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  1. #1
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Offer to eat crow re disc brakes

    OK - having had my Kona Dew Deluxe (originally fitted with Shimano MTB discs, now with Avid road disc brakes) for a few months now, I've the following to say:

    1. The disc brakes stop perfectly in dry OR wet conditions
    2. The front wheel dish has not affected the wheel durability (despite my 260# weight)
    3. The discs are the most difficult to adjust of any brakes I've ever owned - no matter how carefully I adjust them, one or the other always seem to want to rub slightly
    4. The discs are heavier than rim brakes
    5. Although the disc technology is theoretically superior to rim, the implementation isn't ready for road bikes yet (unless loaded touring, commuting, or wet performance is paramount)

    On my "Boomer Bikes" thread, I listed a preference for road bikes having disc brakes. I was wrong. With today's disc brakes, sometimes the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

    Because I don't do loaded touring, downhill offroad, or wet riding, I don't need discs. Mea culpa.

  2. #2
    Senior Member KeithA's Avatar
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    One of my bikes, Jamis Coda Elite, has discs and I love the smooth easy way they stop the bike regardless of road conditions. It takes a while, but I can get them seated pretty nicely. My big bugaboo about the discs is when I have to remove the rear wheel. What a pain in the...well, let's just say it's a hemorhoid. So, I agree that they have their advantages and disadvantages. I'll be very happy with them for any wet riding I do as the seasons change.

  3. #3
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Your original thread on Baby Boomer Bikes

    And are you willing to "eat crow" on any of your other suggestions, which were:


    1. Comfortable frame angles but still light (think Specialized Roubaix..)
    2. Double front chain rings with some range rather than flaky-shifting triples
    3. DISC BRAKES - rim brakes are **SO** last-century (Really take this suggestion to heart!)
    4. Durable but light parts groups that rekindle the stuff we wanted back when (think Campy Veloche or even Chorus)
    5. STRONG WHEELS that won't taco (remember I said we were heavier now..) Think 36 spoke units with deep V rims and 23 to 28 mm 700c tires to match our various durability needs
    6. Adjustable stem and bar options for comfort but still with lightness.
    7. Target prices between $1,500 and $2,500 for entry level - up to $3,500 for upscales.
    8. No more than 18 gears - 14 is even better - durability and smoothness are more important than "wow."
    ?

    I am still affronted by your "flaky-shifting triples" statement.

    The rest of them, I can live with, although I have been living quite well for 6 years on the same 32 spoke wheels without any problem, and I topped the scale at 240, although I am 210 now, and I happen to like my 27 gears.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-06-05 at 06:20 AM.
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  4. #4
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    OK - having had my Kona Dew Deluxe (originally fitted with Shimano MTB discs, now with Avid road disc brakes) for a few months now, I've the following to say:
    ...
    3. The discs are the most difficult to adjust of any brakes I've ever owned - no matter how carefully I adjust them, one or the other always seem to want to rub slightly
    Discs take awhile to break in, like about 600 miles. I get about the same drag with discs I got with rim brakes.


    4. The discs are heavier than rim brakes
    Bet the difference is less than a lb. Keep at it and the engine will lose more weight than two sets of brakes.



    Because I don't do loaded touring, downhill offroad, or wet riding, I don't need discs. Mea culpa.
    Or commuting. I'm still planning to eventually get a lighter bike, but it will have disc brakes. Even if I have to go the custom route. The weight difference is less than a night light, or fenders. Whenever I get concerned about weight I reexamine what's in my bag, and always find extra stuff I really don't need.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  5. #5
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    ...And are you willing to "eat crow" on any of your other suggestions...
    Hi Denver - yes and no:

    Suggestion 1 - more relaxed frame angles - I now believe more passionately than ever that this is a good suggestion. The majority of bike manufacturers make frames today with WAY too steep frame angles for the majority of uses that their bikes are put to. I'd like to see a good selection of 72 degree head and seat tube bikes offered (one or two models from every manufacturer). I'd also like to see much longer wheelbases (more fork rake and longer chain stays).

    Suggestion 2 - Doubles instead of triples - You're right - I'm wrong. For folks who need a triple, they're perfectly justified. I'd also like to see bikes offered with SINGLE chainrings, though. For my location a single makes more sense than even a double.

    Suggestion 3 - Disc brakes - I've already stated my thoughts.

    Suggestion 4 - Not really an issue - most bike makers offer perfectly durable and reasonably light gruppos already.

    Suggestion 5 - I believe that strong wheels are important. The majority of bicycle buyers don't weigh 150 pounds anymore. I'm willing to concede, though, that with deep-V rims, the spoke count may not be as important as I thought. My Campagnolo Vento wheels are a prime example.

    Suggestion 6 - I don't necessarily think that adjustable stems are a necessity, but they'd sure be nice - especially with variable reach! With threadless headsets and steerer tubes pre-cut, the average rider doesn't have much option when trying to set bar height and reach! It was much easier with quill stems! I'd like to see it become equally easy with threadless stems. How? I'm not sure, but perhaps a "trainer" stem should be fitted by the bike shop with variable rise and reach. After the customer was fitted, an appropriate stem could then be put on the bike (easy if the stems all had MTB style 2-bolt caps).

    Suggestion 7 - Target price isn't that much of an issue. What some are willing/able to pay, others aren't. I think my suggestions should apply at ALL price points.

    Suggestion 8 - With the exception of triple chain rings (already discussed), I still believe that the disadvantages of 10-speed rear cassettes outweigh any possible gain. I think that minimizing rear wheel dish for strength is more important than having more gears (with their higher wear rates, thinner-and-weaker chains, etc.). I'd like to see six to eight speed cassettes become the norm, but I realistically don't expect this to happen. Marketing, not common sense, drives gear train development. After looking at overlapping gears, the 30 speed bike of today offers no more real ratios (or range) than an intelligently designed 16 speed drive train.

    Feedback?

  6. #6
    Senior Member bernmart's Avatar
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    This is an excellent exchange of views--the kind of thing I've come to expect on this gray-headed forum. Well-done!
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  7. #7
    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    Regarding suggestion 8: The jury's still out on that. My old '82 Miyata has a 5 speed cassette, and the chain is completely bushed. It's very strong and lasts many, many miles even if abused.

    My slightly newer Trek has an 8 speed cassette. And with less than 300 miles on it, I've already broken a chain. It caused a very painful fall. However, the additional gear ratios do make it easier to keep my cadence consistent with the wildly varying terrain we have around here.

    I guess the real issue is how difficult it is for me to adapt, since parts for the older bikes are getting harder and harder to find.

    Az

  8. #8
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I have 21 speed on my mtn bike and 24 speed on my Sora roadie, and 27 on my Lemond.

    As far as I can tell, I would be just as happy with the 21 speeds on everything, as long as I had a "real" granny for hills. I have even placed a 28 chain ring on my Lemond for extra oomph on hills around here in CO land.
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  9. #9
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    Friend of mine who switched to discs this spring says the same thing: "They work about as well and weigh a pound more." He doesn't have any complaints about their performance, but they're not an improvement over his old Ultegras w/aftermarket pads and they do weigh more.

  10. #10
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    Between my disc brakes extra pound and the six pounds worth of bike locks, I'll need to drop some body weight to make up for it. That's OK, need to lose the ~25 pounds of flab anyway.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog
    Friend of mine who switched to discs this spring says the same thing: "They work about as well and weigh a pound more." He doesn't have any complaints about their performance, but they're not an improvement over his old Ultegras w/aftermarket pads and they do weigh more.

    I have two mountain bike solos, and they both have V Brakes fitted. They are completely adequate for my type of use, and I also do Road rides at a respectable speed when I fit the Slicks. They do not need or require disc brakes, but then I am an accomplished rider and I only weigh 147lbs.
    However, there are mountain bikes, that in my opinion need disc brakes, These are the higher quality Full suspension bikes, and the way these things shift on the flat offroad, or when Gravity takes over, disc brakes are well worth the expense, but these bikes probably came with top grade Hydraulic disc brakes as standard. On the average Hardtail or medium quality full suspension bikes that will go slower downhill, then V Brakes are good enough

    Now we get onto the beastie. A full offroad Tandem. This bike is heavy, it is fast and takes a lot of stopping. Top quality Disc brakes, massive great big discs and a pleading letter to the bank manager to get them.

    Disc brakes have several advantages. The braking area is out of the trail debris and wet and mud and the braking effect is better than any rim brake. They do not wear out rims that ordinary brakes will do, and disc replacement is cheaper than Rim replacement. Disadvantages-- Heavy, expensive, and you do have a bit of rub.

    On a bike that is mainly used on the road, the weight and pad rub will put you at a disadvantage. However- If you are talking Offroad, full suspension, Clydesdale, or wet muddy weather they are a godsend.

    As to disc brakes not being better than V Brakes- They are providing a good quality Hydraulic unit is fitted. Cable disc brakes are often not as good as V Brakes, and the cheaper Hydraulic units may take some sorting to get right.

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver

    Or commuting. I'm still planning to eventually get a lighter bike, but it will have disc brakes. Even if I have to go the custom route. The weight difference is less than a night light, or fenders. Whenever I get concerned about weight I reexamine what's in my bag, and always find extra stuff I really don't need.
    I no longer worry about weight- Of course if the bike is lighter, it will be easier to pedal up the hills, but My normal riding is in preparation for longer rides. Now when I do those longer rides it will be unsupported as you cannot get cars up most of the tracks we ride on. The amount of spares and tools I carry on those Enduro rides is unbelievable. The pannier alone weighs 1 lb, then there are the normal tools that I will always carry like the multitool, the single tyre lever and the lightweight tube. Oh then there are the sandwiches, the cakes, the dried fruit and the cereal bars, then there's the extra water bottle and the camelback, and the spare folding tyre. And if theres room I might carry an extra sandwich.

    If I ever analysed what I carry in my bag, and when I last used it, I would throw most of it away, but then Murphy's law would take over, and it would not be an enjoyable ride. Extra weight is not a problem, and 1lb extra on disc brakes is nothing, As you say, Look at the bike, and how effective it is. If like me you want and need disc brakes --Fit them.

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