Carbon Road Wheels Disc Brake VS Rim Brake


Since disc brake bikes are allowed to be used in UCI racing, disc brake has been the mainstream in the market.

Some riders may doubt, should I go for disc brake or stick with rim brake?

To answer this question, let’s compare the advantage and disadvantage between rim brake and disc brake carbon wheel.

Generally, the main difference between disc brake and rim brake is where the force is applied.

In disc brake system, disc rotors are mounted to the hub (either 6-bolt or center lock), and calipers are mounted to frame (on chainstay) and fork (near bottom).

During braking, the force is transferred to the brake caliper and it squeezes rotor to stop the hub attached to it rotating.

In rim brake system, brake calipers are normally mounted to the seat stay (or under bottom bracket) of frame, and near the top of fork.

During braking, the force is transferred to the brake caliper and it squeezes brake track of the rim to stop its rotation.

Advantages of disc brake:

- More friendly to the rim and is safer for long descents use.

During braking, calipers do not contact rim directly,

do not heat the rim and will not cause “burning rim” issue

which is a pain point of rim brake.

- Offering greater stopping power.

- Better performance in wet condition.

- Less wheel lockup issue during braking.

- Not affect tire width choosing.

- With different rotor sizes optional to get different braking power.

Disadvantages of disc brake:

- Relatively higher cost (compare same level groupset).

- Relatively more complicated for assembly and maintenance.

- A bit heavier weight (considering rotor added).


Advantages of rim brake:

- Relatively lower cost (compare same level groupset).

- Easier for assembly and maintenance.

- A bit more aerodynamics, and lighter weight (no rotors).

Disadvantages of rim brake:

- Rims are worn out easier (pads friction brake track of rims).

- In case brake track is not high TG or improper use in long descents,
“burning rim” issue may occur which will damage the rim and

may cause danger to the rider.

- Less stop powering.

- Performance is weakened in wet condition.

- Higher possibility of wheel lockup issue.

- Caliper would limit the choice of wider tires.

Considering disc brake has much more advantages and less disadvantages compared to rim brake, when you are ready to build a new bike, disc brake is recommended.

XTONE supplies many options of carbon disc wheelset, built with DT Swiss 180, 240, 350 hubs, as well as XTONE own mould RD02 hubs and Powerway hubs.

More details can be found on XTONEBIKE website.