Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Day That Rim Brakes Died

One disc to rule them all in in the caliper bind them.....
Yesterday it was very quietly reported in the news of cycling that the UCI, (ruling body in all things Pro road racing Worldwide), green-lighted the use of disc brakes in the Pro and amateur road (Note- Amatuer ranks in 2017), racing ranks for 2016. You can read about what some of this may mean by checking out what "Red Kite Prayer" has to say about it.

Anyone with an eye on cycling knew this was coming one of these ol' days. Mountain bikes embraced the disc brake starting in the late 90's and by 2005, you were going to have a hard time finding a brand new, high end rim brake bike anymore. Then the disc brake crept into the world of cyclo-cross, where it was hotly debated for a season or two, then was generally accepted as the better choice amongst Pros, for the most part. Now it would appear that Pro road cycling will be all disc brake by 2017.

Interestingly, much like many changes in cycling, I find that histrionics and grandstanding generally happen during big changes like these. People bemoan the changes, and throw their collective hands in the air, post missives on social media blasting "The Man" for "forcing us to change" and bilking us for money for these "unnecessary changes" purely for profit. I know......I lived through the advent of 29"ers and am still getting an earful from various places about the whole "gravel bike" thing.

Like I have always said- "You don't have to buy into it." So, for instance, say you don't like disc brakes for road bikes, well......don't buy a disc brake road bike then. Think "gravel bikes" are a stupid idea? Then don't buy one. Still think wagon wheelers are daft? You can still buy a smaller wheeled mountain bike. Nobody is taking your money unless you are letting them. All the decrying and hand wringing about something new is pretty much wasted energy. That said.........

Hey! Whattya know! They still make this stuff yet!
Many times there is actually something to these changes. You when free wheels were invented. Or, how about disc brakes while we're at it. Yes.....rim brakes work, but I've tried these new fangled hydraulic road disc brakes, and you know what? They are pretty dang awesome. At least the Shimano ones are. Modulation, power, ease of use- all there. It doesn't get much better, and I have tried a lot of road caliper brakes. None can hold a candle to the power and ease of using that power that these road disc brakes have.

Now, that said, obviously the title to today's post is sarcastic. Rim brakes are not going away, and you can still buy , and will be able to in the future, a lot of rims and different caliper and cantilever style brakes that are really quite good. Add to that the vintage and used stuff out there that is still serviceable and you will have rim brakes to use for decades to come.

The bottom line is that you might see a bunch of ticked off posts, or rambling rants about how the industry has wreaked havoc again on poor, unsuspecting consumers because your stuff will be "obsolete" in a year and a half. Well, it just isn't true. Maybe it won't be the same again on high-end, new road racing bikes, but rim brakes and frames, wheels, parts, etc, will all be around for a long, long time. In all likelihood, you'll wear out that bike with rim brakes before parts for it are all gone. You don't have to have a disc brake road bike, if you think it is a dumb idea. There will always be alternative choices. Probably good new ones too. They just won't be sold by the "big companies" in the future. Well......probably not, anyway.....

No comments: