Last time I looked in my local bike shop he had a board with about 20 pad types. That's one issue, and you don't need to be in outer Mongolia.
Simply find the pads you require on the net(I prefer sintered because they last a loonnngggg time in mucky weather),buy 4 sets for approx £20 or less.carry two spare pair on a loonnngggg tour and still have a pair left when you get back
.Not much heavier than V brake pads and don't wear anywhere near as quick.
Rubbing rotors is another of course. I've had a lot of problems with this and it's not easily cured (I've never managed it).
With a little patience they're easily trued up with an adjustable spanner(heavy to carry)or the correct tool for the job(lighter)by bending the rotor spokes a little.If a rotor gets bent beyond repair six bolts and the new one you've slid down the back of the pannier sorts it,plus you can pick up another spare at any MTB shop and they don't weigh much.
I agree if you like brake levers not to have much free play rotors do need to be spot on,and if the bike is to be thrown on top of far eastern buses by 'baggage handlers' there could be trouble,but for normal use they don't go out of true suddenly unless knocked,we have 203mm rotors on our Cannondale tandem and whilst I can't say I've never needed to true them up it is a rarity,probably no more than three time in 8 years.
One reason for curved - taper gauge forks on a touring bike is that the curve acts as a spring. It's exactly that area which is stiffened by the disk mount. I well remember the difference in ride between my old steel forks and my first pair of 531 forks. Is this significant on a touring bike with front panniers? Possibly - it depends whether the manufacturer specs fork blades/curves appropriately. I'm not a fan of low-riders with drilled forks to be honest.
Most lightweight steel tourers or Audax bikes do have lightweight springy forks but most touring bikes have lowrider mounts and as a result have a pretty stiff fork,the default tourers such as Galaxies and LHT's are stiff as a crutch,with not much give/spring.
So nothing lost IMHO,big supple tyres take care of the ride IME.
But yes you point out all the advantages, and they are perfectly valid, however I would say that they need to be qualified. Wet weather braking - no contest.
Yes they will run with an out-of-true wheel, but then any expedition cyclist will have a spoke-key and know how to use it and a wheel that can't be trued in 5 minutes with a key is probably shot anyway.
Some people go rigid with fear at the thought of a spoke key in their hands,but I take your point a practical cyclist will be able to true up a wheel.But if you've ever had a flat spot on a rim that negates the rim brake you haven't lived
though TBH that's a long shot.OTOH we've had a rim unzip in the middle of Holland once,made worse by the fact it was a 26inch 48 hole,no chance zipties are wonderful things at holding the tyre in place
Rim-wear - yes, but this is more theoretical advantage than a practical one as by the time the rim has worn through to the markers you are due a new rim anyway - you'll be getting into spoke-breakages, eyelet failure and so on.
In the right conditions rims can wear at an alarming rate,6k isn't unheard of.
Most rims wear because people don't clean their pads.
And most people don't clean their pads and rims or choose rim friendly pads.
Koolstops are a good buy IMo but don't improve wet weather braking much IME,BBB TriStops are great for all conditions but wear out fast in bad conditions.
My point is that discs have clear advantages - it's great that we have them as an alternative,
but also have disadvantages for the rider who wants a bullet-proof, easily fixed, long-distance tourer.
Not as bad or as many as some people would have us believe
The trouble is that as so often we are not given the choice - in the same way that we are forced from 7-speed (almost no dish) to 8 to 9 to 10 and soon 11 speeds by the manufacturers - it is they that dictate what we ride.
That's true in part,but discs were developed for MTB's because they're used in bad conditions,really bad conditions and used to wear out rims and pads at very alarming rates.Tourers are expected to perform in bad conditions though mostly not that bad,yer pays yer money as they say
And as a bit of thread drift, the way the industry has largely supplied bikes that their marketing department can sell to an ill-informed public, rather than what their engineers and testers think is best has blighted cycle design for 100 years and put many people off cycling altogether. I'm old enough to have had my first 'proper' bike as a steel framed 'racer' weighing 40 lbs that had gearing suited to Hinault not a 13 year-old child. Go to any CTC meet (or cyclepark) and have a good look at the stem position on the bikes there. At a guess 80% will be at their maximum height - I am never, NEVER asked to lower the handlebars on a hire bike - often asked if they can go higher. Now in the car industry, if Ford for example discovered that all their drivers had their seats at the maximum distance from the steering wheel and who complained that it didn't go back far enough do you think their response would be "oh but proper drivers should have their seats right forward"? But bikes with low handlebars look cool, and look like racing bikes, and most people buy with their eyes and by numbers...
I couldn't agree more,blame the pro racing influence
And don't get me started with */x##** Aheadsets...
Anyone spot that hobby-horse scud by?
It ain't the Ahead system,it's the length of the head tube and steerer tube which mostly are way too short for most people,but there are various stem angle/lengths available and steerer extenders if you really must
BTW most quill stems are a bu@@er to change,especially with drops.