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Old 09-28-07, 04:34 PM   #1
wll
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Disk breaks on a touring, or commuter bike ?

If you were building a semi touring semi long hall commuter type bike, would you put disk breaks on it ?

I'm looking at building a go anywhere heavy duty "don't fail me now" kind of bike.

What do you think, also would you use Ultegra components for this bike?


wll
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Old 09-28-07, 06:22 PM   #2
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A year ago I would have no way to disc brakes, but the prices are coming down and the technology has improved. If it is a brand new build up I would say go for it, they are about the best thing out there for a commuter. I looked at upgrading one of my bikes but from what I gather it is best to use a frame and fork designed for them.

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Old 09-28-07, 06:47 PM   #3
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A year ago I would have no way to disc brakes, but the prices are coming down and the technology has improved. If it is a brand new build up I would say go for it, they are about the best thing out there for a commuter. I looked at upgrading one of my bikes but from what I gather it is best to use a frame and fork designed for them.

Aaron
+1, The forks on bikes with disk brakes a built stronger.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:37 PM   #4
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Go ahead! The problems are (1) racks are difficult to mount around the disks; (2) they're quite a bit more expensive; and (3) they can be difficult to service, or have serviced, off the beaten path (and what you'd call "adjustment" for conventional brakes is often "service" for disk brakes). But they do stop you in a shorter distance. If conventional brakes are making you anxious and keeping you from commuting or touring, disk brakes may be worth it all to you.

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Old 09-28-07, 08:47 PM   #5
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Yes!
I toured on a Cannondale Cyclocross Disc and don't regret it the slightest bit!
I had to get a different rack for the rear, but it wasn't that hard to find or expensive
If you do decided to get disc brakes makes sure you learn to adjust them though
It's not terribly difficult, and a good skill to know when a 'brushing' sound is driving you crazy
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Old 09-28-07, 08:59 PM   #6
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I have a set of Deore M-475 Calibers on a set of LX Center Loc Rotors,Deore V-Brake Levers On my Mtb/Commuter/Touring ride. Pulled a BoB that weighed in at about 80 Lbs from Boston to Wichita,use it a my daily ride to work and weekend warrior.
I now just replaced the brake pads and cleaned the calibers....this is after 6000 miles of perfect braking. never had a problem with these
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Old 09-28-07, 09:02 PM   #7
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Yes!
I toured on a Cannondale Cyclocross Disc and don't regret it the slightest bit!
I had to get a different rack for the rear, but it wasn't that hard to find or expensive
If you do decided to get disc brakes makes sure you learn to adjust them though
It's not terribly difficult, and a good skill to know when a 'brushing' sound is driving you crazy
+1000
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Old 09-29-07, 07:17 AM   #8
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If you do decided to get disc brakes makes sure you learn to adjust them though
It's not terribly difficult, and a good skill to know when a 'brushing' sound is driving you crazy
I am struggling with this. How often should it come up on a bike that I never pull the wheels from? I can see it if I was constantly popping the wheel for a car roofrack or something, but mine just don't hold their centering too well at all. So I definitely know how to 'adjust'/recenter them, but it doesn't seem like it 'takes' that well. Maybe I'm just not doing it perfectly.
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Old 09-29-07, 07:27 AM   #9
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It's very easy, but if you do a search of the forum, you will find a lot of different ways to do. Find the way you like the best, or the easiest way for you.
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Old 09-29-07, 09:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by wll View Post
If you were building a semi touring semi long hall commuter type bike, would you put disk breaks on it ?

I'm looking at building a go anywhere heavy duty "don't fail me now" kind of bike.

What do you think, also would you use Ultegra components for this bike?


wll
Here is something to drool on: Waterford ultimate commuter, with pics called "Waterford ultimate commuter, with pics"
Read this thread, I think you will learn some things about parts and stuff.
Here is a picture from the thread to grab your eyes.
I do once a week go to the thread, drool and go back to life
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Old 09-29-07, 02:15 PM   #11
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Went to a couple of bike shops today and did a lot of talking:-) ..... Played Bike Bum ___

Many of the guys liked the disk breaks thing, but many said for simplicity and very good breaking power with loads, they liked cantilever and they liked Paul's breaks very much. The canti - folks liked the simplicity and how easy they are to fix and ? when on the road ..... there is a lot to be said about that.

When I mentioned a Surly frame (LHT or CC) big smiles came across faces and said solid as heck and bullet proof, especialilly for the price, all the folks that new Surly said that would be their frame of choice for a down and dirty touring or heavy duty city commuting bike.

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Old 10-01-07, 04:31 PM   #12
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I am struggling with this. How often should it come up on a bike that I never pull the wheels from? I can see it if I was constantly popping the wheel for a car roofrack or something, but mine just don't hold their centering too well at all. So I definitely know how to 'adjust'/recenter them, but it doesn't seem like it 'takes' that well. Maybe I'm just not doing it perfectly.
Occasionally when I would get a flat my discs would 'brush' lightly, which supposedly does not slow you down, but is annoying
Adjusting disc brakes is very simple and fast, first you spin the wheel and check if the disc is straight or bent, if its bent, bend it back so it's straight
The other thing you do to adjust it is loosen the caliper and adjust it, if you don't know where it should be, just keep moving it around until you no longer hear brushing, then just tighten it

If you never pull the wheels off, it shouldn't be a problem, but then again, it's very easy to do anyway
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Old 10-01-07, 10:05 PM   #13
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I thought about this a long time when I had my tandem made up ... I wanted a bike that would be easy to fix no matter what and where. I decided to have it made with 26 inch wheels deep V rims, but with clearance for 700 C wheels and ran with discs but put vee brake studs on the frame and drilled so I could use a center mounted brake if needed (with the big wheels). The rear disc was mounted on the inside of the rear triangle to
minimize rack interference.

The original setup has mechanical discs which are a bit of a pain to adjust, but easy enough, I run narrow (light) and wide (heavy) tires on the same rims depending on my mood. With the small narrow tires on the frame it looks a little odd but what the heck its my do everything frame, I love the option of putting on bigger wheels, and different brakes if necessary.

This weekend we striped off the front racks, swapped over to narrow tires and my beast of burden is now our
"racey" steed.

You mention you want a a go anywhere heavy duty "don't fail me now" kind of bike just remember they will all fail at some time given enough miles the trick is to be ready to repair with what you have at hand to repair.
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Old 10-01-07, 10:27 PM   #14
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You mention you want a a go anywhere heavy duty "don't fail me now" kind of bike just remember they will all fail at some time given enough miles the trick is to be ready to repair with what you have at hand to repair.[/QUOTE]

You are right, that is why I've decided to go with Canti breaks as I can have the parts to fix them and they are light weight and easy to repair, and have great breaking power.

Disks are better , but heavier and depending on what goes wrong may need more "care and feeding"


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Old 10-01-07, 10:49 PM   #15
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When discussing discs it's probably best to specify whether you want a hydraulic or avid/cable deal. The later are reasonably cheap, and easy to fix on the road.

Bike makers seem to vary on this stuff. Some touring makes like thorn will not make you a disc bike, since they have apparently the concerns about the front wheel popping off. Other like Marinoni, Canondale, etc.. put discs on their premium rides. I am spliting the difference and building a front fork with both cantis and discs, and leaving the rear canti. At least that is one plan. I have something a little stupider in mind actually, so who knows.

I just finished up my recent tour using Paul neos up front and Petersen SE in the back, and hadn't any problems I don't think you need to spring for the Pauls, but I got a polished set for a good price and don't mind splashing out on brakes.

It can take some study to get the right canti for your particular fork.
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