Disc brakes have been prevalent in the off-road world for years, but their emergence on the road bike scene is a much newer phenomenon.
That said, disc brakes are making themselves at home on the road, and Evans Cycles are now stocking a wide range of 2014 road bikes sporting shiny disc brakes.
Disc brakes have superior stopping power, and they are less affected by wet weather, unlike caliper or cantilever brakes which are traditionally at home on the road.
Incorporating a disc brake as opposed to a caliper or cantilever brake also means that the braking surface is taken away from the rim, thus eliminating issues of rim wear, through dirt or grit becoming trapped between brake pad and rim.
One criticism of disc brakes is that they add weight to the bike. However, taking the braking surface away from the rim means that rims can be lighter and stronger.
All that said, disc brakes aren’t featuring in the pro peloton this year. This is unusual, because usually technology filters down from the top end, reaching the mass market much later.
The UCI, cycling’s governing body, are not allowing disc brakes for a number of reasons. Firstly, this would mean riders with disc wheels would have a greater stopping power than those without, resulting in possible pile ups, and they are also concerned about the sharp edges of disc brakes making crashes more dangerous.
New road bike models with disc brakes give the rest of us the chance to have something the pros can’t, and Evans Cycles have stocked a wide range of road bikes with disc brakes for 2014.
The Specialized Roubaix Disc road bikes have been created with the endurance rider in mind. The Roubaix is for the cyclist who will ride whatever the weather, and disc brakes contribute towards this aim by providing greater stopping power, even in the wet.
The Specialized Roubaix SL4 Expert Disc uses a hydraulic disc brake, and also features Shimano Di2 shifting, making it a perfect companion for long, tough rides where you need the bike to work hard. This bike comes in at £4,500, but for £1,500 you can pick up a Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc with mechanical discs and a Shimano Sora groupset.
Cyclocross bikes have been using disc brakes for some time, with models such as the Pinnacle Arkose catering for muddy conditions with strong brakes that don’t suffer from mud clogging. For 2014, Pinnacle features the Arkose Two 2014 Cyclocross bike at £900, which uses a fully hydraulic brake. The use of the hydraulic brake means the system is fully sealed, and therefore mud, grit and moisture can’t get into the cable housing, as can happen on cable or mechanical disc brakes.
Another great new disc brake option is the Fuji Sportif Disc. Starting from £750, this range is perfect for someone looking for a traditional road bike, with the addition of powerful disc brakes. All three bikes in the range feature a mechanical disc brake, aluminium frames with carbon fork and Shimano components.