Yes, I believe that in some circumstances disc brakes may offer somewhat better performance than rim brakes (in extremely wet or muddy conditions, for instance) -- but I do not believe that those benefits necessarily come without drawbacks. And there ARE drawbacks. New is not always better. Performance gains are sometimes offset by negatives. I wouldn't be a Retrogrouch if I didn't stand by that.
|SRAM hydraulic brakes: recalled|
TRP Disc Brake Recall
Shimano Disc Brake Recall
Magura Hydraulic Brake Recall
SRAM Hydraulic Brake Recall
In the cases with the hydraulic systems, the recalls are due to the fact that the brakes can fail in extreme cold conditions. According to SRAM, "In these conditions the master cylinder seals failed to hold pressure resulting in abrupt loss of brake power, and an inability to stop the bike."
|TRP disc brakes: recalled|
If you're reading a blog called The Retrogrouch, you probably aren't affected by any of the above-listed recalls. But if you have some riding buddies who have these systems, tell them to contact their dealers and see what they need to do. And if they're really good friends, maybe let them borrow a Retro-grouchy bike so they can keep riding until it all gets sorted out.
I hope this post doesn't come across as gloating -- that's really not my intent at all. Loss of braking is a serious issue. But it does help underline my point that bicycles are really at their best when they are simple machines, and there are real benefits in proven technology. Adding complexity to a bicycle doesn't really improve it, and only takes away from the machine's real virtues.