One of the biggest innovations in road bikes in the past few years was the incorporation of disc brakes. Now the new norm – disc brake road bikes provide numerous advantages in performance.
First, let’s differentiate disc brakes from the old standard – rim brakes. Rim brakes apply pressure directly to the rim on the outside of the wheel. Disc brakes, on the other hand, apply pressure to a rotor at the center of the wheel at the hub. This brings about three primary riding advantages.
Most imporantly, disc brakes give you better braking control versus rim brakes. They allow you to stop more quickly, accurately, with control, and at the speed you want in a variety of conditions.
With rim brakes, the braking surface is on the outside of the wheel and close to the road. This makes them vulnerable to collecting dirt.
Disc brakes, on the other hand, are at the hub of the wheel and further from the road. This means they don’t get hit by as much grime being tossed up from the road. Cleaner brakes provide more consistent stopping power regardless of the elements you find yourself cycling through.
A rim brake must go around the tire to reach the rims. This limits the maximum tire width. Disc brakes simply don’t have this problem because the braking is happening at the wheel hub. As a result, it is the frame that limits the maximum tire width..
Historically, disc brakes have had the disadvantage of being heavier compared to rim brakes, but that has changed. Today disc brake road bikes are hitting the same weights or sometimes even underneath the weight of their previous rim brake counterparts.
For the average road cyclist, the better stopping ability alone provides a good enough reason to upgrade to a disc brake road bike. But they also stay cleaner and allow for wider tires at a similar weight as rim brakes. Check out our huge selection of disc brake road bikes, hydraulic disc brake road bikes, or closeout disc road bikes. Or, swing by your local store to give one a test ride today!