Disk brakes for road race bikes. yes/no/why?

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Disk brakes for road bikes

  • no

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Feb 16, 2011
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twothirds said:
Having a motorcycle (little piddly rz350) I can certainly appreciate the pros of a disc brake. The only con I can see is not being able to fix a dragging pad on the fly like you can with a caliper. Just reach down and move it over. Not happening on a disc brake equipped bike, so I can't see it catching on for racing anytime soon for that reason.
My MTB used to drive me up the wall with this problem. Granted I used a medium-level Shimano fluid system. Are top-of-the-line Avid systems any better in this regard? This would be a major turn-off for pros.
 
Feb 16, 2011
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
You can kinda tell who doesn't want 1988 to go away just by the comments here. :p
Hey, I was much faster back then on my steel Technotrat! :p

I used to climb big hills on the Snowy Mtns Hwy in Canberra with my 42x19 (the gear of champions!)
 
Mar 10, 2009
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First the most foolish position is to say never. Never is never a good bet. The technological solution to many of those problems do have to be solved. Carbon rotors? As a Rotor, what ever material they use will allow a lot more heat. You would only want to protect the bearings from melting the grease.

Aero? Take away the braking mass of the rim and maybe other aero shapes would emerge? A road disk might not need a very large diameter rotor so may not be a big Aero disadvantage? Front fork tips might need to turn around and Quick releases might need to get stronger because of braking forces.

Watch the CX bikes for DB development. New forks, Hydraulic levers especially with electric shifting to make lever room. As soon as you see a 6.8 kg CX bike with disks it will be technically possible for a road racer.

UCI legal? Not today
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Gaear Grimsrud said:
I have more than enough braking power and modulation available with machined sidewalls and a dual-pivot front brake.
This is exactly what mtb'rs were saying back in 95-96 about their cantis and V brakes when disk started coming on the scene.
 
Dec 29, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
This is exactly what mtb'rs were saying back in 95-96 about their cantis and V brakes when disk started coming on the scene.
it was also the same argument made against V brakes when they first came out -- remember all the boutique brands of high-end, anodized cantis?

heck i still use XTR cantis on my bike and my frame (LS pisgah) is disc compatible.

erader
 
Mar 19, 2009
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erader said:
it was also the same argument made against V brakes when they first came out -- remember all the boutique brands of high-end, anodized cantis?

heck i still use XTR cantis on my bike and my frame (LS pisgah) is disc compatible.

erader

Yep, sure do. My foul weather rig is equipped with Campy Olympus cantis!!!

 
Dec 14, 2009
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At the moment I think my road brakes are more than good enough, on my alloy or carbon wheels I have never had any issues with insufficient braking power in the wet, but I said the same thing before I got a mountain bike with disc brakes, couldn't see the problem with V brakes at the time!

I would say technology has to improve significantly before road disc brakes gain my vote though, they would need to be much lighter and I feel that a new hub standard would be needed as with a disc mounted to the hub the spoke flanges would be moved in, reducing stiffness. I think through axles would work well on road bikes, that would help stiffen the forks sufficiently to handle the new brakes, and I wouldn't think the time to change wheel would be different when you consider that you wouldn't have to think about opening the brakes out to get the wheel in and out, and wouldn't have trouble with the wheel not being in straight causing discs to rub. I had all these problems on my mtb before changing to QR15.
 
May 21, 2010
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its coming

Disk brakes will be here sooner than you think on road bikes.As the differentiation between say carbon frames costing $500-$5000 becomes less and less the manufacturers(who put money into the sport side) will need some flexibility from the uci and this will be the one. Also they work better end of.
as for weight a full set up of maguras new mt8 brakes is 460 grams for levers,cables calipers and rotors.........yeah real heavy......change too metal matrix or composite rotors and pretty soon 400gram wouldnt be out of the question.
 
Oct 8, 2010
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User Guide said:
Disk brakes will be here sooner than you think on road bikes.As the differentiation between say carbon frames costing $500-$5000 becomes less and less the manufacturers(who put money into the sport side) will need some flexibility from the uci and this will be the one. Also they work better end of.
as for weight a full set up of maguras new mt8 brakes is 460 grams for levers,cables calipers and rotors.........yeah real heavy......change too metal matrix or composite rotors and pretty soon 400gram wouldnt be out of the question.
Braking is not perceived as an existing problem for road racers that requires remediation. If they did I see no reason why the technology wouldn't have already been adapted. As your post already shows, there is no other reason than.....what? Tell us why they haven't done it, if, according to you the technology is already there?

Pretty girls are only to be seen, and never heard....
 
May 21, 2010
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TERMINATOR said:
Braking is not perceived as an existing problem for road racers that requires remediation. If they did I see no reason why the technology wouldn't have already been adapted. As your post already shows, there is no other reason than.....what? Tell us why they haven't done it, if, according to you the technology is already there?

Pretty girls are only to be seen, and never heard....
At what point did i say that braking was a current problem/issue? I said disc braking is better,which it is.
What i did point out though was that manufacturers need constant innovation to differentiate thier product from the generic cheapo stuff(see 1000+1 ebay/chinarello threads) to justify the high prices.They havent done it before as with many technical advancements due to bad cost of developement/return(as uci rules wont allow it in races so both local amatuer racers wont buy it+ not ridden by there teams in TDF etc)
 
Oct 8, 2010
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User Guide said:
Disk brakes will be here sooner than you think on road bikes.As the differentiation between say carbon frames costing $500-$5000 becomes less and less the manufacturers(who put money into the sport side) will need some flexibility from the uci and this will be the one. Also they work better end of.
as for weight a full set up of maguras new mt8 brakes is 460 grams for levers,cables calipers and rotors.........yeah real heavy......change too metal matrix or composite rotors and pretty soon 400gram wouldnt be out of the question.
Well let me ask you this, ....in a road race when you get a flat and swap out your front wheel and get another wheel, wouldn't the new wheel also have to have a matching disk on it that would have to be compatible with whatever braking system you had?

And wouldn't that mean that EVERY front wheel would have to have a disk?

And wouldn't that also mean that would SUBSTANTIALLY increase the cost of front wheels since under the old caliper system which you claim is deficient, your brakes never move and the wheel rim serves as the rotor disk?

Mountain bikes and downhillers don't have something called neutral support. So using disk brakes would cause added logistical problems with the neutral support car in road races where quick wheel changes are crucial. Disk brakes would just turn what is currently a simple task of swapping out a front wheel under the current caliper braking system into a compatibility and adjustment nightmare. Ever think of that?
 
Oct 8, 2010
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User Guide said:
At what point did i say that braking was a current problem/issue? I said disc braking is better,which it is.
What i did point out though was that manufacturers need constant innovation to differentiate thier product from the generic cheapo stuff(see 1000+1 ebay/chinarello threads) to justify the high prices.They havent done it before as with many technical advancements due to bad cost of developement/return(as uci rules wont allow it in races so both local amatuer racers wont buy it+ not ridden by there teams in TDF etc)
You said it in your first sentence, which I cut and pasted below...

Disk brakes will be here sooner than you think on road bikes.

In order for disk brakes to "be here sooner than [Terminator] thinks" on road bikes, Miss Bossy Pants, there would have to be a problem with the current caliper/rim system. Otherwise, why would they switch? It's not like they don't have the technology right now. Right?

Gruppo manufacturers in cycling are gonna be in for a rude awakening in the next couple of years once they realize that people are no longer willing to pay $2,500 for some scrap metal that works just as good as some scrap metal from another manufacturer for one third the price.

So it's not innovation that will drive sales, but cost. Think Walmart.

I'll tell you the same thing I told the guy who started this thread: stop hanging out with those dope smoking MTB and downhill slackers. They will poison your mind with this equipment gibberish.

And there's one thing you downhillers don't seem to understand about road cycling...a lot of stuff is decided on looks and a coolness factor. And disk brakes look flat out queer.
 
May 21, 2010
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Firstly the pic is Jessica Alba chances are im not her therefore male.....
Im obviously not writing clearly enough so ill leave you with two words Terminator that hopefully should put my point across.......
Washing Powder
 
RDV4ROUBAIX said:
I've spent the most of my professional career in the cycling industry and believe we're in the last years of rim brakes for high end road bikes. Signs are all there, the changes coming and I fully embrace them, especially when it comes to carbon wheels where rim brakes are absolutely their achilles' heel when it comes to braking performance.

What do you think?
Problems I see is whether or not frame makers, who shout about 800 gram frames(and forks), are willing to make them heavier to be able to use disc brakes.

AND whether or not the lever mounted shifting makers can make a light, reliable, hydraulic disc compatible shift lever.

And do people want the added complication, weight, expense, for that small market that use all carbon wheels.

I say it's gonna be a long time coming, if at all. Cross? Absolutely, Touring? Without doubt. MTB? You betcha. Discs are great for wet, crappy, muddy or when the likelyhood of wacking a rim is a big possibility. For the vast majority of enthusiast cyclists on the ROAD, not an issue. Particularly when riders fawn over a sub 15 pound bike.

'The industry' said 10 years ago that tubeless on road bikes was huge and here to stay.....here, but teeny still, only one real player in tubeless road tires and they are not up to snuff in terms of performance with their equal priced cousins. They don't flat much and can use less pressure but I 'goop' my clincher tubes with Stans and ride at 95 psi on standard clinchers, w/o the mess.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Well, looking at the comments up to this point there seems to be a split right down the middle when it comes to d-brakes on road bikes. The poll is quite close too. For all the people who are vehemently opposed to the prospect of d-brakes coming to road, if you're really against it now you're going to really be steaming in the next few years. You can deny the inevitable to your hearts content, just remember to take those heart pills when more and more d-braked road bikes start popping up in the coming years. Just sayin' ;)

From a manufactures standpoint, I will keep building rim braked road wheels along with disk compatible ones until I see that d-brakes start taking over the high end road market. Whether that would be 5 or 10 years, I'm not really sure, but the business I'm in requires me to stay on top of the latest wheel technologies, and d-brakes are definitely coming to road. All signs point to disk whether you like it or not. :cool:
 
Nov 30, 2010
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
... All signs point to disk whether you like it or not. :cool:
Doesn't bother me either way. I just can't see where the demand is when the pros don't need them and don't want them.
 
Mar 14, 2009
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It's probably already too late to hold back change

Genesis Bikes in UK are already selling a production disc braked road bike, that's not marketed as a CX bike. It holds Guinness World Record for fastest round-the-world cycling.



For a more racing style design, BF1Systems Factor 001 http://www.factor001.com is a 7.4kg custom made disc braked racing style bike with modified Shimano Di2 gearing (due to the hydraulic brakes). It has an integrated power measurement system, so obviously would be lighter without. Just don't ask about the cost.
 
i still think 2 smaller front discs could be pretty light and really be good on speed modulation. they way things are now, brake wise is ok, but discs are the
next generation. the 1 front disc system is out of balance to me.
 
Jun 10, 2009
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Gaear Grimsrud said:
My only apprehension is that they're a relatively expensive, heavy solution to a non-problem (wet braking with alloy rims).

Granted, poor wet braking is an issue with carbon rims, but as has been pointed out, pros will not tolerate the d-brake hit in weight and drag, and recreational riders wouldn't be on carbon rims anyway. As for the dentists on Colnagos and carbon rims -- they'll do whatever the pros do.

I wouldn't say it'll never happen -- http://www.volagi.com/bikes -- but it's the sort of thing that will be a very small, conversation-starter-at-the-coffee-shop type of product. Guys with bamboo bikes with disc brakes get all the chicks.
Poor braking in the wet is an issue on alloy rims too. Yes, you can usually anticipate and 'drag the brakes' a while to dry them out, but not always. Even in the wet there is vastly more front-wheel straight-line braking traction available from your tire contact patch than you will get from rim brakes on an alloy rim.

As for pros using them, I bet there would have been a number of stages in last year's Giro where they would have been popular. Lots of crashes there that simply didn't need to happen. Likewise the tour stage where Contador limped in a minute down on Schleck with his rim brakes dragging due to a broken spoke...wouldn't have been a problem on disc brakes.

Yes, these cases are the exception rather than the rule, but it's the exceptions that make a difference.

As for drag from discs, you've never ridden them have you? The drag of well set up discs, even though they may occasionally emit a squaek with every rotation, is insignificant - smoke and mirrors like ceramic BB bearings. Changing the design to wholly eliminate the squeak would be almost trivial (stronger pad separator springs for example), the reason the design hasn't been changed is that the squeak is of no consequence.
 
Jun 10, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
I've spent the most of my professional career in the cycling industry and believe we're in the last years of rim brakes for high end road bikes. Signs are all there, the changes coming and I fully embrace them, especially when it comes to carbon wheels where rim brakes are absolutely their achilles' heel when it comes to braking performance.

What do you think?
Yes please, bring it on. As soon as the UCI allow it for road racing, the manufacturers will be there like a shot with dedicated road systems. There is no reason they would have to go with the 6-bolt post mount standard from MTB, both spoke and fork leg clearances for the disc could be reduced to minimise dishing.

I won't throw away my current road bike just to upgrade to discs, but when the time comes to replace it I would (WILL!) pay more money to have hydraulic discs over rim brakes. Stronger, more predictable braking with better modulation, lower maintenance (no fussy pad adjustment as they wear, no cables to get sticky with dirt) and less cleaning of that horrible black pad dust.
 
Oct 29, 2010
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dsut4392 said:
The drag of well set up discs, even though they may occasionally emit a squaek with every rotation, is insignificant
Drag in the sense of wind resistance, not rubbing or cross-dressing.

My wrists and back get tired when I ride (and my gut presses up against the top tube), but there are these things called recumbents that are going to make upright bikes obsolete. Watch this space.
 
Jan 13, 2010
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TERMINATOR said:
2.) Forks would have to be substantially reinforced to absorb the extra load, causing their weight to increase, since all the braking energy would be transmitted through it. Currently that braking energy is transmitted into the fork crown, which is far more robust. Weight is key in road racing.
100 years of development and we finally have lightweight forks that handle and ride well. And now we're going to throw all that away for improved braking, on wheels that have like a 4 cm square contact patch. Not to mention the torque transmitted from the hub to a 300g rim through 20 spokes.

I just don't see the benefits outweighing the drawbacks and risks.
 

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