Road Bike Braking Technology

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by hd reynolds, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. hd reynolds

    hd reynolds New Member

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    I've read the thread on the Shimano Electronic shifting system which shouldnt really raise eyebrows now since Mavic has marketted one and Campy has been testing and developing their own for a couple of years now.

    I think cycling will be better off without the electronics stuff except for the cyclecomputer which is only a 'passive' device anyway. Cycling is 'mechanical' not 'motorized'. What I think Road Cycling lacks in development in the braking system. The current rim braking standard is still the same technology since the early days of cycling and to my mind medieval compared to the technologies introduced in the drivetrain, materials and the other bicycle componentry. Disk brakes have been in used in MTBs, they are now refined and the the latest hydraulic systems from Hayes, Magura and Shimano are fantastic to say the least. I also think that like the Ahead Stem taken from MTBs and now also the norm in road bikes, the disc braking system is the way to go for the road. If only the big names start developing one, I'm sure they'll come up with a lightweight, reliable and small disc brake system that is superior than the current fashion.
     
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  2. TWOPBikeGuy

    TWOPBikeGuy New Member

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    One thing to consider is that roadies try to brake as little as possible, unless needed. It seems to me that your looking for more and effiecient braking power, which is always a good thing. So then the toss up happens, Weight or braking power? Then you would have to consider that ALL road frames would have to be fitted with mounts for Disc Calipers, something not easily done with certain superlight frames. Another thing to consider is the amount of traction a road tire offers compared to a mountain tire, Im sure there is a limit to the amount of grip a road tire can give under hard braking, something Im sure a mountain tire holds much better on.

    I do know that some Formula 1 Cars use Carbon Rotors, something I am expecting to see on disc brakes for bikes soon. I recently switched from my crapagnolo single pivot record brakes to Zero G's, and noticed a big difference in effeciency. I do believe Dura-Ace work the best however, but considering the amount of weight difference, its definately a contender.

    Dont forget hubs for wheels....
     
  3. TWOPBikeGuy

    TWOPBikeGuy New Member

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    In adition, the Mavic Levers did not do so well............but worked OK
     
  4. Deanster04

    Deanster04 New Member

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    Yep! But, I ride a lot of fast Mt roads here in Colorado and my biggest nightmare would be descending down St Verain Cyn and run out of juice in the battery. I would be wearing the thick cow hide gloves that I used in my track riding days and use the hand as an auxillary brake.
    Naw, when it comes to my life I will stick with the simple mechanical solution for the same reason I stick with my mechanical disk brakes on the mtb or when I cross an ocean I still carry my sextant...gps is grand but...

    Maybe there plans of making riding clothing with mini flat panel solar cell arrays wired to the battery...watch out for the rain.
     
  5. Deanster04

    Deanster04 New Member

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    And Cost$$$. You obviously haven't tried the campy double pivot front and differential rear brakes. I weigh 225lbs and the campy brakes are very efficient in comparison to others including the DA (I've ridden both) in fast descents on winding mt roads. Braking will be dependent on efficiency of the calipers not the wt or cost (well maybe).
    I think that electronic shifting will be the racers edge and some will be trying it in the peleton this year in the majors...can't remember which teams. Preliminary results are that the shifting is quicker. I doubt that braking will be tried until it is well worked out. It would take only one failure to cause a massive pile up which would be a disaster in the peleton and for the company's development program.
     
  6. xxamr_corpxx

    xxamr_corpxx New Member

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    Heck, if everything goes electronic and hi tech, what happens to the "do your own maintenance" guys?
     
  7. yamaha_mike

    yamaha_mike New Member

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    i agree.

    i work on my fitness to make climbing hills fun, but there is little i can do to enjoy the descents. if only my bike brakes worked as well as my motorcycle brakes, i would be in heaven.
     
  8. TWOPBikeGuy

    TWOPBikeGuy New Member

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    Well the Cost factor isnt so bad when you work at a bike shop. :D
     
  9. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Even the technology used in road brakes is "old tech," it's still perfectly functional. Brakes already are more than powerful enough to take a rider to the braking limit and beyond, i.e. to the point where the rear wheel lifts. So in light of that, disc brakes would add nothing better. Disc brakes would be heavier, more complicated.

    If someone wants to compare road bike brakes to motorcycle brakes...as someone already has...then fine: coming from motorcycle roadracing, I can say that my road bike brakes lack nothing in modulation and power compared to the brakes on motorcycles I raced. Racing motorcycles, I braked w/ 1-2 fingers. On my bike, I also brake w/ 1-2 fingers. Braking as such causes zero problems on mountain descents around here and leaves me with plenty of brake power in reserve.

    If people are having issues w/ their road bike brakes, then getting better performance is as easy as getting different pads or checking cable tension. Different pads can make a huge difference.
     
  10. free_rideman

    free_rideman New Member

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    First concerning brakes; there is no way you can make a disk brake on a road bike. Not only will the mounting have to be light and standardized, but many carbon forks would need mounts, which adds weight, and could decrease the potential of the fork. But the real problem lies in the modulation. A road brake gets far better modulation than a small disc would. People would lock out there brakes too fast. A road bike doesn't need that much power. I have 105 brakes on my bike right now, and they are enough for me.

    As for hightech crap, well it won't be good in the future. A simple bike is a lot more fun to ride. And bikes are all about "mechanics" not nerd electronics. Even today I think, especially in the mtb world, there is too much of this. What we called stiction back in the days, now they call "pedal platform". You can't ride a mtb bike with out doing all these "setup" things. The point of this is, that simpler is much better.
     
  11. free_rideman

    free_rideman New Member

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    And people complain too much. Trying to make equipment improve their riding. Why can't anyone try to improve their skills first, instead of over egineering a bike, and then calling it fun, when anyone can do it?
     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    No, a bike's front wheel will only lock if there's an intervening medium that reduces friction between the tire and road....like water, gravel, sand, oil, etc. On a dry, clean road, a bike will do a stoppie before the front locks up.

    You are right that braking on a small disk would be more challenging to modulate correctly.

    As for your anti-high tech statements....well, those are just opinion and have zero basis in reality.
     
  13. sideshow_bob

    sideshow_bob New Member

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    Saying you 'can't put them on a road bike' especially from an engineering point of view is simply not true they already have them on cyclocross bikes and reading a recent interview with (I think) Floyd Landis he stated his winter training bike was equipped with them. So certainly you can do it.

    Will you add weight in the mounts? Sure. However as bikes are already hitting around the UCI limit, over time I wouldn't expect that this would be much of an issue. As a trade off disc specific rims which don't require a braking surface are able to be built stronger and lighter so you probably have a nett zero there anyway. The braking units themselves are tiny, though you may get some nett gain in the beefed up hub and the disc.

    Probably the biggest issue I'd see is the ability of carbon forks to handle the load applied via discs, though given there are full monocoque carbon mtb frames out there with disc only mounts on the rear I would think it can be done in some way. This discussion has focussed on the better braking characteristics of discs but there are a handful of other benefits. No more having to release the calipers for wheel/tire changes, no more rim rub when you get a slightly out of true rim, very easy pad replacement and brake adjustment, better wet braking.

    Just my 2c. I like the discs on my Cannondale mtb though I've never really found my Chorus brakes particularly lacking.
     
  14. free_rideman

    free_rideman New Member

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    I see your points, but I am just worried that a disc brake, on such a big wheel wouldn't be able to modulate enough. And skidding on small tires is bad, especially in the wet, where even with todays brakes, you can easily lock up the tire when the rain just fell, and got the road all slick.

    The only way to give more modulation is too make the disc bigger, which then would make it heavier.

    Edit: when it is not raining, the back wheel will skid, not talking about the front wheel then.

    As for the opinion, well yeah, they are, but you can take whatever you want from them. Just because they are my opinions, doesn't mean you can't think if there is a hint of truth in it. Sorry if I sound pissed, I am not. :)
     
  15. hd reynolds

    hd reynolds New Member

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    I agree to this. In fact we are thinking along the same wave-length about the issue. Contrary to what someone has pointed out, it is not over-engineering but improved engineering. How else did disc bracking evolved in MTBs if not for the application of disc braking standards from OEMs. Before disc brakes became a fashion in MTBs, MTB forks and rear triangles did not have any provision for mounting. A disc brake system will be far superior than the current rim-brake system and some of the benefits are just what has been pointed out ie. longer rim life or introduction of lighter rims becuase they need not be reinforced anymore to account for the braking surface found on current rims; ease of wheel installation, etc.

    Road disc brakes need not be as large or heavy as MTBs. The disc can only be half as large in diameter while the spider that holds the disc can be of carbon fiber as already seen on motorbikes. The rotor and piston will also be quite small and lightweight made of aluminum, magnesium or CF. So the resulting setup will be as light as current calipers or maybe even lighter.

    With regards to modulation, a hydraulic disc brake system will suffer from this but not a the cable type. I've used both types on my MTBs and from my experience it is the hydraulics that suffer from this and not the cable actuated disc brake system.
     
  16. free_rideman

    free_rideman New Member

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    Not only do I ride downhill, but I also ride trials, and I ride normal "all mountain". I actually spend more time on other bikes than road bikes, which is kind of sad. But anyways, there is a reason why trial bikes use rim brakes. Why? More modulation! Bigger brake surface diameter = better modulation.

    Why do hydraulics have better modulation, because they are more sensitive! I can "choose" the amount my lever is pulled, but because cables have more friction, and because they are linear, they have less modulation. Ever heard of avid bb7 brakes. The most on/off feeling brakes ever (which some people like) But if there was such good modulation with cable disc brakes then why don't downhillers use them? (Unless you only tried hayes hydraulic brakes, all others are superior. Hayes brakes suck at modulation, and only in this case are cable discs better. But all other brands are solid)

    So if you use a small little disc, and a cable actuated disc system on a road bike, people will be skidding everywhere, and they will be scared to pull the levers, in the fear of over braking. I hope now all you see my point.
     
  17. Windbreaker

    Windbreaker New Member

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    We're now on page two, and no one has yet mentioned about the only attempt at redesigning road brakes in modern times: The Camagnolo Delta Brake .

    Totally useless input--I now return you to your regularly scheduled debate.
     
  18. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    Putting disk brakes on a road bike wouldn't improve anyone's riding. They would however improve rim wear life, and actually make some of these ultra light carbon tubular wheels safe to ride in the rain. It won't happen though. The engineering challenges are minor, but the manufacturers have spent the last decade backing themselves into a corner with the marketing of radially laced front wheels. Crossing the front spokes in order to transmit braking torque would be, in the industry's own words, a step backward. There are a few small boutique companies that might have the resources to come up with a system, but the big brands will never get behind it.
     
  19. Adam-from-SLO

    Adam-from-SLO New Member

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    A big vote for the new Mavic SSC brake caliper !!!

    A couple of months ago, I was wanting to go with a black caliper for my road bike- mainly for cosmetic reasons(I was mainly considering something of very low cost, dual pivot , like a Campy Mirage = $50). Well, I went with the Mavic SSC's as some forum members here recommended them , so I checked them out !!!!!!!! :) So far, so good ! Great stopping power(different acuation mechanizm then a dual pivot from Shimano or Campy) , long brake pads( they say there Shimano pad replacement , so probably just as long as a Shimano brake , but I've noticed Campy shoes are a little shorter) , the brakes weight only like 300 grams(not that very low weight is an absolute for a braking system- at least its in line with a Dura-ace or REcord , just slightly a bit better braking power/modulation. Plus its representing the SSC , Paris-Roubuix !!!!!!
     
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