Advantages & Disadvantages of Disc Brakes on Road Bikes!

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Control over your bike is critical especially if you are the kind that will go to extremes when riding. Riding downhill or on rough terrain need ultimate handling for bikes and especially when it comes to stopping. Regular brakes will not just cut it.

Most bikes will come with regular brakes at the point of purchase which is the reason why most people will go for an upgrade. Regular brakes are okay if you are doing standard riding on natural terrain but will need to be checked every once in a while. Just like car brakes, bike brakes are one of the biggest reasons why fatal accidents will occur.

Losing your brakes downhill is not amusing, and this will happen when you have brakes that are not well installed, maintained and handled. You can raise this a notch higher by installing disc brakes. These are the best types of brakes even for cars.

Cars with disc brakes will have more control when it comes to handling as compared to those with drum brakes. Drum brakes depend on cables that rust and wear out while disc brakes rely on a pressurized liquid to move them. This liquid is often replaced by cars. Bike brakes will come with both options.

The advantages of disc brakes

Disc Brake Image 1

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People will often want more power in their bikes but disregard the control of the same. Having more power without the ability to control is dangerous. The best way to handle high speeds and maneuvering is by using the right kind of brakes.

Disc brakes are designed for high-velocity braking as well as extreme weather. Brakes are susceptible to weather changes and wear and tear which is why heavy duty ones are ideal. The regular brakes will last but only for as long as they are working.

These will quickly fail in extreme sports and riding. The ability to stop when needed, slow down or even skid is all dependent on the kind of braking system you are working with. They need to respond fast as well as work well.

1) Disc Brakes are Safer

Disc brakes are safer when compared to the conventional type of brakes. The rise of carbon fiber rims has called for better braking systems that will work well with these type of rims. Disc brakes are the best option since they allow efficient braking while avoiding overheating.

➥ Here are some of our best selections of Best Rim Brakes.

Disc brakes are also being upgraded for better heat distribution and handling in all weather situations. It is common to find disc brakes acting up in very wet or dry weather if the rim and the brakes do not agree. The fact that disc brakes do not need the rim to brake makes them ideal.

Take time to check the compatibility if the two so as to ensure that you only work with the best if you are working with standard brakes. The standard brakes will collect dust and water quickly causing inconsistencies in braking. This makes them unsafe.

2) It is Easy to Handle with Disc Brakes

Disc Brake Image 2

Photo credit:

Disc brakes require less effort to work which is ideal for every rider. Clenching your teeth and hanging on for dear life when cruising downhill with regular brakes can be terrorizing. Handling regular brakes will only make your knuckles whiter and your hands more tired.

Disc brakes will work even with the slightest touch which is what makes them the best option to have for your bike. They are smooth operators in all kinds of weather, and you can rest knowing you are in good hands. They will allow you to cruise downhill while braking with ease.

3) Wet weather? No Worry!

The standard brake types need to rub onto the rim so as to work. The biggest challenge to this is that the surface of the rim will behave differently in different weather. Rims are unpredictable, and this can cause real issues while riding.

Wet weather will not work well when riding with regular brakes as opposed to disc brakes. Disc brakes are ideal in all-weather without the slightest of change in performance. Dust will also not be an issue in dry weather.

You can ride in rainy weather as well as dusty conditions without the worry of the brakes failing or not working optimally.

4) Rim wear

The act that regular brakes grind of the rim makes the rim susceptible to wear. Rim wear will cost more money because the rim will get weaker with time. Disc brakes are oriented onto the first cog which has nothing to do with the rim surfaces.

This allows your rim to breathe as well as keep from overheating. Hot rims due to consistent braking will affect the tires too.

5) Aesthetic value

 There is nothing as beautiful as disc brakes on a bike. They not only look cool but come in various shapes in sizes allowing you to pick what works for your bike. Designers are going all out while maintaining the functions of the bike.

They are the best brakes for stunt performers that are not only interested in the moves and tricks but the flair that comes with the bikes. The internal cable is routed in a way that the brakes look organized.

The cons of using disc brakes

Disc brakes also come with a few disadvantages. These may not be significant to some but are cons either way. Disc brakes are much heavier than regular brakes which are a downside for people looking for some extra burst of speed.

Aerodynamic bikes are dependent on lighter weights for faster speeds. This may be a challenge for bikes with disc brakes. Some may, however, argue that disc brakes will counter this by offering better control on the bike. Better control may lead to better performance even in racing bikes.


Disc brakes also need to be well maintained for them to work properly. A rider will need to check them often as well as use enough lube for them to stay rust free. More lube means more work and more money though not very significant.

Are they worth it?

Disk brakes are worth the time and hustle. Nothing is worth your life when riding down a horrendous terrain!

My name is Dion Lewis. I’ve been cycling since my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions. In my college life, I took a part-time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally. Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or bike gear.

1 Comment
  1. This article is incorrect and misleading. Comparisons to car discs using vacuum power boosters are inappropriate, and comments about wet handling apply equally to both types of brakes. Rim wear is an issue if blocks are worn down to metal, and exactly the same is true of discs. Thermal dissipation is much better for rim brakes, and tolerances are much easier for rim brakes because less mechanical advantage is needed. In fact, disc brakes on bicycles are a BAD idea. The only advantage they have is that they are fashionable. That’s it. Nothing more. Anything else is purely psychological and not rooted in engineering fact.

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