NOW, with mechanical brakes
A few weeks ago the hydraulic disk brakes on my bike tried to kill me. I took it to the mechanic (it’s still under warranty) and said; “Put mechanical disk brakes on it”. He said; “Naww, you don’t want to do that!” So I said; “OK, I’ll give ‘em another shot.”
Another shot at killing me, that is. Last week they failed again. In the space of one mile they stopped working. Better than the previous time when they just suddenly quit, spraying hydraulic fluid everywhere, but still.
I again requested, but did not expect, that the bike shop install mechanical brakes. There are many reasons why they could have legitimately refused. For one, there’s really no way for the shop to be reimbursed; warranties cover repairs, not modifications. For another, there are millions of bikes with hydraulic brakes and they’re generally considered the top braking solution.
But Bloomington Cycle & Fitness, 712 E Empire St in Bloomington, IL, went beyond the call to reassure a nervous customer and installed some very expensive mechanical brakes to replace the hydraulics. (Click the pic for a closer view).
So my thanks to them, even if they are not convinced of my sanity. If you live in McLean County, Illinois and you’re looking for a good bike shop, give them a visit.
- Here’s a forum discussion on the pros and cons of hydro vs mech disc brakes
- And after a few days, having used both hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes on the same bike, here’s my comparison: The hydraulic brakes had MASSIVE stopping power, but not as good control. The mechanical brakes have notably less stopping power, but much finer control.
- Please note in comments below that I do not think hydraulic brakes have any reliability problem; just the particular set on this particular bike.