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scott-brake-to-disk-news-pic1 About 20 years ago there were discussions about disc brakes for mountain bikes. Nowadays, on the trail you can hardly see anything different than disc brakes.
Let's take a look at both systems to see their positive points and their shortcomings before giving us an opinion.

Braking power

Disc brakes offer substantially more braking power than traditional brakes. This allows the rider to apply less force to the lever to stop the bike. As a result, muscle fatigue in the hands is reduced, favoring better control and greater safety.


Disc brakes offer significantly better modulation than conventional brakes, meaning that it is easier to measure how much to pull the lever and travel at the desired speed. With the disc brakes it is also less likely to lock the wheels because better modulation helps that limit of maximum braking power avoiding blockages.


Traditional brakes are a system that has big problems when wet, while disc brakes offer consistent performance in all conditions. Moreover, with the disc brakes the fear of a broken circle or of a puncture due to overheating of the rim in the long descents is something that belongs to the past. Without having the problem of having to accommodate the caliper, road bikes with disc brakes can now more easily use larger section tires and wider rims for better traction on more terrains. Recent studies have shown that the risk of injury to a cyclist using disc brakes is minimal.


Traditional brakes are even lighter than disc brakes. A frame kit for disc brakes is commonly 120g heavier than the equivalent frame kit with traditional brakes. Not necessarily the difference is as important as in the case of the new Foil Disc (45 g heavier than Foil with caliper brakes). In addition, a group with disc brakes weighs about 200-250 g more than one with traditional brakes in the same category.

scott-brake-to-disk-news-pic2 aerodynamics

Historically, bikes with disc brakes have been considered less aerodynamic than equivalent versions with traditional brakes. The bikes with newly launched disc brakes, including the Foil Disc, have shown that with a caliper integrated into the chassis design the disc brakes can have a slightly lower aerodynamic drag than the equivalent solution with conventional brakes. ± With a very negative angle the configuration with traditional brakes creates less aerodynamic drag


Both systems require periodic maintenance to ensure that their braking performance is optimal. Replacing brake pads is usually simpler and faster for disc brakes, as compared to conventional brakes they do not need to be realigned. However, the risk of rubbing the brake pads is more likely with disc brakes. The free space between the disc and the pads is minimal, so for bikes with disc brakes it is recommended to have a through-pin system to get around this problem.


The life of the wheels with disc brakes is generally longer than those with traditional brakes as the rims do not wear out due to friction and heat. A worn circle can be very dangerous if it breaks in speed. This can not happen with disc brakes because the rims are not used to brake.

Possible future improvements

The wheels will most likely change to accommodate disc brakes because the rims will no longer be an element of the braking system. As a result, tire rims can be designed to have better aerodynamic and lightweight performance, which will positively influence the acceleration of your bike. Road bikes will have larger wheels: 28-30 mm tires can be used easily on bikes with disc brakes, and offer exceptionally low rolling resistance, better grip and more comfort than 23 or 25 mm tires. Since the disc brakes are still quite new one can expect that there will still be some chance to design them much lighter.

Safety is the main advantage of disc brakes on road bikes. However, disc brakes do not only improve safety. Surely speed and performance can come from the aerodynamics, but it must be emphasized that an efficient braking also leads to an increase in speed. So it was no surprise to see Romain Kreuziger win the Ötztaler 5500, the professional race with most of the altitude meters on a bike with disc brakes (Addict RC disc).

We believe it is important to improve the safety of cyclists and this is possible with disc brakes without compromising the overall performance of the bike. Better brakes, better acceleration, aerodynamically improved wheels prevail over the minimum additional weight of disc brakes. scott disc brakes news

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