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Disc brakes on high end road bikes. Brunyeel says it's time. He is correct.

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Disc brakes on high end road bikes. Brunyeel says it's time. He is correct.

Old 07-13-11, 02:19 AM
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Disc brakes on high end road bikes. Brunyeel says it's time. He is correct.

J. Brunyeel of Team Radio Shack said recently that with lighter equipment and higher speeds, it's time for disc brakes on road bikes, and that better braking might reduce the crashes in pro racing. He may have a point. Racing bikes have minimal traction to begin with (tiny tire contact patch), rim brakes on carbon braking surfaces only exacerbate things. Disc brakes are exponentially better on wet roads too.

I'm sure the wizards of Shimano and Sram can come up with a disc braking set up that only adds 200 grams to a modern racing bike. Well worth the weight penalty in my view.

I go back and forth between my racing bicycles and my 700 lb motorcycle with disc brakes front and rear. The motorcycle stops on a dime from speeds of 30-50 mph. There's no such thing as a panic stop on a racing bicycle at those speeds. If that situation arises, you are mostly going to crash. I do think disc brakes would improve your odds in those circumstances.
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Old 07-13-11, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
J. Brunyeel of Team Radio Shack said recently that with lighter equipment and higher speeds, it's time for disc brakes on road bikes, and that better braking might reduce the crashes in pro racing. He may have a point. Racing bikes have minimal traction to begin with (tiny tire contact patch), rim brakes on carbon braking surfaces only exacerbate things. Disc brakes are exponentially better on wet roads too.

I'm sure the wizards of Shimano and Sram can come up with a disc braking set up that only adds 200 grams to a modern racing bike. Well worth the weight penalty in my view.

I go back and forth between my racing bicycles and my 700 lb motorcycle with disc brakes front and rear. The motorcycle stops on a dime from speeds of 30-50 mph. There's no such thing as a panic stop on a racing bicycle at those speeds. If that situation arises, you are mostly going to crash. I do think disc brakes would improve your odds in those circumstances.
The hubs are already available but mostly for XCross. They add about 100g over standard road hubs.

If the mounts and rotors can come in about 100g each over calipers then it's 300g total on bikes that already could easily be under the UCI limit now.

Technically it's almost doable now from the brake standpoint. The real problem is the redesign that carbon frames would have to go through to accommodate the disc mounts, the fricken' fees for EN testing (and UCI aproval testing!) and the significant tooling cost.

I think once it takes off in XCross it may filter over into road. Maybe.
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Old 07-13-11, 03:03 AM
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Then we would all need to buy brand new forks, frames, hubs, and possibly rims.

They're already around 200g each if you take out the lever and add some weight weenie rotor:
https://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...ISP_SEQ|PPRICE
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Old 07-13-11, 03:07 AM
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IMO, disc brakes for road bikes are only good if you have rims made from carbon.
It's entirely possible to do a front lock with regular rim brakes.
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Old 07-13-11, 03:10 AM
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You also have to consider the spoke patterns. With the wheels turning I can't see what patterns the TdF guys are using but I've seen a fair few road bikes with radially spoked front wheels. Put a disc brake on that and you'll snap the spokes when you stop.

My instinct is that the weight of any extra spokes needed is trivial but if these guys are swapping out a 40g bottle cage for a 20g cage they are obviously concerned with saving every gram.
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Old 07-13-11, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
IMO, disc brakes for road bikes are only good if you have rims made from carbon.
It's entirely possible to do a front lock with regular rim brakes.
This. even in dry conditions(still have to learn my bike, noob) its too easy to lock up my back wheel, front wheel has only happened a time or 2 in rain, but any decent force can break traction, road bikes lose traction easy enough without better brakes. bikes are meant for speed, not stopping. just like musclecars in the 60's

but, im 22, and alas, the only carbon on my bike is the fork! never have ridden a carbon wheel, and if it's needed there, then so be it, but 120 psi tires(non carbon rims) slide quite easily, and i'd be terrified of disk brakes. contango seems to have a good point too, but in too noobish to know the intricacies of spoke placement and design
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Old 07-13-11, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by contango View Post
You also have to consider the spoke patterns. With the wheels turning I can't see what patterns the TdF guys are using but I've seen a fair few road bikes with radially spoked front wheels. Put a disc brake on that and you'll snap the spokes when you stop.

My instinct is that the weight of any extra spokes needed is trivial but if these guys are swapping out a 40g bottle cage for a 20g cage they are obviously concerned with saving every gram.
You would offset that weight by building rims that are disc specific. This means they have no brake track and are therefore lighter. Net weight should be the same if not lighter.

The extra weight would be in the hubs. As I mentioned those are already available at about 100g heavier for the set.
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Old 07-13-11, 03:36 AM
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Di4 will have anti-lock.
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Old 07-13-11, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
Di4 will have anti-lock.
You jest but you may actually turn out to be right.
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Old 07-13-11, 04:05 AM
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^Definitely a real possibility.
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Old 07-13-11, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
J. Brunyeel of Team Radio Shack said recently that with lighter equipment and higher speeds, it's time for disc brakes on road bikes


This was the exact moment when the idea first came to him.

(Brunyeel when he rode for Rabobank)

Last edited by rollin; 07-13-11 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 07-13-11, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
The hubs are already available but mostly for XCross. They add about 100g over standard road hubs.

If the mounts and rotors can come in about 100g each over calipers then it's 300g total on bikes that already could easily be under the UCI limit now.

Technically it's almost doable now from the brake standpoint. The real problem is the redesign that carbon frames would have to go through to accommodate the disc mounts, the fricken' fees for EN testing (and UCI aproval testing!) and the significant tooling cost.

I think once it takes off in XCross it may filter over into road. Maybe.
I suppose I'm behind the 8 ball on this one but I didn't even realize UCI changed the cyclocross rules to allow discs this year-

https://www.bikeradar.com/news/articl...o-cross-26660/

I'm actually pretty psyched because I wanted a cyclocross race bike I could also use as a commuter in incliment weather. Being a MTB'er and riding through the big switch from v-brakes to disc, the difference, especially in messy conditions, is really night and day.
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Old 07-13-11, 05:03 AM
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From the article I posted:

Something to think about is what this latest rule means for all bikes. It may be a decade down the road, but you have to imagine that the UCI’s approval for disc brakes in cyclo-cross is a first step for the technology’s approval for road racing.

“You never know what the UCI is going to do,” said Kantor. “I would have to think that if we as an industry execute this well and we can then start to transfer those performance advantages or at least explain them — why you wouldn’t see this evolve onto a ProTour bike.

“I think of every other vehicle in the world that we make faster, at the same time we improve the braking performance,” said Kantor. “You look at times for Tour stages now and on good days those guys are putting up record average speed times, yet we’re not doing anything to [dramatically] improve their braking performance.”
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Old 07-13-11, 05:47 AM
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On TV the riders and commentators said that the reason for those crashes were nobody wanted to brake so I'm not sure how do disc brakes help. Also are the current brakes really lacking in stopping power? Would the disc brakes work better for cornering?
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Old 07-13-11, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
On TV the riders and commentators said that the reason for those crashes were nobody wanted to brake so I'm not sure how do disc brakes help. Also are the current brakes really lacking in stopping power? Would the disc brakes work better for cornering?
It would limit the size of the crash if riders could stop quicker. And yes, especially in wet conditions at higher speed, front brake lacks stopping power. Rear is almost no use, I wouldn't be surprised if the set up became disc front, side pull still on the rear.

I used to ride a mountain bike without a rear brake because after a while because I never used it. Then race officials started noticing and getting picky about it.
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Old 07-13-11, 05:59 AM
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on second though, in a race, who needs to slow down? advance technology and mandate disk brakes and encourage sensitive fingers!

kidding...
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Old 07-13-11, 06:00 AM
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Weight and strength would have to be added to the fork to allow the use of disk brakes. Really, modern rim brakes are just large disk brakes, the problem is that everybody wants to have carbon wheels that reduce the effectiveness of the braking surface, so they cry foul. What I would like to see is better braking surfaces on carbon wheels.

I have disk brakes on my mtb, where the distance from the outside of the wheel helps when picking up grime and mud. Don't ever remember picking up that much grime and mud while road biking. The bike has a huge heavy fork and dished wheels to allow the rotor to do its thing. I am not sure I would want that kind of thing on my road bike.
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Old 07-13-11, 06:05 AM
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I have disc brakes on my Giant Anthem mountain bike (Avid brakes). They have great stopping power but they require almost daily adjustments to keep them from rubbing slightly. They are the highest maintenence bike component I have ever owned. Even when they are adjusted perfect, there is less than 1 mm of clearance between the pad and the disc. I have even had them back to the LBS and they just say "disc brakes tend to rub a little, live with it." Maybe Mtn bikers can accept this but for a roadie, hearing this rubbing drives me crazy and is unacceptable.

They better learn how to make disc brakes more foolproof if they ever want my business on a road bike.
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Old 07-13-11, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
I have disc brakes on my Giant Anthem mountain bike (Avid brakes). They have great stopping power but they require almost daily adjustments to keep them from rubbing slightly. They are the highest maintenence bike component I have ever owned. Even when they are adjusted perfect, there is less than 1 mm of clearance between the pad and the disc. I have even had them back to the LBS and they just say "disc brakes tend to rub a little, live with it." Maybe Mtn bikers can accept this but for a roadie, hearing this rubbing drives me crazy and is unacceptable.

They better learn how to make disc brakes more foolproof if they ever want my business on a road bike.
You're doing it wrong. I have discs on a MTB as well, and I haven't touched them since they were installed. Hayes Stroker Trail hydros. I also have an Avid BB7 on the front of the bike I commute on, and I have no problems with that either.
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Old 07-13-11, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
I have disc brakes on my Giant Anthem mountain bike (Avid brakes). They have great stopping power but they require almost daily adjustments to keep them from rubbing slightly. They are the highest maintenence bike component I have ever owned. Even when they are adjusted perfect, there is less than 1 mm of clearance between the pad and the disc. I have even had them back to the LBS and they just say "disc brakes tend to rub a little, live with it." Maybe Mtn bikers can accept this but for a roadie, hearing this rubbing drives me crazy and is unacceptable.

They better learn how to make disc brakes more foolproof if they ever want my business on a road bike.
I've had the exact opposite experience when I had Avid mechanicals on my Titus Motolite. They're the easiest thing in the world to adjust, just turn the red knob. They only rub if the rotor is warped. Use a higher quality rotor and that won't happen as readily.

And they require pretty much no maintenance. Aside from adjusting for pad wear every... couple months maybe. Changing out the pads takes all of 2 minutes every year.

You can straighten a warped rotor as well, with a vice and an adjustable wrench.
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Old 07-13-11, 06:32 AM
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Anyone else feel this whole disc brake on road bikes thing has been discussed ad nauseum here?

Anyway, I'm in the camp that disc brakes are forward progress. I raced them on my mtn bikes and can attest to the drastic improvement in braking power over rim brakes.

As previously (and accurately) noted, the increased torque on forks and wheels goes up tremendously when braking from the hub. Those super light wheels that are all the rage: out the window. At least until technology & design catch up. I think that's partially why a lot of mfr's are afraid to make the first move. The real reason: there isn't much of a market for it, and won't be until some pros become early adopters.
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Old 07-13-11, 06:43 AM
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Makes sense.
It may be 20 years before the UCI considers it.
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Old 07-13-11, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Gluteus View Post
Makes sense.
It may be 20 years before the UCI considers it.
I think it's a good sign they've allowed it for cross this year. But considering how long it took for them to adopt it for cross when it seemed such an obvious fit, I'm afraid you maybe more right.
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Old 07-13-11, 07:16 AM
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Maybe the right application is for the spring classics where weight is not so crucial.

For mtn top tour stages riders would use bikes (and wheels) equipped with calipers.

It is within the realm of reason.
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Old 07-13-11, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Maybe the right application is for the spring classics where weight is not so crucial.

For mtn top tour stages riders would use bikes (and wheels) equipped with calipers.

It is within the realm of reason.
We keep being told that probikes are so light that they need to be weighted surely 200g isn't an issue.
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