Does choosing a rim-brake bike instead of a disc make sense nowadays? Many people do it.
While both rim brakes and disc brakes have their advantages and disadvantages, here are a few reasons why some cyclists may prefer rim brakes:
- Weight: Rim brakes tend to be lighter than disc brakes since they have simpler designs and don’t require additional components like rotors and calipers. For riders who prioritize weight savings, such as road racers or climbers, this can be an important factor.
- Cost: Rim brake systems are generally less expensive than disc brake systems. If budget is a concern, choosing a rim brake bike can help save money upfront. Additionally, rim brake components are usually cheaper to replace and maintain compared to disc brakes.
- Aerodynamics: Rim brakes have a more streamlined profile since they are located at the centre of the wheel. This can provide a slight aerodynamic advantage over disc brakes, especially in situations where minimizing drag is crucial, such as during time trials or triathlons.
- Compatibility: Rim brakes are compatible with most traditional road bike frames and forks. If you already have a collection of rim brake wheels or a frame designed specifically for rim brakes, it might be more convenient and cost-effective to stick with rim brakes rather than investing in a new disc brake system.
- Simplicity: Rim brake systems are relatively straightforward and easy to maintain. Adjustments, pad replacements, and general upkeep tend to be simpler compared to disc brakes, which involve more complex mechanisms and require bleeding and alignment procedures.
It’s worth noting that disc brakes have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their superior braking performance, especially in wet conditions, and their ability to accommodate wider tires. They offer better modulation, consistent stopping power, and are less affected by rim wear. However, the decision between rim brakes and disc brakes ultimately depends on your personal preferences, riding style, and the specific demands of your cycling activities.