What Do Professional Cyclists Really Think About Disc Brakes? | GCN Tech At The Tour Down Under
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What Do Professional Cyclists Really Think About Disc Brakes? | GCN Tech At The Tour Down Under

October 22, 2019

(smooth hip-hop music) – So I’m here with Daniel Oss
who’s been a pro for 10 years, Daniel, we asked the pros
a couple of years ago what they thought about
disc brakes in the peloton, and since then there’s
been a bit of a change, I think, personally, what’s
your thoughts on that? – I try some bikes with a disc, and the technology is
super, it is fantastic, the disc brake makes for
sure in the rain, especially, the brake’s safer and stable, and you have the same feeling, you know? You can brake everywhere. – I think it works really well, still, I don’t see if
it’s an advantage to have a mixed peloton with disc
brakes and normal brakes. I think if the disc brakes are going through for the
racing mode in our bunch, I think everybody should use them, but not in a mixed peloton. – Well, I’ve ridden them in
the last two Paris-Roubaix, we used them because
we had a bigger tubular and, for me, I really loved it, especially now we’re able
to have the same hood, you have the same brake
position with the new disc, and you can make, basically,
a light bike with it and, for me, the brake
is just insanely good, even with rain it doesn’t block, because before I think a lot of people were scared to just
completely block the wheel and then slip, but it
actually just brakes smoother and it’s easier to quickly brake. – The only side I can
see is maybe in the wet, you know, in the wet it’s quite hard to stop on normal brakes, but
everyone’s on normal brakes so everyone’s stopping at the same speed, that’s how it works, you know? So, although you can’t stop,
the person in front of you can’t stop either, so you’re kind of all on the same sort of, a bit like on the track where you have no brakes, it’s exactly the same kind of thing, where if it’s raining and
someone’s got disc brakes with good braking, and
they’re in front of you and able to brake, and you’re behind them with no disc brakes, then the chances are you might end up going
into them, you know? So, that’s the only
downside I can see of it. – I didn’t test it yet, so I
cannot say anything about it, if it’s good or not,
but I heard from friends also in my home, which used the disc brake in the training and that
it’s perfect in the rain. – I think they’re coming, and I think it’s gonna happen for a number of reasons, but yeah, I think the
bikes have made evolutions and this is gonna be the next one. There’s concern from
the riders about safety, and once all of that, and I
think it will be resolved, I think they’ll be in the bunch, and I think there’s a real advantage. It’s been a long time since
we’ve had a wet Roubaix but, if we did have a wet Roubaix I think there’d be quite an advantage to have disc brakes in a race like that. – So, there we are, the thoughts and opinions from some
of the World Tour riders on disc brakes in the
pro peloton for 2018. As ever, though, I want to
know what you think of them, which side of the fence are you on? Are you for or against? I’m looking forward to reading
those comments down below. Also, remember to like and share this video with your friends, and subscribe to the GCN Tech channel, click on the logo on-screen right now, highly recommended, and
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  1. I would never ride a carbon tire with a rim brake. There are some compelling videos on YouTube showing rim failure due to heat. Very dangerous. Also, in rainey conditions they are very dangerous as well. If they become the standard they should all be through axel. I have quick connects and they never seem to align correctly. PIA.

  2. A few friends have tested disc versions of a manufacturer's range but found the forks and so on had been made heavier. That makes sense but  there is a knock on effect to climbing and steering that they were not happy to take on.  Perhaps worth testing disc and non-disc versions first if you can to feel the difference especially if most of your day is spent climbing?

  3. I ride both road and MTB, and there is no question in my mind that disc brakes work better than rim brakes, and the advantages are more profound if you are riding carbon rims, or if you are riding in wet weather. That being said, discs are (much) more work to maintain. It amazes me how fast I go through (metal) pads on my MTB.

  4. For me the safety aspect has been a revolution – no more grab and pray on wet carbon rims, the super modulation makes decending so much more controlled that rim brakes – smoother and faster, love the stiffness you get from through axles which translates to improved handling, some slight negatives, having to deal with a mix of disk / rim wheelsets & I've had some noise issues (finally solved by using ultra thin car disk brake pad rubber backing on back of pads). Bottom line – both my wife and I ride two new red hot disk superbikes now – still love my old rim brake bikes but they are now the N+++1's …..

  5. I read some worrying stories about disc brakes failing on long descents with their pads overheating or hydraulic fluid bursting out. Out of rim brakes, mechanical disc and hydro disc, which can provide the most sustained braking force before fading / failing ? I am interested in a comparison between something like shimano BR-CX50 cantilever and shimano hydro T785 disc.

  6. A big yes from me, loved them so much on my cx bike I got road bike with them fitted. Feel so much more confident now on the descents, especially when wet.

  7. roubaix is the one race where I wouldn't want to have disc brakes (as they are now) imagine needing a wheel neutral support (which is super important in roubaix) a few mm difference in the spacing of the disc will make the wheel not suited for your bike…

  8. Why is this still being debated in 2018? Disc brakes are better – END OF STORY!!!!!
    Now let's stop arguing about this and ride our bikes. PS. I own rim brake carbon roadies, disc carbon roadies and rim brake steel road bikes. I love them all!!!!

  9. Am I the only one who thinks disc brakes in a road bike look fucking ugly? I dont know, but when I see this configuration my face is like a chicken eating salt

  10. What about speed of a wheel change? How would discs affect situations like last year's TdF Kwiatko giving his back wheel to Froome when the service vehicles were too far back to help. It saved Froome's TdF. Would disc brakes inhibit such an important wheel change?

  11. In cyclocross many riders have switched to disc brakes. And there are lots of different types of brakes (disc, rim, etc) that the cyclocross riders are using in the same race. There is no data to support that there are more crashes because of the many types of braking systems used in cyclocross races. So, the fear that some riders are going to crash because of others having stronger brakes is unfounded.

  12. I resently bought a road bike, but with rainy days all the time and down roads I got disc brakes for my bike, and they save me with that response on breaking a lot of times…

  13. Leave people rim brakes. Stop feeding big (and not so big) companies by spending hard earned cash for something "felt better during the rain"… not mention new, more expensive wheels and so on…, which finally lead to a new quite expensive bike purchase equipped by quite expensive parts/spares. Pro will be using whatever sponsors give (who doubt it?)). Just leave to "regular" folks a choice… – You got money, mountains, rain?.. welcome to spend extra… You struggle to earn couple of bucks to feed your family and spending free time ride mostly on the flat?.. Then what you need discs for?

  14. If all bikes had always had disc brakes and suddenly they tried to convert you to rim brakes you’d run a mile. No way. The consideration of clamping the actual rim itself to create friction is utterly preposterous. I raced rim brakes through the 80s/90s when another option wasn’t available but looking back on it they were terrible. Those who can’t accept the concept and look are deluded.

  15. Interesting point one rider made regarding a rim brake racer riding with a disc brake rider. There may be a risk because the disc brake rider would brake too good and the rim brake rider wouldn't expect it possibly causing collision between the two? So riders in mixed peloton should be ready for fast stopping? Mmmm. Well the tech is already here and ready to go. My 56cm SS6 Hi-Mod Disc is 5.21lb with pedals and cages. The Dura Ace levers are super small same size as non-disc. Such a joy to ride

  16. Not for or against.
    Happy and satisfied with my current rim brakes. Don't see the need to go out and spend or change to disc brakes. They are not considered to me to be an upgrade at all. Upgrade is like changing from steel to carbon fiber, so many pluses so many advantages when you upgrade to carbon fiber too many to ignore.
    For disc brakes, there's are pluses and there are negatives too, each cancelling out each other so what's the point of upgrading then?
    Are people so stupid to not want to change to disc brakes if everything is positively good? No,they are not stupid and like me, the question beckons again, do I really need to change to discs for my current usage? No. You don't see all the riders in the peloton riding with disc brakes do you?
    But do me a favor cycling industry. Improve on the traction and compound of the tyres, then maybe I'll consider switching to disc.
    Because right now, rim brakes are already good enough for their stopping power, the Achilles' heel is in the traction of those tyres – In almost all emergency situation, either rim or disc brakes aren't gonna save you, your wheels will just lock up and skid.
    Just my 2 cts worth

  17. Hi y'all! Can you help me aswering this survey (Its about cycling in Colombia)?? Thanks! https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/CNYHG5H

  18. It was a good point about having all of the peloton on the same brakes. Years ago when they introduced the Austin Maestro (I think) in India, it caused a lot of accidents as it was able to slow down much faster than any other car!

  19. This subject has been discussed until the point of it becoming boring. Like everything else in today's societies, there are two entrenched camps, and neither will be persuaded by the other. Discs won't be uniform in the pro peleton for a while (unless enforced) due to the time loss for a wheel change, in a sport where seconds are everything.
    All I will say at the amateur level (non racing), is that I have NEVER run out of brakes, using rims, in any conditions, as i have the ability to modulate my speed to the conditions, and route, meaning that I don't have to modulate my braking on the edge of grip. If you ride at the limit of braking performance, meaning you absolutely need discs, then you probably need to consider whether public roads are the place for you………..

  20. I like disc brakes. I have them on my touring bike but not my road bike. Descending huge mountains with full panniers was brilliant with disc brakes. Next road bike will definitely have discs. Good video thank you all.

  21. i ride both, i definitely prefer the performance of the discs. the concerns over rim brake riders not being able to stop fast enough should be seen as a reason for them to get discs, better braking means more bike control, its a safety hazard not to have discs at this point, especially at the performance levels of the pros.

  22. On my roadbike i have rimbrakes. Some of my friends have discbrakes, when we ride a long downhill here in austria the squeaking noise from the discbrakes is horrible!!!!!!!!!! An absolutely no go for me!

  23. What about using the CABLE disc brakes? All your current groupset is still valid so no hood shape changes, very little weight gain and the braking is somewhere in between the best Hydro and rim brakes. The nicest change to me is the fork and stiff wheelset, so much more feedback on what the tyre is doing.

  24. The disc brake zealots always seem to be a bunch of middle aged fat dudes who ride slow. Unfortunately these are dudes that buy nice bikes and make up the driving force behind the marketing change over.
    I race and I still love my rim brakes and have not had these issues that everyone is talking about. So I probably won't be changing over anytime soon. My cross bike is disc.
    Just look at the cobbled classics this year…about 99% of the riders were still on rim brakes, and they seemed to be racing and doing just fine. I'll stick with my rim brake love affair

  25. Disc brakes are smoother and bite more even but require far more maintenance than rim brakes. For most riders, rim brakes are almost a non-issue with occasional pad changes. Disc brakes on the other hand can be noisier than rim ESPECIALLY in the wet. Also the disc have to be properly seated in when new — something most bikes shops are not doing yet.

  26. By the way rim brakes are disc too. Just a huge disc with mechanical power. Magura used to make hydraulic rim brakes. They might still….

  27. In my humble opinion, disc brakes seem hazardous for the peloton. Those discs look like spinning razor blades. You could juice vegetables with those things. I just don't understand why the discs have to be made with such menacing shapes. Car disc brakes don't look like that. They should make the discs solid, without all the jagged holes and sharp side angles.

  28. I am plannig buy a new bike.  Are rim brke bikes vanishing in the near future? I really want to know about it before I puchase a new bike.

  29. It funny how opinions changed so quickly in few years "as a whole" from being a complete adamant Rim fan to a disc strategist. I wonder how many other form of bikes do they own? MTB, gravel, track, BMX, 650b & etc.

  30. “That’s the only downside I can see of it.” No, Peter, smashing in to someone because they have disc brakes is the downside of rim brakes.

  31. I want to see a bike that has disc brakes and pad breaks for each wheel (with different levers for each break)

  32. of course they are better, feel better work better. Mountain bikers have been telling roadies for years, the arrogance has finally left

  33. Perhaps disc brakes does not look as good and trimmed as regular brakes on a road bicycle but they are more effective and stops you faster in all conditions and that's what really matters about breaks. 👍

  34. I've got rim brakes and they stop my bike quick. My problem is skidding. So i dont see the advantage with discs. Or does it mean i need better tires?

  35. I want disc brakes, so people on a tight budget ( like me ) can buy a fancy, lightweight wheelset, and not have to worry about rim wear due to rim brakes. I cannot imagine shedding my 2-month worth of savings on a light wheelset, and when the rim wears off…I`d feel miserable and ripped off.

  36. A) You don't need disc brakes for the back wheel because even the cheapest rim brakes will block the back wheel if necessary.
    B) For race bikes I would prefer a disc brake. You definitely need a disc brake on the front wheel of a travel bike.

  37. Why can't the disc be smaller diameter and the calipers be closer to the frame and the pistons be smaller?

  38. love them. very powerful and consistent at stopping quickly. Saved my life on a roundabout when a very large truck pulled infront of me!

  39. If they're done right (thru axle design/good caliper positioning) I like them. I've owned two mechanical disc road bikes in the past with standard drop outs, and for some reason was CONSTANTLY resetting them. One of the bikes even had poor rear-caliper placement for it's frame size (52cm) making it very annoying to fit any tool under the seat-stay to adjust the caliper.

    Nonetheless I have continued to see good improvements since then and believe disc brake technology has gotten much better. But for now I'll stick with my direct mount brakes, they're wayyy quicker to adjust and just work.

  40. I support the point made by Peter kennaugh but out training or on a dry group ride they are definitely an advantage with their improved stopping power

  41. This video is 100% bs. As durianrider and the rest of us know, most pro riders hate disc. These guys are riding sponsor bikes with disc so they have to say that they like it. GCN, you guys really are some dishonest corporate vultures.

  42. The most of the pros (or they salary payers) speaks well about the discs, but the most of them didn´t rode a disc at the Tour of France ;). Specialized produced an extra version of the bike without disc brakes (not available in the market). If they disc are so fantastic, why dont they use them all? The only reason for disc, if you ride often in high mountain areas. I love the disc at my mountainbike and I don't want back into the time of v-brakes. On a roadbike I see no reason to buy a bike with disc. It´s heavier and more expensive. A normal rim-brake goes up to 28mm tyre size. I have around 210lbs and no problems with rim brakes.

  43. This would be unthinkable few years back to even ask about it for road users. The point is try it again before lashing out on things you might have tried few years back.

    Because just like every other components, Disc brakes has come a long way from being a maintenance nightmare to 'bearable' acceptance as some riders can easily justify in having it especially those who ride in the rain for racers OR commuters.

    This is because "cycling is a very personal thing" where everyone has a different riding style, road condition, country climate to cycle through or the gears it needs to carry, where a single bolt can make a difference on a bike between feeling like riding like in a pumpy & harsh roller coaster or as smooth as a train on a track.

  44. My sram rival disc brakes on my caad10 makes a lot of noise when wet, I'm not sure if that's normal. It's perfect when dry though. I never had this noise on the shimano disc brakes on my MTB.

  45. like…. all these youtube keyboard warriors saying how discs are bad cause the extra so and so grams is gonna make them struggle up a hill and lose the tdf. these pros arent marketing anything… this isnt NEW technology. disc breaks arent expensive and its not like their gonna increase frame cost masively. if anything. rim breaks wearing down your expensive carbon rims makes them more money…..

  46. Travelling with a bike, quick maintenance, lack of easy contamination from the city’s gritty oily roads, nicer hood design and aesthetics mean I still prefer rim brakes.
    Disks can be bent really easily, and if you have the wheels off your bike while your travelling they get knocked all the time. Straightening up a rotor without a bench and a rag under the bike to help you see the alignment and a rotor tool, means your left with rub until you get home or to a shop.
    I don’t want to buy carbon wheels that I’m going to scuff up on my first ride if any grit flicks up off the road. And I would like the more linear breaking of discs.
    But the frame doesn’t have mounts for it and for day to day use, I always know where I am with my rim callipers. A problem with them will never usually set me back any more than 5 minutes on the side of the road with a multi tool

  47. Professionals don't need the extra stopping power of discs do they? The roads are cleared for them. No one popping out from behind a bus and such

  48. Disc brakes make really big difference in the rain as the breaking surface is much further away from the road and all the wet. I don't think they make much difference in the dry on something like 25mm slick tyre because after all you only got so much grip with it anyway, and bigger breaking force will just make you skid, maybe modulation is slightly better

  49. For the average cyclist its my opinion that disc brakes off better braking in all conditions. The other advantage is quicker wheel changing. Might not be as light weight as rim brakes, but braking power is much increased. Your rim isn’t being heated and might be better for tubeless tyres.
    I also think thro axle will replace the quick release skewers too.
    For the road / track racer the change to disc may take longer.

  50. What an argument… if you go into a hairpin and you have rim brakes and the person in front of you has disks, chances are that if you don’t crash into his back, that you go over the curve for not anticipating 🤷🏻‍♂️ so lose-lose

  51. It is true that on wet road disc brakes are much more effective but we must not forget that they are much less durable than traditional brakes … I have on my mtb and I am very disappointed by their reliability … (google translation)

  52. Been riding mountain with disc for years. It's about time road bikes started using them. Far better than rim brakes for sure!

  53. I dont think it matters to pros very much. They ride whatever the sponsor gives them. You can go faster by staying off the brakes!

  54. They brake better. Period. But they are also annoying as hell (heavier, disc rubs, noise in the rain)
    I think best compromise out there is HED Jet Black rim brake wheels. You get the stopping power of aluminum tracks. They look all black like all carbon wheels. They are heavier but you can still build a lighter bike than a disc bike with same level of components

  55. I'm close to buying a new CAAD12 105. The disc version is more money and more weight so… no. Rim brakes will work just fine for me as they have for the past several decades.

  56. Disc brakes work way better in every condition. For me the only negative is weight, so if you a climber and an elite racer which 95% of you aren’t there’s no excuse not to be on a disc setup.

  57. All of their sponsors are trying to sell disc brake bikes. I doubt they’re allowed to say what they actually think of them.

  58. Nothing beats rim brakes on an alloy rim. Period. Even with carbon wheels they are quite good, not to mention tires are the limiting factor in braking by far. Disk brakes will always have issues with rub and squealing and cannot be perfectly set up no matter how good the mechanic is. That's why pros would choose rims brakes every time over disk, but alas sponsors gotta get people to buy more bikes somehow…

  59. Wait till it comes to wheel change. Even microscopic variance in disc/pad alignment will cause disc rub. U shudav asked pros about that aspect. I keep adjusting mine whenever i do wheel change.

  60. Bike companies are pushing disc brake bikes HARD. Disc brake bike wheels are cheaper to make because the rim surface for rim brake wheels must be more refined for propoer braking power. This results in a cost savings to them. So they make MORE money selling the disc brakes while spending LESS money making wheels. The industry is really going in a direction that is fueld by profit and not sensibility imo.

  61. I do not like them not because they don't work, if they were bad bike physicist would have trashed them a long time ago, its in cars motorbikes and has been on MTB a long time, so its not about physics, its not even because of security, cyclist can fall and they do;
    for me its more nostalgic, and classic brakes work goo enough, its easier for change and mechanical service for a regular guy.
    by looks, aesthetics , bikes looks better with classics, and classic brakes is more affordable-
    for Pros they want top of the pops equipment, however looking at the giro; it looks like a 50/50

  62. Disc brakes are forced as climbing bikes on discs come in at 6.9. If the UCi limit were 65 or 6.6 i think people would go with rims

  63. Not a big deal at all , Im a motorbike rider as well , used to ABS & Servo assisted brakes , never use brakes if you can avoid it , only there for emergency , why discs werent on pushbikes years ago i dont know , learn to ride , not an issue .

  64. Rim brakes are still giant disc brakes. Except the braking surface is closer to the wet and dirt. Rim brakes are too fiddly when setting up, disc brakes are the way forward in my opinion. Easy to set up, easy to replace pads, easy to change wheel. Braking better.

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