Disc brakes vs. Rim brakes

There are generally two kinds of brakes used for bicycles:

Disc Brakes:

Disc brakes can be either hydraulic or cable operated. Cable operated brakes are usually the entry level and are more economical in terms of cost. Hydraulic systems have the benefit of increased power and are protected from the elements thus eliminating the need to frequently change cables.

disc brakes

Rim brakes:

The most common type of rim brake in use is the ‘V-Brake’. It is the most cost effective way to have really good, powerful brakes on a bike. The long cantilever arms that are joined together at the top by the cable passing through provide a powerful braking force to a rim, and are lightweight with little maintenance required.

rim brakes

Which is the braking system you should choose for your bicycle?

Feature Rim brakes Disc brakes
Location Located on either side of the wheel rim at the top of the wheel. These brakes are connected to the wheel hub which is the point around which the wheel rotates.
Consistency These brakes become wet and muddy quickly in wet conditions and off road paths. This is due to their location which is close to the tyre and hence the ground. Therefore they are not consistent in such conditions. Offer consistent braking even in wet conditions and off road paths.
Weight This braking system is comparatively lighter in weight. This braking system is comparatively heavier thus reducing top speed of the cycle and making climbing difficult.
Fading More susceptible to fading i.e. reduction in stopping power of the brakes.  Less susceptible to fading and hence found in higher end mountain bikes.
Cost Rim brakes are cheaper compared to disc brakes. Disc brakes are more costly.
Ideal for Cyclists who are looking for leisure rides with friends and family. Those who are seriously involved in competitions and are interested in taking their bicycles on off-road trails.

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