At first, I didn't see the point of them.
Then, slowly, I sort of thought I saw the point of them - especially after hearing arguments in regards to being able to descend faster, take corners better and so forth.
Then... rather, I mean, now as in "at the time I am writing this" I am back to the first thought: I don't see the point of them.
Why? I have ridden hundreds of climbing miles with one of my riding buddies who runs road disc. Prior to using the road-disc bike, I would consider him a strong, confident descender.
Now, have the discs improved his descending ability?
No, not at all. In fact, I can catch and pass him with my carbon clinchers on most descents in the Santa Monica Mountains (tight, windy, technical, steep). Prior to him running disc he would stay ahead of me or with me. If anything, the discs have slowed him down on descents strangely enough. He isn't any safer than I am on a pair of carbon clinchers.
The only thing that has been true in regards to riding with him is that we are constantly hearing the sound of brake issues: there is always some sort of squeek, whine, or shimmer somewhere. Or a tick. Or some sound that's present. The brakes need constant adjustment, and he's used several different types of brake calipers along the way, each no different. Would hydraulic be any better? Maybe it would alleviate the sounds of the brakes, but I don't see it offering any real, genuine improvement to his ability to descend.
I see the point of them in adverse weather. Which, for road riding, isn't that often.
I see the point of them for Cyclocross - even though many of the top contenders at the World Championships this year were running cantilevers despite the muddy, wet, and cold conditions.
I see the point of them in mountain bikes... that's kind of obvious: braking has improved substantially there.
|| Other projects in the works.