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Hydraulic disc brake VS Mechanical disc brake

Hydraulic disc brake VS Mechanical disc brake

isc brakes are coming, more and more electric bikes like to use mechanical disc brake or hydraulic disc brake in nowadays as a common collocation. Brake is one of the most importance parts of your electric bike, so you need to know a few things to ensure you can enjoy a safe cycling experience. Let me show you the advantages and disadvantages between hydraulic disc brake and mechanical disc brake.

Hydraulic brake

With the electric bike market developing, some riders would like to hydraulic disc brake on their electric bike. The hydraulic disc brakes are a more recent addition to electric bike disc brakes. Instead of cables and their housings, the hydraulic system uses hoses, reservoirs and hydraulic fluid (brake fluid) to actuate the calipers of the disc brake.


Comparing with mechanical disc brake, the fist point is that it is closed off from the environment. The design of hydraulic disc brake more seal prevents dirt and debris from trail entering the brake fluid or the hose and cylinder. Offing far more power and control when it comes to the actual braking process than their mechanical counterparts.

From the standpoint of braking performance, the power and modulation of hydraulic disc brake is far superior. Disc brake are an incredible amount of stopping power, usually far more than necessary to stop a electric bike. But the braking power and functions of hydraulic disc brake is better than mechanical disc brake.

Because of the fully sealed nature of hydraulic disc brake, the hydraulic disc brake is easier maintain and it requires minimal day to maintenance as there is much less likelihood of contaminated cables or of a cable snapping. The hydraulic disc brake can self adjust for brake and quite cleverly, so you do not have to wind in barrel adjusters or re-tension cables. It is suitable for busy person and riders who dislike to maintain their electric bike frequently but often cycling.


As the saying goes, every coin has two sides and the backside of hydraulic disc brake is here.

The obvious disadvantage is the cost of hydraulic disc brake. Hydraulic disc brake cost is higher than mechanical disc brake. Cause the excellent stop power and braking power functions, hydraulic disc brake was used oil in this brake and work in a seal environment which is different from mechanical disc brake.

Another question is leaking oil of the hydraulic disc brake when you occur a leak such as hole in a hose or blown seal. They are less “field serviceable” than mechanical disc brake, essentially the brakes is rendered unless and unrepairable by yourself in the field by a minor fault. It is hard to install or repair the hydraulic disc brake when it was broken if you are not a professional. Fortunately this performance is less happens, and usually cause by poor transport rather than while out riding.

All right, we know the hydraulic disc brake was used the oil. So, the second problem is the temperature of liquid in the hydraulic disc brake. As we all know, temperature will affect operating of hydraulic disc brake which is equipped with some liquid. If your electric bike with a pair of hydraulic disc brake, suggest do not riding in a extreme cold weather which is low temperature.

When down to around -15F, the hydraulic brakes will work the best; some may develop a sluggish feel based on the quality of the product. If you want t o ride a electric bike in around below -30F which is install hydraulic disc brake, I think the mechanical disc brake is more suitable for you.

Mechanical disc brake

The mechanical disc brake is one of the member in the disc brake which is a common disc brake in more electric bike. With a disc brake the pads instead act on a metal rotor that’s attached to the wheel’s hub.


The fist point is easily to lock up the wheel of electric bike, stopping it just with a little effort. And one key point is that mechanical disc brake can offer more control as same as hydraulic disc brake than rim brake before they lock up. You have more of a braking range with which to work, so you’re less likely to skid. So, you just need less hand strength leads to decease in muscle fatigue while you riding on longer descents or in a long time.

The braking performance is brilliant, if you install a mechanical disc brake on your electric bike. You do not worry about particles of sand and other debris while you riding in terrain that sandy or muddy. Ever in the high or low temperature, the mechanical disc brake can ignore the bad situation and work in the dry or wet condition.

Comparing with hydraulic disc brake, mechanical disc brakes tend to be cheaper. Because the mechanical disc brake system is easier than hydraulic disc brake. And the mechanical disc brake more straightforward to set up and maintain mechanically. It means that if the mechanical disc brake was broken you could fix it immediately.


Of course, the electric bike with mechanical disc brake is not prefer, they also have some advantages.

I think the most problem is the longevity of mechanical disc brake. Like pad wear, disc brake pads are relatively thin, and they wear out much faster than rim brake pads. Riding on long and wet situation, you can run out of brakes completely, so do not forget to carry spare pads! Fortunately, pad wear replacement is easy on most models.

Another question is pad rub which is one of the mechanical disc brake component. Because disc brakes must be very close to the rotor to scrape off the water effectively in the rain. But if the rotor is slightly out of true, it will rub on the pads and make annoying squeaking sounds. It will bring you a unhappy riding experience.

All right, there are some differences between hydraulic disc brake and mechanical disc brake. Actually both of hydraulic disc brake and mechanical disc brake have too much same point. But the brake level have some differences of function. And hydraulic disc brake better performance, and mechanical disc suit more situation.

If you are interested in electric bike with hydraulic disc brake or electric bike with mechanical disc brake, please contact us freely!


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