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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so my wife and i both have entry level specialized mtn bikes which have the standard brakes w/pads. for our first time we had the bikes caked in mud, the tires looked about 3 inches wider, it was thick clay crap, and needless the say the brakes were almost useless.... so we got to thinking we should have got the ones with the disc brakes.... soooo...

can disc brakes be added to most any name brand bikes? do the hubs need to be changed to accept the discs? and if we just added one disc to each bike, is it better to put in the front or back?

and what are some low cost disc brakes that are still decent. again, we have entry level mtn bikes because we're not rich, so to spend 200 bucks on a brakes is a definate no no. especially when if we would have paid 50 bucks more we could have had the disc brakes.

thanks for the help as usual!
 

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if you have the points for the disc brake hardware i think you're at least gonna be spending 150 per bike on decent discs. my advice is to not ride in the muck or save and get some decent disc brakes and tires that might help the mud keep from getting caked so bad.
 

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I hate rock gardens
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saliva2002 said:
especially when if we would have paid 50 bucks more we could have had the disc brakes.
That's the part that sucks. Discs and calipers for front and rear on both bikes will be a solid $300-400 for inexpensive stuff.

I would stay out of the heavy mud until you can afford what you really want.:thumbsup:
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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The most bang for the buck would be putting mechanical disc brakes on the front only on both bikes. You'll need the disc calipers themselves and new front wheels, and you'll have to get the housing and cable re-run, which is cheap and easy.

Looks like Avid BB7 calipers are online for $60. Front wheels can be had for as little as $40. So it's still an expensive project - about the figure you said you didn't want to spend.

"Back in the day" there were a couple things we used to do to get better performance out of V brakes. One of the biggies is just better brake pads.

http://www.harborcountrybike.com/KOOLSTOP_VBRAKE_THREADED_HOLDERS_WITH_REPLACEABLE_p/bkpd5138.htm

You can also get a disposable brake shoe with the same dual compound thing, but for less. I don't think they work as well as replaceable brake pads in an alloy shoe, though.

You still have to tune them correctly. If you do the Kool Stops, you shouldn't need to do the shim thing that Park Tool mentions.

http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=21

Moving forward, if you replace a wheel at any point, you can get wheels that have rims with braking tracks laced to disc-compatible hubs. Those would allow you to switch to disc brakes when either funds or parts became available or you had to replace a brake anyway.
 

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I would just work with what you have, I don't think that a HardRock is worth spending money on wheels, calipers, rotors, cables, etc. You are looking at at least $200 to do each bike front and rear with BB5's or BB7's. Just get yourself some good new pads that are designed to clear off the mud before they make contact with the rim. I like the cartridge type of pads too, all you have to do is replace the pads and screw in your barrel adjusters, no fiddling with pad adjustments. At least whenever you get your next bike, you will have a better idea of what you want/need. Even it you had gotten the one with discs, I bet you would have been wanting to upgrade those too, I haven't looked, but it probably would have been spec'ed with some cheap disc calipers.
 

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Bike part envy is a terrible thing. Andrew had good avice above if you really must make the switch, but I would try to be happy with your V? brakes.
I used them for years. Sure they can clog with mud, but how often do you ride when its that muddy? Even with discs, when mud is sticking to your tires that badly, its probably a good day to find something else to do.
 

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Dirt Abuser
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I don't know if you can add disc brakes to a bike that was originally setup for rim pad brakes. You need to attach the calipers to the bike frame and fork and if there is no place for it, you would have to have someone weld it on...
 

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You went to the trouble of buying a decent entry level bike and you don’t really want to skimp on the parts so…

Front disc brake only:
Front wheel – Sun/Deore - $70
New brake cable and housing – Jagwire - $10
Mechanical disc brake - Avid BB7 - $60 ea
Total: $140 per bike

Front and rear disc brake:
New wheelset – Sun/Deore - $150
Front and rear cables and housing – Jagwire - $10 ea x 2 = $20
Mechanical disc brakes (front and rear) - Avid BB7 - $60 ea x 2 = $120
Total: $290 per bike
 

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Bail_Monkey said:
I don't know if you can add disc brakes to a bike that was originally setup for rim pad brakes. You need to attach the calipers to the bike frame and fork and if there is no place for it, you would have to have someone weld it on...
Some frames are setup for both V Brake and disc brakes. Then the manufacture decides which one to use for each price level. More and more frames are being built with the disc brake supports. Also, almost all suspension forks have them too. There are a lot of rigid forks that do not.
 

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Picture Unrelated
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hardwarz said:
Front disc brake only:
Front wheel - Sun/Deore - $70
New brake cable and housing - Jagwire - $10
Mechanical disc brake - Avid BB7 - $60 ea
Total: $140 per bike

Front and rear disc brake:
New wheelset - Sun/Deore - $150
Front and rear cables and housing - Jagwire - $10 ea x 2 = $20
Mechanical disc brakes (front and rear) - Avid BB7 - $60 ea x 2 = $120
Total: $290 per bike
Quoted for awesome advice contained within.
 

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it would really help if you could tell us what bikes you have and what years. It would be even better if you could take a picture of the LEFT side of each bike and post them on this thread.
 

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No longer a hardtailkid.
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hardtailkid said:
Subtotal at current eBay prices for the provided links W/O shipping added: $185 per bike. That's still more than he wanted to spend.
 

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But you get Nevegals which are an easy $40 a pop on a wheelset with WTB Speed Disc rims. I have that set and LOVE it.
 

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When did you purchase the bike. If it's still in new condition, perhaps you can take it back to your LBS and buy the higher model.

This is a common mistake that a lot of people make. It's kinda like when they used to have power windows and power locks as options on every car, and just to save a couple of hundred bucks, people would buy ones without them, only to regret later.
 

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jalopy jockey
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bbrins said:
In another thread, he said he has a 2009 HardRock Sport, I think. If so, here are the specs on his bike, the picture on that site shows disc brake mounts.

http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...nd=Specialized&Model=Hardrock+Sport&Type=bike
Frame and fork mounts but not hubs. Not worth it until he she tacos a wheel.

My wife is in the same boat with her Trek 4500. No disk hubs. So we haven't done it to that bike.

We just ordered her a set of Elixer Rs and she's 95% sure she is going to build up a Vassago Bandersnach, but wants to test ride a 9r and a couple others 1st. So yeah not spending the $100 3 years ago is going to cost me 2 grand soon. :madman:

Actually it will make a very happy wife and the 4500 will live out it's days as a city commuter/spare MTB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
i just got it a couple months ago. i guess i'll see if i keep running into the muddy situations at our state park mt bike trails, but right now we are in a drought here in SE Wisconsin, so it should be fine. it was just about 30 feet of trail that was soaking wet clay and the tires got to be about 5 inches wide with that junk. thanks for all your help, i've printed this post out in case i run into another "sticky" situation... bad joke :)
 

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I upgraded my front to disk not too long ago, for the same exact reason... mud. My frame doesn't have a rear disk mount. I bought all parts at my lbs (yes, I know I could have done it cheaper online).

I spent almost $200 on a wheelset that could be used for disk or rim brake. I just needed the front, but I wanted matching wheels.
I bought a set of BB7s for about $80.
Bike shop swapped the cassette to the new rear wheel and threw in new cables at no charge. They also offerred to install the brakes but I wanted to try it myself.

In the end, I spent almost $300 to upgrade my front to disk, when I originally paid only $430 for the bike. I could have done it for about $220 plus shipping if I'd bought the parts online. If I didn't care about matching wheels, it would have been even cheaper.
 
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