Author Topic: Importance of Disk Brakes?  (Read 16395 times)

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Offline RussellSeaton

Importance of Disk Brakes?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2006, 05:00:21 pm »
"Russell, what happens if you're up to a high speed or about to enter a curve and you can't slow down, much less stop?  You crash, that's what."

Proper descending technique never gets you to high speeds you cannot stop from.  Think of driving a car in winter or rain.  Prudent drivers go slower than normal because they know the road is slick.  They stay off the accelerator so they never go too fast.  Same with descending a mountain.  Maybe 20 mph is as high as you can safely go.  When you get to 20 mph, put on the brakes hard and come to an almost complete stop.  Then let the bike coast back up to 20 mph and repeat.  Don't let your speed get too high in the first place.  "An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure."

I've been on a few brevets where STI shifters failed.  They worked fine until they stopped working.  They are probably reliable enough I suppose.  If they came on a bike, I probably would not replace them.  If they did not come on a bike, I probably would not get them.  I'm fairly indifferent to STI.

As for disk brakes, I see no benefit to them for road touring.  Old style cantilever brakes or new V brakes work well.  They do slow you down and they do stop you.  Even in the rain.  I descended Red Mountain pass from Ouray to Silverton in the rain.  I have more than a few miles of mountain descents as confirmation they are up to the task of slowing me down and stopping me.

Offline dknapp

Importance of Disk Brakes?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2006, 05:23:42 pm »
I spoke to my wife about what her experience was in last year's Bike Virginia, which was pretty much all hills/mountains.  The organizer's instructions to the riders was to alternate front and rear usage so that each brake could have a chance to cool a bit before use.  Of course, only the rider would know what technique was used, but it is good to know that there are alternatives to what I had planned, which was to pretty much just drag evenly over the whole distance.

As for the drum brakes, those went out on cars for several very good reasons and I really cannot see them as an improvement over disks on bikes, at least if the disks are well designed.  Once drums heat up it seems to me that they would stay heated longer due to their larger mass, would be harder to maintain than disks, and add more weight to the wheel and bike, which, when you are already humping a 'bent uphill is not something you need.

I am leaning to the T800/T2000, but have not yet found one to look at.  The person with the T800 never responded to my e-mail, and I would have had to pay shipping across the U.S.

After short trips on two different tandem recumbents, the whole concept of hitching yourself to a stoker is not very appealing either, but that is a different thread. :)