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Updated: 20 min 52 sec ago

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

3 February 2016 - 1:50pm
As a simple soul with mere v brakes I sit and wonder at the debate. Personally for my type of touring I do think vs are the best. As someone said earlier, as there are problems, why bother?

Nonetheless, seeing as the OP is deciding, two points which have not been mentioned:

Weight, surely a couple of v arms are a lot lighter than all the disc malarkey. OK, I know weight will be dismissed as it is a touring bike.

Cost, surely a couple of v arms are a lot cheaper than all the disc malarkey. Even a couple of new rims hardly brings the price near.

Ding, ding seconds out, back to the main bout.

Re: Switzerland, St. Moritz to Martina

3 February 2016 - 1:34pm
I rode up the Umbrail Pass many years ago, which joins the Stelvio Pass road just below its summit. It did involve a short section of poor road surface (a bit gravelly) but was quiet and okay on a loaded tourer. Another favourite was the Albula Pass, with its rail bridges between canyon like cliffs.

Re: Switzerland, St. Moritz to Martina

3 February 2016 - 12:51pm
There are a number of options - although I guess it depends to a degree whether you want to avoid the Passo dello Stelvio.

The two Stelvio options are:

- go via the Forcola di Livigno and then down through Livigno into Bormio
- go via Poschiavo down into Tirano and then follow the Sentiero della Valtellina over to Bormio.

Both lovely roads.

You could take the Inn Radweg that avoids the 27 road for much of the way. There are a couple of sections that look like they might be unsurfaced, but with 1.5" tyres you should be be fine. You can climb up to Nauders and from there to to the Reschensee (Lago di Resia) and then follow the Vinschgau Radweg (also part of the via Claudia Augusta) into Meran and then Bozen.

There also looks like there's an interesting road (the 28) via the Passo del Ruorn (Ofenpass) into Mals/Malles. Note though that if you want to pick up that road from Livigno you have to take a bike-shuttle through the Munt de la Schera tunnel.

See my website for more information, on some of this.

This is probably the most useful site for bike-friendly places to stay:

http://www.altarezia.eu

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

3 February 2016 - 10:18am
One point,which may seem trivial to some,though IMHO important.
Self adjusting disc brakes can be a help,but they can also work against you if you aren't aware of just how worn your pads are.
I'm thinking long descents on a long tour where pads could be worn out without the rider realising how worn they are.I know someone who has degree of mechanical sympathy would be 'in touch' with the need for regular checks on pad status,but where an ever growing number cyclists treat their bike in the same way the do their car,letting a shop service a repair it,they don't always have that sympathy.
The first they realise their pads are worn is when the brakes fail or begin to make 'funny' noises,if that happens on a long descent it could be a bit hairy to say the least .

Contrast that with cable discs,or rim brakes FTM,where they need to be manually adjusted and so prompts thought and sympathy that things are wearing.
A small point but valid IMO.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

3 February 2016 - 9:00am
TonyR wrote:pwa wrote:You can tour on anything you like, so long as you can carry your kit on it. It is worth asking about these things while you still have a choice though. Personally, I'd avoid any technology that I can't work on by a roadside, just to avoid unnecessary hassle. That would include electronic gears (not likely on a touring bike anyway) and hydraulics. And I'd make sure I knew how to do basic repairs to the components I did take.

Yes, you can tour on anything you like. But there is nothing in a hydraulic brake that you can't work on by the roadside either. I just don't understand this negativity of cable brake users about hydraulic brakes - much of it based on perceptions rather than experience.

Hydraulics are much more reliable than cable brakes and need much less maintenance - why do you think hydraulics are the norm on motor vehicles? The worst that's going to happen if one fails is you are going to have to ride on one brake until you get the other fixed and if you can't do it yourself any competent garage mechanic could do it for you as they work on hydraulic systems all the time. And car mechanics are far more common around the world than bike shops.

In about 50 years of cycling the only brake that has failed, 100%, on a descent, was a hydraulic disc brake. I was glad that my other brakes were vees so were not going to let me down in the same way. I also think that, unlike with motor vehicles, hydraulics are not needed. Properly set up vee brakes will lock the wheels of a heavily loaded bike, as will a cable operated disc brake. Even in the wet. Cantilevers are less inspiring but still adequate. And with a bit of forethought you can have spare cables, pre-cut to length, in your tool bag, weighing practically nothing and taking up next to no space. Not that you are ever likely to need them. My brake fettling on tour (with cantis) has never involved more than turning an adjuster or, at most, spending five minutes changing the blocks. I've never had cable problems.

Re: Great Ocean Road.....

3 February 2016 - 8:26am
simonhill wrote:Just remembered. Not the GOR but between Ad and Me on the routel. The youth hostel in My Gambier then a YHA was in an old prison. A real granite built fort of a place. Rooms in cells with no windows and original doors locks now on inside. I remember it being very hot and humid outside, but decidedly chilly (actually and metaphorically) inside. Stainless steel loo in the corner!

Enjoy.

I will look forward to THAT !!!!!......

Again, many thanks for all the replies....Appreciated.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

3 February 2016 - 8:14am
TonyR wrote:Yes, you can tour on anything you like. But there is nothing in a hydraulic brake that you can't work on by the roadside either.

I just don't understand this negativity of cable brake users about hydraulic brakes - much of it based on perceptions rather than experience.


Are you telling me that you are carrying a drill and a hammer in your toolkit to remove and replace rivets to take a brakelever apart? Love to know where you buy the seals btw

Hydraulics are much more reliable than cable brakes and need much less maintenance - why do you think hydraulics are the norm on motor vehicles?

hydraulics can be made very reliable, if that is your design goal. If however the design goal is shiny, lightweight and compact, reliabilty takes a backseat. I've yet to come across a automotive diskbrake without a dustseal, or a bicycle diskbrake with one.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

3 February 2016 - 7:45am
pwa wrote:You can tour on anything you like, so long as you can carry your kit on it. It is worth asking about these things while you still have a choice though. Personally, I'd avoid any technology that I can't work on by a roadside, just to avoid unnecessary hassle. That would include electronic gears (not likely on a touring bike anyway) and hydraulics. And I'd make sure I knew how to do basic repairs to the components I did take.

Yes, you can tour on anything you like. But there is nothing in a hydraulic brake that you can't work on by the roadside either. I just don't understand this negativity of cable brake users about hydraulic brakes - much of it based on perceptions rather than experience.

Hydraulics are much more reliable than cable brakes and need much less maintenance - why do you think hydraulics are the norm on motor vehicles? The worst that's going to happen if one fails is you are going to have to ride on one brake until you get the other fixed and if you can't do it yourself any competent garage mechanic could do it for you as they work on hydraulic systems all the time. And car mechanics are far more common around the world than bike shops.

Re: Great Ocean Road.....

3 February 2016 - 2:29am
Just remembered. Not the GOR but between Ad and Me on the routel. The youth hostel in My Gambier then a YHA was in an old prison. A real granite built fort of a place. Rooms in cells with no windows and original doors locks now on inside. I remember it being very hot and humid outside, but decidedly chilly (actually and metaphorically) inside. Stainless steel loo in the corner!

Enjoy.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

2 February 2016 - 10:35pm
TonyR wrote:Yes and no. For worn out pads only if you've got new ones with you. Riding in gritstone areas you can get through brake pads pretty fast which was why I first switched to discs.

Snapped cables can only be fixed if you carry a spare cable with you.

I've just cut a seized cable off a bike. Last ridden two weeks ago and in the meantime its seized so solid that I couldn't pull the outer off the inner. So new inners, outers and a pair of cable cutters in the pannier to deal with that one.

Maybe I'm just lucky but in the 15 years I've had hydraulic brakes (on four bikes) they have been fit and forget apart from the occassional pad change. The cable brakes on my other bikes have needed regular maintenance. And I can repair the hydraulic hoses at the side of the road with a penknife and brake fluid bought from any garage. How many garages carry brake cables for bikes?

I'm not denying your good fortune with hydros,merely pointing out that cable discs(BB7's at least)are easily stripped with minimum fuss and simple hex key tools that are carried as part of a tourists normal kit.
I always carry two spare cables(even on day rides),one brake and one gear,as they weigh almost nothing.
The only time I've had cables seize has been due to ice and that was a gear cable at the short outer near the rear mech.
I find stainless brake and gear cables if kept well greased and not over tightened at the pinch bolt,extremely reliable,free moving and long lasting.
I think I pointed out up thread the ease of maintenance,and reliability of cable discs IME.
They can also lock up either wheel with ease,with plenty of modulation,as such I want for nothing more.
If hydros suit you then be my guest
Disc pads of course are as easy to change on either system so no gain or loss there.
BTW I ride drops,so not quite as easy to accommodate hydros at reasonable cost.

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 10:25pm
bretonbikes wrote: In our experience we had 10 disc-braked bikes - within 6 weeks use all had discs that rubbed (I suspect mostly bike-rack damage outside supermarkets) and I found it impossible to get them straight. If you are careful with your bike and don't ever put it into situations where a disc might get bent they are utterly brilliant brakes and I would highly recommend them - for any other circumstances they are too fragile.

We have one disc-braked bike ( a 2nd hand MTB for a daughter), annoyingly it appears that a common rack around here, including the one in my shed, just tickles the bottom edge of the disc. If the bike is rocked when in the rack then the rack will bend the disc. I have placed a strip of 1/2" ply on the floor in ours to just raise the disk above the rack.

It seems it is easy to bend the disc, even from a pedal when someone leans their bike against another one. But if I do get a new bike I would love to have disc brakes, I am tired of the dirt and worn out rims from rim brakes.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

2 February 2016 - 10:12pm
reohn2 wrote:TonyR wrote:molzor wrote:Im sure I could use them... but whats the harm in cables. Theyll stop me. Right?

Unless they seize or the cables snap or the pads wear through

And if they ever do you'll be able to repair them by the roadside

Yes and no. For worn out pads only if you've got new ones with you. Riding in gritstone areas you can get through brake pads pretty fast which was why I first switched to discs.

Snapped cables can only be fixed if you carry a spare cable with you.

I've just cut a seized cable off a bike. Last ridden two weeks ago and in the meantime its seized so solid that I couldn't pull the outer off the inner. So new inners, outers and a pair of cable cutters in the pannier to deal with that one.

Maybe I'm just lucky but in the 15 years I've had hydraulic brakes (on four bikes) they have been fit and forget apart from the occassional pad change. The cable brakes on my other bikes have needed regular maintenance. And I can repair the hydraulic hoses at the side of the road with a penknife and brake fluid bought from any garage. How many garages carry brake cables for bikes?

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 10:09pm
Thanks for the swift reply.

I know way way less than you but tend to agree.

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 10:02pm
Sweep wrote:So what type of brakes do you recommend breton?

V?

Yes I'm afraid so - they do the job, indestructible, you can get pads anywhere. Like I said there are lots of pluses to discs (wet weather being by far the biggest) but for rough-and-tumble V brakes every time.

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 9:58pm
So what type of brakes do you recommend breton?

V?

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 9:52pm
MacBludgeon wrote:Fair point, rotors can take a knock some people dismount them for flying etc but you're also in the hire business. People do tend to treat hire items rather worse, or at least carelessly, in comparison to their own things. I suppose the ultimate would be some sort of sealed unit, drum brake style. But the cynic in me says that development funds won't be directed towards things with genuine longevity.

Though the point still remains that disc brakes allow for varying rims that rim brakes never could.

Yes absolutely, and I'm not belittling the advantage - disc brakes are also pretty cheap nowadays! I always think that hire use is a pretty good equivalent of expedition use - hard!

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 9:38pm
Fair point, rotors can take a knock some people dismount them for flying etc but you're also in the hire business. People do tend to treat hire items rather worse, or at least carelessly, in comparison to their own things. I suppose the ultimate would be some sort of sealed unit, drum brake style. But the cynic in me says that development funds won't be directed towards things with genuine longevity.

Though the point still remains that disc brakes allow for varying rims that rim brakes never could.

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 8:54pm
MacBludgeon wrote:Always a fascinating subject and interesting to see how things change over time. One of the things that is often missed is the upsurge of disc brakes meaning different wheel sizes can be run. As long as you don't mind the appearance of big clearances and skinny tyres. This is even more so now with the rise of the 650b. When comparing 700c and 26" the ability to interchange wheels was fairly narrow before geometry could be compromised...not so much between 700c and 650b. It's possible to envisage a frame that ran 700c up to about 700x40 for road use and wider 650b rubber for more offroad or heavily laden touring. Get stuck somewhere and whack in a cheap 26" wheel to get you to where your normal wheel can be repaired or replaced.

My first option would always be to consider 'fit for purpose' and that doesn't mean does it do what others claim but rather does it do what I need. Can the gears get me up what I want to ride?, can the wheels/tyres cope with what I want to ride and give me the comfort level I desire?, can the frame accommodate the luggage I want?, etc, etc.

On the adventure touring side I find the remoteness less and less of a persuasion for specific choices. Cable discs aren't much different to rim brakes, you can easily carry spare cable and pads and even a spare caliper. Spokes, if you're going that remote you should have spares with you. If you're remote enough then no spares will be available whatever you run. After that internet ordering, or packages you've left behind, can be sent pretty much anywhere. I've read plenty of journals where 26" wheel users were unable to get spares/repairs and had to order online.

For me I'd use a 29er setup with a Rohloff and SON, disc brakes and steel frame with full braze-ons and long chainstays...what I have actually. Tyres I'd give serious thought to tubeless, so many punctures are the result of thorns or those little bits of radial wires. Always the option to revert back to tubes, also you can always use 26" tubes if need be. Bars, again use what suits, I like swept flat bars with outboard and inboard bar ends, or Jones Loop.

We hire bikes for a living and having had a batch of disc brakes would never use them for 'expedition' touring. The chances of a bike being bounced thousands of miles, thrown in to busses or aircraft and emerging without bent discs is slim. In our experience we had 10 disc-braked bikes - within 6 weeks use all had discs that rubbed (I suspect mostly bike-rack damage outside supermarkets) and I found it impossible to get them straight. If you are careful with your bike and don't ever put it into situations where a disc might get bent they are utterly brilliant brakes and I would highly recommend them - for any other circumstances they are too fragile.

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 7:47pm
Always a fascinating subject and interesting to see how things change over time. One of the things that is often missed is the upsurge of disc brakes meaning different wheel sizes can be run. As long as you don't mind the appearance of big clearances and skinny tyres. This is even more so now with the rise of the 650b. When comparing 700c and 26" the ability to interchange wheels was fairly narrow before geometry could be compromised...not so much between 700c and 650b. It's possible to envisage a frame that ran 700c up to about 700x40 for road use and wider 650b rubber for more offroad or heavily laden touring. Get stuck somewhere and whack in a cheap 26" wheel to get you to where your normal wheel can be repaired or replaced.

My first option would always be to consider 'fit for purpose' and that doesn't mean does it do what others claim but rather does it do what I need. Can the gears get me up what I want to ride?, can the wheels/tyres cope with what I want to ride and give me the comfort level I desire?, can the frame accommodate the luggage I want?, etc, etc.

On the adventure touring side I find the remoteness less and less of a persuasion for specific choices. Cable discs aren't much different to rim brakes, you can easily carry spare cable and pads and even a spare caliper. Spokes, if you're going that remote you should have spares with you. If you're remote enough then no spares will be available whatever you run. After that internet ordering, or packages you've left behind, can be sent pretty much anywhere. I've read plenty of journals where 26" wheel users were unable to get spares/repairs and had to order online.

For me I'd use a 29er setup with a Rohloff and SON, disc brakes and steel frame with full braze-ons and long chainstays...what I have actually. Tyres I'd give serious thought to tubeless, so many punctures are the result of thorns or those little bits of radial wires. Always the option to revert back to tubes, also you can always use 26" tubes if need be. Bars, again use what suits, I like swept flat bars with outboard and inboard bar ends, or Jones Loop.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

2 February 2016 - 7:30pm
TonyR wrote:molzor wrote:Im sure I could use them... but whats the harm in cables. Theyll stop me. Right?

Unless they seize or the cables snap or the pads wear through

And if they ever do you'll be able to repair them by the roadside

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