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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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Rim brake is better
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Mechanical disc vs rim brake for crit racing?

Old 03-18-23, 04:57 PM
  #51  
stoneageyosh
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It appears that we are talking about two different animals here, racing on city street circuits is what some of us are referring to. Most of the time pedaling through corners so braking is not much of a concern.
The wheel change bit was in response to the video link in a previous post.
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Old 03-18-23, 10:36 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by stoneageyosh View Post
The wheel change bit was in response to the video link in a previous post.
Crit racing usually allows for a wheel pit. You put wheels in the pit and if you get a flat you can change out your wheel but you only get one free lap. You have to be quick and get back in.

Maybe the best mechanics in the world can change a disc wheel as far as a rim wheel but most mortals can't. That's assuming you can even get two wheels to have the disc perfectly aligned in the first place.
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Old 03-19-23, 06:55 AM
  #53  
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I have a br-9000 on the front of my fast bike, and it's incredible - crazy light for its considerable bulk, and power to burn. I'd be interested to see how modulation compares to the direct mount version, though...
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Old 03-19-23, 07:23 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by ummed View Post
Crit racing usually allows for a wheel pit. You put wheels in the pit and if you get a flat you can change out your wheel but you only get one free lap. You have to be quick and get back in.

Maybe the best mechanics in the world can change a disc wheel as far as a rim wheel but most mortals can't. That's assuming you can even get two wheels to have the disc perfectly aligned in the first place.
I don't personally find it any faster or slower changing disc wheels. My through axles have built-in levers so I don't need tools. Flats are a non-issue for me anyway since I moved to tubeless.
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Old 03-19-23, 08:16 AM
  #55  
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Old 03-19-23, 10:42 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I don't personally find it any faster or slower changing disc wheels. My through axles have built-in levers so I don't need tools. Flats are a non-issue for me anyway since I moved to tubeless.
ever try to do it in the middle of a crit, where you’ve a minute or two to get back to the Pit, get your wheel get it installed and get put back in the race.?
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Old 03-19-23, 12:37 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
ever try to do it in the middle of a crit, where youíve a minute or two to get back to the Pit, get your wheel get it installed and get put back in the race.?
No I haven't. But I basically don't get flats. I just don't find fitting disc wheels a big drama, that's all I was saying. If there's a difference in time, it's only a few seconds. I'm sure there are thousands of guys racing crits on disc wheels today. Have you changed disc wheels yourself? Does it take you that much longer?
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Old 03-19-23, 02:44 PM
  #58  
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I’d say it’s about 30 seconds longer, particularly if you file down the lawyer tabs. You’ve got to screw and unscrew the through axle, and it can take a bit of time to get the disc in the caliber, particularly rushing in the heat of battle.

Normal circumstances that doesn’t matter much, but when you’re trying to get back in a crit, ( the subject of the thread) it could be critical.

Also trying to get a wheel from the wheel truck and chase back on in a road race, every second matters.
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Old 03-19-23, 03:06 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I’d say it’s about 30 seconds longer, particularly if you file down the lawyer tabs. You’ve got to screw and unscrew the through axle, and it can take a bit of time to get the disc in the caliber, particularly rushing in the heat of battle.

Normal circumstances that doesn’t matter much, but when you’re trying to get back in a crit, ( the subject of the thread) it could be critical.

Also trying to get a wheel from the wheel truck and chase back on in a road race, every second matters.
Pros can change a rear disc wheel in about 20 seconds. So if you are taking 30 seconds longer than a normal wheel change then you are doing something wrong. But I haven't had a flat in the last 3 years of road riding, so it wouldn't factor in my choice of brakes. I wouldn't even bother with a spare set of pit wheels.
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Old 03-19-23, 04:55 PM
  #60  
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40 years ago, some racers preferred the flexy Modolo single pivot calipers because - lacking stopping power - they made speed modulation easier. Now everyone talks about speed modulation as the same as power.

Campagnolo had the right idea when they put double pivot calipers in front and singles in the rear.
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Old 03-19-23, 05:39 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Pros can change a rear disc wheel in about 20 seconds. So if you are taking 30 seconds longer than a normal wheel change then you are doing something wrong. But I haven't had a flat in the last 3 years of road riding, so it wouldn't factor in my choice of brakes. I wouldn't even bother with a spare set of pit wheels.

1) you’re talking a pro mechanic, not an amateur racer. In the context of this thread we’re talking about a racer who just crashed, or had a mechanical, and has to get back to the wheel pit, get a new wheel, change the wheel themself, gather their composure, and get back in the race, all within one lap, which may happen very quickly depending on the size of the course.

2) if it’s not slower, then why did pro tour teams essentially give up on changing out flat tires, in lieu of whole bike changes?.

I will admit I’ve never changed a disc wheel in a race. But having changed disc wheels, raced a hundred plus criteriums, gotten wheels in the wheel pit, and taken wheels from the wheel truck in road races I absolutely believe there is a speed advantage in not having to deal with a disc brake and through axle, particularly in the heat of the moment.
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Old 03-19-23, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I wouldn't even bother with a spare set of pit wheels.
Have you actually raced crits? I’ll admit my last crit was a few years ago but pretty much every serious crit racer puts wheels in the wheel pit. It’s not just flats; it’s also crashes.

So perhaps if we’re talking about the equipment for racing crits it would be helpful to hear from people who race crits.
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Old 03-19-23, 06:06 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by maxants33 View Post
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: here

At around the 6 minutes mark, they actually focus on the benefits of discs for modulation.
Dont ruin a good run for the rim brake crew especially when they start with 7400 brakes which are around 30 years old now. Then there is the myth that the weight of the disc will affect your handling always a good one! Hydraulic discs are the way to go and show up at any local crit race and look at what a vast majority of riders are using, that should settle it.
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Old 03-19-23, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
1) youíre talking a pro mechanic, not an amateur racer. In the context of this thread weíre talking about a racer who just crashed, or had a mechanical, and has to get back to the wheel pit, get a new wheel, change the wheel themself, gather their composure, and get back in the race, all within one lap, which may happen very quickly depending on the size of the course.

2) if itís not slower, then why did pro tour teams essentially give up on changing out flat tires, in lieu of whole bike changes?.

I will admit Iíve never changed a disc wheel in a race. But having changed disc wheels, raced a hundred plus criteriums, gotten wheels in the wheel pit, and taken wheels from the wheel truck in road races I absolutely believe there is a speed advantage in not having to deal with a disc brake and through axle, particularly in the heat of the moment.
Maybe it's just me then, but I don't find it significantly slower changing disc wheels. In some ways I actually prefer changing disc wheels. But what the pro mechanic said in the article I linked earlier seems about right i.e.:-

"Thereís more time to be gained or lost in the skill of the mechanic than in the type of axle and brake used by the rider."
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Old 03-19-23, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Have you actually raced crits? Iíll admit my last crit was a few years ago but pretty much every serious crit racer puts wheels in the wheel pit. Itís not just flats; itís also crashes.

So perhaps if weíre talking about the equipment for racing crits it would be helpful to hear from people who race crits.
No I don't race local crits as they are too much of a blood bath for my liking. But of the guys I know who do, at least half of them are using disc brake bikes. I just checked a few local crit race photos and there are loads of disc wheels being raced - probably the majority although there are still plenty of rim brakes on show.
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Old 03-19-23, 06:36 PM
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I have no doubt that many people, if not most are racing crits with disc brakes, simply because most bikes sold today have disc brakes. That doesn’t answer the original question posed in this thread however. And certainly does’n’t suggest there’s a need to switch from rim to mechanical discs to race a crit.
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Old 03-19-23, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I have no doubt that many people, if not most are racing crits with disc brakes, simply because most bikes sold today have disc brakes. That doesn’t answer the original question posed in this thread however. And certainly does’n’t suggest there’s a need to switch from rim to mechanical discs to race a crit.
I agree switching from rim to cable discs (front only I think he said) seems like a waste of time. I only commented on changing wheels with disc brakes in the first place because some people were making it sound like it was a big deal.
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Old 03-20-23, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
40 years ago, some racers preferred the flexy Modolo single pivot calipers because - lacking stopping power - they made speed modulation easier. Now everyone talks about speed modulation as the same as power.

Campagnolo had the right idea when they put double pivot calipers in front and singles in the rear.
I don't think flex is helpful with modulation; it tends not to be linear. Having only as much mechanical advantage as you need is the main thing, closely followed by rigidity of all the components.

So beefiness is good for both modulation and stopping power, but you're on the money with the single pivot rear; I've never mounted a DP on the back, because it's worse than pointless. Too much leverage on a brake is like putting too much throttle body on a car engine; when half throttle works the same as wide open, it feels super responsive but you've lost half your modulation.

I'd like to play around with different pad compounds to find something less grabby, but with carbon rims I'm uncharacteristically inclined to stick to the manufacturer's recommendation; that's some serious voodoo right there.
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Old 03-20-23, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
I don't think flex is helpful with modulation
This is true. Modulation is a combination of lever travel, weight, power and consistent feel. Flex in the system just masks the actual feel and reduces overall power. I think it was the latter that Kontact was referring to i.e. those old brakes had relatively low power (because of all the flex) so you couldn't accidentally brake too hard. Not something I would see as a positive feature, but there you go.
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Old 03-20-23, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
This is true. Modulation is a combination of lever travel, weight, power and consistent feel. Flex in the system just masks the actual feel and reduces overall power. I think it was the latter that Kontact was referring to i.e. those old brakes had relatively low power (because of all the flex) so you couldn't accidentally brake too hard. Not something I would see as a positive feature, but there you go.
But he was also saying the lack of mechanical advantage of a single pivot is a good thing on the back, and he's totally right about that.

And you can extrapolate on that, that a hugely powerful front brake might even be a bad thing, if it never takes much effort to lock up.
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Old 03-20-23, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
But he was also saying the lack of mechanical advantage of a single pivot is a good thing on the back, and he's totally right about that.

And you can extrapolate on that, that a hugely powerful front brake might even be a bad thing, if it never takes much effort to lock up.
For sure, which is also why with disc brakes you might use a smaller diameter rear rotor to reduce overall braking power.
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Old 03-20-23, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
I don't think flex is helpful with modulation; it tends not to be linear. Having only as much mechanical advantage as you need is the main thing, closely followed by rigidity of all the components.

So beefiness is good for both modulation and stopping power, but you're on the money with the single pivot rear; I've never mounted a DP on the back, because it's worse than pointless. Too much leverage on a brake is like putting too much throttle body on a car engine; when half throttle works the same as wide open, it feels super responsive but you've lost half your modulation.

I'd like to play around with different pad compounds to find something less grabby, but with carbon rims I'm uncharacteristically inclined to stick to the manufacturer's recommendation; that's some serious voodoo right there.
I think cabled brakes are pretty much a balance between flex (housing compression, arm flex, etc) and mechanical advantage. DP brakes are both very rigid and have more advantage. Single pivots have less rigidity (usually) and advantage. I just think that some built in flex moderates the feedback from an imperfectly smooth rim, decreasing things like shudder.
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Old 03-21-23, 04:00 PM
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To answer the OP's question, I don't think there's going to be much difference in modulation between rim brakes and mechanical disc brakes. I agree that hydro is better in this regard, but the mechanical disc brake systems I'm familiar with are nowhere near as good as hydro.

I train and race with a local team. We run a couple of large local city-style crit races, plus we host a weekday evening practice crit series during the summers that is more entry-level oriented to teach newer riders the basics (which includes when and how to brake). I've participated in both for many years on a few different rim and disc bikes, and honestly I don't think the type of brakes makes any difference. You adapt your riding style to whatever you're on and the same principles apply to either.

Speed of wheel changes? Sure maybe a few extra seconds for disc, but we're talking about local crit racing here, not a grand tour. It has no impact - you're getting a free lap regardless.
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Old 03-21-23, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Speed of wheel changes? Sure maybe a few extra seconds for disc, but we're talking about local crit racing here, not a grand tour. It has no impact - you're getting a free lap regardless.
Realistically, it's also makes very little difference in amateur road racing. Most races don't have wheel support, so you're effectively out of the race if you get a flat. Even if there is wheel support, it's going to be slow, and it's going to be pretty difficult getting back to the peloton.
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Old 03-22-23, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Realistically, it's also makes very little difference in amateur road racing. Most races don't have wheel support, so you're effectively out of the race if you get a flat. Even if there is wheel support, it's going to be slow, and it's going to be pretty difficult getting back to the peloton.
Yeah and especially if you need a new wheel because you've crashed as someone was suggesting earlier. Time to head home or A&E at that point if nobody is paying you to be there!
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