One thing that certainly isn’t cold this winter is the matter of disc brakes – they have been a hot topic in the cycling industry for quite some time. You’ve probably heard about them and the arguments for and against fitting them to road bikes. Whatever your view point, there is no doubt that disc brakes offer a real advantage during the cold wet winter months.
It’s a fact that disc brakes generate much more stopping power, which in turn means that the rider can apply less force on the brake lever to achieve the same amount of deceleration as a rim brake would offer. Linked with this is the fact that disc brakes offer better modulation – meaning a rider can easily and smoothly adjust how much power is applied and therefore slow down in a much more controlled manner.
Disc brakes traditionally come in two versions – mechanical disc brakes or hydraulic disc brakes. Hydraulic offers better braking performance, however it comes at a price. Cable actuated (mechanical) brakes offer a cheaper alternative, whilst being harder to set up and can subject to cable contamination, unlike the hydraulic version.
Disc brakes are more effective than rim brakes in the wet
Disc brakes work much better than rim brakes when riding in the wet. The location of the disc brake itself (not around the rim of the bike which becomes very wet from road water) means they immediately have the advantage of not needing to displace water before braking can even begin. Additionally, since a disc brake rotor is often made from a metal compound, it isn’t affect by water in the same way as a rim brake, which is often made from a rubber based compound.
Rim out of true? No problem
Road surfaces can become very uneven during winter and it doesn’t take much to knock a wheel out of true. This poses a real issue with rim brakes and results in unwanted brake rub. With disc brakes you won’t have this problem - even if your wheel is to go out of true, since the disc brake is located around the hub and not the rim, there often won’t be any annoying brake rub. You should still get your wheels trued, though.
Again this comes to down to the location of the disc brake. Since it is located around the hub of the wheel, there is more clearance to fit bigger tyres – which have a massive advantage in winter weather. Most frames have plenty of allowance for large tyres and often it’s only the rim brake callipers preventing riders from fitting larger tyres, so removing these allows wider tyres to be run with no issues.
So there we have it; if you are tempted by a disc brake road bike, why not check out our range of disc equipped bikes today and enjoy added stopping power on your next ride.
The new 2020 range features more disc brake bikes than ever before. Discover the full range online.