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Anyone riding road bikes with disc brakes?

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Anyone riding road bikes with disc brakes?

Old 12-03-18, 05:39 PM
  #26  
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[QUOTE=big john;20685680][QUOTE=Biker395;20685110]
But that being said, there are advantages
  • No wear of the rim (although I've never had a wheel go south because the rim wore out ... it has always been the spokes or the hubs)
When I lived in the mountains I rode a rim-braked mtb in the snow and wet. I could tell when a rim was shot when it started thumping on a low spot when braking.
I've been with riders when the brake surface has blown off the wheel from being worn thin.
I tried those peel and stick patches and had them blow off from the heat of braking on steep descents.
On long, wet rides in the mountains I go through the pads quickly (road or mtb) and have had that thick, black aluminum slurry all over everything. When you ride off-road in the snow the snow builds up on top of the pads and constantly melts onto the brake surface, bringing sand with it.
People say rim brakes are always strong enough for road riding but when I descend Potrero or Westlake blvd I wish for more power, but I am over 200 #.
The rim brakes on my Seven (Mavic with Chorus levers) are the best I've tried, but I wonder if some good discs would be stronger. I'm sure whatever small weight difference there is would be negligible.
Several people in my club have high-end disc roadbikes and I've asked about them and heard nothing but positive replies.
Oh, no doubt if you are riding in wet conditions, discs are a better way to go. I ride a lot in fog and sand and I may get discs on my next commuting bike for that reason.

I've often mused at the fact that the total weight the brakes are expected to haul to a stop could vary from 120 to well over 250 pounds, but pretty much all bikes are fitted with the same brakes. It makes no sense to me. Granted, the 250 pounder can probably generate more force on the pads, but ....

Have you tried different pads to get better braking on rim brakes? I was shocked how much of a difference KoolStop pads made compared to the standard Shimano pads.
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Old 12-03-18, 06:33 PM
  #27  
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I have a '17 Spz Roubaix with discs and weigh 210 pounds, and my boss has a '05 Spz Allez with rim brakes and weighs about 155 soaking wet. After a long descent at ~35+ mph I was in front by 50 yards. The light ahead turned yellow and I braked hard and came to a stop without locking up. He ran through the intersection on yellow-red at ~15 mph with occasional rear lockups.

Now he may not have had the best rim brakes, and he races track (no brakes) but even with a 40% weight penalty I can out brake him discs to rim brakes. Any brake that can lock a tire has enough power, the difference is that with a disc brake I can 2-finger the lever and get all the power and way better control/modulation to keep it from locking up, while still using the rest of my hand to brace my (heavy) upper body against the deceleration forces.

Then, as has been mentioned, there is the ability to run wider tires. Right now I have panaracer gravel king 32's mounted and while a bit over the top for the road, I could have gone wider. The weight is there, but everything is a tradeoff. The art of engineering is not making the 'perfect' thing but in finding an optimal trade-off between lots of competing goals. For me, disc brakes are so much better in so many ways they are worth the extra pound. Frankly I have 20 extra pounds on my body at the moment that help in no way at all.

For reference, Strava 2018 stats (https://www.strava.com/athletes/8651854) 5884 miles (as of today) and 337,736 feet of vertical so far in 2018.
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Old 12-04-18, 08:47 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ogmtb View Post
This seems really far-fetched. I never experienced this over many years of riding with a number or QR suspension forks w/discs.

On the vast majority of suspension forks one fork leg cannot be compressed because the lowers are joined together by the fork arch - the legs are one unit.

Even with an inverted fork I didn't have issues, although that fork used a non-traditional clamping system.
I know, I thought about the fork arch.Maybe one leg is slightly twisted or off by a tiny bit somehow. Just trying to explain something that happened that some people think can't happen.
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Old 12-04-18, 08:52 AM
  #29  
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I believe all the good things everyone says about disc brakes, but I still think I'd find them too finicky to adjust and maintain. Especially with wheel removals for transport, spare wheels, getting bumped around, etc. And I have zero problems with good rim brakes doing a lot of hills. Convince me otherwise? Are discs THAT much better?

I think I'd be ok with the weight penalty.

Last edited by DiabloScott; 12-04-18 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 12-04-18, 08:53 AM
  #30  
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[QUOTE=Biker395;20689593][QUOTE=big john;20685680]
Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Have you tried different pads to get better braking on rim brakes? I was shocked how much of a difference KoolStop pads made compared to the standard Shimano pads.
I used the KoolStops on cantilever brakes and had good results. Those Mavic brakes with Shimano pads on the Seven are the best rim brakes I've tried, but the total weight they are stopping is over 235 pounds.
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Old 12-04-18, 09:04 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
I believe all the good things everyone says about disc brakes, but I still think I'd find them too finicky to adjust and maintain. Especially with wheel removals for transport, spare wheels, getting bumped around, etc. Convince me otherwise?
The mtb I got in March has Shimano disc brakes with through axle wheel mount. I have to take the wheel off to fit the thing in my car, (the first bike I had to do that with), and it's quite painless, actually. You just pull down the QR, like you would on a regular skewer, the spin the axle out and the wheel comes right out. When reinstalling, I lower the bike onto the wheel, it's easy to see and line up the brakes without my glasses, and the fork will sit in the right place to accept the axle. Not a lot harder than a standard QR type wheel. I never get brake rub or noise with this bike.
The only time I ever adjusted them is when I took off the caliper, the only maintenance so far is pad replacement, which is easy.
My old mtb has never had the brakes bled, and it is 10 years old.
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Old 12-06-18, 10:52 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
I believe all the good things everyone says about disc brakes, but I still think I'd find them too finicky to adjust and maintain. Especially with wheel removals for transport, spare wheels, getting bumped around, etc. And I have zero problems with good rim brakes doing a lot of hills. Convince me otherwise? Are discs THAT much better?

I think I'd be ok with the weight penalty.
In my experience, my disc brakes are about 10% or 20% better (pseudo-quantitation of a subjective term) than good (eg Crampy) dual-pivot rim brakes. They are at least 20% more finicky (I want them adjusted perfectly). For me it is "worth it," but this includes some aspects that aren't standard, like lots of off-road riding, lots of steep windy hills, psychological impediments following a debilitating ankle fracture, etc. For my wife it is worth it because she has arthritic hands (and rides similar terrain).

If you are happy riding Diablo with your current brakes, and balk at the finicky adjustments, forget about it. If braking makes your hands hurt or fatigue to the point where it compromises your ride, consider it for your next bike. If your rim brakes suck (as mine did), replace them with modern dual-pivot brakes, and get high-quality new brake pads before doing anything drastic. (To replace rim brakes with disc brakes, you have to replace the bike.)

Last edited by wgscott; 12-06-18 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 12-06-18, 11:58 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
In my experience, my disc brakes are about 10% or 20% better (pseudo-quantitation of a subjective term) than good (eg Crampy) dual-pivot rim brakes. They are at least 20% more finicky (I want them adjusted perfectly). For me it is "worth it," but this includes some aspects that aren't standard, like lots of off-road riding, lots of steep windy hills, psychological impediments following a debilitating ankle fracture, etc. For my wife it is worth it because she has arthritic hands (and rides similar terrain).

If you are happy riding Diablo with your current brakes, and balk at the finicky adjustments, forget about it. If braking makes your hands hurt or fatigue to the point where it compromises your ride, consider it for your next bike. If your rim brakes suck (as mine did), replace them with modern dual-pivot brakes, and get high-quality new brake pads before doing anything drastic. (To replace rim brakes with disc brakes, you have to replace the bike.)
That was a great answer, thanks. Of course I am happy riding Diablo (including the descent) with my rim brakes. I suppose I might descend a little differently with disc brakes - braking later into switchbacks, not worrying about heat buildup etc... but I'm not really looking for a different experience. I'm not even looking for a new bike - other than dreaming... but if I had to for some reason, discs are one of the things I'd have to consider.

I'm also not sold on tubeless tires; I don't believe all the great things people say about that - and I know I wouldn't like that hassle.
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Old 12-06-18, 04:17 PM
  #34  
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I like them a lot any bike I purchase in the future it will be a disc brake bike.
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Old 12-08-18, 09:24 PM
  #35  
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I've been riding a disc brake Canyon Endurace CF SL as a versatile road and rails-to-trails bike. Prior to owning the Canyon, I used a cantilever brake Cyclocross bike for the same duty. Both cantilever brakes and disc brakes allow tires larger than 30mm without interference, this is not really possible with short reach brakes found on road bikes. Cantilever brakes are not always the best performers, particularly in the rain. Modern hydraulic disc brakes with through axles are a outstanding all-weather performers with light lever action and superb modulation. Mine have been maintenance free without any adjustments need. Most performance road bikes planned for 2019 will feature disc brakes, the industry is fully behind the technology.

However, I'm not convinced that disc brakes are an advantage over short reach rim brakes if the bike is equipped with smaller tires, is used exclusively on pavement and if wet weather performance is a low priority. While a disc brakes road bike can be light enough for the Tour de France, disc brake systems are heavier than rim brakes. Also, the frame and especially the fork need to be reinforced and stiffened to cope with the loads where the disc brake caliper is installed. Heavier and harsher is not an improvement.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-09-18 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 01-07-19, 09:55 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Lord at my age I wonder if I should even be thinking about yet another bike but........

We have a lot of mountain roads in NC/SC with steep twisty technical descents and I’m an average descender. I like riding hilly terrain like western Colorado as well. Since I bounced off the asphalt and broke my hip I’d really hate to bounce off the asphalt again. I’ve started “thinking” about a road bike with hydraulic disc brakes. I have them on my gravel bike and mechanical disc brakes on our tandem.

It looks like there is a weight penalty with discs but maybe I could just lose a few more pounds to make up the difference??? I’m not sure frame manufacturers have really completely maximized the frame designs for discs but they’re getting there.

And there are some descent deals out there on last year’s models right now.

Anyone riding them? Thoughts?



Curious to know if you pulled the trigger on the new road bike and what your thoughts are if you went with something with disc brakes.
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Old 01-07-19, 11:06 PM
  #37  
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Yes and yes. My New Road Disc bike for Hib Recovery Incentive!
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Old 01-08-19, 10:20 AM
  #38  
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Older thread resurrected. My BMC SLR01 Disc weighs about 30g more than the rim brake version. That's not noticeable. But the brakes are vastly better. (And especially so if you're using carbon rims.) In the dry, it's not about the power, it's about modulation. And on steep mountain descents, better modulation is worth a lot. Of course, in the rain, there's no comparison. Disc brakes stop. Rim brakes suggest a decline in speed that is marginally better than dragging your feet. I sold my 2017 BMC SLR01 (rim) and bought my 2019 (disc) just for the brakes. Road discs are worth it. (And with 8,000 miles on them, I have yet to do anything but change pads -- a less-than-5-minute swap using simple tools.) No muss, no fuss, less maintenance than rim brakes.
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Old 01-08-19, 11:06 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Yeah, I deliberated the bike purchase quite a bit. I was hoping that over time they will improve the frame and components to shave some weight. Probably it came down to my recent crash. Disc brakes wouldn’t have prevented it. But if disc brakes can help me feel more comfortable and confident riding in all conditions it was worth it. I really want to avoid going down again. I’ve been in a number of situations where braking wasn’t good enough but I got by. This gives me a little more piece of mind. And it was a decent deal getting a fully equipped bike at a greatly reduced price. I would not have purchased it at full price.
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Old 01-09-19, 03:29 PM
  #40  
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TRP Hy Rd on 160 discs with the Avid speed dial brake levers, dialed back to their shortest pull

the cable slack still can be used to keep the lever swing a bit longer for my preferred feel







....
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Old 01-10-19, 09:35 AM
  #41  
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MTB only. so far so good but I've got less than 6 mos with this used bike

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Old 01-14-19, 04:41 PM
  #42  
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My Trek FX6S was my first bike with hydraulic disks, and I won't go back to rim brakes. They stop strongly with very little lever effort. The through axles are a cinch to attach and I've never had a rubbing or alignment issue. I too was skeptical until I converted...

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Old 01-14-19, 06:12 PM
  #43  
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I went with disc brakes on my Trek Portland in 2014 and never looked back.
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Old 01-14-19, 07:29 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
I believe all the good things everyone says about disc brakes, but I still think I'd find them too finicky to adjust and maintain. Especially with wheel removals for transport, spare wheels, getting bumped around, etc. And I have zero problems with good rim brakes doing a lot of hills. Convince me otherwise? Are discs THAT much better?

I think I'd be ok with the weight penalty.
I don't find them finicky at all. Never need adjusting. Never need bleeding. Even swapping wheel sets, zero rotor alignment issues. Through-axle or quick release, I have had no problems. It's better braking, in my opinion.
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Old 01-15-19, 02:18 PM
  #45  
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Put some road tires on your gravel bike and have a go at it. You'll be surprised how fast and comfortable it can be. 28mm is a good size for both road and easy gravel. No need for a new bike unless you really want one....
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Old 01-15-19, 02:58 PM
  #46  
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I got Tektro Spyres for two of my bikes, when the Spyre model first came out. (Spyre is a mechanical caliper that moves both pads, unlike BB7 and most other mechanical discs which only move the outer pad.) They were easy to set up, and I adjusted them for extra pad clearance. That was 2 seasons ago and I haven't had to touch them since. I'd probably go to hydraulics except that the discs are only on the front wheels and I want my levers to match.
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