Bicycle Know-Hows

Understanding The Most Essential Component Of A Cycle: Disc Brakes

  • Ninety One
    Team 91
  • 3-minute read
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Understanding The Most Essential Component Of A Cycle: Disc Brakes

Cycling is one of the best activities; its versatility as an exercise, adventure sport, and leisurely pastime makes it a hit among all of us. We must take up this activity for a better quality of life. We've seen a massive increase in cycles on the roads, and it only goes on to show how popular the activity is getting. We all know the many types of cycles: mountain bicycles or MTBs, road cycles, all-terrain bikes, and hybrid bikes; we also have electric bicycles. Whether you're a pro or an amateur, there are a few things we should all know about our bicycles. Parts like brakes, suspension forks, and gears are used in common cycling conversations, and it's important that we understand their meanings. In this blog, we will learn everything about disc brakes. But first, let's shed a little light on the different types of brakes.

Different types of Brakes

1. Rim brakes

In a rim brake cycle, a brake pad clamps or applies force on the rim of the wheel to make it stop. We activate this brake by applying pressure on the levers located on the handlebar. These brakes are cheap, easy to maintain, and efficient. However, they do require regular maintenance. We have two main types of rim brakes, i.e., caliper, cantilever, and V- brakes.

2. Drum brake

A drum brake is a hub brake operated through a lever. Drum brakes were quite popular a while ago but have now been superseded by disc brakes. Drum brakes are quite popular in places or countries with wet weather.

3. Bicycle Disc Brakes

While we will discuss the disc brakes in detail later, however, a metal disc is placed on the wheel's hub. A caliper with two brake pads squeezes the metal disc and brings the wheel to a halt.

What are disc brakes?

As mentioned before. A disc brake has a small yet important component called the metal disc or the rotor. This rotor is located on the wheel's hub, and a caliper with two brake pads clamps upon the rotor to stop or slow down the wheels. Disc brakes come with a lot of advantages:

  1. Disc brakes are highly powerful, and you'll automatically feel the differences between other brakes and disc brakes. There is hardly any lag between the time we press the levers at our handlebar and that of the bike stopping. This accuracy and the maneuvering of the speed make disc brakes a highly desirable option.
  2. Disc brakes are placed at the hub of the wheel, which makes them less prone to getting dirty. On the other hand, rim brakes are easy to get dirty and therefore require frequent maintenance.
  3. Disc brakes can cater to almost all types of tire widths, unlike rim brakes. A rim brake will have to go all over the wheel to connect with the rim. However, that's not the case with disc brakes.
  4. Disc brakes perform well in almost all weather and are, therefore, reliable.

Because of the strength and power of a disc brake, we can expect them to be an essential component of mountain and hybrid bicycles as these bicycles are great for off-roading, and most off-roading bicycles are prone to wear and tear. Therefore, when going on an off-road bicycle, choose one with a disc brake. The Drago 26T is a powerful bicycle and the perfect mountain bike. This bicycle comes with fast and dynamic disc brakes, making it the perfect pick for all your off-roading plans. Now that we've learned about how disc brakes work and their advantages let's learn about the different types of disc brakes.

Types of disc brakes

Disc brakes can be divided into two main types:

  1. Mechanical Disc Brakes: Mechanical brakes are lighter on both cost and maintenance and use cables quite similar to rim brakes. These cables are used to activate the disc brakes placed on the wheel hubs. The cables are activated by the levers on the handlebars. We can adjust a mechanical disc brake by loosening the screw on the side of the caliper. We must find a small adjustment dial that can be adjusted till the calipers are centered and right above the rotor. We can then test the brakes.
  2. Hydraulic Disc Brakes: Instead of cables, a sealed line filled with hydraulic fluid is used. When the brake is applied by pressing on the levers at the handlebars, the fluid travels to the caliper, which results in the pads clamping upon the disc and lowering the speed of the cycle. To adjust a hydraulic brake, we have to locate two bolts sitting on the caliper sides and loosen them. We have to now squeeze the brake lever a few times till the rotor finds itself in the center. Once this happens, we can tighten the bolts, test the brakes and be good to go.

Care and Maintenance

Let's go over a few points that are crucial for keeping our disc brakes in top shape:

  1. Keep your rotors clean and free of any dust and grime.
  2. Replace the pads if they are worn or cannot be cleaned.
  3. Don't use harsh force on your rotors.

Apart from these points, we must understand that disc brakes are some of the most powerful and efficient brakes; they are easy and can adapt themselves to a variety of terrains. Ninety One Cycles understand this, and many of their bicycles flaunt powerful and dynamic disc brakes.

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