Which type of brakes should I go for?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
drkash
Posts: 5
Joined: 2 Jun 2020, 8:07am

Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby drkash » 2 Jun 2020, 8:27am

Hi, first post so be nice! :wink:

I currently have a 8yr old cheap Apollo mountain bike which is quiet heavy. I'm looking at getting a new hybrid bike for road cycling 20-30km on weekends and also need something when causally going on trails and in the woods with the kids. Budget around £400-600. So far looking at bikes such as the Trek FX1, Trek FX2 Disc, Boardman HYB 8.6, Giant Escape 1/2 Disc.

My question is what kind of brakes should I be looking for? Rim brakes? Mechanical discs? Hydraulic discs?

A friend who is a keen cycler has advised me to avoid discs at this price point as they won't be good quality / reliable. I am not one to be able to do self maintenance so would end up going to a local bike store for maintenance and repairs so keen on something which is reliable and low maintenance.

Many thanks!

pwa
Posts: 12405
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby pwa » 2 Jun 2020, 8:40am

At that price point I think you might be best going for Vee (rim) brakes, but take the time to learn how to do some basic maintenance because it isn't difficult and it saves the hassle of taking the bike to a shop every time a five minute adjustment needs doing.

Marcus Aurelius
Posts: 1512
Joined: 1 Feb 2018, 10:20am

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 2 Jun 2020, 9:34am

Most manufacturers will spec hydraulic disc brakes at that price point ( certainly towards the 600 pound mark ) The only time that won’t be the case is when a ‘big name’ bike manufacturer, tries to bring a bike’s price down, by using mechanical disc brakes. Try something like the Boardman you linked, the brakes are actually quite good, given the price of the bike, so you’re mate may be living in the past a bit. Hydraulic disc brakes are far less of a faff than cable operated discs, and they work better too. Halfords have knocked 50 quid off the RRP as well, which makes the HYB 8.6 even more appealing, that’s what I’d go for if it was my money.

Brucey
Posts: 39436
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby Brucey » 2 Jun 2020, 12:01pm

If you are the kind of cyclist that leaves your bike untouched for months at a time over the winter, I would suggest that you don't get a bike with hydraulic brakes. When you come to use the bike again it is quite likely that they brakes will have suffered some (probably corrosion related) failure during storage. LBS will want to fit new brakes.... ££. Even if you are a keen DIYer economic repair may not be possible.

If you are choosing between cable discs and rim brakes at that price point it is a toss-up as to which is 'best'. Both will need maintenance, but it will be slightly different in each case.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

mercalia
Posts: 13535
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby mercalia » 2 Jun 2020, 12:23pm

Brucey wrote:If you are the kind of cyclist that leaves your bike untouched for months at a time over the winter, I would suggest that you don't get a bike with hydraulic brakes. When you come to use the bike again it is quite likely that they brakes will have suffered some (probably corrosion related) failure during storage. LBS will want to fit new brakes.... ££. Even if you are a keen DIYer economic repair may not be possible.

If you are choosing between cable discs and rim brakes at that price point it is a toss-up as to which is 'best'. Both will need maintenance, but it will be slightly different in each case.

cheers


do mechanical disc brakes seize up if you dont use them ( as do hydraulics on eg motor bikes) or are they really rim brakes but on discs rather than rims?

drkash
Posts: 5
Joined: 2 Jun 2020, 8:07am

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby drkash » 2 Jun 2020, 12:28pm

Thanks for the replies. Yes over winter I won't use the bike, so it will be sat in the garage for at least 4 months each year.

reohn2
Posts: 39402
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby reohn2 » 2 Jun 2020, 12:30pm

Voodoo Marasa gets very good reviews
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I cycle therefore I am.

slowster
Posts: 1404
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby slowster » 2 Jun 2020, 5:34pm

The following videos and articles show how to adjust V brakes, mechanical disc brakes and (Shimano) hydraulic disc brakes, and depending upon your mechanical aptitude might help you decide which you would prefer:

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/linear-pull-brake-service

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/mechanical-disc-brake-alignment

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/shimano-hydraulic-brake-service-and-adjustment.

Peter F
Posts: 139
Joined: 25 May 2020, 8:16am

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby Peter F » 3 Jun 2020, 7:27pm

Brucey wrote:If you are the kind of cyclist that leaves your bike untouched for months at a time over the winter, I would suggest that you don't get a bike with hydraulic brakes. When you come to use the bike again it is quite likely that they brakes will have suffered some (probably corrosion related) failure during storage. LBS will want to fit new brakes.... ££. Even if you are a keen DIYer economic repair may not be possible.

If you are choosing between cable discs and rim brakes at that price point it is a toss-up as to which is 'best'. Both will need maintenance, but it will be slightly different in each case.

cheers


I don't agree with this.

You can get entry level Shimano hydraulics on a bike at that price point and in terms of performance they are vastly better than rim brakes and better than cable discs by some margin. I have a £500 hybrid with Shimano M315 discs that gets used as a winter bike and then for occasional off road stuff over the summer. It sees a fair bit of abuse and the brakes manage just fine. I have had to replace pads and bleed the system, due to air and water ingress, but it has been put through some pretty heavy going off road stuff in all weathers.

Also, fir a DIYer there is nothing to be afraid of with hydraulics. I was nervous at first but once you know what you're doing they are really quite straight forward.

For me the performance difference means I wouldn't buy myself a bike with anything else fitted.

If you really don't want to though, go for cable discs. They still out perform rim brakes comfortably.

But seriously, hydraulics all the way. If you get stuck with repairing them, just post on here and people will be able to help.

pwa
Posts: 12405
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby pwa » 3 Jun 2020, 7:37pm

Peter F wrote:
Brucey wrote:If you are the kind of cyclist that leaves your bike untouched for months at a time over the winter, I would suggest that you don't get a bike with hydraulic brakes. When you come to use the bike again it is quite likely that they brakes will have suffered some (probably corrosion related) failure during storage. LBS will want to fit new brakes.... ££. Even if you are a keen DIYer economic repair may not be possible.

If you are choosing between cable discs and rim brakes at that price point it is a toss-up as to which is 'best'. Both will need maintenance, but it will be slightly different in each case.

cheers


I don't agree with this.

You can get entry level Shimano hydraulics on a bike at that price point and in terms of performance they are vastly better than rim brakes and better than cable discs by some margin. I have a £500 hybrid with Shimano M315 discs that gets used as a winter bike and then for occasional off road stuff over the summer. It sees a fair bit of abuse and the brakes manage just fine. I have had to replace pads and bleed the system, due to air and water ingress, but it has been put through some pretty heavy going off road stuff in all weathers.

Also, fir a DIYer there is nothing to be afraid of with hydraulics. I was nervous at first but once you know what you're doing they are really quite straight forward.

For me the performance difference means I wouldn't buy myself a bike with anything else fitted.

If you really don't want to though, go for cable discs. They still out perform rim brakes comfortably.

But seriously, hydraulics all the way. If you get stuck with repairing them, just post on here and people will be able to help.


I think Brucey's point was about bikes that are left standing over winter, unused for months at a time. It sounds like yours gets used all the time. Some mechanical things seize up if left unused in damp air.

But your happy experience with your hydraulic brakes is certainly worth noting.

Brucey
Posts: 39436
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby Brucey » 3 Jun 2020, 7:49pm

Peter F wrote: ….I don't agree with this.....

You can get entry level Shimano hydraulics …... If you get stuck with repairing them, just post on here and people will be able to help.


where I am, every winter there is a steady stream of folk with such brakes needing them replaced at the LBS. Every spring when bikes come out of winter slumber, there are suddenly more. The most common failure is a persistent leak at the caliper end, caused by corrosion in the caliper body where the piston seal sits. Repair is fiddly and uncertain, since you can't easily buy the seals and the smallest leak past the caliper seal results in the same problem recurring repeatedly. This failure mode is so persistent that most users who stick with it just accept that every year or eighteen months new parts will be required.

Repairs at the LBS are typically new caliper and pads, maybe new disc as well, fit and bleed. Costs are similar (with flat bars) to a DIY repair in which a pre-bled brake (MC, hose and caliper) is fitted.

I think you can stave off this kind of failure by greasing the pistons using silicone grease, but getting it in the right place is not easy.

IME folk coming from aged Apollo MTBs don't always take well to the increased maintenance/repair demands of such brakes; it doesn't matter how well they work when they are working the best they will do is stop you and there are many brakes that are easier to repair that will do that.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peter F
Posts: 139
Joined: 25 May 2020, 8:16am

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby Peter F » 3 Jun 2020, 7:51pm

pwa wrote:
Peter F wrote:
Brucey wrote:If you are the kind of cyclist that leaves your bike untouched for months at a time over the winter, I would suggest that you don't get a bike with hydraulic brakes. When you come to use the bike again it is quite likely that they brakes will have suffered some (probably corrosion related) failure during storage. LBS will want to fit new brakes.... ££. Even if you are a keen DIYer economic repair may not be possible.

If you are choosing between cable discs and rim brakes at that price point it is a toss-up as to which is 'best'. Both will need maintenance, but it will be slightly different in each case.

cheers


I don't agree with this.

You can get entry level Shimano hydraulics on a bike at that price point and in terms of performance they are vastly better than rim brakes and better than cable discs by some margin. I have a £500 hybrid with Shimano M315 discs that gets used as a winter bike and then for occasional off road stuff over the summer. It sees a fair bit of abuse and the brakes manage just fine. I have had to replace pads and bleed the system, due to air and water ingress, but it has been put through some pretty heavy going off road stuff in all weathers.

Also, fir a DIYer there is nothing to be afraid of with hydraulics. I was nervous at first but once you know what you're doing they are really quite straight forward.

For me the performance difference means I wouldn't buy myself a bike with anything else fitted.

If you really don't want to though, go for cable discs. They still out perform rim brakes comfortably.

But seriously, hydraulics all the way. If you get stuck with repairing them, just post on here and people will be able to help.


I think Brucey's point was about bikes that are left standing over winter, unused for months at a time. It sounds like yours gets used all the time. Some mechanical things seize up if left unused in damp air.

But your happy experience with your hydraulic brakes is certainly worth noting.


I should clarify, my hybrid gets used occasionally over the summer. I moved it yesterday for the first time in about 3 months and the brakes were fine. The freewheel had seized but that's a different issue.

My road bike has entry level hydraulics, Shimano BR785. It was the cheapest road bike you could get at the time with hydraulics and that does get left untouched for 5 to 6 months every year and has done so for the last 3 years and aside from pads the brakes have required no maintenance.

pwa
Posts: 12405
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby pwa » 3 Jun 2020, 8:02pm

duplicate post
Last edited by pwa on 3 Jun 2020, 8:04pm, edited 1 time in total.

pwa
Posts: 12405
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby pwa » 3 Jun 2020, 8:03pm

Peter F wrote:

I should clarify, my hybrid gets used occasionally over the summer. I moved it yesterday for the first time in about 3 months and the brakes were fine. The freewheel had seized but that's a different issue.

My road bike has entry level hydraulics, Shimano BR785. It was the cheapest road bike you could get at the time with hydraulics and that does get left untouched for 5 to 6 months every year and has done so for the last 3 years and aside from pads the brakes have required no maintenance.


Sounds good. My only experience with hydraulics was on a tandem and that is a bit different. Heat build-up caused the fluid to stop working and I lost all braking in that rear brake. That is less likely on a solo bike. my current bikes have rim brakes which work fine, in that I can brake up to the point where the wheels lock, and that is as much braking as any brake can do. The difference being that I have to pull hard to do that and you just have to do a moderate squeeze, which is nice. And my brakes take even more force in the wet, of course. But I know how to maintain them and if something goes wrong (though it never does) I can fix it at the roadside. I suppose it is just what I know.

Peter F
Posts: 139
Joined: 25 May 2020, 8:16am

Re: Which type of brakes should I go for?

Postby Peter F » 3 Jun 2020, 8:06pm

Brucey wrote:
Peter F wrote: ….I don't agree with this.....

You can get entry level Shimano hydraulics …... If you get stuck with repairing them, just post on here and people will be able to help.


where I am, every winter there is a steady stream of folk with such brakes needing them replaced at the LBS. Every spring when bikes come out of winter slumber, there are suddenly more. The most common failure is a persistent leak at the caliper end, caused by corrosion in the caliper body where the piston seal sits. Repair is fiddly and uncertain, since you can't easily buy the seals and the smallest leak past the caliper seal results in the same problem recurring repeatedly. This failure mode is so persistent that most users who stick with it just accept that every year or eighteen months new parts will be required.

Repairs at the LBS are typically new caliper and pads, maybe new disc as well, fit and bleed. Costs are similar (with flat bars) to a DIY repair in which a pre-bled brake (MC, hose and caliper) is fitted.

I think you can stave off this kind of failure by greasing the pistons using silicone grease, but getting it in the right place is not easy.

IME folk coming from aged Apollo MTBs don't always take well to the increased maintenance/repair demands of such brakes; it doesn't matter how well they work when they are working the best they will do is stop you and there are many brakes that are easier to repair that will do that.

cheers

If the local bike shop are doing all that for a leaky caliper sounds like they're taking advantage. Discs should not need replacing or hoses or pads. Simply replace the caliper and bleed the system. New calipers on entry level brakes can be had for under £20, certainly Shimano Altus ones can. Bleed kit cost me £16 including genuine shinano oil.

Maybe I've been lucky, but my hybrid hasn't been pampered. In 2300 miles it's needed a new bottom bracket, a new rear derailleur, new cassette, chain and both front and rear wheel bearings are in need of replacement. As I said, the bike gets abused and is ridden through mud, sand and water as well as rocky terrain. I was it and occasionally use bike protection spray, but I never grease caliper piston etc.