2015 - disc brakes. The next big thing?

Road cycling & upcoming rides
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Postby jonboy » 19 Jul 2014, 13:28

I'm always interested to see what the next 'big thing' is on the market.

Di2 and 11 speed are all entrenched with pro teams using them to help bike sales along.

It's interesting to see that many of the new releases from the big brands are offering disc brakes even though they are not yet UCI legal. It seems the industry is not waiting. But my guess is that using one of these new bikes will be forbidden - even in a local crit race. Have I got that right?

Has anyone tried disc brakes on a roadie yet? How are they on a fast descent?

I hate having the slightest shudder or wobble under brakes with wheels that are slightly out of true.

A gimmick - or the next big thing?

What say you all?

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Adrian E
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Postby Adrian E » 19 Jul 2014, 19:44

I think that even if road disc was allowed by the UCI, the pros wouldn't use them. Here are some reasons:
* Slow wheel changes
* Heavy (heavier brake components, heaver frames with beefed fork and rear triangle to handle the extra braking stresses)
* Potential catastrophic failure (from hydraulic fluid overheating and evaporating) on long descents
* 2 speed braking dangers in the peloton
* Crash danger in bunches (red hot sharp rotor getting tangled up with bodies in a crash)
* Requires more regular maintenance (yet almost anyone can service a rim brake)

I have no doubt road disc will become more common and the technologies will improve but not because consumers are really demanded it. I think its just an excuse for manufacturers and consumers to buy a new bike with the next big thing… not that that's a bad thing :lol:

Anthony K
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Postby Anthony K » 20 Jul 2014, 14:22

If it means you can stop in the rain then I can see the attraction.

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Postby JoTheBuilder » 21 Jul 2014, 16:08

I agree with Anthony K. Great idea for commuting (though I could just ride a MTB) in the rain.

Incidentally, Drew Johnson, a former pro rider (and married to an old friend of mine), is the Australian distributor for Volagi that use full disc brakes. He loves them and will likely argue against all of Adrian's points above :lol:.

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Postby Philip » 21 Jul 2014, 16:53

I've now got a CX bike for commuting and family rides, it has discs. I'll let you know how they go.

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Postby DavidOS » 22 Jul 2014, 08:58

For commuting I'm a big fan of disc brakes. My rigid fork MTB has disc front and the old rim brakes on the rear. Cheeky Transport @ Newtown added a disc brake mount to my front fork for about $100.

In the dry with no panniers discs stop better with more control.
Add panniers and discs are better still.
Add water and discs are way ahead.

Cable discs (Avid BB7) are a bit more effort to maintain than rim brakes.
Hydraulic discs are much harder to maintain. They work a treat when properly bled and adjusted, work badly when out of adjustment.

For my road bike I'll stick with rim brakes for now.

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Postby mikesbytes » 22 Jul 2014, 09:21

For road use in Australia there are no races or even training rides where any advantage would be gained from improved braking.

When I buy my next road bike I'm going to look closely at aerodynamics and disk brakes worsen aerodynamics so they won't be on the shopping list

The Hydraulic disk brakes work great on my mountain bike. I've never owned a rim braked mountain bike so I'm not so sure of the difference

I'm yet to buy a cycle cross bike so brakes are one thing to investigate when purchasing

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