Aerodynamic Test: Disc Brakes vs. Rim Brakes

Many people have experienced how great disc brakes are, while others still have a lot of questions about them. A big question is how aero disc brakes are.

This video will test one disc brake and one rim brake to see what the difference actually is. The frames of the bikes tested will be the same, with the only major differences being the brakes, the hoods, and the rims.

Rim Brake

Like every other test done in here, we try and keep everything that we are not testing equal. In this case, with the wind head on, there was actually no difference between the two set ups.

Disc Brake

When a crosswind was introduced, we started to see a little bit of a difference. Over our standard 40km distance, we saw that the disc brakes were about 8 seconds slower than rim brakes.

With a crosswind, rim brake wins slightly

Some people may be surprised by how close the disc and rim brakes were actually, but when looking straight on at the bike you can see there is little in terms of different exposures. When a little bit of a crosswind is introduced right on the disc brakes, they slow down a little bit. However, if you are doing rides with a lot of descending or tight corners, that little bit of extra confidence the disc brakes will provided may help wipe out those 8 seconds over the 40 km. So really it is the whole package and not just the aero you should worry about.