Does anyone use disk brakes when touring? Is it even possible? I know that the Kona Sutra has them, but I'm not sure how the fenders and rack attach with the disk mechanism right where they usually attach. Anyone use them and have good experiences? Bad experiences?
The Sutra has braze-ons on the seat stays above the disc brake. I managed to crack the braze-on on my new Sutra. According to Kona you shouldn't use the braze-ons for the rack if you plan on carrying over 20kg. Kona suggests that you use the eyelet on the dropout for heavier loads, which presents a host of mounting problems.
The 'o6 Novara Safari has disc brakes, which is why I bought the '05. They put the brazeons for the rack way up the seatstays meaning you use their rack (which I didn't lie) or try to tfind one that works with that configuration. I don't know how possible that is when you want a rack rated for 50+ lbs. I am partial to Tubus racks and they definitely won't work.
Another issue for really long haulers is replacing the brake pads. You have to remove the wheel to get to the pads.
And a personal issue, I can't see the pads well enough to see whether they need replacing or not.
To me it seems discs are great for mountain biking and foul weather commuting but I wouldn't take them on a tour. (an opinion based soely on theory)
Giant OCR Touring, Raleigh Sport Comfort, Cannondale ST400, Cannondale Road Bike
My Giant OCR Touring has disk brakes. I had no trouble mounting Tubus racks that I got from Wayne at the thetouringstore.com Re. checking the pads-On the center of the Avid Mechanical brakes is an indented spot. It moves in as the brakes wear. When it is in about 1mm the disks need to be replaced.
I am using the Axiom Journey Disc rack on my disc-brake equipped bike. I would have liked to get Tubus, but Wayne wasn't sure if they would fit properly. I haven't had to do any adjustments on the brakes, Avid BB's I think. I don't know why others have had less than optimum experience with disc brakes.
I once saw somewhere a bike with diskbrakes that instead of having the disk grabber on the seatstays, they were on the chainstays. Any reason this wouldn't work? THere is a good chance that my tours will have mountains, and thus, nice descents.
I agree with vadopazzo, generally, but with one caveat. If your loaded touring is very mountainous, AND you expect to do wet/muddy stops, discs may be justified.
In general, though, they're a nightmare to keep adjusted as the pads often want to drag. I speak from experience with Avid road discs (mechanical actuation).
There definitely **IS** a place for disc brakes in the pantheon of touring, but it is for sure a specialized niche.
Yeah, I'd think the same.
Maybe have both rim & disc for the rear, use the disc in nasty conditions like above-or as a "drag" brake like on a tandem. Would extend rim life like crazy. Would the weight/possible parts problems be worth it? I've no idea...