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Rim Brakes or Disc Brakes- Bike Friday New World Tourist

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Rim Brakes or Disc Brakes- Bike Friday New World Tourist

Old 08-17-22, 11:22 AM
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amyvegan
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Rim Brakes or Disc Brakes- Bike Friday New World Tourist

Rim Brakes or Disc Brakes- Bike Friday New World Tourist

Hi Everyone.
I am 60 years old and am ordering a Bike Friday this week.
I have to decide on rim vs. disc.
BF sales person suggesting rim brakes because they are easier and cheaper to work on and they say the parts will still be available for 20+ years and not obsolete. Simplicity and less $ for brake adjustments appeal to me (rim).
It does rain where I live (Oregon) but I won't be riding so much in the rain.
Better braking in the rain appeals to me (disc).
BF staff also says I can braze on disc mounts at any time (and replace wheels) but it would require a repaint.
Your advice?
Thanks!
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Old 08-17-22, 11:38 AM
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Go with rim and forget it. I often ride Bike Friday w/rim brakes in winter with full snow and ice and have not complained from difficulty in braking.
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Old 08-17-22, 11:39 AM
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thanks so much. availability of components/parts 20 years into the future is what concerns me since there is so much hype that rim brakes are being phased out.
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Old 08-17-22, 11:52 AM
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Most of the bikes in the world are inexpensive. In those bikes, you will not to a more expensive solution for a problem that has been already solved within a reasonable cost. Rim brakes are likely to be around still a century from now, but some of their details may evolve. Your original brakes are likely to last 20y and then the only issue is availability of replacement brake pads. Those for brakes popular 20y ago are there in the market.
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Old 08-17-22, 11:54 AM
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so stock up on pads now? lol. thank you.
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Old 08-17-22, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by amyvegan View Post
so stock up on pads now? lol. thank you.
Usually you keep just one or two sets of replacement pads. As a rule of thumb the rubber lasts only up to 10y or so.
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Old 08-17-22, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
Usually you keep just one or two sets of replacement pads. As a rule of thumb the rubber lasts only up to 10y or so.
awesome. thanks!
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Old 08-17-22, 12:23 PM
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I am kinda, sorta thinking about getting a Bike Friday for touring: diamond llama. I've been strictly a Luddite in the brake department but thought perhaps this is my big chance to join the 21st century in the bicycle brake department. From my reading it seems that the hot tip for disc brakes also involves thru-axles instead of the conventional dropouts and quick releases. Bike Friday as far as I can tell does not offer that option. So until I get some further information, if and when I pull the trigger and order a new Bike Friday (and more likely when at this point ) it will probably be with conventional rim brakes.
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Old 08-17-22, 12:47 PM
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keep us posted on the lama choice! thanks.
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Old 08-17-22, 01:14 PM
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I've been commuting with folding bikes in NYC metro since 2013.
Started out with a Bike Friday Tikit, had about 2k miles on it until I got T-boned by an SUV in the rain.
Went through a few other rim brake folding bikes, one got stolen from my locked basement when I was a vacation, the other got stolen when our place of business got broken into.
Since 2019, I bought a cheap $125, 20" disc brake folding bike.
Sundeal Bikes
I've put about 2k miles on it since AUG 2019, with smaller 140mm disc rotors, the stopping power of cable actuated mechanical disc brake calipers are just about right, even in rain, snow or icy conditions that I commute in NYC.

For $125 folding bike, the disc brakes are surprisingly low maintenance.
When compared to rim brakes, if rim goes out of true; you can still ride the bike without brakes rubbing.
There is adjustment for disc brake caliper that allows the non-moving brake pad to be adjusted so the rotor doesn't rub while riding.
Once the adjustment is done proper, I never had to touch it again unless I replace the brake pads.
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Old 08-17-22, 02:16 PM
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My opinion is to go with rim brakes. I like things that are simple and low cost to repair and maintain. Yes disc are better in the rain but for everyday use does it make a difference. Disc brake technology will also evolve making them possibly obsolete in certain aspects.
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Old 08-17-22, 02:33 PM
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thanks for this. wow, so sorry about your accident. hope you weren't hurt. and all the thefts. how awful.
i live in a tiny condo in a high rise and it's not safe to leave anything in our cars or even our "bike room," hence moving to folders from full sized bikes. thanks for all this very informative info.

Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
I've been commuting with folding bikes in NYC metro since 2013.
Started out with a Bike Friday Tikit, had about 2k miles on it until I got T-boned by an SUV in the rain.
Went through a few other rim brake folding bikes, one got stolen from my locked basement when I was a vacation, the other got stolen when our place of business got broken into.
Since 2019, I bought a cheap $125, 20" disc brake folding bike.
Sundeal Bikes
I've put about 2k miles on it since AUG 2019, with smaller 140mm disc rotors, the stopping power of cable actuated mechanical disc brake calipers are just about right, even in rain, snow or icy conditions that I commute in NYC.

For $125 folding bike, the disc brakes are surprisingly low maintenance.
When compared to rim brakes, if rim goes out of true; you can still ride the bike without brakes rubbing.
There is adjustment for disc brake caliper that allows the non-moving brake pad to be adjusted so the rotor doesn't rub while riding.
Once the adjustment is done proper, I never had to touch it again unless I replace the brake pads.
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Old 08-17-22, 02:43 PM
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thanks so much !!! obsolescence is such a bummer, sigh.

Last edited by amyvegan; 08-17-22 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 08-17-22, 03:46 PM
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On the bright side, 20” wheels are a BMX standard, where disc brakes aren’t a thing. We’ll be able to easily source suitable rims as long as the BMXers keep on riding.
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Old 08-17-22, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Reddleman View Post
On the bright side, 20” wheels are a BMX standard, where disc brakes aren’t a thing. We’ll be able to easily source suitable rims as long as the BMXers keep on riding.
thanks . do you mean rim brakes and rim pads or rims? appeciate it.
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Old 08-17-22, 05:12 PM
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V brakes are pretty simple bits of technology, while the pads themselves are easy enough to source outside of pretentious bike shops obsessed with the sports market. High quality rims in less fashionable sizes (the old road 27” standard, the older MTB 26” standard) seem to be where there’s a lack of options, but in our case we can rely on BMX for rims suitable for braking upon.

The one benefit of disc brakes over V brakes is the ability to chose a disc brake with a cable-pull length to suit your brake levers, allowing the same frame to be easily used with flat bars or drop bars. (While there are options for V brakes with drop bars out there, it’s not quite as simple, and if it’s not something that you want to consider I won’t discuss it further here.)
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Old 08-17-22, 05:56 PM
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Rim. For the various reasons enumerated here.
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Old 08-17-22, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Reddleman View Post
V brakes are pretty simple bits of technology, while the pads themselves are easy enough to source outside of pretentious bike shops obsessed with the sports market. High quality rims in less fashionable sizes (the old road 27” standard, the older MTB 26” standard) seem to be where there’s a lack of options, but in our case we can rely on BMX for rims suitable for braking upon.

The one benefit of disc brakes over V brakes is the ability to chose a disc brake with a cable-pull length to suit your brake levers, allowing the same frame to be easily used with flat bars or drop bars. (While there are options for V brakes with drop bars out there, it’s not quite as simple, and if it’s not something that you want to consider I won’t discuss it further here.)
thanks so much. drop bars are out of the question for me but that's super great info.
someone on the BF Facebook group suggested disc is better for hauling a burley type
trailer (i haul food, not kids/pets).

i'm so confused (pros/cons) and pretty much have to decide within 48 hours to complete my order.
BF also told me they can braze on the disc brake mounts at some point but then the bike would need repainting so, ugh.
amy
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Old 08-17-22, 06:57 PM
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I wouldn't worry about disc brakes becoming obsolete, if they do (which seems very unlikely) then you can have brake posts brazed on just as easily as you could add disc brake mount.
Disc brakes require little maintenance, they don't wear out your rims, and they are easily upgradable if you want to go to hydraulics.
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Old 08-17-22, 06:59 PM
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If you want to go really old-school, you can do like my son and just drag your toes one the ground until you stop.
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Old 08-17-22, 08:49 PM
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I’ve managed to stop quite weighty trailer loads using V brakes on a 26” wheeled hybrid bike, so I wouldn’t be too worried about that unless you have a very long descent where smaller wheels and continuous rim braking can apparently cause tyre blowouts according to Moulton owners on other forums.

As it’s a custom built frame, why not get mounts for both options brazed on and save the decisions for later? Add in a set of wheels with rims suitable for braking and hubs that can have a disc mounted to them, and you can upgrade easily at a later date if V brakes aren’t enough for you.
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Old 08-18-22, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
I wouldn't worry about disc brakes becoming obsolete, if they do (which seems very unlikely) then you can have brake posts brazed on just as easily as you could add disc brake mount.
Disc brakes require little maintenance, they don't wear out your rims, and they are easily upgradable if you want to go to hydraulics.
This. If I’d have a choice I would definitely go with disk brakes. I wouldn’t consider upgrading rim brakes on my Brompton because of the costs and modifications it involves, but if I could choose during purchase, I’d definitely go with disks.

Last edited by CEBEP; 08-18-22 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 08-18-22, 04:40 AM
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The main disadvantage of rim brake on a small wheel bike isn't the lack of braking power (there are excellent rim brake calipers and V-brakes) but the rim wear which on a small wheel bike is much faster than on a big wheel bike. Rain and dirt accelerate the rim wear.

About the availability of rim brakes parts, I do not think there is any risk and obsolescence also affect disc brakes, not that disc brakes will disappear but current ones will be replaced by other models with other pads and even other mounting.
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Old 08-18-22, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Reddleman View Post
I’ve managed to stop quite weighty trailer loads using V brakes on a 26” wheeled hybrid bike, so I wouldn’t be too worried about that unless you have a very long descent where smaller wheels and continuous rim braking can apparently cause tyre blowouts according to Moulton owners on other forums.

As it’s a custom built frame, why not get mounts for both options brazed on and save the decisions for later? Add in a set of wheels with rims suitable for braking and hubs that can have a disc mounted to them, and you can upgrade easily at a later date if V brakes aren’t enough for you.
This is the most logical answer!
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Old 08-18-22, 08:41 AM
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I've had BFs with both rim and disc brakes, and I prefer the rim brakes:

- they're plenty strong
- there's less to go wrong when folding the bike
- they're quieter in the wet
- V brakes feel better than mechanical discs

But as mentioned above, BF will do both options if you're really undecided. You could get wheels made with disc hubs and rim brake rims to match.
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