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

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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

Old 02-26-20, 10:15 AM
  #351  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
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.


Bikes with 27" wheels generally came with tires 1 1/4" (~32mm) or narrower.
I guess you are not familiar with the late 70's Benotto Aguila de Tachira model which was world champion. Fits 21-23mm. Other bike manufacturers started catching on, as you notice, in the 80s.
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Old 02-26-20, 10:17 AM
  #352  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
27" tires were/are produced in widths under 1 1/4."
Yeah, 1 inch is 25.4 mm, so 1 1/4 rounds out at a width about 32 mm. Pretty modern stuff...
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Old 02-26-20, 10:21 AM
  #353  
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Just a bit of advice from an old timer: what you ride is less important than where and how you ride.
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Old 02-26-20, 10:26 AM
  #354  
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Originally Posted by edscott View Post
Yeah, 1 inch is 25.4 mm, so 1 1/4 rounds out at a width about 32 mm. Pretty modern stuff...
Originally Posted by edscott. View Post
Just a bit of advice from an old timer: what you ride is less important than where and how you ride.
We have an "edscott" and an "edscott."
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Old 02-26-20, 10:32 AM
  #355  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I'm glad you said it, not me. I like classic bikes, but not that one.
Aesthetics being personal preference, people should be able to say they don't like something, or even that they think it is downright ugly, without anyone getting offended.

Originally Posted by edscott. View Post
Just a bit of advice from an old timer: what you ride is less important than where and how you ride.
Agreed, most important thing is to just ride.
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Old 02-26-20, 10:37 AM
  #356  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Aesthetics being personal preference, people should be able to say they don't like something, or even that they think it is downright ugly, without anyone getting offended.
Agreed, most important thing is to just ride.
Anyone that gets offended because of someone else's opinion/personal taste has an ego issue.

Anyone that says rim brakes are as much efficient as disc brakes, however, is an ignorant (literal sense of course). Regardless, that person is still entitled to having an opinion!

Last edited by eduskator; 02-26-20 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:01 AM
  #357  
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Nobody wants to hear other people say their stuff is ugly.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:02 AM
  #358  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
We have an "edscott" and an "edscott."
Yeah, I was wondering why I was getting notifications on two different email accounts. I'll see if I can get rid of the edscott.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
Anyone that gets offended because of someone else's opinion/personal taste has an ego issue.

Anyone who says that rim brakes are as much efficient as disc brakes, however, is an ignorant (literal sense of course). Regardless, that person is still entitled to having an opinion!
Agreed.

Definition of efficient

1 : productive of desired effects especially : capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials)

If you watch the video I posted you will see that disc brakes are not more efficient in every respect. So anybody who says disc or rim or drum brakes are more efficient in all effects is ignorant (literal sense, again).

What anybody can say (and is not ignorant in the literal sense) is that disc or rim or drum brakes are *better*, because that is a subjective term which depends on the user. If your notion of better is ruled by ease of adjustment you get one thing, if you value braking power at 80 kph rolling down the alps, you probably get something else. Same thing with uglier or prettier or even sexier.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:44 AM
  #360  
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Disc brakes can be beautiful, sleek and elegant if done properly.

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Old 02-26-20, 11:50 AM
  #361  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Disc brakes can be beautiful, sleek and elegant if done properly.

this is an example of how not to do it, right?
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Old 02-26-20, 11:51 AM
  #362  
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Originally Posted by edscott View Post
I guess you are not familiar with the late 70's Benotto Aguila de Tachira model which was world champion. Fits 21-23mm. Other bike manufacturers started catching on, as you notice, in the 80s.
It's true that I'm not familiar with the tire clearance of literally every single model of bicycle ever made. I wasn't claiming that nobody had ever made a super-tight-clearance bicycle in the 60s or 70s; I was saying that it was typical for there to be wider clearance.

Also, I just looked up photos of a 1978 Benotto 3000, and it's not obvious what about its geometry would dictate a limit of 23mm. The tires it's wearing in those images are about 23mm wide judging by the frontal shot. The fork and rear brake bridge clearly have room for far more, and the chainstay bridge is also positioned very high out from the tire. The only thing that might be preventing a much larger tire from being installed is the chainstay profile, which is hard to make out in the shots... but even if it is the limiting factor, you wouldn't really need to alter the bike's "geometry" to widen that up somewhat.

It's also bizarre that you're acting like I should have known that "world champion geometry" refers to the geometry of a single model of bicycle that Francesco Moser happened to ride to the rainbow stripes in the later years of the period being discussed. A whole lot of people rode bikes that could readily fit 28s or bigger to world championships in the 60s and 70s.

Last edited by HTupolev; 02-26-20 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:54 AM
  #363  
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Anybody remember Cavendish riding a hydraulic rim brake bike for a stage or two in the Tour? I think SRAM was working on a system. He said he liked them a lot. I think the problem they were having with them was controlling the right amount of force on the rims. Sometimes the rims would get crushed.

Rim brake is actually a very efficient system for slowing down a bicycle. It is when we started to add all these others things to the mix, like carbon wheels and hydro braking that required a different approach.
I am sure if the industry had to, they would be able to get hydro braking to work for rim applications. But given they have a solution that takes care of several issues important to consumers, it is doubtful that will ever occur.
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Old 02-26-20, 12:11 PM
  #364  
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That feeling of buying expensive CF wheels and then wearing them down to the bone due to the pressure & high temperatures generated by the friction; what a good one!
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Old 02-26-20, 12:11 PM
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Hi, I'm looking to buy a new road bike for fast rides. Should I get one with disc brakes like the racers have, or stick with old school technology? I've heard many say rim brakes are usually adequate, or good enough. Thanks!
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Old 02-26-20, 12:12 PM
  #366  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Hi, I'm looking to buy a new road bike for fast rides. Should I get one with disc brakes like the racers have, or stick with old school technology. I've heard many say rim brakes are usually adequate, or good enough. Thanks!
You will find hundreds of posts here on that, including this one.
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Old 02-26-20, 12:17 PM
  #367  
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The rotor on the rear wheel almost disappears into the bike. There's a cassette on one end, a rotor on the other, it's like circular book ends. Front one stands out a little more.

I thought the DA rotors were ugly at first, the black fins seemed to make them stand out. But in a dark bike with black carbon rims, they look like they belong.

Flat mount looks like part of the frame.

I've always liked the aesthetic of modern race bikes, and disc brakes fit in pretty well.
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Old 02-26-20, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
The UCI's 6.9kg weight requirement is antiquated. Rim brake bikes are forced to add on weight?
They need to lower this limit down to 5.5 kg. Then we'll revisit this debate again?
Exactly. Quintana in the example starting the thread paid no weight penalty for using discs.

Those of us not subject to UCI weight limits do.

You can debate the significance of the weight penalty.

However, the UCI weight limit takes weight out of the debate for Pros and for much of a market that wants to ride what the pros ride
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Old 02-26-20, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
The rotor on the rear wheel almost disappears into the bike. There's a cassette on one end, a rotor on the other, it's like circular book ends. Front one stands out a little more.

I thought the DA rotors were ugly at first, the black fins seemed to make them stand out. But in a dark bike with black carbon rims, they look like they belong.

Flat mount looks like part of the frame.

I've always liked the aesthetic of modern race bikes, and disc brakes fit in pretty well.
Also, the braking just looks more "at home" in the center of the wheel than out at the edge. Rim calipers break up the clean lines of the frame, when you look at a disc brake bike you see uninterrupted bike.



SRAM hydro brifters are big and bulbous but Shimano did a good job with theirs.

And I know, I need to cut the steering tube.
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Old 02-26-20, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
It's true that I'm not familiar with the tire clearance of literally every single model of bicycle ever made. I wasn't claiming that nobody had ever made a super-tight-clearance bicycle in the 60s or 70s; I was saying that it was typical for there to be wider clearance.

Also, I just looked up photos of a 1978 Benotto 3000, and it's not obvious what about its geometry would dictate a limit of 23mm. The tires it's wearing in those images are about 23mm wide judging by the frontal shot. The fork and rear brake bridge clearly have room for far more, and the chainstay bridge is also positioned very high out from the tire. The only thing that might be preventing a much larger tire from being installed is the chainstay profile, which is hard to make out in the shots... but even if it is the limiting factor, you wouldn't really need to alter the bike's "geometry" to widen that up somewhat.

It's also bizarre that you're acting like I should have known that "world champion geometry" refers to the geometry of a single model of bicycle that Francesco Moser happened to ride to the rainbow stripes in the later years of the period being discussed. A whole lot of people rode bikes that could readily fit 28s or bigger to world championships in the 60s and 70s.


Also, I just looked up photos of a 1978 Benotto 3000, and it's not obvious what about its geometry would dictate a limit of 23mm. The tires it's wearing in those images are about 23mm wide judging by the frontal shot. The fork and rear brake bridge clearly have room for far more, and the chainstay bridge is also positioned very high out from the tire. The only thing that might be preventing a much larger tire from being installed is the chainstay profile, which is hard to make out in the shots... but even if it is the limiting factor, you wouldn't really need to alter the bike's "geometry" to widen that up somewhat.

It's also bizarre that you're acting like I should have known that "world champion geometry" refers to the geometry of a single model of bicycle that Francesco Moser happened to ride to the rainbow stripes in the later years of the period being discussed. A whole lot of people rode bikes that could readily fit 28s or bigger to world championships in the 60s and 70s.
I have a couple vintage Benotto 3000's, (82 and 83) and those can clearly fit a 25 mm. But the particular bike I am referring to is the "Aguila de Tachira" version, of which 100 frames were made in 2018 matching original specifications, at a hefty price tag. This frame cannot fit a 25 mm. Maybe the front fork can, but there is not enough clearance in the rear.

I'm sorry if you are offended if I seem bizarre, but I guess it is a bizarre to own as many bicycles as I do.

Here's a picture of the rear brake, where you can see the tight clearance. If you don't believe that it won't fit a 25 mm, well...

But back to rim brakes, I think these skeleton brakes are not too pretty (and a pain to keep clean), but they sure as ever have more than enough braking power on the steep mountain climbs which surround this city. Someday I might throw in some 250 euros to get the Record model, just for the pretty part.

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Old 02-26-20, 12:48 PM
  #371  
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"Everybody makes too big of a deal out of bike weight - a couple hundred grams isn't going to make any meaningful difference. Well, unless that few hundred grams is by way of disc brakes - those grams are ten times as heavy and nobody needs that ****."

- The 42 41
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Old 02-26-20, 12:50 PM
  #372  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
The profit maximizing strategy for the major manufacturers is to promote disk brakes so everyone thinks they have to buy a new complete bike instead of upgrading components on their old frame.
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I don't think people are spending thousands of hard earned dollars on disc brake road bikes just because Big Bike made them available, or got some kind of serum into the water supply.
I've actually been discussing a lot of this with others in the industry. Almost all of us in the "accessories" or "upgrade" segments have seen a colossal drop in sales in the last few year. It's because people have gotten to the point where they can't just go buy an upgrade - they HAVE to buy a bike because the tech has changed that much and not a lot of the old stuff is still available or appealing to them anymore (I love those wheels but it looks like I'm going to have to go disc here in the short term anyway so I'll hold off for now).

That's led to a artificially high number of bikes being sold for the last 3 years or so. That is starting to calm down as the tech become ubiquitous. The shift we will see in the next few years will be bike sales dropping and upgrades coming back up as people who have had their cool new bike with disc brakes for a few years now start to look for ways to freshen it up instead of buying another $3k-$8k bike.

So.... by nearly eliminating the rim brake option from most lines in most brands the industry did artificially create a push/need in people to buy full bicycles. It's just the way it is.

I'm not one to go for conspiracy theories though. There is no "Big Bike" as there isn't enough money in this industry for that to exist and hardly any of us can agree on anything let alone carry out a conspiracy. It's simply a lot of small brands going, "Uh... everyone else has disc. That's what people want I guess. We need to make disc bikes too. Make everything like the big guys are."
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Old 02-26-20, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
The difference in my 2015 model bike is 373g. This was measured at the shop using a Park DS-1
373g is over 3/4 of a pound.

People used to argue with me that they HAD to use alloy nipples because an extra 18g on a wheelset was going to be way too much.
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Old 02-26-20, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by edscott. View Post
A moot point, considering tires are the weak link in the braking chain of events. Check this out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0hKMgUEku4
This is the thing that always makes me roll my eyes back when people start with "Disc brakes are stronger". Uh... the largest rotor you can have is a rim. "Give me a lever long enough and I can move the world."

... The contact patch is the weak link
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Old 02-26-20, 01:01 PM
  #375  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
I've actually been discussing a lot of this with others in the industry. Almost all of us in the "accessories" or "upgrade" segments have seen a colossal drop in sales in the last few year. It's because people have gotten to the point where they can't just go buy an upgrade - they HAVE to buy a bike because the tech has changed that much and not a lot of the old stuff is still available or appealing to them anymore (I love those wheels but it looks like I'm going to have to go disc here in the short term anyway so I'll hold off for now).
Maybe it's because a lot of cyclists HAVE to buy a gravel bike, like all their friends? That's got to be sucking up a lot of the money these days.
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