Touring - Disc brakes on Giant OCR: good or bad?
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04-29-03, 05:38 PM
I have been shoping for a touring model for sometime. I have narrowed it down to the Trex 520 and the Giant OCR because they fit nicely into my meager budget and both fill my requirements for an intro level bike. I am curious about the abitlities of the disc brakes on the Giant. The idea is appealing, but do they really work as well as the v-brake?
04-30-03, 08:01 AM
from what ive heard they work well. the problem is if your out in the middle of nowhere touring and you have problem parts for disk brakes may be hard to find. example you damage a wheel, it me be difficult to find another wheel that can take a rotor.
i've also heard mention that disks put a lot more pressure on the spokes so may not be the best idea for loaded touring. i dont know from experience if this is true or not, but it does make sense if you think about it.
if your not actually using the bike for touring i dont think the discs are a problem. if set up properly they should be the best type of brake and will also work when wet. if you are touring it may be better to go with a simpler more common brake system.
04-30-03, 08:23 AM
Pressure on the spokes might be a problem, but not really if you do most of your braking via front brake -- which you should. Forks for disk brakes need to be beefier, and there should be some kind of wheel retention device on the front wheel (there was a thread about it on rec.bicycles.tech not too long ago). Of course, that's not a problem for the Giant (which I think was designed with disk brakes in mind), but that's a problem for those who would think of retrofitting their bike.
One drawback I heard and witnessed was that it is much more difficult to fit front and/or rear racks around these brakes. You may need to add spacers on the left strut of the rack, and this would diminish the overall resistance of the rack. Even if the rack fits, check that panniers don't push on the brake pads, as I have heard it is a problem with some brakes.
Now, there is a slight advantage to disk brakes: equal grip (or lack thereof), rain or shine. The other advantage: less rim wear, isn't really a problem for touring or even for most commuting, as tourers rarely break (per mile, at least). On the downside, parts might be harder to find on the road...
I have the Giant touring with the disc brakes and like it a lot. It is true that they get in the way when installing racks and fenders but once your done thats it. Ever since I went to disc brakes on my mountain bike some time ago I have never looked back and if I had the choice would never buy a bike without them. About having trouble on the road and not having parts, that is always possible but I will deal with that at the time. Thinking of all the problems that might need solving hurts my head. I had never heard of disc brakes putting more stress one the spokes but it would not deture me from getting them. Overall I like the Giant. It is a good package for the price and is very comfortable. I would reccomend a suspension seatpost. The only problem is the road racing gearing that had to be fixed. I put an 11-32 XT cassette and an xtr rear deraileur on and am waiting for some TA 48-38-24 chain rings to arrive. The deraileur and cassette helped a lot but that 24 tooth inner rings sounds too good. Good luck.
04-30-03, 05:19 PM
I usually agree with Michel about all things touring. Here, though, I'm going to have to say that the most important advantage of disk brakes is the heat radiation. On a long descent with a full load there is no worry about brake fade or about a blowout. It's this feature that made disk brakes so useful in mountain biking. The same feature would be useful in mountain touring, too.
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