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Cable disc brakes

robnewmanrobnewman Posts: 44
edited February 2016 in Workshop
Just got a cannondale synapse alloy 105 disc equipped bike for the winter, the primary reason was for the disc brakes. The ride is very nice and smooth but the disc brakes are very disappointing. I have ridden ~300 miles, so I have bedded in the brakes but I'm still disappointed by the stopping power of them. I have fiddled around with the calliper set up and they are a bit better (I tried to get them to lock up in the car park at lunchtime but couldn't). Is this as good as cable disc brakes are going to be or are there any pad upgrades etc that will improve them (the brakes are promax render R if that helps).

Posts

  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    robnewman wrote:
    Just got a cannondale synapse alloy 105 disc equipped bike for the winter, the primary reason was for the disc brakes. The ride is very nice and smooth but the disc brakes are very disappointing. I have ridden ~300 miles, so I have bedded in the brakes but I'm still disappointed by the stopping power of them. I have fiddled around with the calliper set up and they are a bit better (I tried to get them to lock up in the car park at lunchtime but couldn't). Is this as good as cable disc brakes are going to be or are there any pad upgrades etc that will improve them (the brakes are promax render R if that helps).

    I've never heard of Promax Render R - which possibly says it all. That said, when you say you "have ridden ~300 miles, so I have bedded in the brakes" do you mean you think that you will bed them in just by riding them? Assuming you do, what you really needed to do was bed them in right at the beginning with the right procedure. That means braking as hard as you can from a good pace (without stopping or locking the brakes) up to around 8-10 times on one brake until the disc is really hot (this is best done on a longish slope) then ride to let them cool down. Then repeat with the other brake.

    I suspect you've glazed the brake pads now. You might get away with roughing the surface of the pads up with some emery cloth then try the bedding in process. You might just need to replace the pads. Superstar do some reasonably good pads and good prices. Go with organic pad material.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    This was my exact experience when I got a CX bike with BB5 cable discs. Very underwhelmed and mine are no better now, no matter how much setup or type of pad I use. You could try changing the callipers. Apparently BB7 are a better and with TRP Spyres, both pads move to grip the rotor. All other cable pull discs have one pad that moves and the other is fixed. The pad that moves pushes the rotor onto the pad that does not. That combined with an incorrect amount of cable pulled by road levers mean they just don't work very well on road bikes.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    BB5 are very cheap and very old technology. TRP Spyres are very well-liked and I like the HyRds (semi-hydraulic) which also have two moving and self-adjusting pads.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • FudgeyFudgey Posts: 892
    for some reason I have never been impressed with cable disc brakes, and never have and never will buy a bike equipped with them.
    I was just yesterday looking at a Colnago CX-Zero disc, that uses Ultegra hydraulic discs...

    but costs £3699.95....

    for now ill sick with my CX-Zero rim braked bike...
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    BB5 are very cheap and very old technology. TRP Spyres are very well-liked and I like the HyRds (semi-hydraulic) which also have two moving and self-adjusting pads.

    I'm sure you are right and the Spyres are better. I'd like to experience how much better but partly through principle, I'm not throwing any more money into the bike. They should have fitted better callipers from the outset.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Fudgey wrote:
    for now ill sick with my CX-Zero rim braked bike...

    Well, on the positive side, it does only come with a £90 wheelset so I guess you won't be too bothered by wearing out the rims.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • FudgeyFudgey Posts: 892
    not really no. my other Colnago AC-R has the same Artemis wheelset, I have done over 3600 miles on that one with no issues until the nipples started snapping on the rear wheel. I bought some longer spokes and brass nipples and rebuilt it and its been fine since.

    the CX-Zero is only 2 weeks old, and only done about 120 miles on it so they should still have a good life left in them.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    My point is this though - in my experience disc bikes tend to be fitted with better quality wheels I guess because users are likely to want to change them less than with rim braked bikes. Not sure why that is but for the same RRP, that Colnago comes with a £90 heavy wheel set and my Jamis Renegade comes with a top quality £600 1500g tubeless wheel set. It also has Ultegra & hydraulic brakes (which are only about £100 more than Ultegra rim brakes). I don't know if the wheels are why the Colnago disc is more expensive but I suspect it's a good deal of the reason.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    robnewman wrote:
    Just got a cannondale synapse alloy 105 disc equipped bike for the winter, the primary reason was for the disc brakes. The ride is very nice and smooth but the disc brakes are very disappointing. I have ridden ~300 miles, so I have bedded in the brakes but I'm still disappointed by the stopping power of them. I have fiddled around with the calliper set up and they are a bit better (I tried to get them to lock up in the car park at lunchtime but couldn't). Is this as good as cable disc brakes are going to be or are there any pad upgrades etc that will improve them (the brakes are promax render R if that helps).

    Take it to your dealer and get them to look at it. There may be something like contamination causing the issues.

    I bought my wife the exact same bike and the Promax brakes are really rather good and plenty powerful enough. I have been impressed with them the couple of times I have ridden her (too small for me to steal permanently!) bike. Sure, stuff like the Spyres we have on the tandem are another level (but that may also be because the rotors are much larger), but for a component I had never heard of, I have been impressed (very impressed with the bike in general - really great bike and the latest 105 is really amazing).
  • FudgeyFudgey Posts: 892
    My point is this though - in my experience disc bikes tend to be fitted with better quality wheels I guess because users are likely to want to change them less than with rim braked bikes. Not sure why that is but for the same RRP, that Colnago comes with a £90 heavy wheel set and my Jamis Renegade comes with a top quality £600 1500g tubeless wheel set. It also has Ultegra & hydraulic brakes (which are only about £100 more than Ultegra rim brakes). I don't know if the wheels are why the Colnago disc is more expensive but I suspect it's a good deal of the reason.

    Yes that is true. the Artemis wheels are not amazing if i am honest, but i dont race and for dry use i have a pair of Vision trimax T35 carbon alloy clinchers, only used them twice last year but the difference is noticeable.

    re the CX zero and CX zero disc, there is a £700 price difference, so yes better wheels and brakes, but also different shifters and i guess the frame would be different to incorporate the disc brake mounts and the fork too.

    either way, unless my numbers come up ill have to settle for what i have. although i have been thinking about selling on the AC-r as i think i got a size too large and have never been very comfortable on it. the CX zero i have is a size smaller and i think feels comfier.

    anyway apologies to the OP, i seem to have babbled way off topic...
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • I've only heard bad things about the Promax render, so there might be more than just installation problems and contaminated pads... you can't polish a censored , as they say
  • plodder73plodder73 Posts: 307
    I have TRP Spyres on my cross bike. They are censored , can't lock either wheel no matter how much adjustment/ change of pads I do. Won't ever buy a bike with cable discs again
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    My point is this though - in my experience disc bikes tend to be fitted with better quality wheels

    You havn't seen the Boardman CX then. I just had to have the rear hub rebuilt after it failed for the third time. Bearing races were worn, one of which is in the freehub so that whole part needed replacing. Probably more likely that the manufacturer cuts the quality of other components in order to fit disc brakes that are more expensive that rim brakes. BB5 caliper RRP £45 (without rotor), 105 caliper RRP £35 all included. But the BB5 is the cheapest example of a disc caliper and quality is low. While the 105 caliper is very competent.
  • FudgeyFudgey Posts: 892
    Yesterday work colleague was considering the boardman that is on offer in halfords at the mo for £600, but after reading reviews of the BB failing several times in 3 months from some users he was put off.

    so ill let him know about the rear hub too.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    earth wrote:
    My point is this though - in my experience disc bikes tend to be fitted with better quality wheels

    You havn't seen the Boardman CX then. I just had to have the rear hub rebuilt after it failed for the third time. Bearing races were worn, one of which is in the freehub so that whole part needed replacing. Probably more likely that the manufacturer cuts the quality of other components in order to fit disc brakes that are more expensive that rim brakes. BB5 caliper RRP £45 (without rotor), 105 caliper RRP £35 all included. But the BB5 is the cheapest example of a disc caliper and quality is low. While the 105 caliper is very competent.

    I have - if you look on Commuting Chat you'll see the thread I started 5 years ago. It's a £700 bike. Show me any £700 bike that comes with great wheels...

    What we're talking about with the Colnago is a £2600 RRP bike that comes with wheels like RS11s which tend to retail for around £90. A friend paid £1700 for a Colnago Ace which had RS500s - even cheaper and heavier. The wheels on my Volagi are 5 years old. They retail at around £800 and I haven't so much as had to true them. I've already listed the wheels on my Jamis. I think the general point is that wheels are no longer a consumable.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    Fudgey wrote:
    Yesterday work colleague was considering the boardman that is on offer in halfords at the mo for £600, but after reading reviews of the BB failing several times in 3 months from some users he was put off.

    so ill let him know about the rear hub too.

    The BB on mine has failed 3 times as well. I paid about £600 for mine due to a double discount even though it was the new model. Thought I had snagged a bargain but I have never had a bike that required so much attention.
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    earth wrote:
    My point is this though - in my experience disc bikes tend to be fitted with better quality wheels

    You havn't seen the Boardman CX then. I just had to have the rear hub rebuilt after it failed for the third time. Bearing races were worn, one of which is in the freehub so that whole part needed replacing. Probably more likely that the manufacturer cuts the quality of other components in order to fit disc brakes that are more expensive that rim brakes. BB5 caliper RRP £45 (without rotor), 105 caliper RRP £35 all included. But the BB5 is the cheapest example of a disc caliper and quality is low. While the 105 caliper is very competent.

    I have - if you look on Commuting Chat you'll see the thread I started 5 years ago. It's a £700 bike. Show me any £700 bike that comes with great wheels...

    What we're talking about with the Colnago is a £2600 RRP bike that comes with wheels like RS11s which tend to retail for around £90. A friend paid £1700 for a Colnago Ace which had RS500s - even cheaper and heavier. The wheels on my Volagi are 5 years old. They retail at around £800 and I haven't so much as had to true them. I've already listed the wheels on my Jamis. I think the general point is that wheels are no longer a consumable.

    I've always noticed the wheels they use are at the bottom of the scale even on expensive bikes. Normally the best you can expect are Aksiums. I thought the reasoning was that people like to choose they own quality wheels and keep between bikes. I have a nice pair that I will transfer to another bike if I get one.
  • luv2rideluv2ride Posts: 2,345
    plodder73 wrote:
    I have TRP Spyres on my cross bike. They are censored , can't lock either wheel no matter how much adjustment/ change of pads I do. Won't ever buy a bike with cable discs again

    I've had similar experience with my TRP Spyres, but probably fairer to say that they've been inconsistent, in that they can work well one day but not great the next. They need a lot of attention I find. I don't have compressionless outer on mine though so that will be the next step. You might find compressionless outers improve your braking too (if not already fitted)?

    A mate has a Cannondale CAADX with Promax cable disc brakes and they certainly seem more effective and less noisy than my Spyres, especially in the mud.

    Oh, replacing the rotors and moving to Nukeproof pads did help, but still not 100%
    Scott Solace 10 disc - Kinesis Crosslight Pro6 disc - Scott CR1 SL - Pinnacle Arkose X 650b - Pinnacle Arkose 1x11 "monster cross" - Specialized Singlecross...& an Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 4 string...
  • I'll tried cleaning the pads and gave them a light sanding with fine sandpaper, don't appear to be any better!
    Has anyone tried the Juin tech R1 cable/hyro brakes? They seem good value at £150.
  • FudgeyFudgey Posts: 892
    just a thought, have you cleaned the rotors at all?
    brake cleaner or petrol and a rag, give them a good wipe over.

    on an old mtb i had i cooked the brakes on a very steep and long descent, i glazed the pads as i had no brakes when i got near the bottom.

    i just rubbed the pads on some emery tape and cleaned the rotors and they were as good as new after i had bed them in again.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • vrsmattvrsmatt Posts: 155
    Fudgey wrote:
    Yesterday work colleague was considering the boardman that is on offer in halfords at the mo for £600, but after reading reviews of the BB failing several times in 3 months from some users he was put off.

    so ill let him know about the rear hub too.

    I have a boardman comp 2009 model for turbo and hack duties.......the bb failed but actuall its cheap and a piece of cake to change, I wouldn't let it put me off what is otherwise a fab value for money bike

    I am a pf regular too, nice to see the same username pop up :-)
    Giant TCR Composite 1, Giant Defy Advanced 2, Boardman Comp, Santa Cruz Heckler, Raleigh M-Trax Ti, Strida LT, Giant Halfway
  • vrsmattvrsmatt Posts: 155
    Also ref the op, I'd have a go at cleaning the pads and rotors, rough them up with emery and re-bed them in properly

    Also Jagwire compression-less cable housing will help
    Giant TCR Composite 1, Giant Defy Advanced 2, Boardman Comp, Santa Cruz Heckler, Raleigh M-Trax Ti, Strida LT, Giant Halfway
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