Question Are disk brakes too good?

Jun 2, 2009
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I was a pretty early adopter of disk brakes on my road bike. Generally I've loved them. However 2 weeks ago I had an emergency braking situation. A car overtook a small group of us and almost immediately stopped where the road narrowed.
We all braked hard but I was on a disk brake bike. My wheels skidded on the wet road & I went straight into the back of a jeep breaking 6 ribs and an L2 vertebrae not to mention the rear window of the jeep I went into.
My two companions on caliper brakes managed to avoid a crash.
When you're stopping in an emergency you don't have time to think 'I better modulate my braking to avoid skidding on the wet road'. Frankly it's made me nervous about riding again on a wet road on that bike when eventually I'm allowed to ride again (8 weeks from accident says the doc)
 
Reactions: jmdirt
When you're stopping in an emergency you don't have time to think 'I better modulate my braking to avoid skidding on the wet road'.
Well, it is quite essential though.

I used to write a motorcycle without ABS, and it's the same there: you do not want to just slam down the brakes - not even in an emergency.
It was an essential part of my "motorcycle training": learn how to brake. First brake more with the rear brake, and as pressure moves to the front wheel, brake more with the front brake and less with the rear.
And you try that over and over again, until you master it and it goes automatic.

You'd have to do the same on your bike.
 
I was a pretty early adopter of disk brakes on my road bike. Generally I've loved them. However 2 weeks ago I had an emergency braking situation. A car overtook a small group of us and almost immediately stopped where the road narrowed.
We all braked hard but I was on a disk brake bike. My wheels skidded on the wet road & I went straight into the back of a jeep breaking 6 ribs and an L2 vertebrae not to mention the rear window of the jeep I went into.
My two companions on caliper brakes managed to avoid a crash.
When you're stopping in an emergency you don't have time to think 'I better modulate my braking to avoid skidding on the wet road'. Frankly it's made me nervous about riding again on a wet road on that bike when eventually I'm allowed to ride again (8 weeks from accident says the doc)
First, I wish you a speedy recovery!

I agree with Valanga: Rider error. I ride 99% dirt and rarely lock skid even in an emergency stop (like a dog running across the trial yesterday).

Your friends might not have locked up because they modulated their breaks correctly, it may have noting to do with rim vs. disc. If I grabbed a handful of brakes on my rim brake road bike it would skid easily especially on a wet road. Road tires have a very small contact patch so the coefficient of friction is not on your side when its wet.

I grew up riding and racing dirt bikes, have owned several street bikes as well, and have an enduro now (no ABS bike yet). I was riding with the local Ninja club one time coming back into town, and just happened to be the point rider. The POS metal box in front of us suddenly slammed on their breaks, I was able to come to a stop about 2" from them while the rider behind me ( a full bike length+) did a locked up, side slide directly into the car. Was it their brakes?

*When the police asked the driver why they stopped in the middle of the road...they dropped their phone while texting!! :mad:

Hopefully you'll be back on the bike soon!
 
Reactions: Cookster15

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