Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT

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TwoWheeledExplorer:
If you look at my profile/avatar picture, I am riding an '07 Novara Safari with disc brakes, fully loaded. Never had any problem at all with the brakes. Much better control on descents, no likelihood of the brakes overheating the rims and blowing a tire. No brake fade. Based on my experience with the Safari, I won't buy any new bike unless it has disc brakes.

Ride safe,
Hans

Pat Lamb:

--- Quote from: TwoWheeledExplorer on April 05, 2012, 01:10:02 am ---... no likelihood of the brakes overheating the rims and blowing a tire.
--- End quote ---

Hans, all your other points can be argued, but I agree a disk brake won't blow a tire.  Though I've met two people who had blowouts on long/steep descents (one of whom was riding a loaded bike), I've never personally blown a tire, although occasionally I have to think about it and change braking behavior to prevent it.  As to the rest, it's a matter of taste.  Properly set up brakes of almost any kind (cantilever, caliper, or disk) give good control on descents.  I've read accounts of disk brakes fading -- after all, a rim is just a large disk, and it's possible to overheat either.

TwoWheeledExplorer:

--- Quote from: pdlamb on April 05, 2012, 08:54:46 am ---Hans, all your other points can be argued...
--- End quote ---

I wasn't responding for the sake of arguement. I was responding to paddleboy17's comment, "I am dying to hear what happens when a pannier laden touring bike does a panic stop with disk brakes. I keep thinking spokes should shear..."

I have been riding a touring bike with disc brakes for five years now, front and rear racks, sometimes with a BoB trailer, and have never had any problems with them on descents, paved or unpaved. That was my point, based on my experience.

Ride safe,
Hans

patrickstoneking:
I gave it a try last night and noticed zero issues with approximate 300 lbs (bike, rider, and gear) on the bike.  I have had issues with rim brakes in the past heating an aluminum rim up enough on long descents to damage the rim or blow a tire.  I have also had enough experience with rim brakes not working when wet to convince me to spring for the disc trucker over the LHT.

Regarding fade, my experience with down hill mountain bikes has indicated that the hydraulic disc brakes can experience fade but it is very difficult to do.  The cable disc brakes don't fade at all because the is no fluid to overheat.

paddleboy17:

--- Quote from: TwoWheeledExplorer on April 05, 2012, 09:07:29 am ---
--- Quote from: pdlamb on April 05, 2012, 08:54:46 am ---Hans, all your other points can be argued...
--- End quote ---

I wasn't responding for the sake of arguement. I was responding to paddleboy17's comment, "I am dying to hear what happens when a pannier laden touring bike does a panic stop with disk brakes. I keep thinking spokes should shear..."

I have been riding a touring bike with disc brakes for five years now, front and rear racks, sometimes with a BoB trailer, and have never had any problems with them on descents, paved or unpaved. That was my point, based on my experience.

Ride safe,
Hans

--- End quote ---

It is nice to know that I started a controvery, and it is nice to get a definitive answer to the panic stop question.

My second tour was the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia).  I still remember a rainy descent down one of their mountainettes (French Mountain) wondering if my rims would overheat (and loose a tire), my brake pads would glaze, or I would tumble over a metal guardrail after taking a curve too fast.  Braking is really important on a touring bike!

When I ordered my Waterford, they offered to prep the frame for disk brakes.  I thought seriously about disk brakes, and worried about snapping spokes.  In the end I went with cantilever brakes, but had a rear disk brake added for use as a drag brake.  The drag brake works great, although I don't use it regularly.

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