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Old 06-25-07, 02:18 PM   #1
russiankdi
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Disc brakes or V-brakes

I am going to either purchase a Trek 4300 with disc brakes or a 4500 with V-brakes. I can get the 4500 with discs but not sure if it is worth it in my situation. The bike will be used to hit small trails, not many jumps, but mostly pavement.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:21 PM   #2
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both work OK...I'd go with discs if your wheels don't have rims
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Old 06-25-07, 02:23 PM   #3
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Cheap discs on cheaper mountain bikes are more of a gimmick than anything. Get the better bike w/ the V-brakes.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm01
both work OK...I'd go with discs if your wheels don't have rims
I do not understand what you mean by " you wheels don't have rims"
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Old 06-25-07, 02:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mynameisphunk
Cheap discs on cheaper mountain bikes are more of a gimmick than anything. Get the better bike w/ the V-brakes.
After looking at the price difference, discs are $100 more for the 4300. With that money i can upgrade and just get the 4500 with V-brakes.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:35 PM   #6
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wheels designed for discs don't have rims...just tappered sidewalls

http://www.mavic.com/ewb_pages/v/vtt.php
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Old 06-25-07, 02:36 PM   #7
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Exactly. There is no point in getting discs on a lower end mountain bike, IMO - the discs they are putting on there are not great disc brakes anyway. My wife's crap Hayes discs on her Trek 7300FX squeal like nobody's business and don't do any better at stopping than my mid-grade V-brakes do. We only got the disc version because we needed a bike ASAP, wanted the 7300FX, and the LBS didn't have a non-disc version and couldn't get it in her size. They met us halfway between the disc and non-disc models on price.

If they had had a 7500FX w/ v-brakes for the same price as the 7300FX, the 7500FX would have been a no-brainer. Same thing in your situation.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:43 PM   #8
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the only problem with V-Brakes is that they wear down the rims..I've replaced many wheels because of this

Trek finally caught on and put a wear indicator on the rims of my 7.5fx...when the black dot disappears, its time to get new rims
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Old 06-25-07, 03:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm01
wheels designed for discs don't have rims...just tappered sidewalls

http://www.mavic.com/ewb_pages/v/vtt.php
That's some high-test berber you're smoking there. A bicycle rim is an extrusion that is butted into itself to form a circle to which the spokes and tire are attached. Most rims are made of aluminum alloy, while some very high-end rims are made of carbon fiber, and some old or very low-end rims are made of steel. Rims have even been made of wood and thermoplastic.

Rims designed for use with rim brakes provide a smooth parallel braking surface, while rims meant for use with disc brakes or hub brakes sometimes lack this surface.

By the way, your own link disagrees with you. I count 9 Disc specific "Rims"

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Old 06-25-07, 03:35 PM   #10
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Call me old school, but for x-country I much prefer v-brakes. My set up stops just as well in dry condition, and I'm not doing a lot of mud riding. Discs for me are far too much weight, setup, maintenance and pain in the ass.

If your going with discs, you had better get a damn good set. Stock often sucks
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Old 06-25-07, 03:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sirrobinofcoxly
Call me old school, but for x-country I much prefer disk brakes. My set up stops just as well in dry condition, and I'm not doing a lot of mud riding. Discs for me are far too much weight, setup, maintenance and pain in the ass.
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Do disc brakes need a lot of maintenance?

Almost none. Pads last a long time and are usually much easier to replace than rim brake pads. Most disc brake are now self-adjusting but even cable disc brakes (all cable disc brake are manual adjust) take but seconds to adjust and without tools. Bleeding hydraulic brakes scares a lot of people but it takes a few minutes at most and it certainly isn't a regular maintenance issue. Bleeding is only usually performed when hardware is changed.

Initial setup takes the most time and should be done as perfectly as possible as it affects brake performance greatly. As initial setup is a one-time deal - and doesn't change as pads wear or are replaced - then the time spent is important. Some brakes take longer than others to set up - the ones with shims take the longest, the Avids with their CPS (caliper positioning system) are in the middle and Formula Activa with their sliding caliper are the quickest but, as said before, it's time well spent.

Are disc brakes heavy compared to rim brakes?

Yes & no. Some of the ultra light disc brake sets rival, or beat, v-brakes for weight. For instance, a whole complete set of Formula B4SL (world's lightest) weighs only 630g complete compared the XTR at about 690g. Yes, some disc brakes are heavier than v-brakes but disc brakes give (for most people) so many benefits that any extra weight is immaterial. It's like fat tires and shock forks - we get so many benefits compared to skinny tires and rigid fork we stopped asking the same questions about them years ago. Of course disc brake hubs are going to be heavier than non disc brake hubs. Here are some examples -

Shimano XT - +89g per set

Chris King ISO - +120g per set

DT-Swiss 240 - 111g per set.

Weight sources - Speedgoat.com, Chris King, DT-Swiss.

So when we factor in brake weights we must factor in hub weights too BUT as there are benefits (for most people!) then those extra weights are beneficial weights (just like shock forks over rigid forks).

Some weight facts to ponder -

*One of the most popular disc brakes (the Avid cable disc) is also one of the heaviest - 1057g for a whole set (SD7 levers, cables, brakes).
*A set of 2002 Magura Martas (747g) weighs almost 100g LESS than a large full waterbottle (836g).
*A set of Formula B4SL (630g) weighs 206g LESS than a large full waterbottle (836g).
*A set of Formula B4SL (630g) weighs about the same as a small full waterbottle (638g).
*9 Clif bars weigh the same as a set of Formula B4SL.
*Shimano XTR v-brakes (BR-M951), Avid levers (SD7) and cables (est 100g) weigh 696g.
*NOW can we stop asking about weight!
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Old 06-25-07, 08:15 PM   #12
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I was deciding to between a Schwinn Mesa GSD and a Giant Rincon on my last recent purchase of my new bike, and decided to get the Rincon because the people on here advised that the Hayes HMX-4 Discs on the Mesa were crap. Although I do kinda wish I woulda got the Mesa or another bike that had a Disc-Ready frame. Too late now though since I've had the bike for almost 2 weeks.
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Old 06-25-07, 09:32 PM   #13
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Looks like i am going to get V-brakes. Now i just need to decide whether i need to put out the extra $80 or so for the 4500 or not.
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Old 06-26-07, 06:34 AM   #14
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Personally, I think V-brakes require more maintenance.

1. Eventually your rim will wear out.
2. Before it wears out, it makes a horrible noise grinding on the rim when the rim or pads get dirty or muddy, which is pretty much all the time.
3. You need to clean out the pads when they get imbedded with grit. PITA

Disc brakes? Well, so far, I've just hosed them off.
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Old 06-26-07, 08:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm01
both work OK...I'd go with discs if your wheels don't have rims
I know, Raiyn has already pointed this out, but...





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Old 06-26-07, 08:43 AM   #16
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i've had both and honestly, discs are wicked looking and do stop better. But, at your price point, they won't be worth it. Get the 4500 it's a better bike than the 4300. Spend as much as you can on a new bike b/c you'll want the model up a few months after you buy it anyway.
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Old 06-26-07, 09:01 AM   #17
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I would go with discs. I just bought my first MTB with disc brakes and it stops even when the brakes are soaked or covered in mud.
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Old 07-19-07, 08:32 AM   #18
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Hey,
Personally I would go with the disk brakes. The ones that come on the 4300 are definitely not the greatest but i prefer them to v brakes.
P.S- If you do go with the disk brakes make sure they dont rip you off and not give you rims, that would really suck. lol
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Old 07-19-07, 08:38 AM   #19
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Hey,
Personally I would go with the disk brakes. The ones that come on the 4300 are definitely not the greatest but i prefer them to v brakes.
P.S- If you do go with the disk brakes make sure they dont rip you off and not give you rims, that would really suck. lol
i'm pretty sure this thread was dead.

way to pull something 3 weeks old up again when the OP has probably already made a decision.
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Old 07-19-07, 10:30 AM   #20
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The only reservation I have with disc brakes are when they're hydraulic. I ride with a guy who had problems with his going soft, probably due to moisture or air getting in. He had bleed and refilled a couple times, and still had intermitent problems.

I've also seen someone strip the heads of the bolts holding his Hope reservoir caps on in a hurry. Obviously not a problem if you're careful.

For maintenance alone, I don't mind the comprimise in performance using my Avid mechanicals. They're still a good deal ahead of V-brakes in terms of lack of maintenance and performance.
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Old 07-19-07, 10:58 AM   #21
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The only reservation I have with disc brakes are when they're hydraulic. I ride with a guy who had problems with his going soft, probably due to moisture or air getting in. He had bleed and refilled a couple times, and still had intermitent problems.

I've also seen someone strip the heads of the bolts holding his Hope reservoir caps on in a hurry. Obviously not a problem if you're careful.

For maintenance alone, I don't mind the comprimise in performance using my Avid mechanicals. They're still a good deal ahead of V-brakes in terms of lack of maintenance and performance.
+1 i love my avid mechanicals.

but i dont think hydros have that many problems after they are bled.
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Old 07-19-07, 11:11 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm01 View Post
wheels designed for discs don't have rims...just tappered sidewalls

http://www.mavic.com/ewb_pages/v/vtt.php
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm01
both work OK...I'd go with discs if your wheels don't have rims

I missed this the first time around.

Wow, that is funny stuff.
.

Although, I have saved a couple of grams switching to tubeless.

I might take it the next level and switch to rimless wheels.

www.norimsortubes.com would be my website.

with just the spokes attached to the tires. I could save about 500 grams per wheel.

Think of the advantage over the course of a long race.

No pinch flats to think of. Although, I would have to switch to the new USR tires (jensonUSA said they'll have em in by early fall ).

I'll post pics

Last edited by C Law; 07-19-07 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 07-19-07, 11:45 AM   #23
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I have another reason for liking discs on general purpose go everywhere bikes. I have trails where I get out onto the roads for a while. After bombing down a few hills with intersections or stop signs at the bottom I discovered that my tires were starting to show signs of melting to the rim. Now that's got to be pretty close to blowing a tube at speed.

Changed to Avid Mechanicals with SD7 levers and full metal jacket cables soon after this discovery. The heat is now far away from the rubber and the discs seem to work as well or better than XT rim brakes with good all weather pads. Now I'm looking forward to putting discs on the road bike too. I can live with the weight difference and as Ryan points out, disc setups are getting lighter every year.
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