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Rim Brake vs Disc Brake: Which is Better?

by Nepest Sports 02 Aug 2023 0 Comments

Disc brakes are originally used on cars and motorcycles while rim brakes are used on bicycles. Disc brakes have become more and more popular in recent years. Many road cyclists are hesitant to decide between a rim brake and a disc brake. This is the most common question when buying a road bike. The two braking systems of rim brake and disc brake are not interchangeable, so if you choose a rim brake and want to change to a disc brake, you have to buy new bicycle parts such as wheels. The cost is very high, so the choice of rim brake or disc brake needs to be decided at the beginning, according to your own riding style.

What is a rim brake?

Place the two brake pads on either side of the rim and mount them on the frame close to the wheels. Park by squeezing them.

What is a disc brake?

The position of the disc brake is in the center of the wheel. The bike is stopped by the brake pads squeezing the rotors mounted on the hub.

Rim brake vs Disc brake

Why do many riders think disc brakes are better than rim brakes?

  • In terms of performance, disc brake is better than rim brake. First of all, the braking force of the disc brake is stronger than that of the rim brake. For heavier riders, or with heavier bikes riding downhill, enough braking force is needed to stop the bike, which is hard to do with a rim brake bike, as will the force exerted by a disc brake bike on the lever on the handlebar is much smaller than a rim brake bike. You will not be worried about whether the carbon rims brake track is strong enough or not, almost zero risk for mountain biking.
  • From the analysis of the service life of the rim, the life-cycle of the rim using disc brake will be longer. The rim brake is to stop the bike by clamping the rim with the brake pad, which wears down the rim.
  • In terms of riding environment, disc brake bicycles can be ridden in all kinds of weather, and there is no need to worry that the braking will be affected on rainy or snowy days. Usually rim brake bicycles may have brake failure when being exposed to water or mud.

Why do some riders think rim brakes are better than disc brakes?

  • In terms of cost perspective, rim brake bikes are less expensive to maintain and use less expensive components than disc brake bikes. It's also easier to get the parts if one is broken while riding outside.
  • In terms of appearance, some people think that the rim of the rim brake is more beautiful. Of course, everyone's aesthetics are different, and some people think that the disc brake is simpler.
  • In terms of weight, rim brake bikes are overall lighter than disc brake bikes. Although the difference is not big,in several hundreds grams, with the development of lightweight rims, lightweight hubs and carbon spokes, the little weight difference is magnitude.
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