When Are Disc Brakes Necessary?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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What situation would you say calls for discs over rims?

by Weenie

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by rajMAN

Personally, when touring with a heavy load in a mountainous region or commuting 5 days a week in a crap wet climate(UK) on crap road surfaces. As I do neither I have not the necessity. No other situations I could think of. :D

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by Geoff

Tandems? They are pretty nice for 'cross, too.

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by modcon

I live near a mountainous area, riding year round and commuting on the same bike, often training on the way. The rain and grit through winter usually means wearing out rims in a season. So discs were a fairly obvious upgrade, happy with them so far after 3000km.

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by Hexsense

rain ride with cheap carbon rims without proper brake track.

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by MoPho

Disc are better in all situations :thumbup:

In what situation would you say calls for starting another stupid disc brake vs rim brake thread? :roll:


ome rodriguez
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by ome rodriguez

When they no longer make rim brakes.

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by C36

You have very clear cases that may not be concerning many of the people here: loaded bikes (tandem, or touring), people who don’t feel comfortable in descents or want a better comfort (squeezing brakes for long slow descents is painful).
Other quite clear cases are people insisting (or just have one pair) in using carbon tube type wheels in terrible weather conditions in hilly roads. Or people in the business of only going Downhill, full speed in geostorm condition .

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by alcatraz

Disc brakes are more comfortable, safer and more consistent.

That being said you don't _need_ them if you use good rims and good brake calipers. If you happen to weigh 100+kg you can easily take the weight penalty of running alloy brake track rims which with good pads and calipers can stop on a dime. Yes the rim will get some damage over time. Be ready to have to replace the front rim after a longer distance that is inversely proportional to the weight of bike+rider and number of rain rides.


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by Beaver

Next Tour Mag. issue features a disc vs. rim brake (aluminium only :( ) comparison, I am curious for the results. :D

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by smartyiak

Apparently: when buying a new aero bike.

I'm only half-kidding.

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by Calnago

Hmmm... so when are disc brakes really necessary...
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by Bordcla

Whenever a scenario comes up where you think you might use your brakes more than gently or very little in less than perfect road conditions or on steep or long descents (wet and/or sandy/dirty) and you don't feel like wearing away a set of expensive rims.

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by indrek

Have been riding on Campaq H11 disc brakes for 3 months now (both in alps and flat places). But just finished an Etape on my old bike with EE rim brakes and chinese carbon tubulars. Had zero issues and was mostly passing others on downhills (unfortunately not uphill :D ). Felt stable, safe and no overheating problems what so ever. My disc bike has campaq bora carbon wheels. I was sold on disc's when I built my first disc road bike and took it for a ride, but now when back on light wheels and good old rim brakes I'm in between. When the weather is good, and you are not a complete novice on a road bike then there is nothing left to be desired with a good set of rim brakes, even on a hilly ride... When the wether turns worse or you don't want to "think" while going downhill, then yes, disc brakes are the way to go. For my friends, buying a new bike, I'd suggest go with discs. For fellow weenies on tubs, I'd suggest stay with your rim brakes and wait for a year or two to upgrade...

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by RussellS

smartyiak wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:36 pm
Apparently: when buying a new aero bike.
I'm only half-kidding.
It is only Half kidding. Looking at all the new aero bikes announced recently, I think only the Madone gives you a rim brake option. All others, Cannondale and Soecialized, only give disc option. I watched a YouTube video talking about this point. And the presenter said with aero bikes you are running brake and gear cables in tight spots to keep them hidden and making abrupt bends in all the cables. So mechanical doesn't really work if you want to keep everything concealed and aero. Electronic shifting and hydraulic brakes don't care about bends. If you want your cables to go through the bars and into the stem and then down the fork or into the toptube and/or downtube. Lot of abrupt sharp angles going from bars to inside stem and then down fork. Too sharp for steel cables. Bike companies don't want to make two Venge or SystemSix frames where one has external cable stops and routing, and the other has all internal cabling. Custom frame makers give you the option of internal or external routing. Big bike makers don't let you decide where you want the cables.

by Weenie

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