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The disc brake - Best braking performance in all weather conditions

Your gaze follows the trail, which winds beautifully into the valley with wide curves. It's good to know that you can trust your bicycle brakes  completely. If you expect maximum braking performance, regardless of the weather or outside influences, you can't go past a disc brake 

What makes a good disc brake?

It's not just the downhiller who has appreciated the benefits of a disc brake for many years, but also the cross-country rider, cross-biker and touring rider. Loaded with heavy luggage, steep or long descents are a particular challenge for the rider and the brakes. This is one reason why touring bikes are increasingly equipped with disc brakes from the factory. In addition to the high braking power, the brakes convince with a very good dosing and a constant braking power. Also the heat development of the brake discs is kept as low as possible by cooling lamellas, in order to always allow optimal braking performance. 

What to look out for when buying a disc brake?

Mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes for the bike

Most mountain bikes are equipped with disc brakes. These have more braking power than the ordinary rim brakes. There are two main differences in disc brakes. There are hydraulic as well as mechanical brake systems. A hydraulic disc brake for the bicycle is powered by mineral oil or DOT brake fluid. These systems can withstand even the most extreme conditions and thus represent the optimum in a bicycle brake. 

As the name suggests, the mechanical disc brake is triggered mechanically. This is done by a cable similar to a gear shift or even the rim brake. The big advantage of such a brake is the low maintenance. With such a cable you have few problems. However, the force you have to apply for braking is much higher compared to a hydraulic disc brake. Such a brake is operated by a hydraulic oil or brake fluid.

Size matters

With the size of the brake disc you can decisively influence the braking performance. Light XC bikes usually use 160 mm brake discs and enduro bikes 180 mm. Downhill and freeride bikes use brake discs with a diameter of 200 mm because of the higher load. Please note that the use of a larger brake disc must be approved by the manufacturer of the fork and you will need appropriate adapters to mount your calipers.

Brake discs are not only a guarantee for safety and controlled, finely dosed braking. Brake discs are also a popular tuning accessory on bikes. There are discs in a wide variety of shapes and colors. Of course, when buying a new disc, the focus should not only be on the good looks, but especially the brake performance. Therefore you have to consider in advance where your brake will be used. Do you use your trekking bike more in the city and usually have short intensive braking distances or are you planning an alpine tour where a too small brake disc will quickly start to glow. We offer brake discs in the right size with diameters ranging from 140 mm to 205 mm. You should also pay attention to the disc mount of your brake system. There are three different standards: 4-hole, Centerlock and IS2000 6-hole. The three systems are usually easy to distinguish from each other. As the names suggest, you only have to count the inner holes through which the disc is screwed to the hub. It is important to follow the instructions of the fork manufacturer. In the corresponding manual you will find hints up to which size a brake disc may be retrofitted.

Which brake fluid for the hydraulic disc brake is the right one?

DOT or mineral oil is used to transfer power from the brake lever to the brake pistons on most hydraulic disc brakes. There are the following differences in these brake fluids: 

With DOT, there are three different versions DOT3, DOT4 and DOT5. They consist of two different bases. While DOT5 uses silicone oil, the base of DOT3, DOT4 and DOT5.1 consists of glycol ether. Here the difference is mainly in the boiling point and viscosity. Since DOT can mix with water, it has a much higher boiling point than mineral oil. Mineral oil, on the other hand, does not mix with water, which means that it starts to boil in the brake line at 100°C and the so-called fading increases. This means that the brake has a loss of pressure point and the risk increases. The disadvantage of mineral oil is at the same time the advantage. Since it does not mix with water, the quality remains constant. DOT, on the other hand, should be replaced once a year to ensure optimal brake performance.

The most important questions in brief:

  • Which braking system do I want? Hydraulic or mechanical?
  • How big should my brake disc be?
  • Which mounting standard do I need?
  • Which brake fluid does my brake system need?

In our shop you will find not only complete brake kits, but also accessories such as Adapterbleeder kits, special screws or brake pads for disc brakes. So we offer you the all-round carefree package for your new disc brake.