The primary difference between mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes for an e-bike lies in how they generate the stopping force.
Mechanical disc brakes use cables to engage the brake pads, while hydraulic disc brakes use hydraulic fluid to engage the pads.
In a mechanical disc brake system, the brake lever pulls a cable, which in turn causes the caliper to squeeze the brake pads onto the rotor. While these brakes are relatively simple to maintain, they require more force to operate and may be less effective in wet or muddy conditions.
In contrast, hydraulic disc brakes use a closed system of fluid-filled hoses and cylinders to transmit force from the brake lever to the caliper. This design results in more precise and consistent braking, even in adverse conditions. Hydraulic disc brakes also require less force to operate and are generally considered to be more reliable and easier to modulate than their mechanical counterparts.
In general, mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes both provide effective stopping power for an e-bike. However, hydraulic disc brakes offer superior performance and are often the preferred choice for serious riders or those who frequently ride in challenging conditions. And, this is precisely why Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are standard on all Biciel e-bike models.