The disc brake generation

Something occurred to me the other day. A thought. There’s probably a whole new generation of road cyclists that have never ridden anything apart from disc brakes.

Disc brake equipped road bikes have been around long enough as the “mainstream” braking option that anyone starting their road cycling journey in the last couple of years could have skipped rim brakes altogether, and stepped straight onto a new road bike with hydraulic disc brakes.

That’s a whole generation of cyclists who will have never experienced the braking differences between an alloy rim and a carbon rim. They’ve never experienced the pure joy and simplicity of rim brakes. Brake rub? Easily solved. Too much lever travel? Tighten the barrel adjuster a turn. Pulled the brake lever with the wheel removed? No problem.

A whole generation of new cyclists who have never experienced the “seat of the pants” braking – or lack of braking – of a deep section carbon wheel in the wet. You’ve never truly lived until you’ve pulled the brakes while descending at full speed in the rain on a set of carbon rim brakes!

All they know is the reliable and repeatable modulation of a modern hydraulic disc brake. Oh and of course the annoying brake rub, wet weather squealing, and added hydraulic complexity of discs… 😂

Anyway, that’s my pointless #OldManRamble for today. Thanks for reading!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I bought a (used) bike with carbon rims and rim brakes. I quickly changed to aluminum. Someone called my newest bike “vintage” because it has rim brakes. Ya want an “old man ramble”? Time was, we knew how to shift all by ourselves! No electronics, no indexing. We knew how to feel the next gear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. muddytweed says:

    It’s an interesting point – I like both rim and disc brakes, but equally very few people reminisce about spoon brakes or tiny cassettes and huge chainrings. It’s part of the evolution of any technology, perhaps in the fullness of time disc brakes will become redundant and the stuff of nostalgia!

    Liked by 1 person

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