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Heavy rider and disc brakes?

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Heavy rider and disc brakes?

Old 08-03-14, 10:58 PM
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Heavy rider and disc brakes?

Is there anything I need to be aware of with disc brakes on a road bike being a large rider? I am seeing a number of new bikes this year available in disc brakes and I am skeptical. Anyone have any experience?
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Old 08-03-14, 11:29 PM
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I know of no reason why being above or below average weight would affect this decision. Beyond this, this thread will quickly devolve to the usual bickering between anti-disc and pro-disc factions.

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Old 08-04-14, 05:16 AM
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I'm a big rider and have two bikes, with and without disc. My discs are BB7's and require manual adjustment. For this reason, I would not get them again if I had the choice. I might get them if Hydraulic. My new bike I got without. I can take them or leave them. I went more for the bike I wanted and didn't care either way.
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Old 08-04-14, 05:29 AM
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Inasmuch as many people do loaded touring on bikes with disc brakes, I don't think weight is an issue.
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Old 08-04-14, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gforeman
My discs are BB7's and require manual adjustment. For this reason, I would not get them again if I had the choice.
All mechanical discs require manual adjustment, that's how they operate, only hydraulics are self adjusting, but they cost a more.
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Old 08-04-14, 06:30 AM
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A heavier rider needed greater heat sink and heat loss capacity than a lighter rider. Both disc and rim brakes convert kinetic energy into heat. The rim and tire act as a heat sink and help with heat loss with a rim brake bike. The disc and pad are the components provide heat sink and heat loss on a disc brake bike. Under misapplication, both systems can exceed their capacity. Since the industry does not provide performance ratings, it's impossible to know which is superior.

Most of the time when bike brake systems overheat and fail, the technique of the rider is a part of the story.
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Old 08-04-14, 06:39 AM
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More and more tandems are sporting disc brakes. If it's good enough for two people on one bike......
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Old 08-04-14, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
A heavier rider needed greater heat sink and heat loss capacity than a lighter rider. Both disc and rim brakes convert kinetic energy into heat. The rim and tire act as a heat sink and help with heat loss with a rim brake bike. The disc and pad are the components provide heat sink and heat loss on a disc brake bike. Under misapplication, both systems can exceed their capacity. Since the industry does not provide performance ratings, it's impossible to know which is superior.

Most of the time when bike brake systems overheat and fail, the technique of the rider is a part of the story.
+1. Long descents, you need to be careful, regardless of the brake technology. If you ride the brakes too much heat will build up, and if it exceeds tolerances you end up with fade and in some cases a blowout. So brake in bursts, and alternate front and rear if you are confident enough doing so. I had a 2700 foot descent over 3 miles last week. Rims were both hot to the touch at the bottom.

Only other consideration is rain. Discs are much more consistent in the wet than rim brakes, if that matters to you.

AS for new bikes with discs -- they are pervasive enough now that I wouldn't let it be a factor preventing me from getting one. But, if there's an older model with rim brakes you might be able to get it cheaper.
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Old 08-04-14, 03:19 PM
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I like the stopping power of discs on my MTB/commuter, but I also enjoy the quietness of my rim brakes on my road bike. I am 220 currently and with bike and commuting gear probably pushing 270(?) and haven't had a problem on either of the setups. But I do notice the disc stop a lot faster and seem more aggressive for the pull....but that is also on a MTB and my rim brakes are on a road so I can just be weight placement over the wheels.
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Old 08-04-14, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike
I like the stopping power of discs on my MTB/commuter, but I also enjoy the quietness of my rim brakes on my road bike.
Do disk brakes make noise?
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Old 08-04-14, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bbeasley
Do disk brakes make noise?
Not if set up properly. Some models are noisier than others, just as with rim brakes.
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Old 08-04-14, 03:50 PM
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I'm 213 and rode down 6miles with 12% grade and twisties this weekend. No problems.

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Old 08-04-14, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bbeasley
Do disk brakes make noise?
I have found that mine do, but they are base model mechanical. I get a little squeal when stopping at times, the backs seem worse than the fronts. But I also might not have bed the pads properly and it was a pre-ridden bike (someone returned within the shops time frame to exchange bikes since they don't allow test rides).

I have a 30 ride tune up coming up soon and will have them take a look at it.
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Old 08-05-14, 12:39 PM
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At 235 lbs, I find a larger rotor in the front helpful. I run a 180 mm rotor front, 160 mm rear for both dirt and road bikes. Absolutely superior stopping power, esp in dirt, mud, rain and snow.
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Old 08-05-14, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by TinkerinWstuff
I'm 213 and rode down 6miles with 12% grade and twisties this weekend. No problems.

Got nothin' close to the post quoted above. I'm 220 and have been on descents steep enough that I smelled burning rubber with regular rim brakes, no issues at all with my hydraulic discs. Love them. I can make them squeal when I want to, otherwise they are pretty quiet - and I typically "want" to when I'm coming up to some goof that has ignored my bell and voice warnings on a trail, hearing brakes squeal behind them usually gets their attention.
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Old 08-05-14, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rootman
Got nothin' close to the post quoted above. I'm 220 and have been on descents steep enough that I smelled burning rubber with regular rim brakes, no issues at all with my hydraulic discs. Love them. I can make them squeal when I want to, otherwise they are pretty quiet - and I typically "want" to when I'm coming up to some goof that has ignored my bell and voice warnings on a trail, hearing brakes squeal behind them usually gets their attention.
How can I tell if the disc brake is hydraulic versus not? If they are not hydraulic, are they cabled? And if so, does that mean I have to worry about fluid levels in my brakes?
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Old 08-05-14, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by calliebear9
How can I tell if the disc brake is hydraulic versus not? If they are not hydraulic, are they cabled? And if so, does that mean I have to worry about fluid levels in my brakes?

Hydraulic have a sealed system, with a hose connecting the lever to the caliper, cable, have a cable, using regular canti/v-brake levers. For fluid level, you have a reservoir at the lever, under normal use, this shouldn't need refilling.

The brakes in the photo above a cable brakes
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Old 08-05-14, 01:59 PM
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I was 285, I usually carry a 20-ish lb pack (spares, clothes, food, and water)

Hated cantilevers on my Fuji touring and was one reason I built up a Disc Trucker.

I tried good pads, had a bunch of mechs adjust the canti's. Came down to frame flex...

Anything over 30, brakes were useless.

Disc's on the other hand are just BB7's, stock rotors and pads. Work great, regardless of hill , pack, or speed.

I'm told that discs put more stress on spokes, other then that, I see no real down sides.
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Old 08-05-14, 03:26 PM
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i much prefer discs
i find they stop about the same as good rim brakes in the dry
and considerably better in the wet
and they don't wear down your rims
and they are not affected by rim straightness

i have never had a tire overheat or blow off on a long descent
but that is another point for discs in my opinion

however
with the exception of chrome steel rims in the wet
rim brakes have always worked more than adequately for me
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