global cycling network

Disc Brake vs. Rim Brake Performance on Road Bikes

One of the most common questions we receive is whether disc brakes are better for road bikes than traditional caliper brakes.  It seems every company now offers disc brake road bikes.  So many marketing dollars focus on selling discs for every type of riding.  It's easy to understand why most people think discs are better for road bikes.  "Better" is a broad word that covers a lot of ground, just as "road bike" is a broad term.  We find that find each brake system has benefits and shortcomings.  These positives and negatives often get clouded by the latest bike review which may be influenced by what bike brands want to sell -- whether it's right for every rider or not.

We are agnostic about brake systems for road bikes.  We offer performance road bikes with three brake system options:  Calipers, discs, and even medium-reach calipers.  The reason we offer three systems is that each has strengths and weaknesses.  We just want cyclists on the right bike for their kind of riding.  We hate it when a rider ends up with the wrong bike for the wrong reasons. 

This article explores braking performance:  Which brake system lets you ride "faster" on various surfaces and in wet and dry conditions.  The answer is surprising.