In recent years, electric bicycles have been favored by more and more people due to their pollution-free and convenient advantages. There must be friends around you who own an ebike, so what about you? Well, we've talked about how to choose ebike motors, ebike wheels, and ebike batteries. This time we would like to share something about electric bicycle brakes. We have to say that the brake system is closely related to the safety performance and riding experience of ebike. Excellent brakes can make you feel comfortable when riding and ensure your riding safety to the maximum. There are two main brake systems in the current ebike market, they are hydraulic brakes and mechanical disc brakes. These two kinds of brakes have different advantages and disadvantages, and their prices are correspondingly different. We suggest that you make a comparison between them when buying an electric bicycle and choose the brake system that suits you most. Now, are you ready to learn something new with us? Here we go!
It is easy to find that the hydraulic disc brake ebike has a small hydraulic oil tank on the brake lever to store mineral oil. When you squeeze the brake lever, the force generated by your hand acts on the piston inside to compress the fluid (ie mineral oil). The fluid is squeezed and flows through the tubing to the brake caliper, and then pushes the piston in the brake caliper to drive the brake pads to clamp the disc, and finally produce a braking effect to stop the machine from moving. This is how hydraulic disc brakes work.
After this, you must be wondering about the pros and cons of hydraulic disc brakes. Let us start with the positive sides, a qualified hydraulic disc brake typically has the following three advantages:
- The brake lever is super smooth. When it is filled with mineral oil, there is almostno friction between the oil tube and the bicycle shell. When you squeeze the brake, you can clearly feel the smoothness of the hydraulic disc brake, bringing you a wonderful riding experience.
- Able toproduce a considerable braking effect with less force. Since the friction between the tube and the shell is almost negligible, so the energy loss is minimized, this makes the hydraulic brake can react sensitively with just a slight squeeze without expending great effort. In this regard, hydraulic brakes will be very suitable for people who do not have a lot of strength or small palms, such as some slim women or the elderly for they are easier to control than those mechanical disc brakes.
- Lighter weight and fewer adjustments. Mechanical disc brakes have brake cables and brake cable base. In the same position, hydraulic disc brakes are replaced by oil tubes, which makes the weight of hydraulic brakes slightly lighter than mechanical brakes. But just leave this behind because it does not make much difference. Our focus is that the structure of the hydraulic brake is more refined, so it requires less adjustment. The hydraulic brake has two brake pads that move toward the rotor, which are located on both sides of the rotor, and apply the pressure evenly on the rotor. However, there is only one pad on a mechanical brake, and the movement direction of the mechanical brake is always the same. This means that after multiple uses, mechanical brakes need to be adjusted regularly to maintain the sensitivity of the brakes, and the rotor needs to be replaced more often, while hydraulic brakes reduce this process. As long as the brake pads are not severely worn and need to be replaced, hydraulic disc brakes rarely need to get repaired or adjusted by the user themselves in daily use, which is more suitable for novices.
However, as the saying goes, every coin has two sides. Hydraulic disc brake also has its shortcomings:
- Maintenance is more complicated. Although hydraulic disc brakes rarely require maintenance, nothing is perfect in the world. Once there is something wrong, the maintenance of hydraulic disc brakes will be a tricky thing. You are required to ensure the sealing and integrity of the mineral oil of the hydraulic brake. This operation is relatively complicated and cumbersome, it is difficult for customers to repair by themselves. And once there is an oil spill, things will get worse. In this regard, if you encounter hydraulic disc brake damage, for veterans of cycling, we recommend that you get some professional repair tools prepared such as Himiway 16 in 1 Multi-Function Bicycle Repair Tool, and it is best to know some common sense of repair. As for newcomers to the bicycle world, just go find a nearby bicycle shop and ask them for help, because we believe they are more professional to solve your problem.
- Due to the more complex structure of hydraulic brakes, their prices are generally higher compared to ebike equipped with a mechanical disc brake. Therefore, please make your purchase according to your budget.
- In places with high altitudes and low air pressure, or in conditions where the temperature is quite low, the performance of hydraulic disc brakes will be slightly affected by these factors, because the fluid may expand or be frozen. However, these effects are almost negligible.
Mechanical Disc Brakes
A mechanical disc brake means to use the pulling force generated by pinching the brake lever to tighten the wire connecting the brake lever and the brake caliper and act on the brake caliper. In this way, the brake pads will clamp the disc, and finally resulting in braking force. Although its working process is relatively simple, it can achieve a considerable braking effect as well.
Here comes the advantages of mechanical disc brakes:
- Easier adjustment and maintenance. Compared with hydraulic disc brakes, although you may need to maintainor repair more frequently, the repair process of the mechanical one will be much easier because of the simpler mechanical structure. In most cases, customers can use some conventional repair tools to repair it on their own, without investing in a specialized bicycle shop. And if you maintain your ebike well enough, we believe that the failure rate will be greatly reduced.
- More affordable price.The price of a mechanical disc brake ebike is acceptable to most people. For those who want to be cost-effective or have a limited budget, the mechanical disc brake ebike will be a good choice to complete your cycling trip.
- Whether you choose to buy an ebike with a hydraulic disc brake system or a mechanical one, the wear of brake cables and pads is inevitable. At that time, the simpler structure of mechanical disc brakes will definitely reduce your workloadbecause both the brake cables and pads of a mechanical disc brake can be easily replaced.
How to Choose?
Well, we know that most of your concerns are braking distance and performance. But what we want to say is that these two brake systems have their own merits. As a matter of fact, the effect of hydraulic disc brakes is slightly better, but both can lock your ebike wheels very well to produce a powerful braking effect to ensure the safety of the rider. We recommend that you choose which brake system to buy according to your own needs and budget.
All right, that's all about the two kinds of disc brake systems. Do you have a clearer understanding of them now? Hydraulic disc brakes with better performance but troublesome maintenance, or mechanical disc brakes that require regular care but are more cost-effective, which one do you prefer Come to see more specs of these ebikes and pick the one that makes your heartbeat!