Brakes are one of the most important components of your bike - when you are travelling fast you need a reliable brake. When you are looking for a new brake, you can choose between a range of options. Rim brake or disc brake mechanical or hydraulic, no matter what option, there are pros and cons for each of them.
Reliable technology: Rim brakes
For many decades rim brakes have proven to be reliable technology. They are widely used for road bikes and it is easy to equip older bikes with newer models. The way they work is quite simple: The brake pads, also known as brake shoes, generate friction on the rim and thereby obtain their braking force. In the case of mechanical rim brakes the pulling force of the bowden cable is transmitted symmetrically across the two brake pads over an arm. This generates leverage, which increases the braking force. Hydraulic models have a stronger braking force. On the other hand more maintenance is necessary since the brake fluid needs to be purged of air bubbles on a regular basis. On the road repairs are often difficult.
Powerful and reliable: Disc brakes
Powerful disc brakes are used for mountain bikes, trekking bikes, cyclocross bikes and most recently for road bikes. The rider can apply them easily with one or two fingers without much effort. They are also reliable in the wet. Apart from that they leave the rim untouched so that there is no danger of it overheating. Overheating can cause the inner tube to burst. Although mechanical disc brakes with bowden cables so exist the majority of them are hydraulic systems. The reason for this is the direct transmission of power and optimal of the braking force. 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 the other fingers remain on the handlebar and can, if necessary, use the gear lever. There are either two or four pistons in the brake caliper. Shimano brakes also use efficient cooling systems. The manufacturer BreakForceOne uses an innovative break booster in which leverage has been optimized, which allows for a lightweight but very powerful brake.
Spoilt for Choice
Your choice of braking system will largely depend on the system your bike is designed for. Hydraulic brake systems, particularly disc brakes, are powerful and reliable but tend to require some maintenance. Mechanical disc and rim brakes can be checked quickly on the road. They are also suitable for older bikes.