Pros and Cons of Rim Brakes vs. Disc Brakes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Pros and Cons of Rim Brakes vs. Disc Brakes

    I'm trying to stay away from having to do a lot of maintenance with the brakes. I don't know a lot but figured the rim brakes would be much lower maintenance than disc brakes would be. Is this a true assumption or do I have it wrong? Also, what are the pros and cons to both setups?

  2. #2
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    If you get Avid BB7's they're about the most reliable disc brakes on the market. Comparable to rim brakes, but the pads don't last quite as long. The upside is they don't wear out your rim and they work in the wet.

  3. #3
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    Have you read the FAQ linked in the upper right hand corner of the page?
    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I am a poser. But forums.poser.com doesn't seem to exist, so I come here instead. ;)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snagged7
    I'm trying to stay away from having to do a lot of maintenance with the brakes.
    Then you DEFINITELY want discs.

    http://www.mtbr.com/discbrakesfaqcrx.aspx

  5. #5
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    Rim brakes, mechanical discs = previous century.

  6. #6
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    Go with Avid BB7's! Rim brakes are more trouble in the long run because your rim has to be very true for them to work, plus they suck in the wet and are not near as strong as disks.
    Spinnin' & Grinnin'

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanamees
    Rim brakes, mechanical discs = previous century.
    You = wrong.

  8. #8
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    Are you buying a new bike, or are you riding something right now that you want to upgrade?
    ... And I Am You,
    And What I See Is Me!

  9. #9
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    I was on the fence for a long time; upgrade my BB5's to BB7's or to hydraulics? Thankfully, I found an unparalleled deal on a OE takeoff set of XT M775's and I've been happy as a clam ever since. I haven't done ANYTHING to my brakes in six months - nothing. My Shimano hydraulic's have been way less maintenance than fiddling with Avid CPS washers and adjusting inner and outer pads every few rides.

    I love the feel and power of my M775's - glad to have gotten over my worries about hydraulics and to have moved away from Avid mechanical brakes. On the other hand, if you get cheap hydro's with no bite-point adjustment, no reach adjustment, and semi-metallic pads that scrape, squeal and turkey-gobble all the time, I'm sure that BB7's could look pretty good. Not quite so many people are dumping NICE hydro's to go back to BB7's.

    I've also got rim brakes on my vacation bike. They're light and cheap and they just work with no drama or fuss. Besides feel and bling-factor, mud and downhills are the only reasons not to just stick with rim brakes IMO. All road bikes have rim brakes after all. I don't do a lot of mud or big downhills so, honestly, more than for any practical reason, I have hydro disks mainly because they feel and look frickin' cool.





  10. #10
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    1K miles on my bike with rim brakes... still the same pads (Kool Stop Tectonic)... rims have never been trued... They work fine. I have tightened the pads 2-3 times but I think that is to be expected. They are not as strong as disc but they do modulate better. If you have weak rims then you might have to get them trued every now and then. Besides what some may say, rim brakes can handle a slightly out of true rim without you noticing. Oh yeah, they are cheap as well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snagged7
    I'm trying to stay away from having to do a lot of maintenance with the brakes. I don't know a lot but figured the rim brakes would be much lower maintenance than disc brakes would be. Is this a true assumption or do I have it wrong? Also, what are the pros and cons to both setups?
    This gets talked about a lot. Do a search.

    I find that something like bb7s are no more maintenance than v-brakes. Some hydraulics can be even less maintenance (virtually none) if they work the way they are supposed to, though when there is a problem they can be loads of hassle.

    I think v's work pretty well, and if set up right (including good cables and pads) are about as powerful as most 160mm discs I've tried. However, discs are far more consistent in the wet, are not affected by a rim going out of true, and deal with extended downhill better, because they are far less susceptible to fading when hot. Overall they just work better, IMO.

    As far as I can tell, the main advantage to v's are that they are generally lighter, and generally cheaper than discs.

    I have had two mtbs for a number of years. I ran v's on the HT for a number of years and disc on the FS, and while I preferred the discs, I never really minded the v's. It was definitely not worth buying a whole new wheelset over. It was not until I needed new wheels that I went with disc.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildeyes
    Are you buying a new bike, or are you riding something right now that you want to upgrade?
    Buying a new bike. My old bike is a Trek 820 and very old so it's time for a new, better one.

    I did a quick search on this topic and didn't come up with a lot. I didn't notice the FAQ section, I'll have a look at that. Thanks for the info/advice thus far.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snagged7
    Buying a new bike. My old bike is a Trek 820 and very old so it's time for a new, better one.

    I did a quick search on this topic and didn't come up with a lot. I didn't notice the FAQ section, I'll have a look at that. Thanks for the info/advice thus far.
    If you are buying new, I think discs are pretty much a no-brainer. There are few new complete builds that even come with v-brakes these days, as most mid to high end forks and frames are now disc-only.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  14. #14
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    My Disks, Avid J3's even, are pretty much fit and forget, I get 6months out of set of sintered pads riding through mud and everything, all I have to do is replace the pads and realign occasionally which takes 30seconds.

    Rim brakes I wear out a set in 1 ride, there a pain to set up right, get a slight buckle in the rim and you get that annoying and slowing effect.

    I wouldn't touch a cable disk though, I had 1 first not a good 1 but horrible, the lever feel compared to hydro's is just horrible, much less control.

  15. #15
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    Avid is the only company I know that makes a decent cable disk brake. If you go with hydraulic, you would have to go through the hassle of bleeding them and then they self adjust an you only use 1 finger to stop yourself.
    Spinnin' & Grinnin'

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