Thursday, August 03, 2006

Rim Brakes or Disc?

I build wheels for folks sometimes and I was recently struck by the thought while building a set of rim brake wheels, "Why not stick with linear pull brakes?" I've got a friend that's building up a sweet Badger Cycles frame and he is also going with rim brakes. Interesting. I've been into disc brakes for most of my recent bike builds and I do recognize that for alot of situations, disc brakes are certainly superior. However; there are also situations where linear pull brakes are all you need. Maybe they are even a better choice than discs in certain situations.

Take my example: I'm contemplating on what might be the ultimate gravel grinder bike. Now riding gravel roads is a bit like mountain biking and a whole lot like road biking. Throw in some "B" level roads and it gets even more goofy. I'm looking at a bike that's probably more of an all-rounder with a bent for off roading from time to time. Disc brakes are overkill for such a bike. Yeah.......tire clearance, I hear you. I think that it's not an issue, really. I'm not planning on riding many Trans Iowa V2 type rides! I'm thinking linear pull brakes might be an option for simplicity, lighter weight, and better compatibility with road brake levers. (this bike will be a single speed with drop bars)

Are there other places where linear pull brakes are a better option? Yeah, I think so. I'm not about to ditch off my disc brakes, though! No way! I've got to have them puppies for my commuter bike, at the least! Of course, full on hard core off roading is a bit more fun with them too.

Trans Iowa V3?: Yep! I'm puttin' out the feelers for any ideas here. It's gettin' about time to see if Jeff and I are going to do this thing again. All ideas are welcome. Changes to the course design are a possibility. The format itself is not going to change. Self supported, yer on your own, and looooong mileage. Okay, any ideas? Spout off here or e-mail me @ with your thoughts and concerns. This doesn't mean we are definitely doing a V3, just getting some input so we can decide. If we get inspired, then we will probably do it. We'll see! We all know that you nut bags want us to do it again, so don't bother saying that. We want your input on ideas for the course, or concerns you had over past T.I. events. Okay?

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