Are disc brakes better than callipers?

tommaguzzi

Über Member
Location
County Durham
I was out riding today when one of our group lost his front end and came off. He had a bit of road rash but nothing major and carried on riding.
The thing that cought my attention was the chap behind him said it was only because he had disc brakes that he was able to stop in time before he ran over the fallen rider preventing further injuries.
I have only ever used caliper brakes I find them to be easily able to overcome the available traction of my tyres they are also capable of "stoppies" on the front brake or have the rear wheel skidding out sideways any time I want to.
I find it difficult to believe that any disc brake can be more effective than a good caliper rim brake and ulitimatly both are limited by the available traction afforded by skinny bicycle tyres.
It is my belief that bicycle disc brakes for road bike use is just a marketing/bikebling accessory.
 

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
Better go back to canti's on my MTB's then.
 

martint235

Dog on a bike
Location
Welling
They are better in the wet than calipers and they don't damage your rims either.

Good, well set up callipers in the dry are perfectly able to stop you, it is that consistency of performance in the wet that is key I've found
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
The biggest advantage for me is the lack of rim wear. I weigh enough to have my own gravitational field and stop just fine in all conditions, but the rim wear can be a ballache.

The following rider in the OPs story needs to bang back a touch and not rely on the supposed benefits of discs to keep him out of trouble.
 
OP
tommaguzzi

tommaguzzi

Über Member
Location
County Durham
Drago in the last 10 years I have ridden 2/3 k miles every year. i ride mostly in the peak district and so I use my brakes a lot. I am still using the same shimano 105 wheels I had in 2005. The rims are worn but still serviceable. I have to change the pads more frequently now about twice a year. But my brakes are still good. I never have any problem stopping in the wet either. I remain unconvinced that disc brakes are any thing other that a fashion accessory for road bikes.
 

surfdude

Veteran
Location
cornwall
Well I think the ones on my mtb are much better than the old caliper brakes for stopping and general control so I would assume the same applies to road bike one's as well.
 
U

User33236

Guest
Drago in the last 10 years I have ridden 2/3 k miles every year. i ride mostly in the peak district and so I use my brakes a lot. I am still using the same shimano 105 wheels I had in 2005. The rims are worn but still serviceable. I have to change the pads more frequently now about twice a year. But my brakes are still good. I never have any problem stopping in the wet either. I remain unconvinced that disc brakes are any thing other that a fashion accessory for road bikes.
I commute almost every day of the year to work in all weather (the only exception being heavy snow / ice) and have done so for a number of years. I started out on a hybrid with cantilever brakes but moved to a CX with mechanical disc brakes . My current commuter is a road bike with hydraulic disc brakes. I remain convinced that they are more than a mere fashion accessory.
 
OP
tommaguzzi

tommaguzzi

Über Member
Location
County Durham
Smokey Joe

More power means grab a hand full in a panic and you are over the handlebars.
Also remember what I said , all brakes are limited by the amount of traction the can get from the skinny bicycle tyres.
Fitting motorcycle disc brakes to be bicycle won't make it stop any better because the tyres won't grip the road any better.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I think discs will inevitably be the future on road bikes. While the performance gulf isn't huge, it's only going to get bigger as discs systems become more refined, whereas rim brakes are already the pinnacle of over a century of development so aren't unlikely to improve significantly.

I don't have a downer on calipers and don't have a problem with them one jot, but when the time comes to acquire another road bike in a few years it'll probably be disc.

Were already seeing electronic shifting, and now active suspension systems on mega buck MTBs too - how long until some kind of ABS comes along? Interesting times ahead.
 
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