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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    197

    who commutes with disc brakes?

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    I know it's a topic that has been discussed in other forms, but most of those arguments just devolve into "if I type out my opinion more than the other guy that makes me right" and I have a hard time extracting useful information.

    I want a new a bike, one that's not 40 pounds and has around 20 gears and can get me through a mild Vancouver winter (I think it snowed like, 3 days last winter). I have been reading for weeks and I still can't figure out if disc brakes are worth it; if v-brakes are good I have a lot more options. It seems like they have easier maintenance, even if they need more of it.

    I'm still undecided if I want a new shiny bike at all, maybe a beater would be better? I haven't had my bike that long but I will need a better one once the weather starts getting bad - I have some time yet.

    okay, specific questions:

    1) Does anyone commute in a super rainy area and use v-brakes? I also deal with hills; I don't really ride to work in the mornings I coast.

    2) Do you commute with a shiny new bike or an old beater?

    Just looking for lots of anecdata here. Feel free to start rambling about any experience you might have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    My Marin comfort bike has v-brakes, my mountain bike has disc brakes. I absolutely love the disc brakes for off-road muddy riding and when I'm towing my dd in her trailer. I don't have any problems with the Marin brakes at all, but I also tend not to ride in the rain. I think if I did ride in the rain regularly I would be tempted by disc brakes.
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    I can't specifically answer your questions, as it's not super-rainy here, just moderately so, and my commuter has cantis w/ all-weather Kool Stop pads. However, I lust after redrhodie's winter commuter, disc brakes, steel frame and all. If you haven't found those threads yet, I recommend searching for them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    1,039
    So funny you bring this up right now, I am looking for a new commuter with disk brakes too. I too live in a hilly area and its rainy sometimes when I commute. I'm very familiar with the 'coasting' to and then climb all the way home, ugh. One thing to consider that I hadn't is that brakes pads in that kind of terrain wear out QUICKLY. This has been a real issue for me, I've gone through 3 sets in a year. I have a lot of 30 mph hills with a stop at the bottom. My brake pads literally smoke sometimes. I've been caught in some really nasty rainstorms and it was then that I also longed for my old mountain bike with disk brakes. It just felt sooooo much safer. Had it not been such a goofy fit for me I would have kept it for commuting. I fully support disk brakes for durability and stopping power in rain.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    I commute in the rain about 3 hours south of you.

    My shiny "new" 4 year old Surly Cross Check is my current commuter. She has canti brakes with salmon Kool Stop pads. Even with two fully loaded panniers and me at 200 lbs going downhill in the rain, I've had no problems with my brakes.

    Before that I commuted on a Kona Smoke with v-brakes and stock pads. No problem in the rain or on hills.

    Before that it was a Kona Dew, v-brakes and stock pads. Again, no problem.

    Diamondback with v-brakes. No problem.

    Peugeot with calipers. No problem.

    Put fenders and full flaps on any bike, and it will fare better than the bravest beater-bike without fenders. The full flaps make a serious difference in how much slop gets thrown onto the bottom bracket area. I've always had fenders on my bikes, but I wish I'd known about flaps before. http://www.buddyflaps.com/

    Brake pad types can be startlingly different. I have noticed a big difference since switching to salmon Kool Stops (the official brake pad of the Rainy Northwest ) Any bike I plan to ride regularly in the rain in the future will have salmon Kool Stops.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    cool stops here too! but gee, if you want disc brakes, get 'em!!
    I like Bikes - Mimi
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    I can't specifically answer your questions, as it's not super-rainy here, just moderately so, and my commuter has cantis w/ all-weather Kool Stop pads. However, I lust after redrhodie's winter commuter, disc brakes, steel frame and all. If you haven't found those threads yet, I recommend searching for them.
    Here it is:http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...ow+winter+bike

    I love my disc brakes. It's not particularly rainy here, but it is wet enough that I would have to plan my rides around the weather before I got this bike. Now, weather isn't a factor. I ride when I want to.

    I don't see any negative to them at all. I haven't had a mechanical issue yet, but I have only had this bike since Dec. I don't notice the weight, but I'm not a weight weenie. I think my bike weighs around 26 lbs with the rack, and it doesn't feel sluggish, even compared to my much lighter road bikes. It is slower, for sure, but it doesn't feel slow.

    The roads here are quite sandy, so my main issue with rim brakes has to do with grit getting into the pads when wet. I hate that.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    The really nice thing about disk brakes is that you won't burn through rims..... I put a lot of rainy miles on my commuter/winter training bike (which has regular side pull brakes). I put cool stops on it in the winter and I don't have any problems stopping - but I have to replace my rims pretty regularly..... I wouldn't mind having disks instead. They'd also be handy in the winter - I could put poor man's "bike chains" on (zip ties) or maybe even real ones. They do add a little weight - but there are certainly some advantages to disks.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    197
    After thinking about it, ideally, I'd have two bikes; a beautiful fair whether commuter (a soma or salsa or something) and a beater winter bike with disc breaks. But where does that leave my beater mixte? I can't just get rid of it! Oh my...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    872
    My DH has a Trek Hybrid that's a few years old and it has disc brakes, which he loves. We live in Oregon near Portland and it rains a lot, and he mostly commutes. He has no problems with them, although I can always tell when he's home because they squeal.

    How about a Kona Honky Inc.? Steel bike, carbon fork and Avid BB7 disc brakes. Can mount fenders and a rack too.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    700
    I have disc brakes on my commuter. I really appreciate them in the winter. Snow, ice, slush... still I am able to stop. I didn't buy the bike with the brakes in mind, but now that I have them, I don't think I'd want to commute without them.

    Deb
    2016 Kona Rove ST (M/L 54) WTB Volt
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    Kona Dew Deluxe (54cm) Brooks B67-S

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Norwood, MA
    Posts
    485
    Several years ago I built a winter bike with a rear disc brake and front V-brake. My commute did not have enough stops to keep my rims clear of ice when riding through slush. If the rims ice, no brake pad will work. Disc brakes are 13 inchs above the road, which still gets them 8-9 inches away from the yuck. They make it possible to have predictable braking in the snow-freezing rain mix we get so often in New England. If you don't have those sorts of conditions more than 3 times a winter and have other non-bike commute options for those days, rim brakes will be fine.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    Red, Eden, and all- are your discs hydraulic or mechanical?

    I'm test riding a Volagi this week - not for commuting but for ultra distance. They want me to ride it at the Levi Gran Fondo Saturday and I was happy to oblige. I haven't ridden it much yet, but so far I really like it and am seriously considering getting one as my climbing double century bike (DCs where I need easier gearing than my campy outfitted Peg will allow). They're going to be offering hydraulic next year, which is probably when I would get it, and I wondered what peoples' take was between the 2.

    Oh good old "N+1"*.


    *Where N = the number of bikes you have.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    Mine are mechanical, Avid bb 5, I think. I'm really happy with them. I haven't had any issues.

    Wow, those are gorgeous bikes. You should get one.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    Quote Originally Posted by redrhodie View Post
    Wow, those are gorgeous bikes. You should get one.
    Like I need any more encouragement.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

 

 

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