Disc Brakes no longer just for the Mud


by Andrew Martin on Dec 14, 2006 at 12:46 PM

I’ve got a good collection of bikes, but in the Pacific Northwest, the bike that gets the most action is my rain bike. It’s my commuter most days, and after years of replacing brake pads monthly for only marginal stopping power - I have found the light: Disc Brakes on a road bike. Fender routing is simple with plenty of tire clearance. Stopping power is never in question in even the heaviest downpours. I’m sure many commuters who ride in more of an upright “mountain” position have been riding discs for years, but I’m happy to have finally made the jump. There a couple major brands out there with offerings (Kona Sutra, Redline Disc-R, Trek Portland), as well as some smaller frame builders who have put together some nice custom setups (Marcroft Cycles, Clemente Cycles). If Santa’s bringing a new bike this year - maybe remember to share the love with the rain bike?

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Welcome to the dark side.
Discs are great for all weather road bikes.
My set up is on a cross frame which also has the advantage of wider frame allowing for wider tires or studded tires on those snowy rides we get on the other coast.

It’s slower, heavier, and offroadier than those three, but the Trek SU200 has disc brakes and smooth tires:

<a href=“http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike.php?bikeid=1034060&f=21” rel=“nofollow”>http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike.php?bikeid=1034060&f=21</a>

It’ll be my next “road” bike.

I made one. I used rock shox disc brakes (cable to the caliper-hydrolic inside) with white industries hubs and Velocity track rims (no machined brake surface). I had the disc tabs welded on. I went weird on the shifters with a Modolo morphos set-up. The other bits are Bontrager triple chainrings/cranks some carbon etc etc. I love the way it stops. I debuted the bike on a 90 kilometer charity ride with 5000 other bikes on a wet and wild ride along the Pacific Coast. Downhill, I was God. Uphill, I was the fat guy with the heavy bike.