NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
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By your own admission, I wouldn't spend the extra money if I were you. Discs are advantageous if you ride where fading due to extended braking, like on long steep descents is a problem. Vee brakes (or rim brakes) will fade due to the build up of heat caused by the friction of the pad against the rim surface. Disc brakes are not as prone to fading from this heat build up. Actually they are affected, but not as much and if you have hydraulics, the hydraulic fluid's boiling point is so high that it's not affected.
Secondly, discs are advantageous in wet muddy conditions. A build up of mud at the brake pads can slow the rotation of the wheel. Plus, if the rim gets coated in mud/water there is a slight hesitation of 'grabbing' until the rim gets 'wiped' clean by the brake pad. Due to the proximity of the disc at the center of the hub, it's less prone to get 'caked' plus, it 'clears' much quicker. Not to mention the brake pad is similar to an auto disc brake pad and isn't affected by mud.
Thirdly, unless you are buying the more expensive models, peformance can be worse than a set of vee brakes. IOW, cheap discs are gimmicks. Good ones are expensive.
If you decide to go with discs, I'd ONLY recommend Avid's if you stick with Mechanically actuated. If you go with the even more expensive hydraulic, there are a lot more decent suppliers/manuf. available. My favorites are Hayes. Shimano XT, and XTR get good reviews. Hope, Magura, Avid and others make quality systems.
Lastly and not a BIG issue is if you damage a wheel, in order to keep riding you have to disengage the brake cable so the wheel spins. With discs, you can almost taco the wheel, bang it back into shape and still ride with full functioning brakes.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger