A confession: I think I prefer rim brakes.
Ok, I know this topic tends to start a bad-tempered argument on bike forums, but let’s see if this can be different…
I’ve recently taken delivery of a disc brake bike (not my first, to be clear). Now, to be fair, the stopping power is great and I like being able to run carbon rims without worrying about wear or wet braking. But this is after having spent almost a fortnight getting the mounts faced and then the brakes bled. I still get the annoying tings in the wet, and they squeal like pigs in the wet, too. I finished my first ride a bit irritated with the whole process and couldn’t help thinking ‘so this is progress?’
More to the point, I don’t recall ever having a problem stopping on alloy rims (in any weather) with good quality brake pads. I’ve never had any issues on carbon ones in the dry, either. Even in the wet, the better ones are manageable with adjustments, and on really grotty days, you just put the alloy wheels on. Admittedly, I’m 70kg, so not that heavy, a fairly confident descender, and I live in the south of the UK; we have a lot of short, steep hills, but nothing remotely resembling a genuine mountain.
And rim brakes were/are just so simple to set up and maintain. They were/are light, basically didn’t/don’t go wrong, didn’t/don’t squeal (at least, not much) and do what they are supposed to do perfectly well enough. In short, for my use case at least, I’m just not convinced the trade offs are worth it.
I’ll clarify that I can totally see the appeal to heavier riders or those who do have proper, 10 min plus descents on their doorsteps. I wouldn’t want rim brakes on a gravel or CX bike. I’m also absolutely not saying ‘rim brakes are better’, ‘the industry is forcing discs on us’, or ‘no one needs discs’. I just think that, for me, given my own riding circumstances, I’ve come to a decision that I like rim brakes better.
Does anyone else agree, or am I just becoming a retrogrouch? Bonus points if you think 10 speed Record was the high point of
Western civilisation the cycling industry