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Disc brakes are now the default on road bikes – and no one cares

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Disc brakes are now the default on road bikes – and no one cares

Old 02-25-20, 06:41 PM
  #326  
tomato coupe
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I have never crashed that bike so I conclude that drum brakes are good enough and they are infinitely less maintenance than any other kind of brake.
I've never crashed using the sole of my shoe as a brake, so I'm going to conclude they're good enough (and lower maintenance than drums, discs, or rim brakes!)
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Old 02-25-20, 06:45 PM
  #327  
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Originally Posted by AlanHK View Post
I care. I recently got my first bike with hydraulic brakes, a used one I thought was a bargain, and have had so much hassle and expense getting the brakes working that I am pulling out my hair.
...
For hydraulics I had to buy the absurdly expensive Shimano oil, tubes, syringes, and then give it multiple transfusions to replace the fluid. Then replace the expensive brake pads. Then spend hours polishing and tweaking the rotors to make them flat. Then get a new expensive lockring to secure the rotor. Then get a lockring tool to attach it it. Align the brakes. All the time being paranoid about getting a drop of oil on the pads and poisoning them.
So you bought a bike with air in the lines, worn pads, a warped rotor, and a missing lock-ring... and disc brakes are to blame?

FWIW, a bleed kit costs 20 bucks and another 20 bucks will get you enough Shimano mineral oil to last a personal fleet about a decade.
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Old 02-25-20, 06:46 PM
  #328  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I've never crashed using the sole of my shoe as a brake, so I'm going to conclude they're good enough (and lower maintenance than drums, discs, or rim brakes!)
I stand corrected and agree with your conclusion. Come to think of it, I rode fixed-brakeless for years which is zero brake maintenance, but not really adequate stopping power. I crashed a bunch of times.
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Old 02-25-20, 07:12 PM
  #329  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I've never crashed using the sole of my shoe as a brake, so I'm going to conclude they're good enough (and lower maintenance than drums, discs, or rim brakes!)
Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I stand corrected and agree with your conclusion. Come to think of it, I rode fixed-brakeless for years which is zero brake maintenance, but not really adequate stopping power. I crashed a bunch of times.
My skis don't have brakes at all, and I only crash them sometimes. Pizza and french fries are all anybody needs! ​​​​​​​
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Old 02-25-20, 07:19 PM
  #330  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
So you bought a bike with air in the lines, worn pads, a warped rotor, and a missing lock-ring... and disc brakes are to blame?
All those problems were with disc brakes, so yes.
The lockring was not missing, but it was the wrong type; could not tighten up after I took it off to service the wheel bearings. Just found that out so I'm still pissed about that.

Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
FWIW, a bleed kit costs 20 bucks and another 20 bucks will get you enough Shimano mineral oil to last a personal fleet about a decade.
Not where I live, which is not in the USA.
I didn't need a litre of oil, I don't have a fleet of bikes that use it but it cost about twice what Shimano wanted for 60 ml, which would barely give one bleed,so I had to buy it. Walked 90 minutes to a bike shop that had it.
If it ever works, it tethers you to a repair base, you can't carry all the crap you need to fix it if you are away. I spent a few years bike touring in Asia; not going to do that with hydraulics.

Anyway, it's true I got a dog; but I've fixed up dozens of bikes and got them roadworthy in my life, never had so much hassle.
Now I understand why I see so many bikes with rotors on the wheels but have rim brakes fitted. So much easier to just to bolt on rim brakes from a junk box or an old bike and ride away than maintain hydraulics.

No problem with them being an option; not happy if it is the ONLY option.

Last edited by AlanHK; 02-25-20 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 02-25-20, 07:42 PM
  #331  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
My skis don't have brakes at all, and I only crash them sometimes. Pizza and french fries are all anybody needs!
and maybe a little hot dog from time to time.
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Old 02-25-20, 07:48 PM
  #332  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
So you bought a bike with air in the lines, worn pads, a warped rotor, and a missing lock-ring... and disc brakes are to blame?

FWIW, a bleed kit costs 20 bucks and another 20 bucks will get you enough Shimano mineral oil to last a personal fleet about a decade.
Originally Posted by AlanHK View Post
All those problems were with disc brakes, so yes.
The lockring was not missing, but it was the wrong type; could not tighten up after I took it off to service the wheel bearings. Just found that out so I'm still pissed about that.
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Old 02-25-20, 08:05 PM
  #333  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Depends on what you call "classic." Most road bikes from the early 80s and before can fit at least 30s with healthy clearance.
Yeah, I guess a more specific adjective would be "world champion classic", since most road bikes from the 70's and early 80's were 27'', which is over 32 mm wide.
Seems that there's nothing new under the sun, today, just as when those 10 speed bikes were popular, wider tires have a greater appeal to a greater number of consumers.
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Old 02-25-20, 08:17 PM
  #334  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Serious question - do they work so well that you don't even think about their being wet? With rim brakes in the rain I just adjust my thinking and technique to accommodate for what I know will be reduced performance - how much less accommodation would I be making with discs?
My experience is that disk brakes work very well in the rain. There's essentially zero accommodation for the brakes working, but you still have to account for the loss of traction on wet pavement. My experience is also that if you ride very much in the rain, the grime and oil from the road contaminates the pads so there's nothing you can do to get them to stop squealing but clean the rotors and replace the pads. I've never worn out a set of disk brake pads but have replaced them many times just to stop the noise.
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Old 02-25-20, 08:39 PM
  #335  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
. I've never worn out a set of disk brake pads
I wear out the pads on my mountain bike every few months but my bike is under-braked. I do some long descents, sometimes steep ones.
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Old 02-25-20, 08:52 PM
  #336  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
My experience is that disk brakes work very well in the rain. There's essentially zero accommodation for the brakes working, but you still have to account for the loss of traction on wet pavement. My experience is also that if you ride very much in the rain, the grime and oil from the road contaminates the pads so there's nothing you can do to get them to stop squealing but clean the rotors and replace the pads. I've never worn out a set of disk brake pads but have replaced them many times just to stop the noise.
That has been my experience commuting through the Maine winter. Road slop inevitably contaminates the pads and leads to squealing. Probably worth the trade off for safety in all weather on the commute. Recently chose a custom ti road bike with rim brakes for my pleasure riding though. Choose the best tool for the task!

David
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Old 02-25-20, 09:17 PM
  #337  
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Originally Posted by AlanHK View Post
All those problems were with disc brakes, so yes.
The lockring was not missing, but it was the wrong type; could not tighten up after I took it off to service the wheel bearings. Just found that out so I'm still pissed about that.

Not where I live, which is not in the USA.
I didn't need a litre of oil, I don't have a fleet of bikes that use it but it cost about twice what Shimano wanted for 60 ml, which would barely give one bleed,so I had to buy it. Walked 90 minutes to a bike shop that had it.
If it ever works, it tethers you to a repair base, you can't carry all the crap you need to fix it if you are away. I spent a few years bike touring in Asia; not going to do that with hydraulics.

Anyway, it's true I got a dog; but I've fixed up dozens of bikes and got them roadworthy in my life, never had so much hassle.
Now I understand why I see so many bikes with rotors on the wheels but have rim brakes fitted. So much easier to just to bolt on rim brakes from a junk box or an old bike and ride away than maintain hydraulics.

No problem with them being an option; not happy if it is the ONLY option.
Let's just clarify - none of what you're relating is typical hydraulic maintenance. I don't know what you or the previous owner did, but once properly set up, hydro is about as maintenance-free as brakes can get. I've got four years on one bike and two on the other - so far, I've had to change pads a few times, true a rotor and I once sanded a set of pads because they were contaminated and squealing. We're talking an hour, all-in... maybe an hour and two minutes if you add all of the times that I had to flick the levers to get the air bubbles back in to the reservoirs after transporting the bike long distances.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:24 PM
  #338  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
My experience is that disk brakes work very well in the rain. There's essentially zero accommodation for the brakes working, but you still have to account for the loss of traction on wet pavement. My experience is also that if you ride very much in the rain, the grime and oil from the road contaminates the pads so there's nothing you can do to get them to stop squealing but clean the rotors and replace the pads. I've never worn out a set of disk brake pads but have replaced them many times just to stop the noise.
If you have enough pad left, put some sandpaper on a flat surface and scrub your pad faces. I've done this with resin pads - it went pretty quickly and worked dandy. I'm just bedding in my first set of metallic pads, so no experience with them in this regard, but I would imagine that it would work fine, though it might take a little more elbow grease and/or different grit sandpaper.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:32 PM
  #339  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you have enough pad left, put some sandpaper on a flat surface and scrub your pad faces. I've done this with resin pads - it went pretty quickly and worked dandy. I'm just bedding in my first set of metallic pads, so no experience with them in this regard, but I would imagine that it would work fine, though it might take a little more elbow grease and/or different grit sandpaper.
I tried that once and it didn't work for me, so I just bought a bunch of sets of pads and replace them whenever they start to squeal. I ride brevets and I can get stuck riding in the rain for a lot longer than most people. These days if there's rain in the forecast I'll just take a rim brake bike so I don't have to deal with it. Ironic huh?
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Old 02-25-20, 09:33 PM
  #340  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you have enough pad left, put some sandpaper on a flat surface and scrub your pad faces. I've done this with resin pads - it went pretty quickly and worked dandy. I'm just bedding in my first set of metallic pads, so no experience with them in this regard, but I would imagine that it would work fine, though it might take a little more elbow grease and/or different grit sandpaper.
Why did you switch from resin pads?
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Old 02-25-20, 09:44 PM
  #341  
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Originally Posted by edscott View Post
Yeah, I guess a more specific adjective would be "world champion classic", since most road bikes from the 70's and early 80's were 27'', which is over 32 mm wide.
Seems that there's nothing new under the sun, today, just as when those 10 speed bikes were popular, wider tires have a greater appeal to a greater number of consumers.
27" tires were/are produced in widths under 1 1/4."
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Old 02-25-20, 09:47 PM
  #342  
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Originally Posted by edscott View Post
Yeah, I guess a more specific adjective would be "world champion classic"
No. While "recreational" road bikes often had more space than the "racing" models, most proper racing bikes from that era had pretty healthy clearances as well. Partly because wider tires existed and did get used (the Clement Campionato del Mondo Seta silk reportedly measured somewhere in the 28-30mm ballpark), and partly because road bikes weren't heavily specialized: pro racers didn't want to grind to a sudden halt every time they blew a spoke at Paris-Roubaix.

Clearances didn't start crunching down across the board until into the 1980s.

since most road bikes from the 70's and early 80's were 27'', which is over 32 mm wide.
Bikes with 27" wheels generally came with tires 1 1/4" (~32mm) or narrower.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:48 PM
  #343  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Why did you switch from resin pads?
I didn't, really - for whatever reason, the new set of Ultegra levers/calipers came with metal pads installed, so I figured I'd give em a chance and use em.

Side note: I hope these things get considerably better after they bed in, because their stopping power is ass compared to resin so far.
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Old 02-25-20, 10:10 PM
  #344  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I hope these things get considerably better after they bed in, because their stopping power is ass compared to resin so far.
That's why I asked.
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Old 02-25-20, 10:57 PM
  #345  
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
The very act of having that much additional leverage means they could do a better job stopping because they could apply more resistance to the rim, particularly once things stiffened up.
Not exactly. Higher leverage means that you can get more clamping force for a given hand grip force, but it also means there's less pad engagement for a given lever travel. High-leverage v-brake setups can have a higher risk of bottoming out the lever against the bars before maximal braking is achieved, unless everything about the setup is very stiff and everything is very true and set close.

Cantilevers can be more prone to housing compression since the shorter pulls produce more cable tension, but if that's stiff, a good canti setup can produce quite a lot of clamping and fork flex. Case in point, check out these pads on the Tektro CR720s on my Campeur:



I foolishly set them up flat to the rim, and they went ahead and toed themselves in fairly dramatically. And that's not just in the brake mechanism: the flex under strong braking forces is clearly visible in the front rack, which has its upper mounts on the canti posts.

Interestingly, I see much less of that effect on the Deore T610 v-brakes on my gravel bike, which also gets a lot of hard stops on paved use. Those brakes also feel quite stiff without any boosting despite having very high mechanical advantage, but they're on a very beefy frameset, originally an early-80s MTB.

Last edited by HTupolev; 02-25-20 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 02-25-20, 11:29 PM
  #346  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
My experience is that disk brakes work very well in the rain. There's essentially zero accommodation for the brakes working, but you still have to account for the loss of traction on wet pavement. My experience is also that if you ride very much in the rain, the grime and oil from the road contaminates the pads so there's nothing you can do to get them to stop squealing but clean the rotors and replace the pads. I've never worn out a set of disk brake pads but have replaced them many times just to stop the noise.
I have discs on my rain bike and haven’t had a problem. I have full fenders with buddy flaps. I wonder if that keeps this clean enough.
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Old 02-25-20, 11:45 PM
  #347  
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I have discs on my rain bike and haven’t had a problem. I have full fenders with buddy flaps. I wonder if that keeps this clean enough.
Me too. You're just luckier than me I guess.

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Old 02-26-20, 07:34 AM
  #348  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you have enough pad left, put some sandpaper on a flat surface and scrub your pad faces. I've done this with resin pads - it went pretty quickly and worked dandy. I'm just bedding in my first set of metallic pads, so no experience with them in this regard, but I would imagine that it would work fine, though it might take a little more elbow grease and/or different grit sandpaper.
Hold them in a gas flame for about 20 sec or so until the contamination smokes off. This has never failed to restore pads for me.
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Old 02-26-20, 08:12 AM
  #349  
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Originally Posted by edscott. View Post
I certainly agree that preferences are purely personal. On the other hand, this 2018 classic geometry frame would look hideous with disk brakes
I think that looks pretty hideous already, but again, totally personal preference, there is absolutely nothing about classic bikes that I find aesthetically pleasing.

The good thing is that we all get to ride whatever we want (or can afford lol).
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Old 02-26-20, 08:35 AM
  #350  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I think that looks pretty hideous already, but again, totally personal preference, there is absolutely nothing about classic bikes that I find aesthetically pleasing.

The good thing is that we all get to ride whatever we want (or can afford lol).
I'm glad you said it, not me. I like classic bikes, but not that one.
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