In the 20th century, most bikes were installed with rim brakes. However, at the end of this century, with the rising of mountain bikes, people paid more attention to disc brakes. Nowadays, more and more bike manufactures prefer to use disc brakes rather than rim brakes. As upgrade products of bicycles, electric bikes have great potentials and have gradually become emerging products because of their convenience and labor-saving advantages. There are several kinds of e-bike brakes in the market, like rim, disc, coaster, and drum brakes. These brakes have their pros and cons. But for a majority of e-bikes, rim brakes and disc brakes are the best options. Therefore, I will introduce the differences between rim and disc brakes so that customers know which one is the most suitable for their electric bikes.

All e-bike brakes are used for pushing a friction-creating brake pad against a braking surface on the revolving wheel through the hand-operated lever. The more force presses on the brake lever, the greater the friction creates. It relies on the tires' grip to slow down the e-bikes. Although rim brakes and disc brakes install in different parts of the e-bikes' wheels, their brake principles are similar.

For rim brakes, it stops the electric bikes by squeezing two opposing brake pads on the rim of the bikes' wheels. While disc brakes focus forces on a rotor that situates on the center of the wheels. Since the disc brake has better performance, especially on descents, it gradually occupies most of the market share and surpasses the market share of the rim discs.

Disc brakes have many advantages: 

Firstly, it works in any weather. Because of the location of the disc rotor and the protected caliper, disc brakes can get rid of the impact of bad weather. On the contrary, the performance of the rim brakes is affected by the weather. On a rainy day, the brake pad will get wet and it would not be easy to create enough friction to stop the bikes so there will be a second delay before the riders to operate the brake lever to decelerate the e-bikes.

Secondly, it is labor-saving. Disc brakes have a wonderful stopping power on halting the bikes. Users can use less force on the hand-operated lever to stop their electric bikes. In this way, they can reduce their muscle fatigue and have a more comfortable riding experience. Also, the disc brake power can be adjusted. For people with heavier weight or people who prefer to ride a large e-bike, they should buy a larger rotor to increase their brake power.

Thirdly, it is more reliable, typically in the performance of control. It will be more consistent when riders pull on a disc brake level than pulling on rim brakes.

Sometimes, even when you use the same strength to work on a rim brake, you will get a different stopping effect. But if you do the same power on disc brakes, you can get the expected result, which is safer for riders.

Concerning the disc brake, it can be classified into two types: mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes. These two brakes are both feature pistons that push either one or both pads onto the rotor and they both have the advantages mentioned above. However, the difference between them is the way that the lever force is transferred to the caliper and brake rotor.

Regarding mechanical disc brakes, it pushes force which is generated by pressing the brake lever to tighten the wire that connects the brake lever and the caliper and it acts on the brake caliper. The brake pads can stop the disc and stop the e-bikes. There are several advantages to use mechanical discs. On the one hand, it is easy to adjust and maintain. Just by using some conventional repair tools, you can repair these brakes by yourself. The process of repair is simple, and in most cases, users don't have to take their e-bikes to professional repair shops.

On the other hand, the price of an e-bike with a mechanical disc brake will be cheaper than that of a hydraulic one. It would be affordable for many people, especially for the one who is limited in the budget. Regarding the hydraulic brake, it has fluid-filled brake lines and it has a small hydraulic oil tank on the brake lever to store mineral oil. With this oil, this brake can offer a smoother performance than any other brake system. However, electric bikes with hydraulic like are quite expensive and their repair process is complicated. It is hard for riders to repair it by themselves. Hence, for ordinary e-bike users, a mechanical disc brake is the most cost-effective option.

The braking system is one of the most necessary parts for our electric bikes. It relates to our cycling experience, and more importantly, it relates to our life safety. Without an excellent brake system, it is easy to cause a traffic accident. Hence, once you consider purchasing an electric bike, please pay more attention to the brakes. Find out more information on e-bikes, visit

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