Friday, October 30

Bicycle Brake superiority: Disc or Rim in Tour de France


Source: Colin Levitch posted this extensive analysis on which type of bicycle brakes dominated the recent Tour de France. The entire post can be found on Cycling News by clicking HERE.

PARIS, France – Ever since the first road bike with disc brakes was launched, the debate has raged in comment sections, forum posts, YouTube videos, and editorials on both sides of the aisle, and this year’s Tour de France is no different.

We can wax lyrical here about the advantages in stopping power and modulation offered by discs or the weight saving, simplicity, and on-the-fly adjustability of rim stoppers. Still, neither side will be overly happy with the arguments of the other about stopping superiority.

So, given that the biggest race of the season has just rolled down the Champs-Élysées, why not look back and see whether it was the spinning-knives-of-death or we-won’t-slow-you-down-in-the-rain style of bicycle brakes which claimed more wins.

Related post:
Disc Brakes Common for 2020 Pro Cycling Season

Most of the brands that sponsor WorldTour teams are in the process of, or have phased out their rim brake road bikes; however, there are a few notable hangers-on still riding rim-brake frames — some are even using a rim brake frame that is no longer available to the public. The results speak for themselves, and we’ve tabulated which system claimed the most stages, and which stopped short.

The final tally

Over the 21 stages of the Tour de France, the scoreboard reads 11 stages to discs and 10 stages to rim brakes. When we look at the overall podium, first and second places were occupied by rim brakes while Richie Porte stood on the third step having raced the new Trek Emonda complete with rotors and flat-mount calipers.

Collectively we have spent hours debating the pros and cons, the marginal gains and strikes for and against brakes that squeeze onto a brake track or a rotor, or whether a tire is glued to the rim, filled with sealant, or an inner tube, whether they use power meters or ride by feel, whether the bike is lightweight, aero, neither or both.  

This tour demonstrates that under the power and skill of a pro rider, it does not matter all that much how they slow down.

The entire post, with stage breakdowns, can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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