hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Marcus Aurelius
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 8 Feb 2020, 8:10am

Angstrom wrote:I'm surprised no-one mentioned the cable actuated hydraulic disk brakes. I don't own any, but from what I've read, they seem to be "best of both worlds".
If I'd be onto getting a new bike/build, that's what I'd lean towards.

The HY/RD type brakes are a good compromise, however, they are the best and worst of both worlds simultaneously, in some respects. If the cable breaks, you have no brakes, and it’s not an easy bodge to get them back, if you’re out and about when it happens, but they are much simpler to work with, because there’s no hose to worry about, the reservoir is on the callipers.

Angstrom
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby Angstrom » 8 Feb 2020, 8:13am

Marcus Aurelius wrote:
Angstrom wrote:I'm surprised no-one mentioned the cable actuated hydraulic disk brakes. I don't own any, but from what I've read, they seem to be "best of both worlds".
If I'd be onto getting a new bike/build, that's what I'd lean towards.

If the cable breaks, you have no brakes,

Likewise on my rim brakes...

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 8 Feb 2020, 9:48am

Angstrom wrote:
Marcus Aurelius wrote:
Angstrom wrote:I'm surprised no-one mentioned the cable actuated hydraulic disk brakes. I don't own any, but from what I've read, they seem to be "best of both worlds".
If I'd be onto getting a new bike/build, that's what I'd lean towards.

If the cable breaks, you have no brakes,

Likewise on my rim brakes...

It’s easier to bodge repair a rim brake cable failure.

reohn2
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby reohn2 » 8 Feb 2020, 10:34am

Marcus Aurelius wrote:
Angstrom wrote:
Marcus Aurelius wrote:If the cable breaks, you have no brakes,

Likewise on my rim brakes...

It’s easier to bodge repair a rim brake cable failure.

Yep,stop with the one remaining brake and fit the new cable I carry with me along with the gear cable :wink:
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reohn2
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby reohn2 » 8 Feb 2020, 10:48am

Biospace wrote:Disc brakes on bikes are wonderful things when used for the purpose intended - off road when rims are often submerged through mud and water and when a rim has been knocked out of true. And so they also work well on bikes used in the wet through heavy traffic.

I'm very willing to 'carry' the extra weight of disc brakes for the consisently good predictable braking they offer in all weathers on or off road

Dragging around an extra half kilo of mass and losing the ability of forks to smooth over washboard surfaces is enough for me to not choose them on a bike intended for carrying luggage over a distance - add in the cooling problems which mean severe brake fade when really hot and the risk of boiling fluid if there's hydraulic actuation.

Good luck with any none suspension fork smoothing out washboard road surfaces,a much better solution are larger section tyres run at correct PSI's for load carried.

Cable setups are simple (sadly there's a mistaken belief around today which associates simple with bad) and aren't affected by severe heat generated by hub disc brakes, something which rules out any hydraulics on a bike used for touring, for me

Which I may agree with you about hydros,my/our experience of cable discs on tandems nullifies any doubts about them for touring

Every system has its good and less good points, perhaps over-familiarity helps hide the clever aspects of cable operation as well as rim braking. Making use of a couple of massive, seperate and well-cooled disc surfaces which load the forks evenly at the frame end instead of lob-sidedly at the hub is a very logical and intelligent, if unfashionable choice. Using these huge discs as an integral part of the wheel is clever engineering. For sure there's the issue of rims wearing over a few thousand miles (but if the use has been so hard the braking surfaces have worn thin, chances are the wheels are ready for rebuild/replacement anyway) and the couple of minutes' adjustment every few hundred miles in hilly ground, time which is well spent as it encourages a close look at the bike's safety-critical parts.

It's a matter of weighing up the various pros and cons of different systems - I choose hydraulic operated hub disc calipers for relatively low speeds in all weathers on a relatively neglected bike, cables and rim brakes when there's higher speed and more mass and a lot more energy to turn into heat.

I disagree.the proof of the pudding is in the eating,I've eaten enough pudding of various flavours,sometimes very fast,to know what I like and why.
BB7 cable disc pudding yum yum :wink:
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nsew
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby nsew » 8 Feb 2020, 11:35am

Keep an eye on your reservoir levels while descending.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 8 Feb 2020, 1:45pm

reohn2 wrote:
Marcus Aurelius wrote:
Angstrom wrote:Likewise on my rim brakes...

It’s easier to bodge repair a rim brake cable failure.

Yep,stop with the one remaining brake and fit the new cable I carry with me along with the gear cable :wink:


That will work nicely :lol:

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Si
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby Si » 8 Feb 2020, 4:48pm

My personal experience.....YMMV.....

I've Vs, calipers, cable discs and hydros, all of reasonable quality, and guess what.....they all work :D

If it's going to be wet, and indeed, wet and muddy off road, I prefer discs, otherwise they are pretty similar when set up right.

Hydros, I find, are more of a faff to maintain as I find bleeding them a chore...I can do it perfectly well, just find it more effort than maintaining cable brakes. On the other hand the hydros have more power.

Interestingly, I have spyres on one bike and in the dry I can't lock the wheels from the hoods like I could with Vs or caliper, but I still find them better as they stop me just as well, plenty of modulation, reliable, etc.

If some one gave me some quality drop bar hydros then I'd happily use them, but I'm happy enough with my cables that I don't feel I need to upgrade.

Angstrom
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby Angstrom » 8 Feb 2020, 8:18pm

I don't think the discussion about discs is about how good they are. Wether hydros or cable actuated, consensus and feedback is plentiful to say that, in general, they're "better" than rim brakes.

The question being asked to each of us (for which there isn't a good or bad answer):
"Are the advantages worth :
a) the cost
b) the possible increased difficulty to solve a problem on the road (and decide the likelyhood in one's particular case)
c) the risk, although statistically very limited and which happens in well identified situations in which proper handling can prevent it?"

Different people, different answer.

reohn2
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby reohn2 » 9 Feb 2020, 12:29am

Angstrom wrote:I don't think the discussion about discs is about how good they are. Wether hydros or cable actuated, consensus and feedback is plentiful to say that, in general, they're "better" than rim brakes.

But the OP's question was whether to choose between cable or hydo discs

The question being asked to each of us (for which there isn't a good or bad answer):
"Are the advantages worth :
a) the cost
b) the possible increased difficulty to solve a problem on the road (and decide the likelyhood in one's particular case)
c) the risk, although statistically very limited and which happens in well identified situations in which proper handling can prevent it?"

Different people, different answer.

It wasn't the question but go on then I'll play.
In answer to:-
a)If by 'cost' you mean over and above rim brakes.If you want consistently good braking in all weathers,don't want rim wear,a grey sludge covered bike and londer lasting brake pads,discs are worth the extra cost.Some may complain that a disc equiped bike needs a harsher riding fork,touring bikes that'll take a front rack and load already have a harsher riding fork.

b)there is more difficulty repairing discs roadside,but then you have weigh up how often they're likely to need repairing.My cable discs of choice can be stripped and repaired(with a service kit which needs to be carried and weighs no more than 50 to 100g)roadside in approx 30 to 45minutes.
There are many,many experienced expedition touring cyclists on heavy laden bikes in far flung places using discs,both hydro and cable.
I strongly suspect it's because they find them a better braking system for that kind of touring.

I don't quite understand c),could elaborate?
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Tigerbiten
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby Tigerbiten » 9 Feb 2020, 1:14am

The risk from c:- is on a silly high speed descents on a silly steep hills you'll dump to much heat into the brakes too quickly and things will go wrong ..........

With rim brake you'll suffer a catastrophic puncture when the tyre fails.
With disk brakes you'll either lose the ability to slow down/stop when they fade out or they will suddenly lock on without the ability to release them.

m-gineering
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby m-gineering » 9 Feb 2020, 10:18am

reohn2 wrote:Some may complain that a disc equiped bike needs a harsher riding fork,touring bikes that'll take a front rack and load already have a harsher riding fork.


There is a load of difference in building a fork which can cope with the symmetrical stresses of a bit more load and a frontrack, and one which will accept all the braking loads fed into the lower portion of a single forkblade without breaking or ejecting the wheel

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reohn2
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby reohn2 » 9 Feb 2020, 10:28am

m-gineering wrote:There is a load of difference in building a fork which can cope with the symmetrical stresses of a bit more load and a frontrack, and one which will accept all the braking loads fed into the lower portion of a single forkblade without breaking or ejecting the wheel

I appreciate that but from a ride perspective there's not a lot of difference and anyway due to the diabolical state of UK roads and the rough tracks I ride I prefer 37mm+ quality supple tyres which take the sting out of them.My Salsa Vaya can take a front rack is disc equiped and is very comfortable to ride
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reohn2
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby reohn2 » 9 Feb 2020, 10:41am

Tigerbiten wrote:The risk from c:- is on a silly high speed descents on a silly steep hills you'll dump to much heat into the brakes too quickly and things will go wrong ..........

With rim brake you'll suffer a catastrophic puncture when the tyre fails.
With disk brakes you'll either lose the ability to slow down/stop when they fade out or they will suddenly lock on without the ability to release them.

I can only repeat my experience of BB7 discs on tandems albeit with 203mm rotors,which have never faded or locked on and we've descended some pretty steep hills and or long hills,when we've turned the rear rotor a bluey through to straw colour,something that at the time concerned me that the (over)heating may have caused the rotor to go way out of rptrue though my worries were unfounded.

I have however witnessed another tandem suffer a blowout with rim brakes.
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Morzedec
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Re: hydraulic disc brakes v cable disc brakes

Postby Morzedec » 9 Feb 2020, 10:55am

As a 'heavy', long distance tourist, I'd never, ever, use disc brakes: the risk of damage on bad surfaces, lack of available spares, and time taken on repairs all outweigh the use of rim brakes. Change a cable, change a block, and get going: your next camp site may be 100km away.

But then, I'm old-fashioned, as are all my bikes.

Happy days,