Disc Brakes vs Rim Brakes

 

I am often asked “When buying a bike should I have disc brakes or standard rim brakes?”. This is a question that has brought up a fair bit of debate in the industry so I thought I would talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each variation.

There are two types of disc brakes available on the market, your budget will play a part in what type you chose

Mechanical Disc Brakes
 20140511_132506

Mechanical disc brakes use a standard lever to operate a cable that pulls the calliper to engage the disc rotor.

Advantages

  • Lower cost to purchase
  • Easy to adjust
  • No specialist tools needed
  • Perform well in wet conditions

 

Disadvantage

  • Less powerful compared with hydraulics
  • More maintenance compared with hydraulics
  • Hydraulic Disc Brakes

 

Hydraulic disc brakes

20140511_132316

Hydraulic disc brakes use a lever filled with hydraulic fluid that is pushed down a hose in to a callipers pistons that then press together to engage the disc rotor.

Advantages

  • Powerful braking system
  • Often self adjusting
  • Low maintenance
  • Perform well in wet conditions

 

Disadvantage

  • Higher cost

Disc rotors come in a few different common sizes 140, 160, 180 and 203mm. They also have other uncommon sizes available on the market but are rarely seen on a standard bike. Generally the bigger the disc rotor the more stopping power.

 

 

Rim Brakes

Rim brakes are any braking system that engage the rim of the bike. Common types include V brakes, U brakes, cantilever brakes, pivot brake and horse shoe brake, all of these braking systems work by using a standard lever to operate a cable that pulls the calliper to engage the rim. Each brake is used for different styles of bikes however the V – brake is becoming the norm on many of today’s bikes.

imagesCA543NXUimagesCADIS2VAimagesCAZC65N5untitled 4      41561

 

V Brakes           U Brakes        Pivot Brakes     Side Pull Brakes    Cantilever Brakes

 

Advantages

  • Low cost to purchase
  • Easy and low cost maintenance
  • No specialist tools needed

 

Disadvantages

  • lose some braking power in wet conditions

 

 

I hope this post was of help to you please get involved and leave a comment if you have any questions.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s