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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 11-29-18, 06:02 AM
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jppe
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Anyone riding road bikes with disc brakes?

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?



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Old 11-29-18, 07:45 AM
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I have them on my winter bike and they’re great for riding in wet conditions. That said I don’t miss them at all when riding in the summer on bikes with rim brakes. If you have aluminium braking surfaces I don’t think you’re any safer with disc brakes.
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Old 11-29-18, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post

Anyone riding them? Thoughts?


I have them on my Domane, with a splitter to run both front and back. The bike with pedals and cages comes in at 16.5 If I had gone with an Emonda SLR frame,it would be right about 15. My Emonda SL has rim brakes and hits right at 15 with pedals and cages. Both bikes have top end carbon wheels. If I notice a climbing difference at all between the Domane and Emonda, it is on ramps that hit over 15%, which is why I have a 30T sprocket on the Domane.

In a nutshell, in my opinion discs are not hype or marketing, but are in fact a better way to stop a bike in the dry (although only by a small bit over a great rim brake), and a vast improvement in the wet, particulary with carbon rims.
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Old 11-29-18, 08:09 PM
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In my mind one of the significant advantages to a disc road bike would be clearance for larger tires.

If I were buying one bike right now it would be a Domane. Some models, like the SL7 Disc I lust after, can take 32mm tires. I would run these with the carbon wheels and 25mm tires for fast road rides then a 2nd set of aluminum wheels with 32’s for gravel riding. 18.2 lbs is light enough for my needs.

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Old 11-29-18, 09:35 PM
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Steve's point about tires is relevant.

Disk brakes are fine but fear of crashing on twisty descents is probably best addressed by getting the best tires one can afford + learning good cornering techniques.

I'm not saying the OP doesn't have good cornering skills but there is always something to learn. I thought I could corner well until I got on gravel and realized how sloppy I really was.


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Old 11-30-18, 09:01 AM
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Old 11-30-18, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
In my mind one of the significant advantages to a disc road bike would be clearance for larger tires.

If I were buying one bike right now it would be a Domane. Some models, like the SL7 Disc I lust after, can take 32mm tires. I would run these with the carbon wheels and 25mm tires for fast road rides then a 2nd set of aluminum wheels with 32ís for gravel riding. 18.2 lbs is light enough for my needs.
This is exactly why I purchased a bike with disc brakes. I wanted to purchase a Domane 5 or 6, but at the time the LBSs were out of 2018 models and the 2019 models weren't out yet. I ended up checking out the Specialized Diverge Comp, and went back and purchased one a few weeks later. I honestly haven't ridden a recent model road bike with caliper brakes, so I can't comment on braking performance. I will say, however, compared to my '96 Cannondale R500, the Diverge brakes will stop the bike at least twice as fast as the R500.

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Old 11-30-18, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post

Anyone riding them? Thoughts?
I got mine for essentially the same reasons you are thinking of (but different bones fractured). I have zero regrets. The weight penalty is trivial. They are significantly higher maintenance than rim brakes, so you have to be comfortable with making your own (easy) adjustments. I wear through pads and rotors fairly quickly compared to others here (I live in, and do 99% of my riding in, steep hills.)
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Old 11-30-18, 12:30 PM
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IMHO:
  • Disc brakes are of little advantage for my typical use (dry roads), and agree that tires are the place to look if you want better braking performance.
  • Disc brakes are at somewhat of a disadvantage in other respects (simplicity, maintainability, compatibility with your existing equipment). I was an early adopter of mechanical discs on an MTB and it was a mistake. They were difficult to adjust, the pads didn't last long, and it made installing a rack difficult and changing a tire even more so.
  • Disc brakes are heavier and put additional demands on other parts of the bike (mostly, the fork).

But that being said, there are advantages:
  • Inclement weather. My commute is sometimes sandy wet, and for this reason, I'm thinking discs might be a good idea on my next commuting bike.
  • 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)
  • Less likely a flat or a blowout will get mucked up in your brake.

All that being said, it is kind of irrelevant whether I like them or not. The component manufacturers like them (probably for consistency across product groups) and sooner or later, rim brakes will probably be a thing of the past, just like triple cranks. My next bike purchase will probably reflect that reality.
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Old 11-30-18, 12:38 PM
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tally one

Yes, data point.. I have 1 bike with disc brakes
I Ride on the Road/Street.


It came with cable - mechanical calipers ,
this year I put cable actuated hydraulic brakes on it.






...

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Old 11-30-18, 02:46 PM
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I have disc brakes on two of my newest bikes. On my Domane they are hydraulic and on my Novara touring bike they are cable activated. My single speed bike as well as all the bikes I have ever owned had rim brakes. I never had any trouble stopping on any bike I owned and never remarked to myself that the brakes needed improvement with the exception of an old touring bike that had cantilever brakes. I like the disc brakes, both hydraulic and cable, but my wife, who recently bought an expensive Domane with hydraulic discs had to bring the bike back to the shop twice to have the brakes bled. Now, her brakes are fine, but I bought a bleed kit so that in the future, when the bike is out of warranty, I can bleed them myself. It I had it to do all over again, I would stick with the rim brakes because they are easy to work on and work well. I try to keep things simple in all elements of my life, but I did succumb to the allure of discs. Fortunately, they work fine.
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Old 11-30-18, 08:02 PM
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I have 4 recumbents, all of which are road-only; so I guess they're 'road' bikes, even though not the classic Safety Bike version. Of the 4, 3 of them have a disc brake on at least one wheel. I am considering replacing the fork on the 4th one so I can add a disc there, too.
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Old 11-30-18, 08:06 PM
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[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)[QUOTE]
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.

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Old 11-30-18, 08:42 PM
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Disc brakes are a no brainier. They are lifesavers if you get caught in the rain, they don't wreck your wheels, and I have a ton more confidence on long/steep downhills with discs. There are a few eccentricities associated with disc but the advantages outweigh them.
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Old 12-01-18, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
Disc brakes are a no brainier. They are lifesavers if you get caught in the rain, they don't wreck your wheels, and I have a ton more confidence on long/steep downhills with discs. There are a few eccentricities associated with disc but the advantages outweigh them.
I have disc brakes on all my current bikes now - none are rim brakes. But if i have to do a lot of travel where i had to put the bike in the car/boot or fly.....i would get a rim brake bike just for travelling. Disc brakes are very sensitive to adjustments. Taking the wheels in/out would throw out the disc adjustments.

There is not more than 1 mm of play on each side of the disc before the pads rub. And i've found the only way to keep them from rubbing is using the Park Tool dt-3i.2 together with the DT-3. And aluminium shims....
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Old 12-01-18, 01:55 PM
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My main road bike has calipers. My commuter road bike has discs. I don't find the discs better. And I generally prefer the calipers except in very wet conditions.
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Old 12-01-18, 05:11 PM
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I have mechanical discs on my Colnago CX and I like them a lot. My next road bike will have them. I'm not convinced that you have to have them but they really are "better."
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Old 12-01-18, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Machoman121 View Post
I have disc brakes on all my current bikes now - none are rim brakes. But if i have to do a lot of travel where i had to put the bike in the car/boot or fly.....i would get a rim brake bike just for travelling. Disc brakes are very sensitive to adjustments. Taking the wheels in/out would throw out the disc adjustments.

There is not more than 1 mm of play on each side of the disc before the pads rub. And i've found the only way to keep them from rubbing is using the Park Tool dt-3i.2 together with the DT-3. And aluminium shims....
As long as your wheel is seated in the dropout fully this shouldn't be an issue. The discs are bolted the hub, the calipers are bolted to the frame. Nothing's moving.
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Old 12-02-18, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Machoman121 View Post
I have disc brakes on all my current bikes now - none are rim brakes. But if i have to do a lot of travel where i had to put the bike in the car/boot or fly.....i would get a rim brake bike just for travelling. Disc brakes are very sensitive to adjustments. Taking the wheels in/out would throw out the disc adjustments.

There is not more than 1 mm of play on each side of the disc before the pads rub. And i've found the only way to keep them from rubbing is using the Park Tool dt-3i.2 together with the DT-3. And aluminium shims....

I have Shimano hydraulic discs on my gravel bike and so far Iíve been fortunate to have avoided the misalignment issue when swapping out wheels. I wondered if Iíd need to readjust the brakes swapping out wheels but so far no issues. I did put the same Ice Tech discs with center lock nuts on both sets of wheels so I donít know if that has helped. For me, if I had to make an adjustment it would just require loosening and retightening the caliper bolts........assuming the discs havenít warped.
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Old 12-02-18, 04:00 PM
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I had Avid hydraulic discs on my old mtb and I would get the rub/squeak thing often and adjusting the caliper position was a regular part of riding it. I got a new mtb in March with Shimano brakes and I have only adjusted them once when I took the caliper off to replace the pads.
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Old 12-02-18, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
As long as your wheel is seated in the dropout fully this shouldn't be an issue. The discs are bolted the hub, the calipers are bolted to the frame. Nothing's moving.
i have thru axles on my gravel bike so Iím betting those axles help with not needing to realign calipers when changing wheels.
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Old 12-02-18, 08:26 PM
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Miss alignment issues... Really,? how would that happen...??? Once you set up the wheel/disk, to the brake and axel, a done deal, you can take it on and off a 100 times and nothing will change, if you put a "different wheel" then you need to set up that different wheel/disk to match the brake, and if it cant be done without adjustment, then you are stuck with one wheel/disk set up, it is as simple as that, if you want to switch wheels/disks back and fort then you needs to adjusts every time if they don't match... Pretty sure that is the same with rim brakes when you change rims... IMO
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Old 12-02-18, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
Miss alignment issues... Really,? how would that happen...??? Once you set up the wheel/disk, to the brake and axel, a done deal, you can take it on and off a 100 times and nothing will change, if you put a "different wheel" then you need to set up that different wheel/disk to match the brake, and if it cant be done without adjustment, then you are stuck with one wheel/disk set up, it is as simple as that, if you want to switch wheels/disks back and fort then you needs to adjusts every time if they don't match... Pretty sure that is the same with rim brakes when you change rims... IMO
It could be a slightly different position in the dropout each time the wheel is removed which could possibly be exacerbated with a suspension fork. When installing the wheel one fork leg might be slightly compressed which, as jppe noted, would be less of an issue with a through-axle. My personal experience has been exactly that; ride the bike and it's quiet until the wheel is removed/replaced, then it squeaks until the caliper is adjusted. Yes, it surprised me, too.
My through-axle bike does not have this issue.
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Old 12-03-18, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
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???
Don't worry...sarcopenia and osteopenia will eventually negate the weight penalty of disc brakes for you.
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Old 12-03-18, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
It could be a slightly different position in the dropout each time the wheel is removed which could possibly be exacerbated with a suspension fork. When installing the wheel one fork leg might be slightly compressed
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.
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