The evolution of technology in cycling has led bicycles to equip themselves with powerful disc brakes. In fact, in recent years, bicycle manufacturers have drastically reduced the production of bicycle frames with traditional brakes. Change something?
The answer is: yes, a racing bike cannot support both types of brakes as the braking power delivered to the frame is extremely different. A disc brake is much more powerful than a rim brake and the pressure or strain they put on the frame is far greater than a simple rim. At the production level, therefore, this involves the construction of a much more solid frame in the front, where the stress is greater.
The fork of a disc brake bike needs to be much stiffer than a traditional bike fork. At the construction level, then, also the aerodynamics have an impact. One disc is much more airborne than two skates. Speaking of which, in past years, many companies had tried to hide the brakes in the rear for the front wheel, and in the lower front for the rear. The solution, however, was never considered a major innovation as the advantages were few and it was thought that this positioning gave the brakes less braking power.
Now let's talk about the type of braking: A disc brake has greater braking power; the hydraulic system is certainly more powerful than a skate that rubs on a rotating track. The pressure of the lever in turn gives pressure to the oil that pushes the tablets. The latter press a small surface of the rotating disc and, consequently, the braking is more intense.
This type of brake gives its best in adverse weather conditions. When it rains, a traditional bike usually tends to have wet and dirty braking tracks from the earth being lifted by the wheels. Consequently, once pressure is applied to the brake lever, it takes a fraction of a second to brake. From pressure to action there is a latency that at high speeds can be critical. Imagine yourself on a long descent at high speeds. You need to brake hard to avoid an obstacle.
Here, with rim brakes you will have to wait that fraction of a second it takes for the skate to dry the braking track and then start to grip. With a disk brake, however, all this does not happen. A The tablets are placed in a safe place, much less exposed to dirt and moreover, as already mentioned, having a greater power they are able to respond much earlier to your commands. We therefore understood that the greatest benefit of a disc brake is its braking power. Another point in favor is given by the possibility of being extremely precise and modular.
A Disc Brake will always brake the same way, and every kilogram of force you exert on the lever will match exactly the power you want. Precision and power are therefore the two main advantages. At the same time, however, a disc brake has its drawbacks compared to a traditional brake.
Let's start with its overheating, a topic also dealt with by professional riders like Chris Froome. The Israel - Premier Tech rider confirmed the thinking of many cyclists. If used in long descents, the overheating caused by the pads will almost inevitably cause the disc to flex which in turn will rub with them and create annoying noises.
For those who ride a racing bike, they know how annoying every single little noise can be. Another negative point is the costs. The pads cost more and have much more wear than traditional brakes. If we then go into the off-road world, then we see that the pads wear really fast in the winter months when the bike gets dirty with mud and rain.
For those who make cycling not only a passion, but also a real competitive sport, they know how cutting edge a disc brake is. In the world of professionalism, many have complained about the danger of these. Falling on a razor sharp disc can cause severe skin abrasions. Let's go now and see what remains to say about rim brakes.
For nearly a century, racing bikes have been built that way and there must be a reason. For an amateur use of the bike, a traditional brake will not give you any kind of problem. The braking you will find will never be so intense as to require a disc brake. Furthermore, the times in which an amateur cyclist goes out in the rain are very few and, therefore, the disc brake could represent an excessive expense.
As mentioned above, a traditional brake is much cheaper and durable.To his disadvantage, he certainly has the braking power, even if in professionalism in the most nervous phases, a brake that leaves an error possibility is more appreciated than a disc brake that if pressed strong can throw you on the ground.
If you have old carbon wheels, then the advice is to change them. The old carbon wheels had braking and overheating problems, not to mention difficulties in case of rain. In those cases, moreover, it was necessary to use specific skates in order not to ruin the wheel and this meant spending further money.
Fortunately, the manufacturers have found products to make the wheels safer and to give a better braking to its owners. A small advantage of traditional brakes is in case of breaking of a radius. When a ray breaks, you can often go home by widening the brakes in order to prevent the wheel, crooked, rub on these and slow down your action. In the case of a disc brake, however, this action is impossible and a breaking of a radius could put you in serious difficulties.