Shimano Announces New Flat Mount Disc Brake Standard For Road Bikes-via Bike Rumor

Colnago World Cup Cross Bike White 2014
Colnago World Cup Cross Bike White 2014 (Photo credit: Glory Cycles)

For a bit, I thought that the disc brakes on cyclocross bikes was awesome. Being a former downhill racer and mountain biker, the control that discs provide is stunning and reassuring. Now road bikes are being outfitted with disc brakes and I started to wonder how much of this was truly moving bicycles forward (haha) or marketing.

Marketing.

After watching a bazillion European cyclocross races on YouTube, I noticed that they still run cantilever brakes. Realistically, cantilevers do fine. I was contemplating moving to a disc-equipped CX bike, then I changed my mind. I’ll just have to adjust my riding style.

Now road bikes are an entirely different matter. The Ultegra stoppers on my Litespeed haul that girl to a screeching halt on demand. Not once, on any sketchy country road downhills, did I ever feel like those brakes were ever going to fail. So disc on road bikes? Eh. Who needs them. Personally, I can see them on touring bikes due to the loads, especially if loaded and on mountainous routes. Aside from that. Nope.

Since every new technology is something to be fought over by bicycle and component companies, the big S decides to introduce a new standard. Is it really a standard if it’s new? I think it’s just more dumb things for bike shop owners, mechanics, and bike companies to deal with.

God save us all.

Shimano Announces New Flat Mount Disc Brake Standard For Road Bikes-via Bike Rumor

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4 thoughts on “Shimano Announces New Flat Mount Disc Brake Standard For Road Bikes-via Bike Rumor

  1. Is there a line of thinking here that more aerodynamic rims will improve performance enough to warrant disc brakes? It’s easy enough to make up the extra weight elsewhere and still get to 15lbs, and the center of gravity will be lower to boot.

    Just thoughts!

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    • Personally, I think it’s a marketing idea. That being said, I could see disc brakes being beneficial on say, a touring bike, where if fully loaded, the additional braking power would be welcome. The only time I ever thought my Ultegra road brakes weren’t going to stop me was on a rainy day going downhill at 50 mph. Even then, they stopped eventually, obviously you have to compensate for the inclement weather. I haven’t even jumped to disc on my cyclocross bike, only because I like having wheelsets that can go between several bikes.
      I guess time will tell. There was a backlash against 29 inch tires, though that proved itself over time. Maybe disc brakes on road bikes will make us faster?

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      • I like to play devil’s advocate, but I’m tempted to agree with you.

        Some of the industry giants agree with you:

        http://urbanvelo.org/ask-b-rose-thoughts-on-road-disc-brakes/

        http://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/article/the-problem-with-disc-brakes-in-road-racing-is-40867/

        There are some serious issues to consider as brought up by the Bike Radar article:

        1. Different sized rotors and larger rotors being crooked makes wheel changes a big challenge. On long descents, 180mm rotors are better than 140mm rotors, but then it’s harder to make a wheel change.

        2. If only some teams have disk brakes, and others are using rim brakes, you have a peloton that is braking at two different speeds on wet descents. That’s dangerous.

        3. In a crash at the end of a long descent, everyone has two searing hot knives near their wheels. Dangerous…

        So, there are big hurdles. Still, a lot of the industry thinks they’re inevitable….

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      • In the end, marketing, or proven advantage, my belief is if it gets more people to ride bikes, let it be. At least the prices of all the associated parts, calipers, wheels, etc., are about the same as their non-disc counterparts (if only slightly higher). Consumers will vote with their wallets and we will see where this goes.

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