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Old 11-08-12, 03:06 PM   #1
Wheels Of Steel
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What size disc rotor?

Any of y'all swapped out the 160 mm rotors your bike no doubt came with stock for larger rotors? If so, why and what rotor did you switch to? Was the decision out of weight concerns or simply wanting better stopping power?
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Old 11-08-12, 07:19 PM   #2
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My Vaya uses 160 mm rotors and they seem to work fine for me and I am a Clyde. I have seen modern tandems with disks that are much bigger. I don't have a disk equipped mountain bike so I have no experience there.
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Old 11-08-12, 09:36 PM   #3
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I'm 250lbs and went with a disc trucker with avid bb7 road and STI shifters. Did a tour from nyc to joplin and had PLENTY of braking power with std 160mm rotors. Can't imagine anyone having any need to go larger. I estimate I must have been at about 340lbs total weight including the bike and the panniers. anybody much heavier than that aint getting up the hills that you need the brakes for!
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Old 11-08-12, 09:53 PM   #4
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The larger rotors are good when you need to increase the mechanical advantage/heat dissipation such as what you would get from high speed trail use. I have raced XC with moderate downhill and never had a problem with 160mm. Recently I modified my main rig to 140mm rear with no detriment. I figured the lower mechanical advantage could aid anti-lock control and it has proved to be the case. Very balanced power. Short of a tandem or wild use 160 should be alright.
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Old 11-08-12, 10:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbikerinpa View Post
The larger rotors are good when you need to increase the mechanical advantage/heat dissipation such as what you would get from high speed trail use. I have raced XC with moderate downhill and never had a problem with 160mm. Recently I modified my main rig to 140mm rear with no detriment. I figured the lower mechanical advantage could aid anti-lock control and it has proved to be the case. Very balanced power. Short of a tandem or wild use 160 should be alright.
I ride in Pittsburgh area with lots of very steep and windy hills that need lots of extended braking to stay safe. I definitely had fade with stock Avid BB7 160s and recently switched front rotor to a 180 Shimano with an aluminum spider to give me more heat dissipation capacity. Just changing one rotor to a better quality larger rotor made a huge difference in essentially eliminating fade... I do ride in an area with 10% windy long hills & hairpin turns so am on the extreme side for road riding I suspect. I weigh 200 lbs and ride a Salsa Fargo.
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Old 11-08-12, 11:40 PM   #6
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This is sort of a moot point since few disc-capable touring framesets will accommodate rotors larger than 160mm in diameter.
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Old 11-09-12, 01:49 AM   #7
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Seems, with 406 wheels my 160 discs on the bike friday PL
are relatively huge.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-09-12 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 11-09-12, 05:13 AM   #8
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I progressed from 160 to 180 to 200mm up front, and 140 to 160 to 180mm in the rear. My routes have steep hills, pad glazing was frequent with the smaller rotors, no longer happens with the larger rotors; bigger is better on many levels, including on the rear.
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