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November 24, 2017
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  • Peter

    Good article. I must admit the design of the TA and the fork interface look safer than a QR with a dropout.

    For non-racers and casual riders, the increased safety is a good thing.

    For racers, if a TA standard is adopted for everyone to adhere to, then everyone has the same time disadvantage during wheel changes.

    • Dave

      And the equal disadvantage might prompt the teams to minimise it by demanding more from their tyre suppliers, with results which should trickle down to the punters on the road.

      • Nancy

        They already exist. Tires more puncture resistant, but they don’t used them. They are too heavy, not supple enough I guess.

        • Dave

          And that’s exactly what the teams would demand – tyres which provide both durability and performance.

          • inverse137

            Strong, light, cheap. Pick 2.

    • Tawny Frogmouth

      Things are well safe enough for commuters and non racers. The last thing we need are ‘glam tech’ blinded racer enthusiasts dictating what real cyclists should use

      • Peter

        “Glam tech” – love the definition.
        Good point you make too.

        I’m looking to build up my own bike with parts I source, and discs are not on my shopping list.

        I’ll probably go with Ultegra calipers.

      • inverse137

        Anyone who rides a bike is a real cyclist.

    • Sean parker

      ‘For racers, if a TA standard is adopted for everyone to adhere to, then
      everyone has the same time disadvantage during wheel changes.’

      Hallelujah. Someone noticed the blindingly obvious: there is no net loss in time during professional bike races.

      • Superpilot

        No net loss if every single rider has the same amount of punctures. If it takes longer to replace a wheel, but the rest of the peloton doesn’t flat, then you are going to be further behind, aren’t you?

        • Sean parker

          every pro bike race i ever saw resulted in team members waiting for the poor sod who flats. I can only see an issue with time trials.

          • Dave

            Mechanics already tend to go for the replacement bike/s rather than a wheel change in professional-level time trials.

            Even if time trial bikes stick with rim brakes, I can’t see this change being reversed.

      • Ty

        I’m in favour of disc brakes in the road peleton but this is a ridiculous argument. If only one person punctures then there a net loss to that person.

        • Sean parker

          even without this:
          we’re talking seconds. Ever changed a wheel even with a standard TA? we’re talking seconds.

          • winkybiker

            That Focus R.A.T. system looks very clever. No spinning of anything. It looks like once the opposite side retaining “nut” is initially set in position in the fork, the QR level will always be at the same angle for enagagement and 90 degrees to that for tightenening as the adjustment is done with the “pre-stressing nut”. This is a bonus feature that I think will will make use very easy indeed.

          • Warwick

            Totally, this is why I don’t get the argument about losing time on wheel changes. It is literally a matter of seconds (not 40 or 50 but maybe 5-10), of which pros will make back up sitting behind the team car anyway. I actually think I could have my RS Maxle TAs out quicker in some cases than a QR with lawyer tabs still on (although pretty sure most pro teams still file these off).

            Also the argument about different braking speeds in groups with mixed systems seems off too. Nobody just grabs a handful of brake and relies on the system to slow you down at a given rate. You try and slow down at a speed relative to those in front of you, and you’ll do this more easily and with less effort on a disc brake system. Also the problem with this argument is; why don’t all the people riding Sora or Force crash into people on Dura-Ace, Record etc? After all their braking systems offer less stopping power.

            Disc brakes on MTBs even 3-4 years ago were nothing on the modern versions in terms of weight and control. By 2017 I’d say we will be hard pressed to find a top level road bike without discs.

            • Sean parker

              ‘By 2017 I’d say we will be hard pressed to find a top level road bike without discs.’

              I feel sorry for those buying $7K+ bikes now with rim brakes. They’ve just purchased obsolescence and in a couple of years will be exceedingly uncool. Which, of course, is the gravest crime in cycling.

              • Warwick

                That is an interesting point though. Personally I was considering upgrading my Tarmac with Sram Red(shock-horror) 10 speed. But don’t think I’ll bother till discs have become more mainstream, and some standards have been settled on, TAs etc. I do wonder how many other buyers feel the same and are put off buying until there is a slightly more certain future of where these changes will end up.

              • Sean Doyle

                The earths axis is not going tilt if people are still on rim brakes. Unless you are continually swapping wheels with team mates then it doesn’t matter what you are running. Some people are still running 9 speed group sets. Gasp!

              • Conscience_of_a_conservative

                on the contrary, rim brakes will be supported, the ones I feel sorry for are those buying disc brakes with quick release instead of thru-axle.

                • doc

                  Giant Defy series is exactly that. from $8300 on down. they will be transitioning to thru axles and all the QR models will be antiques before their time.

            • ZigaK

              The competitors in world cup xco racing or should I say their mechanics need approximately 20 seconds for a wheel change. This is not some off hand remark, I actually took time and timed them in some of the races. For example:

              Mt. Saint Anne:
              Kulhavy 19s back wheel
              Flueckinger 20s back wheel

              Annie Last – 30s back wheel
              Schurter – 18s back wheel

              And disc brakes 3-4 years ago were performing pretty much the same as the “modern” ones.

      • Joel McCarthy

        I think it is generally agreed that it’s unfortunate when the outcome of a race is heavily influenced by a mechanical. This is especially true of stage races when a mechanical early on can ruin a racer’s hopes for the following several days or weeks. People like to see a racer win or lose on their own merits, not the vicissitudes of chance. I think that a change that heightens the impact of mechanical on the outcome of a race is – when considered apart from all other aspects of that change – a negative thing.

  • Hamish Moffatt

    Interesting read. Thanks Matt.

    By the way there’s some doubt that Campagnolo invented the quick release after all; it seems the proof of that claim is actually non-existent.

  • bigstu_

    Good information Matt and well communicated, thanks. As you correctly point out, Through Axles assist in reducing wheel flop in gonzo FreeRide and Downhill environments. But no mention of the elephant in the room – the push to disc brakes on the road is driven by manufacturers’ marketing departments desire to create new lines and move more product. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is philosophical, but the fact remains.
    Downhill and XC courses became knarlier with the advent of longer travel, ceramic coated rims and then discs making upgrades unavoidable. I don’t see road courses changing such that disc brakes become necessary. What I do see is a WHOLE lot of impracticalities and expense. After more than a decade of living with the “problem it didn’t know it had”, the MTB world went quickly from 26″ to 29″ to 27.5″ to FAT rims and from double chainrings, to triple, back to double and now to single. The same marketing departments that screwed up the MTB scene are now being repurposed to stick their noses into the road scene because MTBers have basiclaly had enough of the bulldust and stopped believing the hype. Because the lifespan of quality components and frames these days is long, manufacturers need to invent reasons for consumers to renew/upgrade before wear factors make it necessary. Good thing or bad? Who knows? But call it for what it is.

    • Coach

      In my opinion – the elephant in the room is fork compliance. On a road bike fork compliance makes a big difference to how nice a bike is to ride. Will one of these strengthened forks make the front of the bike harsh? Not a big deal on a MTB with shock absorbers though.

      Also – as someone from Brisbane who rides most days a year I probably only ride maybe a dozen times a year in the rain – maybe less. I just don’t need disc brakes. I understand those who ride in wetter climates might have differing needs.

      The thing that occurs to me though – is will all my riding buddies be prepared to ride road bikes that are half a kilo heavier with a harsh front end every ride to be better off for those few wet rides each year.

      • Roger That

        Some manufacturers claim that their road bikes with discs are lighter than the same/similar with calipers, eg Focus Cayo Disc (lighter than an Izalco)! http://www.cyclist.co.uk/reviews/103/focus-cayo-30-disc-review

        • Dave

          And there’s absolutely no reason that the rest of the fork above the strengthened bottom ends
          can’t be engineered for a plush ride.

    • philipmcvey

      Interesting article and great post @bigstubigstu:disqus Working in an industry aligned to marketing I would agree that the push for discs is almost entirely about sales. That’s what marketing is about – driving consumers to ‘need’ things we never knew we even ‘wanted’. There’s an argument that this is actually a choice issue rather than an innovation issue. Marketers would say that the more choices we have the better – regardless of whether one choice is intrinsically more or less functional. It’s also about ‘market segmentation’ as if the market wasn’t already segmented enough with aero, endurance, race etc. Now they want to segment those segments further by adding ‘race-rim brake’ and ‘race-disc’ subsegments etc. It made some sense in MTB because the disciplines and the terrain are different – but at the heart of it riding on bitumen is riding on bitumen with differences largely being in speed and distance. There are numerous studies out there arguing that more choice is NOT a good thing for consumers whatever the product, so as per your post this is a philosophical argument as much as anything.

      • Sean parker

        Well, there are people that are blindly stupid enough to buy a product that makes their cycling more dangerous (I’m looking at you carbon rims) – just because the pro’s do it.

        These same people are blindly stupid enough to buy a product that makes their cycling more safe – just because the pro’s do it.

        Those people will breed.

        The only argument against discs that i can think of.

        • philipmcvey

          Mmm.. ‘blindly stupid enough’ to buy a product that makes their cycling safe? That’s stupid is it? OK then.
          Your argument falls in a bit of a heap as pros aren’t racing yet on discs – well, they have in one or two races, but it’s yet to be fully implemented. The advent of discs has gone in the opposite direction; amateurs first, then pros. The thousands of people who’ve already bought, say, a Giant Defy with discs did so without seeing a single pro riding one. Carbon rims? You have a point, but deep section carbon rims are demonstrably superior to low profile alloy rims in a number of uses.

          • Sean parker

            well, i was playing on words. My point is that joe average racing punter often slavishly follows what the pro’s do. i.e.. carbon rims on a bike that is used for training on public roads, not reserved for closed circuit pro races where a car is not going to pull out in front of them.

            Those same slavish punters will buy discs WHEN the pro’s getting round (as they surely will) to racing on them.

            Not because discs are safer and better for their intended purpose than calipers – but because the pros use them.

            • philipmcvey

              Good point well made Sean. I’m enough of a sucker to have bought a second hand pair of 404 tubulars, which are totally impractical for day-to-day riding. But bloody hell they feel special on the one day a week I use them because they are very, very good at what they’re meant for. On the other hand these ‘pro’ wheels make the bloke perched above them look even more useless than when he has training wheels on :)
              Definitely there will be a lot of Tarmac Discs sold once Sagan starts hitting a few hyperdrive descents on one. And I guess that’s the other issue – are discs going to give some of us with less talent a false sense of security at high speed? The day I put 404s on my bike I nearly binned it at the first corner simply because I was carrying a few kmh more speed than I was used to.

              • Sean parker

                yeah they’re sweet wheels.

                makes me shudder when i see one on the road in the rain though….

                • philipmcvey

                  Ha! I don’t put them on the bike unless I see the words ‘0% chance of rain’ coming from the fine folks at the Bureau of Meteorology. Which in Perth is something I see for roughly four months straight. So, those wheels will be getting a bit of a run through summer. The braking is pretty sound in the dry, and the tubs don’t have the same overheating problems as clinchers (or so I’m told). My main worry now is whether I glued the tyres on right.. gulp.

                  • Sean parker

                    I haven’t even bothered to go tubeless on my MTB… I can’t even begin to imagine the commitment required for tubs…

                    • philipmcvey

                      It’s actually easier than tubeless – obviously you need a fair bit of time to stretch the tyre, then let it cure etc, but I really enjoyed the process and the ride quality? Believe the hype is all I’ll say. I can’t stand the messing about with tubeless on my MTB either. I know it works, but I can’t get it TO work.

          • winkybiker

            What are those uses for deep-section carbon rims besides high-level racing?

            • philipmcvey

              Riding anywhere on the flat, particularly in to a headwind. Living in Perth that’s 95% of my riding. At the very least I’m getting places faster. And as per the other posts they just feel damn good. Not a ‘use’ as such, but they do help my mental state… and a large part of why I ride is to maintain a healthy mental state.
              You have a point, but you could just as easily level the same question at the 35% extra stiffness in the BB that mere mortals never need or the 53×11 ratio that most of us can’t turn properly. Carbon rims are like most other components on high end weekend warrior bikes; choices.

        • bigstu_

          Darwinism colliding with bicycle evolution, love it. But keep in mid that a big part of cycling is freedom of expression so repeat after me – we are all individuals! As mentioned, it’s philosophical, but call it for what it is. We all need the corporates to stay in business. If they survive on the cash from lemmings and thereby supply we, rational folk, with what we need is that a bad thing? p.s. cudos to the perceptive amongst us that have twigged that this is mostly about strategies to modify the perception of ownership life cycle (churn rate) and increase market segmentation. And as for 26er vs. 29er? Riders were winning world cups on 26ers over roots and ruts long before 29ers were a twinkle in a marketers eye. I suspect it had something to do with skill and fitness.

          • Sean parker

            I’m the very same sucker that bought a 29er (hey, the giant carbon was a far better deal than the cannondale cyclocross I was thinking of…)

            • philipmcvey

              @bigstubigstu:disqus is half right about 29ers. As with dual suspension the main benefits of bigger wheels aren’t that they win world cups. It’s that they compensate for the cack handedness of the rest of us. I’ve got a 29er and I love it.. it made me a better rider. And when I say better rider I mean ‘rider with more skin left on my knees and elbows’.

      • Ty

        The manufacturers will only receive an increase in profit if everyone starts owning one bike with discs and one with rim brakes, otherwise everyone continues to own one bike and will eventually upgrade to a disc bike if that becomes industry standard. Increased revenue is marginal at best, i mean how many people do you know who have upgraded to a disc road bike? Very few.

        • philipmcvey

          You’re right in one way, but you ignore the fact that it’s not about numbers of bikes owned by individuals – it’s about getting those individuals to turn their bikes over more frequently.That’s one way for them to make a profit. The other way is to slowly eradicate rim brakes altogether so that every bike on the market from hybrid to enduro bike to top end race bike has discs. It’s called economy of scale.
          I don’t know where you live or ride, but at a guess I’d say 15% of the road bikes on a Saturday morning ride around the river here in Perth have disc brakes. Someone is buying them. Do you think Giant, Specialized et al are throwing huge resources at discs because they like discs? Nope, it’s because they’ve identified a market based on research.

    • _kw

      Completely agree.

      In my view, product innovation is about improving things for the customer, i.e. either making current technology better all else equal or offering additional benefits such as more features while retaining the existing ones.

      While the article is a good write-up, I believe unless you live in an area where you ride in the rain a lot and still want to ride carbon rims full time, there is no need for disc brakes and any good road group set already has good brakes. Moreover, rim brakes got even better with direct mount options recently while retaining the other qualities (no, I’m not calling Shimano Sora or something like that a quality group set). Plus when the road is wet, I simply don’t descend as fast as on a dry road, why would I since I do not make money riding a bike?

      Disc setups are heavier, much less easy to maintain or repair – especially while on a ride – and at least from my perspective brake modulation is not an issue either while tire friction is essentially the same. Even in cyclocross you see many pros still riding quality cantilever setups rather than disc brakes. Lastly, as the article correctly states at the beginning, there is no sense in making tons of equipment obsolete when there is no real reason to run disc/TA in the first place.

      I believe that there may be applications for disc setups with TA where they make absolute sense and MTB may be one of them. However, the article clearly identifies several issues that only appear because of the disc and hence show that this ‘innovation’ is creating a multitude of problems rather than bring any notable improvements.

      From my perspective, the disc is neither road ready nor needed there. The same applies for the new adventure/gravel bike category where you might as well ride any aluminium or steel frame with affordable aluminium rims and wider tires. How else did everyone manage to do Eroica or Strade Bianche? I just hope I do not need to start hoarding parts for a traditional group set anytime soon.

      While the industry continues to push out unnecessary product innovations and mandatory upgrades to basically the whole bike which are tested in the field by clueless customers and get recalled because of seriously dangerous defects or design flaws, I will spend winter in Europe riding a TRP cantilever cross setup or my regular road bike on off-season cheap aluminium rims.

      @Matt: While I may not agree with your conclusion, I appreaciate that CT at least discusses the technology with a technical background. Keep up the good work!

      • John Hawkins

        I’ve been a disc brake user for approximately 10 years, a caliper brake user (on my roadie) for about 3 years.

        Disc brakes less easy to maintain? Really? I don’t have to pick debris out of my pads on the mtb after a wet ride. I don’t have to adjust the bite point for pad wear, I only need to push the pistons back when I replace the pads about once every 18 months. I change the fluid once a year as a preventive measure and then give the caliper and pistons a bit of a clean with some disc brake cleaner and a couple of cotton buds. Apart from that I never touch them. The caliper brakes on the roadie require a lot more attention.

        Disc rotors are much cheaper to replace and less wasteful than turning over entire wheelsets because rim brake track wear has compromised integrity and safety.

        And on the subject of safety, in favour of disc brakes is that I actually have brakes when it rains

        As much as I love my roadie, it stays in the garage if it is raining. The piss-poor braking in the wet is much too scary. That’s when I have brakes. With the amount of diesel NSW government buses seem to spray in the kerbside lane on my commute route I’m lucky to have any stopping power at all with calipers.

    • Ty

      In response to your first point the manufacturers will only receive an increase in profit if everyone starts owning one bike with discs and one with rim brakes, otherwise everyone continues to own one bike and will eventually upgrade to a disc bike if that becomes industry standard. Until then increased revenue is marginal at best, i mean how many people do you know who have upgraded to a disc road bike? Very few.

      In response to your second point I don’t think you understand MTBing very well. Take out a 26″ bike and a 29er and compare them over ruts, roots and uneven terrain; they are worlds apart. I know because i did it before upgrading to a 29er. As for 27.5, 29ers don’t fit well with small frames. It actually makes a lot of sense. As for 1x chain ring systems, we needed three front rings when derailleur technology couldn’t keep up with breadth of ratios required, now with 11 speed and clutches and massive swing arms we can have a 1x with similar ratios to the old 3 front ring systems.

      Manufacturers will always research new systems, there are 1000s of patents listed every year for new tech which doesn’t make it because it doesn’t pass test, so to claim that they just throw new stuff at us with no real scientific backing is a bit naive.

      • a different ben

        I imagine the new bike churn rate will increase with the introduction of disc brakes. Instead of just upgrading the running gear or wheels, consumers will also consider going the whole hog, and getting a complete new bike. We just can’t help ourselves.

      • philipmcvey

        The second para is spot on… the three wheel sizes in MTB each have a specific use; that’s solid design engineering in my mind. Likewise the 1x setup. That’s not a backward step; it’s a forward leap which eradicates a bit of weight, a lot of complication and a heap of duplicate ratios that occur in a 3x setup.

        • John Hawkins

          Also adds a bunch of unsprung weight, and big gaps between ratios compared to 2x. The only upside is reducing bar clutter and facilitating the placement of the dropper post switch where the front shifter used to be. That has some merit if you like dropper posts. (I’m coming around to that slowly.)

          SRAM’s front shifting is and always has been rubbish compared to the Big S. I think they just ran out of ideas to close the gap :-P This 1×12 thing they’ve just released is hilarious. They’ve just taken a roadie front chainring and riveted it to the cassette!

  • winkybiker

    I continue to question the notion that road bikes can get away with smaller rotors than MTB. Hard braking from high-speed into sharp downhill corners results in a lot of energy to dissipate in a short period. Forces and speeds are higher than on dirt. (Sportsbikes have huge dual rotors up front, motorcross bikes, tiny single ones.) What am I missing? The quest for lightness may end in tears.

    • Nathan Hosking

      Maybe you’re missing that roadies generally have much larger braking zones as opposed to MTB that need to stop (or slow down very significantly) in a much smaller space of time? I still don’t think roadies need disc brakes unless you live in a significantly hilly & wet environment.

      • winkybiker

        When racing, you’ll be wanting to stop as late and as quickly as possible. But yes, the recreational rider can manage things a little more evenly, so long as they don’t get into the whole continuous brake dragging thing. The quest for lighter weight will inevitably lead to smaller heat sinks (less metal in the caliper and disc) which means everything will heat faster. Shimano are already putting cooling fins and clever metallurgy on their ICE rotors, indicating that things are maybe at the limit. Zinn, over at VN, is also a bit wary of the heat issues.

        Having said that, there aren’t any reported issues from the trial in the pro-peleton, nor any real issues appearing from the current proliferation of fred-sleds with 140mm rotors.

      • Or anywhere when the unexpected may happen. Trees don’t pull out in front of you unlike motor vehicles.
        So basically all roads.

        • Nathan Hosking

          True, but that’s generally more of a commuting issue, isn’t it? Was referring to roadie racing…

          • No, it’s a riding a bike on roads issue. Morons in cars don’t stop dumb things because you are riding for pleasure and not to work. As for racing -idiots on motorbikes, spectators and sleep deprived organisers/DSs driving cars are a regular problem. One people get killed by.

    • Lyre_bird

      The difference is that the placement of the centre of gravity ensures that it is impossible to generate more than about 1 G of deceleration on a road bike: the maximal braking force occurs when the sum of the mass x deceleration vector and the mass x gravity vector passes just behind the contact patch. If any more force is applied the back wheel will lift, if continued the bike and rider will tip forward.

      Since the centre of gravity of a rider in standard position on a road bike is approx 45 degrees behind the contact patch, the max deceleration is roughly 1 G.

      Mark Kelly

      • winkybiker

        The COG and its relationship to the braking force vectors, rather then tyre friction, being the limiting factor for braking force is a good point. But I don’t really see how it is much different for road vs. mountain bikes. Speeds into corners are still often higher on road bikes.

      • a different ben

        Needs a graph!

    • Chris Lawrence

      Sportsbike tyres also have huge contact areas to match those huge dual rotors.

      It seems to me that one of the main performance benefits of discs on road bikes relates to carbon rims; improving performance in the wet and removing potentially damaging heat build up.

      If there is a desire to move away from QRs to avoid litigation arising from misuse, that may well be replaced when people fail to understand that whilst huge amounts of braking force can be generated, it can’t exceed the tyre’s capability to grip the road.

      • Dave

        A QR working itself loose and a rider braking so hard they do an endo (which happens well before they discover the limits of the tyre’s adhesion) would be two completely different litigation scenarios, in my opinion.

        For a start, you can already do an endo even with rim brakes.

      • Sean parker

        FRiction is not contingent on tyres size.
        tyre sizes well explained here:

        • Hughesdale

          Tyre friction behaviour is not simple Coulomb friction. Getting pretty sick of physicists assuming away the real world with this little red herring.
          There are also keying, adhesion and hysteresis effects to take into account and yes, it is dependent on tyre pressure, contact patch area and, you guessed it – tyre size.

    • I upgraded my 140mm rear to a 160mm, definitely needed the extra size.

  • Albert

    This is a good discussion of the tangential benefits (or detriments) of the road bike disc brake movement. Another huge issue is the proliferation of different hub spacings and the impact on chain line and chainstay length. Specialized’s “SCS” is perhaps a solution, but is also another annoying new standard (which adds fuel to the conspiracy theories about marketing driving development).

  • echidna_sg

    While all the above technical stuff is interesting, the bit where the rubber hits the road remains the limiting factor in braking distance in my experience… anyone can lock up a wheel or two using rim brakes – so how is locking up a disc going to make anything safer/faster/easier?

    • Dave

      The advantages of disc brakes for road cycling are not in the increased power available (which as you rightly pointed out is limited by the saturation of the tyre contact patch) but in:
      1. better control.
      2. the use of a dedicated braking surface instead of heating up and abrading the wheel rim.
      3. brakes that work in what weather.

      • echidna_sg

        Better control I don’t understand. Never felt that i have poor control with record or dura ace brakes that are setup right…

        Agree carbon rims in the wet aren’t much fun… but if everyone is in the same situation, the risk is mitigated in a race. I personally see more risks when we end up in a mixed bunch on wet roads where some have discs, some have alloy rims and some have carbon…

        • Dave

          If you haven’t tried road disc brakes with their one finger modulation, you don’t know what you’re missing.

          The problem with the ‘mixed bunch’ situation is not the riders with disc brakes or rim brakes with aluminium brake tracks, it’s those who use rim brakes on carbon rims. If the bunch around them is braking more cautiously on a descent in wet weather, the disc brake guys can simply modulate their braking accordingly – or use it to their advantage, braking later to overtake a few guys on each corner and go to the front!

          • dllm

            i’m a disc brake convert. I found that it’s very difficult to explain real world disc brake benefits to those with rim brakes.

            i think it’s the same for other new techs for road bikes, try to explain the advantages of eTap and you will get mega ohms of resistance, saying many imaginative defects of new techs (e.g. eTap being hacked).

            back to the disc brake topic, I beg all those ppl trying to comment on disc brake please try before commenting. Try Shimano hydraulic ones. Try it on slopes.

        • Keir

          Couldn’t agree more. I don’t understand this lack of ability to brake correctly. One of the great delights in cycling is descending at speed and modulating your brakes to wipe off speed. Rim brakes set up correctly and maintained are a joy to use. I suppose at the end of the day it’s everyone’s choice what they use but I’ll stick to my Chorus brakes and Vittoria open tubulars.

    • You speak the truth with regards to the tyre’s contact patch, so as far as I can tell, the most compelling argument for disc brakes is the act of moving the braking surface *off* the rim. I’m often told by my road-racing mates that braking at speed in the wet on carbon rims is utterly terrifying – even with the best pad/rim combo. Also, the removal of the need for a brake track on the rim opens up new design possibilities; including lighter-weight, which can offset some of the increased weight inherent to disc brakes vs rim brakes – moving mass to the centre of the wheel is “good”. The final feasible argument I’ve heard is the heat factor with regards to glued-on tubs: moving heat away from the rim theoretically reduces the chance of the glue melting and the tyre therefore wanting to part company with the rim.

      As an MTBer, I’ll never go back to rim brakes (not that I could even if I wanted to), because MTB wheels typically don’t stay true for very long and locking up the front wheel isn’t the direct route to a Voigt-style high-speed faceplant on asphalt that it is on the road (in fact, it’s kinda fun on dirt). However, I’m also a hubbard weekend warrior MAMIL roadie, and I’m in no rush to ditch my Dura-Ace brakes and Mavic aluminium rims. The supposed “gains” of a disc brake system just aren’t there for me, as I use neither carbon rims nor tubs on the road and I can stop whenever I want to with all the modulation and control that I need in all conditions.

      • Neil

        I read that the benefits for design implications are negligible. Not too much weight can come off the rim, and this is more than accounted for by the extra spokes required. Also, while I get that braking on carbon in the wet is a nightmare, I don’t understand the overall package. You put deep section wheels on a bike for aero gains, then add a disk and caliper? You put low profile wheels on to save weight, then add weight in the form of more spokes, disks and a caliper. Doesn’t make sense.

    • Il_falcone

      Did you ever really manage to “lock up” your road bike’s front wheel in straight line braking on tarmac? I can’t even on wet roads. The friction between a good tire (in my tests Conti GP 4000s or Schwalbe ONE TL) was always sufficient to transfer as much brake force as possible before the rear wheel comes up and I was going to endo if I not decrease the lever force.

      • DominicBruysPorter

        I’m surprised. I can break traction in the dry or endo in the wet on my roadbike, even with a gp4000 tubular up front. Yours set up right?

        • Il_falcone

          You can break traction on dry tarmac by braking while rolling straight (upright) and then endo when doing the same thing when it’s wet using the same tire? How should this by physically possible? Even the best rain tire will have less friction in the wet. So, if you’re able to endo in the wet with a good road tire – which is in accordance with my experience – there’s simply no way the same tire will loose traction while braking in a straight line on dry tarmac.

          • DominicBruysPorter

            A bike isn’t a car. You can move your center of gravity. The mechanics of the situation make it inherently difficult to break traction at the front. Hard enough that if you can in the wet, it’s just a little bit more of a shift to do it on dry pavement.

  • Tawny Frogmouth

    Bikes are heading the way of Toasters.
    most of the latter gains come at a cost to riders:
    -indexing gears and compatibility were never a problem in the ‘friction’ era
    – bike handling for club racers and commuters has plummeted since gear levers moved to the bars (one hand deviates!! anecdotal admittedly)
    – ‘heavy’ steel frames lasted 50 years and looked cool, resonated on the rough beautifully and wouldn’t crack if you dropped your chain or the bike fell against a pole. A cyclist’s weight is bike+body, so the saving is only 2%…

    • winkybiker

      I’ve broken lots of metal stuff through fatigue including a steel frame and a steerer tube. In over 25 years of riding carbon frames and various other carbon bits, I’ve never had a single carbon thing break. The extreme durability of steel frames is a bit of a myth.

  • Tawny Frogmouth

    Worthwhile modern ‘innovations’ that actually improve things for cyclists – podium
    1- Sealed bottom brackets
    2- Dual pivot road brakes
    3- Linear pull cantilevers (V brakes)

    Swept riser bars just out of the medals

    • winkybiker

      Sealed BBs are less hassle in some ways than old-style, but less straightforward for home mechanics, perhaps. Press-fit is huge step backwards though; done simply to save money, and marketed as some sort of advantage.

      Yep, modern dual-pivot brakes are much better in every way than old brakes.

      Don’t know about swept riser bars. Why not get the frame to fit? What about the 2m long handlebars that many mountainbikers are sporting these days? Innovation, or just fashion?

      Generally, bikes are better than they have ever been in nearly every functional area.

      • des

        Wide bars rock. Try and see.

        • winkybiker

          I’m such a rubbish mountain biker, I’d never notice the difference.

          • Tawny Frogmouth

            Not much of an answer that one.
            As wide as needed to create a parallogram with shoulders//bars and arm//arm makes geometric sense
            As with positioning grip so centre of front wheel (hub) is in natural linear alignment with head- the most natural and strong ‘pull’ we have

            • winkybiker

              A parallelogram might somehow be best if we didn’t have elbows, but I don’t really see why it is optimum otherwise. Anyway MTB bars are now much wider than shoulder width. We have moved well past the parallelogram.

              • Tawny Frogmouth

                Try it before you knock it or one day you might find you’ve been missing out
                Lateral leverage is enhanced with a wider bar.
                Aids stunting- any manoeuvre where lateral leverage assists- and of course out of saddle climbing…. Hugely
                Try and engage your mind with the parallelogram idea before discounting it
                Key to understanding my offering is ‘the shortest distance between two points is a straight line’ … Parallel arms mean harmonious forces of leverage L&R as angles are the same
                Just discussion ideas

        • Sean parker

          Try bar ends. You can generate more force with your anterior muscle group in your arm, so you don’t require the extra leverage from wider bars. As a bonus you won’t look like a bus driver.

          • winkybiker

            I have bar ends and use them a lot. When climbing out of the saddle they work well. I like the angle of my hands and forearms when on the bar-ends. Much more natural feeling, but still feel further apart than necessary. I was actually thinking of cutting my bars down a bit more, but that just isn’t the trend. I’m not 100% sure why bar ends have been replaced by really, really, really wide bars. As an aside I’ve never much felt the need to apply more force when steering my bike. It seems much more subtle than that to me.

            • Hughesdale

              Wide bars reduce steering input forces, while increasing the time allowed to correct input displacements such as hitting a rock garden or rut at speed.
              Ideally wide bars are paired with much shorter stems, which reduces “flop” and over-centre steering behaviour in very tight corners.
              If you’re not riding technical terrain, tight uphill switchbacks or descending at speed, you’re not likely to notice a difference.
              I’m never going back. I used to ride 600mm full on XC dork width bars and they were garbage except for two situations – threading trees and long fire road climbs.
              But sizing your bars for the 99% of the time you’re actually handling the bike is not a smart spec choice.
              There’s a limit, and for me it’s around 780mm, 750mm is pretty comfortable with a 70mm stem (which is still quite long by today’s handling concepts). FYI I’m around 183cm tall.
              Incidentally, we’re also seeing a slackening of head tube angles, from the old days of 73 degrees, to closer to 69 degrees for XC and even as low as 65 degrees for downhill bikes – all of which changes your technique. You can remain further forwards in relation to the bike, and more aggressive through technical terrain without compromising safety, which, all other things being equal (weight, rolling resistance etc.) means you’re faster over the course.
              Dropper posts fit in the same category for me – worth the weight penalty every single time.

              • winkybiker

                I’m not sure I understand all your explanation (flop and over-centre steering?). Agree that the longer lever will reduce your steering forces and slow input from the rider. This may be an advantage. Agree that overall, modern geometry has really made things easier. I still think 780mm bars look stupid and make the rider look stupid. But that’s just my aesthetic opinion. They’ll still be faster than me.

                • Hughesdale

                  Flop is the vertical position change in the stem centre position with steering and frame angle, as you lean a frame over, the stem head drops with steering angle. Longer stems increase flop, shorter stems decrease it. Slacker head tube angles increase it, steeper angles decrease it.
                  Over-centre is a non-linearity in steering forces across steering angles, sometimes with a distinct switch over point. Steering tight circles with high frame lean angles can induce a situation where steering inputs a the bars can reduce or even reverse. Shorter stems reduce this effect. Imagine steering a tight turn over an undulating trail, or a log-pile.
                  Cumulatively the shorter stem concept is a way of enabling slacker head angles and wider bars – for all the benefits they provide.
                  On another note, are you really choosing mountain biking equipment based on how it looks? Surely you should be choosing for comfort, safety, capability, enjoyment etc.?
                  It’s horses for courses – if you’re riding bike paths and fire roads, you’re not going to notice much of a difference, but for riders riding more challenging terrain there’s a compelling argument for going wider.

      • DominicBruysPorter

        Pressfit is structurally more efficient. But that comes with some big IFs. The current resurgence comes from a combination punch from BB30 on one side and about five or so years of aggressive experimentation in BMX trying to save some weight over the classic American 1pc bb. It works as well as it does in bmx because the bb shell is sufficiently substantial to maintain dimensional tolerances, and so is the spindle, and so is the bearing. Cannondale’s original use of BB30 relied on a very stiff axle, which benefits the bearings, and the shell was a single precision bore, the bearings were sufficient for road loads. It’s since gotten sloppy, spindles have gotten much longer, the shells are not always metal, ‘Dale themselves no longer do a single pass, preferring to do one side seperate from the other leaving a shallow aluminum shoulder instead of a precisely located circlip. It’s not the principle but the execution. See all the ancient bikes still running pressed in bearings instead of threaded.

      • Tawny Frogmouth

        Bike Fit?
        A frame is just a part of it
        Feet, bum, hands.
        …in relation to wheels

        …for ability to deliver power (drive)
        fore wheel/ aft wheel weight transfer (handling)

  • Tawny Frogmouth

    Great article

  • WS

    I use discs on my road bike and cyclocross bike. My experience:

    –The improvement over rim brakes is huge. I suspect that most of the retro-grouches who hate them so much have never used them, or at least have never tried them in a demanding environment. They are excellent.

    –My bikes have quick-releases, and I’ve never noticed stiffness as an issue. I used Enve road and cross forks and never noticed any issues. I’d like to try a a TA bike road bike, and maybe the difference will be noticeable. But I don’t feel that lack of stiffness is a problem begging for a solution. I’m a pretty powerful, aggressive rider and ride a wide variety of surfaces and terrain in Northern California.

  • Derek Maher

    Good article Matt. Whatever about better braking ? going down an alpine descent I just want my wheel change’s to be quick and easy if I have to replace an inner tube. 99% of cyclists are not pro racers or even race in club events. Many do cycling either to commute, For Fun or fitness. I can remember as a youngster when the solid axle was the norm on road bikes for most people and a right pain taking out a wheel to fix a puncture. When the QR arrived as more or less standard many rider’s blessed the day. So please manufactures do not go back to pre 1960 methods and call it innovation.

    • Sean parker

      Taking a wheel off with a TA is quick and easy. It’s not like some 1970s bank heist movie where you need a stethoscope and a lockpick. You turn a lever, pull out the axle. That’s it. If you can use a can opener you can probably manage it.

      For the pro racers everyone will be performing the same action so there is no net time lost – even in the TDF.

      • Japan resident

        I can’t remember: what’s a can opener? How do you use it? Haven’t seen one in years. All cans in Japan come with a pull-top.

        • Dave

          So do most in Australia – but with many foods the use of a conventional can top and a different label is the sole differentiator between a full-price product from a name brand (e.g. Golden Circle, Heinz etc) and the cheaper store brand product with identical contents..

          • winkybiker

            Very few (food) cans come with a pull top in Canada. I wonder why.

            • Dave

              Interesting. Any idea what that’s all aboot?

              • winkybiker

                No I don’t know what it’s aboot. But that’s Canada, eh?

                • Dave

                  We’d better stop doing this before Wade sicks his moose on us.

            • Dave

              Interesting. Any idea what that’s all aboot?

  • Tom Schibler

    I ride a heavy steel bike with downtube friction shifters, working flawlessly since 1999. I secure my wheels with IRD allen head skewers, allows precise wheel tightening torque

    • Sean parker


      No-one is going to come to your house at 2am and force you at gunpoint to buy a bike with discs so you can continue to ride your heavy steel bike. That must be a relief.

  • Orrsome153

    I would doubt any one would argue the stopping power of disc brakes. Whether I need them is negible. The pro’s will probably benefit from greater stopping power. The market will determine if they are here to stay. I personally can not see the cost to benefit for me and the riding I do for the extra cost of a disc equiped bike. I am not sure I a sold on the aesthetics of disc either (trivial I know). If they are here to stay (and I am sure they are) the cost will come down. I am positive there are enough consumers who prefer rim brakes for the big brands to continue to produce new innovations in the rim system for a while yet. Rim brakes will still be an attractive option because of lower cost and less maintenance. Another positive is if riders all jump to disc there will be a truck load of great rim brake bike and parts going at a bargain price. We may see an increase in hand made bike builds. Consumers may turn to independent builders for a bespoke rim brake bike (a great option). That is something I am looking forward too. So if you want disc more power to you. For the rest of us Luddites we should have plenty of brake sets and bikes to pick up cheap for a while yet.

    • Lieblingsleguan

      Stopping power of road disc brakes is actually lower than rim brakes. Test in German magazine “Roadbike” revealed what I felt before, all tested disc brakes (including fully hydraulic systems with 160mm rotors from SRAM and Shimano) generated less braking force than rim brakes, even on wet carbon rims. Disc brakes only generate higher stopping power when you compare them with rim brakes applying the same force on the brake lever.
      Myself, I am a big rider with strong fingers (rockclimbing background), so rim brakes are actually the much better option. Also, they require less attention and maintenance (I have semi-hydraulic disc brakes on my Cyclocross bike and do not like them…).

      • nycebo

        Good for you! Presumably you have strong legs too and use non-hydraulic brakes in your car. As in any sport, most times it’s not about power but finesse. The key is how do the brakes feel. This reminds me of decades ago when I was racing crits and all the angry, stubborn cyclists were down on index shifting. They were wrong then and you’ll all be wrong now. But don’t worry: you can still rock your retro brakes in Brooklyn Fondos and feel all cool about it.

  • Tom

    The one major advantage of thru axles with discs is that they ensure the disc is perfectly centred, every time, where it is possible to put a QR not quite up in the drop out, 0.5mm off, and have the brake rub. I own a bike with Shimano R785 road discs, and another with Dura Ace 9000 rim brakes. The Dura Aces are sensational in the dry, but in the wet, no contest, the discs are far, far superior. The other advantage of course is that in the rain, you aren’t ruining your braking track. Much cheaper to replace a disc than a rim. Ultimately, I really cannot see rim brakes surviving in the long term.

  • ChoateAlum

    Disc brakes for road bikes is a dumb, impractical idea. Please, cyclists, don’t buy into the bike industry’s hype and refuse to buy disc brake road bikes!

    • Sean parker

      How do you stop your penny farthing?

      • ChoateAlum

        I know! It’s amazing that I haven’t died yet with my silly rim brakes that have worked for generations without issues.

        • Sean parker

          Not amazing, but anecdotal reports of survival say nothing about safety. I’ve survived dozens of helicopter flights, doesn’t say anything about the general risks of helicopter flights. That you have survived longer stopping distances in wet weather with rim brakes doesn’t mean that others haven’t been needlessly harmed or killed by ineffectiveness of this technology.

          ‘Without issues’ – once could say the same about any brake system. Hub brakes in cars have no ‘issues’ they just don’t stop as well as disc brakes. Hub brakes on bikes have no ‘issues’ they just aren’t as effective as rim brakes.

          Rim brakes have no ‘issues’ either – they are just obsolete technology.

      • pennyrider

        I rub my foot against the tire. How do you do it?

  • Ty

    How does everyone think manufacturers stand to make more money? This logic only holds true if everyone decided to do one of two things:
    1. buy a new disc braked bike to replace their old rim braked bike, regardless of it’s age; or,
    2. decide to buy a disc braked bike and maintain a rim braked bike as well.
    Other than that people just continue on as they normally would until their bike gets old, then N+1 and you figure you’d like to try discs, or you don’t and keep going with rim brakes. Either way increased profits are marginal at best.

    • Sean parker

      I agree. The other point is that to upgrade to disc you can just replace your fork (and front wheel) if you want and keep your frame with a rim brake at the rear.
      It’s the front brake thtatdoes the majority of the braking.
      Easy, cheaper upgrade. That’s what i’ll be doing as prices come down.

    • winkybiker

      They’re hoping for #1 and #2.

  • OverIt

    I’d like thru axles on the front of my caliper brake bike as well. (I’ve already made my rear thru with a DT Swiss 10mm thru bolt) With the lawyer tabs in place on a fork, I’d argue it’s as fast if not faster to do a wheel change with a thru axle, as you have to wind out the QR and then adjust it back to get the cam action clamp to pull down just right when putting the wheel back on.

  • I had the opportunity to ride a TA Roubaix and QR Tarmac with discs. I could get the front rotor to rub on the Tarmac coming out of hard left turns, but not on the Roubaix, so I think the extra stiffness of the TA is a good thing. Granted, I am 80kg, and I did not detect any rub during hard out of the saddle efforts where it would be slowing you down.

    Also, on my QR disc Crux trying to change the front wheel in a hurry usually results in the rotor rubbing because the wheel is not in exactly the same spot. This may be because the angle of the front dropout means gravity is not helping as much to tuck the wheel all the way in the dropout on both sides. So it takes me as long as it would with my TA mountain bike.

  • John Gage

    Interesting…….the usual balance between alleged progress and the many of us enthusiasts who have no need to change, having invested in today’s high quality road bike equipment. Isn’t this simply the normal ‘manufacturing led’ propaganda (sorry ..marketing strategy) to push the consumer into unneccesary purchases to maintain the company’s income stream, as it becomes harder and harder to gain an advantage over competition with the current ‘state of the art’ technology. Unfortunately there will always be those who have to have the latest model, whether it offers improvement or not, as they live life by different standards, a ‘look at what I’ve got’ attitude’. And following on from that are the sheep with the ‘well it must be good if they’ve got it’ thinking. Eventually it may be that the whole industry is dragged into the slipstream of this ‘new age of bike manufacturing’ but I for one hope not, as it will bring a flavour of obsolesence to millions of beautifully designed, high end road bikes, as they cannot be adapted. Perhaps the focus should be better aimed at our fitness and ability to ride the bikes we have, rather than consign them to the scrap heap for, as far as I can see, no good reason at all.

    • Dave

      I’m sure that there will continue to be a healthy supply of aftermarket QR axle hubs and rim brake consumables for decades to come, just not for brand new frames.

  • RobertG

    The majority of road bikes are designed & built to conform to design
    rules set down by the UCI. A frame must use the traditional double
    triangle & the 700c wheel size is the standard with no other size
    allowed. Disk brakes aren’t allowed for road racing but probably soon
    will be.

    Mountain bikes, on the other hand, need only conform to a
    design that uses two wheels. In a mountain bike race or on the local
    trails, numerous wheel sizes & dozens of frame designs can be seen.
    If the 26″ wheel was recognised & kept as the standard we’d all be
    none the wiser & happy thrashing the dirt on slower rolling but
    nimbler & quicker accelerating 26ers. But we all had to go buy 29ers
    because they were faster, then 27.5ers because the were the
    “Goldilocks” compromise between speed & agility. Then fat bikes
    rared their ugly head & now the bike companies are flogging the
    27.5+ as the be all & end all in wheel sizes. The rule of thumb used
    to be; the more gears, the cooler the bike. How things change.

    biking has forever been driven by innovation where nothing is standard
    & change is inevitable. Some of the more successful mountain bike
    technology has filtered across to road bikes. eg tapered steer tubes,
    indexed shifting & now disk brakes. But bike companies have also
    tried to shove a lot of crap down our throats. eg Shimano Dual Control
    levers & Rapid Rise. New technology that is practical & of
    benefit usually hangs around & becomes “standard” equipment. The
    bike industry will always be inventing something new that we don’t
    really need & there will always be those who want to be first with
    latest & greatest but it is usually the consumer that decides what
    is worth keeping & what gets sold off cheap on Ebay after a few

    I love disk brakes. I have three mountain bikes & they
    all run hydraulics & I believe that hydraulic dick brakes on road
    bikes are here to stay. I’ll eventually upgrade my road bikes to disk
    but I’ll be waiting a few more years for the “standard” to sort itself

  • Good article and very important to flag this issue up to the cycling community. I know of at least two cyclists who’ve crashed as a result of their quick-release wheel popping out when applying their disc brakes – one on a Trek bike that looks likely to be part of the recall. In my experience it is tending to be road bikes that are affected by the QR problem and probably relates to difference in geometry to mountain bike frames. It is shame the bike manufacturers themselves are not publicising the risks more openly.

    • winkybiker

      No. it isn’t to do with the road/mountain geometry per se, but an extension of the issue whereby an unbelievable number of cyclists are clueless on how to work a QR. Before discs, lawyer tabs saved a lot of dental bills and litigation. With discs, the same mistake of not securing a front wheel is more likely to be catastrophic, as the wheel is now forcibly torn from its dropouts, whereas previously, it just became little rattly (until you tightened the curious, floppy levered, “wing-nut” again).

      The issue that actually caused the recall is that certain mis-used and consequently loose QR levers could get snagged in the rotor. This is yet another consequence of the mis-use of the QR system. Given our seeming propensity for mass-idiocy in this regard, the QR might have to go.

  • JK

    There seems to be a lot of discussion from people who it seems may not have used disc brakes on a road bike, either in a test, or more importantly, a more extended period. I have covered maybe 6000km on a disc road bike in about 7 months of ownership, and in that time also ridden my rim brake road bike plenty. I live in a place with generally dry weather. I think it’s worth noting that it’s a hydraulic disc system in this case. I think if going disc, it’s got to be hydraulic. That was a pre-requisite for me.

    I was close to running out of (wearing out) wheels for the rim bike, and this was a motivator for considering and eventually getting a disc-braked road bike. It also permitted me to get carbon wheels, which should last a long time without the physical abrasion of braking upon them. I otherwise couldn’t justify trying carbon wheels at the expense of wearing them out, as well as at some expense of braking quality/feel (though I say that based only on reports from others)

    Perhaps I was convincing myself towards it, but despite their competence and in fact brilliance, I had identified the brakes as the weakest point of the original rim-braked road bike. Not a “weakness” really – but really the only area where there could be a fairly pronounced improvement.

    Disc brake “necessary”? Obviously not. But generally superior? Yes. and in the wet? No contest.

    The traction of the tyre, or the physics of the back wheel being off the ground are still the limits, and rim brakes are great at getting there and exploiting them. So to are disc brakes.

    To comment on the old discussion of safety of disc brakes in a peloton – The place where I could perceive a risk between a group mixing rim riders and disc brakers would be in the wet, especially with rimmers on carbon wheels/braking tracks. Other than that, I don’t believe an adept bike handler and braker would perform tremendously differently on a descent on either system. Tyre grip (and courage, and skill) are still the limiting factors.

    I still love and ride both my bikes, and both braking systems, but overall, I prefer the disc brakes. I don’t need the two bikes, but I do enjoy that little decision and variety of riding both.

    The bike has QR – as a ~70kg rider, with some decent aggression, raging against the machine at times, the “flex” of a QR hasn’t been a big deal, though there were times that a bit of disc/pad contact was heard from the front when out of the saddle, weight well forward and rocking the bike side to side with pedalling action. The point about a fixed fork negating much of the benefit of a thru-axle is very valid, and those were my thoughts prior to purchase.

    As an early adopter, I considered that the MTB inherited post mount calliper, and QR frame and hub design of what I invested in might mean it could be incompatible with how things end up going, but I decided that if it’s great now, it’ll always be great. A great bike from a few years ago might not technically be as great as some of the latest, but the experience of riding will by and large, be the same great taste.

    It’s true that I have found there can be a bit of a fiddle to get the disc centred and not rubbing pads after a wheel removal and replacement. If at home, I usually just re-centre the calliper. It’s a pretty quick and easy job.

    As an aside – I have only spent a brief time in test rides on electronic shifting, and many people who try it indicate they wouldn’t care to go back to mechanical shifting – but to me, the difference between rim and disc brakes is more worthwhile. In light of that, though I still ride the rim braked bike, it’s the disc one I would keep, and it’s a disc bike I’d be shopping for if I were in the market.
    (I didn’t particularly like the feel of pushing buttons on Di2, and fundamentally I dislike the idea of batteries and electricity and motors running a fundamental part of the bike.)

    • Wily_Quixote

      I think that your description of those still favouring rim brakes as ‘rimmers’ is the comment of the year. Just so you know.

  • Steve

    Yep I have had the wheel eject from the forks on a “commuter” cx bike fitted with disks. Now I am left with the headache of dealing with the LBS and the manufacturer to sort out what I can do from here.. I am going to read up on latent defect liabilities…..

  • Paul Webb

    A good summary of the many issues with clear illustrations. The potential for product liability laws to force manufacturers to move to the safer design is a point that I hadn’t realised.

  • Mike Staufert

    Great article . . but I currently have problems with my hydraulic disc brakes. The disc brake mount was off which resulted in brake rub. I corrected it but still get very minor brake rub if I tighten the front axle too much. I would love thru axles, esp with this disc brake bike. Others have reported disc brake chatter from road vibrations. This chatter is not noticeable off road but on road it is since less is going on a smooth road. Hydraulic brakes have very little clearance that is not adjustable. Even as they wear the clearance remains the same. Thru axles I feel are highly recommended if the bike has disc brakes. Rim brakes are fine, mechanical disc brakes are fine with their adjust ability. But hydraulic has so little clearance and the torque continually exerted on the forks, thru axles should come with them as a perfect match.

  • edgar abreu

    I do not agree, the force that exerts QR, It is not dangerous, because the same braking causes a pushing force forward. Braking inertia is stronger inward than outward. A fork will never come out of its axis with the force acting on it.


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