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Old 12-16-17, 12:57 PM   #1
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Disc on FB

  • Is there any disadvantage to Disc Brake on FB?
I'm seeing it on Gazelle Origami.

  • Does disc brake use "direct pull" brake lever or the regular lever?
    (Since I plan to use drop bar and STI brifters).
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Old 12-16-17, 02:21 PM   #2
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Mechanical Disc brakes are available for both v-brake levers and canti/caliper brakes.
Disc brake rotors are a bit sensitive to getting bent.
The main reason behind folding bikes is to be able to fold them up, carry them around, stow them away.
Having a folding bike with two extra vulnerable exposed parts doesn’t seem like a great idea.
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Old 12-16-17, 04:02 PM   #3
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Mechanical Disc brakes are available for both v-brake levers and canti/caliper brakes.
Disc brake rotors are a bit sensitive to getting bent.
The main reason behind folding bikes is to be able to fold them up, carry them around, stow them away.
Having a folding bike with two extra vulnerable exposed parts doesn’t seem like a great idea.


It looks like in the video...the disc is on the left side...when you fold, the discs end up inside--protected.


That's my theory...have not seen it in person.
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Old 12-16-17, 08:33 PM   #4
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just bending the disc when folded and carried in a car boot.

Centerlock type discs are easy to remove.. One on my fold to travel, in a suitcase, bike's front.

looks like Tern rebadged for another bike company... fold left puts the discs together,

but leaves the greasy drive tran , and easily bent hanger on the derailleur, out there






...

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-16-17 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 12-17-17, 05:25 PM   #5
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Also has the advantage of not wearing out a specialist small wheel rim. And is better for wheel clearnece. The new birdies are much less of a head ache for front brake set up as far as I can tell due to disc brakes keeping way from mudguards and front panniers etc. And have a better cable routing.
Sometimes it makes sense for other reason than meets the eye. Would not want discs on a brompton. Drums maybe.
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Old 12-17-17, 08:25 PM   #6
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Disc brakes are available for both straight bars and drop bars. Mtb/hybrid and roadies.
I used to have a cheap folding bike(Tobukaeru) w/ a front disc. I was constantly adjusting
it. Brought it on one trip; then sold it:
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Old 12-17-17, 09:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Is there any disadvantage to Disc Brake on FB?
Disc front hubs, AFAIK, are 100mm wide. Rim brake hubs can be as narrow as 74mm. So, all other things being equal, the disc-equipped front wheel will probably add an inch to the bike's folded width.

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Also has the advantage of not wearing out a specialist small wheel rim.
In over 20,000 miles of riding folders (3 different bikes, 12,000 miles on the oldest one) I have never worn out a front rim. However, I have worn out several rear rims. My current folder (non-snow/ice/salt) is on its third rear rim after 5,500 miles. My "winter" bike had similar (but worse) problems until I replaced the rear V-brake with a roller brake. Just to be clear, I use the front brake *mostly*, so that's not the reason for the rear wear; I suspect road abrasives kicked up by the front wheel.
So where I'd like to have my disc brake is on the rear! Sadly, though the Alfine-11 hub can be fitted with a disc, the frame does not have the necessary braze-ons.
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Old 12-17-17, 10:11 PM   #8
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When the bike is it full position the disks are nested inside the frame and very well protected. There’s no disadvantage to disc brakes on a folding bike. The advantage is better stopping power in all weather conditions.
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Old 12-17-17, 10:22 PM   #9
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It looks like in the video...the disc is on the left side...when you fold, the discs end up inside--protected.


That's my theory...have not seen it in person.
That is correct. The Gazelle’s discs are well protected when folded.
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Old 12-17-17, 10:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
just bending the disc when folded and carried in a car boot.

Centerlock type discs are easy to remove.. One on my fold to travel, in a suitcase, bike's front.

looks like Tern rebadged for another bike company... fold left puts the discs together,

but leaves the greasy drive tran , and easily bent hanger on the derailleur, out there

...
A derailleur guard solves that problem for $3
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Old 12-17-17, 11:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
When the bike is it full position the disks are nested inside the frame and very well protected. There’s no disadvantage to disc brakes on a folding bike. The advantage is better stopping power in all weather conditions.
After having disc brakes on my Ti Swift, I dispute that statement. Disc brakes respond faster when riding in the wet, but they do not give better stopping power (always assuming both cases are adjusted optimally). They have other disadvantages that caused me to go back to rim brakes.
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Old 12-18-17, 08:30 AM   #12
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After having disc brakes on my Ti Swift, I dispute that statement. Disc brakes respond faster when riding in the wet, but they do not give better stopping power (always assuming both cases are adjusted optimally). They have other disadvantages that caused me to go back to rim brakes.
What “other disadvantages “?
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Old 12-18-17, 09:19 AM   #13
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I can think of one - the need to keep rotors and pads meticulously clean to avoid excess wear. Leave any grit on the pads and rotors, and you'll be replacing them much more often.

I'll stay with rim brakes unless I move to really hilly / mountainous country. That's where discs shine in their ability to prevent tire blowouts from overheating the rims during long descents.
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Old 12-18-17, 01:19 PM   #14
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a little heavier, a little wider fold .....
but like other disc brakes on "regular" bikes oh soo sweet


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Old 12-18-17, 01:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
Disc front hubs, AFAIK, are 100mm wide. Rim brake hubs can be as narrow as 74mm. So, all other things being equal, the disc-equipped front wheel will probably add an inch to the bike's folded width.
Thanks for pointing that out. Such wide spacing does look very unnatural on a small folding bike.
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Old 12-18-17, 02:09 PM   #16
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Thanks for pointing that out. Such wide spacing does look very unnatural on a small folding bike.
Bike Friday uses standard spacing, 100 + 130. Some models are available with discs.

Some systems use a cable; others fluids. Not sure how a hydraulic line would behave getting
folded/unfolded a lot. Most oem's have gone hydraulic; Shimano, SRAM, Campy.

To me, folders with standard spacing don't look odd/weird:
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Old 12-18-17, 02:17 PM   #17
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What “other disadvantages “?
Weight and more susceptible to damage while folded/transported.
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Old 12-18-17, 03:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
What “other disadvantages “?
As I experienced them:
*Very* fast wear, and I basically never rode in wet weather with them, so hardly any road grime; I was shocked at how often I had to replace disc pads compared to rim pads;
Impossible to get perfect trueness out of the discs, so when pads are optimally adjusted, there is noise and drag; (I spent many fruitless hours on this plus a variety of different discs)
When backing pads off to avoid noise and drag, there was unacceptable long travel before really biting;
Braking power was absolutely no better compared to my previous rim brakes ( both adjusted properly)
Weight was more for no advantage;
New pads would start off quite OK, but quickly need adjustment, and as they wear, they do not wear perfectly parallel, exacerbating the truing problem and becoming ever more spongy.

Was using TRP Spyre calipers, one of the better mechanical ones, so no excuse there. I tried a variety of pads and discs. I had several wheels, one dynohub, one plain. Never a real difference.

Rim wear? See below:

On rim brakes: Ever since I read Sheldon Brown's treatment of braking strategy, I cultivated the habit of braking using front brakes exclusively, except in emergencies when I still instinctively grab both. The front wheel is always cleaner than the rear wheel so much less road grime to wear pads and rims. Also, front brakes give basically almost all stopping power with very little resultant wear. So, my rear rims and pads have essentially stopped wearing, most still looking like new, no exaggeration. And lack of grime on the front makes front wear slow as well, especially if one is aware of grime-reducing methodolgy (pulse braking to clean wet rims and pads).

Using this startegy, I have not had to replace rims for many years and 1000s of km. On my Ti Swift, I am now approaching 15,000km with no discernible wear. On my Moulton, those wheels are now looking at more than 10 years on a variety of bikesand still going great, no replacement yet in the offing.

So, the argument I was also very interested in, that of rim wear, also not relevant. The single advantage of braking better in the wet, is not worth all the negatives. I also think braking on long downhills is not all that important a difference, since discs will also overheat and thereby lose substantial amounts of stopping ability. You can't do to discs what you have to avoid on rims.

My cycling buddy also thought discs would give hime lots of advantages on his climbing routes; he has since started agreeing with me that discs hardly confer any advantage on that sort of riding. He sees similar problems than me.

Cyclocross and MTB, those I concede. Rim brakes are absolutely outperformed by discs there. But not on folders. Or road bikes.

Last edited by jur; 12-18-17 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 12-18-17, 05:20 PM   #19
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Thanks for pointing that out. Such wide spacing does look very unnatural on a small folding bike.
I don't know about "unnatural", but the extra width could make a difference. For example, I had a loaner Tern Eclipse S11i for a month or so, and it was just a bit too wide to fit in the spot where I typically stash my folder on the train. It was a delightful bike to ride, and - YES! - the disc brakes were to die for (Hmmm... bad choice of words). In the end, I was more concerned about the folded size and after 4 years have not regretted getting the bike with rim brakes.
I rode a bunch of small-wheeled bikes with disc brakes at InterBike... I had no issue with their appearance.
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Old 12-19-17, 12:34 PM   #20
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Bike Friday uses standard spacing, 100 + 130. Some models are available with discs.
Pocket Llama yes , a 100mm fork, Tikit No, a 74mm fork..

Saw years ago Green Speed, Australian Recumbent bike manufacturer , and the Distributor of Bromptons, there.

re machined Sturmey Archer Drum brakes to fit on a regular Brompton , they also re machine those drum brake hubs,

to work on the front of their tadpole trikes.. single side bolt axle..




....
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Old 12-19-17, 02:12 PM   #21
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I prefer standard spacing. Makes it easier to find the hubs I want. So I'm more likely to choose a bike with a 100mm fork for any reason, disc or not.

I have worn through a rim-brake rim. Took about 5 years, I think. Still, the wheel would have been fine if not for the rim wear, so now I generally will go for disc brakes if there's an option. I do find disc brakes to be more "fiddly" than rim brakes. I go through more pads than I think I ought to. And while the breaking is superior when everything is clean and adjusted properly, it also seem way to easy to get contamination or glazing or whatever else that leads to the brakes losing performance. But still, I prefer discs because at least any disc issues can be addressed without rebuilding the wheel.

I moved my bb7 from my large bike to my Downtube a few months ago. I haven't actually connected it because that project moved to the back burner. Still, the brake and rotor have been on the wheel for months. The bike has been folded and stored and put in trunks and checked as luggage and hauled into and out of hotel rooms taken on the bus. There's no indication that the disc has been damaged from any of that. I guess the proof will be when I actually hook up the brakes because that's when I'll narrow the gap between the pads and the discs, but with all the times this thing has been tossed around lately, I expect that if the disc was going to get bent, it'd bend enough to be noticeable by now.
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Old 12-19-17, 08:20 PM   #22
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Weight and more susceptible to damage while folded/transported.
Weight is minimal. And they less susceptible to damage as the discs are nested inside the fold.
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Old 12-22-17, 09:23 AM   #23
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Weight is minimal. And they less susceptible to damage as the discs are nested inside the fold.
Weight matters for packed travel and carrying the bike. I understand that it's roughly a pound when everything is accounted for including differences in the frame. (this is what's claimed by journalists during the increase in road disc bikes)

AFAIK, every bike requires a wheel to be taken off when being packed into a flight legal case. The disc seems exposed then and, simply based on anecdotes, it seems to happen with some frequency. But if they're tucked into the middle of the fold, that's obviously a good spot for them.
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Last edited by invisiblehand; 12-22-17 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 12-22-17, 12:41 PM   #24
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Weight matters for packed travel and carrying the bike. I understand that it's roughly a pound when everything is accounted for including differences in the frame. (this is what's claimed by journalists during the increase in road disc bikes)

AFAIK, every bike requires a wheel to be taken off when being packed into a flight legal case. The disc seems exposed then and, simply based on anecdotes, it seems to happen with some frequency. But if they're tucked into the middle of the fold, that's obviously a good spot for them.
Disc brakes are not a good choice for a bike that will be packed in a suitcase, but that was not listed as the OP’s criterion.
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Old 12-22-17, 01:49 PM   #25
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Any how ,, the Bike Friday Travel bikes have been designed to pack in a legit suitcase..

but they are knocked down to fit, not left whole.. and as I said above removing the disc from the hub , and packing it separately

has been commonly done.. the Centerlock spline fitting was adopted on the Schmidt hub on my Pocket Llama , a Shimano Standard
so it is conveniently removed with a spline tool fitting the lock ring, same tool takes a cassette lock ring off..

there is the aftermarket fork and rear portions , made by the Glasgow Scotland Dealer of Bromptons , and a frame builder

rear end 135 wide, (for Alfine and Rohloff hubs) , front 100 wide fork, with disc ISO tabs..


Fork faces forward folded on the right side, with its hook over the folded chainstay, so again the disc faces the frame protected .


....
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