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Old 04-23-08, 12:34 PM   #1
eric von zipper
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Disk brakes and sand/grit

I was reading through some journals over on CGOAB. I got to this journal:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...oc_id=3496&v=h
They talk about a problem with disk brakes and sand:

But we had one major problem: SAND! The bike threw up a sand and water slurry that covered everything moving on the bike. The grinding in the chans and gears was painful. We washed it off, but it was back in 2-minutes of riding. The greatest problem is the disk brakes. THe sand has worn down the pads to the point where we have no brakes at all. We will need to find a bikeshop to remedy the problem. In the mean-time, thank goodness it is flat.

I don't have disk brakes, but was curious if anyone else had a problem like this.
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Old 04-23-08, 02:14 PM   #2
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No problems with my disc - they are nearly maint free. But, I don't ride on beaches or on salted roads, which are probably worst case for braking systems.

If its bad on disc, it would be worse on rim brake system - where you could potentially be replacing a wheelset due to rim wear-thru.

In the example you cited, the biggest problem here was the guy who bought the $4,000 tandem failed to budget and install some $25 fenders and f. mudflap. I bet he owns some by now.

Fenders and mudflap are a good investment - pay for themselves many times over in extended drivetrain life, reduced frame damage, and less frequent clothing laundry.

Would you drive a car with no windshield? Well, you might, but not for long or very fast - unless you have goggles.
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Old 04-23-08, 02:52 PM   #3
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i've also never heard of a chain breaking solely from exposure to sand. I've ridden my mountain bikes in sandy conditions before with absolutely no damage/ effect to my avid ball bearing 7s or hayes hfxs. keep in mind that people's levels of mechanical knowledge and aptitude vary greatly.
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Old 04-23-08, 08:25 PM   #4
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I didn't have any problems with sand and I rode down the whole Baja peninsula
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Old 04-23-08, 08:42 PM   #5
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I had to take the calipers off my discs ( Kona Caldera MTB) to clean out sand many times when riding along a sandy river last year.
My boy on his rim brakes had no such trouble. In fact we just left the rear caliper off after the third time.
I think this is a place where rim brakes are superior to discs.
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Old 04-23-08, 11:00 PM   #6
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Disc brake pads don't weigh much and only cost 10-15 bucks. If I was touring a long distance I would bring a few extra pairs.

I wouldn't say that this scenario would sway me to want to use rim brakes instead of disc.
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Old 04-24-08, 01:28 AM   #7
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Ceramic Rims have worked for me, very little wear after 3 years and many 1000's of KM on unsealed gravel and sandy roads.

Gone through loads of pads though, still cheaper than a new rim and build.

and I can use cheap and nasty pads when my spares run out. It can be very difficult to find specific Disk pads everywhere. Or a new rotor if the airline bends the one on the bike, and i have seen that a couple of times.

george
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Old 04-24-08, 09:12 AM   #8
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Having mudguards on your bike will help that quite a bit.
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Old 04-24-08, 10:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jibi View Post
Ceramic Rims have worked for me, very little wear after 3 years and many 1000's of KM on unsealed gravel and sandy roads.

Gone through loads of pads though, still cheaper than a new rim and build.

and I can use cheap and nasty pads when my spares run out. It can be very difficult to find specific Disk pads everywhere. Or a new rotor if the airline bends the one on the bike, and i have seen that a couple of times.

george
+1 - you can't argue with the ease of sourcing spare parts for rim brakes. Just about any cheap MTB that crosses your path is a potential donor.
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Old 04-24-08, 12:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
...If its bad on disc, it would be worse on rim brake system - where you could potentially be replacing a wheelset due to rim wear-thru...
disc brakes have very little to no space between the pad and the braking surface. So if they get dirty the dirt has nowhere to go, I've seen a friend wear down the pads super quick on his disc brakes from some sticky mud.

Rim brakes on the other hand have much more clearance. The mud/sand don't typically cause a grinding unless you are actually braking. And you could release the brakes if it's flat, giving more clearance.
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