Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

New sport bike-why would I even want disk brakes?

Notices
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

New sport bike-why would I even want disk brakes?

Old 01-03-20, 12:35 PM
  #101  
silverado8405
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 86

Bikes: 2007 Trek 820, 2014 Fuji Gran Fondo 2.1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
From what I can tell, the tallest thing in Wisconsin is ~400' so you must both get out of town a lot, and ride your breaks (sic) to the extreme.
Rib Mountain is 724’ according to the strava segment. Not huge but taller than ~400’.
silverado8405 is offline  
Old 01-03-20, 12:36 PM
  #102  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,835
Mentioned: 80 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17343 Post(s)
Liked 9,266 Times in 5,218 Posts
We need to make cycling great again by getting rid of disc brakes.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 01-03-20, 12:56 PM
  #103  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 6,015
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1813 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 919 Times in 567 Posts
Originally Posted by silverado8405 View Post
Rib Mountain is 724’ according to the strava segment. Not huge but taller than ~400’.

OK, that's good for wearing out one set of pads...
woodcraft is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 07:36 AM
  #104  
firebird854
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 535

Bikes: 2016 Specialized Tarmac Expert

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 246 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 43 Posts
Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
OK, that's good for wearing out one set of pads...
I was simply speaking from experience in the area of maintenance as I have both hydraulic disc brakes and rim brakes on two different road bikes that have been ridden for a year each in the same, not particularly hilly, location. Of the two, the hydraulic disc brakes have needed 0 maintenance whatsoever and perform perfectly in all conditions with carbon rims, the same cannot be said for its rim-brake counterpart.

Also, if I decide to ride a bit away from Lake Michigan, there're plenty of hills taller than 400', Blue Mounds (raced as the national road race a decade or so ago), Cascade, (as noted, Rib Mountian) etc. The Madison Ironman is known as being a hilly bike course for a reason, and it is host to events like Horribly Hilly Hundreds which sports around 12,000' of climbing in just over 100 miles.

IMO the only reason to stick with rim brakes is that they are cheaper and in most cases slightly lighter, but maintenance and performance? Naaa
firebird854 is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 08:40 AM
  #105  
cat0020
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 1,478

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 431 Post(s)
Liked 312 Times in 212 Posts
Honestly, if those steep hills are part of my cycling every single day/week.. I'd use disc brakes, too.
But in reality, does anyone like to ride up or down steep hills every single day?
cat0020 is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 09:22 AM
  #106  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 3,711

Bikes: https://stinkston.blogspot.com/p/my-bikes.html

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1752 Post(s)
Liked 468 Times in 299 Posts
I'm in Great Lakes Randonneurs and have ridden all around Illinois and Wisconsin with both rim and disk brakes in all types of weather including the bleeding 600k on rim brakes last summer with over 20k' and about 12 hours of pouring rain. While there are few big-ish hills like Blue Mound mentioned above with curvy descents, the vast majority of hills in the region are short, steep, straight down-and-up that don't really require any braking at all. For me personally, there is no advantage to disk brakes riding around here. I also rode the Double Fudge Cookie Fondo earlier this year on rim brakes and that was totally fine too, but if I were getting a new race bike, it would almost certainly have hydraulic disks.
kingston is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 09:38 AM
  #107  
DaveSSS 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 6,726

Bikes: Two Cinelli superstar disc with SRAM Force AXS

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 820 Post(s)
Liked 398 Times in 324 Posts
Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
Honestly, if those steep hills are part of my cycling every single day/week.. I'd use disc brakes, too.
But in reality, does anyone like to ride up or down steep hills every single day?
In some areas, there's no other choice, but to ride at least a few steep hills. Unless those hills end at a stop sign or include tight turns, brakes don't even come into play. Its rare when I don't hit 50 mph on a descent, but i don't have to brake suddenly from that speed. Some posters claiming to burn up brake shoes didn't mention their weight. I never weigh over 145 and I use aluminum rims. I used to climb and descend a twisting 10 mile climb on every ride, 100 rides a year and never had any problem with rim or brake pad wear. Back then, I stayed in the 135-140 weight range.

I read a whole lot of complaints from disc users - like noise and frequent readjustment. Some ride in large groups and claim that the combined squealing of many bikes braking at the same time can be outrageous.

If I used carbon fiber rims, I wouldn't use rim brakes either. The combination seems kind of stupid.
DaveSSS is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 09:50 AM
  #108  
UmneyDurak
RacingBear
 
UmneyDurak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NorCal
Posts: 9,052
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 279 Post(s)
Liked 67 Times in 35 Posts
Only time in races I thought "I want disk brakes" is on technical mountain descents. For example Mt. Hamilton in California. I rarely do those, because I can't climb worth a damn. lol
That being said for training I do go in to the Santa Cruz "mountains", and when conditions are less then ideal it would be nice to have that consistent braking performance. I went for a ride with teammate last weekend who just got disk brakes. Usually I am faster on descents then him, this time around he was able to keep up easily. It was also wet, and with carbon rims I had to shift my braking point by at least 30-40ft. He could just carry more speed, more confidently and brake later.

If I were getting a new bike I would just go with disk brakes. It doesn't affect racing negatively, well there is a question of wheel hot swapping and brakes rubbing, and useful in training. Even with zwift longer rides on weekends I do outside.
UmneyDurak is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 10:32 AM
  #109  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,905
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4693 Post(s)
Liked 1,840 Times in 986 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I
I read a whole lot of complaints from disc users - like noise and frequent readjustment. Some ride in large groups and claim that the combined squealing of many bikes braking at the same time can be outrageous.
Hydraulic discs rarely need adjustment, unless you are swapping wheelsets that aren't setup for that bike. Pad material makes a big difference with noise. Resin pads are usually silent, unless they get wet. On a wet group ride, that can be a benefit. It lets you know that others are braking, without saying a word.
noodle soup is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 10:36 AM
  #110  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 19,336
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4463 Post(s)
Liked 3,857 Times in 2,082 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Is the severe rim wear due to riding in the wet? My 7 years of continuous riding in the Colorado mountains never caused any significant rim wear, but I never ride in the wet. I've never worn out a pair of rim brake pads either.
I lived in the local mountains for 4 years and I rode my rim braked mtb in snow and wet quite a bit. I went through a few front rims due to the grit/sand grinding them down. Snow builds up on the top of the pads and melts from the brake heat and brings the sand with it to the rims. The thump would indicate a low spot in the rim. I used to keep a supply of pads at home,
Did a long descent with lots of water crossings and the pads were gone at the bottom, the lever was at the bars.
Did a mountain century in hard rain on my CAAD5 and the thick, black slurry from the rims was all over everything, including me.
I go through a set of rear pads on my rim brake road bike about every 6-8000 miles in the dry. I weigh 200 pounds, or so.
I was in the mountains with a friend when the brake track blew off his front rim, I've seen that happen a couple times.
I tried those peel-and-stick patches and had them melt and come off during hard braking where the rim got so hot I had to let it cool before trying to fix the flat.
big john is online now  
Old 01-06-20, 10:39 AM
  #111  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 19,336
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4463 Post(s)
Liked 3,857 Times in 2,082 Posts
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Hydraulic discs rarely need adjustment, unless you are swapping wheelsets that aren't setup for that bike. Pad material makes a big difference with noise. Resin pads are usually silent, unless they get wet. On a wet group ride, that can be a benefit. It lets you know that others are braking, without saying a word.
I have 2 mtbs with hydraulic discs. One needs adjusting when I take off the wheel or even look at it funny, its Avid Juicy, and it also gets noisy when wet. The other is Shimano and has never needed anything except pads in 2 years.

Last edited by big john; 01-06-20 at 01:36 PM.
big john is online now  
Likes For big john:
Old 01-06-20, 10:47 AM
  #112  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,905
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4693 Post(s)
Liked 1,840 Times in 986 Posts
Originally Posted by big john View Post
I have 2 mtbs with hydraulic discs. One needs adjusting when I take of the wheel of even look at it funny, its Avid Juicy, and it also gets noisy when wet. The other is Shimano and has never needed anything except pads in 2 years.
I'd get banned from this forum, if I ever went into how much I hate Avid hydraulic discs..
noodle soup is offline  
Likes For noodle soup:
Old 01-06-20, 11:17 AM
  #113  
Cypress
Globo Gym lifetime member
 
Cypress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 5,204

Bikes: Fast ones

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 410 Post(s)
Liked 612 Times in 305 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Some posters claiming to burn up brake shoes didn't mention their weight.
164 pounds. I go through pads and rims because if I climb something, you better believe I'll get the most out of the downhill.

Here are two examples of downhills that I hold KOM's on. Both KOM's were set on my gravel bike with discs and gravel tires, even though they are both smooth paved roads. I have ridden them enough to be totally familiar with the best lines, so the only difference was bike choice. The rim brakes simply cannot cope with the force that I was putting into them, so speeds had to stay lower so the bike wouldn't "run away" and send me flying off of a switchback or onto HWY 101 at 40+.

This one requires braking from 40 mph to 20 mph on a -13% grade for the switchback, then 43 to 10 mph on a -8% grade.


This one is so steep that the only time I could let it run out was the top bit before the first corner, in between a few corners in the middle, and then at the very bottom. I was alternating between dragging brakes and full-on rear-wheel-hovering braking. By the time I got to the bottom, the discs sounded like the T-Rex from Jurassic Park. The rim brakes made it so I couldn't ever let the bike run between corners, and had to alternate which wheel (front or rear) I was overheating based on the horrible grinding noise it started making.

__________________
Cypress is offline  
Likes For Cypress:
Old 01-06-20, 11:27 AM
  #114  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 19,336
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4463 Post(s)
Liked 3,857 Times in 2,082 Posts
It's scary when rim brakes start making noise.
big john is online now  
Likes For big john:
Old 01-06-20, 11:35 AM
  #115  
Cypress
Globo Gym lifetime member
 
Cypress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 5,204

Bikes: Fast ones

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 410 Post(s)
Liked 612 Times in 305 Posts
Originally Posted by big john View Post
It's scary when rim brakes start making noise.
Agreed. I usually take it to mean "something is changing in a system where changes are unwanted."
__________________
Cypress is offline  
Likes For Cypress:
Old 01-06-20, 11:42 AM
  #116  
eduskator
Senior Member
 
eduskator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Québec, Canada
Posts: 1,190

Bikes: TCR Pro, Revolt Adv

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 503 Post(s)
Liked 305 Times in 231 Posts
I prefer disc brakes mainly for 3 reasons:

1) Performance - simply better
2) You don't get to wear your 2000$ rims by applying pressure on its sidewall constantly. Plus, disc brake wheels looks better IMO
3) Overall look. I find it more attractive (perhaps it's a generational thing). I'd rather have the black rotors though.
eduskator is offline  
Likes For eduskator:
Old 01-06-20, 12:29 PM
  #117  
Snowflake6
Sprockets away!
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sidney, BC, Canada
Posts: 83

Bikes: 2021 Prior Prime 105 Disc, 2015 Cannondale Synapse 105 Disc, 1996 Brodie Quantum, 1984 Norco Monterey (SRAM automatix two-speed), 198x Cramerotti Campagnolo Chorus (restored)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by Miles2go View Post
Flame away, but I just wanted to register my current view on this and say that I'm out looking for some of the best race frames still available with rim braking. I'll reconsider disc brakes when I see every rider in the pro peloton running them, and even then I'll be skeptical about this.
Blackberry users adamantly refused to give them up even long after Android and iOS phones made it obvious that Blackberry was destined for the history books. There will always be early adopters (as I was, first with the iPhone and later on with disc brakes). Having ridden both, I would not go back to rim braking. Better for long downhill braking, better in rain. No more complex than rim brakes. One added benefit that I hadn't even considered when I bought them... I blew a spoke on a group ride last year. I cable-tied the spoke off to another one so it wouldn't rattle or catch on anything, and tweaked the adjacent spokes to do a rough truing of the wheel. It was good enough to ride on, and with my disc brakes, I didn't lose any braking either. Looked scary as heck to ride behind it, I was told, but I couldn't feel it and it got me home safely. On a rim brake, I would have needed to release the cable on the brake, seriously affecting safety.

When I joined the riding group i'm in now, I was the first with disc brakes. Now more than half of the riders are on disc. Times are a-changin' and you can decide whether you want to keep up or fall behind. Rest assured, your choice of braking systems will not affect your place on the leaderboard. The pluses and minuses of each system when compared are nearly a wash.
Snowflake6 is offline  
Likes For Snowflake6:
Old 01-06-20, 12:53 PM
  #118  
firebird854
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 535

Bikes: 2016 Specialized Tarmac Expert

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 246 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 43 Posts
Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I'm in Great Lakes Randonneurs and have ridden all around Illinois and Wisconsin with both rim and disk brakes in all types of weather including the bleeding 600k on rim brakes last summer with over 20k' and about 12 hours of pouring rain. While there are few big-ish hills like Blue Mound mentioned above with curvy descents, the vast majority of hills in the region are short, steep, straight down-and-up that don't really require any braking at all. For me personally, there is no advantage to disk brakes riding around here. I also rode the Double Fudge Cookie Fondo earlier this year on rim brakes and that was totally fine too, but if I were getting a new race bike, it would almost certainly have hydraulic disks.
Oh I wasn't making the point that you need disc brakes in Wisconsin. I was simply describing the environment in which I rode my rim brake-equipped bike and disc brake-equipped bike in 2018 and 2019 respectively. I then went on to make the point that I needed multiple replacements and adjustments for Rim-Brake and essentially no maintenance for Disc-Brake.

On a different topic though, the Double Fudge Cooke Fondo was super fun! Except for the descents, I was death-gripping those brakes every time... ah well. I probably saw you out there somewhere
firebird854 is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 01:05 PM
  #119  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 3,711

Bikes: https://stinkston.blogspot.com/p/my-bikes.html

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1752 Post(s)
Liked 468 Times in 299 Posts
Originally Posted by firebird854 View Post
Oh I wasn't making the point that you need disc brakes in Wisconsin. I was simply describing the environment in which I rode my rim brake-equipped bike and disc brake-equipped bike in 2018 and 2019 respectively. I then went on to make the point that I needed multiple replacements and adjustments for Rim-Brake and essentially no maintenance for Disc-Brake.

On a different topic though, the Double Fudge Cooke Fondo was super fun! Except for the descents, I was death-gripping those brakes every time... ah well. I probably saw you out there somewhere
I forgot. You're this guy. That's how I found out about the cookie fondo in the first place! One of the highlights of my season. You may have seen me in the first couple of miles. I got dropped by the fast guys on the first climb. Descending wasn't my problem .
kingston is offline  
Likes For kingston:
Old 01-06-20, 04:03 PM
  #120  
DaveSSS 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 6,726

Bikes: Two Cinelli superstar disc with SRAM Force AXS

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 820 Post(s)
Liked 398 Times in 324 Posts
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Hydraulic discs rarely need adjustment, unless you are swapping wheelsets that aren't setup for that bike. Pad material makes a big difference with noise. Resin pads are usually silent, unless they get wet. On a wet group ride, that can be a benefit. It lets you know that others are braking, without saying a word.
There are plenty of posts on the weight weenies forum from users who regularly fight noise problems and warped rotors. They also seems to change pads far more often than I would ever need to change rim brake pads. One person built up his first disc brake bike for use in wet UK weather and had all sorts of complaints. One person saying the hydraulic discs are trouble free doesn't jive with the many problem reports.

https://weightweenies.starbike.com/f...39211#p1539211

https://weightweenies.starbike.com/f...rakes#p1536256
https://weightweenies.starbike.com/f...+or+rim+brakes

Last edited by DaveSSS; 01-06-20 at 04:10 PM.
DaveSSS is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 05:29 PM
  #121  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 38,271

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 352 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19725 Post(s)
Liked 8,233 Times in 4,145 Posts
Yeah, no disc users are actually happy with their experience. Everybody knows that people are much more likely to go out of their way to express satisfaction rather than to vent frustrations.
WhyFi is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 05:41 PM
  #122  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,905
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4693 Post(s)
Liked 1,840 Times in 986 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Yeah, no disc users are actually happy with their experience. Everybody knows that people are much more likely to go out of their way to express satisfaction rather than to vent frustrations.
I wonder if he actually read through the WW threads he linked. I didn’t have time to read them all, but from what I read, they weren’t all slamming hydraulic discs. rain seems to be a common factor in the noise complaints.

I think I mentioned that rain can cause noise when braking. I’m okay with that.
noodle soup is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 07:00 PM
  #123  
DaveSSS 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 6,726

Bikes: Two Cinelli superstar disc with SRAM Force AXS

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 820 Post(s)
Liked 398 Times in 324 Posts
I've done extensive reading of the threads I've posted, but some do get too long to read every single post. The point is that not everyone using disc brakes is happy with them. Many bikes have no other option, so you just have to deal with them. I may have them someday, but I have no need for them, or the greater cost and weight that comes with them.

Some posts mention warping rotors easily.
DaveSSS is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 07:54 PM
  #124  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,905
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4693 Post(s)
Liked 1,840 Times in 986 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I've done extensive reading of the threads I've posted, but some do get too long to read every single post. The point is that not everyone using disc brakes is happy with them. Many bikes have no other option, so you just have to deal with them. I may have them someday, but I have no need for them, or the greater cost and weight that comes with them.

Some posts mention warping rotors easily.
Discs aren't for everyone, yet.

I've had some discs warp(temporarily) under extreme conditions, but rim brakes + those conditions would have put me off the road(and seriously injured).

The weight difference? You're kidding, right?
noodle soup is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 08:38 PM
  #125  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,195

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2002 Post(s)
Liked 3,198 Times in 1,319 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
The point is that not everyone using disc brakes is happy with them.
A cycling product with less than 100% approval? Shocking.
tomato coupe is offline  
Likes For tomato coupe:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.