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Disc or no disc?

PonptPonpt Posts: 6
edited February 2018 in Road buying advice
Any comments? Experiences?
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Posts

  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Discs on a Hybrid / mountain bike, fine, no need on a road bike. I borrowed a disc brake equipped road bike ( hydraulic ) for a couple of weeks. It was nothing but a pain in the backside, when I had to sort a rear puncture out, in the dark.
  • Discs on a Hybrid / mountain bike, fine, no need on a road bike. I borrowed a disc brake equipped road bike ( hydraulic ) for a couple of weeks. It was nothing but a pain in the backside, when I had to sort a rear puncture out, in the dark.

    That presumably is your unfamiliarity with disks though? I'm a long way from the bike mechanic of the year, but due to familiarity i'm mostly a MTBer punctures and disks aren't a issue.
  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,786
    I've just bought a new bike with hydraulic disc brakes (Ultegra 8000 series) and so far I'm very impressed with them. Totally smooth, powerful and progressive braking from both on the hoods and in the drops. I'll reserve full judgement until I get back to France in a few weeks and can test them on some more serious descents than I can here locally.
    Having said that, I've been perfectly happy with the rim brakes on my other bikes but there does seem a significant improvement with the new discs.
    The choice of disc or no disc wasn't an option with the new bike... only disc available.
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    It was nothing but a pain in the backside, when I had to sort a rear puncture out, in the dark.

    Eh? Way more straightforward than a rim bike. In fact the only thing that I can think of that could have been worse would have been if you'd knocked the lever whilst the disc was out and closed the pads up. Everything else in that situation is easier on a disc bike.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Discs on a Hybrid / mountain bike, fine, no need on a road bike. I borrowed a disc brake equipped road bike ( hydraulic ) for a couple of weeks. It was nothing but a pain in the backside, when I had to sort a rear puncture out, in the dark.

    That presumably is your unfamiliarity with disks though? I'm a long way from the bike mechanic of the year, but due to familiarity i'm mostly a MTBer punctures and disks aren't a issue.

    I’ve never had the issues I encountered with the disc-ed road bike, on MTBs or Hybrids. So not a problem with lack of familiarity with disc brakes on bikes in general, just that the road bike disc set up ( not CX / gravel, but proper road ) seemed to have much tighter tolerances, and it was just a massive wind up, getting 30 odd miles ridden, with the rear brakes honking like a demented goose. I’ve never had that much grief / issues with MTB / Hybrids. It was easy enough to sort, once back home, with proper lighting and some tools, but a roadside fix, in the dark, 30 miles from base, screw that. Never again.
  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 7,129
    It was nothing but a pain in the backside, when I had to sort a rear puncture out, in the dark.

    Undo QR, remove wheel, fix puncture, replace wheel, Tighten QR. What's the difficulty? Unless you did something like squeeze the brake lever while the wheel was not in place. But why would you do that?

    Honestly, I am a mechanical dunce, but I can maintain and fettle my hydro discs with ease.

    The only bad thing about them is that they're a bit heavier than rim brakes, but I'm sure I could lose a few hundred grams without having to buy a new wardrobe.
  • After my Xmas 2013 RTA, which was mainly the result of rim brake failure on my old Tricross Singlecross in wet weather, I won't buy another bike without hydraulic brakes. Around last April, a few months into my cycling for fitness quest, I briefly used my old 2006 Felt F5C for a few weeks... But a combination of the low front end, making my head feel vulnerable and my lower back a little upset, plus the rim brakes meant I had to sell it for peanuts to a work colleague. Gutted to get rid of it, was an amazing bike, which I had kept hold of hoping my lower back would eventually cope with it again after my lower back going "ping" in 2008.

    But the Voodoo gave me some cycling confidence back after a close call with the Grim Reaper and then the Cube was a "now or 5+ years" bargain.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    Discs on a Hybrid / mountain bike, fine, no need on a road bike. I borrowed a disc brake equipped road bike ( hydraulic ) for a couple of weeks. It was nothing but a pain in the backside, when I had to sort a rear puncture out, in the dark.

    That presumably is your unfamiliarity with disks though? I'm a long way from the bike mechanic of the year, but due to familiarity i'm mostly a MTBer punctures and disks aren't a issue.

    I’ve never had the issues I encountered with the disc-ed road bike, on MTBs or Hybrids. So not a problem with lack of familiarity with disc brakes on bikes in general, just that the road bike disc set up ( not CX / gravel, but proper road ) seemed to have much tighter tolerances, and it was just a massive wind up, getting 30 odd miles ridden, with the rear brakes honking like a demented goose. I’ve never had that much grief / issues with MTB / Hybrids. It was easy enough to sort, once back home, with proper lighting and some tools, but a roadside fix, in the dark, 30 miles from base, screw that. Never again.

    Why would you need tools to adjust anything brake related if you'd repaired a puncture? It's operator error and nothing else.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 880
    I'm quite possibly the worlds worst punctured repairer, in fact my nan could probably do a better job than me, and she's 92.
    However there is absolutely no issue with disc brakes and punctures.
    What tighter tolerances? The disc into the pads? That just slides in, don't think I'd even need a light for that, disc is the big shiny bit, turn it away from chain, slide into brakes. Tighten through axle.
    Similar process to rim brakes, make sure your in correct gear and the wheel slides out with no fuss.
  • andi1363andi1363 Posts: 350
    I went disc on my new bike as was won over by the braking performance of my cx bike. Superb power and modulation with only light finger pressure needed. But my old rim brake bike with Ultegra calipers stops just as well imo. I think disc brakes look great now but when I first saw one, it did look wrong.
  • AndymaxyAndymaxy Posts: 197
    I have quite neutral opinions about discs. I've ridden my friend's cannondale daad12 disc. In dry conditions it feels just like rims.

    One thing I didn't like about that specific setup is that the wheel set wasn't stiff/strong enough, it felt like the front wheel was strangely vibrating under braking. This is something I don't feel on rim brakes, and makes me feel somewhat unconfident. So yes, I would buy the stiffest wheel out there if you go for discs.

    As a racer myself tho, I'm going to stick to rims as the weight penalty is turning me away from it. I mean, who wants to pay more to get a weight penalty right?

    A problem my friend ran into is sand getting between the calipers. Where I live people pour sand on the road to give you more grip on snow. But there is a possibility of it getting in between you brake pads and make a really annoying sound. The worst part is that you won't be able to solve the problem until you get home.

    That being said I'm a 53kg rider, so I don't need a whole lot of force to slow me down. I feel confident enough with rims even in the wet, snow, and sand that I don't really need discs.

    I'm a pure roadie by the way.
  • noodlemannoodleman Posts: 852
    Discs on a Hybrid / mountain bike, fine, no need on a road bike. I borrowed a disc brake equipped road bike ( hydraulic ) for a couple of weeks. It was nothing but a pain in the backside, when I had to sort a rear puncture out, in the dark.
    Why are discs fine on a hybrid but not a road bike? :?
    argon 18 e116 2013 Vision Metron 80
    Bianchi Oltre XR Sram Red E-tap, Fulcrum racing speed xlr
    De Rosa SK pininfarina disc
    S Works Tarmac e-tap 2017
    Rose pro sl disc
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,802
    It was nothing but a pain in the backside, when I had to sort a rear puncture out, in the dark.

    Eh? Way more straightforward than a rim bike. In fact the only thing that I can think of that could have been worse would have been if you'd knocked the lever whilst the disc was out and closed the pads up. Everything else in that situation is easier on a disc bike.

    In what way easier, I can't see any difficulty in flicking a lever on a caliper to open up brake blocks. I have found my disc bike harder to get the wheel back in, especially the front in the dark as the drop outs face forwards and it's tricky to hit them and get the pads onto the disc - it wouldn't be a deal breaker by any means but it's certainly not as easy as with any rim braked bike I've owned.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,802
    F l i c k i n g a lever !!
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    I got both discs and rims on separate bikes AND on the same bike.

    (1) Any one that has issues with changing wheels on either is a moron. Any able bodied person that is bigger than the bike (so not a 6 year old) should be able to remove and replace a wheel off either in about 30 seconds max .. even in the dark. they are both p155 easy

    (2) disk brakes work better and consistantly in all conditions ... consistancy is the important bit here, braking in the wet, the snow, the dry, its identical everytime you touch the brake.

    (3) Rim brakes are a lot cheaper, to buy and replace, so you can get more frame groupset or wheels for your money if you go with rim brakes .... but then by the same reasoning if you buy a 105 groupset you could have disk rather than rim brakes.

    I didnt used to care if my bikes had rims or discs ... and I still dont care, I love all of them, but if I was buying new today, I would spec disc brakes
  • davem399davem399 Posts: 269
    After wearing out a rim on my on my old winter rim braked bike a few years ago, I now run a disc Boardman CX as a winter/wet weather bike, but a rim braked carbon Neil Pryde in the summer.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    fat daddy wrote:
    (3) Rim brakes are a lot cheaper, to buy and replace, so you can get more frame groupset or wheels for your money if you go with rim brakes .... but then by the same reasoning if you buy a 105 groupset you could have disk rather than rim brakes.

    Are they though? I just did a cursory google search for the latest Dura Ace brakes - Calipers £109 each. Disc calipers £109 each. I found a similar story going down the hierarchy - I even found Ultegra R8070 disc calipers for about £20 cheaper than R8000 rim brakes.

    PP
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    I have found my disc bike harder to get the wheel back in, especially the front in the dark as the drop outs face forwards and it's tricky to hit them and get the pads onto the disc - it wouldn't be a deal breaker by any means but it's certainly not as easy as with any rim braked bike I've owned.

    I believe Shimano are addressing this by making the pad gap slightly wider which will allow faster insertion - I think it came from feedback from the pro peloton.

    PP
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,291 Lives Here
    Pilot Pete wrote:
    I believe Shimano are addressing this by making the pad gap slightly wider which will allow faster insertion - I think it came from feedback from the pro peloton.

    PP
    Rather than making the gap bigger they could chamfer the pads to create a ramp and guide the disc in. I'd say they could do the same to the discs but hysteria about circular saw blades would kick off again. A rounded profile to the edge of the disc will also help with this.
  • BeatmakerBeatmaker Posts: 1,092
    I've gone back to rim brakes. I had discs on my CAAD10 and when they worked, they were great. The caveat here is I run semi hydraulics due to running Campagnolo groupset, but often in Winter I found the pads could wear to such an extent on long gritty winter ride, that I would pull the lever and nothing happened, this occurred once a a descent into a crossing at the bottom!

    I'm sure full hydraulics are better, and I may spec them on my next bike, but as the main advantage of discs should be I'm proved (or at least consistent) performance in bad weather, the jury is out for me still.

    I've been a mountain biker for 25 years, and used discs for at least 16 years, so its nothing to do with setup/maintenance.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    edited January 2018
    And do your mountain bike disc brake pads wear out as quickly in censored conditions?

    PP
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,291 Lives Here
    Beatmaker wrote:
    I've been a mountain biker for 25 years, and used discs for at least 16 years, so its nothing to do with setup/maintenance.
    So you know about different pad materials and different wear rates according to conditions, organic/resin pads wear quickly in bad conditions. I think there was a problem with early Hy/Rd calipers not self adjusting which may have exacerbated the issue, not sure about other semi-hydraulic systems. I'm running a Parabox semi-hydraulic system and not had a problem.
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    Beatmaker wrote:
    I've gone back to rim brakes. I had discs on my CAAD10 and when they worked, they were great. The caveat here is I run semi hydraulics due to running Campagnolo groupset, but often in Winter I found the pads could wear to such an extent on long gritty winter ride, that I would pull the lever and nothing happened, this occurred once a a descent into a crossing at the bottom!

    I'm sure full hydraulics are better, and I may spec them on my next bike, but as the main advantage of discs should be I'm proved (or at least consistent) performance in bad weather, the jury is out for me still.

    I've been a mountain biker for 25 years, and used discs for at least 16 years, so its nothing to do with setup/maintenance.

    Eh? If you're that experienced why didn't you just change the pad material? Which, incidentally, is no different to changing brake block materials to suit weather/rim type - and still doesn't alter the fact that you've taken a decision to wear your rims rather than brake pads/rotors. Astounding.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • noodlemannoodleman Posts: 852
    Beatmaker wrote:
    I've gone back to rim brakes. I had discs on my CAAD10 and when they worked, they were great. The caveat here is I run semi hydraulics due to running Campagnolo groupset, but often in Winter I found the pads could wear to such an extent on long gritty winter ride, that I would pull the lever and nothing happened, this occurred once a a descent into a crossing at the bottom!

    I'm sure full hydraulics are better, and I may spec them on my next bike, but as the main advantage of discs should be I'm proved (or at least consistent) performance in bad weather, the jury is out for me still.

    I've been a mountain biker for 25 years, and used discs for at least 16 years, so its nothing to do with setup/maintenance.

    Are you sure it's not down to maintenance? I've noticed the pads on my disc bike could do with replacing but I've still done hundreds of miles on them and they brake fine. Having said that, if I went out on a long gritty ride and they completely wore out resulting in me being unable to stop I wouldn't blame the pads.
    argon 18 e116 2013 Vision Metron 80
    Bianchi Oltre XR Sram Red E-tap, Fulcrum racing speed xlr
    De Rosa SK pininfarina disc
    S Works Tarmac e-tap 2017
    Rose pro sl disc
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    Was I being too diplomatic do you think? :wink:

    PP
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,802
    fat daddy wrote:
    I got both discs and rims on separate bikes AND on the same bike.

    (1) Any one that has issues with changing wheels on either is a moron. Any able bodied person that is bigger than the bike (so not a 6 year old) should be able to remove and replace a wheel off either in about 30 seconds max .. even in the dark. they are both p155 easy

    (

    Not true, it was dark, freezing, starting to snow - in the end I had to turn the bike upside down which is something I'd never normally do, on getting the wheel in the brake hardly worked - maybe the lever had got pushed in or the pads contaminated or air got in the system I don't know but I've built numerous bikes oup over the years but this fecking HyRd brake defeated me and it took a teip to a bike shop, new pads and a brake bleed to fix and even then the brakes are no better than decent rim brakes.

    I would consider teying full hydro in future as obviously others have more positive experiences but I'd want to test them first.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    I would consider teying full hydro in future as obviously others have more positive experiences but I'd want to test them first.

    If you haven’t tried full hydro, do. I have had NO adverse issues in over two years of using them on my road bike. I built the bike completely, including fitting all the hydro brake system. It was straightforward following the advice in the Shimano dealer manual. Brakes worked perfectly from the outset and have been faultless ever since including mixed terrain.

    I have swapped the pads once for sintered pads and braking is absolutely spot on. Feel is fantastic, biting point and reach adjustable and once set they don’t alter. The system self adjusts for pad wear and swapping pads is easier than swapping caliper brake pads.

    I am now building a second ‘best bike’ which has new Dura Ace 9170 full hydro...

    In the next year or two my winter bike will be upgraded to full hydro from cable discs, which work and stop better than rim brakes in the wet/ censored , but need constant fettling to remain working well.

    PP
  • mr_mojomr_mojo Posts: 199
    If I was to buy another commuter or winter bike then yes to discs otherwise for a summer "best" bike then no chance.
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