Read Seetoh Lang's road disc experience after 1 year with his Great Divide Disc

December 15, 2017

Great Divide Disc

Our Toronto dealer Blacksmith Cycle has published a long-term review by customer Seetoh Lang on his Great Divide Disc, and especially his experience with road disc brakes. We've posted an excerpt from that review below along with some of the post's great images. Be sure to check out Blacksmith's blog for the full review.

"When deciding on a new road bike a year ago, I was nervous about the idea of potentially switching brake systems. I’ve happily ridden thousands of miles on caliper rim brakes, and they’ve been tried and tested by riders for decades. But my experience with disc brakes on mountain bikes got me curious - how would the all-weather prowess of a hydraulic disc brake system translate on a road bike?

My curiosity got the better of me, and I got delivery on a No. 22 Great Divide Disc a few months ago. I’ve since ridden 4,000 km on it in various conditions - from group rides in tropical downpours, to solo descents in desert heat, to hating the weather in winter ice and snow. [Note: now Seetoh lives in Austria, so add the Dolomites to that list]

This is what my experience with disc brakes on a road bike has been so far.

Seetoh Great Divide Disc

THE DECISION:

First, there were the choices of which standards to go with. There were quite a few of them.

Wheel mount:

Quick Release / 12mm thru-axle / 15mm thru-axle

Brake caliper mount:

Flat mount / Post mount

Disc mount:

Centrelock / Bolt On

Rotor size:

140mm / 160mm

Cabling:

Hydraulic / Mechanical / Hybrid

Since disc brakes are relatively new in road biking, this is all a leap of faith. The industry hasn’t had enough time to settle on reliable standards yet, so my choice was based on weighing calculated risks.

Eventually, I went with the following: 12mm thru-axle, flat mount, 140mm, centrelock, and hydraulic.

Build-wise, this translated to Shimano ST-RS685 brakes and Shimano SM-RT99 Ice Tech Centrelock rotors, mounted to White Industries CLD hubs on No. 22’s Great Divide Disc 12mm thru-axle system.

Seetoh Great Divide Disc

THE RIDE: 

In good weather, these disc brakes have noticeably more power than my previous caliper brakes do, but it’s not out-of-this world different. As for modulation, these discs are definitely an upgrade, providing finer control of speed. The whole system is definitely an upgrade over rim brakes when the sun’s out, but not enough that I’d go screaming to the hills about it. Probably the biggest difference is being able to brake later into corners, which is an advantage in descents.

In rain, grit, mud, ice or sleet however, conditions that previously had me begging for my rim brakes to bite just don’t bother me anymore. They are incredible - the different between rim brakes and disc brakes in bad weather is absolutely significant. Bad weather has little effect on the modulation or stopping power of disc brakes.

Out on the road, this means I think less about braking. For example, if it’s raining on a descent, I don’t have to start braking earlier to clear water off my rim brake track, and I never wonder when my brake pads are going to bite. These brakes give me modulation or pure stopping power consistently everywhere, all the time.

As for the specifics, disc rub is quite rare on this system, which I am thankful for. They only squeal in very grimey conditions when the pads and rotors are in need of cleaning. When there is rub, the fix is usually really easy. I am relieved about this, as noise was one of my biggest trepidations when taking the leap. I did warp a disc from leaving the disc on the wheel when traveling, and have since learnt to take the discs off before the wheels go in a bike bag, which is very easy to do with centrelock."

Head on over to Blacksmith Cycle for the complete review.

Seetoh Great Divide Disc


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2019 Geometry Charts

Great Divide Rim Brake

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 495 510 525 545 560 580 600
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 445 462 490 518 540 565 590
Head tube length (mm) 85 95 115 135 155 175 195
Seat tube angle (deg) 75 74.5 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.5 71.0 71.2 72.2 72.5 73 73
Front center (mm) 567 574 584 586 594 609 623
Chain stay length (mm) 412 412 412 412 415 415 418
BB drop (mm) 78 78 75 75 75 73 73
Reach (mm) 365 364 369 378 382 397 405
Stack (mm) 508 520 536 560 582 599 618
Standover (700x28mm tires) 731 744 768 794 814 837 858

 

Great Divide Disc

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 495 510 525 545 560 580 600
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 445 462 490 518 540 565 590
Head tube length (mm) 85 95 115 135 155 175 195
Seat tube angle (deg) 75 74.5 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.5 71.0 71.2 72.2 72.5 73 73
Front center (mm) 567 574 584 586 594 609 623
Chain stay length (mm) 418 418 418 418 420 420 422
BB drop (mm) 78 78 75 75 75 73 73
Reach (mm) 356 364 369 378 382 397 405
Stack (mm) 508 520 536 560 580 599 619
Standover (700x28mm tires) 731 744 768 794 814 837 858

 

Drifter

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 502 510 526 545 560 575 595
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 460 478 503 520 535 552 577
Head tube length (mm) 105 115 130 150 165 185 205
Seat tube angle (deg) 74.5 74 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.5 70.5 70.8 71 71.2 71.2 71.5
Front center (mm) 572 576 589 603 612 627 640
Chain stay length (mm) 430 430 430 430 432 435 435
BB drop (mm) 73 73 73 72 70 70 70
Reach (mm) 353 353 365 374 379 389 398
Stack (mm) 529 538 553 572 585 604 624
Standover (700x38mm tires) 762 775 795 813 828 845 861

 

Drifter X

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 502 511 525 545 560 575 595
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 460 478 502 520 535 552 576
Head tube length (mm) 110 120 135 155 170 190 210
Seat tube angle (deg) 74.5 74 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.5 70.5 70.8 71 71.2 71.2 71.5
Front center (mm) 571 576 589 603 612 627 640
Chain stay length (mm) 427 427 427 427 430 432 432
BB drop (mm) 73 73 73 72 70 70 70
Reach (mm) 355 356 363 376 382 392 400
Stack (mm) 521 530 546 564 577 596 616
Standover (700x38mm tires) 758 772 790 809 824 842 863

 

Reactor

Size 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 515 530 545 565 580 595
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 456 475 496 514 545 568
Head tube length (mm) 100 120 140 160 190 210
Seat tube angle (deg) 74.5 74 74 73.2 73 73
Head tube angle (deg) 72 72 72.8 73.2 73.2 73.2
Front center (mm) 571 582 586 595 608 623
Chain stay length (mm) 410 410 412 412 415 415
BB drop (mm) 72 72 72 70 68 68
Reach (mm) 374 379 388 395 400 409
Stack (mm) 503 522 545 564 590 609
Standover (700x25mm tires) 739 757 779 800 829 850

 

Aurora

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 495 510 525 545 560 580 600
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 445 462 490 518 540 562 588
Head tube length (mm) 100 110 130 150 170 190 210
Seat tube angle (deg) 75 74.5 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.5 71 71.2 72.2 72.5 73 73
Front center (mm) 567 574 584 586 594 609 624
Chain stay length (mm) 415 415 415 418 418 418 420
BB drop (mm) 78 78 75 75 75 73 73
Reach (mm) 355 363 369 378 382 396 405
Stack (mm) 510 521 538 562 582 601 620
Standover (700x28mm tires) 731 745 770 795 814 838 859

 

Broken Arrow

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 505 510 525 545 560 575 590
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 467 490 510 532 548 567 590
Head tube length (mm) 90 100 120 140 150 160 180
Seat tube angle (deg) 74 74 73.5 73.3 73 72.5 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.8 70.8 71 71 71.3 71.5 72
Front center (mm) 565 571 580 599 609 622 627
Chain stay length (mm) 425 425 425 425 425 425 425
BB drop (mm) 68 68 68 68 66 66 64
Reach (mm) 352 355 359 372 382 393 397
Stack (mm) 524 533 553 572 580 591 610
Standover (700x32mm tires) 763 778 797 817 831 845 866

 

Little Wing

Size 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 515 525 540 555 575 595
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 477 499 524 552 575 595
Head tube length (mm) 100 120 140 160 180 200
Seat tube angle (deg) 75.5 75 74.5 74.5 74 74
Head tube angle (deg) 72.5 73 73 73.5 74 74
Front center (mm) 566 569 579 590 601 611
Chain stay length (mm) 393 393 393 396 396 396
BB drop (mm) 58 58 58 58 58 58
Reach (mm) 382 383 387 397 407 411
Stack (mm) 506 527 546 567 588 607
Standover (700x23mm tires) 765 785 806 830 851 870

 

Old King

Size Small Medium Large Extra Large
Effective top tube length (mm) 580 605 622 642
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 380 410 445 481
Head tube length (mm) 100 110 120 140
Seat tube angle (deg) 73.5 73.5 73.5 73.3
Head tube angle (deg) 70 70 70 70
Front center (mm) 655 680 698 719
Chain stay length (mm) 435 435 435 435
BB drop (mm) 58 58 58 58
Reach (mm) 401 423 437 451
Stack (mm) 599 609 619 637
Standover (29x2.3" tires) 799 816 838 863