The Hayes Users Group
Why choose Hydraulic brakes?

There are many reasons to consider hydraulic brakes over mechanical brakes. I'll cover several issues, the first is cable stretch.

Brake cables do extend and stretch when the brakes are applied, as the housings also compress. This gives a little more mush feeling at the lever, especially when using levers with a lot of leverage.
Hydraulic lines also swell and expand under fluid pressure. The effect is exactly the same as cables stretching, under a lot of pressure you can feel and even see the hoses swelling. On both cable and hydraulic brakes there is always a slight difference in feel between front and back brakes, the front feels a little crisper.

The second issue is friction.
Friction exists in all systems, in a cable system it's friction between the liner and the brake wire, in a hydraulic system it's between the fluid particles as they move up and down the hose. The major difference is mechanical friction increases with normal force and hydraulic friction increases with velocity.

On a mechanical disc the friction in the cable is greatest when you have the most force on the lever, where fine control gets hard to find. On a hydraulic system the most friction is found when the lever is moving the fastest, before braking has begun, when the most force is on the lever the fluid is not moving and the friction drops to zero.
Here hydraulic systems have a major advantage, fine control at or near maximum power. The same advantage also applies in lever return.

This is one of the reasons why there will always be hydraulic brakes, power, feel and fine control cannot be matched.

On the other side of the coin. Mechanical discs offer a lower cost, but higher maintenance alternative to those who appreciate the advantages of discs without the hassles of bleeding or the initial higher price.

Some fellow cults and syndicates:

NADS Hompage (Nifty Avid Disc Syndicate)     MCM Homepage (Magura Cult Members)