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Road Bike vs MTB Disc Brake - Specification Differences???

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Road Bike vs MTB Disc Brake - Specification Differences???

Old 09-13-18, 07:38 PM
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Road Bike vs MTB Disc Brake - Specification Differences???

I have posted a couple of questions on the forum over the last couple of weeks about a bike build I am planning. It is a Lynskey Backroad (touring frame) that I plan to set up as an "All Road Bike" - I have a good road bike. I am considering using Trekking Bars and Mountain Shifters with Mountain Brake Levers. A carbon CX fork with about 38-40 mm tires.

I understand that road discs may be "short pull" and MTB discs may be "long pull". I will match the brake lever pull to whatever brake I go with - I know some can be set to be long or short.

I have research these questions on the internet but cannot find anything that addresses them. Here are my questions:

a.) Are the flat mount Road and MTB disc caliper unit mounting holes (for the bolts to the fork and the chain stay) have the same spread; e.g. does it matter whether I use Road or MTB Calipers as far as mounting the caliper goes?
b.) Are there any significant difference in Road and MTB caliper design or construction that would make one superior for use on an All Road Bike; plan to run 160mm rotors front and rear. For example, perhaps MTB calipers are designed to be more resistant to dirt or something like that?

I hope I was sufficiently clear in asking my questions sorry if they were a bit rudimentary. Please provide any other comments and/or advice you think might be helpful in the brake area.
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Old 09-14-18, 12:46 AM
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Flat mount is currently predominantly a road standard; some new mountain bikes are shipping with flat mounts on the frame but to my knowledge they're all being set up with a flat to post mount adapter or possibly by matching mountain hydraulic levers with road calipers with compatible (official or not) fluid displacement. I'm likely wrong, but I'm aware of no currently shipping flat mount calipers marketed to the mtb market.
In most cases road calipers are either exactly the same or are very similar to xc race calipers from the same company for hydraulic. For cable actuated brakes, the difference is almost exclusively in cable pull.
If you're using cable actuated flat bar levers, I'd recommend sticking with mtb marketed brakes and calipers because they're more commonly available unless you think you may want to use road levers in the future, in which case using short pull levers with road disc calipers will work fine. Really though hydraulic feels significantly better and that would be my recommendation in most cases.
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