New TT Bike, Disc Brakes?

In the market for my next TT bike. Initially had talked myself into going with discs no questions, but looking at what is on the market right now, there seem to be some killer deals on rim break models (i.e. $1000+ dollars less, same build)

For those of you who have disc breaks on a TT bike, how much of an upgrade are they? Think they are worth the extra $$? I’m also keeping future proofing in mind at least somewhat–though it seems TT bikes are dragging behind road bikes in adopting discs.

I have to admit discs would have been nice at my two A races last year. Both where 70.3s, the first was hilly with some good descents and the second was flat but it down poured on the bike. That said, I managed both fine on my slice with rim breaks and carbon wheels.

Budget wise, I’d like to be close to $5K (less is better) and I’d like Di2.

I sold my slice this year, after a bad run of hilly races last year in mixed weather. I’m a bigger rider (racing near 190lb) so brakes may be more noticeable to me than some.

That said, my decision was made last year on a C race. It was a super sprint in the white mountains. There is a long downhill section with a 90 degree turn right at the bottom. I started on the brakes early knowing the turn was coming and it was clear from the get-go that it wasn’t going to happen. I pumped them for a bit before just white knuckle gripping them through the intersection before I finally slowed enough to juuuuuuuust make the turn.

I had the bike in to the shop the following week, which was really to focus on better brakes, and they informed me that I basically melted the pads.

That was it for me. Disc or I’m not riding it in the mountains.

To funny, the hilly race I referred to was also in the White Mountains (White Mountains Half) and also had a hairpin turn at the bottom! I remember going down at 55MPH thinking I’d better start breaking 5 minutes before I need to turn…

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Excuse me?
55 MPH?!

I ONCE hit 40+ mph down hill and almost :poop: my bibs. hitting that kind of speed on a bike give you a very clear vision how fragile humans are… and that you are just mistake away from actually dying!

That sounds right. Flying downhill… sharp right uphill!

Seriously, and it was not really a choice–all coasting… to make matters worse it was right out of transition so I was still finding my cycling legs.

Yip. I think you got to go a bit further before your turn, if I remember correctly. I was thankful there were no half riders on my tail wanting to go straight through. What a mess that was. I’m not sure what your turn looked like, but mine immediately fed into a crazy steep uphill that had me out of the saddle in the granny gear to get up. I ended up passing at least one guy who was walking his bike up, it was so steep.

Small field, but I think I won my age group in that. My legs were cooked for the run though. No sprinting was done that day.

So yeah, I’d get disc brakes if I were you. This isn’t Florida. We have hills.

If I were buying a new TT bike I would get disc. Mostly due to the future proofing aspect in terms of upgrades as well as if I were to try to sell it. But also because my road bike is disc so I would be able to share wheelsets between the two.

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If you do all your own work, IMO moving from a Speed Concept it was a huge upgrade in terms of headache and maintenance. The integrated brakes, while sexy, are a PITA to work on and the disc tech is much easier to work on. Ya I need to bleed the brakes whatever, its much less tedious than the whole wheel-pad alignment and once it is fit its perfect. Braking is MUCH better unless you are running metal rims and non-traditional caliper brakes. However, if you compare a caliper brake with a traditional non-integrated setup, the discs are harder to work on.

Di2 and disc is going to be hard to find. Maybe a P series or QR or Felt? If you wait till next season, i believe they are going to being out the new Shimano so you might be able to get an old season bike with Di2 for sale. Alternatively, I am not sure how well TT/Tri bikes are selling now.

I think finding and expecting to get a substantial discount on disc TT/tri Di2 bikes right now is optimistic. New tech, covid, specialty items etc. But if you can afford it, I would go for it. I will never go back to rims (although my road bike is rim with alu hoops and carbon faring and it is absolutely awesome with no reduced brake performance)

Thanks all. Seems like the consensus is disk. It does seem like the market is limited right now to primarily QR, Felt and Cervélo. Honestly with no races happening in the near future I’m not in a significant rush to pull the trigger on anything, so maybe waiting to see what happens with any new releases is the prudent move. Added bonus is sometimes it’s easier to find a deal during the winter months.