To disc or not to disc

I’m currently looking at treating myself to a new bike and there are done cracking deals around at the moment on some 2018 bikes.
I’ve narrowed it down to
Scott foil 20
Scott foil 20 disc

Normally I’d say the disc is a no brainer at similar money but there is a 750g weight difference for the luxury of discs. Most of the riding I do locally is up to 2 hours on the flat except a 5 hour ride at the weekend where I enjoy the hills.

My main question really is will I notice the additional weight, I’m coming from a 2015 Giant Propel Pro1 which is similar weight to the rim foil. The main reason id like discs other than the common ones is I’m gutted I’ve completely worn out the rims on the giant.

Looking forward to hearing feedback and also any other suggestions if people have seen good deals in the uk

I would go disc. Other than weight, they are superior in every way that matters. Unless you’re going to use this exclusively for hill climb races, you’ll appreciate the safety of being able to stop better in all conditions and situations.


Discs aren’t going anywhere so you might as well make the switch now so you can start collecting disc-specific wheelsets for the future :slight_smile: .


Given the choice, always got for more reliable braking.

As far as weight is concerned, it isn’t that difficult to drop those 750 gramm by skipping a pint for 2 weeks in a row. :wink:



If this is your only concern get the disc bike - 750g is nothing

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It seems very hard to get accurate frame and bike weights without actually weighing them in the store. But if this is correct then likely there is a lot of room to get back the 750grams. I’d want to verify the weight, but 8.7kg is quite porky. Could be correct though if the wheels really do weigh 3.12kg as a set. I’d be looking to get those replaced almost immediately for something about 1/2 the weight. I’ll see your 750grams and raise you 1,500!

I’d recommend the discs. If you intend to race early or late season events, they really are confidence boosters.

Whilst I’m not a flyweight, I can’t say I’ve ever suffered climbing or noticed any real weight, aero penalty.

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I’d go for the disc one however if your riding is mainly, as you say, on the flat with just a few hills and more importantly in the dry then the braking doesn’t make that much difference.

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+1 for discs ( as long as they are hydros)

Unless you are at racing weight already, and into competitive hill climbing, then I would ignore the weight and focus on the improved modulation, reliability, safety etc. They really are a huge step up from rim brakes

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First time you slam on the brakes to avoid death or road rash you’ll feel glad you had the vastly superior stopping capabilities.

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from an objective standpoint, there are a few criteria.

  • System weight
  • Terrain you ride
  • Weather conditions you ride
  • Type of wheels you intend to use, alu or carbon or tubs
    We all ride on open roads and need as much useable braking power under all conditions as we can get. Not just deceleration, but also modulation and delay.
  • I would say if you are super light - like 60Kg and less, you could go rim brake.
  • If you ride hilly terrain and stick to rule #93 - go disc
  • If you ride in the rain, on carbon wheels - go disc
  • If you want to use Alu wheels - you can go rim, if you are light, ride in the flats, in the dry



Personally prefer clean and classy look of rim brakes. One real advantage or disc brakes is no irreversible rim wear if you have expensive wheels, so perhaps you need answer yourself if you brake often. Having more powerful brakes, but same level of tyre grip isn’t gonna make much difference.

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Discs look puke but are functional. I have them on my winter bike but would never put them on my good summer bikes .

And without disc rims wearing out due to braking, perhaps you could justify a higher-end wheelset.

As someone relatively new to cycling, I’d say go disc. The braking is better obviously, but I think they look better too. You’ll be able to drop the 750g easily when you upgrade to carbon rims at some point but I doubt you’ll notice it in the meantime.

so what if both bikes have carbon rims?? :rofl:


Thanks for all the comments, really helpful! I think it has confirmed what I thought but I just have a niggling thing in the back of my head about moving to a heavier bike.

Just to paint a bit more of a picture and give more detail - the non disc bike is 7.55kg and the disc is 8.25kg. They both have a very similar wheelset so I had taken this out of the picture as regardless of which bike I go for I will be dropping half a kilo with a better wheelset and tyres. I ride rough UK roads so intend to use something like a 28mm GP4000 as a clincher on a carbon rim.

From a personal point of view, I’m not featherweight - I’m at 72kg and 5’10 but a lot of that additional weight compared to other cyclists is muscle mass up top. I’d say there’s probably 3-4kg to drop but any more would see me looking unwell.

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3-4kg is still > 0.75 (although I can’t really comment at 5’8 and 80kg at my last weigh-in a month ago!

I’m going to be looking for a new bike next year and have the same disc vs rim issue. My biggest concern is about maintenance of hyd discs as I’m not known for my mechanical ability…

Dics are here to stay and rim brakes likely going to fade away starting with high end bikes and then trickling down. The latest TR podcast with the Specialized guys mentioned this as well. Discs open up more opportunities to optimize tires and wheels for aero benefits.

In terms of “needing” them, as others have pointed out - when and where you ride are important factors. If you do any hills or any riding in wet weather, the benefits are immediate. I bought a Trek Emonda late last year with discs and took it to Maui where it is hilly and sometimes wet. Having discs let me bomb down Haleakala with a lot more confidence than a year prior on a bike with rim brake/carbon wheel combo.

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