Author Topic: Best mechanical disk brakes  (Read 3765 times)

Best mechanical disk brakes
« on: April 15, 2018, 03:07:50 pm »
Just wondering what the best mechanical disk brakes are at the moment.  Once upon a time Avid BB7's were regarded as the best but is that still the case?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 03:14:48 pm »

Depends who you ask, and what you define as "best".

I like the TRP Spyre on my vagabond.

There'll be someone along shortly to tell me they aren't upto the task... I've only done 2600km on them, so the jury is still out on their longevity (tho still on the original pads)

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 04:51:53 pm »
What sort of levers will you be using? Why not hydraulic?

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2018, 04:57:34 pm »
MTB levers.   I just want to know about mechanicals thanks.

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2018, 05:24:21 pm »
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 05:36:24 pm »
If you want to use MTB levers then I’d go for BB7s. I may be wrong but I think the Spyres are road only. Well set up BB7s work really well

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2018, 05:52:56 pm »
I may be wrong but I think the Spyres are road only.
You are right, the MTB version is called Spyke.
I have one and like it, there is (Probably covered in the other thread) some talk about them being less reliable than the BB7s. but for me they made fitting a rack easier and that was the deciding factor.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2018, 06:10:59 pm »
BB7 is the best cable disc I've used on a road bike.

Clearances are tight but adjustment is a doddle.  They don't come close to full Hydraulics and are no better than decent rim brakes in the dry. 
I have them on my winter bike because they are superior to rim brakes on wet, skoggy lanes and you aren't grinding your wheels away.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 04:05:33 pm »
the two crunchy issues are, for me

1) Spyke/spyres allow easier rack fitment

2) BB7 is inherently stronger/simpler internally, which means you can maintain them. The spyke/spyre has a rather complicated mechanism inside that is far more difficult to service and far more likely to suffer corrosion damage.

There are other details too. BTW the latest Spyre has a grub screw to anchor the brake cable, which is IMHO not an improvement.

cheers

whosatthewheel

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2018, 10:15:05 am »
Juin Tech R1 cable operated hydraulics are my favourite at the moment... competitively priced too, at 149 pounds for the pair

menthel

  • Jim is my real, actual name
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2018, 10:41:12 am »
I have had BB5, BB7 and HY-RD brakes and all of them pale in comparison with the shimano 105 level hydraulics I have now. More expensive but much, much better.

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2018, 11:03:04 am »
If you're using MTB levers you can get a complete set of brand new, current model Shimano hydraulics (front and rear, levers and callipers, prefilled and connected) for £45. I have some on my hybrid and there's nothing obviously cheapo about them.

whosatthewheel

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2018, 11:11:17 am »
yebbut clearly the OP is interested in mechanicals for a reason... I am sure he is aware that hydraulics are better and can be had cheap in the MTBike version.
Problem is the full hydraulic upgrade on road STI is not a cheap upgrade... 3-400 GBP if one already has the correct groupset, otherwise more.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2018, 11:19:03 am »
yebbut clearly the OP is interested in mechanicals for a reason... I am sure he is aware that hydraulics are better and can be had cheap in the MTBike version.
Problem is the full hydraulic upgrade on road STI is not a cheap upgrade... 3-400 GBP if one already has the correct groupset, otherwise more.

Note, there are many reasons for choosing cable over hydraulics. Failure mode is one of them. If your brakes start giving you issues, 3 days away from the nearest big town on a big tour or race, chances are you can bodge a cable brake until you get to a proper bike shop. With hydraulics how do you fix them in the middle of nowhere?

Hydraulics may offer better braking performance, but at what cost.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 11:35:04 am »
Hydraulic brakes are much more reliable in the first place, so a failure is very unlikely. It's easier to bleed a brake than it is to replace a brake cable (if you have the appropriate tools).

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2018, 11:37:49 am »
Hydraulic brakes are much more reliable in the first place, so a failure is very unlikely. It's easier to bleed a brake than it is to replace a brake cable (if you have the appropriate tools).

What are the appropriate tools? Are they included in your standard cyclists multitool?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2018, 11:41:04 am »
Ugh. This place.  :facepalm:

BB7s for me. Prefer them to the SLX and XT hydraulics I have and have had. Although, disclaimer, I've not used any of the newer cable disks that are on the market these days. They just work so never needed to change.

whosatthewheel

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2018, 11:54:44 am »
The idea that a fully mechanical and cable operated bike is preferrable when cycling in remote locations is a bit of a myth... I have to admit I buy into the myth and thend not to touch electric gears and stuff with a barge pole.

I recall changing the pads on the BB7 as being very tedious, due to a stubborn retainer that never wanted to slide back in place... that would annoy me endlessly if I had to do that at the side of the road in Uzbekistan.

The above mentioned cable operated hydro Juin Tech R1 are extremely simple to fit, very easy to replace the pads, very easy pad adjustment mechanism (unlike the spyres and their secretely hidden, impossible to reach Allen key slot of mysterious size) ... yes, they are not self adjusting as other hydro brakes, but that is actually better in my opinion, at least you can appreciate pads are wearing, as opposed to finding out when it's too late.



Then if you really don't trust anything hydraulic, you can carry a spare BB7 in your luggage when you travel to Uzbekistan

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2018, 12:00:07 pm »
Hydraulic brakes are much more reliable in the first place, so a failure is very unlikely. It's easier to bleed a brake than it is to replace a brake cable (if you have the appropriate tools).

For some, others shouldn't be allowed anywhere near anything hydraulic, no matter what tools you've got. JCB special products can testify to this  :facepalm:

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2018, 12:33:40 pm »
We'll, I am not going to carry a hydraulic bleed kit around the Highlands and Islands, just a brake cable as I do now.  I appreciate that some folk prefer hydraulic but I am happy to stick with cable thanks.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2018, 12:44:18 pm »
Quite.  Hydraulic is brilliant on a mountain bike or on a low-maintenance utility bike, but the way I see it, the ability to swap the front and rear braking components to handle an arbitrary failure (realistically, crash or transportation damage) is desirable on a tourer, which precludes mucking about with hoses.  It's not like BB7s are bad brakes, and once you have the knack of setting them up and changing the pads, you have the knack of setting them up and changing the pads.

And I accept there's a certain degree of hypocrisy here: The only brake failure I've experienced while touring was due to having accidentally brought a galvanised cable inner to Wales.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2021, 07:56:01 pm »
HK is looking at getting a new fork for her trike, running both V-brake and disc brake. The disc brake needs to be cable operated to suit her Shimano triple STI levers.

Is the cable disc brake choice still between Spyre and BB7 or is there a better newcomer (e.g. Yokozuna, Pauls)? Between the two, my preference is for the balanced operation of the Spyre but I am willing to be convinced. Cost isn’t really a consideration. Cable-to-hydraulic maybe, if still reliable when baking hot or as the miles add up.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2021, 08:56:10 pm »
I have a Pauls Klamper on the front of my Airnimal folder. It works like you'd expect a better made easier to adjust version of a BB7 would, with a nicer feel at the lever, it doesn't stop any better, though there's nothing wrong with the BB7s.  It's not going to win a beauty contest, or improve aerodynamics, but it looks and feels quality.  Available with three versions of actuation arms, depending on the STI's that may be an advantage, it's not something I know much about but as Avid and TRP use the same cable pull for old Shimano, new Shimano, Campag and SRAM, it's not going to be the best match for them all.
Starbike in Germany were the best price and I think they're still shipping to the UK.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2021, 02:15:46 pm »
Suggestions made elsewhere are similar cable/ hydraulic models variously sold as Acor, Juin Tech and Yokozuna. The best option seems to be Juin Tech F1, R1 or X1.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Best mechanical disk brakes
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2021, 02:29:57 pm »
I've been using Juin Tech GT-P on my main bike since the beginning of last year. No issues to report, very pleased with them.

Eddington: 130 miles