Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Brakes

Old 08-06-12, 04:54 PM
  #1  
dorstour
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Brakes

What kind of brakes are "best" or which do you prefer?

Traditional v-brakes or disc-brakes? Is either better for control when you've got a loaded down bike?
dorstour is offline  
Old 08-06-12, 05:29 PM
  #2  
Bacciagalupe
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There's no "best."

Cantis or v-brakes both work fine, parts should be available fairly widely. Both work fine in the wet. Cantis are a little more adaptable to a wider range of road levers without hacks like travel agents.

Discs work well, as long as you have proper braking technique. Parts may be a little harder to come by, so if you're doing a really long tour you'll likely benefit from carrying spare brake pads. They're not in wide use for touring bikes yet, so going disc will narrow your options a little bit.
Bacciagalupe is offline  
Old 08-06-12, 07:29 PM
  #3  
Jude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: West Philly, PA
Posts: 595
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Last fall I bought a Surly Troll with disc brakes; my previous bikes were all 80s road bikes with caliper brakes. I'm never going back to rim brakes. Discs work better overall, especially in wet/dirty conditions where rim brakes start to get sketchy. They may be a bit heavier, but maintenance isn't a real big issue (at least not with mine - Avid BB7s, which all bike tourists swear by). They're somewhat more expensive, so maybe there are high-end rim brakes that would be better than what I had been using, but discs have other advantages too - they don't wear your rims out, they work fine if your wheels are covered in mud or your rims are out of true (this may be more of an issue with off-road touring) and just overall better stopping power.

Hydraulic discs seem a lot more high-maintenance. I wouldn't really care to use them, although people talk about how amazing the performance is...the performance on my set is just fine.
Jude is offline  
Old 08-06-12, 08:05 PM
  #4  
gpsblake
Walmart bike rider
 
gpsblake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 2,014
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Disc brakes on some bikes can get in the way of racks and such. Other then that, it doesn't really matter which type you have, the success of your tour won't be on what type of brakes you have.
gpsblake is offline  
Old 08-06-12, 08:28 PM
  #5  
egear
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Baltimore, Md.
Posts: 172

Bikes: Salsa Casseroll, Salsa Pistola, Surly 1x1, All-City Nature Boy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Now that I have both brake types I can say the disc's are better and on a tour designed bike don't interfere with bags and racks. That said I am not so sure I would want disc on my tour bike. I run Avid shorty 6's and they are great. They are made better by the addition of Kool-Stop salmon pads. The discs seem a bit touchy in the wet. I am accustomed to the rim brakes so that may be the issue but the disc bite hard and keep on bitting thats for sure. Best to see what works on your bike. Long unsupported tours with disc brakes would require extra pads and maybe just maybe a disc truing fork. The discs can be bent if you are not careful handling the rim during removal.
egear is offline  
Old 08-06-12, 08:30 PM
  #6  
chriskmurray
Senior Member
 
chriskmurray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 1,134

Bikes: Borealis Echo, Ground Up Designs Ti Cross bike, Xtracycle, GT mod trials bike, pixie race machine

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts


I would do a search, there is page after page after page on this topic but to give you the cliff notes:

Both work great when set up properly, neither is perfect but both are very proven.
chriskmurray is offline  
Old 08-06-12, 09:15 PM
  #7  
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,709

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 475 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by dorstour View Post
What kind of brakes are "best" or which do you prefer?

Traditional v-brakes or disc-brakes? Is either better for control when you've got a loaded down bike?
I've been riding for decades with rim brakes of various types & was never perfectly happy about wet-weather performance even with good brakes like Campy side-pulls, Mafac center-pulls or current Shimano BR-550 cantilevers. Have used a friend's V-brake bike but not under demanding conditions. BR-550's were pretty bad on loaded-touring mountain descents during misty weather. Impossible to scrub off water from rim since it was 100% humidity basically. Perhaps rims could have been a bit cleaner though front brakes had upgraded pads.

Option for getting discs was a big reason for choosing the Surly Disc Trucker (to replace Novara Randonee) which is still at Bilenky for S & S couplers. Many tourists say rim brakes work just fine yet I read few posters that try discs & go back to rim brakes. Control is important, in cold rainy weather hands can become fatigued from braking effort despite theoretical stopping power. Walmart sells cheapo mountain bikes with disc brakes yet many production or even custom tourers don't have disc option. IMHO the touring-bike makers are just taking advantage of the thin market & conservative older buyers. Not impressed with the 'breakdown in Outer Mongolia' argument either. One can take spare pads & discs & also wouldn't count on remote 3rd-world bike shops for having much of any spare parts selection; even many US shops carry few components what with the internet & the fact that they make their money from service not parts sales.

Anyway, mountain bike pros/enthusiasts are pretty much disc-only; I don't see why they need better brakes than loaded tourers? BTW whatever happened to rubber brake lever covers? On loaded mountain descents (or even less demanding conditions) braking with slippery metal levers causes hand fatigue esp in cooler weather.
DropBarFan is online now  
Old 08-06-12, 09:47 PM
  #8  
Aushiker
Senior Member
 
Aushiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
Posts: 1,273

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker, Salsa Mukluk, Giant Defy

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had cantilevers on my touring bike but now it has v-brakes which I found to be a vast improvement in braking capability over the standard cantilevers the bike came with. I also have disc brakes and caliper brakes. All work well in their contexts.



Andrew
Aushiker is offline  
Old 08-06-12, 11:36 PM
  #9  
Rifleman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 125
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ive got the Paul touring cantilever brakes really nice really expensive with Swiss stop green pads.Awesome stopping power just really expensive.
Rifleman is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 09:34 AM
  #10  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 40,916

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6556 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 64 Times in 57 Posts
Options abound.. here are 4 i've got here.

German Magura HS33 hydraulic Rim brakes work extremely well.. Smooth ..

another fine, cable operated, cantilever Rim Brake, no longer made,
Scott- Peterson, the Self Energizing mech, has a helical cam and coil spring,
in each cantilever caliper.. and is pulled tighter by the rotation of the rim ..
and so the brake lever has some mechanical assistance..

I have them on 2 different touring rigs here..

in really foul weather the disc brakes on my recent bike friday work well,

and my Drum brake hub equipped bike as well, I use it's smooth modulation to good effect
on a bike I leave ,now, equipped with studded tires for Icy road days.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-11-12 at 12:04 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 10:11 AM
  #11  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 21,198

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2356 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 32 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
There's no "best."

Cantis or v-brakes both work fine, parts should be available fairly widely. Both work fine in the wet. Cantis are a little more adaptable to a wider range of road levers without hacks like travel agents.

Discs work well, as long as you have proper braking technique. Parts may be a little harder to come by, so if you're doing a really long tour you'll likely benefit from carrying spare brake pads. They're not in wide use for touring bikes yet, so going disc will narrow your options a little bit.
I'd go further and say that all high quality brakes work well (there are some exceptions but, thankfully, they aren't made anymore) as long as you have proper braking technique. I'd even go further and say that poor braking performance is (usually) the fault of the operator and not the brake. Knowing how to use the brakes is far more important than what kind of brakes they are.
__________________
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 10:30 AM
  #12  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,542
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1241 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
I've switched from mechanical discs to hydraulics (Shimano SLX), and the maintenance is actually less. The brakes are self-adjusting for wear, so the only maintenance is replacing pads, which requires about 5 minutes per brake. The newer rotors with a spider, either centerlock or 6-bolt, are less prone to warping. I recently installed a set of Shimano Ice rotors, and only one needed slight truing. The other was perfect right out of the box. Heat dissipation is also improved with the latest disc brakes and rotors. Stopping power in all conditions and no rim wear are the main upsides.
alan s is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 10:31 AM
  #13  
pacificcyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 920

Bikes: 2012 Masi Speciale CX : 2013 Ghost 29er EBS

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dorstour View Post
What kind of brakes are "best" or which do you prefer?

Traditional v-brakes or disc-brakes? Is either better for control when you've got a loaded down bike?
For good stopping power with reasonable leverage from the brake levers on a loaded down bike especially coming doing a very long steep hill (say more than 8% grade), disc brakes will be the best in dry and especially in the wet as it has very little brake fade. Not all disc brakes are made alike though. The good ones are made from Avid with reasonable amount of adjustments for pad clearance. Another upside using disc is you're not deterred with wheels gone out of true where you have to adjust v-brakes a little wider so not as to rub on the rim, reducing the braking effectiveness. V-brakes will work really well if the rims are exceptionally true. Not necessary with disc. Dismounting the wheel replacing a flat from the bike fork or frame is super easy. No cables to release compared to V or cantis where you have to temporarily release the actuating cable to allow the tire to pass through the brake pads. With discs, you will never need to replace the rim, so your wheels will never need rebuilding as opposed to V brakes or cantis.

But there are downsides to using a disc.

If you travel a lot, you may have a chance to bend the rotors. Once the rotor is bent, it's a pain to get it true. Disc pads are a bit more expensive than traditional v-brakes or cantis. Disc squeaks. Also disc wheels are dished even for a front wheel (more on the rear) to accommodate the disc rotor, so they are slightly weaker than traditional wheels. If you break a spoke at the rear, you'll have to remove both the cassette or the rotor side if the spoke broke on either side in the field and because both sides are dished, both sides are likely to break. Whereas, a traditional rear wheel usually break on the cassette side as that side is dished to accommodate the cassette. Either way, carry FiberFix spokes repair kit on a tour or have someone hand built you both wheels to ensure the wheels are properly prepared, spokes are tensioned and relieved properly.

I've met a few female touring cyclists and almost half prefer discs due to its excellent stopping power without need a lot of leverage effort on the brake levers.
pacificcyclist is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 04:00 PM
  #14  
Jude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: West Philly, PA
Posts: 595
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by egear View Post
The discs seem a bit touchy in the wet.
wait, really? My experience and that of everyone else I've ever read is that one major advantage of discs is they work just as well in the wet while rim brakes are getting iffy.
Jude is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 06:33 PM
  #15  
asmac
Senior Member
 
asmac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,260

Bikes: Salsa Vaya

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
I've switched from mechanical discs to hydraulics (Shimano SLX), and the maintenance is actually less. The brakes are self-adjusting for wear, so the only maintenance is replacing pads, which requires about 5 minutes per brake.
I did the same, switching from BB5s to Avid Elixir 3s. BB5s are a pain to adjust and I read that BB7s are much better. There is almost zero maintenance on the elixirs except for very occasionally changing pads and that's a 5 minute job as you said.

Another advantage to hydraulics -- and what prompted me to change -- is that they don't freeze up as cables can do if there's moisture in the housing.

Also, the very light touch of hydraulics is easier on the hands. They stop me very quickly and smoothly in traffic and are fade free going down a big hill with a big load. Not that I really want to use them going downhill!
asmac is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 06:51 PM
  #16  
MassiveD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Anyway, mountain bike pros/enthusiasts are pretty much disc-only; I don't see why they need better brakes than loaded tourers?
Obviously mud for those guys is what governs it, and for road guys, weight and modulation. Touring is sufficiently different that it demands it's own solutions all of which are hand me downs.
MassiveD is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 07:01 PM
  #17  
MassiveD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
To answer the OP's question, if by control you mean stopping power, which is normally the big scare when at some point it turns out not to be there, then discs are best. But discs are heavy, sometimes affect wheel integrity, racks, parts, and durability. They are also increasingly being added to bikes, but are currently not standard on most touring bikes sold here. I think that will probably change. XC will probably send some changes out way soon enough.

I don't live in the Rockies, but it is otherwise hilly in an Appalachian way. Around here cantis are my favourite and give me everything I need. I think cantis are the best brake relative to virtually everything other than stopping power. Their real breaking power with road levers is similar to what you can get for V brakes, and they are simple, light, easy to maintain, keep working if a wheel is out of true, etc... Some of them with really grab a wheel, like the Petersens.
MassiveD is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 07:15 PM
  #18  
positron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,268
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Disks win because you don't wear out your rims. Dishing and spoke breakage will not be an issue if your wheels are built properly.

Hydraulic disks are the best, performance-wise.
They are really low maintenance, actually- bleed them once every year or two (maybe) and replace pads. Other than that, the settings and feel basically never change. Bleeding is easy, anyone who tells you otherwise has never bled hydraulic brakes. Yeah, you could tear the hydraulic housing in outer durkadurkastan, but you could also catch a ricochet or get hit by a meteorite. I wouldnt worry about it. Besides, you think you can get a decent canti in durkadurka either? Ha, good luck.

Avid BB7 road disks are pretty close (they feel spongier... until they grab), and can be used with drop bars and levers, a great choice for a touring bike - if they work with your rack. New frames put them in the right spot, lots of old frames did not. The pads last and they are tiny and can be replaced w/o tools. Carry a spare rotor when youre planning a trans-durka adventure, however, In ten years of using disks to more-slowly-crash my mtbs, Ive never bent a rotor. Cause I'm not an idiot who throws my expensive wheels around or drops my bike on sharp edges. If you're gonna fly somewhere, take the rotors off - pretty simple. (and yet, the claim never dies! the disks are going to bend!!) it happens, sure. Not often.

Paul touring cantis and neo-retro are pretty great cantilevers, I like them only slightly less than my machine tech zero-flex cantis from the mid 90's. High end cantilevers are great, for the most part. I used them until eventually switching to disks, largely bypassing v-brakes. But V brakes work great too, and are idiot proof, setup wise. Cantis get a bad rap because people are crappy mechanics, and they use cheap brakes with cheap springs that dont have equal spring tension side-to-side, and they use way too much cable housing and non-teflon, non pre-stretched cabling etc..

Which brings me to a final point: if you use shoddy cables and too much worthless cheap-ass housing without those little metal ends for the cut surfaces of the housing, your braking will suck. To anyone who says _______ brand brakes of ______ design are no good, I call BS. You just dont know how to make them work. Ive worked on waaaaaaayyyyyy too many crappy bikes with crappy brakes to believe those claims. Working on crappy brakes is tedious and annoying, but nearly always possible. 1970's crappy centerpulls even work great if you take your time with them.

summary:

dont buy crappy brakes. The rest is pretty much mox-nix.

disks- the best because you dont have to rebuild your wheels when your rims dont wear out.
hydraulics- the best performance. rim or disk. Pretty much flat bars only at the moment.
everything else- just fine too, whatever just dont buy crap and use good housing and cables.

PS, youre way better off buying whatever brakes are a good deal and spending more on your tires.
That is, if you care about safety and performance.

/thread

Last edited by positron; 08-07-12 at 07:21 PM.
positron is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 07:28 PM
  #19  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,454
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 755 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
Go to a cyclocross race, and see what type of brakes they are most widely used-- cantilever. Disc brake usage might increase now that the UCI rule change regarding disc brakes has been in place for a year, or as the older non-disc frames need replacing.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 08:28 PM
  #20  
bradtx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Posts: 7,580

Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 304 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
dorstour, Plainly "best" is a different thing to different people.

Disk brakes are going to become more common, on more types of bicycles as time goes on. Generally they're better when wet and presently they're a marketing tool. Most modern brakes, rim or disk, can deliver more stopping power than a tire can cope with and can put you on your head if not properly used.

Brad
bradtx is offline  
Old 08-08-12, 02:42 PM
  #21  
MassiveD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by positron View Post
To anyone who says _______ brand brakes of ______ design are no good, I call BS. You just dont know how to make them work. Ive worked on waaaaaaayyyyyy too many crappy bikes with crappy brakes to believe those claims. Working on crappy brakes is tedious and annoying, but nearly always possible. 1970's crappy centerpulls even work great if you take your time with them.
This is so true, a lot of the older cantis where stamped out of plate and had plastic covers to make them look aero. Still loved them compared to what came before.

Discs would easily rise to the top if someone just made a perfect set for drop bar touring. And there isn't a really nice option for a NAHBS lever show bike.
MassiveD is offline  
Old 08-08-12, 08:21 PM
  #22  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 40,916

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6556 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 64 Times in 57 Posts
Still get good service out of the Mafac Cantilever brakes I bought new in 1976.
a design that was initially produced in France right after WW2..

Newer TRP Euro X brakes are pretty similar ,really ,
2 L shaped plates joined at the pivot and brake pad post clamp and cable mount ends.
in aluminum, magnesium and carbon fiber composite sheet.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-08-12, 09:06 PM
  #23  
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,709

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 475 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
Obviously mud for those guys is what governs it, and for road guys, weight and modulation. Touring is sufficiently different that it demands it's own solutions all of which are hand me downs.
Road racers with skinny high-pressure tires have limited braking potential on wet roads. Weight is an issue I guess but OTOH I read that superbike manufacturers are limited by UCI weight limit, though I suppose there are other areas where they'd rather put the weight than brakes. Always loved Campy Record brakes which I used to have on my race bikes & even some tourers. So solid with nice modulation & didn't require excessive effort despite pads being same size as competing brands. Once had Universal side-pulls which appeared to be very similar but required huge braking effort. Once read a story in Bike World or Bicycling magazine about Euro-pro racers who would descend down mountains & put their hands on other racers' backs to help slow down--they'd say "Mavic"...supposedly racers forced to use the Mavic gruppo didn't find the brakes too good.

Mud as in cross racing is super slippery but OTOH they don't have additional weight of touring bike + luggage. Even tourists riding in rain get dirt on rims though I suppose it's usually more road grit than fine mud particles.
DropBarFan is online now  
Old 08-08-12, 09:30 PM
  #24  
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,709

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 475 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by positron View Post
Disks win because you don't wear out your rims. Dishing and spoke breakage will not be an issue if your wheels are built properly.

Hydraulic disks are the best, performance-wise.
They are really low maintenance, actually- bleed them once every year or two (maybe) and replace pads. Other than that, the settings and feel basically never change. Bleeding is easy, anyone who tells you otherwise has never bled hydraulic brakes. Yeah, you could tear the hydraulic housing in outer durkadurkastan, but you could also catch a ricochet or get hit by a meteorite. I wouldnt worry about it. Besides, you think you can get a decent canti in durkadurka either? Ha, good luck.

Avid BB7 road disks are pretty close (they feel spongier... until they grab), and can be used with drop bars and levers, a great choice for a touring bike - if they work with your rack. New frames put them in the right spot, lots of old frames did not. The pads last and they are tiny and can be replaced w/o tools. Carry a spare rotor when youre planning a trans-durka adventure, however, In ten years of using disks to more-slowly-crash my mtbs, Ive never bent a rotor. Cause I'm not an idiot who throws my expensive wheels around or drops my bike on sharp edges. If you're gonna fly somewhere, take the rotors off - pretty simple. (and yet, the claim never dies! the disks are going to bend!!) it happens, sure. Not often.

Paul touring cantis and neo-retro are pretty great cantilevers, I like them only slightly less than my machine tech zero-flex cantis from the mid 90's. High end cantilevers are great, for the most part. I used them until eventually switching to disks, largely bypassing v-brakes. But V brakes work great too, and are idiot proof, setup wise. Cantis get a bad rap because people are crappy mechanics, and they use cheap brakes with cheap springs that dont have equal spring tension side-to-side, and they use way too much cable housing and non-teflon, non pre-stretched cabling etc..

Which brings me to a final point: if you use shoddy cables and too much worthless cheap-ass housing without those little metal ends for the cut surfaces of the housing, your braking will suck. To anyone who says _______ brand brakes of ______ design are no good, I call BS. You just dont know how to make them work. Ive worked on waaaaaaayyyyyy too many crappy bikes with crappy brakes to believe those claims. Working on crappy brakes is tedious and annoying, but nearly always possible. 1970's crappy centerpulls even work great if you take your time with them.

summary:

dont buy crappy brakes. The rest is pretty much mox-nix.

disks- the best because you dont have to rebuild your wheels when your rims dont wear out.
hydraulics- the best performance. rim or disk. Pretty much flat bars only at the moment.
everything else- just fine too, whatever just dont buy crap and use good housing and cables.

PS, youre way better off buying whatever brakes are a good deal and spending more on your tires.
That is, if you care about safety and performance.

/thread
Good comments there. A couple of years ago I thought about getting Paul cantis because the Shimano BR-550's weren't all that hot IMHO. However some posters claimed Pauls weren't that great. I don't know how correct they were but since I was thinking about moving to discs I nixed on getting the Pauls. BR-550's seem to have rather weak springs (causing imperfect centering) & don't have a quick-release on lever or brake. Bike shop mechs said to just keep a little slack in cable to avoid having to deflate tire for wheel removal. Didn't like that, always liked to have truest wheels & closest pads for instant response. Used to have a bike with Campy Record brakes & there was so little rim clearance I literally could not freely slide a piece of paper in between.

Tires are of course a huge part of the equation. I've been riding Schwalbe Marathons for a couple of years & before that Continental touring tires. Marathons are very durable but apparently not too sticky. Sort of like with cars where even expensive Mercedes & BMW's get stuck in the snow despite "all season" tires. Now when I need auto tires I call Tire Rack 'cause their reps know their stuff. Once rented a Mercedes 300 in Germany & slid into a ditch on an icy road. Was going very slow but amazed at the low grip...I guessed that rental cars are equipped with harder high-mileage tires.
DropBarFan is online now  
Old 08-09-12, 01:35 AM
  #25  
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The problem faced by tourists but not race or MTB riders is integration of the brake with all the other stuff: racks, fenders, lights etc.
Disc brakes can integrate well if they are placed correctly, ideally on the rear chainstay and at the front on the driveside, leading edge (ie opposite to a normal front disc). This gets stuff out of the way of fenders and reverses the forces on the axle so braking forces the axle into (not out of) the dropout.

Disc brake units are not designed for chainstay mounting so the cable run is at the wrong angle. As this mount becomes more common, I imagine that Avid will make a road version for this location.

Is there any debate regarding ISO vs post mount?
Forks need to be stiffer on a disc-equipped bike; how does that affect comfort?
I use Shimano centrelock disks but for travel, I think 6-bolt are better, you dont need a vice or long wrench to replace them.
Pads are easy to carry and can be quite cheap. In the UK we have a "no-brand" brand called Superstar who sell pads from the same Chinese factories as everyone else, at a fraction of the price of Shimano/Avid.

My canti setep drives me to distraction. Nothing plays well together and I cant buy the bits that I need to make it work. Cantis are going out of fashion and sooner or later, will drop out of the market altogether.
MichaelW is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.