Disc Brakes for Son's bike

Hi Folks,

my son is 13 and loves riding. He has one of those SE Bikes that are very popular in his age group. It’s a horribly impractical bike, but he’s happy and loves his wheelies.

The bike is set up with hydraulic disc brakes. The brakes that came on the bike are not very good, and I wonder about their safety. Question:

What would be a go-to disc brake that would be super safe and stop on a dime? Shimano? Sram? Mtn Bike brands?

I don’t know much about disc brakes, although I have 2 bikes w them (mtn and gravel bikes). My road bikes, which I spend the most time on, have caliper brakes.

I foresee an outlay of $150-200 for hydraulic disc brakes. My kid works (doing kid stuff: lawn, car detailing, etc), so he has his $.

I just need solid info to make sure he’s safe. He rides that bike every day, all the time.

Thanks folks.


Have the brakes been bled recently?
Likewise it could be worth seeing if you can get new and better brake pads for the calipers.

Doing both these things could make the brakes work a lot better and would cost a lot less money then buying new brakes.

In my experience even the cheapest Tektro and Clarks hydraulic brakes work well when set up properly.


Second this. 85kg and I haven’t touched any hydraulic brakes that I’d consider dangerous or insufficient assuming they’re not leaking or broken. I’d buy a cheap bleed kit, fluids, and a set of pads first (if he likes doing stunt/trials riding then you can play with trials specific pads). Worst case your son learns a new skill they’ll use on their bicycle, car, and or motorcycle in the future as well as get an understanding about how hydraulic systems work at a simple level.

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Shimano MT200.
Dirt cheap, really really good, easy to set up (can shorten hoses without bleeding if you take care), can get pads or parts anywhere.

I put a set on to replace some very underwhelming Tektros (still poor after replacing pads), so I wouldn’t recommend those.

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As sad as it is, it is probably easier, cheaper, and more reliable to just buy some MT200 and/or decent rotors than getting your brakes bled, and only marginally more expensive than if you do it yourself.

hey guys thanks for the suggestions. Finally installed the MT200 on my kid’s bike. Needed a mtn bike friend to help sorting out adjustments on the pads/disc interface but it worked out well. It came pre-bled so no need to take to the bike shop. More importantly, my son is happy. so thanks everyone!