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Old 06-17-09, 01:01 AM   #1
ZeroXposur
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Disc Brake Benefits

Pretty self explanatory... Basically, what is the benefit of going disc over conventional? Additionally, what is the cost deference in REPLACEMENT parts. I know that I will pay a sizable chunk extra for the discs up front (sizable on a $450 budget...) Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 06-17-09, 05:29 AM   #2
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Old 06-17-09, 05:38 AM   #3
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Speaking from my own experience, and assuming reasonable-quality parts, I'd list the following advantages to disc brakes: a) they look cool; b) I don't have to squeeze the lever so hard, especially with larger rotor sizes; c) I don't have to fiddle with releasing the noodle when I remove my wheels; d) an out-of-true rim does not affect my braking; e) probably I get better consistency in braking in wet conditions; f) my hydraulic brakes are "set and forget" -- they self-adjust as the pads wear.

There's no free lunch though. I feel the "consistency in wet conditions" argument for disc is often overplayed -- I ran rim brakes two snowy winters in a row without trouble. And disc brakes can be the source of much frustration. Search on "Avid Juicy Turkey Gobble" someday and read all the angst that results from just that one problem.

Rim brakes might be lighter in weight too. But I'm not so sure on this point, because you have to factor in rims built with a braking surface. Disc-specific rims can probably be built lighter. So the weight issue might be close to a wash.

Edit: Do you already have rim brakes? If you're on a budget, you might try upgrading your pads before converting to discs. I give a thumbs-up to Kool-Stop's Salmon pads. I recently put a set onto an older bike that I refurbished for a friend. The difference was night-and-day.
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Old 06-17-09, 05:45 AM   #4
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I'll never go back to rim brakes.

This subject can be beaten to death, so I'm stopping right here.
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Old 06-17-09, 05:59 AM   #5
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They are sexy.
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Old 06-17-09, 06:53 AM   #6
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I was in my LBS yesterday picking up a new bike and the guy there told me unless im in to down hill stuff disk brakes were not needed.

Ive seen the disk brake kits on the net ranging from 300.00 to 50.00 with replacment pads from 6.00 to 30.00
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Old 06-17-09, 07:29 AM   #7
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^ I don't buy that argument anymore. Is suspension needed? Are gears needed? Are two wheels needed? (Ask the local unicyclist) I use both types, and no disc brakes are not "needed" but they sure are nice. Another factor is that disc brakes don't grind down the rims.
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Old 06-17-09, 07:33 AM   #8
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Tell that to all the guys that ride disc brakes
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Old 06-17-09, 08:10 AM   #9
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^ I don't buy that argument anymore. Is suspension needed? Are gears needed? Are two wheels needed? (Ask the local unicyclist) I use both types, and no disc brakes are not "needed" but they sure are nice. Another factor is that disc brakes don't grind down the rims.
Rim brakes don't grind down the rotors...so there!
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Old 06-17-09, 09:07 AM   #10
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Rim brakes don't grind down the rotors...so there!
Yeah but the rotors are made to be grinded rims are not.
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Old 06-17-09, 09:10 AM   #11
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I'll never go back to disk.......rim brakes rule!
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Old 06-17-09, 09:41 AM   #12
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OK, so based on the results, I feel I should clarify briefly.

I am looking at purchasing a new bike at around $450, and some of the ones I have come across in that range already have the Discs on them. But, looking at these responses, I'm thinking at this point I may just need to head into the LBS, and rent one of each for a half day, and see what kind of trouble I can get myself into. I appreciate the feedback!
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Old 06-17-09, 10:10 AM   #13
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It's simple bro get the disc brakes. Look at it this way you'll never find a high end bike with V brakes. Why do you think they don't make a stumpjumper or any anthem or any other expensive bike with V brakes? Because discs are much better.
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Old 06-17-09, 10:39 AM   #14
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Disc brakes, especially large ones, have more overall stopping power, so they can be more useful in extreme conditions. I don't ride DH, so I bought mine for some other reasons:

They work just as well even when your wheel is slightly out of true
They are cleaner (I ride in the rain a lot and getting black brake dust all over yourself after every ride is less than ideal)
They look cool (can't deny this)
You get smaller distances between the pads and the rotor than between pads and rims, so you get a more sensitive brake feel
My new fork only had disc mounts :d .... but I wanted them before I got it.


All that being said, $450 is the low end for a bike with disc brakes, and disc brakes on a bike that cheap may not be as easy to adjust or as durable as the BB7s I picked up, so they may give you less of an overall positive experience. In the end brakes are brakes and if there's no compelling reason to get disc brakes, don't. While you may not be able to find 'high end' V brakes (though they can certainly exist, roadies use a similar style, at least in terms of braking method and pad surface), with a good set of brake pads and proper rims you can get a lot of performance out of them.
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Old 06-17-09, 12:33 PM   #15
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If you ride in the snow, then discs are definitely the way to go. I absolutely ruined a pair of V brake pads from all the pressure I was putting on the levers in one ride. One ride!
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Old 06-18-09, 01:02 AM   #16
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The link below is an image that was on another thread and shows what a rim brake can do to a rim.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3295810&id=507566604&l=99478c04f6

Last edited by cobba; 06-18-09 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 06-18-09, 02:16 AM   #17
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If you are buying a new rig, I would recommend disc brakes. Better stopping power (in any condition) and good for DH so i'm told. It seems that if you were to upgrade to discs, it would be better spent to just buy a rig with one. There is a version of the Hardrock 10' that come with discs.

My roommate has disc brakes. Week old and they are already bent :/. They make quite a bit of noise as well...
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Old 06-18-09, 11:05 AM   #18
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If you are buying a new rig, I would recommend disc brakes. Better stopping power (in any condition) and good for DH so i'm told. It seems that if you were to upgrade to discs, it would be better spent to just buy a rig with one. There is a version of the Hardrock 10' that come with discs.

My roommate has disc brakes. Week old and they are already bent :/. They make quite a bit of noise as well...
I don't know if this was supposed to sell me on the idea of getting Discs, or steering clear of them... LoL. And there are a number of bikes that I have found for under 500 that come with Discs. Jamis X2, KHS Alite 150, '09 Specialized Hardrock has a version, theres a GT Outpost, I even found a Schwinn Frontier that had them, all of which come stock with 6" discs. This bike will likely be an all season sort of deal, and being in WI, it will see a lot of snow. But, I'm not taking it off of any huge drops or anything like that yet. I could see doing some of that in the future, but reading through the forums here, there's a lot of basics I need to get down first.
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Old 06-18-09, 11:46 AM   #19
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Wow even a schwinn comes with disc breaks eh?
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Old 06-18-09, 11:55 AM   #20
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Disk breaks r kool
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Old 06-18-09, 01:03 PM   #21
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I'm just gong to say this in advanced, if any one tells you that rim brakes are better than something like mech disc brakes, ignore them.
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Old 06-18-09, 01:13 PM   #22
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I'm just gong to say this in advanced, if any one tells you that rim brakes are better than something like mech disc brakes, ignore them.
What if they say rim brakes are better than hydro disc brakes?
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Old 06-18-09, 01:18 PM   #23
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Then they've obviously never (hehe) ridden a bike with hydros.
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Old 06-18-09, 02:04 PM   #24
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I think in that case, they wouldn't even know what a disc brake is
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Old 06-18-09, 02:25 PM   #25
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Hydraulic disk brakes RUB, Avid bb7 cables do not. So no need for rim brakes!!!
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