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Mechanical disc vs rim brake for crit racing?

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View Poll Results: What is better for Crit racing
Mechanical disc is better
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20.00%
Rim brake is better
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Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

Mechanical disc vs rim brake for crit racing?

Old 03-15-23, 06:01 PM
  #26  
Maelochs
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I would wager (not really since this is a wild guess) that the tiny weight saving gained by underbuilt calipers is not the factor determining where you finish.

Try Some Shimano Ultegra calipers (or better, but I cannot say.)Ultegra rim brakes are the best rim brakes I have used and IMO better that the Spyre C brakes on my Fuji (never did a scientific test, but ... ) I am not sure how much more an Ultegra or Dura-Acer caliper weighs compared to a Campy Athena or whatever ... but I bet it is less than the weight of the disc setup.
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Old 03-15-23, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Notice that as long as disc brakes have been around, they didn't become commonplace in pro racing until a few years ago. Pro racers don't like them, didn't want them, and they held out as long as they could. The only reason TDF bikes (for example) have disc brakes is because that's what the sponsors are selling to the consumer market.
Notice they usually do bike changes now instead of wheel changes.
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Old 03-15-23, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by maxants33 View Post
...in the twisty hairpin context of a crit circuit?
Wait, what?
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Old 03-15-23, 10:13 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I would wager (not really since this is a wild guess) that the tiny weight saving gained by underbuilt calipers is not the factor determining where you finish.

Try Some Shimano Ultegra calipers (or better, but I cannot say.)Ultegra rim brakes are the best rim brakes I have used and IMO better that the Spyre C brakes on my Fuji (never did a scientific test, but ... ) I am not sure how much more an Ultegra or Dura-Acer caliper weighs compared to a Campy Athena or whatever ... but I bet it is less than the weight of the disc setup.
Kind of on the topic of rim brake caliper quality, I have to agree and so does my casual cyclist wife. She had some sort of no-name (unbranded) calipers on her road bike. She complained about not being able to comfortably stop. She's small and a senior citizen and not the strongest person in the world. I put good quality pads on the calipers (probably Ultegra) and she still wasn't comfortable with her stopping power. I traded her with some Ultegra 6500 series calipers I had on another bike and put the new-ish pads on it and she immediately told me it was much better. Just looking at the flex when bearing down on the Ultegra vs. the NoName, it was very obvious that the Ultegra were stiffer.

I found a good price on some 105 calipers on Ebay and put them on her bike thinking that if she didn't like them as much as the Ultegra, I'd replace them and use the 105 myself. She told me, to her, they functioned the same, i.e. good and they seemed to be as stiff as the Ultegra. Anyway, the good calipers with good pads made a large difference to her, and she's not a rider who notices subtle things at all, not a bike nerd at all. I'd never used cheap calipers in the time since I became an "enthusiast" about 30 years ago: only Ultegra, Campy Record and Sram Red and Force. So I didn't realize how much difference it can make.
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Old 03-15-23, 10:42 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I would wager (not really since this is a wild guess) that the tiny weight saving gained by underbuilt calipers is not the factor determining where you finish.

Try Some Shimano Ultegra calipers (or better, but I cannot say.)Ultegra rim brakes are the best rim brakes I have used and IMO better that the Spyre C brakes on my Fuji (never did a scientific test, but ... ) I am not sure how much more an Ultegra or Dura-Acer caliper weighs compared to a Campy Athena or whatever ... but I bet it is less than the weight of the disc setup.
They weight less and provide a more progressive as well as smoother braking thanCampy Athena , Chorus and Record calipers.Dura Ace BR 7403 and Ultegra BR 6403 calipers provided phenomenal performance many years ago.
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Old 03-16-23, 12:06 AM
  #31  
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Shimano R8000 rim brakes... Installed a set of these on a road bike yesterday, and spent a couple of hours alternating between gasping and cursing on the climbs and then 100% attention span fast twisty descents. Just going up and down. Brakes were excellent. A couple of weeks ago I was on a bike with the entry-level Campagnolo Centaur 11-speed groupset. Wow - among the best braking I've ever experienced on a road bike. These are not expensive calipers, but when combined with the Centaur Powershift levers, produce braking as good as I'd ever need. Perhaps the stock Campy brake pads helped as well?

Somebody mentioned Dura-Ace 7403 dual-pivot calipers - also among the best road brakes I've used. These are heavy and over-designed, but excellent stoppers.

Nevertheless, all of these calipers feature better stopping power in the dry than the mechanical disks on my Giant 'cross bike.
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Old 03-16-23, 12:50 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Shimano R8000 rim brakes... Installed a set of these on a road bike yesterday, and spent a couple of hours alternating between gasping and cursing on the climbs and then 100% attention span fast twisty descents. Just going up and down. Brakes were excellent. A couple of weeks ago I was on a bike with the entry-level Campagnolo Centaur 11-speed groupset. Wow - among the best braking I've ever experienced on a road bike. These are not expensive calipers, but when combined with the Centaur Powershift levers, produce braking as good as I'd ever need. Perhaps the stock Campy brake pads helped as well?

Somebody mentioned Dura-Ace 7403 dual-pivot calipers - also among the best road brakes I've used. These are heavy and over-designed, but excellent stoppers.

Nevertheless, all of these calipers feature better stopping power in the dry than the mechanical disks on my Giant 'cross bike.
I did mention the BR7403,they were back in my days of road bike racing what are our road bike trainer and teacher only swore by. He also had another road bike with campy record dual pivot brakes but on those ,he judged the braking as not as progressive but too brutal.
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Old 03-16-23, 04:38 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by ummed View Post
Wait, what?
I have only ridden in London, one of the main places is Herne Hill Velodrome - the available surface area is pretty small, so it's usually very twisty, fitting as much track into a small area as possible. I have seen some videos though where the track looks pretty mellow - like Abingdon airfield, but the whole interest in crit to me is the technical aspect. I actually find when I am riding crit - it improves my MTB riding! .

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Old 03-16-23, 04:49 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Shimano R8000 rim brakes... Installed a set of these on a road bike yesterday, and spent a couple of hours alternating between gasping and cursing on the climbs and then 100% attention span fast twisty descents. Just going up and down. Brakes were excellent. A couple of weeks ago I was on a bike with the entry-level Campagnolo Centaur 11-speed groupset. Wow - among the best braking I've ever experienced on a road bike. These are not expensive calipers, but when combined with the Centaur Powershift levers, produce braking as good as I'd ever need. Perhaps the stock Campy brake pads helped as well?

Somebody mentioned Dura-Ace 7403 dual-pivot calipers - also among the best road brakes I've used. These are heavy and over-designed, but excellent stoppers.

Nevertheless, all of these calipers feature better stopping power in the dry than the mechanical disks on my Giant 'cross bike.
Interesting - I will look into higher level campy callipers. The anthena are skeleton thin and flex visibly under full lever force. I actually deformed the front calliper once, doing an emergency stop when someone walked out in front of me. The whole thing folded down just enough that the pads were touching the fork blades.

But really - its no big deal. I just wondered whether I could get better fine speed modulation with less finger pressure, like I've become accustomed to on my MTB. And only by swapping out some parts in my spares bin. Sounds like the consensus in crit is that discs don't offer any real benefit, especially not mechanical ones.

I might still go ahead and try it out for a laugh later in the season! There's not too much I've seen online pitting mechanical disks against mechanical callipers. Would make an interesting write up.
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Old 03-16-23, 06:23 AM
  #35  
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I hope I see your future opinion about crit-ing with discs vs calipers. I'd like to know how it goes for you.
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Old 03-16-23, 06:38 AM
  #36  
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Looks as if your two pages have netted two opinions from actual racers so you may have maxed out.
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Old 03-16-23, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ummed View Post
Notice they usually do bike changes now instead of wheel changes.
Sorry that I'm missing your point. What does that have to do with brakes?
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Old 03-16-23, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Sorry that I'm missing your point. What does that have to do with brakes?
Disc-braked wheels are difficult to change quickly
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Old 03-16-23, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by maxants33 View Post
Interesting - I will look into higher level campy callipers. The anthena are skeleton thin and flex visibly under full lever force. I actually deformed the front calliper once, doing an emergency stop when someone walked out in front of me. The whole thing folded down just enough that the pads were touching the fork blades.
I was riding a bike with Chorus skeleton brakes last week; dual pivot on the front and single on the rear. The braking was good, with Campy's excellent pads, but not as good as the lower-level Centaur 11 calipers. So this may be the case where the lower-tier component performs better. Or maybe it was the matching of the Centaur metal levers with the Centaur brake calipers and the Centaur pad compound. In any case, excellent braking.

I have not ridden on the new shape 12-speed era Campy brakes. Regardless: there are excellent road rim brakes out there, which is something that the trend-focused bike industry wants you to forget. Being a bike mechanic in a busy Co-op, I've dealt with the many folks that come in wanting 'disc brakes' are amazed with the transformation when we install new pads, housings and cables, and actually set things up correctly. Many new bikes purchased, even shop bikes, were never set up properly right from the start.
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Old 03-16-23, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ummed View Post
Disc-braked wheels are difficult to change quickly
I thought that has been the case for a long time - the top riders have another complete spare bike, ready for them at all times. I don't think that started with the move to disc brakes.
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Old 03-16-23, 02:42 PM
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Direct mount rim brakes sort of got passed over with the introduction of disks. I have DM DA brakes and they are very good. Pad quality for your conditions are also very important for good braking and that applies to whatever you use.
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Old 03-16-23, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
I thought that has been the case for a long time - the top riders have another complete spare bike, ready for them at all times. I don't think that started with the move to disc brakes.
it pretty much did. When everyone was on rim brakes, even at the Pro tour level it was more common to do a wheel change for a flat than a bike swap.
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Old 03-16-23, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
I was riding a bike with Chorus skeleton brakes last week; dual pivot on the front and single on the rear. The braking was good, with Campy's excellent pads, but not as good as the lower-level Centaur 11 calipers. So this may be the case where the lower-tier component performs better. Or maybe it was the matching of the Centaur metal levers with the Centaur brake calipers and the Centaur pad compound. In any case, excellent braking.

I have not ridden on the new shape 12-speed era Campy brakes. Regardless: there are excellent road rim brakes out there, which is something that the trend-focused bike industry wants you to forget. Being a bike mechanic in a busy Co-op, I've dealt with the many folks that come in wanting 'disc brakes' are amazed with the transformation when we install new pads, housings and cables, and actually set things up correctly. Many new bikes purchased, even shop bikes, were never set up properly right from the start.
Dual Pivot Braking offer much better braking than Single Pivot Braking,older non skeleton Dual Pivot Brakes whether Record, Chorus,Daytona, Athena offered and offer phenomenal power . Once you have tried Dual Pivot Braking you never go back to Single Pivot Braking. Shimano introduced Dual Pivot Braking in 1990-1991 with Dura Ace 7403.I haven't used BR 9000 but I rode a bike with upgraded with DA9100 and the BR9100 were very impressive. Very high end brake calipers can be as good as if not better than disc brakes.
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Old 03-16-23, 05:59 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
I thought that has been the case for a long time - the top riders have another complete spare bike, ready for them at all times. I don't think that started with the move to disc brakes.
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
it pretty much did. When everyone was on rim brakes, even at the Pro tour level it was more common to do a wheel change for a flat than a bike swap.
Yeah. Bike swaps happened but it was usually if there was a larger problem. At some point it started to become fashionable to swap bikes out for different purposes... ride the aero bike on the flats and then swap to the climbing bike for the HC finish. But the current trend towards bike swaps for the majority of the time is because of discs for sure.
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Old 03-16-23, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by popeye View Post
Direct mount rim brakes sort of got passed over with the introduction of disks. I have DM DA brakes and they are very good. Pad quality for your conditions are also very important for good braking and that applies to whatever you use.
I just got direct mount eeBrakes, and they are amazingly good. Although to be fair I'm comparing to brakes that were fairly widely criticized...
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Old 03-16-23, 11:02 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
I thought that has been the case for a long time - the top riders have another complete spare bike, ready for them at all times. I don't think that started with the move to disc brakes.
That may be true, but the racing thatís the subject of this thread is local criteriums, not UCI grand tours. We still have wheel pits near start/finish, and you see riders needing to swap wheels if they flat. Iíve had to do it. Hopefully youíll have an official who knows how to time your release back into the race. And then make sure you donít forget to go retrieve your pit wheels before you drive home. (Which Iíve done.)
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Old 03-17-23, 08:17 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by ummed View Post
Yeah. Bike swaps happened but it was usually if there was a larger problem. At some point it started to become fashionable to swap bikes out for different purposes... ride the aero bike on the flats and then swap to the climbing bike for the HC finish. But the current trend towards bike swaps for the majority of the time is because of discs for sure.

https://www.cyclingtips.com/2019/07/...-change-wheel/

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Old 03-17-23, 09:33 AM
  #48  
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Rim Brakes.
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Old 03-18-23, 01:10 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by ummed View Post
I didn't read the thread, but if you have to brake to the point where it may make a difference, you are doing it wrong. If you want to put spare wheels in the pit, you probably want rim brakes.
As a former real old school crit racer, ditto on braking. You normally would feather the brake for corners if at all. If you have to really hit the brakes something bad has or will happen and modulation is irrelevant.
Having done technical support, ask yourself if you trust your disc wheels to be leaned against or onto by other wheels, with, horrors, quick release levers ready to stick themselves into or hang up on the edges of your discs. Pulling either wheel out could tweak a disc.
In the pre-lawyer tab days a front wheel change was a five to seven second deal. A rear was eight to ten seconds on average. Less for both if the rider pulled the wheel before we got there. Matter of fact, a ten second rear was pretty easily accomplished. Watch the classic bike movie Breaking Away where Rae Dawn Chong (Tommyís daughter) changes a rear about that quickly. She was taught how by Bill Woodul who had done tech support for Campagnolo, before I was there, and Specialized.
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Old 03-18-23, 05:09 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by stoneageyosh View Post
As a former real old school crit racer, ditto on braking. You normally would feather the brake for corners if at all. If you have to really hit the brakes something bad has or will happen and modulation is irrelevant.
Having done technical support, ask yourself if you trust your disc wheels to be leaned against or onto by other wheels, with, horrors, quick release levers ready to stick themselves into or hang up on the edges of your discs. Pulling either wheel out could tweak a disc.
In the pre-lawyer tab days a front wheel change was a five to seven second deal. A rear was eight to ten seconds on average. Less for both if the rider pulled the wheel before we got there. Matter of fact, a ten second rear was pretty easily accomplished. Watch the classic bike movie Breaking Away where Rae Dawn Chong (Tommyís daughter) changes a rear about that quickly. She was taught how by Bill Woodul who had done tech support for Campagnolo, before I was there, and Specialized.
Ah, if you look back at the original question and subsequent clarification - hitting the brakes/brake force was not part of the query. Nor was wheel changes ( I don't take it so seriously that I'm going to carry a spare wheelset). Crit is just fun for me and an opportunity to improve on technical skills.

Improved modulation/feathering was the original query; can mech discs improve on this. Sure in an ideal world, modulation is of no interest, because you're so awesome that you never need to actively reduce speed. But really, if you're at my (lesser) level, and riding the courses I ride (tight, technical, hairpins) - modulation is super important. Its always a topic our coaches focus on at training.
I was amazed how much more fun I was having when I used my hydraulic disc CX bike at crit training, since I could so much better feather the brakes and make small speed adjustments, which helped me to work on improving my cornering technique. My current flexy Athena calipers are inferior to my Rival hydraulics concerning modulation. But I did get some good suggestions here about new pads and potentially better calipers.

I think to further my point regarding modulation, it might be worth seeing the this video from GCN and UK crit champ Alec Briggs:

At around the 6 minutes mark, they actually focus on the benefits of discs for modulation.

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