Disc brakes in California?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
losdoyers
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Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:26 am

by losdoyers

Or any dry place that never rains. Are disc brakes worth the weight/aero penalty in consistently dry conditions?

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gazzaputt
Posts: 270
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:32 pm
Location: Bexley, Kent, UK

by gazzaputt

I just bought a Giant Defy with Shimano R785.

For me being in the UK yes wet weather braking is a plus but the modulation of discs and ease of braking far outweigh the weight penalty for me. It's just so nice once your used to them. Later braking points and downhill your not grabbing a fistful of brakes just the same light one finger touch as being on the flat. Love them!

by Weenie


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Stolichnaya
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:55 pm
Location: Vienna, AUT

by Stolichnaya

California + dry + no rain + aero penalty + weight penalty = whole lotta nope.

Check back when the industry has the standards worked out and there is no penalty for beefed up frames, forks, added spokes, heavy calipers, etc.

mnmasotto
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Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:16 pm
Location: Irvine, CA

by mnmasotto

I live in Irvine, CA. I have a 2015 Specialized Tarmac S-Works Disc. The factory rep told me the bike weights just below 16 lbs stock from the factory. He also told me the factory Roval wheels weight 1488 grams without rotors or tape. Info via a very knowledgeable Specialized rep on their 800 number. To my surprise the bike weighted just under 18 lbs. The stock wheels weight about 1780 grams minus rotors. Stock handlebars weigh in at 200 grams, not bad..... If I recall correctly the stock Romin Evo seat weighed in at 245 grams. Needles to say I opened up my wallet and put the bike on a Fairwheel/Star bikes diet. I replaced the wheels with Enve Disc 20/24, Sapim X-ray,spokes , Extralite disc hubs which weighed in at 1362 grams. I replaced the stock seat post and seat with MCFK units, Zipp handlebars, Cool Carbon Skewers and Rotors. I also replaced the boat anchor stock Shimano R785 calipers with magnesium XTR units. The weight is finally down to 15.2 lbs.
I digress. Braking performance is better. Slightly better .....but better. Lever feel is unmatched. Probably the best improvement. Unfortunately, the disc brakes add a new potential noise source. I get very slight rotor noises when cruising along at 16-20 mph. It's the rotors slightly rubbing against the brake pads. Neither me or my mechanic have been able to cure this....slight but annoying as hell. I occasionally have to sand down the pads to remove an occasional brake squeal.

If I forcefully apply the brakes for an abrupt stop the rotors Howl something awful. This noise is present with both the factory Shimano rotors and Cool Stop rotors. Research has informed me that it is vibration of the rotor in the caliper which creates the noise. There is no way to get rid of it unless I go to a much heavier and sturdier hub and rotor set. Something I am unwilling to do.

I cannot say I am disappointed with the bike......I ride it a lot. But I am pretty sure my next bike will have EE Cycleworks rim brakes like all my other bikes.

P.S. I do not ride in the rain and have not been caught in rainy conditions since I bought this bike.

RyanH
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by RyanH

@mnmasotto

Quick! Go for a ride now while we get our once a quarter rainfall.
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Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

ipenguinking
Posts: 466
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 5:14 pm
Location: Sunny So Cal

by ipenguinking

It rained pretty hard in Southern California this morning and I'll be riding my disc-brake equipped MTB this afternoon!

rms13
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:05 pm

by rms13

Definitely could use them today but in general it's pointless. My ultegra brakes with swissstop pads have been stopping my carbon clinchers reliably

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dlcrep
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by dlcrep

mnmasotto wrote:I live in Irvine, CA. I have a 2015 Specialized Tarmac S-Works Disc...........I replaced the wheels with Enve Disc 20/24, Sapim X-ray,spokes , Extralite disc hubs which weighed in at 1362 grams.

Since the 15' Tarmac Disc uses proprietary Roval hubs, how did you not throw off your chainline going with an aftermarket wheel/hub setup?

http://service.specialized.com/collater ... 040845.pdf
http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/news/a ... -r3-45087/

RyanH
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by RyanH

I must say they've done a remarkable job on the marketing of disc brakes cause I want a bike with disc so badly, but being iffy to race it has held me back.
Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

CerveloBert
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:43 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

by CerveloBert

I just don't see the point of buying disc-brake compatible bikes in our great state. Sunshine for approximately 300 days a year, and of the remaining 65 days we only have about a fourth of those being wet. Annually, Southern California gets approximately 15 inches a rain in a year. I believe the number was something like 3 inches this morning in Los Angeles, which is considered pretty heavy for a single day. More than weight/aero penalties though, I would be concerned about cost. Finding a good bike with low mileage in Los Angeles is very easy and can be bought at a fraction of the cost a new bike with disc brakes.

mnmasotto
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Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:16 pm
Location: Irvine, CA

by mnmasotto

Specialized sells an accessory rear derailor for use with aftermarket 135 mm offset rear wheels. I installed it with the Enve wheel set and it works flawlessly. To be honest, I was a little concerned about this before I bought the bike but it has turned out to be a non-issue!

P.S. I have ridden my Colnago C59 with Enve SES wheels in very wet conditions. Although the rim type brakes do suffer a slight degradation in breaking performance I do not believe it would cause me to steer my future purchase decision toward Disc brakes.

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djconnel
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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by djconnel

I rode in heavy rain through Morro Beach in July, part of a bike tour. I was underdressed -- the forecast had been for 80F, and was shivering so much on the gradual CA41 descent that braking force simply wasn't an issue. This morning was light rain in SF and I was more worried about road traction descending steep Conzelman Road in the Marin Headlands than I was with braking force. This winter is forecast to end the 3-year drought so rain totals will return more to normal -- San Francisco does statistically rain about 30% of the days during peak rain season.

In any case, I view the case for disc brakes here as not worth the hassle. GCN did a nice comparison of brakes and discs did better only in the wet. That's more compelling in Great Britain.

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CBJ
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Location: Brooklyn

by CBJ

I don't live in Cali but I have both. I say besides the wonderful modulation and control what really makes a difference is stopping in traffic. I don't care what GCN says they will stop quicker in traffic. The R785 are super powerful. My other bike has Dura Ace brakes and C24 wheels so a good setup too for comparison. I have not tried the difference on long descents. Its also nice you are not wearing down your wheels so you could get away with just one nice wheelset. I say I would be very tempted to get a dics bike if I had to change out my dedicated road bike just to match up the same technology between bikes but I have no reason to change out current my non dics bike just to get dics brakes.

lanternrouge
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:47 pm

by lanternrouge

As a person in Southern California who does not have a bike with disc brakes but wants to get one, I'll weigh in: I don't need them, but do want to have a bike with them because of slightly better control and more importantly for the occasions when I do have a particularly long or steep descent and want to know that I can scrub the speed quickly if need be and hold the speed down when necessary. This is influenced by being a cautious descender. I think disc brakes can certainly be justified here.

RyanH
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by RyanH

Latern, I actually think that would be an argument against disc brakes since you're more likely to experience brake fade if you drag brakes.

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Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

by Weenie


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