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  1. #1
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    Carrying spare rotors

    Anyone have some good suggestions for packing spare disc brake rotors on tour such that the risk of being bent from other things in your panniers or whatever is minimized?

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    Tape them to a piece of 3/8" plywood that's the same size as the rotor. Or just don't worry about it. Rotors are usually pretty tough, unless you buy super-light ones. I've been able to fix minor bends just by pressing on the edge of the rotor with my thumbs...

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    secure them to something rigid. why carry spare rotors?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
    secure them to something rigid. why carry spare rotors?
    I do a lot of dragging my bike through roadside forests to camp... First tour with discs and I'm worried about bending them up on stuff

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    Will you have panniers?

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    i wouldn't worry about it unless you snag and bend up rear derailleurs(same height as discs,if not lower) too.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    FWIW, Galfer makes a thicker disc, than Avid. ..

    buy a thicker disc an it will resist bending.

    Though a cable disc caliper [such as Avid's ]

    depends on pushing the disc into a fixed pad.

    Most hydraulics meet a disc with 2 pistons on either side..

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    Hm.. I'm doing a 4,500km self-supported tour so I figured I would need em, but your comment about the derailleur makes sense.. I'm not bringing a spare one of those. Now I'm questioning the decision to bring them.

    I have bb5 brakes, 160mm in the front, 140 in the back, and I've seen the rotors in bike shops for like $30 + tax each, And I got both for $20 with free shipping from ebay. I thought it would be preferable to bring them and save some money if I do have a failure.

    I'm comfortable truing wheels and know I can true a slightly bent disc with a wrench, I am just trying to be as prepared as possible.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I say, leave them home with someone who can mail them to you in a pinch.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have bb5 brakes, 160mm in the front, 140 in the back,
    might want to get another adapter for the back, and fit a bigger disc,
    to raise the rear disc surface area by going to a larger disc, to a 160..

    as a plus, the spare will be the same for either wheel

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    If you damage the front one, you want to be able to shift the rear rotor up front. Use the same size f/r.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    If you damage the front one, you want to be able to shift the rear rotor up front. Use the same size f/r.
    Agree. I'll also point out that the BB7 is better at dealing with slightly bent rotors than the BB5. With the BB7 you can adjust the position of both brake pads. The BB5 allows adjustment of only one of the brake pads. My buddy has BB5s on his cyclocross bike and always seems to have one of the rotors dragging on a brake pad...

  13. #13
    djb
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Agree. I'll also point out that the BB7 is better at dealing with slightly bent rotors than the BB5. With the BB7 you can adjust the position of both brake pads. The BB5 allows adjustment of only one of the brake pads. My buddy has BB5s on his cyclocross bike and always seems to have one of the rotors dragging on a brake pad...
    interesting comment, I havent had a bike with disks, dont realllly have the need, but a bike pet peeve has always been hating any kind of brake rubbing going on, any amount of lost momentum t's me off.
    Is a small amount of rotor drag common with bike disk brakes (I know car disks tend to always have some drag)

  14. #14
    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    Hm.. I'm doing a 4,500km self-supported tour so I figured I would need em, but your comment about the derailleur makes sense.. I'm not bringing a spare one of those. Now I'm questioning the decision to bring them.
    Where are you going on your self-supported tour? I've traveled in some slightly remote places (Siberia, outback Australia) but even in those places there were occasional bicycle shops to get key parts. If in North America, the FedEx/USPS/UPS/DHL can do a good job getting something quickly as well. Overseas that can become a lot more awkward since sometimes bicycle parts will get hung up or not make their way through customs or only with exorbitant duties so in those cases it helps to have contacts who understand how to ship/receive goods into the particular country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    Is a small amount of rotor drag common with bike disk brakes (I know car disks tend to always have some drag)
    It's common, in my experience, but definitely not desirable. All of the bicycle disc brake systems I've seen are designed so that the pads should only come in contact with the disc during braking. If the pads are constantly dragging along the rotor, you're going to have to pedal harder to overcome that drag

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I believe BB5 uses the cable adjuster, for adjusting wear of the pad that moves,
    the knob is for the fixed pad.

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    Senior Member AltheCyclist's Avatar
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    Or you could just carry a rotor adjustment tool .. takes up less space.

    parkdt2tool250.jpg

  18. #18
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about carrying extra rotors. But if you really want to: if your panniers have hard backing, see if there is a way to slide the rotor between the hard backing and the pannier liner. You might put it first in a cardboard envelope, or tape it between two pieces of cardboard, the back of a book, or some kind of wood or thick plastic, although plywood is probably an overkill, but there are thinner ones.

    There should be no drag (no contact between the pads and the rotors) if properly adjusted and if the rotor is not warped. With BB7s it's important to follow the proper adjustment procedure. DO NOT use cable adjusters and NEVER compensate by "tweaking" the actuator arm position (lever) on the caliper. The arm should be always fully retracted when the lever is not engaged. Otherwise you will risk that the arm will "bottom out" before the pads squeeze the rotor. When the pads are properly adjusted there is no need to adjust the cable tension. Only adjust the pad position using the rings on the calipers to compensate for pad wear.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    I do a lot of dragging my bike through roadside forests to camp... First tour with discs and I'm worried about bending them up on stuff
    You're more likely to damage your RD before you bend the rotors. You'd need to hit a rock or something to bend a rotor. Dragging a bike through bushes is very unlikely to damage the rotors. Just check for any debris that might get caught in the brakes/rotors before riding again.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    FWIW, Galfer makes a thicker disc, than Avid. ..

    buy a thicker disc an it will resist bending.

    Though a cable disc caliper [such as Avid's ]

    depends on pushing the disc into a fixed pad.

    Most hydraulics meet a disc with 2 pistons on either side..
    Avid mechanical disc brakes are designed for 2mm rotors AFAIK. I'm not sure how thicker rotors might affect the brakes. Since BB7s have both pads adjustable it might work. I'm not sure about BB5s though, it may rub.
    Last edited by AdamDZ; 06-13-11 at 09:32 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    if your panniers have hard backing, see if there is a way to slide the rotor between the hard backing and the pannier liner.
    I like this idea, this is the sorta thing I was looking for, that's a very out of the way, relatively safe spot.

    As for needing to hit a rock to bend one.. I wouldn't put it past a big stick in tall grass.

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