Road Disc Calipers
Brakes are arguably one of the most important facets of any bicycle. Going faster is nice and all, but stopping quickly and controlled must be equally as important. When it comes to road bikes, disc calipers have taken the road world by storm. Disc brakes offer better modulation and work better when it comes to wet weather and dusty conditions. Mountain bikes use almost nothing but disc brakes, so why not road bikes too? Road disc calipers come in two primary types: mechanical and hydraulic.
Mechanical disc calipers, or cable actuated disc calipers, are the easiest and often lesser expensive to set up when you’re building a dream bike. These calipers are compatible with regular road levers so you can use your SRAM, Shimano, and Campagnolo levers that use cables. While not as strong as hydraulic disc brakes, these brakes require no bleeding, but will require minor cable adjustments every so often.
Hydraulic disc calipers require special road brake levers that have a built-in reservoir with hydraulic fluid inside. Hydraulic disc calipers are also often brand specific. This means if you have SRAM levers, you should also have SRAM calipers. These types of brakes are often more powerful than their mechanical counterparts but will require bleeding every so often. That means you need to replace the hydraulic fluid inside the brake line. Hydraulic disc calipers for road bikes come in two mounting types: post mount and flat mount. Post mount brakes mount to, well… posts. These posts protrude from the fork and frame and, much like mountain bikes, are 74mm apart. Flat mount brakes are becoming the standard with newer road bikes due to the cleaner look and being lighter weight. These calipers sit flush against the fork and frame and use countersunk M5 bolts. You can mix flat mount and post mount calipers with each other with brake adapters, although it might not look as nice.
Here at Jenson USA, we’re all about having the best brakes on our mountain, cyclocross, gravel, and road bikes. If you’re looking for the best advice from experienced cyclists, just ask our Gear Advisors. Chat, email, or call at 951-234-7554.