mmbuckwa, I have used both. Cable (mechanical) disc brakes are "simpler" in terms of set up but depending on conditions, may require cable adjustment during rides/races as pads wear. Mechanical discs are not real complicated, they do have a learning curve but provide better braking with less effort. Pads adjust as they wear and to rebleed the brakes requires a tool, but is pretty simple to perform yourself when it has to be done. I use hydraulic and would never go back to mechanical.
I rode a loaner Giant Defy with TRP Spyre's for two days and couldn't believe how crappy they were. I even rechecked cable pull etc and they still were terrible, my Shimano Dura Ace rim calipers were way better. I have discs on all my mtb's and my cross bike, all hydraulic, no way I would ever run mechanicals.
I use TRP spyre, be sure to have compressionless cables and organic pads. Brake performance increase a lot with this setup.
Sure Hydraulic are better... But I had a crash and left lever was broken... With mechanical brake a Force x1 lever it cost 60 Eur... With Hydraulic 350 Eur...
If You have not budget problem go Hydraulic
For now I'm satisfied with mechanical performance, in Cx is enough. On the road Hydraulic of course.
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