Why choose disc brakes over rim brakes?

Rim brakes have been in the biking industry for a very long period and option for most riders around the globe. However today, the use of disc brakes in road bikes has gained a lot of popularity. The latest selections of road bikes are following this trend compared to the conventional "old" trend of rim brakes. Recently, UCI stopped experimenting with disc brakes, but then Kittel, made them popular by being the first sprinter to win a stage while riding on disc brakes. There are more and more disc brakes road bikes being released into the market. Though disc brakes have gained a lot of relevance, rim brakes are still an option for money bike user. The notable difference between the two rims is that rim brakes use a cable system while disc brakes use a hydraulic system. This article will dwell and enlighten you on everything about disc brakes and why you should choose them over the rim brakes for a road bike at any given instance.

Types of disc brakes


There are two known types of disc brakes in road bikes. That is hydraulic and mechanical. Both of these have one thing in common, in that they both have pistons which the primary function is to push the brake pad onto the rotor. However, the difference between the two types is notable by how the force is applied during braking. Mechanical disc brakes are not much different from the rim brakes; this is because they rely on cables to facilitate the braking process. Hydraulic disc brakes, on the other hand, rely on fluid to aid in braking.  Mechanical disc brakes are cheaper, but the hydraulics disc brakes are even better.   

Better braking performance

Disc brakes enhance braking performance in road bikes, mostly during wet and rainy weather. It is because the brakes, according to their position are protected from the wet weather. It will also aid in eliminating a particular awful sound that is heard when the calipers in rim brakes bikes come into contact with your bike rims. Disc brakes require very little force at the lever for the bike to stop. This is important because the rider does not have to strain his muscles, thus reduces muscle tiredness. Also, important to note is that disc brakes cannot get clogged with mud when riding on muddy terrain and during the rainy season. These types of brakes are consistent meaning that they cannot be affected by any adverse weather, be it extremely wet weather or dry weather.

Disc brakes have better and improved braking modulation, meaning that it is easier to brake, the rider can apply the proper and the required power needed for braking. It is also important to note that one can customize the disc brake to ensure even better if not best braking experience. Customization is done by increasing the diameter of the rotors. The4 larger the rotor, the more powerful the brake. A powerful brake induces confidence in the rider, making him go faster regardless of the terrain.

Room for wider tires

It is effortless to install and equip your bike with taller and wider tires of up to 32 mm compared to the 28mm rim brakes version. Wider tires are important because they ensure better traction and the comfort of the rider. Bigger and broader tires absorb vibration that arises when the biker is riding over rough surfaces and bumps. This way one can ride the bike for long hours without getting tired or uncomfortable. Wider tires help improve bike handling, comfort, grip, and control. Also, the presence of wider tires also means that there is broader and enough space for installation of mudguard which comes quite in handy during the rainy and winter seasons. A bike with wider tires can surpass any terrain from smooth to rocky and bumpy.



Road bikes that are equipped and use disc brakes tend to be more durable than the ones equipped using rim brakes. On matters durability, we focus on the wheels. The wheels become durable because there isn’t any friction on the rim, which can cause wear and tear. The wheels of rim brakes bikes tend to wear and tear quickly due to the heat and friction that is created when the caliper gets into contact with the rim, every time you brake. The verdict is that disc brakes will ensure that your wheels are durable compared to the rim brakes


Another factor why you should choose disc brakes over rim brakes is the cost. Yes, at first it is expensive to acquire the brake disc bikes, but this understandable because of the technology that has been put in place. However, it is cheaper to maintain disc brakes than rim brakes. From time to time, you will be required to replace your rim and the rubber calipers due to wear and tear on the brake tracks.    

Heat dissipation

When riding your bike, it is normal that you keep braking from time to time, maybe when avoiding to hit something, or when stopping. If you are using rim brakes, this will tend to generate a lot of heat due to constant friction arising from the contact between the rim and the calipers. This may cause wearing and tearing of the wheel, specifically the rims. It may also result in loss of braking power. Unlike rim brakes, disc brakes do not generate any heat, a reason why they are durable and preferred by most people.


Disc brakes are the future of road bikes. The advantages associated with disc brakes are many compared to its disadvantages. Also, its advantages are more compared to the rim brakes. More and more bike manufacturers and companies are following the disc brake trend to ensure durability and efficiency for your bike. It also ensures comfort and less straining of the muscle. In summary, disc brakes will ensure your safety as the risk of cutting into the wire due to improperly adjusted brake pad is eliminated. Also, it gives you complete control of your bike.

  • Mar 12, 2019
  • Categoría: Wheels
  • Comments: 0
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