Mechanical disc brake vs hydraulic disc brake

Mechanical disc brakes and hydraulic disc brakes are widely used in mountain bikes today, which disc brake is better?

Both mechanical disc brake and hydraulic disc brake have tremendous stopping power in mud, rain, and snow, and they can also be used with any tire width.


What is different between mechanical disc brake and hydraulic disc brake?



Mechanical disc brake

Hydraulic disc brake


 bicycle mechanical disc brake

 bicycle hydraulic disc brake

Brake medium

Brake cable

Mineral oil/ brake fluids




Brake performance

Little sensitive, need more squeeze power by hand.

More sensitive, more brake power without much squeeze power.


More maintenance but Easier.

The brake cable may get stretched out as riding, and it is easier to get dirty which would affect the brake performance.

Less maintenance but complex.

As the Hydraulic system is sealed, grit and grime cannot get in to jam up the moving bits, making them virtually maintenance free. But if any problem such as oil leaking occurs, it is more complex to fix it.

Adjustment/ Replacement


More complex



More expensive


Seen from the mountain bikes market, most high-end bikes would use the hydraulic disc brakes. But for different applications, you could choose the right disc brake for you.