Should I Buy a Mountain Bike With Disc Brakes or Rim Brakes?

Before buying a Mountain Bike you should decide whether to choose disc brakes or rim brakes – this is an important decision!

There are a lot of options that face you when you decide to enter the sport of mountain biking. First, you have to decide what kind of mountain bike to buy. Secondly, you have to decide what kind of mountain biker you will be. But one of the biggest choices you face is whether to choose disc brakes or rim brakes for your mountain bike.

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Should I Buy a Mountain Bike With Disc Brakes or Rim Brakes? | MTB Lab

There are two main schools of thought on this: One group of mountain bike riders says you should always go with disc brakes. That’s because these brakes are more responsive. They offer a more consistent performance.

There is a second group of mountain bike enthusiast, though, that recommends you go with rim brakes. That’s because rim brakes are not as bulky as disc brakes, and give you a lighter mountain bike as a result. Rim brakes are also less expensive. On the down side, rim brakes do sometimes suffer from small variances in braking performance.

Rim brakes will generally perform poorly in wet or muddy conditions. It’s not wise, then, to hop on your mountain bike for a quick ride after a rain shower. Rim brakes can also be potentially harmful to your mountain wheels. Over time, rim brakes can wear right the side of the wheel rims.

On the other hand, disc brakes will provide consistent, steady performance no matter what conditions mountain bikes face. Even on a wet, muddy track, disc brakes will bring mountain bikes to smooth and steady stops. Mountain bikers also have to apply less force to make their disc brakes work. It’s little wonder that mountain biking pros prefer to rely on disc brakes rather than rim brakes.

If you’re on a limited budget, though, you may have no choice but to go with rim brakes. Disc brakes are usually costlier than are rim brakes. You’ll have to balance the pluses and the negatives, and then determine if your budget can afford the more effective disc brakes. Note that sometimes rim brakes are called v-brakes by some manufacturers.

It’s wise to talk to any mountain biker’s fans that you know or visit a knowledgeable dealer. They can often provide you with their own recommendations on what type of brakes they prefer.

You can also seek the advice of the owner or employees at your local mountain bike shop. Many of them are undoubtedly avid mountain bikers; they can give you their own opinions on whether rim brakes or disc brakes are the best choice.

Personally I would recommend that you always get disc brakes if you can afford them. That’s what I use and I would never go back to rim brakes.

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