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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 02-21-20, 11:21 AM
  #51  
Rides4Beer
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Another enthusiastic disc adopter! Bigger guy, lots of climbing, was never fully comfortable with rim brakes but managed. Got my gravel bike last summer, with hydro discs, absolutely loved it. Even chose that over my 5lb lighter road bike for big climbing events because of the brakes. Then swapped for a disc brake road bike and I'll never look back. As with anything, ride what you like, but discs plain work for me and I love them. I also think they look better, along with dropped seat stays and integrated cabling, just looks fast and clean.
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Old 02-21-20, 11:39 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Correct. At most and as a whole for all riders. In other words - I live in the flat lands - I absolutely never need them.

Some live where there is actual elevation. They can use them as a benefit there.

So apologies for using the word need. Should have been 25% of the time they are a benefit.
It's a little bit like compact (or triple) cranks -- useful for some riders, but not needed by most. The big difference, of course, is that compact cranks don't require different frames and wheel sets, so they easily co-exist with standard cranks. In the case of disc vs. rim brakes, however, economics likely dictates that it will (ultimately) be one or the other.
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Old 02-21-20, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
It's a little bit like compact (or triple) cranks -- useful for some riders, but not needed by most. The big difference, of course, is that compact cranks don't require different frames and wheel sets, so they easily co-exist with standard cranks. In the case of disc vs. rim brakes, however, economics likely dictates that it will (ultimately) be one or the other.
Triples will make a comeback. Mark my words.

"Modern electronic shifting has eliminated all of the drawbacks of using triple cranks. This enables us to tighten up the cassette in the rear - dropping weight and reducing jumps in gearing and reducing friction from overly long chains. blah blah blah bs bs bs buy new stuff."
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Old 02-21-20, 12:05 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Triples will make a comeback. Mark my words.

"Modern electronic shifting has eliminated all of the drawbacks of using triple cranks. This enables us to tighten up the cassette in the rear - dropping weight and reducing jumps in gearing and reducing friction from overly long chains. blah blah blah bs bs bs buy new stuff."
Buy new stuff is the primary reason they'll return.
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Old 02-21-20, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
Most racers I know (including myself) want the lightest stuff we can trust and can afford to replace. I won't run uber light stuff because I don't want dive into a corner and wonder if saving those extra 50 grams is going to put me in the ditch with a broken collarbone. Weightweenie crap won't get you on the podium if you're sitting in the team car with a shattered aftermarket derailleur cage because you suddenly needed to crosschain at 1300W to hold a wheel. Doubly more for training. Any time I spend fixing/replacing lightweight stuff is time spent off of my bike.

I went through a rough patch with a wheel sponsor a while back. I kept cracking their zooty high-end wheels (I corner hard) so I "downgraded" to a higher spoke count with heavier rims and immediately stopped having issues.
I don't have to hold back as much as I used to....
Back in the heavy days of Cross I used to get feedback on our rims from the mechanics on the pro teams, "We've absolutely abused your rims and never had an issue. Rider X brain locked and forgot to dismount before the barrier and just ran right into it at full speed. No problems. I walk into the cannondale team trailer and they have cracked Zipps stacked floor to ceiling. They're always replacing them and gluing new tires."

I never chased the lightest weight. I always wanted more durable things. I have watched a lot of racers miss their start or come out of a race early because they tried to save weight and their choice failed them. This is part of why I usually argue with people on here that have never raced. They have this unrealistic impression of what racing is. Meh.

Then again I have had masters racers who always place at the top regionally or podium nationally who start a conversation with me about wheels by actually saying, "If these are 1g more than a set of Zipps then our conversation is over." "OK... listed weight for zipps or actual weights?"

I still remember building a set of 404 rims for PCad back in the day where the rims weights varied by over 100g between the rims. People can be idiots.

But yes - almost all racers usually figure it out over time.

For this thread though - I seriously used to have to answer the weight question within the first two-3 questions out of everyone's mouths. Now because of a website change you can configure all sorts of options but not get weights listed. I have only been asked about that twice. Such a complete change. It will come back but I am enjoying it being gone.
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Old 02-21-20, 12:11 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Buy new stuff is the primary reason they'll return.
It will be fun to watch. Especially the marketing that will have to come out of SRAM. "From the people that brought 1x to the marketplace comes..... POWER TRIPLEX systems!"
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Old 02-21-20, 12:19 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Correct. At most and as a whole for all riders. In other words - I live in the flat lands - I absolutely never need them.

Some live where there is actual elevation. They can use them as a benefit there.

So apologies for using the word need. Should have been 25% of the time they are a benefit.
Sure but you could say the same thing about antique rim pincher brakes. Fixie hipsters get by without 'em, that's all anybody needs as long as you're slow. But it's far from ideal. People spend thousands of dollars on aero rims for a very small increase in performance. Disc brakes are better, by more than Zipp vs box section rims.
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Old 02-21-20, 12:21 PM
  #58  
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The "and no one cares" was clearly meant to be more provocative than factual. There just isn't much that those in the market for a new bike who care can do at this point, except to buy cheaper bikes, or spec a custom bike with rim brakes.
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Old 02-21-20, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Disc brakes are better...
...for you on your bikes for the ways that you ride them and with you ability to use, adjust and maintain.
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Old 02-21-20, 12:29 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
The disc-brakes-were-foisted-upon-us narrative always amuses me because of how much it just doesn't ring true in my case.

I bought a gravel bike with mechanical discs. I liked it well enough, but decided to upgrade to hydro when I found a good price on a kit. After the install, I was immediately hooked and there was no going back. I've bought two hydro disc road bikes since. I've heard similar "why didn't I do this sooner?" stories from others, much more so than, "eh, I can take it or leave it." "These are horrible and I'm going back to rim brakes!" is almost unheard of, IME.

So foisted? Not so much. I, and many others like me, have been enthusiastic adopters.
​​​​​​My first drop bar bike was a CX beast, with disc brakes. Harsh, heavy aluminum beast. Next bike was a CF road racer, I begrudgingly bought it without disc brakes because I wanted a CF racing bike and couldn't get one with discs at the time. So, like you, this idea they were forced on us just isn't true in my case. I know plenty of other people who prefer them too. A friend of mine is a triathlete, she isn't especially comfortable on the bike, and discs make her feel a lot better about it. (She does at least one 50 mile run every year, so she's pretty fast on the bike just from having fitness.) I love mountains and ride in them whenever I can, so it's a no brainier for me.
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Old 02-21-20, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​.... I love mountains and ride in them whenever I can, so it's a no brainier for me.
Again - there's the issue. I think it just might be hard for people to understand who don't live in places like the majority of the country - The longest "descent" any of us sees during a season is 1 minute or less and that's if we go up to Wisconsin and descend some actual hills. Otherwise it's the 15 seconds down the other side of the highway overpass.

Seriously. You can go an entire group ride and never hit your brakes except for a stop sign or two if you're one of the people who stops at them. It's just not even in the same realm. In all of these cases disc brakes are just more stuff put on the bike that just doesn't help with anything.

Yes I have lived in places where you can actually coast without having to pedal for more than a minute or two. For that I would love having discs. Someday I hope I get a chance to do that again. It's been 30 years or so since I've seen an actual descent. I doubt it will happen though.

Side note - not only is it completely flat here but we don't have thorns either :gasp: so innertubes work extremely well, don't need maintenance and can be left in a barn for 20 years, aired up and run just fine as well.

It's almost like disc brakes and tubeless both were engineered for a purpose....what bikes did they come on again? Oh that's right.... MOUNTAIN bikes. Mountain. .....mountain stuff....for mountains.
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Old 02-21-20, 01:32 PM
  #62  
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@Psimet2001 I understand not everybody lives among mountains. I grew up in Connecticut, the highest point in the state is the side of a "mountain" whose peak is in Massachusetts. I lived in Denver, which is at the foot of the Rockies, but the city itself is flat like a pancake. I did say they're a no brainer for me. Other people like them for other reasons - modulation, less finger strength required to use them, better wet performance, far and away less expensive if you use good rims, etc. There are a lot of reasons to appreciate them and a lot of people who do. My point isn't that everybody rides in the Cascades, it's that the narrative about Big Bike forcing them on us ignores all the people who wanted them to begin with. A lot of people just feel safer with them, generally they're less experienced people, but they're also part of the bike buying market, eg they're part of the reason bike makers are giving us disc braked bikes. I recognize that not everybody wants them; it seems like a lot of those people don't understand that a lot of people do want them.

And as to your last point, sure, I have no trouble calling my drop bar roadie a mountain bike, because I ride it in mountains whenever I can. It's not a trail bike but we have roads in the mountains too.
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Old 02-21-20, 01:44 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
There's a member of the forum that always states that discs add 1-2lbs. to the weight of the bike. At one time that was a slight exaggeration, but now it's total BS.

I'm surprised he hasn't made a comment here yet.
2lbs is crazy, but 1lbs...may-be! It equals to 450g
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Old 02-21-20, 02:15 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Love them because almost everyone is a complete idiot when it comes to working on, adjusting, or servicing them so I make a ton off of service that I just quite simply never got from rim brakes.
I'd argue that almost everyone is a complete idiot when it comes to working on, adjusting, or servicing rim brakes as well.

The difference is that hydro discs aren't tolerant to things being done badly. There's effectively zero springiness in the hydraulics, and the mechanical advantage curve and engagement point is determined by the paired mechanisms, so it's either close to correct or totally wrong. Outside of rotor rub, a freshly-adjusted hydro setup doesn't have much room between "works perfectly" and "doesn't work at all." Like, if you sequence a hydro bleed incorrectly, the process looks almost normal, but you can easily end up with no braking at all, and you won't know what happened unless you understand what's going on inside the mechanism.
With rim brakes, you can use cheap springy unlubricated housing with unlubricated cables, you can route that housing with tons of tight bends, you can set up a centerpull with abysmal geometry and neglect to pre-bend a stiff straddle where it exits a narrow yolk, you can neglect to stick a ferrule in a place where a ferrule is supposed to go... you can do all kinds of things that result in awful braking, while the brakes still "work."

I suspect this is part of why even many dry-weather road cyclists were easily convinced by hydro discs. When comparing a dubious rim setup to a near-perfect hydro setup, the near-perfect hydro setup is going to feel loads better.

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Old 02-21-20, 03:45 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
Anecdotally, I’m not any slower up big climbs with a heavier disc bike than I was on my lighter rim brake bike.

We have a good climb near me that rises 1300 over about 1.3 miles and I didn’t notice a difference after switching to a disc bike that was about a pound heavier. What I did notice was coming down the backside I didn’t feel like I had to brake as early or hard and could make the descent a lot faster where my average speed was in the low 40s vs mid 30s on the old bike.

I like disc, modulation and performance in the wet is great and more confidence inspiring
Isnt that something like a 19% grade climb? Doing that at effort for 1.3 miles would blow my knee caps out of my legs.
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Old 02-21-20, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Isnt that something like a 19% grade climb? Doing that at effort for 1.3 miles would blow my knee caps out of my legs.
that’s a phone typo- 2.3 miles
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Old 02-21-20, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
that’s a phone typo- 2.3 miles
Still 10.7%, but doable!
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Old 02-21-20, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
...for you on your bikes for the ways that you ride them and with you ability to use, adjust and maintain.
No, they're just better. Cable or hydraulic doesn't matter, they're better. You're doing the equivalent of trying to argue that a single speed is better then any other number of speeds because you only ride on flat empty streets and don't need gears so obviously nothing else can be better. Except we all know that's a fallacy and single speeds are only sold in small numbers because having gears is better. Even if only 3 there are times you're tired, the wind is against you or you might actually ride somewhere else and need more gears, I even like my singlespeed for cruising the boardwalk. You might find your current rim brakes adequate enough, it doesn't mean that discs aren't better. Better stopping which might matter in a flat world with things you have to emergency stop for which happens if you ride, easier maintenance, longer pad life and doesn't actually ruin your rim. which can be made lighter and more aero as a result.
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Old 02-21-20, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
@Psimet2001 I understand not everybody lives among mountains. I grew up in Connecticut, the highest point in the state is the side of a "mountain" whose peak is in Massachusetts. I lived in Denver, which is at the foot of the Rockies, but the city itself is flat like a pancake. I did say they're a no brainer for me. Other people like them for other reasons - modulation, less finger strength required to use them, better wet performance, far and away less expensive if you use good rims, etc. There are a lot of reasons to appreciate them and a lot of people who do. My point isn't that everybody rides in the Cascades, it's that the narrative about Big Bike forcing them on us ignores all the people who wanted them to begin with. A lot of people just feel safer with them, generally they're less experienced people, but they're also part of the bike buying market, eg they're part of the reason bike makers are giving us disc braked bikes. I recognize that not everybody wants them; it seems like a lot of those people don't understand that a lot of people do want them.

And as to your last point, sure, I have no trouble calling my drop bar roadie a mountain bike, because I ride it in mountains whenever I can. It's not a trail bike but we have roads in the mountains too.
Generally agreed - on the last point of "it seems like a lot of those people don't understand that a lot of people do want them." I would caution that maybe you're sectioning off your population of people to be enthusiasts. The industry serves mostly intermittent to non-riders but does it through the filter of being enthusiasts. In other words sure a lot of the enthusiasts who ride a lot and want cool bikes and post on forums DO want disc... but the overwhelming majority of those who actually buy bicycles that are made just want a "bike" and have no specific knowledge of or care about any braking system or its type.
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Old 02-21-20, 06:42 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Generally agreed - on the last point of "it seems like a lot of those people don't understand that a lot of people do want them." I would caution that maybe you're sectioning off your population of people to be enthusiasts. The industry serves mostly intermittent to non-riders but does it through the filter of being enthusiasts. In other words sure a lot of the enthusiasts who ride a lot and want cool bikes and post on forums DO want disc... but the overwhelming majority of those who actually buy bicycles that are made just want a "bike" and have no specific knowledge of or care about any braking system or its type.
Next you're going to tell us that the majority of people who buy bicycles don't really care if they have a 16 tooth cog on their cassette. Blasphemy!
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Old 02-21-20, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
I'd argue that almost everyone is a complete idiot when it comes to working on, adjusting, or servicing rim brakes as well.
I'd have to disagree on that one. As a shop I can tell you that without a doubt I can't remember a single situation where any regular rider/enthusiast ever actually came to me to adjust their brakes. All seemed comfortable with turning a barrel adjuster and opening them up if you had a problem.

Since the switch to disc I see every single one of those guys. "I'm sure its easy but I don't have the tools and I don't know the first thing about bleeding brakes. I don't want to mess with it". Its one of the things I mentioned I like about disc. It has absolutely put more money into my pocket.

Also - worked on 4 BSO's today. These are "Bicycle Shaped Objects". Big box cheap bikes with no quality of components, assembly, adjustment or maintenance. All had been sitting for many years as well so rust, dust, dirt cobwebs and dead insect carcasses everywhere. All 4 had cable brakes and all worked just fine.
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Old 02-21-20, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
2lbs is crazy, but 1lbs...may-be! It equals to 450g
Depending on the specific setup the hubs alone can add 200g or so. Or 1/2 a pound. That's without rotors and lockrings or rotor bolts. The calipers for road are down to where I am sure they are almost the same weight as rim brakes. Someone I am sure knows the actual answer.

I build a lot of wheels. Disc wheels are heavier.
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Old 02-21-20, 06:50 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
It will be fun to watch. Especially the marketing that will have to come out of SRAM. "From the people that brought 1x to the marketplace comes..... POWER TRIPLEX systems!"
It'll be funny to watch SRAM try and make a triple front derailleur work well.
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Old 02-21-20, 06:58 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Disc brakes are now the default on road bikes – and no one cares
Pure climbers are winning on disc brake bikes and no one cares, so has the argument been settled?

Last weekend, Nairo Quintana blazed up the notorious 10km climb to Chalet Reynard on Mont Ventoux, to win stage three of the Tour de la Provence and take the overall race lead.

After the stage, chatter across the cycling media was focused almost entirely on the return to form of a rider whose star has waned slightly in recent years. What didn’t warrant a mention, however, was that Quintana rode a bike equipped with disc brakes.

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I've read thru much of this thread, but I'm still trying to understand why disc brakes helped in blazing up a 10km climb?
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Old 02-21-20, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
It'll be funny to watch SRAM try and make a triple front derailleur work well.
True. If it happens I have a feeling Shimano would be first but honestly they seem to be too interested in internal hub gearing as the future. Hey maybe this is Campy's shot at being relevant again.
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