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Brakes - where do you stand?

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Brakes - where do you stand?

Old 08-14-20, 07:15 AM
  #76  
FiftySix
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I hope you dont mind my saying so, but you to seem to resist progress. Stick shift??? Direct shift and 8-9-10 speed automatics are faster and get better mileage.

Progress like current automatic transmission technology is expensive. Expensive to purchase, expensive to maintain, and expensive to repair. Sometimes progress isn't wanted or needed, whether we are talking about bicycle braking systems or not.


Makes me think about the analog watches I wear, or the attic TV antenna I installed 2.5 years ago to cut off cable, or the manual shift motorcycles and cars I've owned, etc. Never, never, never would I want an automatic transmission motorcycle.


The machines I service for work keep getting more high tech and more automated every year. I get my techie side fulfilled from work 5 days a week and it pays the bills. But, the machine costs and repair costs keep spiraling up and the repair frequency keeps increasing. There are fewer customers with the wherewithal to purchase the newer machines. Over time, I have had fewer customers to serve, but the higher tech machines they own keep my service call capacity the same as when I had a larger customer base with simpler machinery.


Anyway, back to bicycle brakes. Someday I'll have a disc brake bike. Or maybe I won't. I sure won't be making that choice due to simply being higher tech progress. I simply don't ride fast enough anymore for it to really matter.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:17 AM
  #77  
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What ever you want is what is right for you. I like the hydro discs as they work for me.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:35 AM
  #78  
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There's always this.


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Old 08-14-20, 02:40 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Yes, you have a half dozen posts in this thread with your list of advantages. A thorough analysis would include disadvantages.

1. Finicky adjustments
2. Propensity to get whacked out of adjustment on wheel changes, etc.
3. More complicated wheel changes.
4. More complicated maintenance.
5. Noisy.
6. Weight.
Methinks you forgot you are in the 50+ forum section. At this point of life, you are not talking about racing situations, so for example #3 wheel change is not much of an issue.

#2 also mostly doesn't apply unless you travel with your bike and need to have at least the front wheel off or both for air travel. Another situation might be if you use an indoor trainer (that one for which you need to take the rear wheel off). Also, I'd think, most of us in this age bracket don't keep extra wheel sets to swap depending on the kind of rides in the offing.

#6 I'd say, most of us at this age bracket are not chasing a gram of weight here and there.

However #1 & #5 may come up for everybody at some point and when it does, it can baffle even reasonable skilled bike mechanics. BTW by the noise is not meant that brakes are miss-adjusted as somebody above here seemed to imply, but the horrible noise that sounds like abused pig squealing when you brake in damp weather conditions or maybe because of pads contamination (?).

I am sure not all at 50+ are like that but I'd think those are exceptions to the rule.

And there are always aesthetics at play, bike needs to be pleasing to one's eye regardless of age. Myself I'd say, not all disk bikes are ungainly, or not completely so. I imagine I could live with one too, especially if that was like S-Works or Bianchi or some such fancy bike like that in the $10k+ range which I think someone posted pic of above here...

Also, as much as I can see the disc utility on mountain bikes, most of them look more ungainly with them than road bikes do. That's because of smaller wheel sizes and overall smaller sizes of MTBs, which makes the disc more prominent than is the case on road bikes. On the other hand, MTB looks are 'too busy' anyway, you have prominent shock absorbers and what not, which makes them look like some piece of machinery anyway. Road bikes by contrast are, or can be a study in elegance, simplicity, sleek lines, which simply doesn't apply to stout build of MTBs which is needed to take the terrain abuse....

To mind comes a comparison - road bike are like Elves where MTBs are like Hobbits

Last edited by vane171; 08-14-20 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 08-14-20, 03:06 PM
  #80  
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Some of us still race. Hell, some of us still race on cantilevers.

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Old 08-14-20, 03:53 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
Methinks you forgot you are in the 50+ forum section.
Oh heck no. My point was that a good analysis looks at all angles, and anyone who just posts the good points is not doing an analysis, he's doing an advertisement, and using motivated reasoning. Same with what you posted:

#2 also mostly doesn't apply unless you travel with your bike
well so what? It's a feature that some people will not mind and others will find annoying, and if someone bought a bike with disc brakes and didn't think about this they might well be disappointed. (and I was thinking about fork-mounted car and truck racks, something that I do use a lot)

Choosing one thing frequently means eliminating other options and you'll make better decisions when you understand the consequences.
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Old 08-14-20, 03:57 PM
  #82  
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I never buy anything quite new. At least not new frames. So, I'm thinking maybe in 20 years I might get disc brakes for a road bike. But, then again by that time I'll be in my mid 70's and probably won't care.

I'm still hoping to do discs on a cross/gravel bike shortly.
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Old 08-15-20, 12:58 AM
  #83  
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A question. Do disc brakes adversely affect a wheel change ( like getting a flat out on the road )?
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Old 08-15-20, 01:16 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by gios View Post
A question. Do disc brakes adversely affect a wheel change ( like getting a flat out on the road )?
Not at all. No difference.

I've had plenty of flats on my MTB - which has discs - before I went tubeless. The only difference is carrying an allen key to remove the thru-axle if you don't have the levers on it. My road bike with discs does have the levers instead of just the allen bolt, so literally no difference if that gets a puncture.
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Old 08-15-20, 11:26 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
... My point was that a good analysis looks at all angles, and anyone who just posts the good points is not doing an analysis, he's doing an advertisement, and using motivated reasoning. Same with what you posted ...
I don't see how my post was one sided view. If you want angles, well, I looked at the angle of 50+ view. I just thought, that does change things.

Besides, we are all used to one sided angle from the market sellers, nobody lists negatives selling their product. Reading that, I translate it to my own context, how I use bicycle, and then a lot of selling points are not effective with me. Consumer discussions, like this one here, usually have both (or several) sides, just usually not both from one person.

I'd say, the bottom line in choosing would be this: if I was getting new bike for utility (commuting) riding which includes frequent town crossing (but even if it does not), I'd choose disc. For sport riding, given the area where I ride, I'd go with rim brakes. And in both cases, I'd live with whatever disadvantages there are and, if need be, also push my aesthetic feelings aside. If the disc brakes prevent a collision, which is of paramount concern in utility riding, then all other negatives of the technology are insignificant in comparison.
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Old 08-15-20, 12:14 PM
  #86  
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Updating based on recent reader posts - everyone should know about them and decide for themselves how important they are.
Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
A thorough analysis would include disadvantages.

1. Finicky adjustments
2. Propensity to get whacked out of adjustment on wheel changes, etc.
3. More complicated wheel changes.
4. More complicated maintenance.
5. Noisy.
6. Weight.
7. Aesthetics
8. Cost
9. More complicated fender installations.
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Old 08-15-20, 03:55 PM
  #87  
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79pmooney, you are incorrect as the 1971 VOLKSWAGEN BUS did in fact have Power Front DISC BRAKES. As you know, 1971 was the last to have the type 1 , 1600cc dual port Beetle engine. (Yes, there are certain production within Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico which did deviate from the GERMAN made models which covered NORTH AMERICA (USA & CANADA) and the U.K. and ALL OF EUROPE).

The drummer of our band bought a new one in early 1971 during his junior year in College. Many other friends had older buses, the pre 1968 with the V in front and the airplane slider windows on the front doors was a horrible ride in comparison. The pre-1968 micro-bus in all configurations, 19 or 21 window and those having the wrap around rear window and jail bars are today worth a fortune even for rust bucket shells. Years ago, in the seventies and well into the eighties, you could buy dependable roadworthy, if weathernbeaten looking '67 and earlier microbuses and double-cabs and pickups for $400. That was the transportation of choice of the lazy deadhead that did not work and was largely a wellfare recipient. As durable as VW's were, the Buses were the most dangerous vehicle that you could choose . The Jan 1974 national speed limit reduction to 55 mph didn't do much as those things were so slow when merging in freeway onramps that it was still a potential deathtrap.
I have travelled too many miles in VW Busses way back in the day to ever want to ever ride in one on the highway ever again, or on anything other than the slowest residential streets with 35 to 40 mph speed limits. I did own several Volkswagens back when I was young including a new airconditioned yellow 1971 Superbeetle with the factory metal sunroof that was crank operated, and later a new diamond silver 1979 Superbeetle convertible with airconditioning which was stolen from my driveway about nine months later, and it was never recovered. Most VW folks don't realize this but on the 1967 and later BEETLES that were sold in the UK and in all of Europe, came with unpowered FRONT DISC BRAKES, the same as what came on the '67 and later Karmann Ghia in the USA. Bugs sold in the USA market retained the front drums while the Karmann Ghia had the front discs.

As many bicycle riders that are now north of sixty will certainly remember DISC BRAKES on JC PENNEY 10 speed bicycles way way back in the 1970's. Some non-tenspeed SCHWINN bicycles featured a rear disc brake at the beginning of the Seventies. In the (c)1973 edition of GLENN's COMPLETE BICYCLE MANUAL, one can see page 308 and then see the complete overhaul proceedures for a SCHWINN disk brake beginning on page 322 and continuing through page 327.
Those ancient disc brakes which I think that Shimano built for the bikes such as those sold at JC PENNEY's and a few ancient Schwinns did actually improve braking but one has to account for the complexity and cost for DIY, not to mention availabilty of necessary replacement parts. The significant added weight made disk brakes something that the "serious cyclist" of the 1970's would not even consider in that era when trying to get as light as possible was the rage and anything nearing boat anchor Varsity like 30+ pounds was considered too low rent, no matter what the price tag may have been. One had to consider also that for such bicycles back in the day, even the very ordinary side pull caliper brakes on chrome steel wheels did acceptably stop those very ordinary bicycles at the speed range that they would typically be travelling EXCEPT perhaps in WET or RAIN conditions. I'm just saying most any bike riding DIY bicycle person or even the biggest moron half-wit , Cheech & Chong type dope smoking idiot that might have been employed as the part-time, lowest level bike mechanic/technician at the local bike shop back in the day could easily and quickly do perfect adjustments to any common sidepull or centerpull caliper brakes of that time in their sleep or under the influence. Bike service people were good and the replacement pads for ordinary caliper brakes were extremely inexpensive------------------------so simplicity and if perfectly adjusted, you'd have adequate braking except in WET or extreme conditions and this led to the lack of adoption at that time. There were other things like "CHAINLESS",shaft and bevel gear drive that might seem unreal to some folks today that they were in use more than one hundred years ago on bicycles, mainly on certain bikes marketed for women for a brief period of time. Chain drive is very efficient and simple, so my guess that it had to be because of the long clothing attire that women may have worn circa 1905 etc.



BRAKES: I believe that some form of brakes are needed on every bicycle. I think that those folks who ride bicycles WITHOUT ANY BRAKES should affix a universal yellow and black Official Crash Test Dummy symbol decal sticker on to their helmet. I wonder what potential legal issues that one might face after causing mayhem while riding a bicycle not originally equipped with any brakes. The opposing Trial lawyer would likely have a field day in attempting to reach a substantive "suitable" settlement based on the willful, reckless, conduct of the rider choosing to ride a bicycle not equipped with any braking equipment at all. I hope that people aren't that stupid that they would ever ride a bike equipped without any brakes on the street or anywhere where there are other people, animals, or bikes or vehicles of any type.
A coaster brake is better than nothing at all. I believe that Beyond a certain miles per hour speed-range (or KPH..), the coaster-brake only bicycle is probably beyond it's practical and smart LIMIT, and probably substantially more dangerous than a bicycle with ordinary sidepull caliper brakes because of the ability to better control the braking from such a fast speed. All bicycles made in the last hundred years or so with their factory equipped brakes of whatever type are probably adequate for any ordinary, conservative slower-speed riding situations. Hey, if you wanna go go go, fast and ride, you need a bicycle that will behave appropriately as well as have predictable controlled braking for the higher speed and long downhill runs that you wish to navigate. Forget the brakes, any bike that gets squirrelly or does the death shimmy at speed going downhill is perhaps your suicide machine and should not be ridden like that, beyond it's practical limits. For this reason, I think that it is very important to select a suitable bicycle.
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Old 08-15-20, 05:12 PM
  #88  
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I’ll just note that the last few stages of the Dauphine have been won on rim brakes. Long live the rim brake!


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Old 08-16-20, 09:00 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I’ll just note that the last few stages of the Dauphine have been won on rim brakes. Long live the rim brake!


That's because rim brakes don't spread Covid, and disc brakes do.
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Old 08-16-20, 11:17 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Iíll just note that the last few stages of the Dauphine have been won on rim brakes.
See, this is what I'm talking about concerning motivated reasoning. The LOSERS of the last few stages of the Dauphine were also riding rim brakes.

And Evenepoel's terrible crash in Il Lombardia was on disc brakes... coincidence?



A good analysis looks at all the statistics.
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Old 08-18-20, 07:17 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Iíll just note that the last few stages of the Dauphine have been won on rim brakes. Long live the rim brake!


Except brake type has absolutely zero effect on who wins or loses those races
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Old 08-18-20, 10:47 AM
  #92  
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I miss my old coaster brakes on my Schwinn Pea Picker. Longest skid marks in town.
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Old 08-19-20, 11:38 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Except brake type has absolutely zero effect on who wins or loses those races
It does when they fail and you crash out of the race. https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/gir...brake-failure/
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Old 08-20-20, 12:48 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
It does when they fail and you crash out of the race. https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/gir...brake-failure/
Possible overheated brakes? Wouldn't the same heat effectively melt rim brake pads?

If only downhill cyclists had some sort of emergency back up.

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Old 08-20-20, 01:09 PM
  #95  
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Ejection seat.
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Old 08-20-20, 03:37 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Ejection seat.
I've heard that can be activated by squeezing the front brake lever as hard and as sudden as possible.
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Old 08-20-20, 05:27 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
Disc all the way.... I would not buy a bike without disc brakes... Same with index shifters.. I would not buy a bike without index shifters... I guess I am just too old to change, as I have had disk brakes and index shifters for the last 20+ years, and, am used to the good old things of 20 years ago, unlike some that think even older things work better than some of these sort of newer things, so some people seem to think older, older stuff is the cat's meow from a 100 years ago ... NOT so IMO...
I'm the 100% opposite. I've NEVER had a bike with index shifting (too much incompatibility between makers, number of gears and hub spacing - other than a trigger-shift three speed IGH, and I've never had a BICYCLE with disc brakes in my 60+ years. I've never NEEDED either. Yes, I've ridden in winter on snow/slush-covered roads with rim brakes on steel rims. You learn to realize and accept the limitations. Experience is a great teacher!
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Old 08-21-20, 12:17 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by gios View Post
A question. Do disc brakes adversely affect a wheel change ( like getting a flat out on the road )?
It's a YES for me. Giant Defy disc. It's not so bad for the front - the front wheel will slip in and out easily. But the rear wheel is a nightmare - to remove and 3x worse to install back. You have to position it such that the disc will slip in between the brake calipers at the same time minding that your axle is going into the rear dropouts correctly - it's a lot of faffing around...I can easily take forever to get it right. Most of the time i end up shaving carbon from my dropouts trying to put the rear wheel back.

If i have to travel with my bike a lot - i would get a rim brake bike.
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Old 08-21-20, 04:30 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
I'm the 100% opposite. I've NEVER had a bike with index shifting (too much incompatibility between makers, number of gears and hub spacing - other than a trigger-shift three speed IGH, and I've never had a BICYCLE with disc brakes in my 60+ years. I've never NEEDED either. Yes, I've ridden in winter on snow/slush-covered roads with rim brakes on steel rims. You learn to realize and accept the limitations. Experience is a great teacher!
Yes, that's the answer for some... and... The answer for others, is that improvement is the way to go...
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Old 09-05-20, 01:12 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
BRAKES: I believe that some form of brakes are needed on every bicycle.
You have the making of a good insurance salesman. Fixie bike, which is what I believe you commented on, does have a brake, your legs on pedals. True, the efficiency of such a brake does not compare to conventional brake types but then, you don't ride fixie as you would a bike with the conventional brakes.

In the same spirit, you could also call hazardous bikes with 700x23 tires, requiring those that ride them to have sign on their helmet that they are hazard to everybody around them, and the lawyers would eat you for breakfast if you had an accident with them. Those tires have much worse stopping power than the real nice fat tires, 30+ mm or MTB fat tires. It is all a matter where we draw the line.
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