Road bike… Rim brakes vs discs.

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  • Road bike… Rim brakes vs discs.
  • Premier Icon on and on
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    Unless you are dragging them, then that shouldn’t be an issue. Sit up, break, off brake corner, sprint and repeat. Brake should have plenty of time to cool between bends, even if they come fairly quickly.

    Technique is fine thanks but carbon rims with latex tubes puts and element of doubt in which I don’t have with my disc bikes.

    zokes
    Member

    Looking at the Giant TCR Advanced 1, premium seems to be around 200 quid for an equivalent disc braked bike (1799 vs 1999).

    I had a toss up between the Advanced Pro with disks, or the Advanced SL without. I went for the latter, and I’m quite happy with that choice. But, same frame and wheels for similar price and I’d probably go disks.

    Premier Icon pedroball
    Subscriber

    I had a toss up between the Advanced Pro with disks, or the Advanced SL without.

    ..same here, and I think the SL with rim brakes just makes sense, having that quality light frame with those brakes. If the weather is c@#p I’ll take a different type of road bike out anyway.

    smell_it
    Member

    Rim brakes on the race/ summer bikes. Got disc brakes on 2 bikes, caad12 and cheapo Chinese thing for winter and I tend to cycle in Norway quite a bit an do prefer the disc bike’s for that as the weather’s pretty changeable in the hills.

    Also got a rim brake caad12 that I use for crits and summer training, i did take this to the Alps/ Spain over summer as it just feels a bit more lively than its disc equivalent despite the wheels being pretty similar in weight. I do have a lot of wheels!!

    I certainly think disc’s offer a lot, particularly when the weather’s poor, and would be happy to race them.

    Ramsey Neil
    Member

    Seems like opinion is changing towards discs , I suspect that if you had asked the same question last year there would have been less pro disc replies .

    I’ve never been sold on discs on a road bike. However, I accidentally bought one and love it. The modulation in hydraulic discs makes it much more comfortable on long rides.

    I’m still a naysayer for the most part. I’ve yet to have any incidents caused by poor wet weather braking and obviously don’t ride enough/split my riding between enough bikes, that I don’t wear rims out.

    My other experiences are:

    Avid BB7s – squeal in wet
    Shimano R505s – leaking and contamination
    SRAM Levels (MTB brake but used on a slicked up tarmac only commuter) – Truly horrendous squeal in wet
    TRP Spyres – Quite good so far, some noise in wet but nothing terrible, possibly cured by replacing stock pads. With stock pads there still seems to be a delay in power delivered when rotors are wet.

    Trying to spec a custom build and adding discs was all disadvantanges, heavier for a given budget and less choice of wheels (I like cup and cone…).

    Despite the above I was finally convinced to give discs another go, thinking that some decent Ultegra level Shimanos probably wouldn’t squeal or leak. Problem is all the 2018 bikes on the high street with Ultegra level hydros are now way out of my budget, looking at £2000 plus! I went with my initial choice of a Rose Xeon with full Ultegra, rim brakes and Fulcrum 3s for £1600 all in.

    My perfect braking set up right now is the Tektro RX6s with Swisstop Blue on my commuter. Work with drop levers, clearance for big tyres and guards, silent, powerful, fairly instant braking in wet. Lighter and cheaper than discs too 8)

    smell_it
    Member

    I’ve yet to have any incidents caused by poor wet weather braking

    Nor have I, but I would say as a rider I ride to the limits of the conditions, equipment and my nerve. Reality is most of my crashes are caused by riding too fast in the wet or dry regardless of brake system 🙂

    Nor have I, but I would say as a rider I ride to the limits of the conditions, equipment and my nerve.

    Very true, I guess I could shave a few seconds off my commute on wet days if I wasn’t unconsciously dragging my rim brakes a few seconds before the junctions 8) (although I do this on my disc brake bike as well to lessen the inevitable squeal!).

    kirky72
    Member

    Having had a scary bad off a couple of years ago with rim brakes on a long steep descent and struggling to scrub enough speed before a very tight slightly off camber corner. I left road cycling alone altogether for a year but then I thought I would give a disc brake equipped bike a try. End of season sale 1500 off to bring a ultegra synapse with stupidly light carbon disc wheels down to 2400£ helped the decision.

    Apart from the crappy pf30 the bikes been great, the disc brakes offer great modulation, run without rubbing or any other issues yet and give greater confidence and have bailed me out when I’ve had to stop within a shorter space in emergency.

    However like most things there are also cons, the extra power and dependability can give a bit of false bravado to go a little faster than may have previously done or ride conditions that I would have previously avoided.

    Today being a great example, a lot of rain overnight made me skip the usual mtb Friday ride and go for road ride instead. The local roads were plenty wet but not too many puddled etc. Buoyed by recently reading one of the britains best climb books I decided to head off and try and tick off a few local hills that I either haven’t done for a long time or may have been in the wrong direction.

    I dropped down a short very steep hill on a narrow lane down from newchurch to barley around Pendle hill. As I dropped in the steeper bit I was coming up behind a car so started to gradually slow down trying to keep a decent gap which I succeeded in doing by gently feathering the brakes. Then just as I was on the steepest most marble like section the car stopped as a car approached up the hill. The upcoming car stopped and they seemed to debate who should reverse to a passing point all the time I was getting closer and trying to scrub more speed without skidding.

    The other car reversed but the problem car didn’t follow, so I had no choice but to try and stop before I got to it, I broke as hard as dare but as soon as I did I just went into a long skid, if I stopped braking I was likely to hit the car somewhere around 25/30mph so I had no choice but hope for some grip, I aimed to get closer to the side of road incase I could find grip or the car pulled away leaving a gap. As I got closer I seemed to speed up after hitting some fallen leaves and the car wasn’t moving so I had two choices; hit the car or aim for a bit of banking before a dry stone wall. I hit the banking flipped over the bars landed a couple of foot behind the car.

    Now if I had rim brakes in the same situation I may not have slowed at all from further up the hill or as controlled and hit the car full tilt or just generally a faster crash. Difficult to tell.

    However if the rim brake bike was my only option then I would have either gone on the mtb after all or opted for flatter route. I guess the moral if the story is they may be slightly better but weather and ground conditions matter more and not to let the disc factor lull you into a false sense of security.

    On the plus side once I gave myself a minute sat on the deck to check for injuries after the adrenalin had started to subside, I expected to retrieve my bike piece by piece but it was absolutely fine. So the carbon frame, fork and carbon wheel which bore a full front on smash into banking at somewhere around at least 20mph survived intact barring a very slight buckle/flat spot to the wheel.

    Sorry for the long story, just a practically live example.

    reggiegasket
    Member

    are we still talking about this?

    You either want decent brakes or so-so brakes. Whatever.

    [and I know that descent kirky 😉 ]

    vdubber67
    Member

    to 99% of the population a grown man in lycra on a bike looks like a ‘complete chopper’ so run whatever brakes you are happy with…

    No, 99% of the population don’t know what the expression ‘chopper’ means really do they, and I suspect you’re one of them 😉

    kirky72
    Member

    Previously only climbsed up there heading home away from Barley, a tad too greasy today, made me take the remaining descents like those down to twiston and Pendle to blacko hell of a lot steadier.

    After decending the cormet de rosemont to Bourg St Maruice in the snow a month ago I’m more and more looking at disc bikes.

    I need a frame that will take 28c tyres, Di2, hydro discs and a rack or guards for winter and touring, I doubt it’ll be cheap.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    The great thing about disk brakes is you can use wider tyres (if the bike has clearance) and get much better stopping power.

    Disks on a 23mm tyre verge on overkill as there’s plenty rim brakes that can lock up a tyre with so little grip. The UCI and cycling bodies have really retarded bike development for the non-racing rider.

    belugabob
    Member

    need a frame that will take 28c tyres, Di2, hydro discs and a rack or guards for winter and touring, I doubt it’ll be cheap.

    Sounds like you need to consider the Kinesis 4S Disc

    My build came to £1800, but didn’t include Di2

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    The UCI and cycling bodies have really retarded bike development for the non-racing rider.

    Really? Forum debating aside, the general bike buying public don’t seem bothered about UCI rules and neither has is stopped manufacturers flooding the market with disc bikes.

    Premier Icon on and on
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    I ride mountain and road bikes but have no interest in watching pro events in either discipline.
    Couldn’t give a toss about pro equipment or UCI rules.

    Premier Icon njee20
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    Rim and disc wheels can be heavy or light. Brake rub is non existent unless there is an issue that needs fixing.

    For a given price disc wheels are heavier though. I get a bit of rub when out of the saddle, doesn’t bother me, but it’s definitely there. No issue that needs fixing, just tighter tolerances and a bit of flex.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    mrblobby – Member
    ‘The UCI and cycling bodies have really retarded bike development for the non-racing rider.’
    Really? Forum debating aside, the general bike buying public don’t seem bothered about UCI rules and neither has is stopped manufacturers flooding the market with disc bikes.

    if you add “….well over 10 years after they were a well proven lightweight fitment on mtbs.”

    However the general public weren’t/aren’t aware of the dead hand of the UCI and have no idea of how much better road bikes could have been.

    Marketing follows racing to a large extent. For the last 30 years I’d venture that most of the improvements in cycling have originated from the offroad bikes and some have filtered through to bikes used on the road.

    If the UCI rules haven’t retarded bike development, why is there no unrestricted class?

    Why are we still riding diamond frames when a C/F monocoque would be lighter and stiffer?

    Why has it taken all this time for the highly effective disk brake to be adopted on road bikes?

    Damn, I’m off on one of my anti UCI rants.

    Ironic when you consider my favourite bike is a 60 year old lugged steel 3 speed. 🙂

    scott_mcavennie2 – Member
    I’ve never been sold on discs on a road bike.

    After a very scary moment this afternoon, I’m completely sold on them now.

    Had a car pull across my lane when I was doing around 30mph this afternoon – just metres in front of me. I managed to do a controlled skid to squeeze in front of it, and then do another the other way to avoid the wall that was looming in front of me.

    I’m actually in complete disbelief that I managed to ride it out at all and am pretty sure that if I was on my other bike with 105 rim brakes (which I actually think are excellent) I would have been either through the windscreen or spread across the wall.

    I was also pretty sure that I had made eye contact with the driver before he turned right! Broad daylight as well. Scary stuff.

    gwurk
    Member

    2 controlled skids? ie. wheels locked?
    You’re probably giving your braking system too much credit

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    If the UCI rules haven’t retarded bike development, why is there no unrestricted class?

    UCI are concerned with cycling as a marketable sport. It works more or less ok with the rules they have in place, why would they want to change them? Without rules governing bike design we’d probably be watching a bunch of fully faired recumbents, which would be a very different spectacle to what we currently have and possibly a viewer turn off.

    The bikes ridden in UCI races have also evolved significantly in pretty much every area over the last 20 years or so, so ridiculous to say development is retarded.

    Regarding triple triangle and frame dimensions, i’d question why the manufacturers haven’t been better at innovating and marketing for the > 99% of the bike buying public who’ll never compete under UCI rules (or even at lobbying the UCI for rule change.) If it’s so much better then surely an easy sell to the bike buying public. Much like discs on road bikes are today. Despite triathlon being unrestricted there’s still very few radical designs out there.

    You’re probably giving your braking system too much credit

    Admittedly, once I’d checked that I hadn’t physically shat myself I did feel quite proud of my skills!

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Just got back off holiday to Tenerife and rented a bike for a day and rode over tiede. The bike was a c’dale supersix wih hydraulic disks. I was of the school that disks are technically better they are unlikely to bring much of a benefit in the dry. Boy was I wrong. They are far superior in the dry to any rim brake i’ve ridden in all departments – modulation, nite, out and out power, consistency. The bike felt so much better on the descent, it was a typical twisty hairpin descent, 2000m over about 30km, so high speed and i’m not a light chap – 94kg in my birthday suit and not much more with a layer of Lycra.

    I think your weight might play into it, my brother is a more slight 65kg as was not as blown away as I in their performance over rim brake, though he conceded they were better, but he was more bothered about one of his discs slightly catching the pad and giving out a ringing noise occasionally. So as is the case with cars, braking performance is more to do with weight than anything – a lighter car will always outbrake a heavier car no matter how sophisticated the braking system, if you’re a lightweight person then the benefit of discs might not be so great – maybe why pro’s seem so ambivalent about them, but for the more stocky chap they definately are a lot better. Like night and day. Even more in the wet i’m sure.

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