Help Road Disc Brakes

Road Discs

  • Great idea, the future of road cycling

    Votes: 8 57.1%
  • Stupid trend doomed to failure

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • Unnecessary item, just a marketing ploy to get money

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 3 21.4%

  • Total voters
    14

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#1
I have noticed a lot of the handmade/custom bikes at this years NAHMBS feature disc brakes. At the same time, Colnago introduces a version at the bicycle show in Taiwan.

I like the idea of disc brakes, they have become the standard in mountain bikes, they work better in wet conditions, they are more effective than caliber brakes especially when matched with carbon hoops, they do not wear out your rims (especially carbon).

I guess on the down side, they are heavier and they are bulkier. Regardng weight, with complete bikes getting in to the 15 pound and less range, does it really matter that you add a few hundred more grams? Caliber brakes are easy to work on and adjust, not so sure this ca be said for discs.

UCI has blessed them for cyclecross, will they soon get the blessing for road racing? Are they so much better that it would justify getting them when caliber and cantelever brakes have been stopping me without fail for 40 years?

Anyone have any thoughts on what the future holds in this area? Will more and more manufactures start introducing frames set up for discs? More importantly, will Shimano, SRAM and Campy buy in and introduce road disc groupos?

I would be interested in your thoughts. If you were in the market for a new bike in the next year or two, would you hold out to see which way the wind blows?
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,865
1,451
129
...
#2
I like the idea that they would work in the wet.

The lithium aluminium calipers weigh next to nothing but may not even be necessary, it would all depend on the heat generated on a long downhill section. Which I guess would be pretty minimal. Maybe titanium calipers would suffice.

You could tuck it on the underside of the fork which would limit wind drag but the problem would then be the extra reinforcing required to deal with the forces placed single fork leg? A lot of the carbon forks I see may not take that kind of force applied to a small area.

I vote for other -- technical requirements may mean the benefits are outweighed by the disadvantages
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
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#3
For the weight wennies maybe the time is not now, but for the rest of the world...... HELL YEAH!

I'll never buy another bicycle without disc brakes, they just simply rock on so many levels.

They are dead nuts easy to work on compared to caliper brakes, Caliper brakes can be fussy to set up, and if you bust a spoke, like many here have reported doing on a ride, your super light wheel then goes all potato chip on you. With disks you still have brakes, with calipers you don't, and you might even end up walking. I think the weight issue will be resolved, the actual complete disk brake set may never get as light as the caliper brake set, but as there is a weight limit on the weight of the bike for racing, and I hear some top line bikes have to add weight to them to bring them up to said limit, then maybe on a whole bike, the small weight penalty of the disk brakes will not matter...?

There is one thing I think you are missing, that is performance, disk brakes out perform caliper brakes, IMHO, let's not even bring the whole wet part of the equation into this discussion. In any racing when the brakes improve in stopping power, the speeds increase, you need to get on the brakes later, and you can brake harder, so on the crazy decent parts of a race, I'd be willing to bet that a nutter on a bike with disk brakes will be able to go much faster than same said nutter on a bike with caliper brakes, if the weight issue can be solved, which I am sure it can, then I expect to see disk brakes on top of the line racing bikes.

But this is all my opinion, I have only my own experience to back it up, and my logical reasoning. Maybe I'm all wet? :D
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#4
Hmm, well I think the answer to your poll is a bit of every options.

Even on the steepest descents, I don't ever feel the need for anything better than my Dura Ace brake set up.

Not wearing out the rim is the best thing I can see about disc brakes.

They are on the horizon for us all, no doubt. Going to have to rethink the rear triangle on a lot of these ultra light frames though, eh...
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#8
There is a road and CX version.

I did actually see the CX version first, but also saw the road one today.
 
Dec 31, 2009
906
87
48
Matsumoto
#9
DI2, hydro disc. Is this a dream? The only thing I could foresee with this not hitting the peloton is they work too well! It will be a danger to others if the guy in front of you can stop faster and considering ICI just set a limit to the degree of tilt on saddles, I don't see this being approved until pigs fly! I love it and want it. I will even say I will own a electro hydro disc road bike some day, not for racing though.
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#10
DI2, hydro disc. Is this a dream? The only thing I could foresee with this not hitting the peloton is they work too well! It will be a danger to others if the guy in front of you can stop faster and considering ICI just set a limit to the degree of tilt on saddles, I don't see this being approved until pigs fly! I love it and want it. I will even say I will own a electro hydro disc road bike some day, not for racing though.
That does not make any sense, so if one maker comes out with a better gripping tyre it would get banned? First them there was a crash and someone dies I hope the family would sue the ICI for not allowing the better technology, which could have saved a life. To me that kind of thinking is just stupid, I'm not saying you are wrong, I fear you might be right, but that does not make it any less dumb :rolleyes:
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#11
There is a road and CX version.

I did actually see the CX version first, but also saw the road one today.
So did I and Bike Biz said it was a cyclocross however they have updated the article on it. Thanks for the update - very interesting however not sure how much its needed.
 

jdd

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Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#12
DI2, hydro disc. Is this a dream? The only thing I could foresee with this not hitting the peloton is they work too well! It will be a danger to others if the guy in front of you can stop faster and considering ICI just set a limit to the degree of tilt on saddles, I don't see this being approved until pigs fly! I love it and want it. I will even say I will own a electro hydro disc road bike some day, not for racing though.
I'll go with the "ProRaceMechanic" on this.
 

Doug3

Maximum Pace
Jun 24, 2010
720
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Setagaya
www.tokyocyclingcoach.com
#13
I'm wondering if the speed of wheel changes is slower with disk brakes, especially on the rear wheel, and that might be a factor for sticking with regular brakes for racing applications.

My only experience is with motorcycle and car calipers, but I often find that when the disc is removed, the pads may come slightly together and the wheel may require some extra shimmy-ing to get the disk back between the pads.
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#14
I'm wondering if the speed of wheel changes is slower with disk brakes, especially on the rear wheel, and that might be a factor for sticking with regular brakes for racing applications.
Do you mean because the disk is farther from the tyre than the rim brake?
I very much doubt that has much of a lag, but I know that I can brake much harder much faster on my disk brake bike than my caliper bike, MUCH faster.

Doug3 said:
My only experience is with motorcycle and car calipers, but I often find that when the disc is removed, the pads may come slightly together and the wheel may require some extra shimmy-ing to get the disk back between the pads.
Not a problem at all with my bike the wheels just slip in and out with ease. There is a spring that holds the pads off the disk just a bit, so when you release the brakes the pads don't drag. Car and motorcycles do drag slightly, which is no big deal because they are powered by an engine, it would be a real drag, literally, on a bicycle :D
 

Doug3

Maximum Pace
Jun 24, 2010
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Setagaya
www.tokyocyclingcoach.com
#15
I'm wondering if the speed of wheel changes is slower with disk brakes, especially on the rear wheel, and that might be a factor for sticking with regular brakes for racing applications.
Do you mean because the disk is farther from the tyre than the rim brake?
I very much doubt that has much of a lag, but I know that I can brake much harder much faster on my disk brake bike than my caliper bike, MUCH faster.
No, I mean because the gap between the brake pads on disk brakes and the rotor is much smaller than the gap between regular brake calipers and the tire/rim. So during a wheel change, it might take more time to get the wheel in the dropouts. The decreased tolerance for disk brakes may require more accuracy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6zp7DvY-VY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq7UIDo4pDk


Not a problem at all with my bike the wheels just slip in and out with ease. There is a spring that holds the pads off the disk just a bit, so when you release the brakes the pads don't drag. Car and motorcycles do drag slightly, which is no big deal because they are powered by an engine, it would be a real drag, literally, on a bicycle :D
I see. The spring sounds like a good idea. Maybe none of it matters anyway if you have to wait around for the support car like this guy does.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TntWqu6_s9s
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#16
It could be that disk brakes are held back in racing for non-technical reasons, similar to what happened to anti-lock braking (ABS) which is banned in Formula 1 racing.

The reason there is to keep driver skills a major differentiating factor. You don't want equipment to be too perfect for races, or there would be no scope left for skill to beat it. It's the same reason why in F1 they keep changing parameters like weight limits, engine sizes, aerodynamic rules, etc. so you can't have perfect equipment based on experience from last year's racing season.

To me, the idea of brakes that work 100% even in the rain (unlike rim brakes) is a no brainer. It's absurd that I take my wife's mamachari if I go for a ride in the rain because when wet its brakes work better than on my expensive road bike. It's like a Hyundai having better brakes than a Porsche. One reason this hasn't been as much of an issue with bikes is that most of us avoid riding in the rain (except while touring, where you don't have much of a choice).
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#17
The reason why I don't see these in the pro peloton are for these reasons:

*Heavier and not as aero as caliper
*Slower wheel changes due to having to line the disk with the brake
*No real benifit on descending - if you look at those guys coming down the alps they are touching speeds of 100kmph the aren't even thinking about braking the rims don't even get a chance to heat up!
*heavier maintainance for the mechs in race and after race.
*If you buckle the disk then it requires a wheel change - while bashin the calipers can be adjusted on the roll by the rider either by opening the caliper or just twisting with the hand.

The other thing is I can't see why they would be needed - it's not like Mtb or Cyclocross where it gives you an advantage in wet or muddy conditions or stops brake fade when descending technical courses at speed.
 

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#18
Great discussion..

...I can see the issues FarEast brings up regarding the Pro racers. I am looking these from a recreational rider. They seem to make more sense the more I think about them. What decides it for me:

1. Last time I broke a spoke it was a 30 km ride with break rub the entire time - problem solved with the discs. While this does not happen often, its added peace of mind.

2. I use only one set of wheels, so no problems with added expense of having a second set of wheels built up with rotors.

3. Rim wear/breaking performance with carbon rims. I ride alum. rims for their durability. Carbon rims have worried me with wear and heating (my days of super fast decents is over). This eliminates that worry for me and opens the possibility of going with a set of carbon hoops and not damaging them by getting a pepple stuck in the brake pad and gouging the rim surface. From everything I can gather, discs work much better, especially on carbon.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
945
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tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#19
Main reason to use discs in CX is because caliper brakes get junked up. For road, I'm aligned a bit with FE on this - actually, caliper brakes work fine at any speed descent - mainly cause most skilled riders will use body postion to spoil the air and slow down, then the caliper brake is just to get your cornering speed. Now for touring, mud and snow and anything else, I love disc brakes and would consider them my first choice.

In fact I even had sets of carbon rims specially drilled for 32h CX use and we'll be continuing to advance this particular model in both 20mm and 24mm wide rimsets for 2012. Mainly because of the CX, Audax, Touring uses. And now we have hubs that are in the sub-100gr range (front) with ultralight Ti rotors and calipers - it just makes sense more and more.

When super lightweight discrotors (carbon-ti) plus associated calipers are released - then we'll probably see more and more on road bikes. There are lots of these under development now. But, it all adds more weight and hardware than traditional caliper brakes. So, there is some trade off at the extreme weight weenie end.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#20
I've never ridden a bike with disk brakes. When you brake, do you notice a slight drag to one side? After all they are not symmetrical. I could imagine that at high speed this could reduce stability when hitting the brakes, especially when hitting them hard, no?