Why disc brakes?
Disc brakes have an undisputed breaking power advantage over rim brakes, drum brakes, and coaster brakes. They have been overtaking the cycling world through and through, despite a couple of drawbacks. But let’s take a closer look at them one point at a time:
- Stopping power – they are powerful enough to bring a mountain bike hurdling downhill to a halt. That is one of the reasons why they first became popular with mountain bikes and gravel bikes, but road bike cyclists have started favoring them over the rim brakes too.
- Wet and muddy conditions are no obstacle – they are not any worse in wet conditions, while rim brakes then lose quite a lot of the braking power.
- They are heavier - and that would be their main, maybe the only drawback. Disc brakes can add up to a pound of weight compared to rim brakes, which for racing bikes is a significant fact to ponder. For others, the advantages of disc brakes far outweigh their weight.
The size of the rotor is directly influenced by the type of riding and what is expected from the brakes. So, for road bikes, the compromise is found in the smallest size of rotor 140-160mm, so that they can enjoy the power of disc brakes, but they keep their size at a minimum and their weight, which after all is not at the expense of the performance, since the road bike is lighter than the others and they ride on the smooth surfaces. For mountain bikes they are larger 160-200mm, the last one being fitted on downhill bikes. They need to be larger, mountain bikes are heavier, the terrain is rough, the riding style is tough and the larger area is good for quicker cooling off.
Types of disc brakes
Disc brakes can be mechanical or hydraulic.
- Mechanical disc brakes – work with cables, just like traditional rim brakes. They are cheaper to buy and easily taken care of at home.
- Hydraulic brakes – work with sealed tubes filled with hydraulic fluid. They are more expensive but are becoming more and more popular because they are very reliable, so less maintenance is needed and the braking is more responsive.
Disc brake pads
There are two types of disc brake pads:
- Resin or organic brake pads that are made from organic materials like rubber, and glass. They give a better sense of bite and are quieter, but they wear out quicker, especially in muddy conditions.
- Sintered or metallic disc brake pads are made of metallic grains bonded under high pressure. They are more resilient in wet and muddy conditions, and so are recommended for use in mountain bikes
It is easy to clean your disc pads and the rotor. After detaching the parts, clean them thoroughly with a soft cloth and some isopropyl alcohol. Make sure they are all absolutely dry before reassembling the disc brake.
Take a look at our offer
At Velo Deals you will find the best deals on various disc brakes for all types of bicycles.
If you have any questions regarding the purchase of your brand-new disc brake, feel free to contact us and we will be more than ready to assist you!