I’m still not a fan of the look of disc brakes on a road bike, but after the weekend’s very wet ride on my carbon wheels I can certainly see the reasoning behind them! Let’s just say I would not have wanted to pull up in a hurry. Each corner or road junction was nerve inducing as the slick carbon brake track slid past the normally-strong grip of my SwissStop brake pads.
Sexiness level, maximum. Stopping power in the wet, minimal.
In the dry they are fine, but add a decent downpour and it became like putting out a bonfire with a wet rag – ineffective and just a little bit scary! May as well have jammed my foot in the rear wheel to slow down. (Fun fact: That’s how I used to stop back in my brakeless-BMX days.)
I haven’t ridden hydraulic disc brakes yet, so I can’t say if they are “better” or not. On all accounts though they are the future. Once manufacturers (hopefully) settle on a road standard for design I think high end road bikes with rim brakes will be a thing of the past. The current crop of aero disc brake equipped road bikes are certainly looking much sharper too, so I could be swayed. Especially by…
S-Works Venge with custom “Sagan Collection” paintwork.
Until then I’ll just have to remember to leave the Stealth at home when it rains!