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I'm getting my first FS rig and the first one with disc brakes. I'm concerned about long steep downhills. I remember feeling like I couldn't really stop on my old hardtail which didn't even have vee brakes. The bike is being set up with the brakes now and I'm kinda anxious. I heard they're pretty extreme and you could endo if you don't watch out. Can you feather them, or hold steadly but lightly to control speed, or is it all or nothing?

Sorry for the lame question. I did a search on using disc but came up with nothing but purchase/maintenance threads. Any info site link would be appreciated.
 

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There's no app for this.
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good choice on the bike/brakes

OK, so when you get going too fast, just throw out the anchor and you'll be fine!

Seriously: your front brake does most of the work, you'll learn to feather/.modulate it so as to not have it lock or skid. The back is behind you, you'll learn the right amount of power for it over time too. Think of a 70/30 front-back braking ratio, roughly, if that helps.

On descents now, though, you will have the power to be in control. If I could say one thing....now you will forget all about brakes and learn to focus on the ride; your smile will widen. The move to discs is one of the most advantageous things you can do in upgrades for any bike. You'll love the control - it lets you ride with no stopping worries.

Just ride and learn, you'll do fine.

P.S. you'll get better answers in the Brakes forum rather than beginner's' forum, and this FAQ will help.

Jim MCM #11
 

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my buddy just got a new bike with disc brakes, he loves it, i'm gettin ready to upgrade my trek 4300 to disc because i see him sliding around turns and stuff, he has really good control, i wouldnt worry about it at all, we went down a HUGE hill today and he just held the back brake a little when he needed to slow down, they are awesome, my v's are pretty good, but nothing like his disc's
 

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Old man on a bike
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You'll likely be happy with the amount of increased control discs will provide you. Just don't grab too much front at a time, especially when your front wheel gets in the air (you want to keep it moving rather than landing with it locked up). You'll find the balance between front and rear fairly easily I think, it's not that much different except in terms of how effective your brakes are. Enjoy.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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If your main concern was performance on reeeeeeeeeally loooooong downhills....................

smile and sleep well tonight.

When you get to the bottom of your first long downhill using disc brakes, stop and listen real closely. That sound you hear is no longer your forearm veins throbbing and muscles screaming, it's your hands, fingers and forearms saying 'thank you, thank you, thank you'. :)
 

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A wheelist
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MTDirtGirl said:
I'm getting my first FS rig and the first one with disc brakes. I'm concerned about long steep downhills. I remember feeling like I couldn't really stop on my old hardtail which didn't even have vee brakes. The bike is being set up with the brakes now and I'm kinda anxious. I heard they're pretty extreme and you could endo if you don't watch out. Can you feather them, or hold steadly but lightly to control speed, or is it all or nothing?
Sorry for the lame question. I did a search on using disc but came up with nothing but purchase/maintenance threads. Any info site link would be appreciated.
You have NOTHING to be concerned about. Read our FAQ as buddy JimC says. Disc brakes work very much the same as rim brakes only for most people most of the time they do everything better and they do some things MUCH better.
 

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inner peace to make peace
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less endo on disk brakes

in general, should endo less on disk brakes then on v-brakes.
specifically, depends a lot on quality of brakes and rotor size.

specifically for me... i had:

V-brakes (Teckos, Avid Ti.)... worked fine...had my share of endos. got curious about disks, so i went with...

Hope Mini Mono with 6" rotor...worked great...improved modulation & control, confident stopping in winter rain, ran quieter then Vs, at about the same power as Vs when dry and as a bonus: i endo'd less often. over long descends, felt minor fade as heat build up. so i got greedy for more stopping power and got...

Hope Mono M4 with 8" rotor....say "hello" to endos again...with sooo much power on tap i had to re-learn being careful about squeezing off too much with one finger...always one finger now - carefully - or i'll blow stem valves (at the base) or do front wheel wheelie or front tire skid offs. them M4s are staying as long as i have to pay money to enter xc races.
 

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you won't endo

You won't do endo on disc brakes compare to V brakes. it is strange but true. I almost endo a few times on V-brakes. When I bought my Specialized stumpjumper 2003. I add on Deore V-brakes. It was more powerful than v-brakes and lower maintainance too.

Caution: when using any brakes, press the lever for rear brake first before pulling lever for front brake. That way you can be assured that you bike slow down first so you won't endo You must watch your bike speed if you are travel downhill. At this point , press lever for rear brakes first to prevent endo, then press front brakes.
 

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Less problems with discs

I have two bikes one with 8' disc's and one with V brakes, I think the initial scare is the increased stopping power, but as stated in other threads as long as you don't grab handfull you are fine, it takes a few hours (1-2) to set the disk in the rotors just as V breaks do, they might squell a little tell then, and after that you won't notice they are there other than the better stopping and water or mud does not affect them much because they are out of the way.
 

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Domestic Fowl
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MTDirtGirl said:
Wow, the BB7s are sweet. No noise at all. As usual though I start the rear brake first, just in case.
I've been using the Avid mechanicals pretty much since they came out. I love 'em. I first got the Hayes cable discs and couldn't get them to shut up. SQUEEEEEEEEL!!!!! I tried everything to no avail. More annoying than anything. The Hayes also required tools to adjust the pads.

Changed them out for the Avids and have never looked back. A great product.
 

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otbmbc.com
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One quick reply regardng newbies and discs...

When I made the switch to Discs, I was washing out left and right. As with any brake system, don't bite too hard on the front brakes when rounding a fireroad corner downhill. If its sandy over hardpack and you grip those front brakes to suddenly as you begin to corner, it will be lights out. Just ask my shoulder :eek:
 
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