Are disc brakes better than callipers?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by tommaguzzi, 31 May 2015.

  1. shouldbeinbed

    shouldbeinbed Rollin' along

    Manchester way
    That isn't what is being said though.

    The argument X is better than Y does not imply Y is useless.

    A Hub dynamo is better than a bottle dynamo but a bottle dynamo will still power a light.
    summerdays, User1252 and User33236 like this.
  2. mustang1

    mustang1 Veteran

    London, UK
    I love, no, adore, the hydro disks on my MTB. Wet or dry. They're just so finger light and incredible modulation. I've never ridden a caliper equipped bike which felt that good.

    I can't comment on which is more powerful because I have different brakes on different bikes/tires. I've never had caliper brakes then make me do a stoppie, either coz they're not set up right, or I'm too heavy, or the brakes are just not powerful enough.
    summerdays likes this.
  3. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    That is it in a nutshell, it's not about which is more powerful but which is more controllable!
    User14044 likes this.
  4. OP

    tommaguzzi Über Member

    south yorkshire
    Ha ha! I've got to agree with you there. Red ones are definitely faster and they look so much better too :-)
  5. anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Far East Sussex
    That's about the size of it.

    I recently had a chat with my GP, of all people, about brakes. He wants discs on his next road bike because he loves all things new. I prefer my 105s because, among other reasons, I don't think calipers are as ugly as the setup for discs (the rotors themselves are often quite pretty though; pleasingly annular, if you will). He disagreed; he said he prefers the absence of traditional calipers when he's looking down. We reached common ground on the fact that they will both stop you, probably in plenty of time.
    raleighnut likes this.
  6. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Doctor, can you have a look at my slipped discs please? :smile:
  7. Booyaa

    Booyaa Über Member

    Yes, disc brakes are better.
  8. stephec

    stephec Legendary Member

    It looks like my next bike's going to have misplaced walls on it, how long before they're UCI legal?
    SpokeyDokey and raleighnut like this.
  9. So say many people... until they try them.

    ETA: I've now caught up on all the comments and see @tommaguzzi says he's tried them on a borrowed bike for one day. Hardly a comprehensive comparison, but fair dos. However, the fact that he keeps modifying and qualifying his original post sees his stance weakening with each qualification. I was just as dismissive/skeptical, had no complaints whatsoever about my caliper brakes -- even the Weinmanns on my 1979 road bike provided they are properly set up -- but after a few months with disc brakes, can say hand on heart I will never go back. Yes, I still happily ride my caliper-brakes bikes. But last June I descended Ratagan Pass on the Glen Shiel side and will never attempt such a thing on calipers.

    YMMV, as they say.
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2015
  10. OP

    tommaguzzi Über Member

    south yorkshire
    I've ot changed my stance one bit. In my op I said the chap following said only his disc brakes saved the day. I still think if he was using callipers he would have stopped in time.
    raleighnut likes this.
  11. User482

    User482 Guest

    I see we're re-hashing the debates held in mtb circles, circa 1995. And before anyone starts, an mtb on a muddy or gravel trail has considerably less grip than a road bike on tarmac.
  12. KEEF

    KEEF Veteran

    Disc front - v brake rear on my pub bike works a treat.
  13. SD1

    SD1 Guest

    On an old bike had disc front and rim rear. Had to replace the rear 5 or 6 times. It was was about 14 years old. I only used cheap rims though. In terms of wear and tear disc win hands down relative to aluminium. Braking with rim brakes in the wet is affected. I would guess for half a turn of the wheels?
  14. Regardless of the stopping efficiency or otherwise of disc brakes, I suppose I am a retro minimalist and disc brakes just add to the clutter and spoil a sleek looking bike. I wouldn't even contemplate putting them on my pride and joy, just wouldn't look right [mind you, neither would gears].
    raleighnut and Profpointy like this.
  15. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    And the debate in motorcycle circles from the 1970s. You'll lock the wheel and go over the bars, the tyre won't take it, etc etc etc.
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