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Brakes for Rain & Winter rides

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Brakes for Rain & Winter rides

Old 05-09-09, 07:13 AM
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GTALuigi
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Brakes for Rain & Winter rides

I commute every day to work (25mi one way), and for leisure on the weekend for groceries and stuff.

i've been wondering if the Disk brakes will work better for Winter Icy conditions breaking, or if i should stay with my V brakes?

The problem with the V brakes during winter time, is that it creates this really loud noise whenever it's humid or wet, and you have to keep scrubbing off the ice of the brake pads every few miles (once accumulated enough white stuff), so will Disk brakes work better under those conditions?

Technically speaking, i can't find a flaw on the disk brakes design, and it shouldn't accumulate any snow/ice between the blade & break mechanism.

Part of the reason why i want better break for Wet Rainy & Winter biking is because I've just recently upgraded to a BionX for my looooooong ride, and the speed it gets is rather addictive. so being able to stop on a dime is a must!

V brake works, but it just a hassle having to clean out the snow every few red lights.
usually i just kick the front / rear v brakes to shake the snow out, but some times that doesn't work well.
instead if i do it too hard it messes up the brake settings, and then i've to waste even more time to readjust the brakes under freezing conditions.... not fun.

the V brakes are great during summer times and dry season, just not on wet or ice, because it gets stuck within the rim/brake pads.

lets hear your comments
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Old 05-09-09, 07:32 AM
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After going to discs on my winter commuter I'll never go back to rim brakes in wintertime. Disc brakes are not only far superior for stopping in wet and sloppy snow, but they also save your rims from the excessive wear that happens from sand and dirt in wet weather.
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Old 05-09-09, 08:35 AM
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If your bike can handle them, Disc brakes will provide superior braking performance in all conditions. The only downsides that I can think of is that they are a little more expensive then rim brakes, may limit the kind of rack/pannier that you can mount on your bike, and if you are a weight weenie, they are a little heavier than rim brakes.
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Old 05-09-09, 08:42 AM
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I love my disc brakes, I want them all year round - even considered converting my road bike to discs but figured it wouldn't be cost effective!
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Old 05-09-09, 08:49 AM
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If your bike can do discs ........ DO DISCS! You'll never look back.

.... Brad
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Old 05-09-09, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bac View Post
If your bike can do discs ........ DO DISCS! You'll never look back.

.... Brad
+1. It's worth the conversion. Of my three commuter bikes, only one came with discs. Other two have been converted to them.
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Old 05-09-09, 08:54 AM
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Cool-stop "salmon" brake pads! For under $10 you can try them on your front wheel and after the first wet day you will gladly go back for the 2nd set for the back wheel! They work!
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Old 05-09-09, 10:10 AM
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Yes, disc brakes are superior for wet weather, snow, and mud. They even work better in clear, nice weather! There's a reason cars and motorcycles use hydraulic disc brakes.

That being said, they do cost quite a bit more. You can get by with V-brakes just fine. Just clean the brakes and rims regularly, and change the pads when it's time.

One option for winter that very few people talk about is coaster brakes. During the winter, you'll mainly use your rear brake alone when it's slick. Coaster's are perfect for that. They're also cheap, and sealed.
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Old 05-09-09, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mechanicalron View Post
Cool-stop "salmon" brake pads! For under $10 you can try them on your front wheel and after the first wet day you will gladly go back for the 2nd set for the back wheel! They work!
+1, give the Kool-Stop salmon pad a try, they are not as effective as disc brakes, however they are
a huge improvement over other v-brake pads and a simple pragmatic solution.
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Old 05-09-09, 11:03 AM
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re salmon pads: that is what I am going to do on my road bike to give it a bit more oomph on braking.
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Old 05-09-09, 11:29 AM
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I've switched all my bikes over to Kool Stop salmons. The difference is amazing.
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Old 05-09-09, 01:11 PM
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My four-season all-conditions commuter rig has disk brakes. In that application, I'll never to back.

They're not perfect though. When the rotor gets wet, they howl. The upside is that cars think they're about to be hit by a semi. After two Rochester winters (just across the lake from you in the GTA) I had to rebuild the rear caliper due to salt corrosion.

Compared to new rims every spring, (which I had to do on my last four-season bike) it still comes out cheaper to rebuild the caliper, or even buy a whole new one.

While I like the disks even in the dry, my sunny day, fast ride bike still has road caliper brakes, and always will. There's a weight penalty with the disk hubs and rotors.
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Old 05-09-09, 03:33 PM
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Disc brakes are awesome. Get Hydraulic ones if you can.
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Old 05-09-09, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
They're not perfect though. When the rotor gets wet, they howl.
Try organic pads. A little more expensive, but not as noisy.
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Old 05-09-09, 05:08 PM
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I run disc brakes in the winter thru the spring. I go for cable because their cheaper, can pick cables up just about anywhere and in the cold weather they are easyer to field repair. I use Promax to keep the cost down. I have disc brakes on my MTB but on my commuters, I go back to V brakes in the spring, summer and fall, also keeps cost down. Maintenance is the key. After the salt hits the road, I maintain the brakes every weekend if they got wet. Every other weekend if not. Always check to make sure your pads are sitting in its wells flat. On the sloppy days, crud can pack behind the pads and seat them improperly. Sounds like lot of work but its just a few minutes compared to a few dollars.
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Old 05-09-09, 05:22 PM
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I commute all year round . All my bikes have disk brakes, two winters and no problems at all, no corrision at all, but I go through my brake pads very fast, this is due to salt and grit that's on the roads. They do squeek very loud when wet but I can live with that. Avid BB7's mechanicals are awsome, I love the simplicity of them, Avid Juicy 5's are awsome too, my shimano deore hydrolic are good but I think avids are better.
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Old 05-09-09, 11:26 PM
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My rain bike has discs. I hate getting caught out there in the slop on either of my rim brake bikes.
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Old 05-10-09, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I commute all year round . All my bikes have disk brakes, two winters and no problems at all, no corrision at all, but I go through my brake pads very fast, this is due to salt and grit that's on the roads. They do squeek very loud when wet but I can live with that. Avid BB7's mechanicals are awsome, I love the simplicity of them, Avid Juicy 5's are awsome too, my shimano deore hydrolic are good but I think avids are better.
I've found that EBC Gold pads last much longer than stock Avid pads, and even grip a little better in the slop.

http://www.ebcbrakes.com/goldmtb.html
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Old 05-10-09, 07:54 AM
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Thanks guys, all excellent suggestions.

I'll definitely be getting some salmon pads for old bike for my casual ridings.

But I'm definitely getting the new bike (Dahon Matrix 08) for my commutes to work, which comes with disk brakes, extra speed, and front fork suspension, which are all the upgrades i wanted to add to my old Mu SL.
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Old 05-10-09, 11:18 AM
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I would not say bb7's cost a lot more if you get good v's the prices can be the same. over time they cost less as pads last far longer. also less maintenance too.
my gold rush recumbent can only use v's in front and my moto lite v's cost more then a whole set of disc brakes.
discs save so much on pads and rims they come out far less in the long run.
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Old 05-10-09, 02:06 PM
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ye definately get BB7s, my next bike will definately have BB7s, I have BB5s at the moment and they are good, but 2 side pad adjustment is a must.
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Old 05-11-09, 09:45 AM
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Disc brakes are better for braking, no doubt.

But they do have drawbacks:
1. It's next to impossible to get them to 100% not rub if you take your wheels on and off your bike. I've asked at 3 different bike shops about them rubbing and I always get the "it's normal for them to rub a little" response. I don't really believe them, but I hassled the shop I bought the bike from and they've worked on them 2 times and every time they end up rubbing again at some point - I *need* to take off the wheel to change between summer and winter tires. I think the shop says it's normal because it's just to much of a PITA to get disc brakes to stop rubbing, and the slighest little thing can set them rubbing again.
2. Ditto with squealing. If it's wet and you stop your disc brakes are sometimes going to squeal.
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Old 05-11-09, 10:02 AM
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Ye mine rub a bit, but that means you just work harder and get fitter/stronger! However with BB7 two sided adjustment you should be able to minimise this. Also squeal in the wet but that is a minor point - lets people know you are there!
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Old 05-11-09, 10:51 AM
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1) Hydro discs will rub,this is normal for both my bikes with them and my Harley. Cable discs should not. Sometimes you can knock them a bit out of wack and get rubbing when removing/replacing the wheel,but it's not hard to readjust them. Here's the link to Avid's brake manuals:
http://www.sram.com/en/service/avid/...D=1&subcatID=1

These instructions should work for any discs,just replace spinning the adjuster knobs with turning an allen key. Use BB5 for single adjust brakes,BB7 for dual adjust.

2) The only time I've ever had noise from any of my discs has been when they were dirty from rain/snow. The noise usually goes away after I use the brakes a couple times. The one time it didn't,I dealt with it for a week,then just cleaned the rotor with a rag and some Windex and it was all good.
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Old 05-11-09, 11:23 AM
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I think my problem is my rotor is ever so slightly bent as it only happens once each revolution and in the same spot. It doesn't bother me enough at the moment to sort it, but I think bending the rotor true is quite hard
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