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Disc Brakes--Do I Want Them or Not?

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Disc Brakes--Do I Want Them or Not?

Old 09-23-08, 08:14 AM
  #1  
nacho
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Disc Brakes--Do I Want Them or Not?

My bike has V-brakes, which really do work fine for me. I ride mainly on the street, some paved paths, and occasionally an easy singletrack. No real hills or anything.....BUT....this is gonna sound stupid lol, I really like the "clean" look of disc brakes. My friend has a set he's willing to give me, but I don't know if I should take them or not. I've read that you have to constantly adjust them and that they're kind of a pain in the arse, so I don't know if I should fool with them or not. I really don't want something that I have to adjust all the time and fool with. They look cool though and their free, so I don't know what to do.

Are disc brakes really a pain when it comes to adjusting them, upkeep, etc? Will I have to mess around with them everytime I ride, once a week, every 2 weeks, once a month? I guess you can tell I really don't know much about them and I'm sure I probably don't NEED them.
Anything else that I should know about them? Any other inconveniences? etc? I really do like how they look on a bike, but don't know if that will justify the inconvenience of the brakes.

BTW, my frame and wheels are disc ready and the set he has are Avid's BB7 I think
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Old 09-23-08, 08:32 AM
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Don't need them for what you are doing with your bike.
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Old 09-23-08, 08:40 AM
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i find disc brakes to be relatively hassle free, they don't majically go out of adjustment, the only issue i have is before my latest set was broken in they would rub a little cause there was just not enough room for the rotor (hydrolics auto adjust, if u have mech no worries) but anyway once they broke in no problems, and it was only ever an issue cause i take the front wheel off, if you leave it on then u will be fine, even if you take it off u will be fine most of the time,

imo having to constantly adjust your brakes is a sign of a slightly bent rotor, if you take the time to make the rotor really true, you will be able to have more room for error with pad placement and all that, for example, lets say your rotor is 2mm wide and it has 1mm wobble one way and 1mm the other, now as it spins it might as well be 4mm wide as far as not rubbing on the pads is concerned, so if you need your pads to be lets say 5mm apart in order to get proper brake feel with the bend rotor u need .5mm on each side of the rotor, if u use a perfectly true rotor, you ould have 1.5mm on each side or 1mm on one side and 2 on the other, then if somthing goes out of wack by a tiny bit o look u still had xtra space

lol was about to say u need disc frame and wheels but you got that, also the bb7 are super easy to adjust prolly the easiest out there, they are also really good brakes, for free i would say def go for it, and then go ride down some hills lol
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Old 09-23-08, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Dannihilator View Post
Don't need them for what you are doing with your bike.
True dat.

Then again, the economy is built on relentless consumerism, so go for it!
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Old 09-23-08, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by pinkrobe View Post
True dat.

Then again, the economy is built on relentless consumerism, so go for it!
Welcome to capitalism.
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Old 09-23-08, 10:18 AM
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I love them, and for what your doing your not really going to need them, but if you had them for what your doing, there not going to be that much of a pain at all. Only problem i had was my fault when i bent the rotor.
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Old 09-23-08, 04:23 PM
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Since I converted from V's to disc brakes I have had no adjustments to keep them operating correctly. Mine have been troublefree. They are self adjusting. No fuss, no mess. They just work when I need 'em. I have removed the wheels regularly and I think it is less trouble than when I had V's. I keep 'em clean and check the pads often as I feel necessary. Have only replaced one pair so far and it was a breeze. No tweeking to get the pads set right. I put metal replacement pads in and they're a bit noisier but tolerable. On occasion they do squeal but usually cleaning takes care of it. They place more stress on your spokes than V's but with proper built wheels it's not a worry. They stop the bike as well or some better than the V's but it's a bit hard to really evaluate. The disc's shine if you do any riding through mud which I do relatively often and that's the main reason I switched. Probably wouldn't ever switch back for that reason alone. But that doesn't seem like your situation so get a double headed coin and flip to make your decision.
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Old 09-23-08, 06:17 PM
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For singletrack and trail riding you don't really need to have v-brakes. I own a pair of BB7s on a hardtail and I really like them. They stop great and you have great braking control when they are set up correctly and broken in. And since your friend is giving them to you I say take em.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:30 PM
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I run BB7 on my front.
so far ive had to mess with the rear v's more than the disk front.
You dont need them for what you do, but hey, they are free, and you like the looks lol.
since you ride on the street, they'd work well in bad weather conditions a lot better than V's.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:48 PM
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yes you want them
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Old 09-23-08, 08:15 PM
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They weigh a little bit more, but if it was free for me, I would go for it. If you don't like 'em or they are not what you expect, you can always go back. I personally prefer the look of v-brakes, but I would not hesitate for free BB7s. I'd probably just do the front and keep my vees in the back to burn through all the extra pads I have.
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Old 09-23-08, 10:19 PM
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I have BB5s on the FSR XC. The only time I adjusted them was when I took them off to install a new fork. Never adusted the rear. One question, are your hubs disc ready? I've thought about replacing the V's on my Rockhopper right up until I remember I have to replace the hubs. Then I go out and ride with the V's and forget about it.
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Old 09-24-08, 07:53 AM
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From the OP's first post:

"BTW, my frame and wheels are disc ready and the set he has are Avid's BB7 I think."
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Old 09-24-08, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ProFail View Post
Welcome to capitalism.
Actually, I was already there. I saw you when you came in.
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Old 09-24-08, 07:02 PM
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Once you go disc, you'll never go back!
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Old 09-24-08, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Alpha52 View Post
Once you go disc, you'll never go back!
I am a tech junkie and got some of the first discs wanted to believe they were better, but after years of using discs and v-brakes I have to report that, except for uber muddy or winter conditions, v-brakes are the better choice IMO. Just as powerful, cheap, easy to work on, great feel/modulation, lighter and sure you may eventually wear through a rim, but by the time you do you will have saved so many $$$ over disc brakes that you'll still be ahead.

I do run discs as I have some bikes without v-brake studs - they do a fine job, but not better than v-brakes. My one exception is my winter bike where keeping the braking away from the iced up rim does totally make sense.
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Old 09-24-08, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkrobe View Post
Actually, I was already there. I saw you when you came in.
I'm one to suggest-

Never mind...
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Old 09-26-08, 06:10 AM
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No you do not need discs for wat you are doing with you bike. Maybe get discs if you have money to burn and dont mind occassionally adjusting them.
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Old 09-26-08, 07:54 PM
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I actually think that V's look nicer.
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Old 09-26-08, 09:45 PM
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i dont like disc brakes. they always seem to rub.
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Old 09-26-08, 09:59 PM
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Old 09-26-08, 11:31 PM
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For free, try them out. My experience... (though limited)

Discs tend to stop better right away, and get rid of heat better so they do not fade as much. This makes them great for long fast downhills where you need to ride the brake for a long time. They also collect less dust, mud, water etc... when riding in wet or messy conditions. V-brakes can lose a lot of stopping power when going through sloppy conditions since the rim picks up everything.

V-brakes stop very well, but fade more. If you are not doing any extended downhills, then they are fine (and lighter).

Disc brakes shouldn't give you much more trouble than V-brakes. Discs do put more stress on the spokes since they brake the hub, not the rim. This means slightly more wheel maintenance. I also like how V-brakes are more "visible". You can just glance at them and see most problems. Disc brakes have much closer tolerances, so you need to be more precise with the set-up and it is harder to see what is going on with them at a glance.

I suppose some people have good luck with discs, but my rotors got slightly bent a lot. Adjusting the bend out isn't hard (after practice), but I definitely found discs to be more finicky in that respect.

For the riding I do (most flat, fast trails) I much prefer V-brakes. I did hydraulic discs, and V-brakes, and I am sticking with V-brakes for sure. Never going back to discs. But for many riding styles, weather conditions, and locations/trails/mountains, discs are great. There is a (good) reason they are on most real mountain bikes nowadays. But there is also a reason that some people still prefer V-brakes for the riding they do.

You should not fear discs for troublesome maintenance (although they do require slightly more than V-brakes do in my experience). But you should question whether the extra weight (as slight as it is) is worth it for your riding. I guess I am kind of a weight weenie, though, so it may not be an issue to you.

I think V-brakes look a lot better, but that's just me. I do think that looks matter (I like having a bike that I think looks "right"), so you wouldn't be foolish (IMO) to just go with what you prefer aesthetically. Both styles of brakes work very well, so you are not going to be unhappy either way.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:14 AM
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i have magura martas with a 203 front and 180 rear and when everything is set right there is no better way to drop lots of speed. Unfortunatly i have to fiddle with them to keep them running quiet and smooth but thats ok because the feel is great when they are running right
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