Downhill Mountain Bikes – Brakes

Downhill mountain bikes generally have disc brakes, which have many advantages and a few disadvantages over rim brakes.

The main advantage with disc brakes is their distance to the ground.  Sitting close to the axle, they are less susceptible to picking up dirt, mud, and other debris.  These particles can lodge themselves in between the pads and braking surface, decreasing braking power.  The disc itself contains many holes, allowing debris to escape which provides a cleaner contact with the pad.  With a rim brake, the wheel serves a dual purpose, to hold the tire in place and provide a braking surface.  A disc brake, serving a single purpose, which is to stop the bike, can be made with a harder material than would otherwise be possible.

disc brake Downhill Mountain Bikes   Brakes rim brakes Downhill Mountain Bikes   Brakes
disc brakes rim brakes

Disadvantages are that disc brakes are heavier than their rim counterparts, and the breaking force transmitted from the disc to the rim travels through the wheel spokes.  This adds stress to the wheel assembly.

boneburner350 Downhill Mountain Bikes   Brakes
The “Bone Burner” bicycle rotor

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