Mineral Oil for Hydraulic Bicycle Brakes

Positive and negative sides

Hydraulic disc brakes offer several distinct advantages:

  • Speed ​​of response;
  • Reliability;
  • Accuracy of work.
mineral, hydraulic, bicycle, brakes

Such systems allow you to easily stop transport at the right time or on a difficult section of the road. The main thing is that for effective work they need to be pumped and configured on time. Modern companies offer a large selection, which makes it possible to purchase a ready-made kit. The quality of the devices is at a high level, you can put the equipment on the bike yourself.

Bicycle brakes of this type also have negative aspects. For many riders, the cost of disc brakes is a deciding factor. It is quite high and the repair of transport can significantly hit the. In addition, the device of braking systems has its own difficulties and not every owner will be able to properly set up the work. In this case, you will have to turn to professionals for help, which, again, will lead to certain financial expenses.

Break-in of new hydraulic disc brakes

Novice cyclists who are not versed in all the intricacies of a bicycle and caring for it, probably faced with questions about the operation of the brake system. All new disc brakes, brakes after overhaul, or partial replacement of components require a break-in period. It doesn’t matter if they are mechanical or hydraulic.

During the break-in period, 2 important things happen. First, the smooth surface of new brake pads should become rough. Second, the material of the brake pads must get into the surface of the brake disc. Thanks to running-in, the work of the brakes improves. braking becomes smoother, the efficiency of the entire system increases, vibration and extraneous sounds disappear.

When running in the brakes, you can do a set of measures:

  • Make 3-4 stops a little harder than normal braking. This will warm up the rotors so that no thermal shock occurs during running in.
  • Perform 8-10 hard brakes without stopping completely, for example from 35 km / h to 5 km / h.
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In the process of braking, you may feel that the brakes have become “wadded”. this is the norm, because they are very hot. After braking, ride for 5-10 minutes so that the rotors can cool off from the incoming air flow.


Mineral oil or pillbox?

Hydraulic disc brakes use a special brake fluid to transfer force from the brake lever to the brake pistons of the caliper. In the process of evolution of bicycle brake systems, manufacturers have come to two standards for “brake”. DOT and mineral oil.

  • DOT (US Department of Transportation). has become the generic name for working brake fluid in vehicles (not just bicycles). The key feature of DOT is the high boiling point of the liquid. At the same time, the boiling point decreases when the pill starts to absorb water, so ideally change the pill every 12-18 months.
  • Mineral oil. made from petroleum and is a mixture of hydrocarbons separated from gasoline. It is used in various industries (including cosmetology), including used as a brake fluid. Fluid compression levels and boiling point are roughly similar to DOT.

All other things being equal, the boiling point of mineral oil and bunker is approximately the same, but the “mineral water” has one important nuance. it does not absorb moisture, but accumulates it in the hydraulic system. If the accumulated water in the pillbox reduces the efficiency of the brakes, then in the “mineral water” at a high temperature of the brakes, the water evaporates and leads to the failure of the system. Similarly, the brakes on “mineral water” are not recommended to be used in the cold season, since the water accumulated in the system expands during freezing and the rubber bands of the pistons in the caliper or brake lever can simply squeeze out. After accelerating and starting to brake, you can find that there are no brakes, therefore, when using the bike all year round, it is recommended to use the brakes on the bunker or change to mechanical counterparts.

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Which brakes to choose?

Rim or disc? Or maybe the foot brake will be enough? Every cyclist asked himself this question first when choosing a bike, then when replacing or improving it. In principle, this question can be answered rather briefly.

The foot brake is ideal for leisurely rides in cities and parks where simplicity is the most important bike and power is not required at such low speeds. Also, this type of brakes is installed on most children’s bicycles, because children have more leg strength than small fingers on their hands.

Rim brakes have come a long way in design redesign. It all started with cantilever brakes, but as the width of the tires increased, the shape of the rim brakes also needed to be changed. For a while, U-brakes were installed, but in the end they came to V-brakes. Now these brakes are installed mainly on budget mountain bikes and hybrids. “Vibrakes” are the easiest to set up and maintain, because the whole mechanism is quite simple. A steel cable runs from the brake handle to two levers, on which the brake pads are attached, which in turn clamp the wheel rim together. Road bikes, including most professional road bikes, still have rim brakes. These high-level brakes have low weight and good performance on narrow wheels, although disc brakes have recently been installed on road bikes.

Disc brakes have long been used in automobiles and motorcycles, but bicycles did not appear until the late 90s of the last century. At the same time, initially they were only hydraulic and were installed on the most expensive professional-grade bicycles. It was immediately clear that disc brakes are the most effective and require the least applied force from the cyclist. This is especially noticeable in bad weather conditions. The main disadvantage of this type of brake has always been weight. Indeed, in addition to the handle and the brake mechanism, a brake disc is also required. a rotor. Some manufacturers, such as Shimano, make Centerlock rotors, but the majority of the rotors are six bolted to the hub.

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It is worth noting the difference between disc mechanics and hydraulics. The mechanical system is powered by a steel cable with its pros and cons. Tourists prefer mechanical brakes just because of their reliability, especially on a long journey, replacing the cable is much easier than bleeding the hydraulic system.

However, mechanical brakes require more force to brake well, which is why hydraulics are commonly used in racing. Hydraulic disc brakes on the bike allow you to spend less force on braking, as well as clearly modulate braking on difficult terrain.

Hydraulic brakes for bike

Main manufacturers

Various companies, such as Shimano, offer a huge selection of disc brakes. They all have a certain quality, popularity and value. It is worth noting the Shimano brand at least for the fact that their products are of excellent quality, and they rarely need repairs, the pads do an excellent job with their functions. Shimano’s latest series of system models have good clamping, but require careful selection. The set of this brand is quite acceptable and meets the criterion “price-quality”.

The quality of CLIM 8 CLARK’S hydraulic brakes is also at a high level, but during installation it is necessary to carefully match the pads to the discs. Unlike Shimano, this brand of braking systems has an interesting handle design, but this is not for everybody, the main thing is convenience.

The braking device can be selected in any price category. The quality of the braking systems will be at the appropriate level, it is just that repairs will be made less often for models that have proven themselves from a good side.

How To Bleed Shimano Bike Hydraulic Disc Brakes With No Special Tools

The text was prepared by Roman Borisov.
Posted May 13, 2020.
Sources: bb30.ru, velodrive.ru, yvelo.ru.
Headings: Selection, Repair and maintenance.

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  • v-brake
  • bike
  • disc brakes
  • brake
  • road bike