Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am considering buying larger rotors for my bike. It currently has 160mm rotors and I wanted 203mm rotors. I mainly want them for looks, because big rotors look badass, right? :D

It is my understanding that a larger rotor does two things for you: Better leverage with the hub of the wheel and better heat dissipation due to a larger surface area. That's all fine and great, but I have noticed many bikes out there for sale and many person upgrades here are a larger front brake and a smaller rear brake. I do understand why there are larger and more efficient front brakes on a car than the rear, but I can't see this coming into play on a bicycle. I use my rear brake more often, and harder, than my front brake. This is logical for me because I don't want to go over my handlebars on a downhill stretch slamming on my front brake. Sure, I use it going down hills, but my back brake more. Why wouldn't people want to upgrade their back brake to a larger rotor instead of their front brake?

Just wondering. I plan on putting the 203's on both front and back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,600 Posts
First of all you are braking incorrectly. You should be using your front brake more than the rear as it has the most power. If you brake in straight lines, and have your weight shifted correctly you won't go over the bars.

So the fact that the front brakes are used most, coupled with the desire to save weight, people put a smaller rotor in back to save weight.

You can run 8"x8" and that will be fine if your frame and fork can clear an 8" rotor. I've got 8x8 on my DH bike.
 

·
wyrd bið ful ãræd
Joined
·
1,725 Posts
that is fine to have them at the same size ... just that you are only able to apply so much braking force to your rear before they lock up (assuming on level ground) even on steep descents you can quite easily lock the rear without too much lever force ...

when you actually apply the brakes and as you slow down your weight is transferred forward and so the rear will lock up easier and your front will be more effective and you actually use more of the front than the rear ...

you usually only see 203 F and R in DH bikes where they may use more of their brakes and you rightly pointed out they do cool a lot quicker ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for clearing that up. I guess I am braking incorrectly but it feels more comfortable to me. I am pretty new at serious biking, but hopefully I will learn new techniques. I'll have to try out shifting my weight while using the front brake more.

Still getting 203mm rotors, for coolness factor. (oh snap, that works on two levels!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,822 Posts
xocomaox said:
Thank you for clearing that up. I guess I am braking incorrectly but it feels more comfortable to me. I am pretty new at serious biking, but hopefully I will learn new techniques. I'll have to try out shifting my weight while using the front brake more.

Still getting 203mm rotors, for coolness factor. (oh snap, that works on two levels!)
on many bikes, there's not space for a 203 rotor on back, so check into that, as well as that your fork will support a 203.
 

·
ride like you stole it
Joined
·
680 Posts
If your not comfortable using only the front brake use both front and rear to get better braking power. As said before using the rear harder will tend to just lock it up instead of the good modulation you should be getting in the front.

P.S. Make sure the aggressiveness of your riding match's the 203mm rotor size your you'll just end up looking like a poser :D (jk)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was out on some trails Saturday and really tried using the front brake as much as possible. I ended up using both the front and back a lot, but it was noticeably better with more force on the front brake going down some of the hills. I'm gonna keep working on it, but it's a great tip!
 

·
Alien Surf Team
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
Maybe you're riding in reverse?

In all seriousness, on long downhills I'll use just the front for a while or just the rear for a while, but this is only under light to moderate braking. When I need to stop fast it's gonna be both. I'll usually put the rear on as hard as I can right on the verge of locking and then the front as required... or both as hard as I can and then the braking suction from my butt puckering in fear.
 

·
MTB Addict
Joined
·
830 Posts
I only use my rear in techy sections where I need to brake that wheel specifically. Otherwise, it's front only. When I've got the slicks on to bike somewhere on road, I barely if ever use the rear. Only once in a while in a very high speed turn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Rear brake is for turning, and the front is for stopping.

That said, I just upgraded to a 185 on the rear of my bike for better fade resistance than the 160 I had back there before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Razorfish said:
If you think this you're probably losing part of your ability to stop. While the front brake does most of the work it certainly doesn't do all of it.
I didn't say not to use the rear brake when stopping... I just said it's what the front brake is meant for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
RandyBoy said:
Must be a compensation thing... big 200mm sized rotors on a hard tail in Cleveland. You even have any vertical there to go down that you need brakes? Unless you are pushing 300 pounds?
If I wanted to overcompensate for something, I would have gotten a 29'er. :rolleyes:

As for Cleveland biking, yes, there are some nice hills in the Cuyahoga Valley, but it's pretty hard finding LEGAL trails here. There's nothing wrong with Ohio (except the snow and the rain).
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top