Disc or V Brakes?

Discussion in 'Mountain Biking' started by ardvark_ann, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. ardvark_ann

    ardvark_ann Guest

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    I currently have an '06 Schwinn Mesa and I'm deciding whether or not i need discs. Performance bike says it'll cost about $300 bucks to upgrade (rims, brakes, installation,etc...). Are they worth the price? Also, is hydraulic better than mechanical. Avid or Hayes (or even Tektro?)
     
  2. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Disc brakes will definitely out perform rim brakes. The question is: Are they worth shelling out the $$$? I would say that if you are happy with your rim brakes, stick with them. If you ride where there are extended runs of down hill or if you ride in wet conditions, you are probably already frustrated with rim brakes and it's probably worth the upgrade.

    For $300.00, Performance must be selling mechanical disc brakes or very cheap hydros considering that to upgrade to disc you will need to also replace your wheels, or at least the hubs. Mechanicals are fine for most riding. My favorite mechs are Avid BB7's. They are inexpensive, easy to set up, and work really well. I have a "mullet" on one of my bikes. That's a disc brake up front and a rim brake on the rear. Two discs are better, but that particular bike does not have any provision to mount a rear caliper.

    By your screen name, I'm assuming that you are a woman. Most women have smaller hands than men and benefit by using brakes that have adjustable reach levers. My gf has small hands and runs Hayes Strokers on her xc bike and is very happy with them.

    Hope this helps.

    -Scott
     

  3. tajcrews

    tajcrews New Member

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    What is your main reason for considering this upgrade? Also, find out what items they are quoting you as this can help us give you a better recommendation as to if that deal is a good one or not.
     
  4. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    Hophead brings up a good point. Before digging to far make sure that your frame has the mounting points for the calipers. Your bike may not even be able to be upgraded to discs.

    If you have determined based on your riding, extended brake use downhill, wet muddy conditions, etc... That you have a need for the discs.

    Another thing to look at is the value. Is the bike worth spending that kind of money on, or would you be better off tuning up the current brakes and continue saving adding to the $300 you have set aside for the upgrade until you can afford a new bike with disc brakes.

    While looking for a bike recently I found I could get a Scott Aspect 55 for $560 a nice, light, well appointed bike already set up with disc brakes. Also a tuneup and saving some money will get you through this season and you may be able to pick up a higher end bike than you would have normally got due to end of season sales or even find a real high end used one that someone with to much money decided they had to have then only rode it 4 times and want to clear some space out.
     
  5. CTD50

    CTD50 DX's Biggest Member

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    Not a guarantee, but I believe the '06 Mesa has disc tabs on the frame. Look on the left side, at the rear axle; there would be two mounting holes about 2" apart, stratching up above the dropout.

    You can do this for about $200, should you decide to; Pricepoint has BB7 brakes for $45/wheel, and you can get a set of disc wheels for under $100 on a few of the online retail sites. I had a pair of Deore disc/Mavic 223's for about a year, then traded for my buddy's 819's w/ Cannondale disc hubs. He didn't like them, and wanted a spare set to 'thrash'. Worked out well for both of us, as these wheels have been GOLD for me!
     
  6. ruggedscotsman

    ruggedscotsman hardtail hardass

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    I wouldn't put discs on a bike like this. You'll need to buy the new brakes, new wheels, or new hubs and have your wheels re-built($$$) and you'll end up spending more than the value of the bike, even for cheaper brakes. I'd look into getting a decent disc equipped model when you want to upgrade. I had a Jamis cross country 2.0 with V-brakes for years before upgrading, and I'm glad i didn't sink money into keeping it going. It was a great bike, make no mistake. But aftermarket parts bought individually are many times more expensive than finding a complete bike with the combination of parts you're looking for.
     
  7. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    Hydraulic disc brakes offer the absolute best in braking power and modulation under any conditions. That said- There is a cost and weight penalty associated with this awesomeness though.

    IMHO- an entry level hydro disc setup is worth the cost. YMMV though.
     
  8. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Wheelworld to the rescue! I'm not knockin' the Schwinn, but you can throw the KHS disc wheelset on their for $49. If I needed a winter commuter disc wheelset, that would be it. And you should be able to shop around for mechanical discs like the BB7's mentioned above.

    Before anyone questions the $50 KHS disc wheelset, keep in mind that this is probably the same quality that Performance is offering if they're doing wheels and brakes with labor for $300.

    [edit] That $49 set is 7 speed only. Still, they have another set for $89.
     
  9. GrizzlyBear67

    GrizzlyBear67 Member

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    I was told the Shimano hydraulics that were OE spec on my 08 Felt are one level below XT. These brakes are incredible! I can only imagine what higher quality level hydraulics feel like. I'm a heavy rider and these brakes provide true one finger controlled stopping power no matter how fast or steep. Go for it but don't go to cheap.
     
  10. topgun514

    topgun514 Guest

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    why not try some cheap bb5's to see if you like the feel, then upgrade if you want to or sell them again
     
  11. GrizzlyBear67

    GrizzlyBear67 Member

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    The only problem with that idea is with too cheap a setup you won't really get the true feeling of a disc brake. Maybe the cheaper brakes work for lighter riders? I test rode a lot of bikes with cheaper disc brakes that didn't even have as much stopping power as my V brakes.
     
  12. crashtestdummy

    crashtestdummy Guest

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    if you do any riding in wet weather disk brakes can literally save your life
     
  13. jocww

    jocww New Member

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    were the broken in? You have to do a couple of hot passes and heat them up before they start working well:cool:
     
  14. GrizzlyBear67

    GrizzlyBear67 Member

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    I've heard that before. I never was impressed with even "broken in" cheap discs. But then again, I have limited experience with bicycle discs...only test rides. All four of my motocycles disc brakes worked perfectly right away; no need for breaking in. I was never sure why bicycle discs were supposedly different.
     
  15. jocww

    jocww New Member

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    Because your bike weighs alot more than a bicycle. Although with all my cars I still break in the discs by doing some high speed stops.
     
  16. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    All disc brakes require a break in for proper performance. For your car and your motorcycle, optimum braking performance is achieved after following specific procedures, which usually involved slow stops from different speeds.
     
  17. GrizzlyBear67

    GrizzlyBear67 Member

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    I wonder what percentage of people know that or even follow those steps. I have to admit I never have. I rode one bike, (a buddy's titanium Wolf Creek) that had a front disc that was so strong it nearly put me over the bars. Of course I was using the same pressure I was accustomed to using with my V-brakes. I remember thinking, that's how brakes should work.:thumbsup:
     
  18. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    I remember hitting about 60Km/h on our tandem (around 40MPH) going down a narrow street, and grabbing two fistfuls of brake just before a curve in the road. At that point, 203mm titanium rotors seemed merely sufficient.

    By the way, we had light XC tires on it, and when they were even a bit low, we sounded like Starsky & Hutch when cornering on pavement. That was the only time I ever heard bicycle tires squeal.
     
  19. wild

    wild Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man

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    I have bin looking at an Fuji Absolute 1.0 the 2010 comes with mec disc, the 2009 with rim brakes list as being 2# lighter could the disc add 2# to the bike :confused:
     
  20. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    Were you riding mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes on the bicycle?