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Anyone riding road bikes with disc brakes?

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Anyone riding road bikes with disc brakes?

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Old 12-03-18, 05:39 PM
  #26  
Biker395 
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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.

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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.)

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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.

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