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  1. #1
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    The Once and For All, End All Be All, Disc Brakes vs. Rim Brakes Thread

    This topic/debate appears to keep rearing it's less than handsome head in multiple threads and forums around here clearly irritating some of the participants in those threads. It seems to pretty much bring out the worst in RBR every time it happens. So, I am proposing that we go ahead and create a place to debate the merits of moving to disc brakes vs sticking with dual pivot rim brakes or direct mount rim brakes. To play the role of instigator or, dare I say, to offer an attractive platform for those that love to lose their crap over this topic, I provide the following:

    https://blog.performancebike.com/201...s-disc-brakes/

    https://www.outsideonline.com/214972...m-brakes-trash

    Disc brakes in the pro peloton: Riders demand better safety for disc brake rollout | road.cc



    Have at it boys and girls!
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  2. #2
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    what might work is this: make this the only thread to post disc brake whiner/flamer/troller/liar/obfuscatory posts in. then moments later .. lock the thread!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    what might work is this: make this the only thread to post disc brake whiner/flamer/troller/liar/obfuscatory posts in. then moments later .. lock the thread!
    Ha! Good point.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  4. #4
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    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  5. #5
    What the what???
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    The Once and For All, End All Be All, Disc Brakes vs. Rim Brakes Thread

    I assume discs are better for:
    * stopping in the wet
    * heat dissipation for carbon rims
    * less fade on serious descents
    Though I have no evidence to support this.

    I can say anecdotally, for my day to day riding my hydraulic discs don’t serve me any better than my calipers with kool stops.

    The self-centering (or lack thereof) is my biggest complaint. I seem to be able to get a ride or two before one piston/pad starts rubbing again. I’ve gone through the various adjustments but no joy. Very frustrating.

    For my next bike I’ll be looking for calipers again.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Opus51569; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:12 AM.
    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - MLK

  6. #6
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    Rash, thanks for posting this thread.
    Guys the disc versus rim brake debate started life on the Specialized forum in the new Tarmac disc thread and Rash I believe rightly moved it here for more general discussion. Nobody in the Tarmac disc thread wanted the debate and I understand that on one level as this is one of the more divisive subjects related to road bikes…rivaling electric shifting and aero versus conventionally shaped bikes.
    As backdrop, many know the rim brake Tarmac is the best selling high end race bike of all time and won the TdF twice in recent years with two separate riders.
    I want to register my vote for rim brakes. My position doesn’t have a lot to do with potentially slicing a rider in the pro peloton because we aren’t pros. Pro racing many know is a blood sport and more sharp edges over and above chainrings is a real concern for simple reason that riders end up on the deck in a pile up all the time in pro racing. So a lottery if your leg, arm or face ends up in proximity to a spinning sharp disc in a common crash. But many are divided on this issue as well and perhaps even questionable that this ‘experiment’ is currently in effect in pro cycling. I would hate to the pro that ends up being a reason for a ban on disc brakes until somebody can figure out how to put a decent guard over the disk edge that doesn’t add too much weight or aero deficit.
    With the advent of dual pivot brakes with excellent brake pad material, I am strongly in the rim brake camp along with 98% of all racers in professional cycling. Disc brakes even now allowed to be raced are about as common fenders and headlight on a race bike aka almost unseen in pro racing.
    Amateurs even more than pros will appreciate the 1 lb weight savings because of UCI weight minimum and of course there is fractional aerodynamic advantage of rim brakes as well.
    But for the average rider who doesn’t do 60 mph descents like pros do who do just fine with rim brakes, biggest issue over and above how much cheaper high quality rim brakes are compared to hydro disc, maintenance is big difference. Opus nailed it. My experience as well. Maintenance is needlessly more fussy with hydro brakes.
    Point of contention between the two braking types is, disc brakes just aren’t necessary…like putting Brembo 4 piston calipers and heavy rotors on a Toyota Corolla. Average Corolla rider will appreciate the weight savings and lack of cost not to mention added maintenance.
    So I would like to put a query out to prospective buyers of road bikes in the future. What will you buy? My theory is…disk brake high end road bikes are typically bought by weaker riders aka 16mph MUP riders. Joe six pack seduced by big brand companies getting into pocket…what they do well. Among stronger riders I ride with, disc brakes aren’t desired. So I would like to ask riders that are CAT 3 or better. What type of brakes do you prefer and what kind of brakes will be on your next road bike?
    Cheers to all persuasions.


    Last edited by 11spd; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:38 AM.

  7. #7
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    Now that this is solved forever, can we tackle the "tastes" great" vs "less filling" Miller Lite debate that was left unresolved

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    I assume discs are better for:
    * stopping in the wet
    * heat dissipation for carbon rims
    * less fade on serious descents
    Though I have no evidence to support this.

    I can say anecdotally, for my day to day riding my hydraulic discs don’t serve me any better than my calipers with kool stops.

    The self-centering (or lack thereof) is my biggest complaint. I seem to be able to get a ride or two before one piston/pad starts rubbing again. I’ve gone through the various adjustments but no joy. Very frustrating.

    For my next bike I’ll be looking for calipers again.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I'm not sure what brand of hydraulic discs you have but since most are self adjusting, I would say that you have either a significant set-up issue or defective units.

    I ride with a number of folks with disc brakes and have not heard of this issue beyond getting the initial set-up right.

  9. #9
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    I vote we designate the terminology 'rim brake' and 'disc brake'. Calipers can apply to both types of brakes so it doesn't really differentiate.

    My opinions:

    -Just like every new technology, discs will slowly become more popular with the masses and eventually rim brakes will fade into the past. The holdup is lots of people (and teams) have multiple bikes and multiple wheelsets that aren't compatible, so of course they won't jump into buying tens of thousands of dollars worth of new parts and bikes. Now that almost every manufacturer has multiple disc frames and some frames are being built exclusively for discs, people will start buying them en mass.
    -I predict pros will go fully disc brake by the 2020 season.
    -Phantom rotor cut injuries will eventually go away, just like chain ring injuries and spoke injuries in crashes now. How many guys need to make instagram videos of them stopping a fast spinning wheel with their thumb on the brake rotor for us to realize the new chamfered rotors aren't sharp enough to cut.
    -Amateurs need discs more than pros because they weigh more, they use the brakes on descents more, and they absolutely need to stop on time when riding in traffic regardless of conditions

    The biggest point here is disc brakes are an technological advancement to bikes because it allows each part of the wheel to only focus on one task. Now the rim can be designed to strongly retain the tire while being lightweight and aerodynamic. Designers don't have to design in a brake track and modify the carbon layup and resin to be able to dissipate heat properly while still being strong enough at all temperatures to hold a tire. You don't see any other wheeled vehicle in the world using its wheels as the brake rotor, why would a bicycle continue to do so?


    I haven't had a problem with either one of my disc brake CX bikes, cable or hydraulic. I'm now in the market for a new road bike and I won't be buying one with out of date technology.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rashadabd View Post
    The Once and For All, End All Be All, Disc Brakes vs. Rim Brakes Thread
    Troublemaker!

    I guarantee you only one thing. This will NOT be the last thread on this topic.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    The self-centering (or lack thereof) is my biggest complaint. I seem to be able to get a ride or two before one piston/pad starts rubbing again. I’ve gone through the various adjustments but no joy. Very frustrating.
    My first question for you is are you removing your front wheel between rides for transport? If so, your brake lever may be getting pulled while the wheel is out. This will re-adjust the calipers for a narrower clearance so they will be too close when you put your wheel back in. If you remove a wheel, you need to make absolutely sure your brake levers do not get pulled.

    You will need to start over with a caliper spreader.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    what might work is this: make this the only thread to post disc brake whiner/flamer/troller/liar/obfuscatory posts in. then moments later .. lock the thread!
    Well, that would just defeat the purpose. We need to tenderly nurture and cultivate this thread so as to make it the most attractive venue for those who wish to discuss the merits of their preferred brake type, thereby funneling all that stupidity here and away from where the grown-ups are talking.
    ​Huzzah! I've figured out how to put something in the little box under my posts.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    I'm now in the market for a new road bike and I won't be buying one with out of date technology.
    I take that to be: a carbon tubeless wheelset, electronic shifting and of course disc brakes. If you had watched the vid, apparently rim brakes are not so out of date technology. Neither is mechanical shifting. At least not on a road bike.

    No doubt disc brakes will become the preferred choice in the future and rim brakes will eventually fade. I have ridden a bike with disc brakes and I'd say they have maybe 15% more power but with better modulation. On a mountain descent, a good rider will easily make up any deficit rim brakes may have. The only true advantage they have is with carbon wheels in the wet. But then I ride with aluminum wheels and even in the wet (got plenty of wet weather riding in Houston, not that I planned it that way) my rim brakes were plenty strong. Even on group ride pace line riding 28-32mph in the pouring rain, I didn't have any fear about the lack of braking power.

    So for 99% of my everyday riding; disc brakes offer no advantage. Same goes for carbon wheels. Yeah, like they going to offer me some huge advantage in my day to day riding.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11spd
    Rash, thanks for posting this thread.
    Guys the disc versus rim brake debate started life on the Specialized forum in the new Tarmac disc thread and Rash I believe rightly moved it here for more general discussion. Nobody in the Tarmac disc thread wanted the debate and I understand that on one level as this is one of the more divisive subjects related to road bikes…rivaling electric shifting and aero versus conventionally shaped bikes.
    As backdrop, many know the rim brake Tarmac is the best selling high end race bike of all time and won the TdF twice in recent years with two separate riders.
    I want to register my vote for rim brakes. My position doesn’t have a lot to do with potentially slicing a rider in the pro peloton because we aren’t pros. Pro racing many know is a blood sport and more sharp edges over and above chainrings is a real concern for simple reason that riders end up on the deck in a pile up all the time in pro racing. So a lottery if your leg, arm or face ends up in proximity to a spinning sharp disc in a common crash. But many are divided on this issue as well and perhaps even questionable that this ‘experiment’ is currently in effect in pro cycling. I would hate to the pro that ends up being a reason for a ban on disc brakes until somebody can figure out how to put a decent guard over the disk edge that doesn’t add too much weight or aero deficit.
    With the advent of dual pivot brakes with excellent brake pad material, I am strongly in the rim brake camp along with 98% of all racers in professional cycling. Disc brakes even now allowed to be raced are about as common fenders and headlight on a race bike aka almost unseen in pro racing.
    Amateurs even more than pros will appreciate the 1 lb weight savings because of UCI weight minimum and of course there is fractional aerodynamic advantage of rim brakes as well.
    But for the average rider who doesn’t do 60 mph descents like pros do who do just fine with rim brakes, biggest issue over and above how much cheaper high quality rim brakes are compared to hydro disc, maintenance is big difference. Opus nailed it. My experience as well. Maintenance is needlessly more fussy with hydro brakes.
    Point of contention between the two braking types is, disc brakes just aren’t necessary…like putting Brembo 4 piston calipers and heavy rotors on a Toyota Corolla. Average Corolla rider will appreciate the weight savings and lack of cost not to mention added maintenance.
    So I would like to put a query out to prospective buyers of road bikes in the future. What will you buy? My theory is…disk brake high end road bikes are typically bought by weaker riders aka 16mph MUP riders. Joe six pack seduced by big brand companies getting into pocket…what they do well. Among stronger riders I ride with, disc brakes aren’t desired. So I would like to ask riders that are CAT 3 or better. What type of brakes do you prefer and what kind of brakes will be on your next road bike?
    Cheers to all persuasions.
    From another thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by 11spd
    You might like the disks because you live in hilly country...for fast descents. Me, I prefer rim brakes because I live in flat country.
    So in other words your opinion is moot

    And 7k+ miles on my disc brakes and the maintenance has been easier than on my previous rim brake bike.





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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rashadabd View Post
    This topic/debate appears to keep rearing it's less than handsome head in multiple threads and forums around here clearly irritating some of the participants in those threads. It seems to pretty much bring out the worst in RBR every time it happens. !
    Go visit the Ebike forum at MTBR.Com for a similar pissing match among the pro and anti-ebike crowds.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by exracer View Post
    On a mountain descent, a good rider will easily make up any deficit rim brakes may have.

    And if the rider on the disc bike is also good?...




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  17. #17
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    After two disc equipped bikes i’m going back to rim brakes,end of the story.

  18. #18
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    Can we get some Weed to ease the pain of this thread???? A couple of kilos might do the trick!!!!

  19. #19
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    Let's talk about a less controversial topic like chain lube.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoPho View Post
    From another thread:


    So in other words your opinion is moot

    And 7k+ miles on my disc brakes and the maintenance has been easier than on my previous rim brake bike.
    Speaking of moot, you didn't answer the question. Are you a 16mph MUP rider? Or...do you train with CAT racers where speed matters? I mean, you can ride a Huffy with a coaster brake as well.
    Yes, flat land riding puts less onus on brake type. But pros pretty much unanimously choose rim brakes and they climb and descend mountains average riders never see including speeds average riders never experience. They 'choose' rim brakes over disc brakes. Big brands want their pros on discs because they make more profit..why big brands sponser bike racing and why they exist....to make money.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    I'm not sure what brand of hydraulic discs you have but since most are self adjusting, I would say that you have either a significant set-up issue or defective units.

    I ride with a number of folks with disc brakes and have not heard of this issue beyond getting the initial set-up right.
    What kind of rider are you? Guys in my group are pretty much all on rim brakes. Since I almost never see disk brakes among better riders or pros, my sense is disc brake love is an average joe phenomena.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Let's talk about a less controversial topic like chain lube.
    That's an easy one. ProLink. It's got what chains crave!


    Disc vs Rim? 11spd nailed it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoPho View Post
    And if the rider on the disc bike is also good?...
    Best descenders in the world including Peter Sagan prefer caliper brakes. Same from 3 time TdF Chris Froome. Only time Sagan is on disc brakes 'on road' is on the VIAS because Spec screwed up on designing caliper brakes on that bike and why he chose the Tarmac rim brake bike for majority of his wins.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11spd View Post
    Speaking of moot, you didn't answer the question. Are you a 16mph MUP rider? Or...do you train with CAT racers where speed matters? I mean, you can ride a Huffy with a coaster brake as well.
    Yes, flat land riding puts less onus on brake type. But pros pretty much unanimously choose rim brakes and they climb and descend mountains average riders never see including speeds average riders never experience. They 'choose' rim brakes over disc brakes. Big brands want their pros on discs because they make more profit..why big brands sponser bike racing and why they exist....to make money.

    Who gives a **** what pros want?! Pros ride under different conditions than the "average rider". And as I pointed out to you in the other thread, many pros train on disc brake bikes, because in the real world you don't get to use the whole road to descend and car traffic is coming at you.
    And I am an A Group rider that has been riding for over 25years and excellent descender with a 4K foot mountain with 312 turns in my backyard, that makes my opinion about brakes far more valid than your flatlander ass
    Your assumption that weaker riders are on disc is a load of crap based on the fact that newer riders buy new bikes that are more likely to have disc brakes than the seasoned guys sticking to what they already have. Not to mention disc on race geometry road bikes is a relatively new thing.
    Where I live, quite a few of the faster riders have already made the change to disc and are loving it, but we have a thing called mountains here

    Your big brand "conspiracy" can apply to anything sold on bikes, from carbon and aero frames to lighter components, etc.. Your constant reference to what pros ride and believing you need a light weight bike so you can ride flatland makes you a sheeple who is falling for the same marketing crap you accuse the manufacturers of



    Quote Originally Posted by 11spd View Post
    Best descenders in the world including Peter Sagan prefer caliper brakes. Same from 3 time TdF Chris Froome. Only time Sagan is on disc brakes 'on road' is on the VIAS because Spec screwed up on designing caliper brakes on that bike and why he chose the Tarmac rim brake bike for majority of his wins.
    You don't know what they prefer. Again, their needs in a race are different and have no bearing on whether disc brakes are good or not.



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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoPho View Post
    And if the rider on the disc bike is also good?...
    Speed of descending has nothing to do with brake type. If you understood bike racing, you would understand. Speed of descending has to do with talent, aerodynamics and ball size of the rider.

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