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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 09-05-20, 06:19 AM
  #101  
alloo
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I like coaster brakes, and hydralic disk brakes.
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Old 09-05-20, 08:42 AM
  #102  
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One additional thot on bikes with disc brakes. The drop outs are wider, and therefore there is less dish in the spokes, and that makes the wheel stronger.
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Old 09-05-20, 10:30 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
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
I qualified for this forum 17 years ago. I guess I have moved on. I want bikes where wheel changes and the like are easier as I age, not harder. (An aside: I notice that disc wheel changes are so fast and easy that at the world's greatest bike race, they frequently don't just change the rear wheel, they do both wheels, drivetrain, frame. cockpit, brakes and seat all at once. I just don't have all that stuff on hand in compatible format for each bike, plus no car following me to provide it all when I get a flat.)

I don't travel by car with bike very often (maybe two rides/year pre-COVID) but I swap wheels all the time. For different rubber, different cassettes .. Take the wheels out to clean the bike. It's so easy and I take it so for granted, Why would I want to change?

Lighter bikes? They get nicer and nicer as I age and the rack gets higher and higher both seemingly and literally as my height shrinks.

Ben
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Old 09-05-20, 10:32 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
One additional thot on bikes with disc brakes. The drop outs are wider, and therefore there is less dish in the spokes, and that makes the wheel stronger.
I haven't got there yet so this is just speculation but doesn't this affect Q-factor? For my knees, large Q-factors (much over 145mm)is a deal breaker.
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Old 09-06-20, 10:25 AM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by mpath View Post
Rim brakes work for me, so I won't change what ain't broke. Having gone up and then down Haleakala with them on carbon wheels, no complaints or issues. But if you want clean lines, look at this Venge (stock photo). Look ma, no cables.

No cables, but just look at those ugly wheels. Sorry!
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Old 09-06-20, 10:54 AM
  #106  
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The popularity of discs is having an affect on rim brake prices and I've just picked up some Dura Ace 9100 in the UK (aka rip-off Britain) for $260.
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Old 09-06-20, 12:57 PM
  #107  
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Another old guy here. Here's how my bikes brake:

Mountain bike: Hydro discs
SS Cyclocross: Cantis
Geared Monster Cross: Cantis
Road: Caliper
BMX cruiser: V-brakes

Future bikes will probably have discs, but due more to their ubiquity than my preferences.
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Old 09-06-20, 01:14 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I haven't got there yet so this is just speculation but doesn't this affect Q-factor? For my knees, large Q-factors (much over 145mm)is a deal breaker.
Rear axle spacing on a mountain bike can be 142, 148 (boost) or 157 (superboost). Mine is the boost setup which includes 110mm front spacing. I like a wide Q factor but I don't know if the boost has an effect on Q. I've heard chainline issues happen with superboost and there are special cranks to deal with it. Very few bikes outside of downhill come with superboost.
Remember most mountain bikes come with single ring cranks so that would make the Q less critical.

Another factor with regard to chainline is chainstay length. Mountain bikes come with different length stays depending on the desired ride.
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Old 09-13-20, 01:36 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
... I notice that disc wheel changes are so fast and easy that at the world's greatest bike race, they frequently don't just change the rear wheel, they do both wheels, drivetrain, frame. cockpit, brakes and seat all at once. ...

I don't travel by car with bike very often (maybe two rides/year pre-COVID) but I swap wheels all the time. For different rubber, different cassettes .. Take the wheels out to clean the bike. It's so easy and I take it so for granted, Why would I want to change?
Ben
I take it then, you are a rim brakes kind (that sarcastic jab at TDF). As to wheel changes, I'd think you are an exception but anyway, my guess as to rim brakes in your case is cemented.
I take my road tires into a terrain on occasion and it wouldn't come to me to swap wheels for more appropriate tires. But that is more to my being cheap, also I do at most only several miles in off road conditions inserted into my otherwise smooth road ride. I just adjust my speed to the terrain and when it gets real bad, like road washed out with big rocks only left to ride on, I dismount. But most folks who are careful about their wheels would also dismount even if on MTB with proper tires for such terrain.
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Old 09-13-20, 03:31 PM
  #110  
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I don't normally ride in the rain at least on purpose but got caught yesterday in downpour. Frankly my rims brakes work fine but I can see the benefits for the disc after this ride.
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Old 09-13-20, 06:58 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
What?

If you're on a mountain bike "with proper tires for such terrain," why in the world do you imagine that most folks would dismount?

"with big rocks only left to ride on" = mountain biking.
Rocks like these are not that un-friendly to your tires or rims like those I had in mind. Mind you, if I found myself in something like you show in that picture, I might stay in seat and just take it slowly. I talk about forest service roads that serve as a creek runoff in downpours, the water flushes away the soil and expose fist or smaller sized rocks that are partly loose and with sharp edges, eager to chew up your rims, unless you have those fat tires that are one third wider than your rims but even then.

Also, this is nice granite, mostly with rounded edges from glacial process. I live in area where rocks tend to have relatively sharp edges.

I ride 700x23 run of the mill tires, nothing special, currently I have Vittoria Zafiro (spelling?) but some cheap ones from their lineup, and I take them on grass with soft ground, forest roads and rough gravel service roads that vibrate the hell out of you, in short, places where you don't see anybody on a road bike as a rule. Of course, some pro races in EU ride on even worse surfaces and not slowing down to save material like us normal folks do, who don't have access to unlimited bike supply from the car following you...

Last time I destroyed tire was paradoxically on a smooth road that had a fresh pothole in it, so it had sharp edges. I had snake bites on both wheels (each double - each side of the inner tube) and one of the tires was a write off.

Last edited by vane171; 09-13-20 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 09-15-20, 03:10 PM
  #112  
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Whether caliper, cantilever, V-brake, or disc, Iíve never once not been able to slow, stop, or otherwise control my speed when I pull the brake lever. Why? Because I know how to adjust and maintain my brakes, whatever type they may be.

So get what you like for whatever reasons you have. If youíre looking for others to validate your choices, you need to ride more. Eventually youíll stop caring about how others feel about these things.
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Old 09-15-20, 08:58 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
Another reason why is that you've apparently never been in a situation where, despite being properly maintained and adjusted, cantis or linear pull brakes don't allow you to control your speed due to the slope, water, mud, rims that are heat-soaked, etc.
Yeah, sometimes things got a little sketchy, but a lot of us old guys somehow managed to survive riding and racing in the elements without disc brakes for years. Must have been our mad skills!
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Old 09-15-20, 11:05 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
I've survived riding and racing for years and it's those experiences, especially off-road, that inform my understanding of the limitations of cantis and linear pull brakes. And the distinct advantages of discs when it gets fast and nasty.

Claiming that you've never not been able to slow, stop, or otherwise control your speed simply because you know how to maintain and adjust your brakes is laughable.
As is claiming that disc brakes are immune from these problems... they just fail in a different manner.
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Old 09-16-20, 12:06 AM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
I'm talking about equipment, and experience riding in challenging conditions.

I've survived riding and racing for years and it's those experiences, especially off-road, that inform my understanding of the limitations of cantis and linear pull brakes. And the distinct advantages of discs when it gets fast and nasty.

Claiming that you've never not been able to slow, stop, or otherwise control your speed simply because you know how to maintain and adjust your brakes is laughable.
To be clear, I've never said that discs don't have advantages or that other brakes don't have limitations. The point is that shortcomings in a brake's performance are often due to poor set-up and/or maintenance more than simply its design. Brakes can only perform at their best when they're dialed; the rest comes down to, as you said, experience. I don't see why my ability to effectively work within the limitations of a rim brake is any more "laughable" than your own, but I suspect you're mostly here to flex. That's not my interest, so I'll leave you to it.

Last edited by Rolla; 09-16-20 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 09-16-20, 10:24 AM
  #116  
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Actually for cyclist that ride steep long down hill roads in the mountains, disc brakes wont over heat your rims and blow out a tire at speed. Can you say road rash.
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Old 09-16-20, 11:16 AM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
This is different than your previous claim.
My only "claim" is that I've maintained my brakes so that they've performed well when I've needed them to.

Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
working within those limitations restricts you to conditions beyond which discs continue to work just fine.
Evidently, you're convinced that I've denied that disc brakes have advantages over rim brakes. This is not the case.

Last edited by Rolla; 09-16-20 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 09-16-20, 11:51 AM
  #118  
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I've been a fan of disc brakes dating back to the time that everyone on BF informed me that they'd never be available on stock road bikes because there was no real advantage.

Now with mechanical discs on a cheap MTB and still Sora level calipers on my road bikes I am completely satisfied with either. If my next road bike, if any, comes standard with hydrolic discs, it's all good. I won't give it a second thought.
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Old 09-16-20, 11:53 AM
  #119  
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[yawn] Oh, sorry. I was napping. What is the question again?

Yes. Brakes. I'm in favor of them. Except if you're a fixed gear rider and a stud, or a track rider, or both. Then, they'd be optional.

I cannot see riding an MTB without hydraulic disc brakes. Especially as I age and am becoming more risk averse. Healing from a broken bone takes longer than it used to.

I will add that I was forced to keep the DiaCompe 981 cantilever calipers on my '88 Fuji tourer. Trying to find a modern lever with the right pull ratio has been a challenge. Even with KoolStop post-mount pads, the braking has been Ö sketchy at best to downright terrifying under load. Recently, I swapped in TRP clone levers and voila! Improvement!

Otherwise, I really like rim brakes a lot. The new R8000 calipers and older 5800 calipers are quite excellent even with the stock Shimano pads. Quite excellent.
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Old 09-16-20, 12:54 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
I'm only convinced that you imagine that "properly adjusting and maintaining your brakes is the key to being able to slow, stop, or otherwise control your speed when you pull the brake lever" is the key, regardless of conditions.
I never said that, so I guess you're just arguing with yourself now. Let us know who wins.
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Old 09-16-20, 01:23 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
I'm only convinced that you imagine that "properly adjusting and maintaining your brakes is the key to being able to slow, stop, or otherwise control your speed when you pull the brake lever" is the key, regardless of conditions.

Not all brakes slow, stop, or otherwise control your speed in many conditions.Which gets back to my first reply - experience.
The way I read it is that he is in tune with his bike and riding within his and its capabilities. Seems like he has a good amount of experience.
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Old 09-16-20, 01:26 PM
  #122  
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6 pages of discussion/arguing on rim and disc brakes when in the end (within the next year or so) all you are going to be able to buy is disc brake bikes.

Not even sure why this is being discussed anymore. Discs are superior in every way and are what the majority of people want and that's what the manufactures are going to make and sell.

Recently a buddy of mine was trying to sell me his 2018 Trek Emonda with rim brakes. A really nice bike that weighs about 15 pounds. I jumped on it and gave it a spin. The stopping power of the rim brakes was very disappointing compared to the disc brakes on my road bike. No disc brakes = no sale.
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Old 09-16-20, 01:29 PM
  #123  
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I'm glad you quoted me, because it helps to illustrate the absurdity of your responses.

I never said that every well-maintained brake will work equally well for every rider under every imaginable condition.

I never denied that disc brakes have advantages.
I never denied that rim brakes have limitations.

What I said is that all of my brakes -- both rim and disc -- have always worked well for me, and that I credit conscientious maintenance for their good performance.

Why this irks you so is mystifying, but not worth investing more effort into solving. Have a nice flex.
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Old 09-17-20, 09:47 AM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
[yawn]I cannot see riding an MTB without hydraulic disc brakes. Especially as I age and am becoming more risk averse. Healing from a broken bone takes longer than it used to.
I'm starting to agree with this. After my trail ride yesterday, I thought my rim brakes were going to fail, I was on them so hard at times. And being a 52-year-old just returning to biking, my risk tolerance is far lower than it was 30 years ago! Fortunately my old hardtail MTB has mounting bosses for disks, so a conversion is in my future. I had never test ridden any bike with disc brakes of any kind until this year, and I must say I much prefer them over rim brakes.
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Old 09-18-20, 09:10 AM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by OldYankee View Post
I'm starting to agree with this. After my trail ride yesterday, I thought my rim brakes were going to fail, I was on them so hard at times. And being a 52-year-old just returning to biking, my risk tolerance is far lower than it was 30 years ago! Fortunately my old hardtail MTB has mounting bosses for disks, so a conversion is in my future. I had never test ridden any bike with disc brakes of any kind until this year, and I must say I much prefer them over rim brakes.
It's really a no brainer once you use hydraulic disc brakes.

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