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Should you make the switch or is it worth sticking with rim brakes?

Disc brakes have become an increasingly important part of the road bike world over the past few years, but while the benefits of disc brakes are well documented, they bring with them challenges and problems too.

Here are some of the issues that we've experienced and heard about.

Disc brakes add weight

The all-up weight of a disc brake bike is higher than that of a rim brake bike.

Levers, brake callipers, hoses, fluid and rotors weigh more than an equivalent rim brake setup. Manufacturers often try to minimise the difference but don't forget that disc brake hubs are heavier too, and disc brake wheels are often built up with more spokes of a wider gauge, although the lack of a brake track means that disc-specific rims are generally lighter. The thru axles that are used with many disc systems are heavier than quick release skewers.Shimano R7000 hydraulic -3.jpg

Read Everything You Need To Know About Disc Brakes 

The weight difference isn't huge but it can often be around a pound over the whole bike when everything is taken into account. 

Disc brake rub can be an issue

Early disc-equipped bikes borrowed the 74mm post mount standard from mountain bikes, where the brake calliper is simply bolted directly onto the frame or fork and adapters are used to accommodate different rotor sizes. 

To try and improve the appearance of discs on road bikes, Shimano introduced its flat mount system. It’s an open standard that has been quickly adopted by other disc brake manufacturers. The vast majority of new disc brake road bikes are flat mount.Shimano BR-RS805 calliper

“[Flat mount offers a] smaller and more compact interface with the frame/fork for improved integration, reduced weight and better tool access for easier adjustment,” Shimano told road.cc. Shimano BR-RS805 calliper rear threequarter.jpg

There’s no doubt flat mount disc callipers are smaller, better looking and lighter than the bulkier post mount callipers. The actual calliper mechanism is identical and there are no changes to the way the hose connects and the brake pads are installed. The key difference is in the way the calliper is mounted to the frame. 

Where post mount callipers are bolted from above directly into the frame and fork, flat mount callipers sit flush with the frame and fork and the bolts are threaded in from below and directly into the calliper, pulling it down onto the frame. At the front, the calliper is fixed to a thin adapter which is bolted to the fork.3T Exploro LTD - rear disc.jpg

Depending on frame design and disc rotor size, post mount often needs a large and ugly adapter to provide the correct spacing over the rotor. On mountain bikes with many different frame designs and more rotor sizes in use, that versatility is a good thing, but the road market leans towards just 140mm and 160mm rotor sizes, for which flat mount has been designed. 

We’ve had mostly good experiences with flat mount on the disc-equipped bikes we’ve tested, but there have been a couple of incidents of brake rub, and there's nothing more annoying.  Specialized Ruby - front disc brake.jpg

We asked Shimano about this problem and it told us that cleanly faced mounts are very important.

“As with post mount, a plane contact area (facing) always helps, as does the size of the disc (smaller is better). Centerlock rotors on good stable axle bearings (compared to 6-bolt rotors on lightweight hub axles) also help with alignment. The construction of the fork is also important (stiffness balance left/right),” said Shimano.

You'd hope a frame or fork manufacturer would make sure that the contact area was right, but in our experience this isn’t always the case. 

Facing tools ensure the brake mounts on the frame and fork are smooth and level and provide perfect alignment. They're expensive and not really suitable for most home mechanics, although all good bike shops should be able to help you out here. Park Took does an adapter for its DT-5.2 Disc Brake Mount Facing Set and you can see it in action in this video.

The other solution to disc brake rub is to adjust the calliper on the frame/fork. With post mount it’s relatively easy: just slacken off the bolts, pull the brake lever and tighten the bolts to centre the calliper over the rotor. 

“The range of adjustment for flat mount is the same as for post mount," says Shimano. "The difference is that the side-to-side adjustment is no longer on the calliper but in the slot hole instead. Shimano recommends that this hole is 4 x 5.2mm (+/- 0.1mm) but sometimes manufacturers don’t follow these recommendations. For the front calliper the adjustment is in the adaptor plate with the same hole dimensions.”

190110_SRAM_Launch-0525.jpg

Not all manufacturers are adhering to the requirements as closely as they should. In many cases, the flat mount range of adjustment appears to be less than in post mount systems. We like flat mount but it does mean you are at the mercy of bike companies ensuring the mounts are manufactured correctly.

Disc brakes affect aerodynamics

Like any other external component, disc brakes affect aerodynamics. Some manufacturers have stated that the rim brake version of a particular bike is more aerodynamically efficient than the disc brake model, but it's not as simple as saying that rim brakes are always more aero.Giant Propel Advanced Disc.jpg

When Giant revealed its Propel Disc in 2017, for example, it said, "Engineers found that, with proper integration, a disc-brake design can actually improve aero performance compared to rim-brake configurations.

“This is because the location of traditional callipers (either in front or behind the fork crown/ legs) creates 'dirty' air'. Opening up the fork crown area (by placing the disc-brake callipers down at the hub) means that the air hitting the new disc-brake calliper has already been disrupted by the leading edge of the tyre/wheel. This effect is further enhanced by an asymmetric fork that helps smooth out airflow over the calliper.”Giant Propel Advanced Disc - fork.jpg

A handful of new aero road bikes, like the Cannondale SystemSix and 2019 Specialized Venge, are disc brake-only.

Which pads?

Switch to a disc brake bike and you'll eventually have to choose new pads... and that's a minefield.

clarks-xt-sram-grimeca-8-hydraulic-disc-brake-pads-43674.jpg

All pads are made by mixing various powdered additives with a binding agent and then squashing it all together at high heat and pressure to form a solid block on the backing pad. What's in the mix of powders has a major effect on the pad's properties. 

Most new bikes come fitted with resin pads. They're made from non-metallic additives such as rubber, glass, carbon and Kevlar to provide an all-around pad that works for most people but isn't very durable under hard use.

Find out more about disc brake padsremove pads.jpg

If you live anywhere hilly and/or ride in all weathers then you're probably better off switching to more expensive but much longer lasting sintered pads. Also known as metallic brake pads, these use a very high proportion of metallic fillers such as copper, steel and iron. They provide strong, effective braking at high pad temperatures although their bite can be poor when they're cold and they'll wear out your rotors quicker than resin pads.

You need to bed in new brakes

New disc brake pads and rotors don't immediately perform to their full potential – they need bedding in first. This is a process that distributes pad material over the rotor to increase the friction, and maximises the contact area between the two surfaces. 

Here's how to look after disc brakes to get the best performance out of them

Thankfully, bedding in is pretty straightforward. Here's SRAM's advice:

"Accelerate the bike to a moderate speed and then firmly apply the brakes until you are at walking speed. Repeat this process 20 times. Then accelerate the bike to a faster speed and apply the brakes until you are at walking speed. Repeat this process 10 times. It’s important that during this process you never come to a complete stop or lock up the wheels at any point."

This will improve the performance of your brakes massively and prepare them for normal riding.

Maintenance involves a new set of skills

Chances are that you know how to adjust rim brakes and swap the pads, and probably how to change the cables too. You might have been doing it since you were a kid. Depending on your cycling background, disc brake maintenance might be entirely new to you.

pressure calliper and slowly release lever.jpgOne issue you could encounter with hydraulic disc brakes is a soft and mushy feel because of air in the system. This requires bleeding and means either a trip to a bike shop or shelling out on a bleed kit. Each manufacturer has its own bleed kit. Shimano and SRAM, for example, use different techniques and fluid. 

Bleeding a hydraulic disc brake system isn't the most onerous of tasks but you will need to get the hang of it while following a guide or watching one of our videos.

They can squeal!

It's true that rim brakes can squeal but we reckon that disc brakes are worse offenders.

The most common cause of disc brakes squealing is contamination of the rotor or pads. You have to be careful when using spray lubricants on a bicycle with disc brakes, or avoid them altogether. 

Find out how to stop your brakes squealing 

“Cleaning your rotors regularly with a specific (oil-free) disc brake degreaser is a good way to avoid squealing brakes," says Shimano. "Cleaning your pads too can help quieten things down — you can try some sandpaper or grinding the pads — but if the grease has soaked through the pad, you might need to replace them. Don't use a degreaser or chemicals on brake pads, though.” 

Muc Off Disc Brake Cleaner

It’s harder to clean disc brake pads than rim brake pads, largely because you have to remove them from the bike in the first place. 

What's the best way to clean disc brakes?

Squealing pads can also be a sign that the pads are worn out. It's a little more tricky to take a close look at disc brake pads than it is with rim brake pads, although taking the wheel out can make the task easier.

Rotors wear out... eventually

One of the advantages of disc brakes is that they don't wear out the rims of your posh carbon wheels, but don't forget that you will wear out the disc rotors. Thankfully, rotors aren't particularly expensive.

Worn out disc rotors - 1

Different brands give different minimum thicknesses for their rotors (the figure is often printed on the rotors). Go beyond that limit and things become dangerous, so keep an eye on 'em. 

125 comments

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franta [12 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

The worst thing about disc brakes is that mechanical calipers, due to internal friction and flex, are not as powerful as hydraulics. This would not be too bad if manufacturer did not insist on mounting puny 160mm rotors witht them. Even worse is that flat mount does not have adapters for bigger rotors.

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Cowoner [5 posts] 8 months ago
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franta wrote:

The worst thing about disc brakes is that mechanical calipers, due to internal friction and flex, are not as powerful as hydraulics. This would not be too bad if manufacturer did not insist on mounting puny 160mm rotors witht them. Even worse is that flat mount does not have adapters for bigger rotors.

They are right to do so in most cases. If I can lock up a soft compound 700x40c tyre at low pressure with 160 mm rotors and TRP Spyres with cheap discs, there's really no reason to go bigger on roadbikes.
FYI though, there are manufacturers that move the mounts a bit so you have the choice between 160 and 180 rotors (e.g. Poison Cynit integrated).
If you get cheap mechanical calipers though you're in a whole 'nother world of pain because of the way they clamp on the rotors...

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mtbtomo [293 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

Even aligning calipers so they look like they don't rub, I can't believe that the majority of calipers don't rub to some miniscule amount. I can see clear daylight between the pads and rims on my rim brake bike. I *think* I can just about see clear daylight between my caliper pads and disc rotor on the road bike but it seems to be very fickle/susceptible to contact. That's with thru axles too!..... So there must be some marginal losses there surely? When everyone is talking about watts saved from going aero or watts saved using the right chain lube, surely a little more pad clearance wouldn't go amiss?

And yes I race, so it does matter to me when I'm racing. Not so much on a training ride though.

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StraelGuy [1746 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

I have 140mm discs front and back on my Strael with Shimano hydro brakes. The brakes are phenomenally powerful as is, I cannot see ANY need for 160mm rotors at all.

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Nick T [1305 posts] 8 months ago
6 likes

They’re noisy, they’re a faff, and they’re entirely unnecessary on a race bike. Cracking for off road, gravel, adventure and commuting though, despite the noise and the faff

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Luv2ride [133 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

Just came back from a ride on my "summer" rim-braked bike, after exclusively using disc bike bikes since (I reckon) end of November.  Got to love a lighter bike, no brake rub and the rim brakes provided great control.  Don't me wrong, I like my disc brakes, but today's ride was a hoot...Didn't even miss my 30mm tyres!

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Jimthebikeguy.com [269 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Nearly all of these things are either non-issues or also apply (but worse) to rim brakes. The main provisos are, stay away from cable disc systems as they are generally crap (and people then assume the same issues will afflict hydro systems), and yes, flat mount can bring a whole load of issues, usually only on a new bike though. Rim brakes bring a whole load more issues for the average rider I think; they destroy the wheel, they can easily be set up in a dangerous fashion (typically the wrong pad compound for a carbon wheel, or cheap hard pads which wouldn't stop anything, or the tolerances and pad alignment and sync are all out, or crap cables which stop the brake being effective... And so on ). A decent hydro system works out of the box as the pads are automatically correct, and it only needs bleeding once in a blue moon if at all, and is overall cheaper to run as you only should need to replace either a rotor or a set of pads, as opposed to a whole wheel rim which then necessitates a new wheel or a hand rebuild. Also, most importantly, it is safe to use in varying conditions and actually stops you in varying conditions, so you dont need to be inducted into the mystical way of the roadie before using them.

Light the fires! Here we go!

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Dingaling [110 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

My mountain bike disc brakes had annoyed me for so long I dumped the Avids in December and put Hope brakes on. They are better so far but it was a lot of work trying to get the front caliper set so that there was no rubbing. I haven't dared to take the front wheel out and put it back for fear of it rubbing again because that always happened with the Avids.

Now, it just so happens I'm looking at getting a new bike for touring (I want to try out titanium) and have already been talking to a supplier. Over the last couple of days I was thinking, despite my negative experience with my mountain bike, I should go for discs now that so many are talking about how good they are on road bikes and then this report comes up and I read Nick T's comment. Now I'm thinking sod it stick to rim brakes, on my road bike the campags on my shamal rims provide all the braking power I need.

The worrying thing is, if I spend a lot of money on this new bike and the disc brakes caused problems, I would be mightily pissed off!

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BehindTheBikesheds [3322 posts] 8 months ago
3 likes
Nick T wrote:

They’re noisy, they’re a faff, and they’re entirely unnecessary on a race bike. Cracking for off road, gravel, adventure and commuting though, despite the noise and the faff

But still absolutely not necessary.

Discs for mountain biking IF you have to go hell for leather all the time and get a lot of mud clogging but then you've got another set of problems to overcome, but you can do mountain biking on cantilevers or Vs in any case without problems, in fact Tom Pidcock rode to the 2017 junior world cyclocross title in 2017 on cantis in fairly icy/snowy/muddy conditions and the crashes were down to limitations in tyre grip not braking power so that's proof enough that you don't need discs for any discipline.

I've commuted on/off for 34 years and ridden utility since I was 13 non stop even when I was a car commuter in the 90s/early 00s. Originally started on chrome steel rims and leather pads plus very bog standard side pull calipers, my current daily I've used for off road/gravel, commuting, touring incl fast descending in the alps, in all that time with any bike I've never not had enough braking. Even doing downhill on my old steel MTB. It's about judgement, all discs do as with other braking and tyre improvements is allow you to go faster and brake later, they don't really improve safety because if you're jusding correctly then whatever braking you do have it should always be enough unless you make an error or there is an external force out of your control.

If people want to use discs that's fine but it won't increase safety or make your ride any more exciting.

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Nick T [1305 posts] 8 months ago
3 likes

I’ve just built a gravel bike, the new stuff only really comes disc ready which was fine for me - I fancied a go at building a hydro disc system anyway so it scratched a few itches. Other bikes in the stable are all rim brake, mostly carbon rims - it depends on your rims and pads but honestly I can’t feel the stopping power any stronger or more modular with Potenza discs over Bora rims with Campy’s carbon pads in the dry. Marginally less modulation, if anything. I’ve no doubt they provide better stopping in the wet, but like anyone else I adjust my riding for wet conditions same as when driving a car - rubber on wet tarmac is my biggest concern, I’ve never been left wanting with brakes on carbon rims.

People talk about rim wear, but I just can’t seem to wear out carbon rims with the correct pads. Alloy rims wear out obviously, but they’re cheap - probably as cheap as replacing a disc rotor. 

I hate random noises on my bikes, I put a lot of effort into fettling my bikes into smooth shifting, silent machines. Smash through some mud and wet on discs, or ride in the rain, and you’ve got the sound of grit on metal until the bastard things dry off, plus the squeals, plus the constant worry about caliper alignment. It’ll be a dark day when bike manufacturers finally force us all into discs

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BehindTheBikesheds [3322 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I was lucky, managed to grab a 2009/10 NOS boxed Specialized Sirrus Carbon Ltd, as gravel bikes go it's pretty damn perfect and has standard guard and rack mounts to boot as well as a carbon layup as used on specialized World Cup winning downhill mountain bikes. My '07 Globe Pro will take 55mm tyres, something many modern gravel disc bikes can't manage.

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kevvjj [476 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes
Nick T wrote:

People talk about rim wear, but I just can’t seem to wear out carbon rims with the correct pads. Alloy rims wear out obviously, but they’re cheap - probably as cheap as replacing a disc rotor. 

 

My last purchase of disc rotors cost £22 for two. Please show me where to buy two new rims with a complete rebuild of the wheels for this price. Silly statement.

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Joe Totale [174 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

Another thing that wasn't mentioned, the extra cost of Disc brake bikes, especially if you're building a bike from scratch. 

Rim brake Ultegra and Disc 105 groupsets are roughly the same cost (According to Vanilla Bikes Ultegra is £40 cheaper). Ultegra is also half a kilo lighter along with the performance benefits. If cost comes into consideration then you can't compare Ultegra rim brake with Ultegra disc, for example. 

Add to that, disc frames are often more expensive and also heavier. 

 

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lees69 [2 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Dingaling wrote:

My mountain bike disc brakes had annoyed me for so long I dumped the Avids in December and put Hope brakes on. They are better so far but it was a lot of work trying to get the front caliper set so that there was no rubbing. I haven't dared to take the front wheel out and put it back for fear of it rubbing again because that always happened with the Avids.

 

Avids (elixirs) are fine while they work, once they start playing up they are complete crap, just throw them in a bin and buy Shimano. Odd minor issues (pad contamination when unused) but no DOT fluid to worry about and they work great. I also have mechanical disc on my cross bike (which work perfectly and are a doddle to adjust). But to be fair, I still use rim brakes on my road bike but only because disc werent an option when buying it.

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Nick T [1305 posts] 8 months ago
3 likes
kevvjj wrote:
Nick T wrote:

People talk about rim wear, but I just can’t seem to wear out carbon rims with the correct pads. Alloy rims wear out obviously, but they’re cheap - probably as cheap as replacing a disc rotor. 

 

My last purchase of disc rotors cost £22 for two. Please show me where to buy two new rims with a complete rebuild of the wheels for this price. Silly statement.

 

decent rotors, like Ultegra for example, are 50 quid each. Good luck with your 11 pound rotors, stay safe out there

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kevvjj [476 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes
Nick T wrote:
kevvjj wrote:
Nick T wrote:

People talk about rim wear, but I just can’t seem to wear out carbon rims with the correct pads. Alloy rims wear out obviously, but they’re cheap - probably as cheap as replacing a disc rotor. 

 

My last purchase of disc rotors cost £22 for two. Please show me where to buy two new rims with a complete rebuild of the wheels for this price. Silly statement.

 

decent rotors, like Ultegra for example, are 50 quid each. Good luck with your 11 pound rotors, stay safe out there

they were Shimano... now a tad more expensive:

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-slx-203mm-6-bolt-disc-rotor/

God, I hope Shimano know how to make disc rotors!

Even if I paid £50 for 'decent' ones can you still show me where to buy two 'decent' rims and two complete wheel builds for £100?

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Nick T [1305 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes

Disc rotors don’t last as long as rims, do you’ll have to change your rotors quite a few times beforemeeting the same mileage as a wheel rim. Roughly 8 times by most calculations. Plus the pads wear faster. And cost more. A Mavic open pro will cost about 40 quid, plus 25 to build it, for about 30/40,000km if you keep things clean. Those rotor and pad replacements could add up to a grand for a pair of wheels in that time, but YMMV obviously 

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kevvjj [476 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes
Nick T wrote:

Disc rotors don’t last as long as rims, do you’ll have to change your rotors quite a few times beforemeeting the same mileage as a wheel rim. Roughly 8 times by most calculations. Plus the pads wear faster. And cost more. A Mavic open pro will cost about 40 quid, plus 25 to build it, for about 30/40,000km if you keep things clean. Those rotor and pad replacements could add up to a grand for a pair of wheels in that time, but YMMV obviously 

On road bikes the pads don't wear faster and certainly don't cost more  - I think you are making this stuff up.

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Jimthebikeguy.com [269 posts] 8 months ago
8 likes
Nick T wrote:

Disc rotors don’t last as long as rims, do you’ll have to change your rotors quite a few times beforemeeting the same mileage as a wheel rim. Roughly 8 times by most calculations. Plus the pads wear faster. And cost more. A Mavic open pro will cost about 40 quid, plus 25 to build it, for about 30/40,000km if you keep things clean. Those rotor and pad replacements could add up to a grand for a pair of wheels in that time, but YMMV obviously 

Where are you getting this data from?

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Stueys [36 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
StraelGuy wrote:

I have 140mm discs front and back on my Strael with Shimano hydro brakes. The brakes are phenomenally powerful as is, I cannot see ANY need for 160mm rotors at all.

Bigger discs don’t give you more braking power, they do give you more heat dispersion though. One of the issues discs have is that heat can build and a rotor doesn’t lose heat as quickly as a rim. Hence a heavier rider on hilly terrain might be better off with a 160f/140r setup. Shim have gone a long way in heat management tech however, Sram recommend 160f I believe.

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KiwiMike [1427 posts] 8 months ago
3 likes
Nick T wrote:

Disc rotors don’t last as long as rims, do you’ll have to change your rotors quite a few times beforemeeting the same mileage as a wheel rim. Roughly 8 times by most calculations. Plus the pads wear faster. And cost more. A Mavic open pro will cost about 40 quid, plus 25 to build it, for about 30/40,000km if you keep things clean. Those rotor and pad replacements could add up to a grand for a pair of wheels in that time, but YMMV obviously 

 

Nick, pretty much every single point you’ve tried to make is provably incorrect. So much so, I suspect you have never actually ridden a disc-braked bike. Anyone considering discs: go for it. The bonuses from mile one far, far outweigh any issues. Life’s too short to argue this, enough rim-braked retro willy-waving here folks. 

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ficklewhippet [111 posts] 8 months ago
3 likes

Bigger discs WILL give you more braking power.. that's immutable.

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kevvjj [476 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
Stueys wrote:
StraelGuy wrote:

I have 140mm discs front and back on my Strael with Shimano hydro brakes. The brakes are phenomenally powerful as is, I cannot see ANY need for 160mm rotors at all.

Bigger discs don’t give you more braking power, they do give you more heat dispersion though. One of the issues discs have is that heat can build and a rotor doesn’t lose heat as quickly as a rim. Hence a heavier rider on hilly terrain might be better off with a 160f/140r setup. Shim have gone a long way in heat management tech however, Sram recommend 160f I believe.

Basic physics says yes they do - the bigger the diameter the bigger the braking force,

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tonyw [5 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes

"Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. "

 

I was reading this load of tripe thinking that when I got to the end it would be revealed as some sort of joke post. But no, this person seems to be serious.

 

I could use the same argument to say that roads should not be allowed, cars should not be allowed, any form if industrialisation shouldnt be allowed and we should all live by subsistence farming with a life expectancy of 20-30 years because we can't have medical care.

 

The word than came to mind was Luddite!

 

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Mungecrundle [1566 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes

mjvande posts this very same cut and paste crap from time to time. I hope he / she takes as much effort to combat the absolute threats to the environment enacted by the current U.S president.

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Mungecrundle [1566 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

Discs or rim? I use both and have manifestly not been killed to death by using rim brakes for many years. Though my experience is limited to shimano only, neither give me any issues in terms of maintenance. Running costs of either are trivial in the grand scheme of things.

Whilst I much prefer the braking characteristics of disc brakes and if performance was the only criteria then they would win hands down but if I were building a traditional straight tubed steel bike then I'd probably go rim for the traditional look. For the more organic curves of a composite carbon frame I prefer the more modern look of discs. For carbon rim wheels, I'd sooner clean my eyeballs with jif than use rim brakes.

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Walo [47 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes
kevvjj]</p>

<p>[quote=Nick T

wrote:

People talk about rim wear, but I just can’t seem to wear out carbon rims with the correct pads. Alloy rims wear out obviously, but they’re cheap - probably as cheap as replacing a disc rotor. 

 

My last purchase of disc rotors cost £22 for two. Please show me where to buy two new rims with a complete rebuild of the wheels for this price. Silly statement.

The point is, you wear out 10 disc rotors at least within a lifetime of an alloy rim.

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Nick T [1305 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

This guy gets it

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fukawitribe [2895 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes
Nick T wrote:

This guy gets it

Nah, his opinion just aligns with yours and he uses the same standard of evidence to make his point.

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CXR94Di2 [2729 posts] 8 months ago
7 likes

The point is, you wear out 10 disc rotors at least within a lifetime of an alloy rim.

That is an exaggeration of epic proportion.  I have bikes that are 8 years old, done thousands of miles and still on the original discs.  I've been through several sets of pads.  I only change the rotors if they squeal alot.  But i've found the reason for this now so havent changed rotors in years.  

Bigger discs allow more braking power and bigger pads with bigger discs allow even more stopping power.

 

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