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  1. #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

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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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
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  3. #3
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    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.
    George

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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.
    Last edited by Takara; 09-28-07 at 08:44 PM.

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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
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  6. #6
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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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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    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttsta View Post
    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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    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttsta View Post
    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.

  9. #9
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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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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    Quote 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
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
    4 months touring trip from England to Spain http://www.underadometent.com

  11. #11
    wll
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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.

    wll

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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    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
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  13. #13
    Senior Member teamcompi's Avatar
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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.

  14. #14
    wll
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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"


    wll

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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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