Switching to disc brakes - worth it?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by stu20001, 3 Oct 2007.

  1. ...and what's involved?

    I've only got a relatively cheap bike but it seems to have the holes in the right places to add disc brakes and I have come by some disc ready wheels gratis from a friend.

    It looks to me like switching could be a costly business though.
  2. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    Road or mountain bike?

    If it's mainly for road use, I don't think switching to disks would be high on my list of potential upgrades. There are some reasonable Avid cable operated systems, but even then, it would be a debatable thing to do on a cheap bike.

    However, if you are a keen mountain biker who is wearing out a set of V-brake pads every weekend, or is destroying several sets of rims per year, or is getting very scared by a lack of braking efficiency down very steep hills, then it's a no brainer. Disks are the best upgrade to a mountain bike ever and in particular, Hope Minis are fantastic.

    Even if you fall somewhere between the two 'extremes', it's worth remembering that, although hydraulic disks are somewhere around 200 quid per set, they can easily be serviced back to 'as new' condition so they will last you well over 10 years and it's a simple mater to switch them over to each new bike in turn. Mine are on frame number three.

    So, I guess it's the same as everything bike wise, it's a balance between need, want, cost and value for money. Your call!
  3. vbc

    vbc Guest

    I put Avid discs on my hybrid commuter bike for 2 reasons. I dislike V brakes and discs are better and more consistent in wet weather.

    If you've already got a set of disc wheels, I'd go for it.
  4. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    I agree with vbc. Discs are far better than rim brakes, especially in the wet. You could always compromise (if cost is a issue) and just fit a front disc. For road use you don't need ultra powerful hydraulic systems, mechanical discs would be just fine.
  5. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Ahhh, not being a keen MTB'er and being a roadie, I did wonder how discs were appearing on the lower end stuff - mechanical ! - Never bothered to look closely ............ahhhhh ....Dozy bugger !
  6. papercorn2000

    papercorn2000 Senior Member

    I'm building my new cross bike with discs. I'll let you know how it goes...
  7. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Posing git! :biggrin:
  8. col

    col Veteran

    Im curious,isnt a back wheel disk overkill?
  9. simoncc

    simoncc New Member

    Disc brakes on road bikes are a total waste of money. Even for MTB's thay mostly are. Fashion is a factor so many people have them, and why you'll see them fitted to cheap bikes.
  10. Panter

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    Most top MTB's have disks.

    They don't suffer the same reduced performance that V's do, they don't abrade the rims like V's, the pads last far longer, they're more powerfull (decent ones, anyway) which is important when hurtling down the side of a mountain.

    Good, well set-up V's are very good, untill they get muddy. Then, you'll be wanting disks.

    Thats why they're standard equipment on high level MTB's. They appear on the cheapies, mostly as a fashion statement its true, but on most MTB's, they're very usefull.

  11. Womble

    Womble New Member

    Before disc brakes i'd go out riding with my dad on my old trek - no front suspension and just old school v brakes, on the big off road down hills i was no where near him - v embarrasing. Invested in a Kona Kula couple of months ago and he's now nowhere near me. For off roading there is no question IMO they make such a huge difference and add to the enjoyment immensley.
  12. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    To disparage disk brakes on all mountain bikes is ridiculous.

    A feature that works many times better and pays for itself in a year or so with the money saved on replacement brake blocks and rims, can hardly be described as a fashion statement.

    It's only racers who are still debating the merits of V-brakes vrs disks on decent mountain bikes. Some (Mrs TB) are still prepared to trade a few grams of weight saving off against their lack of comparative performance. But only during the race itself. She doesn't use them 'for fun'.
  13. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    It's certainly the reason the Chris Boardman hybrid/commuter bikes have them. ::biggrin::biggrin:!:biggrin:
  14. OP

    stu20001 New Member

    Thanks - its on my commuter hybrid where the extra stopping power would seem to be a pretty good thing but the cost and potential hassle of fitting them is off putting
  15. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    It's worth it for the convenience. You should be able to pick up a second hand pair of hydraulics on ebay for less than a ton. Probably much less.
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