Chainstay mounted rear brakes?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by SuperDave

Trek Madone, Scott Solace, Orbea Avant, Felt AR, Look 795, Merida Reacto, and Parlee ESX owners. What do you hate about your Shimano chainstay mounted direct mount brakes? Would your experience cause you to avoid this type of frame design in the future? If you are unhappy with the performance, what is the underlying cause in your case?


by Weenie

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by Calnago

Good question, and I'd also like to hear from 1) the mechanics who work on and maintain them and 2) those who have ridden for a season or two in inclement weather conditions.
Also of note, it would appear that Trek is kind of backtracking on the behind the bottom bracket brake placement these days with their new Emonda series.
I don't own any bikes with them personally and I will avoid them in the future for the reasons implied above. That is, they're a pain in the ass to work on. And over time, they are exposed to far more constant road crud in bad weather than traditionally place brakes. That can't be good. Plus, the cable routing to get to that position can often be a challenge in itself adding unnecessary friction to the whole system.
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by bm0p700f

Well as a mechanic they are a bit of pain but it is allegaedly a bit more aero and you don't need to use your aero bike in the inclement months do you.

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by Valbrona

They make sense only in the case of braking systems where the quick release function is positioned at the lever and not the caliper.

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by Ozrider

@SuperDave - I have ridden a Madone for a year and raced a crit season and a few road races on it.

The positives are:
A clean looking rear with seat stays that can be more flexible.
? Aero advantage
It looks pretty cool.

The negatives are:
Changing pads, but if you use EE brakes or their pad holders you don't need to access the little retaining screw which can be hard to reach behind the chainrings.
The Bontrager brakes are mediocre front and rear, but EE or Shimano work really well.
They might feel slightly less effective than rear mounted brakes but not enough to make a difference in real world braking.
Possibly a slight loss in brake feel, but I think this is more dependant on brake cables and pads used, and how you set your brakes up.

Of no consequence:
Trek has a quick release lever where the cable enters the frame so easy to release and swap wheels, not sure of the setup on other brands.
With Trek it has a built in adjuster on the quick release lever so brakes can be adjusted on the move, probably easier then bikes with a barrel adjuster on the rear brake.
Cable routing is no more hassle than internal gear or brake cables found on many/most new bikes
Setting up or adjusting the brakes needs a work stand or flipping the bike upside down and might take a few minutes more
Dirt collection hasn't been a big issue and I've just come through our winter rainfall. We have a lot of sandy grit on the roads here, and it doesn't seem to collect any more or less than on my other bikes normally mounted brakes

Another thing is, direct mount brakes are not able to be knocked off centre like normal brakes, so once set up should not rub one one side if bumped while changing a wheel.

I ride my Parlee and Madone each a few times a week and can't say there is a massive difference in braking or dirt collection on the brake calipers.
I don't ride on roads that are muddy when wet as the soil here is more gritty like beach sand. Maybe this makes a difference with dirt build up on the brakes, but I cant comment.

Hope this helps.

Parlee Z5, Trek Madone, Colnago Dream,
Ozrider - Western Australia
Parlee Z5 XL (6055g/13.32lbs) Trek Madone 5.9 (7052-7500g)Jonesman Columbus Spirit (8680g)
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by Weenie

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by Kayrehn

I think they are great. Back end looks clean and I'm sure it is one of the reason that makes my Madone comfortable to ride. As mentioned it doesn't get significantly dirtier and I suspect most people who says that will happen haven't had experience with these bikes before. Set it up once and forget about it, no need to worry about ease of maintenance etc. Shimano claims that the direct mount version actually brakes better than the standard 9k version.

This has been extensively debated in all threads discussing any frames with these brakes, so do search and read. About Trek's backtracking on this feature with the Emonda, I think it's more to do with catering to people who believes it gets dirtier etc rather than for performance enhancement.

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