Disc brake vs. rim brakes, which one is better?


 There are four types of bike brakes: rim, disc, coaster or drum brakes. On a majority of bicycles today, though, you’ll find either rim brakes or disc brakes.

Disc brakes and rim brakes get their name from where the braking force is applied. Disc brakes are what we see on many cars, motorcycles, and trucks. And they use the braking force to a disc mounted on the wheel hub. However, rim brakes apply braking pressure directly to the wheel's rim.

Factors to consider when choosing brakes

Stopping Power

Brakes have one primary purpose: to slow the rider down, which is affected by weather conditions, user weight, braking duration, and usage. And heat is another significant factor in braking because the hotter the brakes are, the less effective they will be. It is a phenomenon, which is ‘brake fade’. However, it is a problem, especially on long descents where the rider will be using the brakes for extended periods. As a result, heat dissipation has been at the forefront of brake innovation in recent years.

Heat dissipation is the strength of disc brakes. Disc brakes take braking force and heat away from the rim and redistribute it to a less problematic location, the rotor. From brake pads with specific cooling fins to disc rotors with large cutouts to increase surface area, disc brakes can integrate many designs to reduce heat, improve performance and reduce the risk of rotor burnout. However, there are rim heating issues for rim brakes, which weakens the braking effect.

Therefore, disc brake is a better choice for better stopping power.

Wet Weather Performance

Discs have a higher clamping force. In detail, because the rotor is small, the caliper has to squeeze the rotors harder than the rim brakes. As a result, the water will be scraped off the rotor when riding in the rain. So, disc rotors are less susceptible to external contamination from rain and water and clear dirt faster. Of course, the best rim brakes also have enough power to provide outstanding wet-weather performance, but when it comes to disc brakes, even the relatively inexpensive models will work well in the rain.


Disc brakes are notoriously difficult to repair. Bleeding hydraulic disc brakes isn't difficult like other discs. But it requires more of a home mechanic than a simple rim brake cable adjustment. With a workbench and the right amount of tools, disc brke home repair can be manageable. It is possible, but it would be a challenge. However, there is little play between the spacer and the rotor, so even the slightest wobble in the disc can create a lot of noise if the rider doesn't adjust it correctly.

Rim brakes, however, are a home mechanic's best friend. Are the pads worn out? No worries - loosen the grub screws, pop them out, put new ones in, and you're done.

Therefore, Rim brakes are simpler and less expensive to maintain because disc brakes require routine maintenance on a more rigorous schedule.

Component Lifespan & Cost

Component life is a factor that affects overall cost and sustainability. As the name suggests, rim brakes contact the braking surface of the wheel. Over time, this braking surface wears out and eventually needs to be replaced. Wheels can be rebuilt with new rims or wholly replaced. However, the disc brake pads are in contact with the disc rotor, which can replace the entire rim simply instead of the wheel when the disc rotor wears out. For this reason, disc brake wheels will generally last longer than rim brake wheels when combined with quality hubs, and while not necessarily cheaper, they can reduce waste and give you more bang for your buck.

Comparison Conclusion

Considering the better stopping power, better performance on rainy days, and longer component lifespan, disc brakes are an excellent choice, but their maintenance process is complicated.

E-bikes With Disc Brakes

Breeze Rider Ebike aims to provide the most valuable e-bikes for riders with a safe and smooth ride. And more importantly, it brings everyone the impulse, fearlessness, passion, freedom, and pure and sincere friendship of youth.

There is one fat tire electric bike from Breeze Rider Ebike. And it has disc brakes with a hydraulic suspension system, which ensures powerful braking force and smoothness, allowing you to stop quickly and stably.  

electric bike

Besides, the three electric bikes of BRE H9, BRE E300O, and BRE E300B also have disc brakes to make you have a safe and excellent cycling trip on any occasion. If you want to go on a long-distance cycling trip, you can choose BRE E300O, a long-range electric bike. If you're going to adventure in the mountains or the jungle, you can select BRE H9, a fat-tire electric bike with a front and rear suspension system. Finally, if you want to experience a modern city trip, BRE E300B is proper for you due to its fashionable design.

long-range electric bike

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