Hydraulic Rim and Disc Brake Reviews

Might be time to have a place for brake reviews, esp since there are now disc and rim brakes available in many variations. When you post your reviews, make sure you tell us what you ride and where…

KH 36 Night Rider rim, double tracks, easy XC, red Magura HS 33 (small piston), KH Spooner, KH brake hanger/KH touring bar:
Standard Brycer set up, older style with the red spoked knob (03-04), black pads. Works well, some rubbing due to rim flex, otherwise a fine choice for a 36er, don’t use it as much due to running 165 cranks, but usefull for easing down hills and holding me in place when resting.

KH 29 47mm FR rim, single track, tech muni, Magura HS 33 (large piston), KH spooner, KH touing bar:
Brycer Frankbrake utilizing HS 33 new style lever and HS 33 old big piston style lever base (master) with newer HS 33 slaves. I got this lever after breaking my small piston lever “strap”. I just started riding this lever, decided to try the Frankbrake to see if it would be little less grabby and have less rim rub. According to Bryce, the bigger piston requires more lever pressure to actuate and has a larger range of travel at the slaves, so you can run them further from the rim. It works as advertised, still plenty of power, less grab, and less rub. It also looks beefier since the base is larger, shoudl also be a little more resistant to rock hits on UPD’s :wink:

Nimbus Oregon 26er Large Marge 65mm rim, single track, tech muni, snow and mud machine, Shimano M525 Disc Brake with 180mm rotor, KH Spooner, KH Brake hanger:
The Oregon comes stock with a Bengal disc brake which is not bad, but being that it’s white in color, I just didn’t like how it fit with my overall color scheme of green/gold/black, so I swapped out brakes and installed a larger rotor. The brake works great, better than a rim brake since there is no rub and it’s more less unaffected by water; well at least less affected and dries faster after getting wet. I have only had one problem once I got it set up correctly: While riding in Colorado my son had a UPD and the lever plunger come out of the lever body, losing contact with the piston.

There is a C clip that holds the lever plunger into the lever body. Apaprently this C clip is not all that strong, so a sharp knock like you get when your seat hits the ground grab handle first. I was able to get it working on the trail, but it happened again so I taped the lever in place and my son had ride breakless for the day. I fixed the C clip by stretching it out and reinstalling it, but I think this is a weak link and worth monitoring over time in all hydraulic disc brakes since this is the industry standard for retaining the plunger.

This uni doesn’t get ridden as much during the summer, so I’ll have to keep an eye on it as my son and I ride it more over the Fall and Winter. I think it’s worth looking at replacing the C clip with a nice aftermarket stainless clip and maybe keeping one in your tool big.

This is the reason I am only going to use DH disk calipers on my munis. Not for the stopping power but for the sturdiness. I have hit both calipers and levers really hard with no problems yet with all of my Formula brakes.

Tirving, I think you misread my post, the breakage was at the lever NOT at the caliper. Levers are equally exposed on all brakes.

It’s a simple thing really, just have to reinstall the C clip which holds the lever/plunger against the piston in the handle. Many disc brake hydraulics, Simano, Bengal, etc… are designed in this way, so what I’m thinking is that maybe an extra C clip in your bag would be a good thing.

Personally, I’d prefer a mechanical disc brake like the Avid BB5/7, but they won’t fit on a uni due to being overly wide/thick. Yes, I tried, complete fail.

My Juicys are better designed, but they’re on a bike…not my bike of course, I don’t ride those two wheeled death traps, but I do have a number of bikes I maintain in our house :frowning:

Unis are so much easier to maintain that bikes.

bikes are alot of work but i like it :slight_smile: I have lost my C clip for my bike in a hard fall.

I got some hydraulic rim breaks they are shimano levers with hs33 calipers i like them so far. not as much pad moment as i hoped

(Brycer) Magura frankenbrake, 24" GMuni, 47mm KH freeride rim, red- koolstop pads. My Schlumpf hub has developed about 3mm side to side movement, that combined with the Freeride rim’s tendency to warp a bit during heavy riding had me cursing at my old hs22 rim brake at every climb due to brake rub.

The frankenbrake gets extra pad movement because of the larger main cylinder and now I can set my brakes further out. NO MORE BRAKE RUB! Nice modulation and stopping power too. Probably the best non-disc brake set up around atm.

Only thing I have done to modify the set up is to wrap the crossover, and about 2" of the main line in self amalgamating tape for protection from rock strikes. I had this on my old brake too and it worked well to protect the brake line from trail damage.


Napalm, I agree, Bryce’s frankenbrake is great! I run them on both of my rim brake munis and can run a much greater pad clearance which minimizes rim rub.

Running red pads on the 29er and green pads on the 26 guni.

My frankenbreak is working ok… i need to do somthing about my leaver tho. any ways to make it easier to hold on to for cheap