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Caliper brake, carbon wheel lifespan

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Caliper brake, carbon wheel lifespan

Old 08-01-19, 08:15 PM
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Princess_Allez
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Caliper brake, carbon wheel lifespan

I'm curious to know the lifespan that people are getting out of them. What wheelset are you using? Which brake pad? How many sets of pads have you gone thru? Approximately how many miles are on them?

I'm thinking about adding n+1 to my stable. I currently just began using a set of Mavic cf rims on my caliper brake bike. I'm debating if my next bike should be rim or disc, with keeping in mind that I will upgrade the wheels to cf at some point.

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Old 08-01-19, 10:38 PM
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If you want carbon wheels and buy a new bike and DON'T get disks... you're nuts. Some companies (november for one) don't even make rim brake carbon wheels anymore.

I have one set of rim brake carbon wheels, and I swap them in and out all the time so I don't know how many miles I have on them ... probably between 5 and 10k. I use swisstop black prince instead of the reynolds blue ice that I'm supposed to use. They're generally pretty quiet with good dry weather braking performance but I chew through pads pretty fast (relative to Al wheels)
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Old 08-01-19, 10:39 PM
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I have a set of Reynolds 32 clincher wheels with about 5000 miles on them. I use the blue pads also made by Reynolds. I am on my second set of pads, just changed them last month.
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Old 08-01-19, 10:55 PM
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If you're going N+1, just get a bike with discs. There is no "rim vs. disc" argument once the rim is carbon. The braking performance is nearly incomparable.
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Old 08-02-19, 02:31 AM
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Rims? Using Fast Forward, Vision, and (good) Chinese carbon custom builds. Blue Reynolds and Swiss Stop pads have worked well.

If you want the big performance gain that comes with lower rotating rim mass, then you'll essentially have to commit to carbon tubulars.

The clincher rim profile is so suboptimal relative to tubular rims, you've throwing wasted money at this. Tubular rims are inherently lighter and stronger than clinchers, and safer, and conduct heat better.

The punch line to this wheel story is that because clincher rims are do poor at conducting (braking) heat, you need to add couple of pounds of dead weight (disks) to take the braking duties off of the rims.

Carbon tubulars avoid these issues. If you don't really need the performance gains here, and cannot reasonably commit to gluing tubulars, then I recommend going back to alu clinchers.
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Old 08-02-19, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Rims? Using Fast Forward, Vision, and (good) Chinese carbon custom builds. Blue Reynolds and Swiss Stop pads have worked well.

If you want the big performance gain that comes with lower rotating rim mass, then you'll essentially have to commit to carbon tubulars.

The clincher rim profile is so suboptimal relative to tubular rims, you've throwing wasted money at this. Tubular rims are inherently lighter and stronger than clinchers, and safer, and conduct heat better.

The punch line to this wheel story is that because clincher rims are do poor at conducting (braking) heat, you need to add couple of pounds of dead weight (disks) to take the braking duties off of the rims.

Carbon tubulars avoid these issues. If you don't really need the performance gains here, and cannot reasonably commit to gluing tubulars, then I recommend going back to alu clinchers.
I may have misunderstood you but rim brake heat is rim brake heat, clincher or tubular. You can roll a tubie right off the rim during prolonged braking that increases heat. I agree with the others, if you absolutely want full carbon rims and you're in the market for a new bike, disc brakes and thru axles is the only way to go in my opinion.
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Old 08-02-19, 04:30 AM
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The 3M tape that Ben Cawell recommends is meant to have higher heat tolerance and a stronger bond than glue... Looking forward to mounting my tyres in a way that doesn't totally blow chunks. Get em straight, then pull out the backing tape.

Can't do that with glue...
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Old 08-02-19, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
I may have misunderstood you but rim brake heat is rim brake heat, clincher or tubular. You can roll a tubie right off the rim during prolonged braking that increases heat. I agree with the others, if you absolutely want full carbon rims and you're in the market for a new bike, disc brakes and thru axles is the only way to go in my opinion.
The difference is that with a carbon clincher, the rim wall at the brake track is thin and the tire is on the other side. It's much, much, much less common now, but in the early days of carbon clinchers, it was not uncommon for carbon clincher rims to melt from prolonged braking.

On a tubular, the rim wall at the brake track is thicker and the heat has more room to dissipate through the rim as the tire sits on top of the rim, so there were not the same issues with extensive braking.
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Old 08-02-19, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
The 3M tape that Ben Cawell recommends is meant to have higher heat tolerance and a stronger bond than glue... Looking forward to mounting my tyres in a way that doesn't totally blow chunks. Get em straight, then pull out the backing tape.

Can't do that with glue...
Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
The difference is that with a carbon clincher, the rim wall at the brake track is thin and the tire is on the other side. It's much, much, much less common now, but in the early days of carbon clinchers, it was not uncommon for carbon clincher rims to melt from prolonged braking.

On a tubular, the rim wall at the brake track is thicker and the heat has more room to dissipate through the rim as the tire sits on top of the rim, so there were not the same issues with extensive braking.
I understand what each of you are saying. That said, a rim brake is a rim brake and I genuinely doubt there's an appreciable difference between rim heat generated on a tubular rim vs a clincher rim in the same conditions, especially carbon. As far as tape vs glue, it's still an adhesive and most adhesives (in this instance) will react to heat. Granted, this is only an opinion based on running tubies from a racing career long ago and I'm certainly not prepared to go to MIT, get a degree and argue it about for the world internet title I've been wrong so many times I even argue with myself.

Bottom line, in my opinion, if a guy were buying a new road bike and he wanted to run carbon rims he'd be better served buying a bike with disc brakes and thru axles. Run bigger (light tires) braking independent of rim surface that performs way better than any rim brake and the extra weight of the disc is in the center of the wheel, not on the outside where wheel weight matters most. Add in that disc rims weigh less and if your determined to get the last bit of performance make them tubular and have it all. I ride old Italian steel, some of which have only 6 speed freewheels; nobody can accuse me of being a techno geek. That said, I have to admit the advantages of a disc brake system. In my mind, it's as significant as STI or Ergopower shifters.

Last edited by nomadmax; 08-02-19 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 08-02-19, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Rims? Using Fast Forward, Vision, and (good) Chinese carbon custom builds. Blue Reynolds and Swiss Stop pads have worked well.

If you want the big performance gain that comes with lower rotating rim mass, then you'll essentially have to commit to carbon tubulars.

The clincher rim profile is so suboptimal relative to tubular rims, you've throwing wasted money at this. Tubular rims are inherently lighter and stronger than clinchers, and safer, and conduct heat better.

The punch line to this wheel story is that because clincher rims are do poor at conducting (braking) heat, you need to add couple of pounds of dead weight (disks) to take the braking duties off of the rims.
The real total weight difference is 300-500g.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/compare/

Yes disc brake bikes are heavier, but braking performance is far superior.
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Old 08-02-19, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Yes disc brake bikes are heavier, but braking performance is far superior.
When they work like they should... More has to go right for that. And the performance advantage really only applies in the wet... I'd say the biggest advantage is no rim wear.

But ugly, a bit heavy, complicated and potentially finicky.

...I have a corollary for Godwin's law - every thread on a bike forum eventually becomes about discs if it goes on long enough
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Old 08-02-19, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Bottom line, in my opinion, if a guy were buying a new road bike and he wanted to run carbon rims he'd be better served buying a bike with disc brakes and thru axles.
I agree with this entirely.

My wife will need a new road bike soon, and I've told her, she is getting disc brakes. Whether she also gets a set of carbon wheels with it is another discussion.
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Old 08-02-19, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post

...I have a corollary for Godwin's law - every thread on a bike forum eventually becomes about discs if it goes on long enough
The OP made it about discs in his first post.

Discs perform better in dry conditions too.
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Old 08-02-19, 08:05 AM
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Yeah, realised I had my threads mixed up as soon as I clicked out : /
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Old 08-02-19, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
When they work like they should... More has to go right for that. And the performance advantage really only applies in the wet... I'd say the biggest advantage is no rim wear.

But ugly, a bit heavy, complicated and potentially finicky.

...I have a corollary for Godwin's law - every thread on a bike forum eventually becomes about discs if it goes on long enough
The biggest performance advantage is superior modulation, another big one is heat management, not having to worry about blowing your tire. But yeah wet weather braking is another one too.
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Old 08-02-19, 04:13 PM
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I appreciate all the responses. I'm looking at a set of Mavic Comete UST wheels. That means I won't have to worry about having an inner tube explode. I also don't want to learn/deal with gluing tubulars. I'm sold on the tubless tech. I'm currently enamored with my Mavic Cosmic Pro UST wheels.

After doing a bit of research, it seems that modern cf caliper-brake rims use high Tg resins to help raise the melting point (mp). It also appears that as long as you don't reach that mp temp, and the brake track doesn't show signs of wear, that the wheels could last an extremely long time- to the detriment of fast wearing brake pads.

I'm a bit turned off from going disc mainly due to the added amount of servicing it requires, relative to rim brakes. I already bleed my car and my motorcycle. I don't want to add a bicycle to that list. It also doesn't seem necessary to me to need better braking than what rim brakes provide. I don't doubt it has better modulation and bite, but it also comes at the cost of maintenance.

I'm still undecided, but rim brake seems to be an option still. I just wanted to hear of any extremely positive or negative reviews of cf rim brake wheels exploding or lasting 10 years with tens of thousands of miles.

Last edited by Princess_Allez; 08-02-19 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 08-02-19, 04:26 PM
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It comes down to the type of riding you do and the weather you do it in.
If you ride in the rain often and use your brakes a lot I would stay away from rim brakes on carbon.
Or you might do mostly solo rides in the country and only touch your brakes when you pull into the cafe!
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Old 08-02-19, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Princess_Allez View Post
I'm still undecided, but rim brake seems to be an option still. I just wanted to hear of any extremely positive or negative reviews of cf rim brake wheels exploding or lasting 10 years with tens of thousands of miles.
I personally think it only makes sense to use carbon rims with disc brakes, but I live in Seattle. It sounds like you've put a lot of thought into this and understand everything involved in the decision. I'm sure you'll make the right one.
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Old 08-02-19, 04:33 PM
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Just a quick note on disc brake maintenance: I flush and fill my brakes every 5,000 miles or so. Takes about 20 minutes. I do nothing else to them the rest of the year, other than take a peek at the pad thickness every couple of months.
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Old 08-02-19, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Princess_Allez View Post
I'm a bit turned off from going disc mainly due to the added amount of servicing it requires, relative to rim brakes. I already bleed my car and my motorcycle. I don't want to add a bicycle to that list. It also doesn't seem necessary to me to need better braking than what rim brakes provide. I don't doubt it has better modulation and bite, but it also comes at the cost of maintenance.
My discs have required far less maintenance. How often do you think that you're going to need to bleed your brakes? Unless you live in some hellish, post-apocalyptic landscape, it should be tens of thousands of miles.
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Old 08-02-19, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
My discs have required far less maintenance. How often do you think that you're going to need to bleed your brakes? Unless you live in some hellish, post-apocalyptic landscape, it should be tens of thousands of miles.
I usually do a quick bleed annually, and a full flush every other year. I use Shimano resin pads, so pads need to be replaced annually(10k miles), but itís a 5 minute job to replace pads.
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Old 08-02-19, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Just a quick note on disc brake maintenance: I flush and fill my brakes every 5,000 miles or so. Takes about 20 minutes. I do nothing else to them the rest of the year, other than take a peek at the pad thickness every couple of months.
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
My discs have required far less maintenance. How often do you think that you're going to need to bleed your brakes? Unless you live in some hellish, post-apocalyptic landscape, it should be tens of thousands of miles.
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I usually do a quick bleed annually, and a full flush every other year. I use Shimano resin pads, so pads need to be replaced annually(10k miles), but itís a 5 minute job to replace pads.
I hadn't even researched the service intervals for disc brakes. That's actually not bad. Any idea how many miles people are getting out of their rotors and discs? If I go disc, it would be shimano 105 hydraulic.

I live/ride in Socal. I don't see myself riding in the rain, maybe after a light shower, but I'm more of a fair weather rider. I'm looking at a Canyon Aeroad or Ultimate as my n+1. I'm still unsure which one would be best. I currently ride an Allez Sprint, which is probably the worst beginner bike, but coming from a sport car/bike background I wanted a race bike. The second bike would serve as my training bike that I'd put most of my miles on.
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Old 08-02-19, 08:22 PM
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I'm in SoCal as well, and am apparently easy on brakes-- my current IceTech rotors have over 15,000 miles on them.

My fluid flush is annual regardless of mileage because my brakes are SRAM, which use DOT fluid. Conventional brake fluid is hygroscopic, so it absorbs water where mineral oil does not. The fluid is definitely a different color when I flush it out.
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Old 08-03-19, 07:52 AM
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I have discs on my gravel bike and rim brakes on my dedicated road bike with carbon clinchers (Vision Metron 40 SL TLR). Both work great but I only use the road bike in dry conditions. That being said, I would not consider a new bike without discs because despite the hundreds of threads arguing about the pros and cons of each system, discs won.
If it makes you feel any better, I too was initially worried about disc brake maintenance but they have been completely set and forget. I have not yet have to bleed them but it looks like a really simple job. Way easier than changing the internal routed cables that I have on my road bike.
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Old 08-06-19, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Princess_Allez View Post
I appreciate all the responses. I'm looking at a set of Mavic Comete UST wheels. That means I won't have to worry about having an inner tube explode. I also don't want to learn/deal with gluing tubulars. I'm sold on the tubless tech. I'm currently enamored with my Mavic Cosmic Pro UST wheels.
I have the Cometes and am very pleased with them, primarily because of tubeless comfort and low rolling resistance (plus Iíve been saved from flats at least a couple of times that I know of). Once up to speed they hold speed nicely. As to braking, I live in FLatland... but when I have to touch my brakes stopping performance is excellent in the dry; no experience in the wet yet. You probably know all of this already since you own the Cosmic Pros.

I havenít gone disc because Iím very utilitarian and have no need for another bike when what I have meets all of my cycling needs currently. My bike isnít holding me back at all. If I were to buy another bike Iíd probably look at discs since I had them before on a hybrid and my experience with them (in Colorado) was positive.

Originally Posted by Princess_Allez View Post
I'm still undecided, but rim brake seems to be an option still. I just wanted to hear of any extremely positive or negative reviews of cf rim brake wheels exploding or lasting 10 years with tens of thousands of miles.
No 10 yr review but Iím happy with them; they are solid.
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