Bicycles have used a very traditional type of brakes – the rim brakes for a long time. Nowadays, more and more bike manufacturers are beginning to devote models and ranges to be disc specific and the trend of disc brakes on road bikes has aroused an intense debate about whether or not we will benefit from the advert of discs. Will they make a difference to your riding, and are they worth it? Now, we will talk about something about discs brakes and you’d better read up because this article is going to have an impact on you one way or another.
The diffedisc brakes VS rim brakesrence between rim brakes and disc brakes
The most fundamental difference between rim and disc brakes is where the braking forces are applied. Traditional rim brakes, as their name suggests, clamp directly on to the outer edge of the wheels, while disc brakes focus on a rotor that is much smaller in diameter and mounted directly to the hub.
Another key difference is how the braking forces are applied. Rim brakes work by means of a rubber brake pad that is over the rim of the front and back wheels. When the brake lever is squeezed, the pad pushes against the side of the rim which generates enough friction to slow the bike down and bring it to a halt. Yet, disc brakes work through a metal disc that is connected to the wheel hub and has holes drilled in it at intervals which act as a heat sink for any friction related heat generated during the brake process. When the brakes are applied , the calipers which are attached to the fork of the bike squeeze the pads against the disc instead of the rim.
The advantages of using disc brakesdisc brakes
Though disc brakes are expensive, heavier than normal rim brakes, more complicated and raise compatibility issues, the advantages of disc brakes outweigh the disadvantages. Some of these include:
1.power- With more kinetic energy into heat in a given time, disc brakes provide more stopping power than rim brakes which makes them faster and better to slow down and bring a bike to a quick halt. This allow the rider to apply no more than one finger to stop the bike in a reasonable distance which leads to a decrease in muscle fatigue. Besides, disc brakes can also be customised by exchanging the disc rotor sizes - a bigger rotor which equates to more powerful brake will increase the mechanical leverage while a smaller one will save weight for riders that don’t need the extra braking force.
2.Control- disc brakes offer more control than rim brakes before they lock up, meaning it’s easier for the riders to precisely meter out exactly how much clamping power is generated. When you pull on a disc brake equipped level, resultant braking force is much more consistent than the brake lever of a rim brake. You have more of a braking range with which to work, so you’re less likely to skid.
3.All-weather effectiveness- one of the biggest advantages of using a disc brake is it’s effectiveness in any type of weather, even during a downpour. While the effectiveness of rim brakes would be limited in conditions such as mud and water, because they are likely slipping and sliding, disc brakes just keep working because they are not as exposed to the water and mud during wet weather. This means that it can stop the bike with nearly the same efficiency as it would in normal weather conditions.
4.No rim wear and tear- a common problem in most bikes with rim brakes is that when a rim brake is applied ,inevitable wear and tear occurs to the wheel rims which will radically reduce wheel strength and safety. So one of the biggest advantages to the disc brakes is the fact that the disc brakes don’t wear out the rims over a long period of time. A disc brake moves the pads away from the rim that makes rims aerodynamic and tyre secure. the low amounts of heat generated will definitely reduce the chance of damage to either tyre or inner tube.
5.Increased versatility-the brake pad doesn’t depend on the size of rim. So you can replace the wheel with a differently sized one depending on the conditions you can to cycle in.
Types of disc brakes on the markethydraulic disc brakes VS mechanical disc brakes
There are two types of disc brakes in the current market. These include:
Hydraulically actuated dis brakes: hydraulically actuated dis brakes use a sealed, fluid-filled system as the means of actuation to transfer the force from the lever to the caliper. Pulling the brake lever causes a piston to push fluid down, forcing the calipers to engage with the disc actual.
Mechanically actuated disc brakes: Mechanically actuated disc brakes are operated by the traditional mechanism of brake cables to engage the calipers, like the most of the rim brakes.
Mechanical disc brakes are more popular nowadays because of the use of traditional brake cables. Hydraulic brakes are becoming more and more common. Though they are more expensive, they perform better than either rim disc brakes and mechanical disc in every respect. Besides, hydraulic dis brakes are more efficient than mechanical disc brakes and always better at the fine control of pressure applied which means you can get better modulation.
Conclusiondisc brakes bike
There is no doubt that disc brakes offer better and more consistent stopping power than rim brakes, but they are still not yet race-legal. So it’s going to be a very personal choice. If you want to ride to explore gravel roads or train fro race, then the disc brakes are the better choice. If you love racing, fast road riding and having a lot of wheel options, you’d better keep rim brakes for the time being.
All in all, with so many advantages, disc brakes tend to be more and more accepted, so no matter you love them or hate them, maybe in the next 5 years, most bikes will be equipped with them.