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March of the Road Discs continues...

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

March of the Road Discs continues...

Old 04-02-15, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bgav
In 15 years everything will be replaced with electromagnetic brakes .
with abs.
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Old 04-02-15, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bt
in ten years, hopefully they will have fixed ALL the issues. but you can't fix ugly!
They are hideous looking.
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Old 04-02-15, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by RJM
with abs.
All incorporated into a wireless CVT/IGH/Dynahub. Just pre-program different cadence and target power profiles .

Last edited by bgav; 04-02-15 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 04-02-15, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bt
in ten years, hopefully they will have fixed ALL the issues. but you can't fix ugly!
Oh yes, I agree... they do ruin the classic road bike aesthetic, IMHO.

However, there are plenty of road bikes that look plenty ugly without the help of disc brakes.

I'm talking about the rolling billboards of loud graphics and big logos that make my eyes want to explode.

But the pros were riding those bikes – and the masses want to emulate the pros – so, migraines be damned!

Ubiquitous discs are coming, like it or not. As soon as someone wins the Champs-Elysées on discs, everyone will want them.

Guaranteed.
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Old 04-02-15, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs
The common thread among most of the naysayers is nearly zero experience with a good disc setup.
Because we have no need to experience them, since our rim brakes work just fine. No one's saying that discs are bad- they're just over-kill on a road bike; and needless weight/complexity/expense/monkey-wrench-in-compatibility.

It's like saying "Everyone who's critical of air brakes on cars has never tried them". You don't need to try something which may be superior for other vehicles, but which is ridiculous over-kill for yours, while it introduces detrimental qualities; and when your simpler existing configuration works 100% fine.

When something already works perfectly, the only improvement is to simplify it; cut it's cost; cut it's weight; etc. Clearly, discs on road bikes are going in the opposite direction, because they are just a marketing ploy and not a solution to any problem.
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Old 04-02-15, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Stucky
When something already works perfectly, the only improvement is to simplify it; cut it's cost; cut it's weight; etc. Clearly, discs on road bikes are going in the opposite direction, because they are just a marketing ploy and not a solution to any problem.
I have experience with both rim and disc brakes. There are situations where a disc is a clearly superior brake -- wet weather really is one of them. The brakes don't send you skidding down the road, they just stop you better than rim brakes because the braking surface is wiped dry almost instantly. For an all-weather training bike, discs would be a terrific choice because the emphasis is on durability and all-condition usability.

For a dry weather weight-weenie bike, I prefer rim brakes because they are just as good in those conditions and don't compromise wheel construction like discs do.

Dismissing disc brakes as a marketing ploy is simply shoving your head in the sand. There are puts and takes to them relative to a rim brake (and therefore vice-versa). I like having the choice.
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Old 04-02-15, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Stucky
When something already works perfectly, the only improvement is to simplify it; cut it's cost; cut it's weight; etc. Clearly, discs on road bikes are going in the opposite direction, because they are just a marketing ploy and not a solution to any problem.
Well, if we're being honest, I can think of one actual problem that they solve:

Entire wheelsets will no longer have to be replaced because of a brake track eventually wearing out.
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Old 04-02-15, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Stucky
Because we have no need to experience them, since our rim brakes work just fine. No one's saying that discs are bad- they're just over-kill on a road bike; and needless weight/complexity/expense/monkey-wrench-in-compatibility.

It's like saying "Everyone who's critical of air brakes on cars has never tried them". You don't need to try something which may be superior for other vehicles, but which is ridiculous over-kill for yours, while it introduces detrimental qualities; and when your simpler existing configuration works 100% fine.

When something already works perfectly, the only improvement is to simplify it; cut it's cost; cut it's weight; etc. Clearly, discs on road bikes are going in the opposite direction, because they are just a marketing ploy and not a solution to any problem.

I knew I could count on you for your broad-sweeping pile-o'hay bovine patties Stucky! Keep beating that drum! Oh, wait, or is it a bone on a log?
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Old 04-02-15, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bt
in ten years, hopefully they will have fixed ALL the issues. but you can't fix ugly!
So, you view mechanical objects in a sexually attractive fashion...lmao
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Old 04-02-15, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by velociraptor
Well, if we're being honest, I can think of one actual problem that they solve:

Entire wheelsets will no longer have to be replaced because of a brake track eventually wearing out.
Instead you just have to replace your wheels up front because they're not compatible anymore.

Whatever the advantages or disadvantages of disc brakes are or aren't, it's sort of hard to believe people don't see through how transparently obvious a sales strategy this is.


2008: Replace your old wheel sets, everyone needs carbon rims!
2012: Carbon rim braking performance sucks!
(3 years of hype building)
2015: replace your crummy carbon rims with new disc compatible carbon rims, thus solving the problem we created in the first place!
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Old 04-02-15, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
Instead you just have to replace your wheels up front because they're not compatible anymore.

Whatever the advantages or disadvantages of disc brakes are or aren't, it's sort of hard to believe people don't see through how transparently obvious a sales strategy this is.


2008: Replace your old wheel sets, everyone needs carbon rims!
2012: Carbon rim braking performance sucks!
(3 years of hype building)
2015: replace your crummy carbon rims with new disc compatible carbon rims, thus solving the problem we created in the first place!
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Old 04-02-15, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs
We've been reduced to this?



I love how any rational critique of change is taken as some sort of grand stand against "progress." I'm young. I ride a carbon bike. There are important advances that have been made in the cycling industry. This fad is not one of them and it too shall go the way of integrated seatposts.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
We've been reduced to this?



I love how any rational critique of change is taken as some sort of grand stand against "progress." I'm young. I ride a carbon bike. There are important advances that have been made in the cycling industry. This fad is not one of them and it too shall go the way of integrated seatposts.
Rational? If one wears tin foil and subscribes to conspiracy theory, yeah, I guess your logic could be described as rational.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:02 AM
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Shimano for the win, as usual. In less than five years all serious road bikes will be disc and rim brakes will be retro-grouch just as down-tube shifters are today.

Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs
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Old 04-02-15, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by velociraptor
Well, if we're being honest, I can think of one actual problem that they solve:

Entire wheelsets will no longer have to be replaced because of a brake track eventually wearing out.
You know that you can just replace the rims and rebuild the wheels, right?

Last edited by Silvercivic27; 04-02-15 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs
Rational? If one wears tin foil and subscribes to conspiracy theory, yeah, I guess your logic could be described as rational.
There's at least two ways to interpret it. One is the planned obsolescence interpretation. That's a conspiracy if it resembles the long-term industry-wide planned obsolescence campaigns in other industries, although I doubt that's what's happening here. The bike industry is far to bumbling to plan that far out.

The other is simply that, by and large, the industry is driven by hype and this is simply multiple hype waves cresting together. More in keeping with the interpretation I offered above. I very much doubt it's an industry-wide conspiracy so much as solving problems the new, much hyped "innovations" created with new hype.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
There's at least two ways to interpret it.
Another is that there are consumers actually wanting disc brakes on their bikes.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by svtmike
Another is that there are consumers actually wanting disc brakes on their bikes.
It's a chicken and the egg problem, as far as I can tell. I've been around this forum for a while and I don't recall many wanting disc brakes on their road bike until the industry started making them. But maybe that's just confirmation bias on my part and there has been a grassroots desire for disc brakes that I totally missed.

I would contend that by and large the bike industry drives consumer tastes rather than consumer taste driving the bike industry. But I'll readily admit that I could be wrong.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
It's a chicken and the egg problem, as far as I can tell. I've been around this forum for a while and I don't recall many wanting disc brakes on their road bike until the industry started making them. But maybe that's just confirmation bias on my part and there has been a grassroots desire for disc brakes that I totally missed.

I would contend that by and large the bike industry drives consumer tastes rather than consumer taste driving the bike industry. But I'll readily admit that I could be wrong.
I've seen a lot more interest (i.e., people asking me about them) from less experienced cyclists. The disc brake format is a far more familiar mechanism in general and people are used to them being the preferred solution in other modes of transportation.

The more experienced cyclists I know generally are already familiar with them from their mountain bikes and already have a fair understanding of the tradeoffs between rim and disc brakes. And some of them have opted for discs on their new road bikes, mostly for wet weather riding.

I don't understand the emotional reaction that some people seem to have to this topic. If you're going to get upset about something, pick something worthwhile.

Last edited by svtmike; 04-02-15 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by svtmike
I've seen a lot more interest (i.e., people asking me about them) from less experienced cyclists. The disc brake format is a far more familiar mechanism in general and people are used to them being the preferred solution in other modes of transportation.

The more experienced cyclists I know generally are already familiar with them from their mountain bikes and already have a fair understanding of the tradeoffs between rim and disc brakes. And some of them have opted for discs on their new road bikes, mostly for wet weather riding.
Yeah, I think that's right. I've seen them on a lot of hybrids too. That seems where a lot of the impetus came from was the surge of hybrid sales with disc brakes?

I like discs on my mountain bike and on my winter commuter, they make a ton of sense in that context. I just don't need them on my road bike. I also don't ride my road bike in the rain unless I get caught out in the rain and I use aluminum rims.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:32 AM
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Everyone is ignoring the simple fact that disc brakes allow you to run any size tire. One of the most frequent complaints around here is, "Why can't my frame fit a 28+ mm tire?" Guess what, many of the hated disc brake models can fit 30mm tires with room to spare.

The reason you don't see V-brakes more commonly on road bikes is that dual pivot calipers are better.

For middle-aged male riders, riding in fair weather, on aluminum rims, disc brakes offer marginal advantage. For older riders or female riders, hydraulic discs allow for the same braking with lower grip strength. If you ride carbon rims, discs solve all the carbon/epoxy thermal issues.

Eventually, the road market will go the same route as the MTB market. Rim brakes will be reserved for time-trial and extreme aero bikes, and everything else will be discs. That will probably take 10 years or so, but its definitely going that way.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by svtmike
Can you tell us about all of the terrible wrecks and injuries that they caused?
Well, he touched the brakes on lap one and we all died in the massive fireball that ensued. I'm typing this from the afterlife.

Originally Posted by tekhna
It's a chicken and the egg problem, as far as I can tell. I've been around this forum for a while and I don't recall many wanting disc brakes on their road bike until the industry started making them. But maybe that's just confirmation bias on my part and there has been a grassroots desire for disc brakes that I totally missed.

I would contend that by and large the bike industry drives consumer tastes rather than consumer taste driving the bike industry. But I'll readily admit that I could be wrong.
Step outside of the 41 and 41-type circles, and there have been people putting disc brakes on road, cross and touring bikes for a good decade plus, long before the available parts were anywhere near as good as they are now. Avid BB7 Road mechanical discs were about the only option that didn't totally suck.

There's always a push-pull in product development and trends between customers and industry. It's not a bad thing and it's completely normal. The Henry Ford quote about how people wanted a better horse-drawn carriage, or the Steve Jobs quote about how consumers don't know what they want, are perfect examples. Consumers are not the experts on technological development! It's ridiculous to think that all technological developments should only happen because consumers are "demanding" it. How do consumers demand something they can't buy? That they aren't familiar with? Obviously disc brakes are not the Model T, or the iPhone. They aren't going to change our technological and social landscape. But the insistence that they're just a fad is wishful thinking driven by emotion, not rationality. The tech is better, period, and doesn't add substantially to the cost of bikes being equipped with it. That combination of better and good prices tends to win, historically. If you don't think the tech is better, I'm sorry but you're mistaken and no amount of tedious argumentation is going to change reality. There's no need to rush into anything, I'm at least one new bike away from making the switch myself. But this one is going to stick. Don't panic; you can still buy downtube shifters and fixed gears. You'll be able to stick with calipers if you want.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by grolby
Well, he touched the brakes on lap one and we all died in the massive fireball that ensued. I'm typing this from the afterlife.



Step outside of the 41 and 41-type circles, and there have been people putting disc brakes on road, cross and touring bikes for a good decade plus, long before the available parts were anywhere near as good as they are now. Avid BB7 Road mechanical discs were about the only option that didn't totally suck.

There's always a push-pull in product development and trends between customers and industry. It's not a bad thing and it's completely normal. The Henry Ford quote about how people wanted a better horse-drawn carriage, or the Steve Jobs quote about how consumers don't know what they want, are perfect examples. Consumers are not the experts on technological development! It's ridiculous to think that all technological developments should only happen because consumers are "demanding" it. How do consumers demand something they can't buy? That they aren't familiar with? Obviously disc brakes are not the Model T, or the iPhone. They aren't going to change our technological and social landscape. But the insistence that they're just a fad is wishful thinking driven by emotion, not rationality. The tech is better, period, and doesn't add substantially to the cost of bikes being equipped with it. That combination of better and good prices tends to win, historically. If you don't think the tech is better, I'm sorry but you're mistaken and no amount of tedious argumentation is going to change reality. There's no need to rush into anything, I'm at least one new bike away from making the switch myself. But this one is going to stick. Don't panic; you can still buy downtube shifters and fixed gears. You'll be able to stick with calipers if you want.
I looooove this argument. Think one "advance" is superfluous and you think they all are. It's endearing, somehow.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:47 AM
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I just hate how they look, so much. Especially that front feeder line going all the way from lever to hub - with the high tech solution of a zip tie to keep it in place, in some cases, apparently.

A nicely designed rim brake is a beautiful piece of simple machinery which is more than adequate for most people most of the time. If middle aged wannabe's with more money than skill want them for their thrice weekly 14mph ride on flat ground out in the sun, then they should be able to have them, of course. But if down the road it becomes at all inconvenient for the non-posers to keep going with calipers, then that's not a good thing.

Really hoping it will not come to the point where it's like downtube / brifters are today. I guess it's possible - that in 5 years the average new cyclist will walk into the local shops and have no new bike options that are sans discs.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by gsa103
Eventually, the road market will go the same route as the MTB market. Rim brakes will be reserved for time-trial and extreme aero bikes, and everything else will be discs. That will probably take 10 years or so, but its definitely going that way.
Who will buy them? There are a wave of ex-MTB riders that have entered road riding over the last 5 years. These folks naively buy stuff that they expected on their MTB, such as sloping top tubes and disk brakes. But these are inappropriate on a road bike.

But eventually, as these riders become more experienced, they will transition to real road bikes, and shed the boat-anchor heavy disks that rub, squeal, cause pack-ride pile-ups, and wheel lock-up. And are fundamentally unnecessary.

Hysterical bike industry shilling can only go so far.
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