Tech Talk

I made the move to disc brakes but don’t want to bother with bleeding a hydraulic system and maintenance. What are my options, and what would it entail to switch to a mechanical disc caliper?

First and foremost, I want to be clear when I say that I think this is a bad idea and would be a definite downgrade. We have covered this more than a few times, but, in our opinion, mechanical disc brakes are probably worse than even rim brakes for the most part.

There are a few models that could compare in performance, but nothing in comparison to a modern hydraulic system. On top of that, the truth is, maintenance for the most part is minimal and easy.

If you are dead set on making the switch, I would warn that it will likely be expensive, as you will need new shifter/brake hoods that accommodate a cable. The bike will likely need to be partially disassembled, and I’d say most shops would hit you with at least $200 for labor, plus the cost of the calipers. It will without a doubt add weight, too, as the plastic hydraulic hose is extremely light, and the steel-lined housing and cables are heavy in comparison.

I’ll finish with, “Don’t do it.” Give the new system a chance and accept the evolution. Sure, it’s different but honestly, as we covered last month, it’s easy if you want to learn it.


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