Moderator: Moderator Team
Now on MTB or cross bikes, that's different. Rim brakes suck in mud and aren't great in water. If I had a dedicated rain bike built (rather than using old race bike parts) I'd use discs. They're good for tandems and maybe even loaded touring bikes. But not for me on road racing bikes.
I'm interested in the tech and curious to see how it progresses.
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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.
prendrefeu wrote:I see the point of them in adverse weather. Which, for road riding, isn't that often.
I guess, in California. In the UK I seem to be forever riding on wet, dirty roads. I want - to at least try - discs as I'd rather have a replaceable braking surface than have to toss rims and pads prematurely because of the crap they're always picking up.
Stopping power is also better in wet conditions compared to V-brakes. I think in dry conditions with fresh pads the V-brakes were more powerful.
The major drawback, and this really needs to be fixed before I consider putting them on my racer, is the constant sound that comes from them (as prendrefeu already mentioned). So I would only consider mounting them on a dedicated rain bike, and stick to regular brakes on my "good-weather" bike
A big difference for mountain bikes etc., is 1) the size of the tire, 2) the aggressive tread, and 3) the softness of the earth for that tread to grip into. Completely different than a wet asphalt situation with skinny road tires and no tread to speak of. Throw a little oil into the mix from the cars and disks become overkill on a light road bike.
I see plenty of uses for disk brakes, but on the highest level road bikes, not so much. I have no desire to switch. So many things would also have to change on the frames (their dropout spacing and added reinforcements for the disk tabs), and the wheels themselves... sure you won't wear the brake tracks from braking anymore, but the rims will need to be stronger, likely with more spokes as well, to withstand the forces from disk brakes applying the braking close to the hub rather than the rim. Lots of obstacles to overcome still. For what. No thanks.
Anyway, all those things have been discussed before, but since you asked...
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