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Rim brakes and disc brakes

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There are two different types of brakes for e-bikes: rim brake and disc brake. The rim brake was applied for the e-bikes since it came into the cycle market. But with the development of e-bikes and the upgrade of cycle components, more manufactures are outfitting another type of brakes with their e-bikes, the disc brake. With the application of the disc brake, some questions about these two brakes also arise more attention and interest among cyclists. In general, when it comes to the different types of the same attribute item, we will explore their features and then choose the suitable one to put into use.

Thus, in this article, we will discuss some features and details about these two different brakes to help cyclists learn more information and select one which suits them.

electric bike

1, the differences between these two brakes

The brake is the most important part that makes us cycling safe and guarantees our cycling distance longer. All brakes work by a pad against the wheel surface to increase the friction and then stop the e-bike or reduce its speed. However, since these are two different types of brakes, their obvious difference is where their braking force is applied. For traditional rim brakes, the braking force is generated by the friction between the outer edge of the rim itself and the braking pad. Whereas, the disc braking force is applied by a rotor in the middle of the wheel. Another difference between them is how to activate these two brakes. With a rim brake, we can activate it with the cable system which squeezes the calipers on the rim. As for the disc brake, on the other hand, there are usually two different types of it: mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes work with the fluid pressure which builds when we are braking, causing pistons inside the calipers toward the rotor. The friction that generated is the origin of the stopping power. As for the mechanical disc brake system, it is also activated with a cable system.

ebike disc brake

2, The advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of rim brakes

Weight: it is lighter than the disc brakes. If you are seeking for a light electric bike, the you can choose one equipped with a rim brake, you will save your weight about 1 pound.

Aerodynamic: there are no calipers and rotors causing extra drag when you are riding especially on flat or downhill sections.

Easy to operate: rim brakes are usually easier to maintain, repair, and install for average riders. Rim brake parts and operation are elementary, and it does not require senior skills to handle it.

Cheap: rim brakes are usually cost you less.

Advantage of disc brakes

Power: disc brakes usually offer more stopping power when you tend to stop your bike or reduce the speed. With its help, there is no delay when you are operating the brake.

Friendly to rims: disc brakes usually cause less even no damage to the e-bike rims. The disc brakes are mounted on the middle of the wheel and there are no connections between the brakes and rims, so you do not have to worry about the rims wear.

Reliable in wet weather: disc brakes usually perform better in bad weather like rainy weather. Their self-contained position and superb stopping power are generally protected your e-bike from wet conditions or push you in a dangerous dilemma.

Wider tires: disc brakes usually require less on the size of tires because of their position on the e-bikes. Thus the disc brake will be the ideal choice for the mountain cyclist.

 

Disadvantages of rim brakes

Weaker in weather: rim brakes cannot work as well in wet weather, and it may cause a slip when you brake and may cause dangerous conditions for riders.

Rim wear: rim brakes result in more damages to the e-bikes rim and brake pads. Due to the position and the force origin, rim brakes cause more damage or wear to the rims surface.

Power: rim brakes apply less stopping power especially when you downhill.

Limited wheel or tire sizes: rim brakes have more requirements for the size of tires. 

Disadvantages of disc brakes

Expensive and heavier: with the rotors and calipers, disc brakes are more expensive and heavier than rim brakes.

Less aerodynamic: disc brakes are less aerodynamic. The calipers and discs create more wind resistance.

Difficult to maintain: disc brakes are usually more complicated to maintain and adjust because of the brake components.

 

3, tips of selecting brakes

As time goes by, the disc brakes are more popular among cyclists and the trend tends to the disc brake, too. It becomes commonplace on the e-bike market, and when cyclists select their e-bikes they will purchase one equipped with disc brakes. However, it is not a wise decision to choose the brakes just depend on the popularity of the brakes or the market trends. Then, how should we select the brakes? Here are some tips for you.

First, we need to make clear our exact demand of using an e-bike. For instance, if you are a senior cyclist and you prefer to seek thrill and fun with a mountain bike, then the disc brake can be your first choice. When you ride the mountain bike, the disc brake can make your cycling safer with the superb stopping power, and it can guarantee you to ride through the harsh weather as well as the tougher terrain. Once you brake, it will have no delay to stop your e-bike. Most important, the disc brake requires little of the tires sized, so you have more alternative to choose the mountain e-bike with wider tires to keep the balance. With this disc brake, you can ride with a peace of minding.

Second, if you are a casual or average rider, and most of the time you ride your e-bike to commute, to take some errands, to have a weekend riding with your family or friends, then you can choose the rim brake. What’s more, the rim brakes is lighter than the disc brake because there is no extra weight comes with the calipers from disc brake, then you can ride and store it easier. Last, the rim brake is generally easier to install and maintain, even though there is any defectives with the brake, you can also fix it with the reference of the user manual.

Third, when it comes to purchase any items, cost would be the first factor that we must consider. From the above introduction, we know the disc brakes are costly than the rim brakes. After we are cleared to our exact demand of using an e-bike, then choose a brake according to our economic strength is the next important thing. Remember that do not purchase it to exceed our economic strength or our factual need, especially when you realized that you do not need expensive brakes for your e-bike use after you ride it.

 

4, Conclusion

Even though you do not make sure which type of brakes is your best choice, the most crucial thing for you to ride an e-bike is installing a brake and check to protect it from damage. All we know that the brake is an indispensable part of your e-bikes, then you need to learn some fundamental information about it and keep it in your mind. Comparing their pros and cons, select one and install it in your e-bike. Also, do not forget to do the general or regular maintenance for the brakes.

 

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