hey weight weenies....have you regretted going disc OR aero?

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

I currently ride a 2016 TCR Advanced SL with Ultegra di2 and Giant SLR wheels. I enjoy lightweight bikes, as well as climbing and even in my bike's modest configuration it weighs sub 16 pounds ready to ride.

I now have the itch to upgrade to a disc or aero setup, (potentially both) and know that I'll take a pretty good hit in the weight department. Have any of you noticed these disc or aero bikes climbing slower or more sluggishly, (assuming your new setup is slightly heavier)? I rarely ride in the rain so that negates one of the big benefits of discs, however the latest and greatest tech always seems to appeal to me.


by Weenie

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by FIJIGabe

I won't say that I regret getting an aero bike, but I do miss having a lighter bike. My old bike was a Madone 5, which I had setup with DA9000 and eventually, ZIPP 404's. As I live in a relatively flat part of the country (E. Texas), I built a Madone 9, and transferred the parts over to it, and kept my old bike on the trainer. I have now taken the Madone 5 off the trainer (well, it still sees most of its miles on the trainer) but now I'm working on it, to setup to put some more miles on it. I call it the "Fauxmonda", since it's very similar in construction to the current Emonda SL (500 series carbon, direct-mount brakes), but is more aerodynamic than the Emonda, so I guess it's a win for me.

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by hogehoge

I had a Propel Disc SL0 and didn't like disc brakes and went back to a TCR Advanced SL0 (RIM)
Extra weight, noisy, no improvments in the dry, throw of the levers too long. Discs rub and calipers need re-centering when changing between different wheelsets, loads more hassle to service.

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by Ravnsnaes

I have owned 5 roadbikes with disc brakes now. A Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Aeroad, Cannondale SuperSix HiMod, Superior Team Issue Disc and Giant TCR Advanced. I'm honestly not impressed with how much constant adjustement disc brakes needs. The clearance between disc and pads is too low, so brake rub has been a constant annoyance on all the aforementioned bikes. And it gets much, much worse when riding in the rain, because dirt, sand and road debris makes the brakes grind and rub all the time. Also, people seems to forget that most of the extra weight is rotating mass. The only reason I havent switched back to rim brakes is because of the resale value of my bike. The shops around here don't stock any high-end bikes without disc brakes anymore, so it's easy to see which way the market is going. But Shimano, Sram and Campy have a lot of work to do, before discs are any good.

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by WheelNut

I never regret discs when its raining. I prefer a rim brake bike for dry climates since they are just a bit easier to deal with. Sounds like you've already got a great bike though, so its probably not worth spending tons of money for a bike that is not so different. If your feeling a cycling mailaise then you might better off adding a new bike category that will take you to some new places your TCR can't go (gravel bike, MTB, cycling holiday maybe).

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by MoPho

I had a TCR Advanced SL with Sram red mechanical, weighed 14.9lbs and now have 13k miles on a TCR Advanced Pro disc with Ultegra Di2 and between the disc, ultegra Di2 and heavier wheels, it weighs 17lbs and unless I rode them back to back in the same conditions I can't tell the difference in the weight. In fact I've since PR'd all my climbs on the heavier bike.
My friend had the identical rim brake version of the TCR advance pro and it weighed a little over 16lbs, so not that much of a difference. If the mere 1lb or less disc adds is going to ruin your ride, you've likely got other issues.
I do a lot of technical descending and the disc brakes are great, even in the dry they are better. I recently demo'd a rim brake bike on one of my favorite 5 mile descents and the rim brakes at first seemed great, but after a few turns they were pretty dissapointing. I will not go back to rim brakes if I can help it.
I have not had to adjust the disc brakes all that much ( the Sram red rim brakes needed constant adjustment to the point I had to carry a brake tool with me) and I rarely get any rub, it's fairly easy to fix anyway. I have several friends who have disc as well and they haven't had to touch theirs at all. I also can swap wheels without having to make any adjustments (there are shims to solve that too), so much easier to swap than with rim brakes that needed to swap pads and make adjustments to adapt different wheel width and surface.
Most of the extra weight is not necessarily rotating mass, and what there is, is centered close to the hub so you would not likely feel the affect.

I guess those that complain about disc being "too much maintenance" don't mountain bike. :noidea:

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by Bigger Gear

WheelNut wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:34 pm
I never regret discs when its raining. I prefer a rim brake bike for dry climates since they are just a bit easier to deal with. Sounds like you've already got a great bike though, so its probably not worth spending tons of money for a bike that is not so different. If your feeling a cycling mailaise then you might better off adding a new bike category that will take you to some new places your TCR can't go (gravel bike, MTB, cycling holiday maybe).
This^^ Living in a wet climate, I now finally have one bike with discs that is my all-road/gravel/fender solution. All my other bikes are rim brake. As for having an aero bike, unless one is racing at a reasonably high level I really do not see the point. They are generally a bit stiff and harsh riding, and working on them becomes incredibly tedious with cables routed in head tubes, brakes on the chainstays, cables through the bars, etc, etc. 15 years ago I would have been all over a Venge but today, no way.

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by wheelsONfire

Shimano has a rather long throw. If you're good at bleeding brakes and tuning these, i guess you can get it good.
Sure disc brakes are better in both dry and wet. Modulation is better. Brake pads run close, so you may need to use shims between wheelsets.
Rim brakes are easier to work with for me. I am not good at the bleeding.
It also seems, looking at aftermarket forks as an example, that rim brake forks are not of interest to develop any more.
I guess it won't be long until some brands totally skip rim brakes.
As an example, 3T and Open Cycle (coming with a road bike) will just release disc-brake framesets.

But i sure hope rim brakes get somekind of revival before it's too late.

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by jfranci3

If you're not riding in the rain /changing tire/wheel sizes (gravel)/ sharing wheels with a bike that has discs, there's no point to discs. Most of the benefits of an aero bike can be had with a set of aero handlebars, as you're going to put water bottles on the aero bike anyway. I'd get a std road bike with some aero touches like dropped seat stays and a D-shaped seat post (like the current tarmac) if I had your requirements as it'll ride better than the aero bike and be lighter than both.

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by spdntrxi

I miss the lightweight bike.. I can feel the difference going up the climbs in NorCal no doubt... My rim-brake Parlee could be under 13lbs .. so my disk brake gravel bike is roughly 4 pounds heavier.

I do not regret disc brakes though... wonderful on descents like Mt Diablo
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by dastott

Technical climbs (twisty, irregular and gradients over 7%) my SS Evo is faster and more enjoyable than my Merida Reacto but the Reacto really shines on flat and gently rolling courses. I also have a more aggressive position on the Reacto. Both are comfortable for 200km rides. Both are rim brake. Enjoy both equally I would say, although I don't race that much.

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by bilwit

In terms of cost/value I kind of regret buying a disc bike, especially now that I'm focusing more on indoor training. The disc bike for me is a luxury item that I'll grab any time it's wet outside. Admittedly, a pair of alloy rims on reserve would have sufficed, but it's nice to not have to switch wheels & pads on a day-to-day basis and have the ability to just pick the right bike on the fly.

When it's dry outside I'll reach for the rim brake bike every time.
Last edited by bilwit on Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Mep

Could be just the crowd on this forum, but it seems like a good number of folks prefer rim brakes for general riding. I'm the same way and just bought a new aero bike to complement my 5kg climbing bike - guess what, it's on rim brakes too. It does scare me a little that major manufacturers are moving away from making rim brake bikes however.

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by RyanH

If you're noise sensitive like me, don't get disc. My average ride is 100' of elevation per mile but I spend very little time braking, so while rim braking may be noisier, the overall bike riding experience is significantly noisier with disc brakes. I had a gorgeous uber disc bike (the Wilier) that I ended up hating so much. Removing the disc brakes from the conversation, it was hands down the best bike I've thrown my leg over. It's a competitive aero bike (IIRC something like 2-3w slower than the Madone at 45k) so a vote for aero.

I don't feel like disc is much better than good alloy braking in the dry (if at all). It is definitely better than carbon braking, so that part is nice. BUT, even though I have both alloy and carbon (and different levels of carbon braking), I manage to survive my rides on even my poorest carbon braking surface and get used to the diminished braking.
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by TobinHatesYou

I find textured carbon brake tracks noisier than disc-brakes unless the rotors/pads are wet. When wet, discs will squeal and honk of course...you live with that I guess.

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