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Disc Brakes; Yay or Nay?

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Disc Brakes; Yay or Nay?

Old 08-14-18, 02:27 PM
  #26  
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I was spinning a wheel at the store, I notice some significant drag on the disc brake pad and rotor. Wat's that about?
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Old 08-14-18, 02:47 PM
  #27  
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As one of the mechanics at my LBS says, "There's no such thing as a completely true rotor right out of the box. Some are just less bent."

A few minutes with a tool (or in my case, a crescent wrench) and they run nice and true.
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Old 08-14-18, 03:21 PM
  #28  
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I have disc brakes on my touring and commuting/winter bikes but I'm very happy with rim brakes on my road bike (which I don't take out in nasty weather).

If you are not riding in inclement weather, there is no real advantage to discs that I can see.
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Old 08-14-18, 04:20 PM
  #29  
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i find the maintenance attention & failure rates for rotor/caliber configs to be lesser, but ymmv. If the price was within 100.00, I'd opt to choose disc & not rim braking.
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Old 08-14-18, 04:41 PM
  #30  
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I think it depends in part on how aggressive you ride. I used to be aggressive and wished I had discs because in an "oh no!!" stop they will work better. They also wont fade on long hills. Now I am old and give myself a lot more breaking distance and think ahead further and never really think about it.

So if you want to be an aggressive urban cyclist in the rain barreling down hills and screaming to a stop, get discs. If you want to ride like an old fart like me rims are fine.

signed- a former aggressive urban cyclist who is now and old fart.
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Old 08-14-18, 04:56 PM
  #31  
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My bike has hydraulic discs on it and I love them. Much better feel when applying pressure with less effort. Will not go back to rim brakes.
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Old 08-14-18, 04:58 PM
  #32  
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My morning commute involves rolling out of my back door directly to a fast descent on squirmey wet gravel. This morning I was chasing down a kid on a dirt bike who shouldn't be on these trails. A few minutes later I was on my second descent: a 50mph run on wet pavement with a gusty 30mph sidewinds at 40 degrees F.

Rim brakes are absolutely fine. Unless you are running a touring bike with 50 pounds of camping gear in the pouring rain, I don't know why you'd want to add an unnecessary 2 pounds of pork to a road bike.
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Old 08-14-18, 05:35 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Unless you are running a touring bike with 50 pounds of camping gear in the pouring rain
You mean like this that I have ridden down mountains in rain snow and sleet without ever getting into stopping trouble? My T700 also had rim brakes. Put it on a scale while crossing the country. 90 lbs.

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Old 08-14-18, 06:21 PM
  #34  
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I love rim brakes but I know for a fact if you're riding rim brakes down a mountain in the rain with 90 pounds then obviously you'll have to start braking much sooner than on discs. I mean let's not get carried away with the defense of them here lol
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Old 08-14-18, 07:07 PM
  #35  
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It depends on your riding goals...If you plan on riding thorough a lot of very hilly terrain, rain, snow, slush and grit, wet gravel roads, then disk brakes will save your rims from wearing out. If your riding is mostly on clean roads in nice weather with maybe an occasional rain, then get rim brakes... I do like BB7s because of simplicity and most bike shops stock pads for them...Getting brake pads for hydraulic brakes can be a problem because there are just too many different models out there and most bike shops don't stock every type of disc brake pad on the market. Sometimes you have to order online of through your LBS....Pads for rim brakes are available everywhere and a lot cheaper then disk brake pads...So my vote is for rim brakes or BB7s and I would avoid hydraulic brakes.
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Old 08-14-18, 07:59 PM
  #36  
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“Maybe the occasional rain” is pretty funny from where I sit in Oregon. Out here “occasional rain” means October through Memorial Day.
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Old 08-14-18, 11:31 PM
  #37  
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The type of brakes don't come into play when I look at buying a new bike. Dual pivot rim brakes work very well and from what I hear, disc brakes work very well. I guess if I had the choice, I would go with rim brakes because it is easier for me to work on them. I don't have disc brakes, hydraulic or mechanical on any of my bikes.
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Old 08-15-18, 12:04 AM
  #38  
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Just as an experiment the other day, I was going down a short (maybe 500m section of 17% or so road) I decided to see what would happen if I used my front TRP 180mm disc exclusively to slow down. Bike is Surly Troll, pretty heavy, maybe 18kg, I'm 90kg. No panniers, left them at the bottom of the hill. Pads were semi metallic Koolstops, calipers TRP Spykes operated by Jagwire Pro Cables and Avid Black Ops levers. Road was steep enough that braking produced a ripping noise from the Extraterrestrials. By the time I hit the car park I had virtually no front brake at all, you could squeeze the lever as hard as you like and nothing much happened, I couldn't feel any cable stretch. Brake disc was dark blue, so I didn't stop in the carpark, just did circles to let the disc cool and not glaze the pads.. So yeah, discs can fade, not something that I've ever had with rim brakes, and I've tried to cook them too.It surprised me actually I would have thought the combo I was using was as about a robust a disc set up as you could get and I wasn't expecting it to fade. Took a while to get full braking power bake after that, I had to re-bed the pads in
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Old 08-15-18, 01:17 AM
  #39  
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We really like the ease of stopping power on our Trek 920’s with disc brakes. If I order another new bike disc brakes for sure!
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Old 08-15-18, 02:49 AM
  #40  
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Definitely yay if you're in the market for a new bike. At this point, they are the future.
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Old 08-15-18, 03:01 AM
  #41  
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My wife and I both have lower end treks ($600.00) newby's in the world of adult cycling (3 years) FWIW her bike has rim squezzing brakes and I have a mechanical disc. Her bike brakes better than mine. They are both adequate for our type of riding but next bike will be squeezers for me.
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Old 08-15-18, 06:31 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
Just as an experiment the other day, I was going down a short (maybe 500m section of 17% or so road) I decided to see what would happen if I used my front TRP 180mm disc exclusively to slow down. Bike is Surly Troll, pretty heavy, maybe 18kg, I'm 90kg. No panniers, left them at the bottom of the hill. Pads were semi metallic Koolstops, calipers TRP Spykes operated by Jagwire Pro Cables and Avid Black Ops levers. Road was steep enough that braking produced a ripping noise from the Extraterrestrials. By the time I hit the car park I had virtually no front brake at all, you could squeeze the lever as hard as you like and nothing much happened, I couldn't feel any cable stretch. Brake disc was dark blue, so I didn't stop in the carpark, just did circles to let the disc cool and not glaze the pads.. So yeah, discs can fade, not something that I've ever had with rim brakes, and I've tried to cook them too.It surprised me actually I would have thought the combo I was using was as about a robust a disc set up as you could get and I wasn't expecting it to fade. Took a while to get full braking power bake after that, I had to re-bed the pads in
Riding brakes for a quarter of a mile is not a commonly experienced scenario. Bicycle disc brakes can be repeatedly modulated with minimal to no expected change in feel. Rubber pads for rim braking will dramatically change the demand to the amount of lever action required to maintain/change the stopping ability, that is if the blocks of rubber have not disintegrated from being smoked out when they've been exposed to conditions involving an excessive stopping distance.
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Old 08-15-18, 04:14 PM
  #43  
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I have rim brakes on my road bike. Mechanical disc on the gravel bike. And I have hydraulic disc on my mountain bike. I love all three.
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Old 08-15-18, 06:48 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by ddeand View Post
I don’t think I’d buy a new bike without hydraulic disc brakes. They just seem to be more efficient and effective. My experience is that they stop more quickly than either rim brakes or mechanical discs. My main ride has hydraulic discs and my secondary ride (a C-V ride) has high end dual pivot rim brakes. I’d say the rim brakes are about 75% as effective as the discs.
Originally Posted by Baldy1953 View Post
My bike has hydraulic discs on it and I love them. Much better feel when applying pressure with less effort. Will not go back to rim brakes.
+1
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Old 08-15-18, 06:59 PM
  #45  
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...but that doesn't really apply here, as the OP is looking at a bike with either rim brakes or Shimano BR-305 mechanical discs. In that context, I'd go with the rim brakes. The cost to upgrade the mechs to hydraulic would be more than the cost of the entire bike.

Much as I prefer discs, in this instance, rim brakes all the way.
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Old 08-15-18, 09:07 PM
  #46  
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Thanks everyone. Good read here.

I'm leaning hard to the right in going with Rim Brakes. I'm familiar with them and it seems they will be efficient for my type of dry road/trail bicycling.
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Old 08-15-18, 10:17 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Riding brakes for a quarter of a mile is not a commonly experienced scenario. Bicycle disc brakes can be repeatedly modulated with minimal to no expected change in feel. Rubber pads for rim braking will dramatically change the demand to the amount of lever action required to maintain/change the stopping ability, that is if the blocks of rubber have not disintegrated from being smoked out when they've been exposed to conditions involving an excessive stopping distance.
Sigh, I've never, ever, had a brake block disintegrate on me or even look like it's come close to melting and I've ridden heavily loaded down some pretty big mountains requiring some heavy braking. The swept area of rim brakes is simply too large for that to happen and the standard for rim brakes states they have to be able to descend 7900ft in 30 minutes on a 20% slope without melting.
Yeah, it wasn't an average scenario,I was in, riding down a very steep walking path where I had to keep the speed under control because of pedestrians. But it was more I wasn't expecting for them to fade at all, since they are big brakes and I wasn't loaded. I have had discs fade in similar circumstances when touring though, coming down a steep sealed road with gravel patches where you simply couldn't build up any speed by pulsing them, because gaining any speed was too risky. In that case I had to stop when I started to feel them fade and let them cool down. This partly why I decided to stress test my new larger brakes, to see if I'd have the same problem again.
Point is disc brakes aren't bullet proof and need just as much care as rim brakes do, in terms of braking technique, just in a different way. You need to be careful of rim brakes in the rain and take into account their initial bite will be low until excess water is cleared off the rim, especially if you are using low quality pads. Disc brakes you need to be aware of the heat dissipation by the discs and in certain circumstances such as long loaded or steep descents use pulsed braking to allow the discs to cool.
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Old 08-16-18, 04:50 AM
  #48  
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Big yay for disc brakes from me, after about 4000 miles on new bike with them. Allows wider tires on road frame, less work taking wheels off, easier routine maintenance, better stopping on wet roads. On my touring bike (Trek 520), at my weight (230 lbs), stopping on a down hill was always an adventure, even unloaded.

There are a few routes I ride routinely that have turns near the bottom of hills - I can now actually brake with one arm and signal the turn with the other, while on the rim brakes that was not really an option.

Since I generally avoid riding in the rain, and since those times where they give me advantage over my other bikes with rim brakes are probably less than 1% of the time, I would not call them "must have" by any means - but very little of what we spend on bikes is "must have" anyway or we would all be riding the first bike we bought.

On my Domane SL6 disc, the weight penalty was 1 lb - being able to use my preferred 32 mm tires was worth that alone. At less than .5% of my body weight, I can counteract the added weight by having two fewer beers per month...
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Old 08-16-18, 05:53 AM
  #49  
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I have a Colnago World Cup CX with discs. I have a Masi and a Guru road bikes with traditional brakes. Do you need disc brakes? I don't. Are discs better? Absolutely. If I was building or buying a road bike, would I go with discs. Yes. One man's opinion.
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Old 08-16-18, 06:40 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
Just as an experiment the other day, I was going down a short (maybe 500m section of 17% or so road) I decided to see what would happen if I used my front TRP 180mm disc exclusively to slow down. Bike is Surly Troll, pretty heavy, maybe 18kg, I'm 90kg. No panniers, left them at the bottom of the hill. Pads were semi metallic Koolstops, calipers TRP Spykes operated by Jagwire Pro Cables and Avid Black Ops levers. Road was steep enough that braking produced a ripping noise from the Extraterrestrials. By the time I hit the car park I had virtually no front brake at all, you could squeeze the lever as hard as you like and nothing much happened, I couldn't feel any cable stretch. Brake disc was dark blue, so I didn't stop in the carpark, just did circles to let the disc cool and not glaze the pads.. So yeah, discs can fade, not something that I've ever had with rim brakes, and I've tried to cook them too.It surprised me actually I would have thought the combo I was using was as about a robust a disc set up as you could get and I wasn't expecting it to fade. Took a while to get full braking power bake after that, I had to re-bed the pads in

if you performed this "experiment" under like conditions, one bike equipped with disc brakes and one bike equipped with rim brakes, I think you are insinuating that the rim brake bike would perform better? don't let your prejudices cloud your next statement.
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