Disc brakes

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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:21 am
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Disc brakes

Post by Grannygear » Sun May 07, 2017 7:02 am

Besides the obvious (better stopping power in wet conditions), what are the pros and cons of disc brakes on high end road bikes?
I am shopping for a new road bike ($4000 - $5000) range, have no intentions of riding this bike on wet roads (unless caught in shower).

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Re: Disc brakes

Post by DuncanBryson » Mon May 08, 2017 8:26 pm

Even if you aren't riding in the wet too often disc brakes will stop your rims from wearing down, which is a pretty great excuse to ride some spiffy carbon wheels year round. Hydraulic brakes also mean you'll have two fewer cables to change, and you won't have to worry about sticky cables impairing your braking. The only real cons of discs are that you won't be able to race on them (for now), and they'll weigh close to a kilo more than their rim brake equivalents. If you aren't pushing down to sub 6% body fat with hill climbs specifically in mind then the weight really won't be much of an issue.

Agoraphobic Cyclist
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Re: Disc brakes

Post by Agoraphobic Cyclist » Tue May 23, 2017 6:09 pm

Additionally there's two disc brake options - mechanical and hydraulic. Mechanical uses a cable, just like a rim brake. Hydraulic has finally made it to road setups. There's also hybrid setups - mechanical, but hydraulic at the caliper. If possible, I recommend hydraulic because your forearms/hands will thank you. A lot less effort to apply and hold the brakes when necessary, and automatic pad adjustment to maintain distance from pad to rotor. The hybrid setups supposedly can do automatic pad adjustment, but it doesn't work in my experience (the reservoir is too small).

Pads: Used to be that "sintered" pads would last months, but that's disappeared in the last couple of years. Party because the harder braking surfaces would squeal a lot more. But the trade off for less noise is less stopping power and shorter life span. I've run through a set of pads in ~100 miles of wet weather; used to be that I could get a month or two out of a set. While I dislike the squeal, it gets peoples attention better than any bell/etc.

Another component that comes with disc brakes is through axle. Which is still in a bit of flux as far as consistency goes... But hopefully it does deal with the issue around wheel swaps - you can't expect seamless wheel swaps on skewer setups. That said, tubeless and tubeless tubular are options.

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