I would think the original version is simpler, and less expensive than the hydraulic version. I would be worried about wet grass clumping on and bending up that brake line on the new version. Some mornings on the Dixie Chopper that I use, the wet grass builds up, and you have to go backwards to flip the front wheels around, to clear the grass buildup. Also agree with Marc on the personal responsibility of the operator being a major factor. Just Thursday, I had my Hustler Shortcut, with the backpack collector do a wheelie on a hill I know I shouldn't be mowing with it. I just said a silent prayer, leaned forward, killed the ignition, let the wheelie bars take the load, as I slid backwards down the short hill. I knew what to do, from experience, and no brake on the front wheel will work with the front wheels in the air!