Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-07-14, 07:20 PM   #1
rbmaze
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Bikes:
Posts: 5
Disc brakes worth it? Gravity Liberty CX vs Zilla?

I am looking to get some sort of road or CX bike for commuting when I move offices in June and live 12-14 miles away from work. I'm thinking either the Gravity Liberty CX ($400 at BD) or the Gravity Zilla ($600). I was really hoping for something with discs, as I ride in the rain and winter, but at these prices I'm not thinking it is worth it.

Fenders are a necessity as is a rear rack/panniers. I've done quite a bit of reading on the Zilla but there isn't a lot I can find about the CX. Is there any reason the Zilla would be worth 50% more? Cheap disc brakes can't be that great.

Thanks!

Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes
Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes
rbmaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-14, 07:51 PM   #2
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 29,271
Plenty of debate about disc brake for road bikes on the mechanic forum. It's a call you have to make for yourself.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-14, 08:12 PM   #3
likebike23 
Rides Majestic
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westfield, MA
Bikes: 1983 Univega Gran Turismo, 1970 Schwinn Super Sport, 2001 Univega Modo Vincere, Self-Built Nashbar Touring, 1974 Peugeot U08, 1974 Atala Grand Prix, 1986 Ross Mt. Hood, 80's Maruishi MT-18
Posts: 1,358
The Zilla has more upgrades than just disks. Better r.derailleur, 27 vs. 24 speed, WTB speed disk rims, WTB saddle, Truvativ cranks/BB, SRAM cassette, and may have more clearance for wide tires/fenders. You are not comparing apples to apples.
likebike23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 05:46 AM   #4
rbmaze
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Bikes:
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by likebike23 View Post
The Zilla has more upgrades than just disks. Better r.derailleur, 27 vs. 24 speed, WTB speed disk rims, WTB saddle, Truvativ cranks/BB, SRAM cassette, and may have more clearance for wide tires/fenders. You are not comparing apples to apples.
Thanks for the reply. This is really the kind of information I am looking for. The most obvious difference to me is the discs, but I honestly don't know enough about the different components to know if it is worth an extra $200. The bike I have been using for the past five years is a 1980s Peugeot mountain bike I got from my dad. That was great (especially with fenders) to use through college and for riding 5 miles roundtrip to work. Now that it's going to be 25-30 miles roundtrip, I'm looking for something much faster.
rbmaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 06:39 AM   #5
TransitBiker
contiuniously variable
 
TransitBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Newtown, PA
Bikes: 2012 Breezer Uptown Infinity NOS
Posts: 2,281
Just make sure you wipe the rotors off after a wet ride....

- Andy
TransitBiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 07:14 AM   #6
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Plenty of debate about disc brake for road bikes on the mechanic forum. It's a call you have to make for yourself.
I don't give a damn about all the theoreticals discussed in the road and mechanics fora. Besides, they're usually a bunch of candy-ass fair-weather riders anyway, who aren't duking it out between granite curbs with half-asleep, texting commuters, who all seem to be running late, and who left their morality and goodwill towards others in the pew on Sunday.

The issues are a bit different for those of us, like the OP, who are four-seasons, all-conditions commuters. It's all about where the rubber meets the road, as the old tire commercials used to say.

My 2006 Trek Portland is a modified CX bike with Avid BB7s. I bought it NOS already a year old in late 2007. Seven years of commuting with discs in the rain and snow--and yes, sometimes even in the fair weather (!) but we don't get much of that. Tens of thousands of miles on this bike have convinced me that in the four-seasons, all-condtions, take-no-prisoners daily commuting role, disc brakes, while not 100% essential, are incredibly nice to have.

There's plenty enough to think about jammed into a four-lane in rush-hour traffic without having to calculate how wet your rims are and how much extra distance you'll need to brake when some JAM comes out of nowhere you right hook you. It's all about reducing variables in contexts such as those. Disc brakes do that.

Coupled with good rain tires--I run Conti 4-Seasons in the three seasons--and you pretty much eliminate that variable too. Studded snows in the winter control that little slip-slide problem.

The discs don't collect snow and freeze up in the winter either.

Between them all, my brake feel and stopping distance are the same or nearly so, no matter what the conditions. Stopping is so predicatable I could fax it in from home before leaving for work. One less thing to factor in on the road, which means my limited brain cells can process other information instead.

Plus, I no longer have to replace rims every spring.

My three-seasons commuter and my weekend roadie get by with rim brakes. I see no compelling reason to change the braking systems on those bikes. My four-seasons, all-conditions commuter will always have disc brakes.

Last edited by tsl; 05-08-14 at 07:23 AM.
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 07:15 AM   #7
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
Just make sure you wipe the rotors off after a wet ride....
Never had to in seven years.

Can't even fathom why you'd think it was needed. Do you wipe off the rotors of your car?
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 07:18 AM   #8
Slaninar
Bike Gremlin
 
Slaninar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Novi Sad
Bikes: Custom made on Scott Speedster frame, Custom made on a 1996. steel MTB frame (all but frame changed at least once in the past 20 years).
Posts: 2,060
I don't change wheels every season neither, without disc brakes. Just the regular v-brakes. I commute in the flat lands - for those conditions, v-brakes are more than adequate.
Slaninar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 07:27 AM   #9
gunner65 
Senior Member
 
gunner65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Lexington KY
Bikes: Salsa Casseroll for Street and Airborne Hobgoblin for dirt
Posts: 476
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I don't give a damn about all the theoreticals discussed in the road and mechanics fora. Besides, they're usually a bunch of candy-ass fair-weather riders anyway, who aren't duking it out between granite curbs with half-asleep, texting commuters, who all seem to be running late, and who left their morality and goodwill towards others in the pew on Sunday.

The issues are a bit different for those of us, like the OP, who are four-seasons, all-conditions commuters. It's all about where the rubber meets the road, as the old tire commercials used to say.

My 2006 Trek Portland is a modified CX bike with Avid BB7s. I bought it NOS already a year old in late 2007. Seven years of commuting with discs in the rain and snow--and yes, sometimes even in the fair weather (!) but we don't get much of that. Tens of thousands of miles on this bike have convinced me that in the four-seasons, all-condtions, take-no-prisoners daily commuting role, disc brakes, while not 100% essential, are incredibly nice to have.

There's plenty enough to think about jammed into a four-lane in rush-hour traffic without having to calculate how wet your rims are and how much extra distance you'll need to brake when some JAM comes out of nowhere you right hook you. It's all about reducing variables in contexts such as those. Disc brakes do that.

Coupled with good rain tires--I run Conti 4-Seasons in the three seasons--and you pretty much eliminate that variable too. Studded snows in the winter control that little slip-slide problem.

The discs don't collect snow and freeze up in the winter either.

Between them all, my brake feel and stopping distance are the same or nearly so, no matter what the conditions. Stopping is so predicatable I could fax it in from home before leaving for work. One less thing to factor in on the road, which means my limited brain cells can process other information instead.

Plus, I no longer have to replace rims every spring.

My three-seasons commuter and my weekend roadie get by with rim brakes. I see no compelling reason to change the braking systems on those bikes. My four-seasons, all-conditions commuter will always have disc brakes.
I just cannot see where extra stopping power is EVER a bad thing. No experience with discs on road but I love them on my MTB. If I ever buy another commuter/road bike I will be looking into discs as options.
gunner65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 07:46 AM   #10
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by gunner65 View Post
I just cannot see where extra stopping power is EVER a bad thing. No experience with discs on road but I love them on my MTB. If I ever buy another commuter/road bike I will be looking into discs as options.
These threads always go off the rails when someone says discs have extra stopping "power".

They don't.

Real-world stopping "power" is limited at the tire/road interface, not the brake. (I'll grant that in the lab, discs do have better "power", but I don't ride in a lab. But as soon as you mount a tire on teh rim, put it on a bike, and head for the road, that "advantage" disappears and is replaced by the tire/road interface. This is why I don't give a damn about thoreticals.)

In everyday, real-world cycling, what disc brakes give you is greater predicability and control.

They stop the same way every single time, no matter what the conditions. Then, all you have to worry about is the tire/road interface.
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 07:54 AM   #11
gunner65 
Senior Member
 
gunner65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Lexington KY
Bikes: Salsa Casseroll for Street and Airborne Hobgoblin for dirt
Posts: 476
So same wheels/Tire road condition you are saying discs have no more stopping power then tradition rim brakes?
gunner65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 09:14 AM   #12
likebike23 
Rides Majestic
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westfield, MA
Bikes: 1983 Univega Gran Turismo, 1970 Schwinn Super Sport, 2001 Univega Modo Vincere, Self-Built Nashbar Touring, 1974 Peugeot U08, 1974 Atala Grand Prix, 1986 Ross Mt. Hood, 80's Maruishi MT-18
Posts: 1,358
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmaze View Post
Thanks for the reply. This is really the kind of information I am looking for. The most obvious difference to me is the discs, but I honestly don't know enough about the different components to know if it is worth an extra $200. The bike I have been using for the past five years is a 1980s Peugeot mountain bike I got from my dad. That was great (especially with fenders) to use through college and for riding 5 miles roundtrip to work. Now that it's going to be 25-30 miles roundtrip, I'm looking for something much faster.
If you take the advice from tsi and decide disks are essential, then yes it's worth it. To retrofit a bike without disks would require that the frame has the mounts, the wheels would need to have disk hubs or they would need to be completely replaced with ones that do, and the rotors/calipers/levers would also be needed. Those alone would cost at the very least $200 and you wouldn't have any of the other upgrades I mentioned. Generally, the best time to Upgrade is when you purchase a new bike, it's cheaper.
likebike23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 09:27 AM   #13
TransitBiker
contiuniously variable
 
TransitBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Newtown, PA
Bikes: 2012 Breezer Uptown Infinity NOS
Posts: 2,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
Never had to in seven years.

Can't even fathom why you'd think it was needed. Do you wipe off the rotors of your car?
A few things... For one.... I live car free. Added to that, automotive brakes are nothing like those found on bicycles and the drums & rotors often weigh more than a single seat bike. I wiped the rims down on both of my old rim brake bikes after wet rides. It made a difference the next time i took them out in stopping distance & decel rate, and it made the pads last longer. Also, keeping the critical safety parts of any human powered vehicle clean should be a priority. A quick spin of the wheel with a cloth on the rotor, simple. In winter when you get the salt & grit on the roads it can cause abrasion to the rotor and pads.

Most of the folks i know do this for the reasons listed.....

- Andy
TransitBiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 09:29 AM   #14
ratell
Senior Member
 
ratell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes:
Posts: 355
I'll echo what tsl said. Rim brakes are great most of the time and if you don't ride in bad weather probably all you need. For me it only took one time in the pouring rain when no one can really see and the driver's are erratic that I hit my brakes hard and kept rolling into the intersection to put a disc brake on my bike. It may be conditions that only happen once a year, but in that moment you want the most reliable brakes you can have.

Aside from weather hills and riding style matter. I work on top of a hill and I'm a very defensive rider during rush hour so I brake a lot (versus other's who bomb down the hill). When I had rim brakes I had to buy new wheels every year. That quickly makes discs worth it. If you don't have hills or don't use your brakes much it probably doesn't matter.
ratell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 09:31 AM   #15
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by gunner65 View Post
So same wheels/Tire road condition you are saying discs have no more stopping power then tradition rim brakes?
No, but I am saying the matter of brake "power" is moot, because I can skid a wheel with rim brakes too.

So "power" isn't the issue--at least not for me, an everyday bike commuter. For me, the issues are predictability in all conditions, and controlling that power. That's what discs give me.
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 09:32 AM   #16
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
A few things... For one.... I live car free. Added to that, automotive brakes are nothing like those found on bicycles and the drums & rotors often weigh more than a single seat bike. I wiped the rims down on both of my old rim brake bikes after wet rides. It made a difference the next time i took them out in stopping distance & decel rate, and it made the pads last longer. Also, keeping the critical safety parts of any human powered vehicle clean should be a priority. A quick spin of the wheel with a cloth on the rotor, simple. In winter when you get the salt & grit on the roads it can cause abrasion to the rotor and pads.

Most of the folks i know do this for the reasons listed.....

- Andy
I'll bet youre' one of those guys with an ultrasonic chain cleaner too.

For the record, I've been car-free since April 1999.
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 10:12 AM   #17
JosephG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: NJ
Bikes: Raleigh RX 1.0; Late 90's Trek 830
Posts: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
For me, the issues are predictability in all conditions, and controlling that power. That's what discs give me.
Newbie here, looking at the Liberty CXD as a possibility - and this is why I'm looking at discs. I was tooling around on the Trek 830 I'm using now, ended up chatting with another rider I ran across. With all the hills by me (my commute would involve some spots with 20-30% grade), spots where water and gunk and other stuff gets trapped, so on, he said he went disc and never looked back. He knows how it will handle it every time, and that is why he will never go back. I definitely appreciated his input there.
JosephG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 10:20 AM   #18
roadandmountain
Banned.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 523
Not sure if you've figured this out yet, but the BD bikes aren't spec'ed with avids. They're spec'ed with ultra low end tektro lyra's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I don't give a damn about all the theoreticals discussed in the road and mechanics fora. Besides, they're usually a bunch of candy-ass fair-weather riders anyway, who aren't duking it out between granite curbs with half-asleep, texting commuters, who all seem to be running late, and who left their morality and goodwill towards others in the pew on Sunday.

The issues are a bit different for those of us, like the OP, who are four-seasons, all-conditions commuters. It's all about where the rubber meets the road, as the old tire commercials used to say.

My 2006 Trek Portland is a modified CX bike with Avid BB7s. I bought it NOS already a year old in late 2007. Seven years of commuting with discs in the rain and snow--and yes, sometimes even in the fair weather (!) but we don't get much of that. Tens of thousands of miles on this bike have convinced me that in the four-seasons, all-condtions, take-no-prisoners daily commuting role, disc brakes, while not 100% essential, are incredibly nice to have.

There's plenty enough to think about jammed into a four-lane in rush-hour traffic without having to calculate how wet your rims are and how much extra distance you'll need to brake when some JAM comes out of nowhere you right hook you. It's all about reducing variables in contexts such as those. Disc brakes do that.

Coupled with good rain tires--I run Conti 4-Seasons in the three seasons--and you pretty much eliminate that variable too. Studded snows in the winter control that little slip-slide problem.

The discs don't collect snow and freeze up in the winter either.

Between them all, my brake feel and stopping distance are the same or nearly so, no matter what the conditions. Stopping is so predicatable I could fax it in from home before leaving for work. One less thing to factor in on the road, which means my limited brain cells can process other information instead.

Plus, I no longer have to replace rims every spring.

My three-seasons commuter and my weekend roadie get by with rim brakes. I see no compelling reason to change the braking systems on those bikes. My four-seasons, all-conditions commuter will always have disc brakes.
roadandmountain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 10:48 AM   #19
DogBoy
No one carries the DogBoy
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 2,309
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I'll bet youre' one of those guys with an ultrasonic chain cleaner too.
OOOHHHH! Where can I get one of those!

My experience. Dry weather, brakes is brakes. Wet weather: Caliper = vbrake = Discs > canti. Snow on the road (3+"): Discs > vbrake > canti (never ridden my roadbike in these conditions, so caliper is excluded). Adjusting brakes: Discs > vbrakes = caliper >>>>>>>canti.

I like disc brakes, never wipe down the rotors after rain/snow. Never had an issue. I like them for the same reason as tsl: reliability and ease of use.
DogBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 10:56 AM   #20
jdswitters
Senior Member
 
jdswitters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Collins CO
Bikes: Torker Graduate, Framed Minnesota1.0, Salsa Fargo, 2014 &2013 Felt NBBcruiser, '59 magneet path racer,
Posts: 786
Like my roller brakes for 4 season commuting but like disk brakes more. The latest model of my bicycle (torker graduate) now comes with disk brakes and if I ever have to build up or buy another townie it will have BB7s.

I have BB5s on a low end fat bike, I can live with those on simple single track and they are fine for around town. Rails to trails tourer has BB7s, love them, cant imagine going back to cantis on a tourer.

My father has some costco mountain bike with low end tektros, they are okay if you spend the time to get them adjusted and can find straight rotors.

Advice, get the one with disks and start putting a little back for the upgrade later.

cheers,
jdswitters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 11:34 AM   #21
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,087
Un like a bike sold in a LBS, Bikes Direct depends on your mechanical skills to get it all to work right . good luck .

those who work in the shops will be there to help you, but its fee for service .
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 12:08 PM   #22
Leisesturm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 2,152
Quote:
Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
A few things... For one.... I live car free. Added to that, automotive brakes are nothing like those found on bicycles and the drums & rotors often weigh more than a single seat bike. I wiped the rims down on both of my old rim brake bikes after wet rides. It made a difference the next time i took them out in stopping distance & decel rate, and it made the pads last longer. Also, keeping the critical safety parts of any human powered vehicle clean should be a priority. A quick spin of the wheel with a cloth on the rotor, simple. In winter when you get the salt & grit on the roads it can cause abrasion to the rotor and pads.

Most of the folks i know do this for the reasons listed.....

- Andy
I smirk in your general direction Andy. I had hoped you were being sarcastic. The other poster is likely correct. People like you often present their OCD in diverse scenarios. And no, I don't believe that you know anyone else as fastidious about brake performance.
Leisesturm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 12:14 PM   #23
Leisesturm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 2,152
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmaze View Post
Now that it's going to be 25-30 miles roundtrip, I'm looking for something much faster.
I suggest interval training then. YOU are what makes a bike faster. I'll ride your 80's Peugot and beat you to work on anybody's $3K carbon fiber wonder if you aren't as fit as I am. And you probably aren't, even though I am 25 years your senior.

H
Leisesturm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 12:38 PM   #24
TransitBiker
contiuniously variable
 
TransitBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Newtown, PA
Bikes: 2012 Breezer Uptown Infinity NOS
Posts: 2,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I smirk in your general direction Andy. I had hoped you were being sarcastic. The other poster is likely correct. People like you often present their OCD in diverse scenarios. And no, I don't believe that you know anyone else as fastidious about brake performance.
Cool story bro.

- Andy
TransitBiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-14, 12:40 PM   #25
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,087
Wheel suck behind the trucks & busses , its overcoming the air resistance that is most of the work and its more the faster you try to go..
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 PM.