatever you do to the car ones, you'll eventually do to the bike ones.

  12. #12
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    and if you can't completely clean out the piston, ie., it's still a little sticky to one side, then you now have a decision to make: Should you now do an overhaul of the caliper or shim the caliper and hope shimming is enough to compensate for sticky piston. I've had to shim my dirty caliper in the past many times until it got to the point where I can't shim anymore than do an overhaul. But maybe on road, dirty piston is a lesser issue or less frequent issue.
    So those aren't "adjustments". They're workarounds for a sticky piston. Which could be eliminated by more thorough cleaning.
    I've never had that issue. And I hardly ever clean my bike, it's my winter beater.

    So what adjustments are you saying are required once hydraulic brakes are set up?
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    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    It's just like your car's hydro brakes in terms of maintenance. Whatever you do to the car ones, you'll eventually do to the bike ones.
    Been changing my own brakes on cars for 30 years. Never had to rebuild or shim a caliper. Or any maintenance. Replace the pads and rotors as required.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    I have had to do caliper shimming due to sticky piston (where cleaning with rubbing alcohol didn't help), many times, in order to get rid of brake noise and rubbing. When I can't shim anymore, then it's time to buy the rebuild kit to build the caliper, which is pretty much cleaning it and changing out all the seals and o-rings. It's just like your car's hydro brakes in terms of maintenance. Whatever you do to the car ones, you'll eventually do to the bike ones.
    It's been years since 'shimming' was a thing. If your pistons aren't working evenly you can adjust the caliper a bit but as tlg posted it's a workaround, not a fix.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Been changing my own brakes on cars for 30 years. Never had to rebuild or shim a caliper. Or any maintenance. Replace the pads and rotors as required.
    master cylinders? these need to be rebuilt if your car last long enough

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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    It's been years since 'shimming' was a thing. If your pistons aren't working evenly you can adjust the caliper a bit but as tlg posted it's a workaround, not a fix.
    adjustments... workarounds.. call it however you see fit. But my overall point about hydro disc still stands though: they're not as "set-n-forget" or plug-n-play like many think or hope. And hasn't there been already recent issues about hydro disc posted in this forum recently, more than what people post about rim brakes in a decade?! On the road, I still hear them making noise and users are left wondering why as they hope things will just fix itself if they ride long enough. It's a nice interplay between technology and hope!

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    I've had TRP Hy/Rd brakes on a gravel bike, and they are definitely an improvement over any mechanical disc brake I've ever used. They are also a step below good quality Hydraulic brakes.

    The only reason I would consider them is if you already have a set of mechanical brake shifters you want to use, but don't want to slum with mechanical disc brakes. Otherwise, if you are starting fresh, you will definitely want to go hydraulic.

    The advantage of the Hy/Rd is that it is a completely sealed system that basically does not require regular servicing (bleeding). I've heard that at some point you may have to replace the seals in the reservoir, but I never had that happen. You do still have to replace pads and rotors, just like any other disc brake, and they are just as fiddly to set up initially in terms of getting them centered on the rotors.

    The downsides are just that they don't modulate as well, and I had a couple of overheating situations on long steep decents (i'm pretty heavy though so YMMV). Also, you still have to deal with cables and cable replacement, just like with a rim brake.

  18. #18
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    master cylinders? these need to be rebuilt if your car last long enough
    Never had a car less than 100,000mi. And I've never rebuilt a master cylinder.

    On the road, I still hear them making noise and users are left wondering why as they hope things will just fix itself if they ride long enough.
    I don't. I ride with a bunch of people who ride disc. No one's brakes make noise, except perhaps when it's wet. But that's not an adjustment issue.

    But my overall point about hydro disc still stands though: they're not as "set-n-forget" or plug-n-play like many think or hope.
    So I ask again...
    What adjustments are you saying are required once hydraulic brakes are set up?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Been changing my own brakes on cars for 30 years. Never had to rebuild or shim a caliper. Or any maintenance. Replace the pads and rotors as required.
    You've had better luck that I've had. I remember an old Volvo 245 I once owned needing both front brakes overhauled/replaced. Those were 4-piston fixed calipers, too, where shimming was something you could do. I also needed to replace a caliper on an old Camry once, but it was a floating-caliper design, where shimming is unnecessary.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You should bleed once a year.
    Even if I'm just a fair weather rider? My shop said every 3 years is often enough. They probably know that since I have many bikes, I spread the mileage out and none of them gets more than 2K per year.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Never had a car less than 100,000mi. And I've never rebuilt a master cylinder.

    I don't. I ride with a bunch of people who ride disc. No one's brakes make noise, except perhaps when it's wet. But that's not an adjustment issue.


    So I ask again...
    What adjustments are you saying are required once hydraulic brakes are set up?
    First of all, let's get one thing outta way. Just because something doesn't happen to you, it doesn't mean it has happened to other people. Goolgle is your friends for find problems that happen to others and not to you.

    Now that we that that outta way, all you need to do is go to the mtbr forum to find plethora of disc brake issue. As a matter of fact, there were a few disc brake issue threads in this very forum recently.

    Now back to the essence of your question: "What adjusts are there to be made on disc brake once they're set up"?

    Fair enough question. Ok let's accept your axiom that there is no adjustment that can be made once a disc brake system is setup. Then, the follow up theorem is that when ever some has a disc brake issue (eg, noise), then they should just start replacing parts until the noise goes away because there is no adjustment to be made. Well maybe swipe the rotor with alcohol but that's about it, everything else start replace parts? That's a defeatist attitude and hardly an acceptable one for the consumers.

    I've "adjusted" plenty of rubbing rotor by shimming the caliper when the piston started to get sticky, but hasn't gone completely bad. While technically shimming is not an official method of adjustment per the user's manual, but to me it's a practical adjustment solution for a caliper that has been out of warranty and I wish to extend its life maybe for another year until I'm ready to overhaul it and bleed the system in one go. Call it what you want, but I call it adjustment in my books.

    And just for kicks, since you said you ride with a bunch of people and no one's brakes make noise, well i got my data points too. Here were 2 brand new bikes, one ridden for a few rides before the front disc started making loud noise, the latter one was hanging in an LBS. And please dude don't ask me again! If you don't think there's anything to adjust when a hydro disc is not working, then so be it. No need to debate with me with philosophical questions because I rather not spend time reply to such questions, rather spend time helping people with actual problems.



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  23. #23
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    No mechanical system or hydraulic system is immune to needing maintenance. The frequency is going to vary depending on what you do for preventive procedures like cleaning and the environment you ride in. Fluid should be changed/flushed on any hydraulic system or it will get contaminants including moisture which will accelerate wear and tear on the components and decrease performance. As far as adjustment on a hydraulic system, the only thing I've had to do is realign a front caliper a few times (probably a sticky piston, but realigning was easier) which only took a few minutes, and I did have to do a bleed of a rear brake once in 3 years of use when it got spongy. Can't speak to the TRP HYRD set up because I haven't owned one, but I have read quite a few reviews that included comments about ways to firm up the feel on those by overloading the system with fluid.

    Automobiles aren't a good comparison to bikes in my opinion because they can and are designed to go longer periods without attention due to less weight / aesthetic / space constraints. I've always done all my own brake work on cars/trailers (40 years) and as far as the hydraulic systems - I have replaced 1 master cylinder, about 4 wheel cylinders, 2 brake lines, and most recently 2 brake calipers on a 2001 boat trailer we've had since it was new. That's not much work in 40 years IMHO. I've had more issues with replacing rotors due to hot spots / warping than hydraulic issues, and those were all on one brand of vehicle which I see as a design issue not something inherent to disc brakes broadly.

    Working as a mechanic in an auto shop for a few years, I can't say I ever had to touch a customer's hydraulic system although I always bled brakes as part of brake service as a matter of practice, not need.
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  24. #24
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    First of all, let's get one thing outta way. Just because something doesn't happen to you, it doesn't mean it has happened to other people. Goolgle is your friends for find problems that happen to others and not to you.
    Sure it happens after many years. But it's not something you're regularly maintaining. Once in the life of a car.


    Ok let's accept your axiom that there is no adjustment that can be made once a disc brake system is setup.
    I didn't say that. I simply asked you what adjustments you say are required once hydraulic brakes are set up? Since you said it's a completely fairytale to think that hydro disc needs future no adjustment once they're setup.


    Then, the follow up theorem is that when ever some has a disc brake issue (eg, noise), then they should just start replacing parts until the noise goes away because there is no adjustment to be made. Well maybe swipe the rotor with alcohol but that's about it, everything else start replace parts? That's a defeatist attitude and hardly an acceptable one for the consumers.
    Noise is almost always contamination. Not really an adjustment to be made.

    I've "adjusted" plenty of rubbing rotor by shimming the caliper when the piston started to get sticky, but hasn't gone completely bad. While technically shimming is not an official method of adjustment per the user's manual, but to me it's a practical adjustment solution for a caliper that has been out of warranty and I wish to extend its life maybe for another year until I'm ready to overhaul it and bleed the system in one go. Call it what you want, but I call it adjustment in my books.
    I wouldn't call it an adjustment. I'd call it a hack used because of poor cleaning.

    And just for kicks, since you said you ride with a bunch of people and no one's brakes make noise, well i got my data points too. Here were 2 brand new bikes, one ridden for a few rides before the front disc started making loud noise, the latter one was hanging in an LBS. And please dude don't ask me again! If you don't think there's anything to adjust when a hydro disc is not working, then so be it.
    Back to noise again. On a new bike... I'd bet someone touched the rotor with greasy fingers. Or sprayed/dripped lube on them.

    No need to debate with me with philosophical questions because I rather not spend time reply to such questions, rather spend time helping people with actual problems.
    There's nothing philosophical. You made the claim that there's adjustments to be made once they're setup. So if we're helping people, we should educate them. I've been trying to get the answer but you keep dancing around it.

    So if I got it right, the adjustments required once hydraulic brakes are set up:
    1) Shimming rotors because of sticking pistons.
    2) Resolving brake squeal.

    Did I miss anything?
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