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Discs for commuting?

dirtbiker100dirtbiker100 Posts: 1,997
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
The company has joined the cycle to work thingymajiggy which is all good but now i've got to decide what i want. I'm from mountain biking (xc and dh) so I'll be staying with flat bars hybrid bike. don't want a road bike. thanks for your offers...

but also coming from mtbing i'm thinking i need disc brakes. which i'm not really sure i do. They add weight, take money away from other components for better braking, but how much better? not really ridden "road brakes" for many years and old have experience of crappy u-brakes on my bmx that never seem to work.

bikes i'm looking at are around the £700 mark:
cannondale badboy 700
Lapierre RCR 500
Commute will be around 5 miles each way. pretty flat.
But then as I have the bike i'll probably go on little trips and as i'll be in cheltenham with all the cotswold hills around, brakes sound like a good idea.

what do you lot think? sacrifice braking power for better components (carbon forks?) and less weight?

p.s. other bikes i've thought about:
charge mixer
boardman hybrid team
charge iron

other recommendations welcome

Posts

  • gb155gb155 Posts: 2,048
    edited February 2009
    I would say the badboy they are AWESOME, I have my eye on one once my company joins cycle2work next month :)

    I had standard hayes mx4's on my Giant when commuting (until I upgraded) and to be honest they stopped me on a dime, anything that can do that can stop ANYONE lol
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  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    tbh I'm from the same background as you, and never fail to be astonished at how bad the brakes are on my road bike. Compared to the discs on my DH bike they offer virtually no stopping power in the wet at all, and have an awful few seconds in the wet when they don't appear to bite at all :shock: :shock:

    V brakes are slightly better, but if you've got the chance to go for discs I'd do it.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • The Charge bikes have a certain something.

    Discs are good for commuting simply from the standpoint of not having to deal with gummed up rims all the time. I just went for a cross disc (with proper shaped bars, none of this flat bar nonsense :wink: ) for that reason.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    I think my discs must be cack because I didn't think the tekro roadie brakes were much worse if at all even in the wet.

    Should my disks be loads better? They're old Hayes mx2s

    I wouldn't worry about it a whole lot get the bike thats the most comfortable because you'll spend a lot of time on it.
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  • prawny wrote:
    I think my discs must be cack because I didn't think the tekro roadie brakes were much worse if at all even in the wet.

    Should my disks be loads better? They're old Hayes mx2s

    I wouldn't worry about it a whole lot get the bike thats the most comfortable because you'll spend a lot of time on it.

    You have mechanical discs as well?

    I don't think they are much better than rim brakes in the dry. But in the recent weather, I'm certainly loving the consistency, and the fact that I can pull the brakes without feeling the pain in my rim. Phnarr.
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    prawny wrote:
    I think my discs must be cack because I didn't think the tekro roadie brakes were much worse if at all even in the wet.

    Should my disks be loads better? They're old Hayes mx2s

    I wouldn't worry about it a whole lot get the bike thats the most comfortable because you'll spend a lot of time on it.

    It's because they're mechanical and probably have small discs. i had the same experience with the first proper mtb's I got for the family, my V brakes were better than my sons hayes mechanical discs. If you're going to get discs make sure they're hydraulic if poss, it makes a huge difference. The brakes on my DH bike are Avid Codes, and stop you almost immediately, which is a massiive difference to the ultegra brakes on my road bike.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • Definitely go with the discs!
    I used to find that cycling through a city (Manchester) in the wet my rims would get covered in so much crud that I had little stopping power left after five minutes. Learned this the hard way by going over the bonnet of a car that pulled out from a side road. After that discs where the way forward and I'm convinced they've saved me from several collisions since then.

    Even with the extra weight and cost they're still worth it!
  • Rich158 wrote:
    prawny wrote:
    I think my discs must be cack because I didn't think the tekro roadie brakes were much worse if at all even in the wet.

    Should my disks be loads better? They're old Hayes mx2s

    I wouldn't worry about it a whole lot get the bike thats the most comfortable because you'll spend a lot of time on it.

    It's because they're mechanical and probably have small discs. i had the same experience with the first proper mtb's I got for the family, my V brakes were better than my sons hayes mechanical discs. If you're going to get discs make sure they're hydraulic if poss, it makes a huge difference. The brakes on my DH bike are Avid Codes, and stop you almost immediately, which is a massiive difference to the ultegra brakes on my road bike.
    Soon as someone makes hydraulic compatible road levers, I'm there. Which will be able 30 seconds after the UCI relent on disc brakes in cross racing.
  • interesting, i was expecting a lot of people to come out n say that "road" brakes were good enough.
    so now i've cleared up that side of things, now i just need to choose which disc brake equipped bike! heh
    thanks
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    interesting, i was expecting a lot of people to come out n say that "road" brakes were good enough.
    so now i've cleared up that side of things, now i just need to choose which disc brake equipped bike! heh
    thanks
    Road brakes are plenty good enough...

    If they are decent ones, set up properly, and with koolstop or swisstop pads, and cables are in good order.
  • alfablue wrote:
    interesting, i was expecting a lot of people to come out n say that "road" brakes were good enough.
    so now i've cleared up that side of things, now i just need to choose which disc brake equipped bike! heh
    thanks
    Road brakes are plenty good enough...

    If they are decent ones, set up properly, and with koolstop or swisstop pads, and cables are in good order.

    Even the best ones aren't a patch on hydro brakes. The thing is they're adequate for road tyres, which is an entirely different statement...

    As for OP, it is only 5 miles, get a singlespeed rigid mtb. Then you can use it as a play bike. Try the genesis range of steel hardtails, you know you want to...
  • As for OP, it is only 5 miles, get a singlespeed rigid mtb. Then you can use it as a play bike. Try the genesis range of steel hardtails, you know you want to...
    Had my own 456 (on-one inbred for others reading this) built up as a singlespeed "road bike" 1.5" tyres, single rear V, front sus. It was pretty good and fun riding to the pub etc so that's what made me think of the charge plug (not iron like a previously mentioned) I even did a 40 mile charity ride on it as a singlespeed with discs, no mean feat with the hills on the cotswold escarpment!!
    But the reason I'm thinking of gears is because of the hills and the occasional ride I'll go for out of cheltenham. the gearing I used for the 40 mile ride was something like 38/14? I think? and the hills were a struggle and i was spinning on the flats... for riding to the pub I was in 44/16 and it was fine.

    still going with discs right now though. partly because i've just taken another look at that charge mixer... ha ha
  • Specialized Centrum Elite '08 in sale for £299? http://www.evanscycles.com/products/spe ... e-ec001471

    Or its '09 equivalent, the Globe San Franciso 2, for £440? http://www.evanscycles.com/products/spe ... e-ec016927

    The internal 3-geared hub and disc brakes may suit the bill, albeit you will have some change in your pocket! Apparently, the supplied sproket is an outer 18 (chainring is a 42 I believe), but this can alledgedly swapped for an official Shimano one of smaller size by the supplier without killing the bike's guarantee (if you want more gear inches for your 3 gears in the hub).

    I suspect you will want to spend more, the Boardman hybrids are not a bad spec and there are some tempting sale prices at Halfords right now on the '08 models.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • Ah ha yes i was about to say in my previous post that 3 gears would do me fine...
    interesting bike. although a touch heavy?over 26lbs for the 08 version. my steel mtb singlespeed was lighter and that was a censored build too. mind you the charge mixer is 24lbs ish...
    added to the list though. thanks.
  • I'll go against the grain...I've just bought a Specialized TriCross single speed.

    The main reason being is that in six months, i've had to but a new front, new rear derailer, new bottom bracket, new disc pads, new rear caliper, new chain and new cassette from the accelerated wear of the censored my commute throws up at me...

    I've found the very well setup v-brakes in the Tricross really good in the wet...i mean, how much braking does anyone do? I don't brake anywhere near as hard as i do out on trails.

    Anyway, all the above is specific to me and my circumstances, so please ignore if none of it fits....

    Cheers
    David
    <insert witty comment here>

    Also, I have calculated my FCN as 12...although I have no idea what that actually means.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    alfablue wrote:
    interesting, i was expecting a lot of people to come out n say that "road" brakes were good enough.
    so now i've cleared up that side of things, now i just need to choose which disc brake equipped bike! heh
    thanks
    Road brakes are plenty good enough...

    If they are decent ones, set up properly, and with koolstop or swisstop pads, and cables are in good order.

    Even the best ones aren't a patch on hydro brakes. The thing is they're adequate for road tyres, which is an entirely different statement...

    Yes, I am a fan of discs, but I wouldn't make this a deciding factor if I was choosing a road bike or hybid. Both rim and disc brakes (both hydro and well setup mechanicals) will outbrake your tyre's grip. If you ever hope to use a pannier rack, disc brakes limit the options, this would bother me but probably not other people. They may also interfere with mudguard fittings. For me the panniers and mudguards are more important.... but that's just me.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Urgh, dics and a hybrid, why oh why?

    Disc brakes on skinny road tyres are a waste of time, you can lock wheels with road brakes - so discs are pointless in this respect. Just get good brakes and pads. Also if you have an MTB why do you want a hybrid? I know you've said you don't want a roadie, but at least test one as well as a hybrid. If you've done this then I apologise but some people seem to have an irrational fear of roadies and drop bars.

    If you want to do longer rides then a roadbike is really the best bet. I wouldn't want to be lugging a poorly geared, heavy, disc equipped hybrid around on longer rides...

    I should point out that my forst foray into road cycling was a hybrid, I was chuffing delighted when it was stolen and I could buy a proper bike.

    Not what you wanted to hear I know, but I couldn't leave it unsaid.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
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  • Urgh, dics and a hybrid, why oh why?

    Disc brakes on skinny road tyres are a waste of time, you can lock wheels with road brakes - so discs are pointless in this respect. Just get good brakes and pads. Also if you have an MTB why do you want a hybrid? I know you've said you don't want a roadie, but at least test one as well as a hybrid. If you've done this then I apologise but some people seem to have an irrational fear of roadies and drop bars.

    If you want to do longer rides then a roadbike is really the best bet. I wouldn't want to be lugging a poorly geared, heavy, disc equipped hybrid around on longer rides...

    I should point out that my forst foray into road cycling was a hybrid, I was chuffing delighted when it was stolen and I could buy a proper bike.

    Not what you wanted to hear I know, but I couldn't leave it unsaid.
    Look, no question that the aluminium gunk that builds up on rims is a pain. Discs aren't necessary for the extra power, but they are unquestionably more consistent in the wet, and your rims should last longer because you aren't scouring the braking surface all winter.

    I tried caramic rims - they work just fine with normal pads and the rims last longer, but I was forever lamenting chipped bits of the coating.

    That said, I managed perfectly fine for 15 years commuting in all weathers with rim brakes, so I'd only go for dics if it doesn't necessitate an unreasonable compromise elsewhere.
  • Personally as some one who rides and sells bikes, hybrids are neither here nor there, the ideas ok but a road bike works much better on the road and a MTB better off road.

    If you want a MTB style bike for commuting get a MTB and put road tyres on it.

    Something like a Kona Unit 29 or GT peace 29

    Its a mountain bike, stick 700 tyres on it and it'll be tough and fast, or get a road bike with the nice carbon forks etc and put flat bars & MTB brakes on.

    But as for discs vs road caliper brakes, the new compounds in the pads on road bikes are considerably improved on the plastic of years past and if you're rides flat go to road brakes you'll be saving pounds in weight!

    Just my humble opinion
  • *sigh*
    This is hard work for my brain, switching from idea to idea.
    I've got an mtb that i could stick road tyres (that i already have) on. but it'll be an extra 8lbs heavier, more blingy and stealable, even compared to the bikes i'm looking at.

    I'm going with hybrid still at the moment due to:
    a) liking the feel of flat bars etc
    b) the possibility of carrying enough for overnight stays etc. road bike with panniers is an option but i've got backpacks that'll happily do the job.

    right well. thanks for confusing me even more everyone! ha ha
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    *sigh*
    This is hard work for my brain, switching from idea to idea.
    I've got an mtb that i could stick road tyres (that i already have) on. but it'll be an extra 8lbs heavier, more blingy and stealable, even compared to the bikes i'm looking at.

    I'm going with hybrid still at the moment due to:
    a) liking the feel of flat bars etc
    b) the possibility of carrying enough for overnight stays etc. road bike with panniers is an option but i've got backpacks that'll happily do the job.

    right well. thanks for confusing me even more everyone! ha ha

    Why can't you carry stuff on a roadbike?

    Also drop bars are just like flats with the bonus of added hand positions, so you can ride on the flats, the hoods or the drops. Defo a bonus on long rides!

    Sorry to confuse you, but I made a mistake buying a hybrid when a roadie was what I really needed. A hybrid will be heavy on account that most come with triples for some inexplicable reason!
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
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  • Why can't you carry stuff on a roadbike?
    thats what i thought when i pressed submit... ha ha this is hard work.
  • DavidTQDavidTQ Posts: 943
    I had a view of "racers" that came from budget models in the 80's thinking road bikes were delicate things likely to bend as soon as you sit on them and thought that drop bars were some sort of masochist performance over practicality invention. I also thought V brakes would be better than caliper brakes...

    My first ride on a Giant SCR sold me completely the thing fitted like a glove, really comfortable to ride, the gear \ brake levers easy to reach when riding on the hoods the whole thing really felt comfortable. The bike in the flesh was completely different to all my pre conceived notions of "racers"

    The original brake pads were nothing to write home about, much improved with aztec brake pads but would love to get hold of some koolstop ones some time :D. With the brake pads, decent adjustment and conti gp4000s's the bike stops like a dream even in the wet. The variety of hand position options was far better than on my hybrid, completely cured a wrist ache I was getting on the hybrid. The Giant SCR is a "comfort" road bike, its certainly more comfortable over some of the rough roads than my hybrid was, and its far from delicate, Ive used it for light off roading on coastal trails etc, and the wheels didnt even go out of true :D

    Ive never rode the hybrid again since getting my road bike, although the hybrid paid for itself in the 3 months it was used the money could have been better spent elsewhere. But at the time I was first looking for a commuting bike (having previously rode BMX's then MTB's in my youth) I was convinced I wouldnt touch a road bike with a barge pole :lol:
  • sweet jesus the charge mixer today has lept from £780 to £900 so thats almost out of the equation. damn the exchange rate.
    maybe i'll go try some road bikes out...
    whats the difference between road and cyclocross bikes?
    mind you i'll be riding with flat pedals too... hadn't thought about that one.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    The ideal commuter bike for a flat 5mile trip needs to be reliable, low maintenance with good all-weather performance, efficiency and loadcarrying. This is not the balance of features you need for playing in the hills or zipping around a 75mile circuit.

    My own commuter mount is a Dahon Cadenza 8 which can be had for less than £500.
    Alfine gears are great for everyday use, no more mucking out derailleurs. Mechanical discs are no more powerful than decent road brakes but they stay that way in all weathers.

    Sooner or later you will start a collection of bikes, one for work and several for play.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    MichaelW wrote:

    Sooner or later you will start a collection of bikes, one for work and several for play.
    Never a truer word...
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • back in sept last year i built a purpose specific commuter bike had a few ideas so set to work bought a mtb frame on ebay disc only no v brake mount to keep things neat £80
    then some striaght steel forks again no vs £20 had bars stem seat pin saddle front 700c disc hub wheel built by harry rowland i wanted something low maintenance so got an alfine hub biult again by harry stuck a set of mud guards on it then tyres wanted something bomb proof nothing worse than puntures in pitch black wet country road looked at schwalbe marathon + but in end went with conti top contact cycled al thru winter 25 miles a day in flint stroon kent only 3 puntures since sept 2 big censored thorns 1 unknown ten brakes no compedtition there avid bb7 no scary locking issues just brilliant nice feeling stopping power a nice strong rack & its done check out its pic on page 17 of com bikes all n all the perfect commuter well i think so
  • MichaelW wrote:

    Sooner or later you will start a collection of bikes, one for work and several for play.
    Never a truer word...
    currently have,
    a fit flow bmx
    on-one inbred 456 xc mtb
    marin quake dh mtb
    then this commuter should cover all bases...
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