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HY/RD Disc Brake Experience

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HY/RD Disc Brake Experience

Old 11-13-13, 11:03 AM
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rdtompki
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HY/RD Disc Brake Experience

For those who might entertain a disc-equipped ride in the future I thought I would pass on my recent experience with the TRP HY/RD disc brakes. Safer to post such hear versus the 41 since the more mature (that would be us) among the cycling community are more objective about new gear.

I have notice that the more recent threads concerning disc brakes have been more objective. An increasing number of folks have actually tried discs and have reported back favorably. Of course if you live and ride in Florida or any number of other places you don't need discs. If your light and/or fearless you're probably doing ok without.

My BB7 experience has been very favorable including descents with switchbacks at approach speeds nearing 40 mph. I'm using Avid HSX rotors which are an improvement over the stock rotors, definitely quieter and probably more effective due to improved heat dissipation. I do all my braking from the hoods using 2-3 fingers. During the hardest high speed braking events the BB7's did experience some fade and required increasing amounts of pressure; certainly I was never concerned about stopping at the bottom of a long descent (7-10 miles) and other than some increase in applied force during the hardest braking efforts the lever force required remained relative constant and moderate.

I wanted to try the hybrid brakes to see if the rattle, ever present in the BB7's, would be mitigated. I was looking for slightly better brake feel. The TRP brakes met both of these objectives. They are very progressive, the rattle seems to have disappeared and I'm a happy, albeit a few grams heavier, camper. During the most challenging braking event on a fairly big descent additional braking force was not required; this is a real confidence builder.

This is an ear bolt-on operation. The rear brake required a new piece of cable housing since the geometry of the TRP is a bit different, but you can certainly be up and going in an hour start to finish. If a)your shopping for a new general purpose road bike, b)you're interested in discs and c)you're not a WW, then I'd give some consideration to the TRPs; the self adjusting feature is nice though I never found that to be an issue with the BB7s.
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Old 11-13-13, 11:28 AM
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the 2 knobs on the BB7 do make that simple to keep Up..

& (non-drop-bars) running Avid Speed dial Levers lets you adjust pull ratio.
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Old 11-13-13, 11:33 AM
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Your identity says you ride a Volagi. Doesn't that already have disk brakes? What about that one?
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Old 11-13-13, 11:42 AM
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I have lowly BB5s installed on my bent and I love them. Much better than the 105 brakes with new pads on my road bike.
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Old 11-13-13, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Your identity says you ride a Volagi. Doesn't that already have disk brakes? What about that one?
I probably wasn't clear enough. Yes, my Volagi had the very serviceable BB7's for 4000+ miles. I wanted to try the TRPs to see what sort of improvement they might offer. I wouldn't suggest rushing out and changiing BB7s for the TRPs, but if one were buying a new ride I'd definitely consider having the LBS swap out the BB7s.

In my situation the LBS swapped out the Ultegra gear for Campy shifters and a SRAM RD to match our tandem. I've since upgraded the wheels, tubeless tires, triple crankset and (now) the TRP brakes. Cheaper than N+1(?), but part of what I enjoy about the sport. The Volagi in stock configuration is, IMO, a fine machine.
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Old 11-13-13, 04:03 PM
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Only have one bike with disc brakes and that is the Tandem. Hope m4's with 200 mm discs F & R and they work. Might seem ridiculous to have such powerful brakes on an offroad bike -even if it is a Tandem- but that Tandem is fast and heavy. On the road bikes I have never even thought about needing extra braking but have to admit that disc brakes are very easy on the hands and to modulate the braking.
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Old 11-13-13, 04:05 PM
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To me rim brakes fall into the same area as one size fits all. Disc brakes are logical because it allows the rim to be designed for only one thing, a rim for the tire. Without a brake area the rim can be designed for maximum strength and for good aero considerations. Then disc brakes wont over heat tires and cause blow outs on long steep decents. Rim brakes will eventually wear out the rims. With discs, most anyone can replace a disc or change a pad. But when the rims wear out, it is really expensive to replace a whole wheel, or have a new rim laced onto your old hub. As I say IMO disc brakes are more logical and more mechancally perfect.
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Old 11-13-13, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
To me rim brakes fall into the same area as one size fits all. Disc brakes are logical because it allows the rim to be designed for only one thing, a rim for the tire. Without a brake area the rim can be designed for maximum strength and for good aero considerations. Then disc brakes wont over heat tires and cause blow outs on long steep decents. Rim brakes will eventually wear out the rims. With discs, most anyone can replace a disc or change a pad. But when the rims wear out, it is really expensive to replace a whole wheel, or have a new rim laced onto your old hub. As I say IMO disc brakes are more logical and more mechancally perfect.
That's a pretty accurate summation of my thoughts.
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Old 11-13-13, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
With discs, most anyone can replace a disc or change a pad. But when the rims wear out, it is really expensive to replace a whole wheel, or have a new rim laced onto your old hub. As I say IMO disc brakes are more logical and more mechancally perfect.
All true but, bleeding hydraulic is a pain. I can do about all my own maintenance, excepting facing a b-bracket and cutting a fork steerer and won't touch the hydraulic brakes on my mt. bike. Big friggin mess the first time I attempted it, so off to the shop it went.

As well, brakes pads for disc systems are a whole lot more expensive then rim pads. Yes, swapping the pads is easy, but often times the reason for the swap is squeal. At that point in addition to changing out the expensive pads, you are also removing the rotors, cleaning with isopropyl alcohol and lightly sanding clean. That's not something easily done when in the field, where as I have replaced the cartridge pads on V brakes in about 2 minutes.

Then of course you do need to make sure the front skewer gets well tightened, as disc systems have been know to yank the front wheel off the bike when the skewer wasn't securely fastened.

So pretty good system, but they do induce additional maintenance and usage issues.
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Old 11-13-13, 07:04 PM
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the auto pad wear adjustment is what makes hydraulic discs an improvement..

Hy-Rd packs both Master and Slave cylinder and the fluid tank in 1 unit. pretty clever.

Happy with my Magura Hydraulic Rim Brakes , but pad wear is a DIY, but made convenient,
its right on the brake lever.
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Old 11-13-13, 07:07 PM
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Thanks for the quick review. I've been looking long and hard at the other new TRP offering the Spyre disc caliper, for an upgrade to my NoCom this winter. I want sleek and simple, and a hybrid system just doesn't seem to work for either quality. The BB7 has performed well enough there, and definitely better than rim brakes; but I really want better modulation and feel. If I like the Spyre enough, I might consider putting a Hy-Rd on the rear of my Baron.
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Old 11-13-13, 10:00 PM
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Thanks for the review. I am a longtime BB7 user and I consider the BB7's to be adequate but not great but still better than rim brakes for wet and gritty weather riding.

I have hydro brakes on all my mountain bikes and want that kind of power and modulation on my road bike, therefore I have been considering the HY/RD brakes.

For those having problems with disc brake squeal, you might consider switching to organic pads. I find them much quieter. They don't last quite as long as metallic pads, but it's a tradeoff that is easy to accept.
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Old 11-13-13, 10:36 PM
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I would never have anticipated so much acceptance of disc brakes among a mostly road cycling group. I have BB7 Road SL's on a recent build - not too many miles on them yet, but I absolutely love the feel and modulation of the brakes. The DuraAce caliper brakes on the other road bike are great - more than adequate - but they don't have the feel of the disc brakes.

Like Steve.B I don't care for the mess of hydraulic. But then I'm afraid of electricity too - I leave it to those who know what they're doing.
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Old 11-14-13, 06:29 AM
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I won't be even trying a disk brake system for any of my road bikes, not trying to start a flame fest here but, from many years racing dirt bikes I can tell you that you need to carefully learn how to bleed brake lines and even get a quality bleeding tool for service or pay each time you have things disassembled. It isn't often but it is going to be like knowing how to true a wheel, either you learn and do or you pay when it happens to be necessary. I got a simple mechanical bleeding set up from Craftsman and followed an experienced mechanics directions one time and then I could avoid the $25.00 each time I needed the brakes bled on my YZ426 or my son's RM250Z over the years.

Another thing to watch is the type of hydraulic fluid your system requires, if it should call for DOT 3/4 get the 4, there is only one DOT approved hydraulic fluid refiner and they are the provider for all the different labels you see in an auto parts store. DOT 3 is not as stable or high temperature rated as DOT 4. DOT 5 is specialized and you cannot mix the 3/4 and 5, it will gum up the orifices and lines. The 3/4 is also hygroscopic and will absorb fluid from the atmosphere so, it has to be changed regularly. If you have one of the systems like Magura they have a special oil, similar to a mineral oil you must use in the system.

Just some things to remember about using a disk brake system I had to learn to keep our motocrossers safe and stopping under harsh conditions. The disk systems are coming, not 2 ways about it, just be safe and either keep them up or pay for the service so you are riding safely. And, that dislike will extend to the hydraulic rim set ups that SRAM and Shimano have, it is the complexity that goes against my old school hard headedness. This dinosaur just won't be using them on his bicycle, I will however, gladly bleed a system for any cyclist that asks me to help out, free. That is how things should be.

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Old 11-14-13, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
I won't be even trying a disk brake system for any of my road bikes, not trying to start a flame fest here but, from many years racing dirt bikes I can tell you that you need to carefully learn how to bleed brake lines and even get a quality bleeding tool for service or pay each time you have things disassembled.
I am also a bit afraid of hydraulic fluid for bicycle brakes, but (1) most people who have them really seem to like them and (2) mechanical disc brakes work well for many people without those problems.

And, well, just because, you can now get hydraulic rim brakes for road bikes (and I gotta tell you, I didn't see that one coming). Again, I've heard a lot of good things about people who have tried it.
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Old 11-14-13, 07:16 AM
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I have ridden on a disk equipped bike, it was just fine and I see them being accepted as stronger brakes, rightly so. I just am staying away from further complex systems on my personal bikes, I was actually pretty happy with Campy NR, 5 rears cogs, sew up tires on a 531 steel frame and a Brooks saddle. To go further (ME) would be a C&V rant, I just want others to be careful if they move to a disk or, any hydraulic set up, they aren't maintenance free, as the 50+ crowd is fully aware of, I feel certain. And, like you, I never saw the hyd. rim set up coming but a rim is just a large disk and from what I have read they are very strong brakes. As you said, the regular mechanical rim brakes I have do fine for my old and slow self. Back to our regularly scheduled postings.

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Old 11-14-13, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
I won't be even trying a disk brake system for any of my road bikes, not trying to start a flame fest here but from many years racing dirt bikes I can tell you that you need to carefully learn how to bleed brake lines and even get a quality bleeding tool ...
If you checked on the brakes before commenting, you'd know that the Hy/Rd are a hybrid system (that's the "Hy" in the name.) They use a cable to actuate a small wheel cylinder at the caliper, and the cylinder actuates both pads. There are no lines to bleed.

OTOH, the Spyre is entirely mechanical, and also moves both pads. Mechanicals make a lot of sense due to the maintenance issues you mention with hydraulics; the only disadvantage has been that they only move one pad, which has caused uneven wear, warped rotors, and reduced modulation. I've always said that discs are where everyone is eventually going to end up, and this is the next step in getting there.
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Old 11-14-13, 08:32 AM
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Comming from a maintence engineering back ground, as I have stated many times I absolutely believe in KISS engineering. Keep It Simple Stupid. Therefore when it comes to disc brakes I favor pure mechanical disc brakes.

Among the many reasons, the best is the fact that the more unusual your braking system is the harder it will be to maintain and fix. A hydraulic system that goes haywire out in the middle of no where is going to be a real problem.

While we read that many people with hydraulic brakes real love the feel etc, they require fluid, seal fail, and bleeding that is problematic for a lot of people.
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Old 11-14-13, 08:37 AM
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Stand by one, I never said anything about the hybrid system you and the OP referred to. I am familiar with how the Hy/Rd system works and with other hybrid type systems like the TRP box that lets you keep the cables, also. I don't question that disks are coming and will be very big, I only warned about the necessary safety measures a careful rider should take in maintaining a disk system. I am just keeping what I posted clear, I do read the entire thread before I post or comment.

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Old 11-14-13, 10:18 AM
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The vast majority of mountain bikes sold today use hydraulic disc brakes and I am not reading a lot of articles about mountain bikers stranded out in the woods due to brake failure. I've never had a problem with my brakes in thousands and thousands of miles they are pretty bullet-proof.

My SRAM brakes use DOT 5.1 fluid. My Shimano brakes use mineral oil. Looks like the HY/RD system uses mineral oil as well.
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Old 11-14-13, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by woodway View Post
The vast majority of mountain bikes sold today use hydraulic disc brakes and I am not reading a lot of articles about mountain bikers stranded out in the woods due to brake failure. I've never had a problem with my brakes in thousands and thousands of miles they are pretty bullet-proof.

My SRAM brakes use DOT 5.1 fluid. My Shimano brakes use mineral oil. Looks like the HY/RD system uses mineral oil as well.
I think, in retrospective, that ridabent and blazingpedals comments are dead on about this particular system having advantages that need to be considered. I don't think however, that the mt, bikers in the woods analogy is correct. Possibly because the typical mt. biker is not touring the county on their bike, so can deal with the occasional issues related to disc brakes. They ARE more complicate then V brakes, but the same argument is used for STI shifting versus bar-cons. I'm also not totally convinced that there's a huge improvement of discs versus canti or V's outside of wet conditions and/or long downhills at speed and under loads. At least that's been my experience, which need room for improvement !.
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Old 11-15-13, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I'm also not totally convinced that there's a huge improvement of discs versus canti or V's outside of wet conditions and/or long downhills at speed and under loads.
I completely agree that well-tuned rim brakes handle everything exceedingly well except these. Of course, being able to stop in the situations you mentioned is nice.

On BROL, we had a rider who managed to do an endo on a short wheelbase recumbent. As best as he can tell, he over-heated the rim braking and blew the tire on a descent. He's now looking for a front fork that takes disc brakes...
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Old 11-15-13, 07:25 AM
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Rim brakes are simple, light, and their performance is 'adequate.' That is, they work well enough most of the time that most folks aren't actively looking for replacements. Maybe the biggest argument in favor of discs is that they don't wear out the rims. Rotors last a looooong time; and when or if they wear out, it's easy to replace one in a couple minutes. It's beyond most peoples' skill sets to replace a worn rim -- and it can be expensive, even if they can do it themselves.
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Old 11-15-13, 09:09 AM
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It's always interesting to read other peoples' experience of bike kit. I'm in the process of looking for a flat bar road or hybrid bike and have tried out a few with disk brakes, although not this type. I also have disk brakes on my Kona mtb. I agree that in most cases they do provide more, and probably more consistent stopping power, but to me they do not give the extra benefits over V-brakes on a road bike that would make me pay the extra money, or add the extra weight. No criticism of disks, just personal choice.

I can build wheels so the problem of changing rims is not a significant issue. As a side matter I've never had to change rims on any of my bikes because of wear, and I have some wheels that are 20 years old - but I regularly check them and my brake blocks. Perhaps that's because I'm a tinkerer and hoarder and am always changing wheels and other parts around on my bikes.

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Old 11-15-13, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
I completely agree that well-tuned rim brakes handle everything exceedingly well except these. Of course, being able to stop in the situations you mentioned is nice.

On BROL, we had a rider who managed to do an endo on a short wheelbase recumbent. As best as he can tell, he over-heated the rim braking and blew the tire on a descent. He's now looking for a front fork that takes disc brakes...


I worry about that stuff (doing an endo on a SWB can't possibly end well) and am glad I have disc brakes, which is the reason I bought the model I did. In fact I've gotten so used to scrubbing off speed at the last possible moment heading into a curve that I have to be careful when I get on my road bike.
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