Converting cable disc brake to hydraulic

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
djbs10
Posts: 22
Joined: 15 Apr 2017, 8:10pm

Converting cable disc brake to hydraulic

Postby djbs10 » 13 Apr 2019, 9:41pm

Hi is there any kits that are worth changing from cable to hydraulic brakes on a mtb? Seen a few on eBay but not sure if anyone has done this?
Regards Dan

ElCani
Posts: 66
Joined: 5 Mar 2015, 11:24am

Re: Converting cable disc brake to hydraulic

Postby ElCani » 13 Apr 2019, 9:59pm

Whether it’s worth it depends on how you use the bike and what it is about your current brakes that you don’t like. Generally hydraulics are more powerful, are easier to modulate and have a nicer feel.
You will need to buy new levers and calipers, these can be quite be quite inexpensive for an MTB. You can probably keep your current discs, assuming they’re not worn. You may need adapters to ensure the calipers work with your frame and the size of disc you have. Have a look at Shimano Deore, they are good brakes and come ready-to-use, at least in theory.
If you give more info about your current set up and why you feel the need to change, people will be able to give more specific advice.

Cheers.

Brucey
Posts: 33941
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Converting cable disc brake to hydraulic

Postby Brucey » 13 Apr 2019, 10:59pm

plenty on ebay like you say;

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=shimano+hydraulic+brakes

potential snags are

a) that the correct discs have a different track width from your old ones, so you need new discs as well as everything else
b) that if you have integrated shifters and brake levers you will need new shifters too
c) that the hoses won't be the right length or be easily fitted to the frame
d) that if/when the hydro brakes spring a leak, you will need to buy new ones

mechanical disc brakes can be fettled and repaired to your heart's content. Decent cables and pads make a huge difference here. But even when they are set up as well as they can be, mechanical discs don't have such good modulation as hydros; either brake can be a good choice depending on your priorities.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

gxaustin
Posts: 449
Joined: 23 Sep 2015, 12:07pm

Re: Converting cable disc brake to hydraulic

Postby gxaustin » 13 Apr 2019, 11:19pm

I have TRP cable hydraulic. They seem to work well to me. All you need is new calipers.

Brucey
Posts: 33941
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Converting cable disc brake to hydraulic

Postby Brucey » 13 Apr 2019, 11:23pm

gxaustin wrote:I have TRP cable hydraulic. They seem to work well to me. All you need is new calipers.


HyRd?

if so, there's a clue in the name that they work with 'road' brake levers not MTB ones. They also cost a lot more; by contrast you can buy a set of pre-bled MTB hydros for about £30.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

gxaustin
Posts: 449
Joined: 23 Sep 2015, 12:07pm

Re: Converting cable disc brake to hydraulic

Postby gxaustin » 14 Apr 2019, 11:50am

if so, there's a clue in the name that they work with 'road' brake levers not MTB ones. They also cost a lot more; by contrast you can buy a set of pre-bled MTB hydros for about £30.


Wow thats cheap.
I used to use road calipers on a flat bar - with suitable levers. The TRP cable hydros are pretty expensive though.

RobinS
Posts: 103
Joined: 9 Apr 2015, 10:01am

Re: Converting cable disc brake to hydraulic

Postby RobinS » 14 Apr 2019, 12:05pm

Well I swapped the knackered Avid hydraulic disc brakes on the Mrs's MTB for new Avid cable actuated discs with no issues at all - everything just fitted straight on. (went that way because she didn't like the hydraulics but loved the cable ones on her touring bike, and I have become expert at maintaining and fettling the cable ones, and also the hydraulics are rubbish to maintain - seem designed to throw away and replace which I don't like).

User avatar
Gattonero
Posts: 3540
Joined: 31 Jan 2016, 1:35pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Converting cable disc brake to hydraulic

Postby Gattonero » 14 Apr 2019, 12:06pm

Another thing to consider: mechanical disk brakes do require manual adjustment, hydraulics do self-adjust the wear of the pads.
Worth to point out that any good quality hydraulic caliper has the pistons moving in a more effective manner than most of the mechanical calipers, the latter often do suffer from mis-aligned pads which results in annoying rubbing of the rotors.

The one that has a bit of experience in servicing brakes, can go for used Hope brakes, they're always excellent and all the spares are available. But if not experienced, I'd go for Shimano brakes and leave Avid ones aside :wink:
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

User avatar
Gattonero
Posts: 3540
Joined: 31 Jan 2016, 1:35pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Converting cable disc brake to hydraulic

Postby Gattonero » 14 Apr 2019, 12:07pm

RobinS wrote:... and also the hydraulics are rubbish to maintain - seem designed to throw away and replace which I don't like).


Avid, innit? :lol:
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...