I’ll get it out of the way from the start — yes, I know I’m beating a dead horse.
The ol’ rim vs disc brake ‘debate’ is trivial at best and we’ve discussed the merits of each system in roughly a zillion other articles on this site — in fact, Matthew Allen previously penned a piece that covered almost exactly what I’m going to discuss here.
So why am I here, taking on this debate once again? Am I just a masochistic brake-troll who finds pleasure in arguing with people about bikes over the internet?
Absolutely not. There will be no negativity here. Instead, this is a sweet, whispered reassurance into the ears of the many who don’t want to adopt disc brakes just yet – rim brakes are here to stay and they’re getting better.
I was lucky enough to spend a month or so riding the new Ultegra R8000 brakes and can confirm that they’re absolutely excellent. Is that not proof enough that rim brakes aren’t going to disappear any time soon?Jack Luke / Immediate Media
I was recently lucky enough to spend a few weeks riding the new Shimano Ultegra groupset and the highlight of the package is undoubtedly the BR-R8000 brakes — the level of modulation and power that these brakes offer is astounding and presents a significant improvement over the previous generation. If rim brakes were an outgoing technology, then why would Shimano spend so much time and resources developing them?
Likewise, there’s not exactly a shortage of new bikes that use rim brakes being released.
Pinarello held out for a long time, but now offers the F10 with discsPinarello
Nearly every large manufacturer has a rim and disc brake version of their best selling road bikes (yes, there are exceptions) as it would make no financial sense to alienate a huge portion of their potential buyers who perhaps don’t want a disc bike.
Looking outside of the mainstream, lots of smaller manufacturers are still developing and refining all manner of brake designs.
Paul Components produces a wild array of super high quality, slightly left field brakesPaul Components
Paul Components is a good example, selling no fewer than four designs of cantilever brakes and two different centre-pull brakes. When was the last time that you even saw a high quality centre-pull brake in the wild?
Compass has been refining the designs of Mafac for years nowCompass Cycles
Look, this guy doesn’t like disc brakes either — you’re not aloneMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
So this is my request to our dear readers; before you go full keyboard warrior and think about throwing shade at the industry for forgetting the not-so-poor-ol’-as-it-turns-out rim brake, remember that you’re not alone in your love for the ol’ rim squidger.
Rim brake technology is in good health, and while they may lose some ground to discs in years to come, they’ll always have a place in our hearts.