The Velo ORANGE Weblog: Disc Brakes 101

by Scott

Disc brakes have actually made main inroads into street biking since they had been first launched about 15 years in the past. The place as soon as the concept of a street bike utilizing disc brakes was laughable, we have now reached the purpose the place a big proportion of street bikes include disc brakes. We might finished a weblog submit in regards to the professional/cons of disc brakes awhile again, so we’re not right here to rehash an outdated argument, however somewhat attempt to clarify what you could get when it comes to brakes and bits if you wish to construct up a brand new bike that takes disc brakes.

Let’s begin with the mounting model of the brake caliper. That is the important thing to purchasing the precise elements on your bike. There are three foremost kinds you will examine: IS, Submit, and Flat mount. In your bike’s description, it ought to state what kind of disc brake system the body and fork makes use of.

Body and Fork Mounts

  • IS mount makes use of an unthreaded tab welded to the body or fork. “IS brakes” don’t exist anymore. The Polyvalent and Piolet use IS mounts. What you could purchase is a post-mount brake and an IS adaptor on your rotor measurement. Typically talking, once you select the rotor, use the adapter the corporate who makes the rotor suggests. 
  • Submit mounts are welded tabs which have inside threading. The brake screws proper into the mount within the body. You get adaptors to account for the scale of the rotor. These had been designed for mountain bikes, so you will get adapters to work with rotors from 160 mm to 203 mm. Our Neutrino mini velo makes use of this method for the rear brake and an IS for the entrance.

  • Flat mount is flush/flat with the chain keep or fork. It was designed for street and gravel bikes however is making its approach into MTB. Typical rotor sizes are both 140 and 160 mm. Our Cross Hunter has flat mount brakes.

Transferring on to Calipers…

There are usually two kinds of caliper. The primary is single piston, the place one aspect strikes the brake pad and pushes the rotor towards the opposite pad on the alternative aspect of the caliper. The opposite is twin piston the place a single arm actuates pistons on each side of the rotor (extra like your automobile’s brakes). Both is okay, however we desire to make use of twin piston for extra constant put on and efficiency of brake pads and rotors.

There are a number of forms of actuation amongst disc brakes. Maybe the commonest are mechanical, cable-actuated calipers. These are good for swapping cockpits and brake parts. Alternatively, you may also get hydraulic brake calipers. These provide better stopping energy and higher modulation, although you usually cannot combine and match parts from totally different corporations, and even sequence from the identical firm. There are additionally extra specialised instruments for set up because you’re coping with hydraulic fluid. The third sort is a cable actuated brake with a hydraulic reservoir. Such a brake provides the good thing about having the ability to combine and match calipers and brake levers, whereas additionally providing better stopping energy and modulation than a normal mechanical caliper. Merely put:

  • Cable actuated: simple to put in and repair, in a position to combine and match, good braking
  • Hydraulic actuated: tougher to put in and repair because you want specialised instruments, basically no capability to combine and match, superior efficiency and modulation
  • Cable actuated with hydraulic reservoir: simple to put in and repair, in a position to combine and match, nice braking, although extra cumbersome than the opposite choices due to the added reservoir

And Rotors…

The rotor is the precise disc that the brake caliper pinches to let you cease. Typically talking, when selecting rotor measurement, bigger rotor equals higher warmth removing and higher stopping over brief/intense braking (MTB) and longer downhill braking. Smaller rotor equals much less weight and fewer elements. Typically talking, the bikes we constructed fluctuate between 160mm or 180mm relying on the appliance and bike. The following measurement up is 203mm, however that’s fairly completely for MTB and downhill.

Rotors are available two mounting kinds – 6 bolt (on left) or middle lock (on proper). 6 bolt is the model we use on our hubs. The large benefit to six bolt is that you would be able to simply take away the rotor in case you are packing the bike up or want to switch the rotor out within the wilds of Iceland’s inside, utilizing solely a T25 Torx head wrench.

The middle lock system, which is primarily used and licensed by Shimano, makes use of a middle spline with a lock ring to maintain the rotor in place. You want a cassette lockring device plus a very good measurement wrench to get it off. That is good for set up however is a ache for touring.

Lastly Adaptors…

So let us take a look at a fork to get an concept of the elements wanted for it. This fork makes use of IS mounts, so we went with a set of Submit mount TRP Spyres and the mounts for a 160 mm rotor. Discover that the fork mount is unthreaded, and the adaptor is threaded in two instructions: left and proper to connect the caliper to the fork mount, and back and front to connect the caliper to the adaptor.

Flat mount is a bit of totally different. For the body, you want bolts that move by means of the body and screw into the caliper. Relying on the body design, you might not want any shims for a 140mm rotor. For a 160mm rotor, you will very possible want one. For the entrance, it additionally screws instantly into the fork and makes use of a particular mount. Some brake units include all the {hardware} and others do not include any (and you need to purchase a la cart). 

Submit mount is the simplest because the caliper screws instantly into the body or fork mount. It is best to solely want shims to accommodate the rotor measurement.

So, these are the fundamentals of disc brakes! You are welcome to debate the professionals and cons of every model of brake mount within the feedback or inform us what kind of arrange you have used in your disc brake bike construct. 

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