hydraulic brakes

JHZR2

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Hello, Looking to replace my avid mechanical disc brakes for better power and modulation. Looking at the avid elixir CR: http://www.sram.com/en/avid/hydraulicdiscbrakes/elixircr.php Any comments? My current setup has mechanical 160mm discs and they work well. Im looking to also put chris king hubs on. My wheels are mavic 317 from 2001 or so. Will I see a real difference if I go hydraulic 160mm discs? Do I gain or loose stopping power with hydraulics? Is it smart to go to 185 or 203mm, or is this too much stress on a standard skewer-type hub? I can see using the big ones on through-fork hubs, but not when the connection force is via a skewer system. Thoughts? I can do whatever, but want strong braking power, no loss to a slight gain in performance over the 160mm avid mechanicals, and long life. Is hydraulic where it's at?
 
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KISS! I see no need for hydraulic brakes on my bikes. I got an Avid BB7 on the front and a V-brake on the rear, the other bike has only V-brakes. Either combination is more than enough to launch me over the handlebar. Modulation and stopping power are just fine, but of course better with the mechanical disc brake compared to the V-brake. I have ridden bikes with hydraulic brakes, but didn't find modulation better. Braking power was greater, but overkill for most kinds of riding. If you weigh 250 pounds, or if you go downhill riding, by all means, go with hydraulic brakes. Larger rotors may mean you'll have to get a suitable fork and stronger spokes. Many forks are only rated for 160 mm rotors, and spoke strength is also critical.
 

JHZR2

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Also, one other question... Is the caliper in a specific line of brakes the same, regardless of if you use a 160, 185 or 203mm rotor? If so, how does one properly attach the caliper to the different rotors? If I buy a 160mm setup and want more, can I use the same caliper and just upgrade the rotor? What am I giving up or changing compared to buying the larger rotor/caliper kit upfront? Thanks!
 

JHZR2

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 Originally Posted By: moribundman
KISS! I see no need for hydraulic brakes on my bikes.
KISS is right, but I find my mechanicals always going out of adjustment one way or another... no constant feel. I always get a rub or too much pull anytime I remove the wheel or make changes. Don't know why, may be my hubs/spokes are lousy and give too much play. I kind of figured the hydraulic units would be more self-adjusting, at least to some extent. OK, to re-think this...
 
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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Also, one other question... Is the caliper in a specific line of brakes the same, regardless of if you use a 160, 185 or 203mm rotor? If so, how does one properly attach the caliper to the different rotors? If I buy a 160mm setup and want more, can I use the same caliper and just upgrade the rotor? What am I giving up or changing compared to buying the larger rotor/caliper kit upfront? Thanks!
You need a new caliper mount ("disc brake adaptor") if you move to a larger rotor. The caliper itself is the same for all rotors.
 
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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
I always get a rub or too much pull anytime I remove the wheel or make changes.
I see. I don't normally remove the wheel, so this hasn't been a potential issue for me. I do adjust the inboard pad occasionally, which is very easy with the BB7. I also have speed dial levers for further adjustment on the fly.
 
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I tend to agree about the KISS method too for things, but I think it applies with hydraulic brakes. You don't have to do anything for a season or 2, unless you race, and then you just change pads. I've had like 5 different hydro brakes, and never had a major issue with any of them (usually just noise, some drag, etc) Right now I have Avid Juicy 7's on my Cannondale, I love them.
 

JHZR2

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my wife has juicy 3 brakes on her cannondale, I find them a bit weak... perhaps an air bubble issue???
 
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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
my wife has juicy 3 brakes on her cannondale, I find them a bit weak... perhaps an air bubble issue???
I guess its a possibility.. More likely is just a contaminated pad, basically not making the braking surface as grabby.. I have a 7" (185mm) rotor on the front of my bike, and a standard 6" 160mm on the back, and it stops awesome. I had Juicy 5's on a Fuel EX-8 before, also great. The only difference between the 3 and 5 is apparently the 3 is a single piece lever, whereas the 5's have a 2 piece design, you can install and remove them without having to slide them onto the bar. La-de-da! :P
 
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On one bike with hydraulic brakes that I rode the inboard pad got so hot that it transferred enough heat to the piston to make the fluid in the caliper boil during a several mile long steep descent. That's when I decided that I'd rather stick with mechanical brakes. Also, if a hydraulic brake develops an issue, it's probably not possible to make a field repair. Mechanical brakes rarely fail completely.
 
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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
my wife has juicy 3 brakes on her cannondale, I find them a bit weak... perhaps an air bubble issue???
Juicy 3s should be fine. I had to send my Juicy 7s to Avid to have the master cylinders rebuilt and in the meantime, I bought some Juicy 3s so I could still use the bike. They worked perfectly for me. Get the bleed kit and lightly sand your wife's rotors and pads. I don't know how well the BB7s work, but my stepson had some cable actuated Hayes discs on his bike and they required constant attention. Once I switched him to hydraulics, they've been very trouble free.
 
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 Originally Posted By: moribundman
On one bike with hydraulic brakes that I rode the inboard pad got so hot that it transferred enough heat to the piston to make the fluid in the caliper boil during a several mile long steep descent. That's when I decided that I'd rather stick with mechanical brakes. Also, if a hydraulic brake develops an issue, it's probably not possible to make a field repair. Mechanical brakes rarely fail completely.
Need big rotors for long descents really... I also pump my brakes on long descents just like I would in a car.. Allows a few seconds in between applications for them to cool a little bit.
 
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