What are hydraulic disc brakes?
Hydraulic disc brakes use hydraulic fluid (mineral oil) to enact the brake caliper. This is just like what your car likely has. By using oil, there is no cable stretch or loss of power through the length of the cable/hose. As a result a small lever pull will give a huge amount of stopping power.
What hydraulic brakes do we use?
Due to the unique nature of a 3 wheel bike requiring ‘mirrored’ front brakes that work from a single lever, options are limited. Well known brands like Shimano don’t produce this type of brake.
We’ve tested everything available and in our opinion by far the best option are Tektro brakes. The Tektro HD-T525 is our weapon of choice.
The Tektro brake lever also includes an integrated park brake so you can lock your brake in position when you come to a stop.
Are hydraulic brakes worth the upgrade cost?
The million dollar question… are hydraulic brakes worth it? The answer is, it depends…
A properly configured mechanical disc brake (as provided as standard on the Tribe Original Electric Assist) provides greate stopping power even for a heavy cargo bike, however its stopping power, particularly under load will never match a quality hydraulic brake. Additionally, very quickly brake cables will stretch, requiring adjustment to keep the bike stopping well. Hydraulic brakes don’t require this sort of maintenance, generally needing no maintenances until the brake pads wear out and require replacing.
Whilst hydraulic brakes are fairly maintenance free, if you do require maintenance done, this generally is not a DIY job, with specialist equipment required to bleed brakes and change the fluid. Definitely something to outsource to a bike mechanic.
Ultimately the choice is yours. If you decide to go the mechanical brake route, we’ll happily provide you with a set of hydraulic brakes at a later date that you can have a skilled bike mechanic install.