Death of the Rim Brake?

Was dream shopping again on TREK site today, and noticed that the Madone that I have been drooling over for years is now Disc only. I could see this making sense since its an aero bike designed to go fast and descend like a champ. However then I looked at the Emonda, which is their lightweight climbing bike, and noticed that this too is now basically Disc only, with the exception of the lower priced models which are still available as a rim option.

I was dead set on having a disc bike next, but two of my close friends who have both rim and disc bikes said they really didn’t prefer their disc bikes. The one who loves to KOM descents (he holds over 1,000) and said he doesn’t have a preference between his Madone SLR Disc and his Ridley Noah Fast (rim).

Is the rim brake completely dying? I know people have preferences between one and the other and not looking to start a debate on that, but figure maybe we have some industry insiders here who can shed some light on whether this is the end, or just a temporary trend.

Just went to the garage, and my rim brakes are still there. You had me worried for a second.

Kidding aside, I’m still nervous riding with people with disc brakes. I have too much imagination of what may happen in a crash, I guess.


Yes, rim brakes are completely dying. Once they penetrated the pro peloton it was all over.

They’re much better/safer (braking in wet conditions and hand fatigue on long descents) so it’s probably a good thing. A few years ago they added a pretty significant weight penalty, but it’s not such a big deal anymore. Preference over feel is always going to be personal.

With that said, you can still buy rim brake frames of the high end Madone and Emonda. So, not dead, but definitely dying.

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I was told a few years ago that 8 speed is obsolete, that stuff is still going strong (my road bike is a newish 8 speed, a shop person was just parroting dogma). Yeah, disc brakes are huge but it’s going to take years (if ever) for rim brakes to be completely out of the picture

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I think now that everyone has aligned on 142x 12, 12x100 and flat mount, the end will be near.
I have a hydro disc bike (gravel/commute) and 2 rim brake bikes (TT & Road) honestly I don’t see much advantage to disc. But I also dont plan to buy any more rim brake components, because I am quite sure a future bike will have to be disc because based on what is out there.
Right now I can still get a Tarmac, Allez and CAAD 13 in rim brakes so I am good to go.

Might be something to it. I have rim brakes and have been riding the trainer for most of the past year. I’ve hardly touched those rim brakes that entire time. :thinking:


Looks like the only Madone rim frames are 2019 model. I don’t see any 2020 Madone in rim anymore. And as far as the rim vs disc weight penalty, now we won’t know because there’s no longer a rim version to compare to :frowning:

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I bought my first disc brake bike last spring and honestly can’t imagine buying another road bike that came with rim brakes


As a heavier rider who has done rides like the ‘Horribly Hilly Hundreds’ in Wisconsin. I’m going to be ready to chuck my rim brakes in the trash and move to hydro disc brakes once I have the budget for a new road bike.

Simply put the disc provides a much better braking surface than the rims.


If any of you disc converts have a 54cm H2 Madone rim to sell, my PM box is open :crazy_face:

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I have an Emonda slr H1 rim brake 54 you can have!

It sure seems so ugh. When I got my latest bike I had to buy frame only to get rim brakes…

The only difference between Madone 2019 and 2020 is the the paint. I’m guessing rim brake frame demand is low for the Madone. Likely they did a batch and still have frames left, no point making 2020 versions.

H1 won’t work with my plebian back, but if you’re giving it away I’ll find a way to make it work! :heart_eyes:

Competitive Cyclist had Enve rim brake wheels for 50% off during Black Friday. 4.5s, 5.6s, and 7.8s.

Not a penny below retail for the disc versions.

So close. 56cm 2015 SLR 8 (D-A) with less than 4000 miles that I am selling.

PMing you

Seems the industry is driving it that way but not sure it’s a step up. As a rider who seldom will ride in rain, not much call for me to go that way. I’ve been riding an aero disc brake machine for most of the last year and just ordered an awesome rim brake model. As I work part time in a shop, talking to the mechanics have me skeptical at the point. Perhaps in a few years when they stabilize the thread standards, find a way to stop disc brake rub when out of the saddle, and find a way to open the pistons a bit so clearance isn’t so tight that it causes rub. For now, my new lightweight climbing bike is coming rim brake. Weight is definitely lighter.


Is rubbing seriously that much of an issue?

I am most worried about getting my wheel out when I have a flat.

I am eyeballing the new canondale supersix with ultegra and discs…

When I ride with someone with a disc road bike and they get out of the saddle to climb, the rotor rubs more times than not.