Hydraulic Brake VS. Mechanical Brake, Which Is Better?

Brakes are essential parts when it comes to your riding safety and performance. They help you have proper control whenever you stop your electric bike, especially when you ride downhill. 

There are two primary choices when choosing the appropriate brakes for your ebike: hydraulic disc brakes and mechanical disc brakes. While both brakes can stop your electric bike, their mechanisms are distinct, and each has advantages and disadvantages.

To help you make an informed choice regarding which brake is best for you, we will compare the performance, cost, and maintenance requirements of mechanical and hydraulic brakes in this article.

First, let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of hydraulic and mechanical brakes.

What is a Hydraulic Brake? 

On an electric bicycle, hydraulic brakes use hydraulic fluid to transfer force from the brake lever to the brake pads. Although the braking system is more complicated than mechanical brakes, it can improve your braking performance in numerous ways.

Pros of Hydraulic Brake

Here are the advantages of riding with a hydraulic brake:

  • Excellent braking capability

Here, the braking force is more precise and consistent, resulting in shorter stopping distances and improved control in any weather. Moreover, this is especially helpful when you ride road or mountain bikes, where solid and dependable brakes are essential for your safety. Hydraulic brakes activate the pads with less effort, making long rides more comfortable. 

  • Long Lasting               

Hydraulic braking systems are more durable than others and more effective at quickly stopping a ebike. The Brake fluid acts as a lubricant in hydraulic brake systems, making components more resistant to wear and tear over time. Furthermore, water-powered slowing mechanisms don’t contain joints, decreasing how many parts are helpless against the impacts of time. Lastly, the system’s overall longevity is improved because hydraulic brakes distribute heat more uniformly than mechanical brakes.

  • Uneven Distribution of Pressure

In a basic mechanical brake system, the pressure is distributed unevenly. However, the Hydraulic Brake system ensures that the braking mechanism is smooth and dependable because of the evenly distributed pressure across all wheels.

  • Less effort required 

Because the driver’s force is increased multiple times as it passes through the cylinder, a hydraulic brake system can generate more power with less effort than a mechanical brake system.

Cons of Hydraulic Brake

However, hydraulic disc brakes also have some disadvantages.

  • Complex in nature

Hydraulic brake systems are more complex than mechanical ones, requiring specialized maintenance and repair skills. Also, they need specialized tools and knowledge to operate, making them more difficult for the average rider to adjust and service. As a result, you have to pay for any upkeep or repairs that need to be done by a specialist bike shop.

  • Fluid Leakage

The system’s most significant drawback is its dependability on fluids. The fluid-filled brake linings serve as the foundation for the entire mechanism. The entire braking system may fail if the linings begin to leak fluid.

  • More maintenance Demand

Despite its low construction costs, this braking system is expensive to maintain. Moreover, this is due to the need for frequent system checks to keep gases and fluids from entering the system. Their higher cost in comparison to mechanical brakes is a significant issue. Because they require regular fluid and bleeding, hydraulic disc brakes typically cost more to purchase and maintain. Over the e-bike’s lifetime, this can be a significant expense.

Mechanical disc brakes

The braking force is transmitted from the brake lever to the brake pads via cables or wires in mechanical disc brakes, also referred to as cable brakes. They have mechanical parts that slow or stop shafts in the drives of the ebike. Mechanical brakes can perform well when maintained and adjusted, but they may only sometimes be as reliable or consistent as hydraulic brakes in all conditions.

The mechanical braking system typically uses two types of brakes: disc brakes and drum brakes:

Pros of Mechanical Brakes

  • Relatively less expensive

One of the advantages of mechanical brakes is that, in comparison to hydraulic brakes, they are more affordable.

  • More user-friendly

Mechanical brakes are less complex than hydraulic brakes, making them easier to maintain and repair. They can be easily adjusted and replaced by the rider, which makes them a good option for DIY e-bikers and those on a budget.

  • Compatibility

Mechanical brakes are compatible with many bikes, regardless of the frame type or fork.

  • Lightweight

Mechanical brakes are lighter than hydraulic brakes, which can improve a bike’s overall weight and handling.

Cons of Mechanical Brakes

  • Mechanical brakes are less effective than hydraulic brakes.

One disadvantage of mechanical brakes is that the cables may become stretched or rust over time, resulting in poor braking performance in wet or muddy conditions. This situation causes less control and longer stopping distances, which can be dangerous in certain circumstances. The mechanical disc brake’s brake performance is that it uses more force and is less efficient.

  • Regular Maintenance

Mechanical brakes require regular maintenance, such as tightening bolts, replacing worn-out pads, and lubricating moving parts to ensure optimal performance.

  • Higher Wear and Tear

The mechanical components of mechanical brakes are subject to higher wear and tear, particularly in harsh conditions or with frequent use. Thus, this can result in increased maintenance costs and a shorter brake lifespan.

  • Requires More Physical Effort

Mechanical brakes require more physical effort than hydraulic brakes, which use fluid pressure to generate stopping power. 

Hydraulic vs. Mechanical Brake

Electric bikes’ hydraulic and mechanical braking systems operate in distinct ways. A comparison between the two follows:

  • Comparing Performance

Because of their more precise and consistent stopping power, hydraulic brakes are considered the superior option. Thanks to this, your confidence and safety on the road or trail depend on shorter stopping distances and better control in all weather conditions.

  • Availability of parts

Mechanical brake parts are easier to come by than hydraulic brake parts. Because mechanical disc brakes and conventional rim brakes share the same cables and levers, you can find cables and levers in any bicycle shop. On the other hand, hydraulic bike brake replacement parts are more complex. It may be challenging to locate new calipers, levers, brake fluid, lines, or maintenance tools.

  • Greater Control and Precision of Braking Force

A hydraulic disc brake gives you greater control over the braking force on your bike. The low effort required to apply the brake contributes to this advantage. To achieve the desired level of braking power, all you need to do is gently squeeze the lever. Before you can stop more quickly, you won’t have to lock the wheels.

However, controlling the braking force can be challenging with a mechanical disc brake because it requires a greater pulling force on the brake lever. It will be challenging to move your hand accurately because you will need to squeeze the lever hard.

  • Comparing costs

Cost is an important consideration when choosing between hydraulic disc brakes and mechanical brakes. In general, mechanical brakes are less expensive than hydraulic brakes, though there is a cost associated with their initial purchase and ongoing upkeep. 

However, it is necessary to keep in mind that the price of brakes can vary depending on the particular brand and component. While hydraulic brakes can sometimes be less expensive than mechanical brakes, high-end mechanical brakes can sometimes be more costly than hydraulic brakes. Before deciding, it is essential to compare the costs of various braking options carefully.


Both mechanical and hydraulic brakes have unique features and benefits. They are better suited for various circumstances. Therefore, every cyclist has an option. Your budget, riding conditions, and upkeep should be considered when deciding between hydraulic and mechanical brakes. The Haoqi Cheetah Full Suspension Electric Bike has a powerful and sustainable hydraulic brake to allow you to control the speed more efficiently and ensure your riding safety. 

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