Deconstructing Modmo Saigon: Hydraulic Disc Brake System

Modmo smart e-bikes can travel for up to 200km using a robust front hub motor and seamlessly integrated battery – but what about stopping power? As alluring as speed and movement can be, the necessity of instantly losing speed, aka braking, is just as, if not more important than, accelerating.

In poring over every last design and safety detail of the Modmo Saigon smart e-bike, our engineers knew one thing from early on – this bike needs to stop on a dime. Not skid to a stop, not screech to a halt, but fluidly stop with control, grace, and immediacy.

That’s where the Modmo Saigon’s Tektro M280 dual-piston hydraulic brake-set with 160mm floating disc rotors comes in. The Saigon’s Tektro hydraulic disc braking system is the yin to 250-watt motor’s yang, keeping the e-bike balanced ideally between stop and go.

On the Superiority of Disc Brakes

Commuter bikes, road bikes, and hybrid bicycles tend to use non-disc brakes, meaning braking is handled on the rim surface. Next time the Tour de France is on, watch riders zoom down from Alpine crests using nothing but a thin carbon hoop along the rim of the wheel for braking. 

While such racing bikes are beautiful works of art and perfectly suited to speed, we wanted something with vastly improved stopping power and security for the Saigon. Disc brakes such as those found on our bikes move cycling stopping power from the rim to an oversized hub-attached rotor. 

The rotor has no other purpose than providing a solid braking surface. Peek behind your car’s wheel (that is, if you still haven’t replaced your car with a Modmo Saigon), and you’ll find the same arrangement. Disc brakes allow for a radically superior transfer of braking power when compared to traditional non-disc brakes.

Hydraulic Disc Brakes Are Safer Than Mechanical Disc Brakes

The Saigon is a smart e-bike with an unparalleled, rich feature set. Device connectivity, onboard navigation, beautifully integrated safety lighting & turn signals, and a long-range battery for e-bike commuting. With characteristics like these, why stop short at the braking system?

We didn’t – that’s why the Modmo Saigon comes equipped with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with floating rotors rather than a mechanic set. Are hydraulic disc brakes better than mechanical disc brakes? The short answer is yes, but the long answer tells you why.

Hydraulic disc brakes use – you guessed it – fluid to transfer braking force when you apply the brake lever. This allows you significant stopping force with smooth evenness. 

Even when you do need to make a forceful stop, the brake lever won’t require muscle. The fluid going between the master cylinder and brake caliper compensates for the braking action and enables you to efficiently feather the brakes for modulated stopping power.

You’ll find that the Saigon brakes with assurance even in wet and torrid conditions (which we’ve tested in plenty during Vietnam’s rainy season), and requires nothing more than a finger to apply.

When the brakes are applied on a Modmo Saigon, it’s not only fluid transferring to the brake caliper, but confidence as well. 

This is the first in a series “Our Components” focusing on the different components of the Saigon, and why we chose them. So stay posted for more insight into the bike….