Disc brakes VS stone age braking tech

It’s September 2021, maybe it’s time to face the reality ? :woman_shrugging:

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There’s a good chance that I am completely wrong on this, but I think that they’re will be a pendulum swing back at some point. We’ll settle at some in between where they’ll be room for both.

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You can also get the Ultegra stoppers that are less expensive and just as good. Some of us own alot of custom frame, rim brake steeds, and there is no compelling reason for me to add a disc brake bike to my fleet. ( Yes, a good portion of my wheels are tubulars too…) I am a die hard roadie and trackie, and as such gravel and MTB don’t have enough appeal to me( and I have done both with friends and teammates) to add one of those to my collection.

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It’s the weight of the whole system including cables, hoses, fluid and pads thats important.

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FIXING a disc brake system far from home is difficult and there is no way to “make it work” without proprietary parts in the field. Calipers, OTOH, can be made to function when far from home (touring in distant lands, for instance) and non-specific parts that will “work” can be had or modified.

Ditto for steel frames versus plastic (OK, carbon fiber) ones. ALWAYS ask “What if…?”

Yes, I was a Boy Scout… :wink:

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I think it mostly comes down to the investments you’ve already made in your machines and where/how you ride. Mechanical disc stopping power is not that much better or even different than rim brakes. But to me hydraulic disc brakes changed the way I rode, opened up a lot of fun, and as a closed system that maybe gets looked at once a year, I’m content to give my LBS the business.

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I would counter that rim brake wheels will always be around but harder to find and will be either really cheap or really expensive, and rim brakes will occupy a smaller and smaller niche, like analog film and typewriters—and, soon enough, the internal combustion engine. A rim brake is elegant in its simple efficiency and will always be enjoyed as such, as long as the bikes they stop are around, which could be a good while.

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My rim brakes don’t stop as good in the wet (that’s a good excuse for me to have a sleep in on a rainy day) but they’re a whole lot quieter & cheaper

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I’d have to concur. Disc brake aren’t much better in the dry. They do work better in the rain. At this stage of the game, if it’s raining , I’m not riding outside.

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So the use case for disc brakes is (1) raining, (2) technical descent, (3) pushing the safety limits on the descent.

That combination of three circumstances basically never happens. Even when I raced, it was extremely rare…

the use case for rim brakes is (1) when 300-400 grams of reduced mass (considering the full system) makes me faster uphill, (2) I care about going fast uphill.

That’s basically every ride. How much faster? Easy – just calculate the energy. Consider a 400 meter climb, with 300 grams saved. That’s 1.2k. Multiply by gravity (basically 10) = 12k. That’s 12 kJ. So if I’m doing 250 watts, that’s around 7 seconds saved, not counting rolling resistance and wind resistance. Does 7 seconds matter at the top of a climb? Absolutely.

So for me, the only compelling reason the prefer disc brakes is they reduce rim wear.

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Love my rim brakes.

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For years roads wouldn’t even acknowledge a mountain bike/er, now they stolen virtually everything under the idiotic word GRAVEL, I can have a perfectly good accident on smooth roads (if you can find one), to the extent now of having suspension fork, the lemmings have fallen for manufactures need for there money, no one’s figured , that a certain amount of race crashes are because disc are so fast those behind have to have reactions of F1 drivers disc,s & wet road bad combination ???

To me it all depends on where you live.
I live in England, it’s very wet, it makes more sense for me to have disc brakes. If I lived in Mallorca or Sydney rim brakes make far more sense.

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My feelings exactly, it’s a similar thing with some nice carbon wheels. It could be lovely when I leave the house but 30 mins later we’ve had a downpour andI’m going down something steep (albeit short) that I’d really like to stop at the bottom! If I lived in the south of France or California where I can be fairly certain my ride stays dry rim brakes would be fine. Sadly Devon can have most weather types in a day.

That being said I do love my rim braked Bianchi (alloy rims) although in hindsight saving a bit longer for discs would have been wiser.

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I grew up in West Devon and rode on Dartmoor, it’s possibly the wettest place on earth! It was common to have those ‘4 seasons in one day’ type days.

I’m really looking forward to next Monday when the Tour of Britain rides through my old stomping ground.

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I’ve said often to people who haven’t experienced Dartmoor weather - there’s a reason the Royal Marines train up there: in the morning they can learn how to deal with being rained to death, in the afternoon have some heatstroke and then hypothermia at night!

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It’s also why they put a prison there!

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I think the discussion on disc brake continues because of (minor) issues with the current road disc brakes (which I believe boils down mostly to pad clearance). Disc brake vs rim brake is really not a topic in MTB context for example.

Regardless of the current state of disc brakes, I am a strong believer in separation of concern. It’s possible to design better rims when you don’t have to be concerned about braking power and similarly for brakes.

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1200 J or 1.2 kJ @ 250 W that’s 4.8 seconds.

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The OP price comparison is misleading–most of us who use rim brakes wouldn’t need a $400 pair (I use Ultegra r8000s on my otherwise Campy-equipped bikes, which I get for a bit over $100 per pair), while going cheap on disc will get you a lot less. And, it isn’t just the cost of the brakes, of course, but the wheels, and the rest of the stuff as mentioned above.

While in MTB, makers have clearly adopted disc, there are still many of us that ride MTBs with rim brakes (my Giant MTM came disc-equipped, which I took off in favor of Avid rim brakes, since they were both lighter and much easier to keep running in the field, and the wheels were cheaper as well)–just like vinyl LPs, CDs, and whatever else, though new technology comes around, it doesn’t necessarily mean we all need to follow suit–for the discerning consumer, we will always have choices, some of us even opting for the dinosaur over the jaguar–go figure.

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