How Do Manual Brakes Feel?
I would argue that the most talked about topic when it comes to manual brakes, is what do they feel like? There are a few variables that determine this, but in short, they feel great. A lot of times people will state the pedal is to hard, or it feels like the car wont stop. If you are feeling this, something is wrong. A proper manual brake setup (matched ratio with master cylinder bore size, good pad compound, and Front / Rear Bias Adjustment) will net a great pedal feel with the exact same braking every time.
The pedal will feel a little more firm than a brake booster variant, but not in a negative way. The brake boosted variants always have a lot more travel than a manual style and will be significantly more sensitive to input. So over the years, people have the muscle memory for that and think that is normal. A properly sorted manual braking system will only feel slightly stiffer than the booster version, in a good way.
The modulation of max braking just before lockup is where manual brakes really thrive. We call it the 90-99% zone. Finding the exact level of leg pressure to get that exact threshold is just not possible with power brakes, as stated above they’re too sensitive which create inconsistency. So YES the 90-99% zone is a little more leg effort than power brakes but that’s what makes it so great. This is massively to our benefit in finding the right leg force every time. Even on a daily driver, it will feel more consistent and positive than the alternative.
In summary, properly sorted manual brakes are easy to drive on the track and street. There are many benefits as we have discussed previously, to a manual braking setup. You will be very pleased with the drivability and on track performance from a manual braking setup.