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"Disc Brakes Standard on Road Bikes in 5 Years" Opinion?(61 posts)

"Disc Brakes Standard on Road Bikes in 5 Years" Opinion?merckxman
Nov 4, 2003 11:03 AM
In the latest VELONEWS, writer Andrew Juskaitis' BEST OF SHOW (for Interbike 2003)pick in the BEST ROAD INNOVATION: "Disc Brakes. Scoff all you want, manufacturers are working on the technology as you read this. Give it five years and they'll be standard, not the exception." In the same issue Leonard Zinn says referring to a MORATI disc brake equipped road bike, "Disc brakes will likely offer better braking than road bikes have ever had, no matter what the rims are made of. However, the extra weight and wind resistance will be an issue, especially if manufacturers find the need to increase the front hub width." Interestingly, in the same issue, it is reported that the UCI has banned, as of November 1, disc brakes from UCI cyclo-cross races because "......those brakes are not completely without danger." So, what's your opinion about disc brakes becoming standard for road bikes?
I'm all for it,TJeanloz
Nov 4, 2003 11:10 AM
If disc brakes can offer a weight advantage, particularly at the rim, to calipers, I'm all for them. I don't really believe road bikes need much more stopping power than they already have - note that Campy specs a weaker brake on the rear of their groups. But disc brakes would allow more innovation in carbon rims, and that would be nice.

However, if the UCI bans them, there is 0 chance this trend will become a reality. The high-end market buys what Lance and Jan ride, and if they don't ride disc brakes, no sale. Look at Spinaci for an example of that - pros ride Spinaci, every amatuer rides Spinaci. UCI bans them, you never see them.
I sure wouldn't trust them with a carbon fork nmgtx
Nov 4, 2003 11:15 AM
why?mohair_chair
Nov 4, 2003 11:32 AM
What's wrong with the brakes we have now? Answer: nothing.

Maybe discs will be useful on carbon wheels (tubulars), which have poor braking surfaces, but that's a very small niche.

The weight penalty is still too high, and it's too hard to do a quick wheel change. Solve those two problems and maybe racers will use them. If racers don't have a reason to use discs, I don't see why recreational riders would need them.
why?R600DuraAce
Nov 4, 2003 11:47 AM
Agree. Besides, when is the last time you race you need that much stopping power? A small tap on the brakes is already excessive in a race, not counting descenting from a mountain.
why?cmgauch
Nov 4, 2003 11:59 AM
A nose-wheelie is well within the realm of the brakes we have now, as is locking the rear wheel up. More braking power won't do anything to improve the breed. Witness how little those pads wear as the miles rack up & the years go by.

Better modulation w/the disks? OK, but that is a high price to pay for plush brake feel.
why?russw19
Nov 4, 2003 12:30 PM
You guys all seem to be focusing on downhill mtb disks... did you ever stop to think that road bikes could use a very simple 4 inch rotor? Road bikes don't need the extra power, agreed, but a 4 inch rotor disk on a road bike would be just fine, and nearly as light as a cliper system is right now, who knows what will happen in 5 years as companies like Magura and Avid are already trying Magnesium brakes out. Plus one real nice advantage of a disk is that it can grab more and not skid as bad as a rim caliper system. One of the big tests that got Shimano to start making disks was a test that figured this out. If a caliper grabs the rim, it is more likely to momentarily cause the rim to come to a complete stop, causing the rim to skid, whereas a disk grabbing a rotor at the hub is less likely to do that, instead it slows the rim down more evenly. That is why anyone who rides a disk tells you they get better modulation from them over rim brakes. Sure, you can still lock them up, but they are said to be less likely to do so without you making an effort to make them lock.

As for price... it will come down, as it already has in the mtb market. Avid mechanicals are only slightly more expensive than their Ti Ultimates, but work so much better! And you can build lighter wheels with disks as you take the rim braking and wear factor out. You will have to abandon radial lacing as the torque of the disk will be too high, but most manufacturers suggest you don't use radial lacing anyways.

It's just technology guys and gals, don't fear it. I am not saying it's 100% the best system on the market, but if enough manufaturers get behind it, it shows a heck of a lot of promise. The biggest problem to overcome won't be any technical issue but a human one, the stupid UCI.

They banned disks as of Oct.1st in UCI Cyclecross races at the urging of European Bike Makers. They are behind in disk brake technology to US and Canadian companies by anywhere from 3 to 5 years! They aren't ready to compete with the North American market with disk compatible frames, so they pressured the UCI to ban them. Bunch o BS if you ask me.

As for if road bikes need disks... they probably don't, but did we really NEED carbon seat posts and the Pinarello Dogma Ego? Heck no! So if they are gonna mean that 10 years from now I have an even better and faster lighter bike so I can still feel like I did when I was 20 on the bike, I am all for them.

My 2 cents... feel free to add to it.

Russ
Well said....Chicago_Steve
Nov 4, 2003 12:37 PM
Most of these posts refer to today's technology when the original question is looking at 5 years down the road.

Spend some time over at the weight weenie site on MTBr. There are 2-3 disk systems that approach the weight of V brakes and levers. Innovations such as Stan's aluminum rotors and even carbon fiber rotors are already out there.

If disks equal the weight of standard road calipers and offer better modulation then why not consider them?
why?dgangi
Nov 4, 2003 8:19 PM
I think you are correct in many ways about the superiority of disc brakes. From a pure "braking" perspective, nothing beats them.

But there is one thing about disc brakes that makes the application of them difficult on a light-weight and relatively weak road bike (as compared to an MTB): the incredible amount of torque the place around the axle, particularly in front. The force on the bike caused by a rim brake is puny compared to what a disc brake will do. Just given the laws of physics (leverage), a disc brake probably makes 5 to 10 times the amount of rotational torque that a rim brake does (leverage is caused by the additional distance between the tire and the braking surface on a disc brake vs. rim brake).

Take the front fork, for example. The typical road bike rim brake is mounted at the crown, directly under the headtube, where the fork is strongest. Now move that force to the axle and magnify the force 5 to 10-fold (again due to leverage), and you now have a situation where a carbon road fork could shear. You also need to greatly strenghthen the wheel to endure such forces.

Mountain bikes already have very beefy forks that can take the stresses of disc brakes (typical MTB fork is 4 pounds). And MTB wheels are already very strong, so making them strong enough to endure a disc brake does not add much weight to the original wheel.

I would surmise that a road wheel would need almost double the strength to handle the stress of a disc brake. And the fork would also need significant improvements as well.

What does this all mean? Lots of weight, at least for now. Yes, technology will probably come to the point where the wheel and fork can be strengthened with little added weight, but for now I don't see that happening.

Just my thoughts...

Thx...Doug
why?russw19
Nov 4, 2003 11:09 PM
Doug great points.. the only thing I can counter with is what I already said... you are still looking at this from a mountain bike disk brake perspective. Yes, the forces are still there and will still be high, but a road bike doesn't weigh in at 25 to 30 pounds like a cross-country mountain bike does, nor the 45 to 65 pounds of a downhill bike. Road bikes will not need the same disk brakes that a mountain bike needs. You should easily get away with a 4 inch rotor for a road bike. Most x-country bikes use a 6 inch rotor and downhill bikes use 8 inch or larger rotors. The fact that the torque will be higher is very true, but the amount of increase seems to be stretched by your post. You seem to be comparing the needs of the mountain bike community to the needs of the road bike community and making them equal. They are not. And that was my point earlier about why I think disks are highly feasible for road bikes.

Also, if you want to make a fair comparision, look at the cyclecross world and compare that to the road bike world. Cross bikes have carbon forks and disk brakes, so it's possible. They also use lighter weight wheels (OK, not Campy Hyperions, but still much much lighter than mountain wheels) and the cross bikes are able to take the stress, as are the wheels.

Are we ready for disk brakes on top end road bikes right now, no. But 5 years from now is another story. 5 years ago, Shimano added the 9th cog to Dura-Ace... Campy was still 8. Carbon was not in use for much more than forks yet. We didn't have threadless headsets on road bikes, carbon stays on steel frames, carbon cranks and seatposts... who knew then? Who knows in 5 more years?

I can even see disks right now on touring bikes being a huge selling feature... maybe we will all say the same about high end road bikes in 5 years.... it sure will help getting around the 6.8 kilogram rule!

I like this debate... it's fun.. and I would love to see what I wrote about it in the 5 years in question from now.

Russ
thanks for the teen perspectivebaylor
Nov 4, 2003 8:16 PM
deadbeat.
Someone missed their breast feeding.R600DuraAce
Nov 4, 2003 9:01 PM
quick wheel changeslaffeaux
Nov 4, 2003 11:55 AM
I don't think quick wheel changes are an issue. I have mechanical disks on a MTB and pulling the wheels off is easier and faster than rim brakes - release the QR and pull the wheel off; no need to mess with releasing the brake cable tension.

That said, I don't see the need for disk brakes unless you ride in foul weather on a regular basis.
why?consolidated
Nov 4, 2003 11:58 AM
Discs will likely have more out right stopping power and potentially better modulation and consistency than rim brakes.
Discs work well wet or dry, I can see how in a wet descent or tight crit course they would be valuable.
Disc drag would need to be completely solved, roadies won't tolerate any involuntary disc to caliper contact. I still can't completely eliminate drag from my mtb calipers.
carbon clinchers, that's why!torquer
Nov 5, 2003 8:16 AM
Velonews Tech Report (10/20/03 issue):
"As for the Campagnolo Hyperion clincher, the company's solidly built marketing manager Piero Da Rin was chosen as the test guinea pig because he could acheive the highest rim temperatures while braking. Campagnolo repeatedly shuttled Da Rin to the top of Monte Grappa for a steep, 20km descent with temperature sensors inside the rim. The internal temperature of the rim consistently hit 100 degrees C, and Da Rin estimated that the temperature at the rim surface under the brake pad was 500 degrees C."
Imagine what Campy will be able to charge for a ceramic-composite disc rotor (ala Porsche, who offers them as a $4K option on the Turbo) with carbon-fiber calipers! It will make the $800 CF cranks seem like a bargain.
re: "Disc Brakes Standard on Road Bikes in 5 Years" Opinion?JFST
Nov 4, 2003 11:53 AM
I think it will eventually happen although I wouldn't say they will be the standard in 5 years. I sure we'll see SOME bikes with them. If the pro's ride them or not that will not make much of a difference. Disk brakes started to become extremely popular in mountain bikes long before racers refused to run anything other than rim brakes. People will generally buy stuff that works well.
The fear of carbon forks not being able to withstand the stress is unfounded. Many mountain bikes with carbon seatstays use disc mounts safely. There's no doubt that a carbon fork which is beefier than a seat stay can handle it. Personally I think discs would be priceless for a training bike particularly if you ride around traffic. Even the best rim brakes don't have the power to stop the wheel fast enough in many situations. It would make working the brake levers from the hoods so much easier since the force that needs to be applied is so much less. During long downhill runs with lots of turns where my hands start to fatigue badly from braking they would be very welcome.
I don't think they will replace rim brakes just yet but its about time someone starts giving the option of running discs on a road bike. They don't even have to be much heavier at all, if at all. Currently MTB disc brakes have reached nearly the same weight as rim brakes. A road bike could use even smaller calipers and rotors saving even more weight.
Not sure how it will work on wheels with 6 radial spokes ...Humma Hah
Nov 4, 2003 11:56 AM
Given the trend toward wheels with too few spokes to conceivably support a bike safely in the FIRST place, radially laced so they can't stand torque, it is difficult to see how disk brakes could be used effectively.
Not sure how it will work on wheels with 6 radial spokes ...JFST
Nov 4, 2003 12:06 PM
The same as in mountain bikes, you will not be able to use radial lacing and discs.
why not?cyclopathic
Nov 4, 2003 12:11 PM
Will we really all be running those?Humma Hah
Nov 4, 2003 12:39 PM
I gotta figure the weight weenies will continue to use wire spokes, in very small numbers. And those will probably never work with disc brakes.

So, let's see, what proportion of roadie are weight weenies? 80%?

Are those wheels as light as 18-spoke, radially-laced, carbon-rim wheels?
Thank You....ismellcabbage
Nov 4, 2003 12:38 PM
Any wheel built with a lower spoke count is at a huge risk of failing if all the breaking forces are translated through the spokes. If somebody wants disk breaks they'll have to give up light weight, aero wheels.
I've been waiting for somebody to speak up on this obvious scenario.
Explain, please, about increased spoke stressestorquer
Nov 5, 2003 9:17 AM
Another poster makes a point about increased stress on the fork when the braking force is applied at the hub rather than at the rim (i.e. a longer moment arm), which I understand.
But isn't the same braking force translated through the spokes in any case? The friction of the tire at the road surface is the same, the momentum of the moving bike is applied at the axle in both cases, so how are the spokes more highly stressed?
Don't be misled by my reference to moment arms above; I don't claim any engineering expertise, and need a layman's explanation.
Thanks.
I love the disk brakes on my MTB...Chicago_Steve
Nov 4, 2003 11:59 AM
Some random thoughts...

1) If disk brakes become prevalent in the road world does that mean lighter rims? (Now you don't have to design for the rim braking surface). The rotational weight is moved towards the center of the wheel where it affects acceleration less.

2) Disk brakes are a commuter's dream. They work great in the wet weather.

3) Will disk brakes see road bikes move to a 135mm spaced rear hub? The disk takes up some space leaving less room for dish. A wider hub should be a stronger hub.

4) Wheel trueness is no longer as big an issue with disk brakes. Knock your wheel out of true with rim brakes and prepare for rub and possibly a sidewall cut in your tire. Disks don't have these issues.

5) Hydraulic or cable actuated?

6) What about these issues with Disk brakes and QR?

7) How does this affect rear triangle designs? Will carbon stays need to be beefed up for disk applications?

8) The UCI banned disk brakes for cyclocross racing. Is this any indication of where they're headed for road applications?

Steve (there are so many questions to answer... But I really like the Avid Mechs on my mountain bike)
Agree about commuting, and touring as well.dzrider
Nov 4, 2003 12:11 PM
The greater the load, the more useful they become and the less the weight matters. It's why they've been used on tandems for so many years with little change to the rear triangles.

Disagree about the trueness question. Out of round wheels will suck under any circumstances and keeping the disk clear of the pads on my sons' mountain bikes is far more trouble than keeping wheels true. Don't blame the boys, either, they don't have much trouble with their road bikes.
second touringcyclopathic
Nov 4, 2003 12:23 PM
the friend of mine had to let it go descending off Galiber on 80lbs touring bike to prevent blow out/pad melt. And he had to replace pads twice on 3 week vocation in Alps.

I wouldn't bother for commuting; good pads last 4-8,000mi I doubt you'd need to replace them that often, once a year at most?
MaybeChicago_Steve
Nov 4, 2003 12:24 PM
Maybe it's the type of disk brake your running. With my Avids I can adjust the distance between each pad and the rotor by simply turning a dial. I've been on trail rides and knocked my rear wheel significantly out of true (almost to the point of rubbing the chainstays) with no rub at the rotor. If I were to do the same abuse to my wheelset with rim brakes I probably would have flatted (sidewall cut) or at least had to stop in the woods and true up my wheel to stop the brake rub.

I'm not advocating riding around with out-of-true wheels. It's simply that the trueness of the rim doesn't really impact what's going on at the rotor when disk brakes are used. This would hold true whether on the trail or the road....
Agree about commuting, and touring as well--secondAndy M-S
Nov 4, 2003 1:39 PM
Last night I rode home through a downpour, and I could hear the alloy rubbing away from my commuter's rims every time I applied the brakes. Assuming that the rotors are relatively inexpensive, I'd much rather replace those a couple of times a year than have to replace a rim.
Doesn't make sense...dgangi
Nov 4, 2003 12:05 PM
Disc brakes don't make any sense on 90% of the bikes out there, including road bikes. Disc brakes were added to downhill/freeride mountain bikes primarily because they NEED the extra stopping power. When you are bombing down a rut-pitted descent and hanging on to your bike for dear life, you need all the stopping power you can get. Add to that mud, dirt, rain, etc. and disc brakes made sense...only on a downhill/freeride MTB.

In fact, most disc brake manufacturers are carry-overs from the motocross world - Hayes, etc. And given that a downhill/freeride MTB bomber is constructed a lot like a motorcycle, it follows that dual-crown forks and disc brakes have become the norm.

And the only reason that other bike categories have followed is for the "cool, tough" factor. Some of my XC MTB racer friends have fallen into the "cool, tough" trap and added disc brakes to their rigs...unnecessarily in my opinion.

I personally still run rim brakes on my XC mountain bike as I see no reason to have the extra stopping power with the penalty of all that weight just to "look cool". And I must admit that disc brakes are wayyy cool looking.

So why would disc brakes be necessary on a road bike? Stopping power is more than adequate with the current rim brake setup. I've never seen a road bike bombing down a rut-filled rocky mountain with the need for all that stopping power.

One could *possibly* argue that a disc brake is necessary in very hilly areas where you need a lot of stopping power on steep descents. But I have been on lots of hills on my road bike and my rim brakes stop me very well.

A disc brake only has 1 advantage - stopping power. They have many disadvantages - weight, drag, maintenance, cost. So if you need stopping power first and foremost (which is probably true only for those who freeride or downhill MTB), then a disc brake is must-have. But if rim brakes provide adequate stopping power for your situation (as in any road bike I know of), then there is no need to get a disc brake and carry over all of the negatives that go along with them.

Thx...Doug
and wet stopping abilityNatC
Nov 4, 2003 12:18 PM
in addition to increased power. There's no comparison there.

I'm dubious about the advantageousness of discs on a road bike, but I do think they're useful on non-FR/DH mtb's. Those who do extended xc descents can appreciate the extra power of discs, even if they never leave the ground. Again, if you ride in wet weather discs blow rim brakes away.
Amen! nmMShaw
Nov 4, 2003 1:57 PM
What if Beloki had disk brakes in the tour?Dave Hickey
Nov 4, 2003 12:49 PM
His rim wouldn't have overheated causing the tire to roll off. Just a thought................
What if Beloki had disk brakes in the tour?russw19
Nov 4, 2003 1:03 PM
Beat ya to this a couple of replys below... but what really caused his crash was suppossedly his brake pad punching threw his carbon rim. That is what (is said to have) caused the skid that threw him across the road rolling the tire.

Russ
Where did you hear that???biknben
Nov 4, 2003 1:14 PM
I haven't heard that description. Brake pad punctured the carbon rim?
Disc brakes on an XC bike have absolutely nothing to....divve
Nov 4, 2003 1:11 PM
....do with adding stopping power. It's all about modulation and consistency, whether you just rode through water and mud, or running in the dry. Maintenance is also almost non-existent compared to v-brakes.

I agree however, that I can't see much use for them on a road bike, aside from just being different, and probably heavier. After all the years of development in MTB, a disc rim and hub still has to be beefier built than a rim a brake set-up, in order to effectively transmit and cope with the braking forces. Not to mention the extra demands it puts on the fork and seatstays.
Stresses caused by disc...dgangi
Nov 4, 2003 6:45 PM
Regardless, disc brakes add a lot of weight, and that is something not necessary on a road bike. As you point out, disc brakes not only weigh more in and of themselves over their canti-counterpart, the wheels must be built heavier to withstand with the stresses of the disc brake at the hub.

On any mountain bike a disc brake setup w/appropriate disc wheels weighs about 1/2 pound more than a similar v-brake setup. On a 17 pound road bike, that is a big %.

In addition, I'm not sure how well a typical carbon road fork would tolerate the stresses caused by the torque that a disc brake generates at the axle. Standard canti-brake setups place the brake at the bend in the fork, just under the head tube, and that is where the fork is strongest. Now move that force to the axle and magnify it by a multiple of times (the fundamental law of physics and leverage dictates the force caused by the tire on a counteracting force which is next to the tire is MUCH less than the force caused by a counteracting force which is far from the tire at the axle). I'm sure a typical carbon road fork would break over time.

Mountain bike forks can tolerate the increased stress because they are already built to take a beating. And most MTB forks weigh 4 pounds. That's almost 1/4 the weight of a high end road bike!

Given the weight and stress issues, I just can't see that a disc brake would work on a road bike...

Thx...Doug
It's not all about Stopping Powergtown
Nov 4, 2003 12:41 PM
If you ask me the main advantage of disc brakes it not stopping power it's modulation. The ability to brake and not lock up a wheel is the key. I started with rim brakes years ago and have now completely switched to discs. It's not about looking cool or tough. It's about performance. Disc breaks perform better than rim brakes in all areas. Well weight may be the only negative. But, the weights are coming down fast. Someone said something about disc brakes taking more maintainence. This is so far from the truth, I can't see the truth. I've put discs on my xc bike 2 years ago. I've replaced the pads once. That is the only work I've done on them. They work as well, even better, than day one. Once they are set up, there is no maitainence. You have to try discs before you comment on them.

Now, discs for road bikes. I could see it happen. They would be smaller an lighter than current MTB discs. Once they answer the weight issue, then you will see the switch. This is similar to the change from downtube shifters to index shifters.

gtown
Just a thought, but some of you disk haters need to ask...russw19
Nov 4, 2003 12:46 PM
Joseba Beloki what happens when you mix rim brakes, cork pads, carbon rims, a super hot day, and a long mountain decent together. It is a recipe for the end of your spectacular season as early as July instead of October.

Rim brakes have problems, just as disks do, but how long have we been running rim brakes on our road bikes and still not solved the problems associated with them? Look how fast the off road companies are solving all the problems associated with disk brakes. It is technology, and technology that shows a lot of real world promise. Run a single caliper cable accuated brake on a 4 inch rotor.. should be about as light as a rim brake system (Cat Claws that don't work well, not withstanding) and stop way better. The technology shows promise, and if enough companies jump behind it, all the problems you are associating with disk brakes will be history in less than 5 years.

The only thing that stands in the way is the UCI and the fact that bike makers from Europe are too far behind in disk technology than companies from the US and Canada. That is why they banned them from cyclecross events... pressure from Euro bike makers. Read the articles about that in Cyclingnews, Pez Cycling, and Velonews, all 3 have articles about that. It's interesting stuff.

I am not saying disks will or will not be the wave of the future, but I will go out on a limb and state that if technophobes don't ever give them a chance and the stupid UCI tries to block the technology, then we all will suffer from the lack of inovation that is driving this sport to making better products every year.

Russ
Great minds Russ..... see my post a couple above yours nmDave Hickey
Nov 4, 2003 12:51 PM
lol! I just replied to that one that I beat you to this questionrussw19
Nov 4, 2003 1:04 PM
Too funny!

Russ
I hope not, but they probably will beOffTheBack
Nov 4, 2003 12:50 PM
When was the last time you were riding and thought, "Gee, I wish I had more braking power"? Rim brakes are light, simple, and have more power than you have traction for on a 23mm tire.

But, the bike manufacturers have to give us something new every year, so pretty soon we will probably have disc brakes to go with our 11-speed cassettes.
When was the last time?AaronL
Nov 4, 2003 3:10 PM
"When was the last time you were riding and thought, "Gee, I wish I had more braking power"? "

Oh, about an hour ago, coming down a long steep descent on a very narrow road. An approaching truck gave me zero room, I had to go go the dirt at about 25mph, only the grace from above kept me upright. I could not scrub off enough speed in the short amount of time that I had. If I had more powerful brakes......

Road brakes have come a long way, but discs are better, especially in the wet. I for one will be the first in line to buy when they become standard equipment.
I hope not, but they probably will beDutchy
Nov 4, 2003 4:30 PM
When was the last time you were riding and thought, "Gee, I wish I had more braking power"?

Last Saturday, I was racing, coming down a steep (very bumpy) hill with a t-junction at the bottom. Is was raining and the brakes were next to useless, for a moment I thought I was going to go straight across the intersection. Disc brakes would have been a big advantage in this situation.

CHEERS.

Mark
Bunch of roadies debating disk brakes...HAHAHAHAHA!!!!biknben
Nov 4, 2003 12:57 PM
Don't make me provide a link to the the boyz over at MTBR!

The Disk Brake certainly has plenty of applications on the road. More than enough to warrant some R&D. I'm wouldn't say that dual pivot calipers need to go but you better get used to the idea of disks. They are coming!!!

The need for more power is not driving the disk brake movement. The biggest advantage of disks is consistant, effortless braking. For road use, the calipers, pistons, and rotors can be smaller to reduce weight. The use of disks would open up the development of carbon rims.

Any foul weather rider would appreciate the consistancy of a disk brake. Anybody doing touring, tandem riding, or commuting should encourage their development.
re: "Disc Brakes Standard on Road Bikes in 5 Years" Opinion?Juanmoretime
Nov 4, 2003 1:07 PM
I ride Hope Mini's on a Santa Cruz Superlight, the weight is actually slightly less than the Avid dial 7's, Arch Rivals and the cables and housings that were on it although the weight difference isn't why I went to dics brakes. The modulation is awesome, I can lock up both wheels with one finger. The reason I went to a disc is that I ride some very technical trails and would get quit a bit of forearm pump up, this is not an issue with discs or on my roadbike. Also if properly set up, there isn't any brake drag. Even though I do love them on my MTB, I don't see a reason to have them on my roadbike. I also won't go from my 10 speed Campy to 11 when it comes out and you know it's coming since Shimano is now 10.

My .02 cents.
If you have 10 now, you'll buy 11 when it comes out. (nm)TFerguson
Nov 4, 2003 1:30 PM
I have 10 because I switched from Shimano to Campy.....Juanmoretime
Nov 4, 2003 2:21 PM
just this spring. I was riding 9 speed Dura Ace because I wore out the component group that originally came on my 1997 Vortex that I will ride until I wreck it or die.
PS I made the switch because of hand numbness. nmJuanmoretime
Nov 4, 2003 2:23 PM
They make 9 speed Campy. (nm)TFerguson
Nov 5, 2003 7:19 AM
re: "Disc Brakes Standard on Road Bikes in 5 Years" Opinion?Triphop
Nov 4, 2003 1:36 PM
I have no first hand experience with discs other than mtb riding buddies that use them, but have heard and witnessed a few things that have/have not been mentioned...

-pad/rotor rub and the resulting squeal...so very annoying for everyone.
-brake fade, I have heard from others that on long descents the brakes begin to fade due to the heat build up.

-The MAJOR concern - wheels pulling out of the drop outs when using discs and quick release skewers. I have witnessed this on my buddy's bike, rear wheel pulled right out of the drop out due to the extreme forces of the disc brake, and his QR was very tight! This is why DH/Freeride bikes now use 20mm axles that clamp on like Marzocchi, bolt on axles or the Rock Shox Tullio system.

There was a thread on lawyer tabs the other day, I would not dare ride discs w/out lawayer tabs...and would be hesitant to ride them with standard QR. Forget about the quick wheel changes with discs.
re: "Disc Brakes Standard on Road Bikes in 5 Years" Opinion?JFST
Nov 4, 2003 3:26 PM
While in theory you are correct on some points your buddies either have poorly installed equipment or it is improperly set up.
Pad squeal usually has to do with the material the brakes are made of. Metalic pads which offer the best stopping power can squeal very badly when contaminated. This can be solved by moving to organic or resin pads at the expense of some braking power. This is not a biggy because contaminated rim brakes will sqeal just as bad if not worse.
Brake fade will happen to a disk brake looooooooong after its happened to a rim brake. This is precisely one of the major advantages of discs. If you are suffering brake fade on a disk system its time you consider moving to larger rotors. Had you been riding rim brakes you would have melted right through the pads.
About the quick release system you are correct. Ideally it should be a thru axle system... BUT quick releases still offer enough force to hold a disc system safely. It is not recomended to run anything larger than 6 inch rotors with QR up front but it is perfectly safe if the for is designed for it. Ever modern fork has lips around the qr mount to keep it from slipping out. You cannot use crappy skewers however because they WILL come off regardless of how tight they are. The very vast majority of disc systems out there use quick releases and wheels popping out as a result is almost unheard of.
re: "Disc Brakes Standard on Road Bikes in 5 Years" Opinion?Triphop
Nov 4, 2003 3:55 PM
I have experienced fade on my v-brakes as well, but just requires a quick release of the lever and all is good...I would expect a disc brake to be free from this problem...especially at the cost of the system. Cost being the main reason I haven't even bothered to look at discs...way too much cash for in my case hard XC riding, not worth the perceived benefit.

"Ever modern fork has lips around the qr mount to keep it from slipping out."

Precisely! Go back and find the thread about lawyer tabs, virtually everyone responded that they file them off because the quick release is no longer quick. Disc brakes require the lawyer tabs for safety...would people be willing to sacrifice safety for quicker wheel changes? The benefit of discs (debatable for the road) isn't worth in most poeple's view the expense, slow wheel changes. Just the fact that those tabs are a necessary feature "in case" the QR fails, says there is an inherent flaw in the design of QR use with disc brakes. The solution is the thru-axle system...which is pointless for road bikes.

Oh, and my buddies wheel pulled out of the REAR drop out (no tabs), instantly locking up his rear wheel...that would not be good descending a steep road (visions of Beloki in this years le Tour).
re: "Disc Brakes Standard on Road Bikes in 5 Years" Opinion?JFST
Nov 4, 2003 5:50 PM
Its likely that what caused your friends wheel to come out was more than likely a faulty skewer or misaligned rear dropouts. That happened to a friend of mine and it turned out he had a frame from a defective batch were the dropouts were misaligned enough that the wheel would eventually slip off. Tabs are not as necessary on the rear wheel because the rear doesn't flex sideways like the fork legs do. As a matter of fact most downhill and freeride bikes still use quick releases in the rear because its not as necessary.
Some motorcycles are going to perimeter brakestreebound
Nov 4, 2003 2:16 PM
Taking the rotor off the hub and putting the disc rotor on the rim. Allows them to have a lighter wheel. Don't know how this will affect road bicycles, time will tell.
Some motorcycles?53T
Nov 4, 2003 5:11 PM
Wasn't it here I read about Harley's being low tech junk? HD/Buell is the one LEADING THE WAY to perimeter disks. The Lightweight Braking System allows for much less torque load on the front wheel, so lighter wheels and hollow axles are used on the latest Buells.

http://www.buell.com/en_us/products/motorcycles/firebolt/12r/12r_main.asp

BTW, I agree that caliper brakes are the logical progression to ever-larger rotors. Brakeing torque is zero, so wheels are at their lightest.
Some motorcycles?lemmy999
Nov 5, 2003 7:18 AM
If it were really an advantage. The motorcycles in the top level of motorcycle competition (MotoGP) would be using the perimeter brakes. The wheel may be lighter, but the rotor weight is still roatating and is now further away from the hub (which is worse).
Disc brakes have been on road bikes for decades already!bikeshopguy
Nov 4, 2003 2:54 PM
Since Disc brakes have been in use on racing tandums and touring tandums for decades; it is not a surprise to see the benefits evolve into single rider road bikes.
On the other hand, current brakes are a 'type' of disc brake anyway. Think about the design -- seems the rim brake is just a different type of 'disc' brake.
last - change is good - do not be affraid
Its not just about stopping power!JFST
Nov 4, 2003 3:47 PM
To everyone who thinks standard brakes have more than enough power because they are enough to lock up the wheel, its not just about that! How many times have you found yourself in a tight spot and been forced to give the brake levers a death grip only to realize that you will most likely crash into whatever it is you are trying to avoid because the brakes won't reach their maximum stopping power in time. ITS ALL ABOUT MODULATION. Discs offer better control between the point of no brake force to a fully locked out wheel. With one finger you can feather the brakes to give a very gentle reduction in speed all the way to locking the wheel with very little lever input and in a much shorter amount of time. What about braking from the hoods? Current brakes require a LOT of effort to slow the bike down when braking from the hood position which leads to some major hand fatigue. Rim brakes offer enough force to get the job done but by no means does that mean they are more than enough. Anyone who has ridden a good set of discs will instantly realize how terrible their performance is in comparison and how much it could improve.
WOULD HAVE KILLED FOR DISCS TODAY...Mr Nick
Nov 4, 2003 4:04 PM
When a moving fan flew by me and then slammed on its brakes to turn right. I was on my hoods grabbed my brakes and prepared to slam into the side of the truck because the bike was not slowing down fast enough. Luckily the truck made a quick turn and I was able to go around his rear, but it was still pretty scary. Also last week in Tucson I was coming down a long fast hill and suddenly my cousin shouts that we have to turn left at the bottom. Well I grabbed the brakes and then unhappily watched my pads glaze over as I missed the turn. Had to use a little sandpaper when I got home. Once again it would have been nice to have some discs. And the weight issue, come on. Hasn't anyone read some of the great articles posted on this site in the last six months about weight and how it isn't that big of a deal.

Finally I think it would look pretty sweat to not have those ugly cantilever brakes and instead have a tiny modern looking caliper with a sleak vented rotor. Because we all know that it is all about looks :)
Disk Breaks Rulelemonlime
Nov 4, 2003 8:06 PM
Agree w/ all the pro-disk folks out there.

I LOVE my disk brakes on my mtb.

Coming out my driveway, I head directly down a hill, and immediately I'm disappointed over brake performance (Ultegra's) on my R1000.

For the record, I am not a roadie racer who counts every gram. I'm simply a mtb'r whose obsessive-compulsive disorder got the best of me while watching the TDF. Perhaps more serious roadies will never switch, but I think a lot of recreational riders, especially those who have experience with disks on their off-road bikes, will happily sign up for the disks when widely available.

I will be the first to step to the plate when disk systems move to the street.
Oops! "Brakes"lemonlime
Nov 4, 2003 8:07 PM
Road Disk options todaymerlint3
Nov 5, 2003 11:36 PM
http://www.winwoodbikeparts.com/muddyXDisc.html

http://www.litespeed.com/english/2002_bikes/road/appalachian.html

http://www.bikeworld.com/disc.htm avid makes a road version with traditional brake levers too.

http://www.calfeedesign.com/lunacross.shtml