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  1. #1
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    Thinking about Discs

    I have a 2002 Trek Fuel 90 which I have put many happy miles on. While performing my winter maintenance, I noticed that the braking surfaces on the rims were pretty badly worn. I am weighing my options as to whether I should just get some Mavic rims and have them laced onto my current hubs. Total cost probably between $50.00 and $100.00 for that. Or should I consider upgrading to disc brakes. I know that discs weigh more and that is a big factor for me. I race XC and can be a bit of a weight weanie. Also, disc brakes would involve a much higher investment ($300.00 minimum). At this time, I think that I would go with a mechanical brake over hydro. That way I would not have to replace my shifters (LX shifter/brake lever combo) DAMN SHIMANO!
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  2. #2
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    Not a thought in my mind.

    The performance attributes of disk brakes over rim brakes FAR outweighs the weight penalty. But hey, that's just my opinion.

  3. #3
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    A lot of people argue that for pure XC properly set up Vs are better in the end than discs. Personally I loved the feel and power of discs, but since having my bike swiped I've had Vs for a while and have had to learn to set them up properly, the difference is not that big honestly, then again I don't do downhill

  4. #4
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    Does the performance advantage....

    Will a cable actuated disc really out perform V's so much as to negate the weight penalty? And if so, will the Hayes brakes work, or do I have to go with Avids? Does Shimano make a decent cable actuated disc brake?

    I want something somewhat light, but I don't want to break the bank.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  5. #5
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    A weighty issue, indeed

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenspokes
    Will a cable actuated disc really out perform V's so much as to negate the weight penalty? And if so, will the Hayes brakes work, or do I have to go with Avids? Does Shimano make a decent cable actuated disc brake?

    I want something somewhat light, but I don't want to break the bank.
    The Avid mechs will perform atleast as well as a perfectly adjusted V (meaning 99% of them time, they'll perform lots better). The relative weight of the two may be a factor.

    Anyone know how the weight of the Avids compare with hydro set ups?

    I've got Avid mechs on my bike and love them. I've had many hydro set ups - hayes, gimeca etc... nonoe work as well or as simple to maintain and trouble shoot.

    Good luck

  6. #6
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    A complete disc setup like the XTR which includes rotors bolts, hoses, calipers levers weighs about 800-850g. Hopes mono minis are around 750 or so. You can maybe get down to around 700 with some lighter setups. I think most complete V setups are around 500g.

  7. #7
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    What 'bout avids?

    Quote Originally Posted by heatstroke
    A complete disc setup like the XTR which includes rotors bolts, hoses, calipers levers weighs about 800-850g. Hopes mono minis are around 750 or so. You can maybe get down to around 700 with some lighter setups. I think most complete V setups are around 500g.
    Any idea what Avids with cables, housing and levers would weigh?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenspokes
    I have a 2002 Trek Fuel 90 which I have put many happy miles on. While performing my winter maintenance, I noticed that the braking surfaces on the rims were pretty badly worn. I am weighing my options as to whether I should just get some Mavic rims and have them laced onto my current hubs. Total cost probably between $50.00 and $100.00 for that. Or should I consider upgrading to disc brakes. I know that discs weigh more and that is a big factor for me. I race XC and can be a bit of a weight weanie. Also, disc brakes would involve a much higher investment ($300.00 minimum). At this time, I think that I would go with a mechanical brake over hydro. That way I would not have to replace my shifters (LX shifter/brake lever combo) DAMN SHIMANO!
    If you race XC, I would not go to discs unless you ride in wet/muddy conditions. The weight penalty and the added cost is not worth it. A 6" rotor disc brake isn't going to stop you any better than V brakes do. Also mechanical disc brakes weigh more than hydros but on hydros, the pads run closer to the rotor which means occasional rubbing and finicky adjustment. Bleeding hydros is a pain. Lots of people (like me) have problems with pistons sticking and howling. The Avid mechanicals are probably the most reliable disc brakes out there.

  9. #9
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    The Avid mechs are also the heaviest out there, close to 1000g per set.

    i just went from Avid mags to marta SLs. I'm a bit of a weight weenie myself.
    3yrs on the avids, 1 ride on the martas. I wouldn't go back to Vs.

    What you could do is try just a front disc. it is most useful there as well as gives you a lower cost up front.

  10. #10
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    My 2 cents

    I have actually gone BACK to v's. My frame has tons of flex...steel. My disc set-ups rubbed with every pedal stroke. The v's can be adjusted WAAAAY out so there is never rubbing...to me any rubbing means the brake may be slowing my cadence...and when you race 24 hour events that little makes for a lot in the end. Mud and snow, etc...just use different pads. My next move will most likely be to ceramic rims. Good luck.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by phobiaxc
    I have actually gone BACK to v's.
    After more than 10 years on V-brakes, followed by a recent switch to hydros, I'll never go back. But I ride in Oregon, where we have relatively more dry season, wet season, and soggy soggy mud fest wet season.

    I recently rode w/ a friend who is technically a better bike handler, but he couldn't keep up on the downhill with his V's. It had been raining and was muddy... I didn't notice any loss in braking power (sure, there's always tire traction) while he was struggling for survival.

  12. #12
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    Basically it's going to come down to the $$$. How much are you willing to spend to make an equipment change that you may not need? All the issues/points have been basically covered already, i.e. trail conditions where you ride, how much braking power do you need, etc....
    If you are going to stay with V's then try out a good ceramic rim. The braking is definately impressive.
    Personally, I'm in love with hydro disc brakes. I switched to them 5 yrs ago and have never looked back. Try em out, you'll love em. My latest set is the Hope mono minis, very nice brakes. You just have to be particular about the set-up. I've also heard that kool stop pads are a good choice over the stock pads, but so far mine are fine. These are very light too, not too much more than V's actually.
    It's just that upgrading to disc is quite costly, by the time you get new wheels or hubs and everything...
    Good luck and good riding!
    ...the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong...Ecc9:11

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenspokes
    Will a cable actuated disc really out perform V's so much as to negate the weight penalty? And if so, will the Hayes brakes work, or do I have to go with Avids? Does Shimano make a decent cable actuated disc brake?

    I want something somewhat light, but I don't want to break the bank.
    I can't believe the difference honestly. At first, I was skeptical because I couldn't imagine getting more power than the V-Brakes (if you really slam the levers, those things can STOP), but I bought the Avid 7 inchers because I wanted modulation. The difference is amazing. Much more power, can stop a lot quicker without locking the wheels (and thus burning tread), and the modulation means I can slow down just the right amount before a tight turn, without losing too much speed. I can't notice the weight difference (switched out a lot of parts in between builds and never rode the same general setup with and without the discs). I don't think I'll be going back anytime soon for a trail bike.
    Trestle Bike Park

  14. #14
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    Discs.....

    If you want mechanical, Avid.

    Another heavier, not as good but stil WAYYY better than vee's are the Shimano's BR-M515-LA (Deores mechanical).

    Almost any other brand is worthless regarding mechs. IRD has the Dual Bangers which received goor reviews at MBA... but they're slightly more expensive than Avids.

    Want a cheap hydro??? Magura Julie's. As expensive as an Avid mech but hydro.

    Go discs.... you will not regret it. Did you regret going from canti's or side pull's to vee's??? Well, same scenario.
    Check my Site

  15. #15
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    I can slow down just the right amount before a tight turn, without losing too much speed.
    That's an excellent point that many people disregard or don't realize. With hydro disc's you get the perfect amount of braking (however much that may be for the given situation) with minimal effort. I just don't think I could ever justify the small amount of weight savings for what your giving up in performance by going with linear pull's.
    ...the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong...Ecc9:11

  16. #16
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    All this talk about weight difference seems a bit much. The difference in weight between the lightest V's and the heaviest discs isn't going to make a hill of beans difference. Go with what you need for your riding. I was running Avid Single Digit 7's which had all the stopping power I needed. I got a new FS frame that wouldn't take V's so I was forced to go discs (oh darn). I went with the Avid BB7s and they are awesome. I'm a pure XC rider weighing in at 245# and the 6" set has plenty of stopping power. The move to discs has been really nice as my home trail tends to be wet and muddy most of the time this time of year.

    I don't think hydros sound like they are worth it. I know a guy who had Hayes hydros and lost a pad on his front end while riding. The caliper piston went straight in to a slot in the rotor and you can imagine what happened after that. No thanks....I'll take my Avid BB7s any day.

  17. #17
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    The additional weight from discs is negligible. And the increased performance outweighs the weight penalty.
    Adding discs will allow you to keep riding after buckling your wheel, V's would slow you down everytime the wheel came to that wobble. Discs are also better for riding in mud and wet conditions. If you hit the brakes with V's, you'll go even faster in mud. But discs give you controlled performance. Padlife is usually longer. You get better modulation and stopping power. Etc. Etc.
    If you want to stick with mechanicals, go with Avid BB7, they are kind of heavy, but they're the best feeling mechs.

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