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Is it possible to add front disc brake (possibly a rear disc brake) to a single speed

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Is it possible to add front disc brake (possibly a rear disc brake) to a single speed

Old 02-26-20, 07:42 PM
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Is it possible to add front disc brake (possibly a rear disc brake) to a single speed

Is it possible? I might change the fork and wheel with disc brake screw holes.
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Old 02-26-20, 08:01 PM
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You need to give a lot more info. What's the bike, how old, do you have pics? If you have an 1 1/8" head tube a front brake will be easy. Rear isn't usually though trek made an adapter to some of their bikes from the 00s. Most won't have this option but no clue without a lot more info.
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Old 02-26-20, 08:08 PM
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What bike are talking about? Why do you think that you need a disc brake, front or back? Single speed bikes almost never have any need for disc brakes. Why do you think that this is needed?
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Old 02-27-20, 06:16 AM
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Possible? Certainly. Worth the time and expense? Probably not.
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Old 03-13-20, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
You need to give a lot more info. What's the bike, how old, do you have pics? If you have an 1 1/8" head tube a front brake will be easy. Rear isn't usually though trek made an adapter to some of their bikes from the 00s. Most won't have this option but no clue without a lot more info.
Sorry for late reply. It a normal single speed bike. It one year old and I have pics
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Old 03-13-20, 07:23 AM
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As the front does most of the braking, just buy a disc brake fork and run disc in the front. I've seen many a bike with front disc and rear canti.
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Old 03-13-20, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
As the front does most of the braking, just buy a disc brake fork and run disc in the front. I've seen many a bike with front disc and rear canti.
Can I mainly use the front disc brake and remove the back brake?
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Old 03-13-20, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Adis View Post
Can I mainly use the front disc brake and remove the back brake?
Why would you want to do that?

If it were a 'fixie' then it is possible to use backpedal force to act as a rear brake, but a single speed with a freewheel should have F & R brakes.
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Old 03-13-20, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Adis View Post
Can I mainly use the front disc brake and remove the back brake?
You should not do that. Your rear brake is a backup safety feature. If your front brake fails, you need the rear to stop you. If you suffer a flat front tire, using the front brake is extremely dangerous.
Keep the rear brake
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Old 03-13-20, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
You should not do that. Your rear brake is a backup safety feature. If your front brake fails, you need the rear to stop you. If you suffer a flat front tire, using the front brake is extremely dangerous.
Keep the rear brake
Ok but it is possible to add a rear disc brake to the bike? It possible on the front but the back?
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Old 03-13-20, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Adis View Post
Ok but it is possible to add a rear disc brake to the bike? It possible on the front but the back?
No way to know without a proper description of the bike. The phrase "normal single speed bike" means nothing
Don't forget as well that your wheels are probably not disc compatible
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Old 03-13-20, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
No way to know without a proper description of the bike. The phrase "normal single speed bike" means nothing
Don't forget as well that your wheels are probably not disc compatible
I'm planning to change to a disc brake compatible wheel
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Old 03-13-20, 08:47 AM
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It's possible on the front but you will likely have to get a new fork. Depending on the bike it may be easy or very difficult to find a fork that fits.

It is possible on the rear, but only if you are willing to get disc brake mounts welded or brazed onto your frame.

These possibilities are based on the assumption that you don't already have disc brake mounts.

Generally speaking, caliper brakes that come stock on most road-oriented bikes are more than strong enough on the rear - you can lock up the rear wheel to skid, and no braking power beyond that is useful. I believe a good disc brake on the front adds a bit of stopping power and control, but most people using modern dual-pivot caliper brakes find them sufficient on the front as well.

If your bike was older or very inexpensive, you may have the older style single-pivot caliper brakes, or the ancient style centre-pull caliper brakes.. Upgrading to decent dual pivots would give you much better braking and would be a bolt-on upgrade requiring no modifications.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
It's possible on the front but you will likely have to get a new fork. Depending on the bike it may be easy or very difficult to find a fork that fits.

It is possible on the rear, but only if you are willing to get disc brake mounts welded or brazed onto your frame.

These possibilities are based on the assumption that you don't already have disc brake mounts.

Generally speaking, caliper brakes that come stock on most road-oriented bikes are more than strong enough on the rear - you can lock up the rear wheel to skid, and no braking power beyond that is useful. I believe a good disc brake on the front adds a bit of stopping power and control, but most people using modern dual-pivot caliper brakes find them sufficient on the front as well.

If your bike was older or very inexpensive, you may have the older style single-pivot caliper brakes, or the ancient style centre-pull caliper brakes.. Upgrading to decent dual pivots would give you much better braking and would be a bolt-on upgrade requiring no modifications.
I have v brake on both of the wheels. I only want the front to have disc brake and the back to have v brake.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:09 AM
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F disc & rear V brake is a good solution. If there are no disc mounts on your fork then you need a new fork.

V brakes are generally acceptable stopping for most uses - when they were introduced in the mid '90s it turned the bike world on its ear. Discs are marginally better, especially in wet conditions, but properly set up V brakes are strong enough for just about any situation I can think of.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Adis View Post
I have v brake on both of the wheels. I only want the front to have disc brake and the back to have v brake.
Yes, you could certainly do this with new fork and wheel and the other mechanical bits to make it work but I'm with the other posters who think this is a lot of expense and headaches for a minimum of improvement especially if you're going for a mechanical caliper rather than hydraulic. You describe your bike as a normal single speed but most don't have V-brakes so more info and pic would be helpful. Depending on your bike this could be easy or very difficult to find a proper size/fitting fork.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:28 AM
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Just three more posts until you can post pictures, Adis ! Keep 'em coming!

What colour is your bike?
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Old 03-13-20, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Adis View Post
Is it possible? I might change the fork and wheel with disc brake screw holes.
Yes, you can. Is it worth it? Probably not. There’s the cost of the fork, the cost of the caliper, the cost of the rotor and the cost of the wheel. Except for the rotor, I’d put it around $50 for each one of those, although the fork could go as high as $150 itself. The rotor is going to be about $25. Just for the parts, you are looking at $175 to around $300.

You’ll also need the tools changing the fork. An Allen wrench, a hacksaw and guide, something to set the starnut if it’s threadless, a T25 torqx for the rotor bolts (Allens can be used) It’s hard to estimate but around $50 to $100. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, expect about 1.5 to 3 hours at $75 per hour.

So the question to ask is your “need” for disc brakes worth the cost? I don’t know what brakes you currently have are but there are good v-brakes and bad ones. Good ones are every bit as good as good discs and bad ones are every bit as bad as bad brakes. Avid Single Digits are good ones. Shimano Deore and higher are good ones. Paul Motolites are excellent ones, but they are expensive...less expensive than doing the conversion you are proposing, however. And much less work to install.
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Old 03-13-20, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
Just three more posts until you can post pictures, Adis ! Keep 'em coming!

What colour is your bike?
Yeah - and what kind of chain lube do you use? (separate post)
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Old 03-13-20, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Yeah - and what kind of chain lube do you use? (separate post)
I can hardly wait for the answer so I can disagree with it!
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Old 03-13-20, 08:34 PM
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V brakes get a bad rap mostly because current bikes using them are equipped with bottom of the barrel quality callipers and brake levers. Good v brakes work extremely well, far better in fact than cheap cable operated disc brakes. before embarking on a very expensive upgrade to a single front disc brake, look into a very simple upgrade of the brakes you currently have
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Old 03-13-20, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
V brakes get a bad rap mostly because current bikes using them are equipped with bottom of the barrel quality callipers and brake levers. Good v brakes work extremely well, far better in fact than cheap cable operated disc brakes. before embarking on a very expensive upgrade to a single front disc brake, look into a very simple upgrade of the brakes you currently have
I recently converted my winter dropbar MTB to V-brakes from properly set up cantilever brakes and there's a world of difference in the stopping of the V-brakes as now the distance to stop is a LOT less with a lot less pressure required at the brake lever.

Plus the V-brake calipers are completely out of the way of my panniers.

Cheers
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Old 03-13-20, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
V brakes get a bad rap mostly because current bikes using them are equipped with bottom of the barrel quality callipers and brake levers. Good v brakes work extremely well, far better in fact than cheap cable operated disc brakes. before embarking on a very expensive upgrade to a single front disc brake, look into a very simple upgrade of the brakes you currently have
Brakes in general get a bad rap because they are equipped with bottom of the barrel calipers and levers. Good cantilevers work extremely well. Good linear brakes work extremely well. Good mechanical brakes work extremely well. Bad brakes of any variety work poorly and there are far more bad brakes out there than good ones.
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Old 03-14-20, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Adis View Post
Is it possible? I might change the fork and wheel with disc brake screw holes.
The fork can certainly be changed. Some recently-made frames have a mount for a rear caliper as well as for V-brakes or whatever they shipped with. If you have one of those you're in luck. If it's a steel frame, the right kind of steel, and fairly sturdy, a caliper mount could be TIG-welded on. Then you will probably also need new hubs, although some wheels you can buy have hubs with disk mounts and also rims with brake tracks to make them "universal", so you might have those already.
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Old 03-14-20, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
Just three more posts until you can post pictures, Adis ! Keep 'em coming!

What colour is your bike?
It a blue + orange+ white. Also I'm 15 years old. I ride this bike to school everyday, so yeah.
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