Brakes are one of the most important parts of your bike! Everyone who rides a bike should have reliable brake. When you’re looking for new brakes, you can choose between a range of options: there are rim brake, disc brakes, mechanical or hydraulic. No matter which type you choose, there will be some pros and cons to each.
Proven technology: rim brakes
For many decades rim brakes have proven to be very reliable. They’re mostly used for road bikes and you can even put newer models on older bikes. The way they work is quite simple: The brake pads, also known as brake shoes, generate friction on the rim to obtain their braking force. As for mechanical rim brakes, the brake arm distributes the pull of the Bowden cables symmetrically to the two brake pads, generates a leverage effect and increases the braking force. Hydraulic models have more braking force, but they also require more maintenance because they have to be vented regularly. And, it’s not easy to repair these when you’re on the go.
Powerful and reliable: disc brakes
Powerful disc brakes are used on mountain bikes, trekking bikes, cyclocross bikes and most recently on road bikes. You can operate them easily with one or two fingers, and they’ll reliably brake in wet conditions. They also protect the rim and it can’t cause the inner tube to burst since it doesn’t run the risk of overheating. Although there are also mechanical disc brakes with Bowden cables, most of the models work hydraulically. This is supported by the direct power transmission and optimal controllability of the braking force. In addition, the size of the disc has a direct effect on the leverage of the brake and in turn the braking force. Most brake sets have a larger disc for the front and a smaller one for the rear. When braking with one finger, all your other fingers can remain on the handlebar, so if necessary, you can use the gear lever at the same time. There are two or four brake pistons hidden in the brake caliper, and efficient cooling mechanisms are used in Shimano brakes. The manufacturer BreakForceOne uses an innovative break booster in which leverage has been optimized, which allows for a lightweight but very powerful brake.
So many choices
Choosing a braking system will largely depend on the system your bike is designed for. Hydraulic brake systems, in particular disc brakes, are powerful and reliable, but they tend to require some maintenance. Mechanical disc and rim brakes are easy to maintain on the go and they’re also suitable for older bikes.