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  1. #1
    Will wrench for brews
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    Do you use/want road disc brakes?

    I want some thoughts and opinions from fellow experienced riders.

    The question is,
    "If there was a hydraulic road disc brake that was similar in ease of set up and price to mountain hydraulic systems, that INTEGRATED with campy and/or shimano and/or sram, would you be interested in using them, and do you think other people would? And why?"

    I am trying to probe, to see if there is any market for them. The intended user would be the year-round trainer/commuter/enthusiast, especially in wet climates.

    Please, don't try to educate me about things work. I'm an experienced professional mechanic and rider of road disc and hydraulic mountain brakes. I just want to know if there is interest.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    tsl
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    I guess I'd need to be educated as to why hydraulic discs are better than the BB7s on my bike now.

    Are they cheaper, lighter, more durable? What makes them easier to set up?

    I have no trouble adjusting the BB7s as the pads wear, nor do I have any trouble replacing the pads.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  3. #3
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I guess I'd need to be educated as to why hydraulic discs are better than the BB7s on my bike now.

    Are they cheaper, lighter, more durable? What makes them easier to set up?

    I have no trouble adjusting the BB7s as the pads wear, nor do I have any trouble replacing the pads.
    +1
    I am planning on a BB7 road for the front of my tourer (cyclocross fork)
    Not really interested in hydraulic.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sumguy's Avatar
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    tsl
    do you ride your portland in the winter or a beater?
    if I can get it, will buy a sojourn but have concerns over durability of leather bar tape and saddle for winter. A little more saving and I could get the portland but am tired of waiting for new bike. I initially didn't consider it for price alone but have waited so long that it is close

    To stay on topic - I have bought the hype about disc brakes and plan to get them. I see more threads about adjustment problems but think brake adjustments are universal and more disc threads will appear as they become more popular.

  5. #5
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy View Post
    tsl
    do you ride your portland in the winter or a beater?
    Rode it all winter


    First real snow in December 2007


    At the bank in January


    Last real snow in March.

    Only casualty was the rear fender. I store the bike in the living room and don't want slush dripping on the floor. So it gets hosed-down in the shower stall after every ride. Resting on it's rear fender in the shower stall daily through the winter caused it to crack and break. Fenders are cheap. I got new ones in the spring.

    Otherwise, the chain made it through 2,000 miles of winter riding. I retired it with honors. I re-cabled the RD and rear brakes, then gave it a good thorough cleaning and re-lubing. That was it. A couple of weeks ago I finally gave it new brake pads.

    That was so much nicer than the previous year with my hybrid. The brake pads had to be replaced a couple of times through the winter, I snapped a chain, and in the spring discovered I needed new rims from the wet and grit turning to grinding paste on them. That was when I decided to get disc brakes before the next winter.

    Oh, that was another thing. The disc brakes never froze up this past year. The year before, the V-brakes on the hybrid froze a couple of times during rides. Yikes!
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  6. #6
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    I ride through a reasonably difficult winter season. I have not seen any advantage to disk brakes. I have two bikes, one with Avid BB7's, one with Shimano non-hydraulic. On both, the rear caliper freezes ON when riding through snow over 1-2". It is a MAJOR PIA. I have ridden canti's/V-Brakes for 20 years, and have only ever had ONE freeze...ever...in a snow storm.

    I have had road brakes ice up to the point of uselessness, but how are you going to put disk brake bosses on a road frame? Especially the new fiber frames??

    I like disk brakes in mud and trails riding, but I do not see them as much of an advantage.
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  7. #7
    Senior Member jimisnowhere's Avatar
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    I would love disks. The canti's on my Bianchi are suicide when wet. But I think some yoke adjustment will clear up the issue a bit.
    I can ride the solarcycle with no hands.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    I installed a carbon fork with disc dropouts on my Kona Jake the snake in order to use BB7 Road disc on the front. So as to your title, yes im sure many are like me and have interest in disc brakes. As to hydraulic? I'll stick with mechanical thanks, I have no interest in messing with fluids, leaks, etc.
    Jarery

    -If you cant see it from space, its not a real hill
    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  9. #9
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by padawopwop View Post
    I want some thoughts and opinions from fellow experienced riders.

    The question is,
    "If there was a hydraulic road disc brake that was similar in ease of set up and price to mountain hydraulic systems, that INTEGRATED with campy and/or shimano and/or sram, would you be interested in using them, and do you think other people would? And why?"
    Misleading thread title. Disks are a must have for my next bike, but I'd rather they WEREN'T hydro. BB7's have all the power than anyone can use. I can see why hydros might be an edge on a high end racing MTB, where braking effort will be repeated, profound, and complicated by the need to hang on for dear life at the same time, but it's just a maintenance nuisance on the road.

    Talking of disc brakes, can you USians get your hands on the Cotic Roadrat? It's probably the best designed frame I've seen to uses discs on the road.

  10. #10
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimisnowhere View Post
    I would love disks. The canti's on my Bianchi are suicide when wet. But I think some yoke adjustment will clear up the issue a bit.
    Try the Koolstop pads that are designed for wet weather use. You should see quite an improvement.

  11. #11
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    The Cotic is a fine frame for disc use with a couple of provisos. The front disc mount is on the front edge (for safety) but does this work with the various disc-compatable hub-dynamos (SON, Shimano XT, Alfine).
    The chainstays lack a bridge. This gives generous clearance but makes rear fender attatchment a little bit difficult.

  12. #12
    MTB Commuter EliteTempleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by padawopwop View Post
    I want some thoughts and opinions from fellow experienced riders.

    The question is,
    "If there was a hydraulic road disc brake that was similar in ease of set up and price to mountain hydraulic systems, that INTEGRATED with campy and/or shimano and/or sram, would you be interested in using them, and do you think other people would? And why?"

    I am trying to probe, to see if there is any market for them. The intended user would be the year-round trainer/commuter/enthusiast, especially in wet climates.
    No. Ok I have to fess up, I still have V-Brakes, but have been looking into upgrading(boy was I happy when I found out my frame and rim are disc break ready) but maybe that makes me someone who is good to ask.

    Anyway I went out seeking some further education and found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_brake_systems

    More specifically: "Hydraulic disc brakes use fluid from a reservoir, pushed through a hose, to actuate the pistons in the disc caliper, that actuate the pads. They are better at excluding contaminants, but are difficult to repair on the trail, since they require fairly specialized tools. The brake lines occasionally require bleeding to remove air bubbles, whereas mechanical disc brakes rarely fail completely."

    That's enough for me, I'll stick with mechanical with just that bit of info. I'm always open to change my mind on things, but it would be hard to sell me something that v.s. its competition (in this case mechanical): is more difficult to repair on my own, if even possible, and might fail completely.
    I pretend the blinking lights act as a cloaking device...

  13. #13
    Former Member
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    As soon as I can get hydraulic STI levers....

    This is for a cross bike, though, on a road racing bike notsomuch.

  14. #14
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    -Ask any MTBer, the nice thing about hydraulics is that they rarely need maintenance. It depends on the brake, but some will go years before even needing to be bled. That said, some will not work quite so well. By and large you get what you pay for. Personally, I would love to have a disc-equipped CYX for winters here in the NE.

  15. #15
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    For something completely different in the hydraulic brake department. This Summer while on vacation in Holland I did see some hydraulic "V" brakes on a Gazelle bike - on their web site it lists it as Magura HS11. I don't quite know what the advantage is of these brakes. I can tell you that I used to think that roller brakes were a great idea. In theory they don't get wet and therefore are not affected by rain. After riding around for two weeks on a Batavus with roller brakes my entire family agreed that they are kind of scary. You have to use some pretty heavy pressure just to get your bike to slow down. If I grabbed my V-brakes on my hybrid as hard as I had to pull on the roller brakes, I'd be over the handlebar. No wonder the higher performance commuter bikes come with V brakes. With some descent pads I have experienced vitrually no delay in brake action, even in a rain storm. Rim brakes with the old fasioned chomed rims, now THAT was scary! IT usually seemed like half a minute of hard braking would go by before the pads would be able to grad hold and start slowing down the bike.

    Happy riding,
    André

  16. #16
    Golden Member JR97's Avatar
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    The only reason I'd see an advantage to hydro disc brakes is for controlled fast/steep descents. Your hands won't fatigue. I've got BB7 mech's on my road bike and I"m never in that situation, but on the mountain bike with mech's I have to stop every once in a while and stretch the hands on the longer descents. Obviously set-up is key and I know my mountain setup isn't ideal on the cheaper discs. I'll never go back to full v-brakes or canti's (well, i would if I were to build a speedster road bike which will likely never happen). I'm planning on building a tourer and it will have a front disc and v's on the rear. I'm also planning a road bike winter rider which will more than likely get a front fork that can take a disc. But it will be a mech BB7. The few descents I have on my commute aren't enough to warrant hydraulics and in fact I want as much speed as possible to carry me up the next hill.

  17. #17
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    How the hell did I miss this thread back in May? Anyway, I would definitely be interested in hydraulic road discs. I have BB7s front and rear on my commuter, and when braking from the hoods I often wish that I could get power and modulation similar to what I have on my hydraulic XT discs.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the BB7s, but they're not self-adjusting, the cables stretch over time and they don't provide the modulation of some hydraulic brakes. Yes, if I braked [broke?] from the drops instead of the hoods I would have all the power I need. However, I really enjoy the ability to grind to a halt whilst using a single finger, and I have been riding almost exclusively from the hoods for about 20 years, so... A properly designed disc brake system would handle both of those requirements.

    As for maintenance, the XT discs are on their second bike, and after 5 seasons have yet to require bleeding. I have crashed with them, snagged the brake lines hard on trees [to the point that I landed 10' away from the bike], and have happily used them in -25C to +35C weather. Yes, you have to change the pads once every couple of years, but there's no re-alignment required after doing so. There is a weight penalty, but it's minimal when compared to the weight of a studded tire [2 lbs each].
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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  18. #18
    Senior Member jimisnowhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    Try the Koolstop pads that are designed for wet weather use. You should see quite an improvement.

    Those are all I own. I've just blown off brake adjustment for 10-14 months now. Just tuned 'em up last month, everything's perfect again.
    I can ride the solarcycle with no hands.

  19. #19
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    I have a cyclocross bike with Avid BB7's. They stop better in rain/snow/muck than rim brakes and I am happy with their performance and ease of adjustment. While hydraulics would have a high "cool" factor, I personally wouldn't have an interest in them. I figure 'If it ain't broke...'

  20. #20
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    so far i've been fine with regular cantis..
    cat 1.

    blog

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