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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-29-08, 07:27 PM   #1
vrkelley
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Disc Brakes prevent endovers, skidding?

What's the skin-nee on the disk brakes? We know they're not anti-lock like car brakes. But do they prevent endovers (flying over the handlebars if you brake with the front brake before the back)? Less skidding on wet pavement?
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Old 10-29-08, 07:30 PM   #2
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No. The primary advantage of disc brakes is their wet weather performance.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:36 PM   #3
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and they don't wear down your rims..
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Old 10-29-08, 07:40 PM   #4
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What the first two replies said....Oh...They look cool too!
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Old 10-29-08, 07:44 PM   #5
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On a mountain bike they don't lose effectivness in wet, rainy, muddy, or dusty conditions like rim brakes do. On a commuter or road bike i personally don't see it.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:51 PM   #6
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On a mountain bike they don't lose effectivness in wet, rainy, muddy, or dusty conditions like rim brakes do. On a commuter or road bike i personally don't see it.
Are you saying that a commuter or road bike will never see any of the conditions you've listed? I'm sorry, but I'm of the opinion that a disc brake cyclocross bike is the cat's meow for a commuter.

I flat love the discs on my MTB and wish I had similar on my road bike.

-R
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Old 10-29-08, 08:12 PM   #7
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I'd say they make it easier to endo and skid.

If you're into that kind of thing.

Of course, I think they also make it easier to stop.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:19 PM   #8
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They modulate better. They work even if the wheel is slightly out of true. The pads last much longer. They keep their adjustment better.

All advantages for commuting.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:30 PM   #9
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they work in ice and snow too.

iced rims with rim brakes are no fun, let me tell you.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:32 PM   #10
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Are you saying that a commuter or road bike will never see any of the conditions you've listed? I'm sorry, but I'm of the opinion that a disc brake cyclocross bike is the cat's meow for a commuter.
Agreed!

This is my 2004 Giant TCX cyclocross bike that I built up. I use it as a daily commuter, 15 miles round trip. I currently have Continental Contact tires mounted, not the knobbies shown in the picture.
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Old 10-29-08, 11:01 PM   #11
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I want disk brakes on my fixed gear
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Old 10-30-08, 03:48 AM   #12
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I've personally never used disk brakes but with my rim brakes, even when in the cold and wet I find I can apply enough braking force for my tire to skid, and having any more than that is just pointless. In really bad condictions where your rim is plastered in snow and ice this will probably not apply, but you rarely get conditions that bad where I am. I never get how people get ice on the rims anyway, or do you leave your bike out overnight or something
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Old 10-30-08, 05:29 AM   #13
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I used to use rim brakes on my commuter and switched to disc brakes about two years ago. They are better in wet conditions. Disc brakes don't leave gobs of brake pad on the rim. Disc brakes stop the same in rain (rim brakes stop weaker when wet). With rim brakes debris between the pad and the rim will scratch the rim, doesn't seem to be an issue with disc brakes. Its easier to remove and replace the wheel when fixing flats with disc brakes. Only negatives are higher cost, less choices in road frames (disc tabs on road frames hard to come by) and slightly more weight.
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Old 10-30-08, 05:40 AM   #14
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I want disk brakes on my fixed gear
I have one on mine
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Old 10-30-08, 06:20 AM   #15
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On a mountain bike they don't lose effectivness in wet, rainy, muddy, or dusty conditions like rim brakes do. On a commuter or road bike i personally don't see it.
My commuting regularly involves wet, rainy, muddy and dusty conditions. I ride 8 miles a day over gravel road, and my bike can get caked in mud quickly.

But you left out freezing rain, snow, slush, and general wet freezing crap.
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Old 10-30-08, 06:23 AM   #16
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I never get how people get ice on the rims anyway, or do you leave your bike out overnight or something
Freezing rain. There's ice on the SPOKES. I once rode up to the smokers standing outside the building at work, stood up, and about 1/4 inch of ice cracked off my JACKET.

Also, if you're plowing through deep snow, the snow is easily up over the rims, sometimes several inches over. The snow is continually falling in and hitting the rims. Now, hit your brakes once. You just heated up the rims, and there's snow hitting them, melting. In a few seconds, the rims will cool back down below freezing. BOOM, ice on the rims.

Believe me, I've gotten to where the rims were solid ice. Heck, I've had ice on the TIRES.
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Old 10-30-08, 06:34 AM   #17
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God I'm glad I live in the sub-tropics.
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Old 10-30-08, 06:48 AM   #18
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Freezing rain. There's ice on the SPOKES. I once rode up to the smokers standing outside the building at work, stood up, and about 1/4 inch of ice cracked off my JACKET.

Also, if you're plowing through deep snow, the snow is easily up over the rims, sometimes several inches over. The snow is continually falling in and hitting the rims. Now, hit your brakes once. You just heated up the rims, and there's snow hitting them, melting. In a few seconds, the rims will cool back down below freezing. BOOM, ice on the rims.

Believe me, I've gotten to where the rims were solid ice. Heck, I've had ice on the TIRES.
I'm glad I moved out of Michigan eight years ago
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Old 10-30-08, 07:15 AM   #19
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Hell, I live in Denver, Colorado and it's practically sub-tropical compared to that! Ick.....and my father-in-law is always talking about how Detroit is Paradise on Earth.

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What the first two replies said....Oh...They look cool too!
And they're new and exciting!
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Old 10-30-08, 07:37 AM   #20
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all good points for and against above. Another "against" on a commuter in my books is added difficulty installing racks and fenders. It can be done, but not as easily or with as much selection.
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Old 10-30-08, 07:54 AM   #21
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The new trend in disc bikes is to have brazeons on the forks and the rear caliper mounted between the stays so that regular fenders and racks fit just fine.

And installing fenders on my old Coda Comp was as much or more of a PITA as putting them on any of my disc bikes.
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Old 10-30-08, 08:26 AM   #22
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My bike is not upgradable, so maybe I'll look for a POS for the winter and upgrade that. On my route, oncoming traffic to try and turn left in front of you. Which sometimes leads to panic stops on wet pavement. Last week, a co-worker did a panic stop on his mountain bike. Skidded and did an end-over.

Let's just say, we haven't seen him since. He has two broken wrists and will need an operation with pins, bolts, and plates. The face plant didn't help his looks. Even though I run strobes and reflectivity, this still happened to me once with just a concusion and field trip to the ER.
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Old 10-30-08, 08:37 AM   #23
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Only negatives are higher cost, less choices in road frames (disc tabs on road frames hard to come by) and slightly more weight.
Kona is coming out with a new Dew model called the Dew Drop (drop bars, disc brakes). There's also the Kona Sutra (I'd buy that bike just for the name alone. ) and the Raleigh Sojourn. The advantage with the Sojourn is the issue of a rear rack and fenders is already addressed. But, I agree, not enough choices (yet) in road bikes; mostly MTB and hybrids/commuters.
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Old 10-30-08, 09:39 AM   #24
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The biggest problem with southern Michigan is that it's too warm. I used to live farther north where it got cold and stayed that way. Believe me, it's much better than the warm/cold cycling we get here. Every time it gets near freezing and the sun shines, it melts the snowpack down into ice, and water gets over the ice, and it's horrible.

Farther north the snow falls and stays there, and stays snow, not ice. It's great fun. I used to cross-country ski for hours a week. There's not even any point in OWNING xc skiis here. With any luck, climate change will bring some real winters to us so we can have fun instead of just 3 months of bad roads.
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Old 10-30-08, 09:48 AM   #25
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Main problems with disc brakes on a commuter :
- They make noise
- The discs are easily bent (although it's relatively easy to correct)
- They're not that easy to work with

That's what I gather from people who bought bikes at our shop.

To me, the best design is a drum brake (Shimano RollerBrake or SRAM i-brake) which has excellent braking power in the wet, requires less maintenance and make no noise.
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