Over to you: Is 2017 the year rim brakes finally become extinct?

Is the end nigh for the humble caliper brake?

Ahh, disc brakes on road bikes. Has there been a more hotly debated topic on BikeRadar in the last few years?

If you take the comments sections on here and our YouTube channel as a litmus test of what most riles commenters it’s pretty clear that a lot of people have some very strong opinions about disc brakes on bendy barred bikes.

Battled out with the ferocity of a celebrity Twitter feud, it regularly strikes me as quite remarkable just how passionate people get about the subject of what makes you stop on a road bike.

Disc brakes are increasingly becoming the norm for road bikes — does this fill you with hateful rage?
Disc brakes are increasingly becoming the norm for road bikes — does this fill you with hateful rage?

The arguments are almost always the same. Those firmly in the pro-rotor camp praise the increased power, modulation, clearances and reliability that disc brakes afford.

Rim brakes allow for sleek integration that disc brakes just can't achieve — does this matter to you?
Rim brakes allow for sleek integration that disc brakes just can't achieve — does this matter to you?

While detractors cite the increased weight, complexity, aerodynamic drag, and yes, even though it’s deeply subjective, slightly lumpen looks of disc brakes as reason to stick with good ol’ rim brakes.

(And before anyone jumps in the comments with it, yes, we all know that you can lock up your wheel with your rim brakes, but that means nothing)

But the merciless, crushing wheel of progress rolls forward ever more and resistance is futile — the humble rim brake is becoming increasingly marginalised with each new range launch.

Heck, just yesterday, Canyon launched its new road range for 2017, and while rim brakes still make an appearance, the big news of the day was that every bike in the line will be available with discs.

So is 2017 going to be the year that the bell doth finally toll for the rim brake?

I’m not suggesting that they will go away forever — there’s probably someone out there that still insists on using toe straps and downtube shifters — but is this the year that we reach a watershed moment when the disc brake becomes dominant? Will you welcome this move with open arms or will the 'big-brake’ conspirators have to pry your dual-pivot calipers out of your hands?

As always, please leave us your thoughts in the comments below. We know disc brakes on road bikes invoke vicious passions, so please keep it civil folks. 

Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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