Which is Better? Mechanical or Hydraulic Disc Brakes on Touring and Bike packing Bikes


If there is one thing that bike enthusiasts often clash on, it is the kind of brakes that are best for riding. One camp believes that mechanical brakes are more effective and stronger than hydraulic brakes, while other bikers believe that hydraulic bikes are more effortless and more comfortable to ride. Either way, both of these brakes have their respective advantages and disadvantages. When you are going bicycle touring, it is important to know which bike brake will serve you best on your journey and how you can optimize without having to think about repair or maintenance. In this article, we have explained how mechanical brakes work, and similarly, we have explained how hydraulic brakes work. We have also outlined their respective advantages and how they can come to play when you go bicycle touring. Enjoy!

What is Mechanical Disc Brakes?

Mechanical brakes are brakes that primarily make use of stainless-steel cables. The stainless-steel cables in these brakes are placed between the lever and the caliper, and they are called into action quite quickly. When it comes to bicycle touring, the mechanical brakes serve users well because they are easy to replace, and you can easily find parts in any bike shop in the world. The braking system is quite efficient, and you can easily lubricate the cables if you feel the brakes grinding. However, note that you would constantly have to adjust these brakes if you decide to use them.

Advantages of Mechanical Disc Brakes

Designed for touring

The mechanical disc brakes are designed with power, and they are suitable for most touring applications. When you use this bike in remote areas, they are unlikely to fail. The brakes will keep functioning effectively as long as you maintain them.

Easy to maintain

If you use mechanical disc brakes, you might have to adjust them from time to time. However, they are easy to maintain, and all they require is a regular oiling. If they happen to get damaged, you can easily get materials from any bike shop and carry out repairs yourself. Mechanical disc brakes are made with the end-user in mind.

Strong and durable

If you are looking for brakes that will stay strong and durable, you should check out mechanical disc brakes. These brakes are powerful and are strong enough to withstand the rigors that touring demands. They don’t get damaged easily, and you can easily use them in remote areas without worrying too much.


If you are looking for disc brakes, repair kits, and brake parts common and affordable, you should check out mechanical disc brakes. Mechanical disc brakes are affordable, and you can easily buy new ones when they wear out.

What are Hydraulic Disc Brakes?

Hydraulic brakes are brakes that primarily make use of fluid inside the brake lines. The brakes are similar to car and motorbike brakes. When you kick the brake in, the fluid rushes down to the caliper, and the brake pad closes. This type of pad is perfect for riding in any condition. If you decide to go touring with this bike, you will not have to worry about adjusting it from time to time because of its design. However, if you venture into a relatively unknown place and your bike brakes happen to fail, you will not have access to the necessary tools and parts to fix it, and this can ultimately mean an abrupt end to your journey.

Advantages of Hydraulic Disc Brakes

Power braking

If you are touring a modern country with a good road network and to-notch bike repair shops, you should use hydraulic brakes. These brakes are designed for high-quality performance, and they provide more braking power than other types of brakes. If you want to enjoy smooth rides, then use hydraulic brakes.

Effortless self-adjusting brakes

When you use hydraulic brakes, you don’t have to worry about adjusting them from time to time because the brakes are made for effortless braking. No need for constant adjustments.

Designed for durability

The great part about using hydraulic brakes is that you can use them for a significant period when they start to wear. This is because the braking system is sealed, and the wearing period is usually drawn out over a long period. However, if there is a problem with your brakes internally, you will not know until they stop functioning.


A good biker knows every part of his bike and how they interact with each other. If you want to go on a successful bike packing trip, then you should know which brakes will work best for your routes and you. When all the parts of your bike are perfectly tailored to allow you to ride better, you can be sure you will enjoy every aspect of your trip. In case you were wondering which is better between mechanical brakes and hydraulic brakes, this article has provided you with enough information to draw up a conclusion. Cheers!