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Vintage has Rim - Regular has Disc...

Old 11-18-18, 08:39 PM
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Cheeky DeVille
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Vintage has Rim - Regular has Disc...

I would so love to have the vintage looking TREK FX LTD 2018
https://www.trekbikes.com/in/en_IN/bikes/hybrid-bikes/fitness-bikes/fx/fx-ltd/p/22103/
BUT it has rim brakes and I don't know if it would be good for touring.
I have decided on the Trek FX2 Disc because the FX3 does not come in black!

I know the specs and techs should be the deciding factor....but. .. Should I shouldn't I ???
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Old 11-18-18, 11:36 PM
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Jeese… Rim brakes have served riders of all types for more years then we've been alive. I'll bet that you even have used a rim brake bike for a lot of miles. This anality about what kind of brakes is rather misplaced IMO. Especially for a touring bike. Both rim and disk have their pros and cons. But with touring speed and ultimate stopping are not the issue that keeps one from riding the next day (and the next one...

Far more the issue is the fit and how the bike feels under load. Have you ridden the bike yet? How does it fit. Do flat bars work for you on day in day out tours? Is the gearing suitable?

Lastly you only see the bike as a complete object with a look (as in paint and style) after you've gotten to where you are riding to. But if all you can ride are black bikes then so be it. Andy
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Old 11-19-18, 05:39 AM
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I think there are good and bad rim brakes. I'm still not quite sure what the difference is, but my Shimano 6800 calipers + Campy levers will toss me over the bars if I'm not careful.

My last heavy loaded tour was on the older bike with 40+ year old calipers and mismatched levers. It was OK, but hitting 10% descents with switchbacks with a loaded bike was interesting, and required some forethought.

I haven't paid much attention to rim heating, but there was at least one descent on that trip that got the rims pretty warm. Of course, discs would have become much hotter.

Anyway, I like the rim brakes. Easily serviced, well supported, etc. But, it doesn't hurt to make sure your bike can stop on a dime. I haven't thought much about different brake types, calipers, cantis, etc.

Can you test ride the bikes?
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Old 11-19-18, 07:06 AM
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Thanx. No test rides. Just sat on it and checked standover. I am not too familiar with either as i haven't been on a regular bike. Just my BMX, with rim brakes. But thanx for taking the time to respond.
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Old 11-19-18, 08:13 AM
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I'm an all-weather rider.
I have trouble keeping my hands warm.
I rate aestethics far less than the spec sheet on a bike.
I think that brakes that are less influenced by weather and takes less hand effort to engage is a great thing.

But that's me.

People have toured on rim brake bikes for decades w/o meeting a premature death.
I have toured on rim brakes w/o dying from it.
Both by general and specific observation, it's entirely doable.
Some would even claim preferable, due to the simpler tech involved.
Your choice.
Whichever way you go, it's hugely unlikely to be what makes or breaks your touring plans.
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Old 11-19-18, 09:22 AM
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Just saying a bike has disc brakes does not mean much. Wide range in types and quality. However, if you go one route or the other, it’s hard or impossible to change later. I had a bike with awful disc brakes, but was able to upgrade to quality ones. With rim brakes, you can change the pads, but you are stuck with rim brakes forever.
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Old 11-19-18, 11:39 AM
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There is a very long thread with a lot of detail and opinions which eventually degenerated into a bunch of arguing here:
Disc brakes or rim brakes?

Check it out, then come back with your questions.
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Old 11-19-18, 12:42 PM
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I got to Be Vintage, riding bikes with rim brakes..
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Old 11-19-18, 03:10 PM
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For a number of reasons (aesthetics, better drivetrain components, 9s v 8s, wider gearing range), I'd take the classic.

People REALLY overvalue disc brakes. If I am going for a more entry level bike, the last thing I want is disc brakes, entry level versions of which simply don't perform as well as cheaper v-brakes.
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Old 11-19-18, 08:29 PM
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The Op already bought the disc: Stock tyre or knobbly
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Old 11-20-18, 04:55 PM
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Not touring but commuting and want to get the lowest time and effort investment set up.

Started with stock v brake set up. Not satisfied in the rain.

Then tried mechanical disc. Fed up with the time spent for alignment and readjusting.

Then tried hydraulic disc. Sponginess came.

Went back to v brake but full custom: 130mm arms, 4 finger lever, kool stop pads, booster. Problem solved.
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Old 11-20-18, 05:13 PM
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Probably just needed to bleed a tiny bit of air trapped in your hydraulic disc brake lines. Easy process.
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Old 11-21-18, 12:08 AM
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Fed up with time spent aligning and re adjusting mechanical discs?
I have some. What was the problem?
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Old 11-22-18, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
Fed up with time spent aligning and re adjusting mechanical discs?
I have some. What was the problem?
In order of frustration.

1. Initial alignment was inconsistent. Whethee by squeezing the lever or tightening the pads all the way in. Took me hours to get it just right. Have to squat/sit to look at the pad clearance. Rim brakes took minutes. Rim brakes can be gauged by lever range of motion.

2. Pads wear fast. Pad advancement was something like once every couple of weeks. Rim brakes only once a month or so.

Both the above was consistent over two models: BB7 and Giant DA8. Of course, you could say that i could have bought better housings like Yokozuna or Nokon and better pads like Kool Stop but i already spent much money for the whole set up, not going to spend more just yet. Never spent so much time getting things just right with rim brakes.

3. Squatting down to see the pad clearance and reach the barrel caliper. Rim brakes can be accessed straddling the top tube.

4. Running out of range of motion in two barrel adjusters (lever and caliper) in two months (DA8). Can't imagine how many times i may have to change the pads and the time spent aligning every time.

5. Stiff and non-adjustable return springs. Rim brakes are adjustable and i always use the minimum to decrease effort.

Last edited by hermanchauw; 11-22-18 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 11-22-18, 10:21 AM
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Well, first, thank you for the response.

Full disclosure: I am a person who prefers learning a skill over buying a product, especially in regards to touring and try to fight the current ubiquitous messaging of consumerism as a solution to problems. Though I know it sounds that way, this criticism of your choices is not intended personally as such.

It seems to me like you really started to obsess about braking. That sort of focus is usually reserved for ultra light weight reduction!

When you hit the first frustration would that not be a time to perhaps ask a professional or watch some youtube videos on the subject? Adjusting brakes can be a challenge as it is a skill to acquire but it should not take hours to do. There's something wrong there. I once wanted to write an article about truing wheels so I went to my local LBS and offered the mechanic (very knowledgeable) to pay his shop rate if he would show me his technique - which he did. A good cheap investment in skills attainment from a pro. As it was, you purchased four brake sets in search of a solution that was probably more skills based than anything.

Sure some pads wear fast but not that fast. Having to adjust every couple of weeks should be a big clue that something is wrong. I ride a lot, including big mountain pass downhills and rarely need such adjustments. My mechanical discs have been set and forget for the most part and they are not fancy.

Adjusting both mechanical disc and canti's is basically the same and frankly, quite awkward straddling the bike. You basically pull set the tension so the brake almost engages but do not over tighten the cable clamp, test, and micro adjust from there. Takes maybe 5-10 minutes and should last until significant wear occurs. I rebuild old bikes a lot, having posted about 8 picture intensive build threads on BF over the last two years alone, and many brakes I find set in the 70's to 90's still work well as found.

Also, get a bike stand or at least a chair - why squat. That's self imposed awkward body mechanics that causes frustration in itself.

Running out of barrel adjuster range is probably not setting them right at the start. If you adjust correctly, taking out the slack, the barrel adjuster length should last until you need new pads.

Stiff return springs I can't comment on.

I know, I sound like a jerk but I think demos like this serve to illustrate how learning a skill set can help keep a person from becoming a victim of either decision paralysis looking for the perfect bike, endlessly crowd sourcing trying to buy what everyone else thinks is right, or becoming the victim of sales people using the double edged sword of convenience and safety to move product.
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Old 11-22-18, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by hermanchauw
In order of frustration.

1. Initial alignment was inconsistent. Whethee by squeezing the lever or tightening the pads all the way in. Took me hours to get it just right. Have to squat/sit to look at the pad clearance. Rim brakes took minutes. ....

setting up bb5/7 take forever....IF you follow the included instructions.
try this...works great (ignore the spelling error!)


https://ecovelo.info/a-foolproof-met...5-disc-brakes/
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Old 11-23-18, 05:52 AM
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Iím in no way saying anyone is right or wrong, but I will just add that my experience with my BB7s on two bikes have been a matter of fairly simple set-up(maybe slightly more time consuming than v-brakes, which are as simple as it can get, and cantiís, which tend to take me a while). They have also been very little maintenance. A click of the pad adjuster dial once or twice a month and thatís it. Takes literally a few seconds. And I put a lot of miles on my commuter. Iíve also read many times of people having alignment issues putting wheels back on the bike. Iíve never experienced that struggle either. My gut feeling is that these issues are probably small, simple things that cause a lot of frustration for some. I agree with what was mentioned above about maybe asking a decent mechanic to show you how to set up the brakes. It shouldnít take very long or be a big deal. If the shop isnít happy to give you a quick how-to, and if itís not simply because theyíre too busy and apologetic about that, find a new shop.
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Old 11-23-18, 09:55 AM
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Yes.
I feel that in my last couple of posts on the subject I have probably not put my opinion forward very well but it's similar to the two above posts. True one may eventually find they prefer one type of brake over the other but when faced with an issue (I feel) it's better to first explore the skills option before chucking it and buying new. Perhaps the component really does suck but also likely I'm just tackling the problem wrong. In the case of brakes one has to weight the individual experience against how many millions of other users seem to be able to use the same system for long periods of time.

Of course there is nothing wrong with buying a new component or even bike, but I always feel on a touring forum at least, we ought to try to keep it somewhat skills oriented or it just becomes a new products review and referral site in which linking to external manufacturer sites becomes the default. On the road, it's not always so easy to just "buy" a solution and those skills may actually come in handy.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 11-23-18 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 11-23-18, 10:28 AM
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Brakes aside, that looks like a Multi Track and I like it. I wonder if theyíll do something similar with road and mountain bikes.
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Old 11-23-18, 01:41 PM
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That FX Ltd bike is listed for $700usd! Good lord thats cheap for what you get.
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