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Old 08-09-09, 11:09 AM   #1
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Disk brakes offer more precision?


I bought a 09 Rockhopper month ago and LBS salesperson assured me that stock brakes will do the job for weekend riding in mountains, unless it would be really wet. Coming from road cycling I believed the guy knowing I have no problems locking the rear wheel with my stock brakes.

After few trips to mountains I could not lock the rear wheel on downhills, which is really annoying. I upgraded the brake pads to KoolStops with softer compound. Still no help, wheel would randomly lock on downhills, which is really annoying because you never know when it will happen and it causes REAL problems when you fly down on gravel.

My question is, will the disk brakes offer precise control? I want to know exactly when wheel would lock and when it will just brake.

Any suggestions for brakes and real wheel and where to buy it online?

Thank you,


I weight 155Lbs.
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Old 08-09-09, 11:17 AM   #2
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I really like discs on my non road bikes...and hydros are even better. If you really want precise go for hydros...but either way they are better than rim brakes. Way better when it is wet and more modulation all the time.
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Old 08-09-09, 03:34 PM   #3
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You should be able to lock up your brakes when it's dry. Have you looked at adjusting the cables to give you tighter lock? It sounds as though your levers are hitting your bars before the brakes are fully engaged. I would try that and see if you can get by with linear brakes before droping the hamer on discs and possibly hubs too.
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Old 08-09-09, 04:40 PM   #4
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Whatever brake you use, you're limited by the initial setup and the quality and adjustability of the particular components you're using. Locking up a rear brake doesn't mean much, since locking up a brake is pretty much worthless except to screw up a trail. Sounds like your brakes could use either a setup tweak or better levers (say those that offer leverage adjustments, which can definitely help), so as to get better modulation.

Some disc brakes offer little modulation, some offer quite a bit, some offer adjustments, some don't; some mechanical disc brakes are superior to some hydraulics.

Hard to generalize all rim brakes vs all disc brakes in any case. What specific brakes and levers do you have now?

ps Your actual technique can have a bearing on performance as well...putting more of your weight over the rear wheel should help you use your rear brake more effectively.
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Old 08-09-09, 04:48 PM   #5
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Locking the rear (if you mean skidding) is poor technique on downhills. But to answer your question (can o worms opening), disc brakes will give more braking control than v-brakes.
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