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Road disc brakes: advantages and drawbacks

Cycling is changing day after day. Every year, bicycle manufacturers dedicate millions of euros to developing technical innovations and launching new products. In the mountain segment, the arrival of the 27.5 „wheels before and 29“ later changed the market. Who wants a 26 „bike now?

In the segment of road cycling, the last major innovation that seems to want to renew the mobile fleet of bicycles of this type is disc brakes.

It is not strange to think that this is simply a strategy to sell more bikes. This is why there is a lot of skepticism in this regard.

But the same thing happened when the new dimensions of the wheels arrived by mountain bike. Few fans saw the 29 „gearbox at first glance with good eyes. Finally, time gave reason to the designers, and the sector was almost completely renovated.

Will the same thing happen with road disc brakes? Is it an innovation that has come to change the market or is it simply a fashion?

Benefits of disc brakes:

According to my experience in the use of road bicycles with disc brakes and the feedback of all those who used them, the main advantages of road disc brakes reside in a more progressive, less abrupt braking and with a greater capacity of braking.

On the other hand, we have excellent behavior in the rain or simply wet asphalt, but this can be partially ignored, as most users do not practice road cycling in these conditions. In any case it is a point to consider.


Disadvantages of disc brakes:

So let’s expose the disadvantages offered by this type of brakes with respect to tradition:

  • Weight
  • The danger
  • The price
  • Wheel behavior
  • Maintenance costs

Conclusions: what will happen to bicycles with rubber brakes?

We are at a point where we cannot go back. The technology in cycling, as in any other commercial sector, advances to get better products, better sensations and, let’s face it, more sales.

In this case, as in the case of 26 „mountain bikes, before or after road bikes with bridge brakes will be out of the market.

It should be noted that in road cycling the figure of the purist is much more rooted and we do not believe that these bicycles disappear completely from the roads.

In any case, the evolution in any area is undeniable and, in this case, the disc brakes on the road give us more advantages than disadvantages.

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