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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright so I bought this bike http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?sid=09P.ALLMOUNTAIN locally for $350. Not a bad deal I think. I took it out to the trails and instantly hated myself for buying a bike with rim brakes. My last bike was a specialized hard rock comp with discs. I don't like the rim brakes because one minute you have stopping power and the next minute you don't thanks to dirt, dust, and mud.

I'm looking at a hub and brake upgrade that won't break the bank. I've been looking at mechanical discs that the disc version of the bike comes with and I think this is a pretty good deal on ebay http://cgi.ebay.com/AVID-Kit-BB5-Fr...Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item20b3945031

But since I am at a point where I can upgrade I'm kind of tempted to go with hydraulic brakes like this http://www.bikeman.com/BR7371.html

Any opinions? I've also been looking around at cheaper hubs but I don't want to get something so cheap it's going to break in a few months. I've been looking through these and I think I want to go with something around $50 but not sure which one to choose.

I like to ride downhill and go fast, I only hit really small drops (about 1-2ft). I just want something more reliable than rim brakes. Here's a really crappy example of what I like to ride, this was taken last sunday.


Thanks!
 

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I just built wheels last week. I used M525 disc hubs from Shimano (Deore XT). They were 35.00/piece on Amazon. I got two 160mm Avid BB7's off Chainlove for 35.00/piece. I think that's good value.

Dont' forget, you'll likely need new spokes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry for being a noob, why will I need new spokes? Can't re-use them or something?

Thanks for the links frdfandc, tbh I'm not looking forward to re-lacing my existing rims if I just buy hubs. But I don't know if I really want to spend $100 per wheel if I can just buy hubs cheaper and do it myself. It is somewhat of a money issue but also an issue of if I spend too much on the brake upgrade I could've bought a brand new bike with disc brakes cheaper. So if I could do the upgrade for less than what the disc brake version of the bike cost then awesome! if I can do the upgrade for the same price as the rim brake version is then REALLY awesome!

One more noob question, if I am getting mech. disc brakes can I just use my stock brake levers that were being used for my rim brakes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
faceplant72 said:
by the spec sheet you already have front disk hubs. So you could run it as a mullet since most of your breaking power is on the front.
I was thinking about running hydraulic disc brake in the rear and keeping the front stock with the rim brake to save money. :D I don't have a disk ready front hub.
 

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You want the disc up front as 65-70% of your braking power is from the front.

Spoke length is determined by several factors. Here are just a couple.

Hub flange size (which is usually different from manufacturer to manufacturer). So a hub flange height on a Chris King hub is different than a Shimano SLX hub. This effects spoke length.

Lacing pattern, 1x, 2x, 3x, etc

Number of spokes. Are the hubs 28 hole, 32 hole, ect.

Yes you can use your existing brake levers if going with mechanical brakes to save some cash.
 

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frdfandc said:
You want the disc up front as 65-70% of your braking power is from the front.

Spoke length is determined by several factors. Here are just a couple.

Hub flange size (which is usually different from manufacturer to manufacturer). So a hub flange height on a Chris King hub is different than a Shimano SLX hub. This effects spoke length.

Lacing pattern, 1x, 2x, 3x, etc

Number of spokes. Are the hubs 28 hole, 32 hole, ect.

Yes you can use your existing brake levers if going with mechanical brakes to save some cash.
You use 70% front brake on some of the trails I ride and you'll end up OTB. Modulation between the front and rear brakee is the key.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
RBowles said:
You use 70% front brake on some of the trails I ride and you'll end up OTB. Modulation between the front and rear brakee is the key.:)
Yeah, don't get me wrong, I don't skid but I hold my rear a lot more than my front. I still hold my front but maybe with 30% grip while I hold my back with 70% grip if that makes any sense. If I don't get disc's for both wheels I will definitely be happier with disc in the back.

I just ordered those bb7's on ebay. Now I just need to figure out what wheels to get to mount the brakes.
 

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ridingaddict said:
Yeah, don't get me wrong, I don't skid but I hold my rear a lot more than my front. I still hold my front but maybe with 30% grip while I hold my back with 70% grip if that makes any sense. If I don't get disc's for both wheels I will definitely be happier with disc in the back.

I just ordered those bb7's on ebay. Now I just need to figure out what wheels to get to mount the brakes.
Start braking with both wheels equally. Also: good buy on BB7s, they're the best deal out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)

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The first wheels you posts use the same hubs I just laced up. I think they're okay for the price. I plan to ride them until they explode. I think, and this is just my opinion, you'll get others, that for the money and for what you're going to use them for, they are fine.

The comment about the spokes from my earlier post: even if you were to use the exact same brand hub, the position of the non-drive side flange is going to be closer to the center of rim because of the addition of the rotor for disc brakes. Therefore, that side has spokes that now have a shorter dimension than the hub that used rim brakes. You'll have the same effect on the rear wheel. So, if you change out the hubs on your existing wheels from a rim brake hub to a disc brake hub, you'll need new spokes all around.

Here's a link to a spoke length calculator:

http://www.bikeschool.com/tools/spoke-length-calculator

By the way, I think you're smarter to just buy new wheels rather than trying to relace your existing wheels. Although I get a fair amount of satisfaction by building my own wheels, being a beginner, you'll get more pleasure from buying new wheels and riding.
 

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Here is the same Mavic EN 321 / Deore 525 wheelset for $10 less and free shipping:

http://cgi.ebay.com/WHEELSET-26-INC...Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4cf531ab86

And here is the same Mavic EN 321 / Deore 525 wheelset but in 36h flavor for $129, but $19 shipping:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mavic-MX321-Dis...Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4156f5dbb5

The Mavic EN 321 rims are pretty durable and should be a good choice for the P-bike you have. The Deore 525 front hub should be fine. The difference between the Deore 525 rear hub and an XT 756 rear hub will be a stronger axle and a slightly stronger freehub although if you can grenade a Deore freehub, you can probably grenade an XT freehub too.

If you can't really go over $150 total, I'd go with something like these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sun-Rhyno-Lite-...Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item35af1fba72

The Rhyno-Lite is hell for strong and you could use them for rim or disc brakes. The biggest downside of the Rhyno-Lite is that they can be a little stubborn/tricky (as in 'tight') to get some tires mounted.

If I had to choose (for budgetary reasons) between the Deore/321 wheelset and a Rhyno-Lite/XT wheelset for a P-bike, I think I would go with the Rhyno-Lite/XT for the better hubs and brake choice versatility. The Rhyno-Lite rim is just as strong (IMHO) as the EN 321 although if brakes were always going to be disc and I had slightly more budget I would go with EN 321 rims because they are easier to mount some tires and I (personally) like the look of them better.

If my wheel budget for a P-bike was less than $200 (incuding shipping), I'd probably go with something like these:

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/WH281A00-Shimano+Xt+Discrhyno+Lite+Wheelset.aspx

My $0.02 about budget wheels in general:

When wheelset budget is less than $300 (with some exceptions) it is hard to stay away from Shimano hubs. You can find them, but I don't know of any that are more durable for the price point, the parts are mostly readily available at many local bike shops and most shops are familiar with them. The Shimano cone hub / loose ball bearing system is good IF they are adjusted properly and you don't blast them with the hose. For some reason I see a LOT of Shimano Deore and XT rear hubs that have the (axle) jam nut on the drive side work loose causing bearing slop and more problems if not caught early enough. Once they are adjusted (and greased) properly, they work pretty well and are pretty reliable for most riders.

If you are very strong, heavier than average of have less than smooth technique (or some combination of these traits) you may have reliability issues with Shimano freehubs (or other budget freehubs too). If you fall into that category and want more reliable freehubs, it's going to co$t you a fair amount to get there. The cheapest rear hub I would recommend to those wanting better than Shimano freehub reliabilty would be the Hope Pro II (which start at about $180+/- just for the rear hub) or just beyond that, a DT-Swiss 350 (with the star ratchet freehub) at around $240+/-, again, just for the rear hub.

If you are just popping your Shimano freehubs every year or two (and aren't going to be terribly inconvenienced when you do), you might just put up with it and pop for a new freehub (at about $30 to $40 for a new freehub - just for the part).

If you're not experiencing freehub failure or at least not on a regular basis, then Shimano rear hubs are the way to go for budget wheels.
 

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jeffj said:
For some reason I see a LOT of Shimano Deore and XT rear hubs that have the (axle) jam nut on the drive side work loose causing bearing slop and more problems if not caught early enough. Once they are adjusted (and greased) properly, they work pretty well and are pretty reliable for most riders.
I build my own wheels so I purchase hubs separately all the time. I also use Shimano hubs from time to time, especially on budget wheels. I have found that the above statement is true for Shimano Deore XT hubs, yet I continue to use them. I ALWAYS take the cones out and inspect any hub before I adjust it's fit and lace it into a wheel. More often than not, especially on the driveside, I find the fit loose from the factory. After adjustment, they often have thousands of trouble free miles. And if they don't I either rebuild them for little money, or I buy another for little money. But I'm a little meticulous about maintenance.
 

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JD1 said:
I build my own wheels so I purchase hubs separately all the time. I also use Shimano hubs from time to time, especially on budget wheels. I have found that the above statement is true for Shimano Deore XT hubs, yet I continue to use them. I ALWAYS take the cones out and inspect any hub before I adjust it's fit and lace it into a wheel. More often than not, especially on the driveside, I find the fit loose from the factory. After adjustment, they often have thousands of trouble free miles. And if they don't I either rebuild them for little money, or I buy another for little money. But I'm a little meticulous about maintenance.
I see it all too often. I just rebuilt a rear wheel (replaced rim and spokes) for a friend yesterday and knew he had a Shimano 525 rear hub. I brought my cone wrenches, other hub service tools and tube of Phil Wood grease with me on a hunch and sure enough the jam nut was loose and the bearing adjustment felt like dookie.

The other thing I see, but not nearly as often, is sometimes the freehub 'fixing bolt' (the hollow 'bolt' that holds the freehub to the hub shell) will work loose when ridden hard. That will kill off the hub shell if not addressed in time.

They do recommend just an ever-so-small 'tick' of bearing play as that will get slightly tighter when the skewer is properly tightened.
 

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OP, there is a set of Mavic 719's laced to XT hubs in the classifieds. I've been rocking the same wheelset for 2 years. I generally destroy lesser-quality wheels but the 719's have held up fine. The XT hubs are good with much better engagement than any other hubs at a comparable price, even pricier. For $185, worth the investment.
Also, if you can find a set of Cane Creek Zonos that are in good shape you should be able to get them for about $150. Bomb proof wheelset.
 
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