Disc Brakes or V-brakes?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by 4900Rockpock, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. 4900Rockpock

    4900Rockpock New Member

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    Hey, first time posting here. I'll get down to business. My dad says that I should get disc brakes on my next bike, but I don't know if I want to spend the extra money when v-brakes seem fine. Can anyone tell me the advantages of disc brakes from v-brakes?
     
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  2. mfallon

    mfallon New Member

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    I'm not an expert but disk brakes will give you more stopping power and are less effected by elements making them more consistent. They also don't wear your rims. You also have to consider hydraulic or manual disk brakes. Hydraulic will have more stopping power and give you more control over the braking. They are of course much more expensive and you have to deal with the hydraulics. You also have to be sure your wheels, fork and frame support disk brakes. I don't know if there are ways to adapt older frames or not since like I said I'm not an expert but there are plenty of guys on this forum that are that can probably give you much better info.

    Matt
     
  3. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    From my experience, discs withstand mud and heat better than v-brakes. V-brakes can work when muddy, but you cringe from the grinding sound as you visualize your fancy rims being ground up. Also, discs dissipate heat better during long braking sessions, if you have very long downhills.

    On the downside, discs require a stronger (read: heavier) wheel. Because braking forces on a disc come through the spokes and hub, instead of stopping at the rim like v-brakes do, the hub and spokes need to be a bit heavier.

    Hydraulic brakes can be a bit of a fuss to set up, but seem to be trouble free once installed. Braking power? You can throw yourself over the handlebars with v-brakes, so more braking power isn't really useable.
     
  4. drewjc

    drewjc New Member

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    2 advantages i have thought of that may not apply to everyone for disc brakes.

    1) buckled wheels make little difference to braking/pedalling action with discs and,

    2) later on u may wish to have a dedicated set of road wheels. u can make these up with 700c rims making a faster wheel for commuting etc. (obviously not that importatnt but something to consider nonetheless)

    from my personal experience disc brakes are a little trickier to set up but once done properly they will stop u much quicker than the best V-Brakes with a slight weight disadvantage. Personally i would choose discs, they seem to be the future.
     
  5. gregk

    gregk New Member

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    It all depends on what kind of riding you do. If it is a lot of downhill and/or muddy, then I'd say go with the disc brakes. If it is a commuter bike or if you're really concerned about light weight, then go with the v-brakes. Price is also a consideration as disc brakes will be more expensive.
     
  6. 4900Rockpock

    4900Rockpock New Member

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    After a good look at the facts given, I have decided to get disc brakes. Thanky!
     
  7. Feanor

    Feanor New Member

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    If you can deal with the weight penalty, the cost and the finicky setup, Disc brakes work well, but after several years of discs, the v-brakes are actually looking better and better.

    About the only thing that kept me from moving back to v-brakes is the fact that the discs have been improving so much year after year over when I first started using them.

    Disc brakes will _not_ disappate heat more effeciently than any type of rim brake in proper working order... In point of fact, discs build up heat very quickly, and for long downhill runs, modulating pressure from front to rear is required otherwise fade (reduction in braking effeciency) develops. Its all about the amount of material involved... the rim has far more than even the largest disc.

    Discs have the added hassle of needing to be broken in properly before they even get to the equivalent braking force of v-brakes out of the box. While true that the discs will sometimes exhibit better maximum braking force than the V's that is not the major advantage, the major advantage is being able to deliver "alot" of braking force for significantly less finger pressure... Progressiveness of the newer disc brakes is good, but is better and more predictable with V's... but the discs work FAR better in the wet and mud... V-brakes can shed alot of muck in a little more than one rev, but I've seen people in the wet with v-brakes plant heads in trees and rocks because they needed that one less wheel revolution :) I've also seen people in muddy conditions balance on the edge of oblivion, saved only by their disc brakes :)

    I've bent rims on rides and actually looked up and thanked heaven that I had discs since a whacked rim has no effect on braking with discs (as long as your wheel still clears the front fork :) ) but the weight difference between two identical bikes, one with v-brakes, and one with hydralic discs is NOT insignificant!

    and I've been able to salvage damaged v-brakes on long xc rides, but would have no clue what to do if I blew a hydraulic seal or lost a hose out in the wild...

    Disc brakes continue to improve, but apart from the amazing whiz-bang appeal, you have to get really down to things like; what level of riding you do, how much braking force do you need, how much risk can you heap on with the added complexities, and last but not least Who are you trying to impress :)

    Looking at myself, I am probably 50 50; 50% of it is whiz-bang "cool factor" 50% is performance... V-brakes would just as easily and for cheaper and lighter satisfy 99.7% of my braking needs, but I'm a roadie now :) who wants to buy a set of XTR hyd disc brakes? LoL!

    Have a good one!

    Feanor
     
  8. 4900Rockpock

    4900Rockpock New Member

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    hmmmmm, I like the fact about the bent rim being less of a factor to disc brakes, considering it's not even a component that's actaully part of the wheel....
     
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