Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
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Pressure on the spokes might be a problem, but not really if you do most of your braking via front brake -- which you should. Forks for disk brakes need to be beefier, and there should be some kind of wheel retention device on the front wheel (there was a thread about it on rec.bicycles.tech not too long ago). Of course, that's not a problem for the Giant (which I think was designed with disk brakes in mind), but that's a problem for those who would think of retrofitting their bike.
One drawback I heard and witnessed was that it is much more difficult to fit front and/or rear racks around these brakes. You may need to add spacers on the left strut of the rack, and this would diminish the overall resistance of the rack. Even if the rack fits, check that panniers don't push on the brake pads, as I have heard it is a problem with some brakes.
Now, there is a slight advantage to disk brakes: equal grip (or lack thereof), rain or shine. The other advantage: less rim wear, isn't really a problem for touring or even for most commuting, as tourers rarely break (per mile, at least). On the downside, parts might be harder to find on the road...