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One Man’s View Of Disc Brakes

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Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

One Man’s View Of Disc Brakes

Old 08-20-19, 02:36 PM
  #76  
redlude97
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
They are constantly either rubbing or squeaking or both. I've done the whole sand the pads and rotors, replace the pads and rotors. I've tried everything. Nothing I can do despite endless fiddling can stop them from rubbing and/or squeaking for more than a few hundred miles. I keep my bikes clean so rim vs. disk is the same effort in that regard.
Sounds like you need to true your rotors. New rotors are not necessarily true and the hub mount may also not be perfectly flat. If your rotors are straight you shouldn't need to do all that regularly. In fact sanding the pads and rotors constantly is making the problem worse because you need to re-bed them each time. Either that or something is crooked like the mounts or the hub has play
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Old 08-20-19, 02:44 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Sounds like you need to true your rotors. New rotors are not necessarily true and the hub mount may also not be perfectly flat. If your rotors are straight you shouldn't need to do all that regularly. In fact sanding the pads and rotors constantly is making the problem worse because you need to re-bed them each time. Either that or something is crooked like the mounts or the hub has play
I'm not some incompetent home-mechanic who can't figure out if a rotor is true or not, over-sands rotors, and doesn't know how to bed in brakes. In my experience of riding a lot of miles in all weather with BB7s, they just squeak and rub. I can fix it, but it always comes back. Always.
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Old 08-20-19, 02:50 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I'm not some incompetent home-mechanic who can't figure out if a rotor is true or not, over-sands rotors, and doesn't know how to bed in brakes. In my experience of riding a lot of miles in all weather with BB7s, they just squeak and rub. I can fix it, but it always comes back. Always.
I mean, rubbing can't just come from nowhere. They are a super simple design. Rubbing doesn't just magically start to happen if everything is set up correctly and the caliper is clean and lubed well so that nothing is sticking/dragging
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Old 08-20-19, 03:01 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
I mean, rubbing can't just come from nowhere. They are a super simple design. Rubbing doesn't just magically start to happen if everything is set up correctly and the caliper is clean and lubed well so that nothing is sticking/dragging
You're right about the rubbing. That usually comes back when I remove a wheel then have to re-adjust the calipers and pads because I can't seem to get the wheel back in precisely the same orientation, alignment, and QR pressure it was in when I adjusted the calipers and pads the last time. Front is way worse that the rear in that regard. It especially sucks when I get a flat then have to back the pads way out to keep it from rubbing for the rest of the ride. They also pretty much always rub when I get out of the saddle to climb unless I'm willing to tolerate a pretty big gap between the pads and the rotor, which I prefer not to have. The squeaking just comes out of nowhere, especially after riding in the rain for a while.
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Old 08-20-19, 03:24 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I haven't heard anyone claim that hydraulic disks are less maintenance...
Less maintenance than what - rim brakes? I would say that they are. The pads changes are certainly not harder (3 minutes with a screwdriver and tire lever, no alignment/toe-in concerns) and the period between flushing/bleeding is quite long.
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Old 08-20-19, 03:47 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Less maintenance than what - rim brakes? I would say that they are. The pads changes are certainly not harder (3 minutes with a screwdriver and tire lever, no alignment/toe-in concerns) and the period between flushing/bleeding is quite long.
And...you don't have to pull the shoes out to dig out aluminum slivers from the rim to prevent gauging.
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Old 08-20-19, 03:47 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Less maintenance than what - rim brakes? I would say that they are. The pads changes are certainly not harder (3 minutes with a screwdriver and tire lever, no alignment/toe-in concerns) and the period between flushing/bleeding is quite long.
Yes. Than rim brakes. I won't argue with your claim since I have no personal experience with hydraulic road disks, but I haven't heard that before from the guys I ride with who have them.
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Old 08-20-19, 04:27 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
What are you doing that is taking so much time to maintain BB7's? If its dry every couple hundred miles you have to turn 2 knobs 1 click. About the same frequency as you have to turn the tension knob on a caliper brake. If its wet a bit more often on the BB7s but for rim brakes you have to constantly wipe down the rims and pads and pick out metal shards if you want the rim to last a long time.
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Less maintenance than what - rim brakes? I would say that they are. The pads changes are certainly not harder (3 minutes with a screwdriver and tire lever, no alignment/toe-in concerns) and the period between flushing/bleeding is quite long.
For me, it takes the same amount of time for both. I let the mechanic at the bike shop deal with it. 😂🤣😂
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Old 08-21-19, 07:08 AM
  #84  
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I don’t race ever and I ride my bike every mile as spirited as my (sometimes feel like a noodle) legs will allow.

I look at the introduction of disc brakes to cycling almost in the same way I look at the introduction of indexed shifting. Once I rode a bike with indexed shifting (it was even downtube mounted) I never ever wanted to go back to non-indexed. It started a sea change to cycling sophistication, and try to find a new bike now with the old friction shift system.

For me me it was the same thing when tried hydraulic discs, I loved them instantly and I was amazed the technology had been developed for bikes. It doesn’t matter to me that I’m not descending a mountain at 60 mph, it’s just a much more sophisticated and effective way to stop a bike, which if you think about it a second, is pretty darn important no matter what kind of riding you do. Everyone should do as they want, but my money is going to be spent on bikes with discs.
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Old 08-21-19, 07:51 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Less maintenance than what - rim brakes? I would say that they are. The pads changes are certainly not harder (3 minutes with a screwdriver and tire lever, no alignment/toe-in concerns) and the period between flushing/bleeding is quite long.
Until they start squealing and you have to start messing around sanding pads and calipers. And the pistons can get gummed up so they no longer retract properly. Then when you try to replace the not very old ultegra caliper (br-r785) with a slightly newer model the hydraulic hose fittings are different so you need to buy a new hose and fittings. Iíve had quite a few campy calipers that Iíve never done anything to other than change pads. I think the hydraulic discs will take a little more maintenance but I wonít have to replace rims.
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Old 08-21-19, 08:09 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Until they start squealing and you have to start messing around sanding pads and calipers. And the pistons can get gummed up so they no longer retract properly. Then when you try to replace the not very old ultegra caliper (br-r785) with a slightly newer model the hydraulic hose fittings are different so you need to buy a new hose and fittings. Iíve had quite a few campy calipers that Iíve never done anything to other than change pads. I think the hydraulic discs will take a little more maintenance but I wonít have to replace rims.
I had a squeal a couple weeks ago; my rotor was evidently contaminated while sending a wheel off to be rebuilt. It was a matter of minutes to pull the wheel, wipe the rotor, pull the pads and sand them on a diamond plate (though a piece of sand paper on a kitchen counter would work just as well), and re-install. The process was certainly no worse than cleaning metal shards out of rim brake pads.

Why not replace the caliper with the same model - not available?
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Old 08-21-19, 08:19 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by mantis View Post
I donít race ever and I ride my bike every mile as spirited as my (sometimes feel like a noodle) legs will allow.

I look at the introduction of disc brakes to cycling almost in the same way I look at the introduction of indexed shifting. Once I rode a bike with indexed shifting (it was even downtube mounted) I never ever wanted to go back to non-indexed. It started a sea change to cycling sophistication, and try to find a new bike now with the old friction shift system.

For me me it was the same thing when tried hydraulic discs, I loved them instantly and I was amazed the technology had been developed for bikes. It doesnít matter to me that Iím not descending a mountain at 60 mph, itís just a much more sophisticated and effective way to stop a bike, which if you think about it a second, is pretty darn important no matter what kind of riding you do. Everyone should do as they want, but my money is going to be spent on bikes with discs.
Would you pay a premium for discs, though?

I like discs from the little time I've spent on trying bikes with them. However, would I pay a premium for them? Probably not. Not for the riding I do. For me, direct-mounted rim brakes work awesome, especially since you're likely saving in the neighborhood of $400. That's a decent chunk of change.
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Old 08-21-19, 10:42 AM
  #88  
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I look at it this way: nobody knows the future. I feel like I don't really need a seatbelt for the kind of driving I do, I'm not a maniac. But if my seatbelt got cut somehow, I would spend $400 to replace it.
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Old 08-21-19, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I look at it this way: nobody knows the future. I feel like I don't really need a seatbelt for the kind of driving I do, I'm not a maniac. But if my seatbelt got cut somehow, I would spend $400 to replace it.
This is a terrible comparison that's not even remotely the same.
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Old 08-21-19, 10:57 AM
  #90  
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You're telling me I'm not allowed to feel like a safety device is worth 400 of my dollars?

Of course it's not the same, you could have figured that out when I mentioned my car. If it was the same none of us would have bikes. That's kind of how life works.
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Old 08-21-19, 11:04 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
You're telling me I'm not allowed to feel like a safety device is worth 400 of my dollars?

Of course it's not the same, you could have figured that out when I mentioned my car. If it was the same none of us would have bikes. That's kind of how life works.

Just pointing out that if you want to make a legitimate argument for something, you may want to not use a flawed example scenario.
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Old 08-21-19, 11:06 AM
  #92  
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Have you ever heard of an analogy?

Wait, is that a "legitimate" question?
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Old 08-21-19, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Have you ever heard of an analogy?

Wait, is that a "legitimate" question?
Yes, and that was a terrible analogy.

Your analogy was seatbelt or no seatbelt. On bikes, it's not disc brakes or no brakes.
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Old 08-21-19, 11:25 AM
  #94  
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Ok, the seatbelt was only cut halfway, it might still work like your brakes in the rain.
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Old 08-21-19, 11:26 AM
  #95  
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By the way, if you get this worked up every time somebody has an opinion you don't like, life must be really hard for you.
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Old 08-21-19, 11:32 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post

Why not replace the caliper with the same model - not available?
they are available.
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Old 08-21-19, 11:32 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
By the way, if you get this worked up every time somebody has an opinion you don't like, life must be really hard for you.
I'm worked up? I simply stated that your analogy was bad.

Just trying to help out, bud! Life is great!
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Old 08-21-19, 11:38 AM
  #98  
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Hey I think *this* is the thread that will definitively resolve this debate!
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Old 08-21-19, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Hey I think *this* is the thread that will definitively resolve this debate!


It's honestly a bit strange how staunch on one side or another people are in regards to this. Both are tried and true methods that effectively stop a bicycle.
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Old 08-21-19, 11:46 AM
  #100  
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I can't speak for anyone but myself, here's how I see it. I love old steel road bikes from the 80's to 90's. I love how they look, how they feel and the great memories in life they remind me of. That said, all my vintage steel bikes have modern wheels, tires, gearing, pedals, bars and stems because I ride them and think there are some things from the modern/current age that are better then the old stuff. Sacrilege? Blasphemy? Maybe to some, but for me, getting down the road on one of those bikes as fast as I can make it go is the real payoff, not looking at a "period correct" version that my six decade old body won't tolerate, too many crit crashes for that.

I have but two modern bikes; a mountain bike with hydraulic discs and an "all road" drop bar bike with cable discs. Both are far and away better than any rim brake bike I have in my stable. They don't beat up the rim in wet/poor weather, modulate better and I can brake deeper into fast corners/descents than I ever could with rim brakes. Rims are no longer wear items due to braking surface and they can be lighter than rim brake models for the same reason. Reducing rotating weight on the outside circumference is a big deal when it comes to climbing and acceleration. One day, before I lose all my ability, I'll probably buy a high zoot road bike with hydraulic disc brakes, heck maybe even some electric shifting. Mind you, I'm the guy that went ballistic when the first guy on our race team showed up with Shimano SIS downtube shifters; according to me it was a crutch for someone who didn't possess the ability to play a fret-less instrument. Boy was I wrong.

All that said, disc brakes are here and like it or not, they're here to stay.

Last edited by nomadmax; 08-21-19 at 11:50 AM.
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