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Disc Brakes; Yay or Nay?

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Disc Brakes; Yay or Nay?

Old 08-21-18, 04:54 PM
  #151  
cyclintom
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Originally Posted by superpletch View Post
my bike has:


disc brakes, tubeless tires, thru axles, and di2 shifting-oh the horror! this must give you old heads DBDS (disc brake derangement syndrome)


disc brakes allow for more tire clearance? don't wear out rims from friction? better modulation? quieter, especially with carbon rims?


rim brakes work fine and I have them on the front of my vintage frame fixie.


get the bike you like and want to ride, even if it. has 3 wheels.

You can ride anything that the business can sell you. Disk brakes do not have "better modulation" than regular rim brakes. I won't argue that your rims will last longer if you won't argue that you're going to spend a hell of a lot more time replacing the disk pads. And the light weight disks wear out pretty rapidly. Though you are correct that it saves your $5,000 carbon wheels from wearing out from braking on the rims.


You have seen that changing a "through axle" on race bikes is so slow that the team car simple gives racers a new bike and changes the wheels later. The reason that through axles are necessary is because with a rim brake the force of stopping is at the fork crown/head tube whereas with a disk brake the stopping force is all at the axle. That makes the entire fork a lever capable of breaking. I don't think that normal 8 mm axles would break but the manufacturers certainly must be getting worried to put in 10 mm axles (25% larger) with a wrap-around locking mechanism.


There are plenty of reasons to use improving technology. BB30 cranks are narrower and if the BB is properly made and you use sealed ceramic bearings they will damn near last forever. With the narrower base you can be more efficient with your pedal stroke.


On a car or truck you have POWER braking systems completely with a fluid reservoir so that you can have very deep brake pads and as they wear down the fluid levels are renewed automatically. You don't have that on a bike so any wear on the brake pad shows up as level pull. It doesn't take long for the brake to bottom out against the bar. So you replace the pad to bring everything back to normal. Plus disk brakes have a hell of a lot more aero-drag. The TT bikes ALL use rim brakes.


Using tubeless tires has been an eye-opener to me. Wider, softer tires ride so much better that the old high pressure race tires we used to use seem silly now. The race teams are using tube tires instead of tubular and they are 26-27 mm wide. They are still getting a lot of flats because they are using those super low rolling resistance cotton ply tires that you could puncture with an evil look.


The long and the sort of it is that there are advances that are made to make the product better and others that aren't advances - only changes to help sell a new and "better" product. I have a couple of CX/gravel bikes and there is no question that good V-brakes have MUCH better modulation and only fractionally less power. And they don't squeal.
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Old 08-21-18, 05:00 PM
  #152  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I just went to see what tires I could fit on my road bike. I'm comfortable riding 28c road tires on fine gravel but Cycle Oregon is offering one of its gravel options this year where the stones are 1 to 2". It looked like I could get a 38c Pasela on the front. Fully expecting to have to deflate the tire, I went for it. Throwing the caliper release off was not quite enough. But popping the Tektro (Cane Creek? - I forget which this bike has) lever release and I had clearances to spare. Lots. And this on on pretty skinny rims, ~20 mm outside width. I suspect a 45c would go in inflated. The calipers are simply Shimano Ultergra? 105?. I picked them up used and never learned the model.

Now I do have a feature that helps clearance although that was never considered when I did it. My levers are road V-brake. Less leverage, more cable travel so they sit further off the rim. (V-brake levers to get the bigger, more comfortable hoods and drop the power for more predictable braking on mountain descents. I love e'm.)

Ben
Remember that you can overdo tire width. If you are riding through deep sand or gravel you have a lot of surface area showing. I put 32's on my gravel bike and they feel sort of too wide. I'm 6'4" and 185 lbs. While most of the trails around here are pretty hardpack there are sections of loose gravel. We tend to ride off the side of the trail where there is grass and no gravel in these areas.
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Old 08-21-18, 05:02 PM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
With the Infinite budget of Formula One racing motor cars , it's already a thing..
I have questions about braking wear. I've bought a set of carbon wheels and will update everyone as I see how it works.
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Old 08-21-18, 05:11 PM
  #154  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
LOL, I just remembered my 2004 Civic has drum brakes in the rear ... and a 5-speed stick.

But hey ... they don't use rim brakes on helicopters, so that proves .... well ....

Disc brakes offer nothing, it is true. I have discs on the front of my Honda and on two bikes and on all four wheels of two Toyotas ... and never in my life have any of those brake discs offered me a thing. Not even on my birthday or during the winter holidays.

On another hand, the rest of my bikes have rim brakes ... not even a card on my birthday. What a bunch of selfish ingrates.
Let me try to cover this again: You can have a fluid reservoir on your motorcycles, cars and trucks. This would be excess weight on a bike so they don't have them. Without a fluid reservoir brake pad wear equals more brake lever distance until the brake engages. Soon the brake lever bottoms against the handlebar and you have no brakes. You cannot "adjust" this as you possibly could with a mechanical disk. So you have to replace the pads all the time. There are also many other engineering considerations that make disk brakes on bicycles a not very good idea. You CAN use them on MTB's because the bikes are SOOO much heavier than a road bike and the entire sport is designed around flying downhill and not climbing up them.

I suspect that you are not an engineer or what I said would have been pretty plain to you the first time I said it. And if you are an engineer please tell me where you work so I could completely avoid your designs.
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Old 08-21-18, 06:15 PM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
You can ride anything that the business can sell you. Disk brakes do not have "better modulation" than regular rim brakes. I won't argue that your rims will last longer if you won't argue that you're going to spend a hell of a lot more time replacing the disk pads. And the light weight disks wear out pretty rapidly. Though you are correct that it saves your $5,000 carbon wheels from wearing out from braking on the rims.


You have seen that changing a "through axle" on race bikes is so slow that the team car simple gives racers a new bike and changes the wheels later. The reason that through axles are necessary is because with a rim brake the force of stopping is at the fork crown/head tube whereas with a disk brake the stopping force is all at the axle. That makes the entire fork a lever capable of breaking. I don't think that normal 8 mm axles would break but the manufacturers certainly must be getting worried to put in 10 mm axles (25% larger) with a wrap-around locking mechanism.


There are plenty of reasons to use improving technology. BB30 cranks are narrower and if the BB is properly made and you use sealed ceramic bearings they will damn near last forever. With the narrower base you can be more efficient with your pedal stroke.


On a car or truck you have POWER braking systems completely with a fluid reservoir so that you can have very deep brake pads and as they wear down the fluid levels are renewed automatically. You don't have that on a bike so any wear on the brake pad shows up as level pull. It doesn't take long for the brake to bottom out against the bar. So you replace the pad to bring everything back to normal. Plus disk brakes have a hell of a lot more aero-drag. The TT bikes ALL use rim brakes.


Using tubeless tires has been an eye-opener to me. Wider, softer tires ride so much better that the old high pressure race tires we used to use seem silly now. The race teams are using tube tires instead of tubular and they are 26-27 mm wide. They are still getting a lot of flats because they are using those super low rolling resistance cotton ply tires that you could puncture with an evil look.


The long and the sort of it is that there are advances that are made to make the product better and others that aren't advances - only changes to help sell a new and "better" product. I have a couple of CX/gravel bikes and there is no question that good V-brakes have MUCH better modulation and only fractionally less power. And they don't squeal.

wow, that was a strange screed. you are way smarter than me, obviously, but I change my disc brake pads in about 3 minutes and I've found they last about 3k miles. I'm not too concerned about the extra second it takes me to remove my thru-axle. I've never had to replace brake pads due to brake levers bottoming out, I've only ever had to replace them due to being worn out. I'm not worried about the fraction of a watt that disc brakes may consume due to aero drag? I love my tubeless tires and even run them on my road bikes. It appears you have limited experience with disc brakes. I love them, but ride what you want.

we better call the NIMH because DBDS is taking hold
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Old 08-21-18, 06:41 PM
  #156  
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Originally Posted by superpletch View Post
wow, that was a strange screed. you are way smarter than me, obviously, but I change my disc brake pads in about 3 minutes and I've found they last about 3k miles. I'm not too concerned about the extra second it takes me to remove my thru-axle. I've never had to replace brake pads due to brake levers bottoming out, I've only ever had to replace them due to being worn out. I'm not worried about the fraction of a watt that disc brakes may consume due to aero drag? I love my tubeless tires and even run them on my road bikes. It appears you have limited experience with disc brakes. I love them, but ride what you want.

we better call the NIMH because DBDS is taking hold
Everything you say is true. But people are telling us that they do it for superior performance. And you do not get that from disk brakes and oversized axles. As you say, what difference does it make? In the long run - none. I think that the tubeless tires were a good idea. I really like mine and I CAN tell a difference in rolling resistance and particularly on California's terrible roads.

I couldn't say how you can go 3,000 miles without the lever bottoming out but then I ride a LOT of hills. At the moment I almost have 100,000 ft of climbing this years in almost 3,000 miles. I missed out on several months of riding with eye surgery, dental work and then a month of rain. So I'm way behind. I rode the disk bike maybe 200 miles and had to replace the pads. Of course that is some pretty dramatic trails with up to 24% climbs and over 30% drops. Since a CX bike doesn't have any suspension you have to charge through a lot of stuff and grab a real handful of brakes before the next turn to do it all again. Maybe a disk road bike doesn't wear as fast. I don't wear out my rims or pads on the road bikes.
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Old 08-21-18, 08:37 PM
  #157  
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
When disc brakes fail through heat build up from heavy braking, they fail to a mode of not working. With the exception of carbon rims, rim brakes don't fail from heavy braking. When heavily loaded, going down big hills you do have to think about what is happening with discs and heat. You don't with rim brakes. I still like my discs and I'm not taking them off my bike, but they are only on there because I scored them cheap as part of a package deal.
my 2kw e-bike weighs 90lbs, sprints to 45mph in just a few seconds, and despite using it on heavy stop-start routes i don't get fade.

Again, pads. And discs. Its not fair to compare the best rim brakes to small/budget/resin disc set-ups.

Also, the wet... enough said.

My bike would be hopeless on rims.
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Old 08-21-18, 11:12 PM
  #158  
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Hydraulic disk brakes on bikes do have a fluid reservoir in the brake lever and do self adjust. If yours aren't self adjusting then something is wrong with them. It is one of the advantages over mechanicals.

Through axles exist because people wouldn't tighten their regular quick release correctly and with the way front disc brakes are made that can equal your front wheel flying off when you hit the brakes. If the brake caliper was installed on the front of the fork that wouldn't happen, braking would push the wheel up instead of down, but nobody thought of that or didn't like the look and now it is just the standard. Stiffness is an added bonus.
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Old 08-22-18, 07:08 AM
  #159  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
my 2kw e-bike weighs 90lbs, sprints to 45mph in just a few seconds, and despite using it on heavy stop-start routes i don't get fade.

Again, pads. And discs. Its not fair to compare the best rim brakes to small/budget/resin disc set-ups.

Also, the wet... enough said.

My bike would be hopeless on rims.
I don't think anyone is arguing about what a moped needs for brakes...
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Old 08-22-18, 07:13 AM
  #160  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I just went to see what tires I could fit on my road bike. I'm comfortable riding 28c road tires on fine gravel but Cycle Oregon is offering one of its gravel options this year where the stones are 1 to 2". It looked like I could get a 38c Pasela on the front. Fully expecting to have to deflate the tire, I went for it. Throwing the caliper release off was not quite enough. But popping the Tektro (Cane Creek? - I forget which this bike has) lever release and I had clearances to spare. Lots. And this on on pretty skinny rims, ~20 mm outside width. I suspect a 45c would go in inflated. The calipers are simply Shimano Ultergra? 105?. I picked them up used and never learned the model.

Now I do have a feature that helps clearance although that was never considered when I did it. My levers are road V-brake. Less leverage, more cable travel so they sit further off the rim. (V-brake levers to get the bigger, more comfortable hoods and drop the power for more predictable braking on mountain descents. I love e'm.)

Ben
v brakes are definitely underrated. They stop big time.
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Old 08-22-18, 07:16 AM
  #161  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
my 2kw e-bike weighs 90lbs, sprints to 45mph in just a few seconds, and despite using it on heavy stop-start routes i don't get fade.

Again, pads. And discs. Its not fair to compare the best rim brakes to small/budget/resin disc set-ups.

Also, the wet... enough said.

My bike would be hopeless on rims.
you have a motorcycle, not a bike.
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Old 08-22-18, 07:21 AM
  #162  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
my 2kw e-bike weighs 90lbs, sprints to 45mph in just a few seconds, and despite using it on heavy stop-start routes i don't get fade.

Again, pads. And discs. Its not fair to compare the best rim brakes to small/budget/resin disc set-ups.

Also, the wet... enough said.

My bike would be hopeless on rims.
i don t really have a dog in this fight but you have a motor bike. I would assume it would require different brakes than a bicycle. It's really a completely different application. Cheers and ride on man!
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Old 08-22-18, 07:37 AM
  #163  
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So what y'all are saying now is that rim brakes are fine because you're slow? Why would I not want brakes to quickly bring me down from 45mph? I can hit 45mph on a descent quite easily.

I didn't realize I was supposed to operate only within a range of lower, rim-brake friendly speeds.

Either the argument is that rim brakes are every bit as good as disc brakes, without any applied conditionals, or you're conceding.

And (hopefully) for the last time (in this thread)

THE RIM BRAKES ARE A BETTER OPTION IN THE OP's CASE BECAUSE THEY ARE LIGHTER, CHEAPER, AND THE LOW-END DISC BRAKES AREN'T WORTH IT
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Old 08-22-18, 07:40 AM
  #164  
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My motorbike can do a quarter mile in 13 seconds and has a drum brake in the back. Maybe bicycles should use drum brakes
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Old 08-22-18, 09:14 AM
  #165  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
So what y'all are saying now is that rim brakes are fine because you're slow? Why would I not want brakes to quickly bring me down from 45mph? I can hit 45mph on a descent quite easily.

I didn't realize I was supposed to operate only within a range of lower, rim-brake friendly speeds.

Either the argument is that rim brakes are every bit as good as disc brakes, without any applied conditionals, or you're conceding.

And (hopefully) for the last time (in this thread)

THE RIM BRAKES ARE A BETTER OPTION IN THE OP's CASE BECAUSE THEY ARE LIGHTER, CHEAPER, AND THE LOW-END DISC BRAKES AREN'T WORTH IT
So are you saying disc brakes are better or rim brakes are better? Cause it sounds like you just said rim brakes are better.
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Old 08-22-18, 09:52 AM
  #166  
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Originally Posted by Cl904 View Post
My motorbike can do a quarter mile in 13 seconds and has a drum brake in the back. Maybe bicycles should use drum brakes
My Honda can crush your motorcycle and has drum brakes in the back. Maybe we should all have Honda Civics.
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
THE RIM BRAKES ARE A BETTER OPTION IN THE OP's CASE BECAUSE THEY ARE LIGHTER, CHEAPER, AND THE LOW-END DISC BRAKES AREN'T WORTH IT
Yeah, so ... what's your point?
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Old 08-22-18, 09:55 AM
  #167  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
My Honda can crush your motorcycle and has drum brakes in the back. Maybe we should all have Honda Civics.
My motorcycle is a Honda too... maybe if Honda made bicycles we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

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Old 08-22-18, 10:03 AM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by Cl904 View Post
My motorcycle is a Honda too... maybe if Honda made bicycles we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.
You win.
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Old 08-22-18, 02:45 PM
  #169  
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
So are you saying disc brakes are better or rim brakes are better? Cause it sounds like you just said rim brakes are better.

I'm saying it's not a black or white issue. In the OP's case, there is nothing to be gained in choosing the disc model, because the equipment is... meh. Rim brakes will do the same job for less money, with less weight.

Now if the extra $150 was magically getting him 4-piston hydraulic discs, then there would be no comparison. But it's not. It's getting mechanical Shimano BR-RS305s. They are in the best case unremarkable, and certainly not worth putting 1.75lbs on the bike.

The Hope RX4 brakes on my CX bike weighs about 200g more than a comparable rim brake setup-- with IceTech rotors, no less-- and I would put it up head-to-head performance-wise against any rim brake setup available.

But the calipers, rotors, levers, and hoses cost nearly as much as the Speedster 20 the OP is looking at, so it's not really relevant.
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Old 08-22-18, 02:54 PM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I'm saying it's not a black or white issue.
No! No! Screwdrivers are Always better than Allen wrenches!

Not a perfect analogy ... but there are different applications where different systems are superior and otehrs where they are not.

I rode a bike with Ultegra rim brakes in the rain last night. I guess I must have died.

This argument over which brake system is "better" is no more reasonable than debating index versus friction, bar-end versus brifter, or Al versus Ti, versus steel versus CF ... or road bikes versus CX versus MTBs, or hard-tails versus full squish.

Apples are just better than oranges. Always ... said the guy who didn't make orange juice.
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Old 08-22-18, 02:58 PM
  #171  
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Yeah, I've got Ultegra rim brakes on my other bike. They work fine-- great, even. I had the option of getting my Cervelo with discs, opted not to. Good disc brakes are great. Good disc brakes are also (usually) pretty expensive.

Newer dual-pivot Shimano rim brakes are inexpensive and they work great. It's nice to live in a world where I can not only have both kinds of brakes, but recognize the advantages and disadvantages of both kinds of brakes.
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Old 08-22-18, 03:03 PM
  #172  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I'm saying it's not a black or white issue. In the OP's case, there is nothing to be gained in choosing the disc model, because the equipment is... meh. Rim brakes will do the same job for less money, with less weight.

Now if the extra $150 was magically getting him 4-piston hydraulic discs, then there would be no comparison. But it's not. It's getting mechanical Shimano BR-RS305s. They are in the best case unremarkable, and certainly not worth putting 1.75lbs on the bike.

The Hope RX4 brakes on my CX bike weighs about 200g more than a comparable rim brake setup-- with IceTech rotors, no less-- and I would put it up head-to-head performance-wise against any rim brake setup available.

But the calipers, rotors, levers, and hoses cost nearly as much as the Speedster 20 the OP is looking at, so it's not really relevant.
I see carbon rotors ARE available for bikes now. You could probably get some carbon rotors and cut that weight differential even lower. That would probably get rid of any brake fade except for the craziest, extremest situations.
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Old 08-22-18, 03:46 PM
  #173  
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On cars, getting carbon rotors up to operating temps is a real challenge.
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Old 08-22-18, 08:03 PM
  #174  
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I want to see Buell type rotors enter the bicycle arena. Or how about the Magura hydro rim brakes? Those things were powerful. As for low end mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes, get V brakes. They simply are a better option at the low end price point.
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Old 08-23-18, 09:21 AM
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desmodue
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I want to see Buell type rotors enter the bicycle arena. Or how about the Magura hydro rim brakes? Those things were powerful. As for low end mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes, get V brakes. They simply are a better option at the low end price point.
Why would anyone want a 25" diameter disc brake on a bicycle? It sucked on Buells, but at least it was balanced since everything else about a Buell sucked.
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