Hydraulic Vs Mechanical Disk Brakes On Electric Trikes- Which Is Better?

By Addmotor | 25 October 2023 | 1 Comments
disc brake for etrike
Safety is paramount to consider in e-trikes, an effective and efficient braking system is the guarantee of safe rides. There are two types of braking systems used in electric trikes for adults i.e. mechanical disk and hydraulic brakes. However, the mechanical disk brake system is a renowned choice among riders.  
Choosing the right braking system can be hard if you don't have the proper knowledge of its working mechanism and performance attributes. That’s where this article will help you to make a wise decision and choose the most efficient braking system for the safety of yourself and your adult 3-wheel electric bike.
Keep reading this article to understand the key difference between mechanical and hydraulic disk brake systems used in e-trikes. Let's dive deep into the details without wasting a single moment. 

►  Mechanical Disk Brakes of E-Trikes

Mechanical disk brake also known as cable disk brake is the traditional system used in electric trikes for adults. It consists of a simple mechanism including a mechanical disk, brake lever, and a cable to create the resistance power for a smooth stop. 
This system works with its cable-actuated system, in which the brake lever is attached to the brake pads with the help of a disk and cable. On squeezing the brake lever, the disk tightens the brake pads against the rotor and generates friction to stop the trike.  
The mechanical disk brakes are popular because of their affordability and high performance. These brakes don’t require any complicated maintenance except changing of cable or disk. The mechanical disk brake system is more reliable as compared to the hydraulic braking system of e-trikes. 

Key Attributes Of Mechanical Disk Brakes

The mechanical disk braking system of an adult 3 wheel electric bike offers numerous advantages. Some of the key attributes are mentioned below for your consideration. 

#1.  Safety

Mechanical disk brakes offer a long braking distance that allows the trike to gradually slow down after brakes are applied. Your trike will take some time and save you from an abrupt and immediate stop that can cause a fall or skidding. This braking system has a long life span and is used in top brands of the e-bike industry like Addmotor electric trikes for adults.  

#2.  Sensitivity

The mechanical disk brakes of an adult 3-wheel electric bike are less sensitive than hydraulic brakes and deliver precise and controlled stopping power. The mechanical disk brake system responds according to the rider's squeeze of the lever and delivers stopping force accordingly. This prompted sensibility is useful for various riding terrains i.s. Slopes, and crowded areas where you don't require immediate and full stop.

#3.  Pressure Transfer Rate

The mechanical brake mechanism has a justified pressure transfer rate due to its simple and manual operation procedure. The cable and disk deliver the necessary friction according to the brake lever squeeze. 

#4.  Stability

The simple design of the mechanical disk brake system minimizes the chances of unexpected brake failure. The components(cable, brake lever, and disk)  are highly durable and efficiently work until they get fully damaged. And they are reliable and effective in different weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or mud. Mechanical disc brakes do not lose their braking power due to fluid leakage or air bubbles, which can happen with hydraulic disc brakes. So you can confidently rely on the mechanical disk brake system of your electric trike for adults and enjoy safe and secure riding.

#5.  Maintenance

Mechanical disk brake system is easy to inspect and maintain because of its simple design. You can check the performance and serviceability of all components on your own and replace any damaged or broken parts. This reduces the overall maintenance cost of your adult 3-wheel electric bike and helps you save some extra money. 

►  Hydraulic Brakes of E-Trikes

Hydraulic brakes of electric trikes are designed with the latest technology to offer efficient and precise stopping performance. These brakes work under a hydraulic fuel-sealed mechanism that is a long way different from the mechanical disk brake system. The hydraulic system ensures consistent and firm delivery of resistance to stop your trike. 
When you squeeze the brake lever, the system comes into action and exerts pressure on the hydraulic fluid to transmit it through the hoses to the brake caliper. The caliper’s piston then pushes the brake pads against the rotor to create friction that results in stopping the e-trikes
The hydraulic brake system is very effective in performance. However, there are some drawbacks such as unexpected leakage of hydraulic oil and viscosity due to freezing temperature can affect the brake performance. 

Key Attributes of Hydraulic Brake System

#1.  Safety

The hydraulic brake system in an e-trike works under pressure generated due to hydraulic fluid and offers a short braking distance. A long rear oil tube is installed to slow down the pressure transmission gradually and avoid abrupt stops.

#2.  Sensitivity

Hydraulic brakes are highly sensitive as compared to mechanical disk brakes. This extreme sensitivity can be dangerous in some conditions where a slightly tight squeeze of the brake lever can immediately stop your adult 3-wheel electric bike and result in loss of control, skidding, or sudden fall. 

#3.  Fast Pressure Transfer Rate

The pressure transfer rate refers to the process of delivering stopping power to the brake pads. In a hydraulic brake system transfer of friction is fast and immediately generates the resistance power.  However, it can be dangerous as s slightly hard pull of the brake lever can fully jam the wheel of your electric trike for adults and harm you.  

#4.  Stability

The hydraulic brake system contains many interfaces and requires a highly sealed and closed environment for effective performance. The life span and condition of hydraulic fluid also affect the performance of the brake. Proper sealing and contamination-free hydraulic oil are necessary for efficient braking in e-trikes.  

#5.  Maintenance

The maintenance of hydraulic brakes requires a professional who understands all the working mechanisms. Unlike the mechanical disk brake system, you can’t fix any fault on your own. Also, the maintenance is more expensive than the traditional mechanical disk brake systems as the hydraulic oil and other components are expensive. 

Main Difference Between Mechanical and Hydraulic Brakes

The below table will help you to understand the main difference in attributes between hydraulic and mechanical disk brake systems of electric trikes. 
Attributes Hydraulic Brakes Mechanical Brakes
Safety  Short braking distance Long braking distance 
Sensitivity  Highly sensitive  Less sensitive and works according to the brake lever squeeze
Transmission  Hydraulic fluid and sealed system The brake lever and cable attached to the disk
Stability  Require periodic inspection Highly durable and long life
Suitability  Heavy duty or loading General use duty and single-riding
Maintenance  Expensive and requires professional maintenance  Costs less and you can replace it on your own


Safety is a crucial aspect and it is necessary to consider the braking system before buying a 3 wheel electric bike for adults. Both mechanical and hydraulic brake systems of e-trikes are very effective in performance and efficiency. However, the mechanical disk brake system is considered the best for daily commuters and recreation riders because of its affordability and simple mechanism. 
There are many key attributes of a mechanical disk brake system including, its simple working mechanism, low cost, long braking distance, smooth transmission, high durability, and long life span. 
Finally, we highly recommend you buy any one from electric trikes for adults with mechanical brakes and enjoy an affordable and secure riding experience. 


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