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7 reasons why you should choose mountain bike disc brakes

7 reasons why you should choose mountain bike disc brakes

mountain bike disc brakes

Disc brakes have been a feature of vehicles for decades, but have only recently appeared in the bicycle world. In 1997, Hayes created the first bicycle disc brake for mountain bikes. It did not persist. When the V-brake works very well, no one wants a powerful new brake. Accordingly, the article will you 7 reasons why you should choose mountain bike disc brakes.

People do not accept the fact that disc brakes are the next logical step, just as they were used in vehicles. They prefer to use ancient technologies that don’t even work properly. Although V brakes do serve the public well, they have many obvious disadvantages, especially on mountain bikes.

Then the bicycle company Trek installed Hayes disc brakes on their 8900 hard-tail mountain bikes. With a famous company like Trek (and Fisher) supporting their products, Hayes Mag disc brakes finally have its big brakes (pun intended).

Disc brakes in the world today

Currently, almost all mountain bikes use disc brakes. The V-brake has been downgraded to road bikes and touring bikes, and even so, it is obsolete. People finally realized that disc brakes are better in every respect.

Of course, some cyclists still use old brakes on their mountain bikes because they want to stay “old school” or simply because they are unwilling to buy new mountain bikes that are compatible or equipped with disc brakes.

However, this is one of the best choices you can make in terms of braking force, control and safety. Since disc brakes are a relatively new technology, although most people have some basic understanding of the whole thing, not many people are sure how they work.

Cycling in the sunset

The working principle of disc brakes-technical terms
The science behind the working principle of disc brakes is not difficult to understand. However, you should be familiar with some technical terms, especially if you plan to use disc brakes frequently. You need to know exactly what to ask at the store and what to talk about when complaining about your bike with other cyclists.

Just as it is difficult for a non-cyclist to understand what a front fork is, it is also difficult for you to understand the technical terminology of disc brakes. Here are some common terms you need to use when dealing with any type of disc brake.
mountain bike disc brakes

Types of Mountain bike disc brakes

There are two main disc brake series, both of which have their own specific privileges. When people choose to ride mountain bikes, they choose one of them according to their requirements. Both main types have been around for some time:

Mechanical disc brakes-These are the types of disc brakes that are currently more popular for ordinary mountain bikers. The working principle of mechanical disc brakes is the same as that of ordinary cantilever and V brakes. They use traditional cables and cable housings to drive the brakes. Compared with similar brakes, mechanical disc brakes have many advantages. One of the main advantages of mechanical disc brakes is that cables are easier to install because everyone has used V-brakes on bicycles at some point in their lives. The adjustment of these cables is also easier. You can easily find a replacement cable at any bicycle shop in the world, because the same cable is used.
The disadvantage of cables in mountain bike disc brake systems is that they are exposed to environmental conditions and are vulnerable to injury. Cables and their shells are very susceptible to rust, especially when riding a bicycle in a humid environment.

Another disadvantage is that the cable stretches with long-term use. This means that they need to be constantly adjusted to ensure that the brakes are always under tension. You don’t want to notice a little lag in the brakes when going downhill.

Hydraulic disc brakes – Hydraulic disc brakes are the latest product of mountain bike disc brakes. The hydraulic system uses hoses, reservoirs, and hydraulic oil (brake fluid) to drive the calipers of the disc brake, instead of cables and their housings. The advantage of the hydraulic system is that it is isolated from the environment. The seal prevents dust and debris on off-road roads from entering the brake fluid or hoses and cylinders. In the actual braking process, they provide more power and control than similar mechanical products.
They do have some disadvantages. They must be professionally installed. If you are an amateur, you cannot just install hydraulic brakes in your home. The smallest air bubbles in the system may cause the lever to lock up. Removal of air is called “deflation” and must be performed accurately.

The working principle of disc brakes

The working mode of disc brakes is very simple. Ordinary V-brake will clamp the rim with brake pads when it is squeezed. The friction on the rim converts the kinetic energy of the bicycle into heat, and the bicycle decelerates to a stop.

Disc brakes work almost the same way. However, it will not stick to the rim. Instead, a disc is attached to the hub. The front fork’s caliper is equipped with brake pads and is connected to a hydraulic or mechanical drive system.

When the brake lever is squeezed, the caliper compresses and contacts the brake pad to the brake disc at the bite point. It applies the same principle as the V-brake. The difference is that all friction and heat are generated on the brake disc, not on the rim of the bicycle wheel.

Mechanical disc brakes use well-known standard brake cables and prefer to drive the calipers. As you know, these are mainly advantageous in terms of cost and simplicity, but not great in terms of extreme weather and terrain.

When the lever is pulled, the hydraulic disc brake uses a plunger to push the brake fluid down the hose. This will push the caliper onto the brake disc. Although this is a very basic explanation of the hydraulic system, it is the working principle of the brake. This makes the braking process much smoother than mechanical braking.

Whether hydraulically or mechanically driven, disc brakes have many significant advantages over older, industry-recognized V-brakes, especially in mountain bikes and their need for durable all-terrain components.
mountain bike disc brakes

Advantages of disc brakes

Strength-Disc brakes are stronger and more durable than ordinary V brakes. This is because they are separate attachments to the wheels, not in series with the wheels. The disc is made of a stronger material (such as steel) than the rim. This means they are less prone to cracking.

All-terrain efficiency-The main selling point of mountain bikes is that they can be used under any conditions. With the right tires and the right equipment, they can ride on slippery trails, muddy cross-country tracks and even snowy and icy roads. Because they are used in almost all terrain known to man, mountain bikes need to have brakes that are not affected by the weather. Although rim brakes will start to rust due to exposure to wet terrain, disc brakes with sealed casings do not have this problem. Humidity does not affect their efficiency or stopping ability.
The same is true for muddy or icy terrain. The V-brakes will start to slip in the mud, because the rims will be covered with mud. In snow, cables may freeze and break. However, in disc brakes (mainly hydraulic brakes), mud has little effect on the disc because it is closer to the center of the wheel and attached to the hub.

Although mud does enter the rotor, the larger surface area of the brake pads on disc brakes makes them more effective even under these conditions. Mountain bikes without disc brakes pose a safety risk because they are less efficient when off-road.

Off-road capability-In a typical mountain bike ride, you will follow some very rugged trails. For mountain bikers, riding over rocks, holes, and other bumps is normal. These conditions may damage the rim. They may bounce and deform. With V-brake, this will be a very big safety risk. The warped rim means that the brake pads will not always be in contact with the rim. This means that the power of the brake has been cut in half and may fail at critical moments.
However, the disc brake does not take this risk because it does not rely on the rim. The wheel can be bounced and hit until it becomes a square, and the disc brakes are still equally effective because the brake pads are clamped to the rotor instead of the rim.

No tire overheating-One of the advantages of disc brakes in hot weather or even when sliding downhill is that it does not overheat the rims. The large amount of heat generated when the V-brake is used at high speeds will heat the rim, which is enough to weaken the material of the tire and cause the tire to burst when driving at high speed on rough terrain. Since the disc brake is not connected to the main rim, only the disc will heat up during operation. The holes drilled into the rotor provide a much higher heat dissipation rate than the rim. This means your tires will be safe, and your disc brakes will generate less heat than V brakes.
No rim wear-When driving in sandy or muddy terrain, sand and other debris may stick to the rim. When braking, any debris between the brake pads and the rim will scratch the rim during braking. If you do this repeatedly, it will wear the rim, weaken it and make it easier to break. With disc brakes, this is not a problem. This means that if you are a fan of using disc brakes instead of traditional brakes, you will change the frequency of mountain bike wheels less frequently. In terms of cost-effectiveness, this may be a major benefit.
Multi-wheel configuration-When you ride off-road in a variety of weather and terrain conditions, you will have to change or replace the wheels frequently. For example, you cannot use the same wheels to treat mud on icy roads or asphalt roads. A true mountain biker needs different wheels with different thicknesses and grips. With disc brakes, you don’t have to go through the time-consuming process of adjusting the brake pads so that they fit different sizes of wheels. Instead, you only need to reinstall the disc brake device on the hub after installing the new wheel!
Hydraulic brakes-Hydraulic disc brakes are probably one of the best inventions in bicycle brakes. The braking process using hydraulic disc brakes is much smoother than when using cables. If deflated correctly, hydraulic disc brakes are definitely worth adding to your mountain bike. Some hydraulic brakes will even automatically adjust the brake pads when the rotor wears out due to prolonged use. This means that when using this type of drive, you need to make fewer adjustments to the brake. One of the best parts is that when the rotor does wear out, it is a bit like a size that fits all standard disc brake rotors. Even if a certain type of disc brake is no longer in production, you can easily find a replacement!

Disc brakes: facing the future

Disc brakes don’t actually scream. It is an expression. However, if you are an avid all-terrain mountain biker, you would definitely consider replacing the old V-brake configuration with disc brakes. Although they are heavier (who cares about the extra weight? This is a good exercise!) they add many features to mountain bikes.

These include a higher level of safety and a higher overall ride quality. With its ease of use, strength and versatility in terms of maintenance and installation, you can be sure that the disc brake is indeed the brake of the future, replacing the V-brake in off-road riding.

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