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Replace Caliper with disc brakes ?

Old 06-27-20, 04:30 AM
  #1  
Aroundm21
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Replace Caliper with disc brakes ?

I canít justify a new bike as the one I have is basically what I want ó with one exception.

having experienced disc brakes, I want them !! (I donít know if my holiday rental had air or mechanic discs).

Is it worth replacing my callipers: eg what is involved ? Presumably I can keep my wheels and brake leavers ??
my question is really how much is involved and how to ďdraw the lineĒ of new stuff but be confident things will all work together.

FYI, my bike is. Decathlon BTwin Riverside 500, 6 years old. Their 2020 model has discs, and although I could afford to replace entirely, it just feels crazy when Iím basically happy with what I have,

Mike.
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Old 06-27-20, 06:01 AM
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Does your existing frame have mount points for disk calipers? If not, you'll find that it will be a significant challenge (i.e. not worth doing). What's more, if your fork is not designed to handle the torque of a disk brake, it may be dangerous to adapt it.

Good luck to you.
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Old 06-27-20, 06:54 AM
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I have a question about this. I want to change my ancient Disc Magura Clara Caliper to something modern. I can't figure how to get the pads out.

I will start a thread about it.
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Old 06-27-20, 03:40 PM
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It's way easier and cheaper to trade in your bike for one that has discs to begin with. If your bike has the tabs for the disc caliper then it's certainly possible. But there are more parts involved than you hope. You need to replace the hubs. If you don't know how to build wheels then you will have to pay someone to do the swap and it would probably be cheaper just to replace the wheels. You need to have not just the calipers but the discs and adapters, and replace the cables with longer ones that go all the way to the hub. If you want hydraulic that's the levers too.
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Old 06-28-20, 08:07 AM
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Just a thought, and not what you're asking, but the existing brakes could be overhauled or replaced with higher quality. At the very least, 6 year old pads could be dried out, and the mechanism might benefit from some lubrication.
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Old 06-29-20, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
It's way easier and cheaper to trade in your bike for one that has discs to begin with. If your bike has the tabs for the disc caliper then it's certainly possible. But there are more parts involved than you hope. You need to replace the hubs. If you don't know how to build wheels then you will have to pay someone to do the swap and it would probably be cheaper just to replace the wheels. You need to have not just the calipers but the discs and adapters, and replace the cables with longer ones that go all the way to the hub. If you want hydraulic that's the levers too.
What he said.
And to add to it you need to make sure the parts you get will all work together and with your frame. Unless you are pretty good at wrenching on your own stuff and just want a fun project, I wouldn't bother.
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Old 06-29-20, 03:23 PM
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Another option may be hydraulic rim brakes such a Magura.
https://www.magura.com/en/components/bike/rim-brakes/
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Old 06-29-20, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Just a thought, and not what you're asking, but the existing brakes could be overhauled or replaced with higher quality. At the very least, 6 year old pads could be dried out, and the mechanism might benefit from some lubrication.
+1

New pads and proper adjustment would probably be a noticeable improvement. I doubt changing to disc brakes is feasible.
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Old 07-05-20, 11:50 AM
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Thanks

Thanks all. Convinced me not to bother, to be honest - and Iím not very surprised.

I noticed a nick in the frame paintwork today so am beginning to think I might look at a new bike within a year.
bit disappointed, for example the frame lifetime warranty from Decathlon seems pretty irrelevant marketing buff - but the new bikes will be better and Iíll appreciate one, so something to look forward to, perhaps Christmas present to myself !

mike.
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Old 07-08-20, 11:52 AM
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I own 2 bikes with fittings for both brake types
the one with Magura HS 33 hydraulic rim brakes works exceedingly well...
I have little motivation to change them.. But it has the fittings
the other came with disc brakes and covers over the un-used V brake posts ...


No Halfords over here..





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Old 07-27-20, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Harhir View Post
Another option may be hydraulic rim brakes such a Magura.
https://www.magura.com/en/components/bike/rim-brakes/

This is a good option and a way to get the benefits of modern disc brakes on older bikes with rim brakes. The technology still works but now you can get the added stopping power of hydraulic brakes.

Least expensive way to upgrade the brakes on your existing bike.

if your heart though is set on disc brakes, like other posters have already said, its just easier and cheaper to buy a bike that already has the brakes you want than incur the cost and hassle of installing them on your current bike.

Good luck.
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Old 07-29-20, 03:25 PM
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Another approach is rebuilt wheels with drum brakes, also all weather stopping , just not the fling you over the handlebars high power..

And retrofit onto older rim brake bike's frames & forks, unlike Disc Brakes.. I have a set on an old MTB ..






...

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Old 07-30-20, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Aroundm21 View Post
Thanks all. Convinced me not to bother, to be honest - and Iím not very surprised.
Good call. Really, cable disk brakes are not any better than good rim brakes. Caliper brakes with good pads are very effective.
Hydraulics makes a big difference on either type - but probably not an expense you want on a bike that you are not absolutely in love with.
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Old 08-07-20, 10:01 PM
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N+1 ftw
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Old 08-08-20, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Good call. Really, cable disk brakes are not any better than good rim brakes. Caliper brakes with good pads are very effective.
Hydraulics makes a big difference on either type - but probably not an expense you want on a bike that you are not absolutely in love with.
As a mountain biker of at least 4 decades of experience, I donít agree with either of your points. Iíve done thousands of rugged mountain bike miles using cantilever, linear, mechanical, and hydraulic brakes. Properly adjusted...and thereís the rub...any one of those brake is sufficient to stop a bicycle even on steep, fast downhills...even with extra weight of a touring load (on- and off-road).

The only brake I donít want on a steep, fast downhill is the hydraulic ones because they are just too touchy. Cars, trucks, and even motorcycles canít have brakes that are too powerful. Bicycles can. We have limits as to how much brake power we can use. Go past that limit and you arenít riding, you are falling with the bicycle chasing you down the hill.

As to adjustment, 99% of the brakes that Iíve seen...and I see around 1500 bikes per year at my local co-op (about 13,000 over the last 10 years)...are poorly adjusted. Most of them are adjusted so that the lever is half way to the bar before the brake pad makes contact with the rim (or disc). I know that St. Brown said that the mechanical advantage is better with the lever closer to the bars but I disagree. The mechanical advantage may be better but the brakes feel mushy and ineffective. It feels like the brakes wonít stop you.

Hydraulics have to run closer to the rotor so there is a better lever feel which is why people say they are so much better. Mechanical discs also have to run closer to the rotor or the bike doesnít feel like it is going to stop. Rim brakes would feel better and people would have more confidence in them if they were adjusted closer to the rim.
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Old 08-08-20, 03:12 PM
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very informative.. thanks for all the discussion here!
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Old 08-08-20, 04:56 PM
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cyccommute in what sense do you believe hydraulic brakes are more powerful, or run closer? They have about the same leverage. I happen to have a cable disc road bike and hydro disc MTB right now. Though I haven't measured it with valve shims or anything, they appear to have about the same gap at rest and the same lever travel to clamp. The advantages of hydraulic vs cable are many but that's not one. I invite you to look at some exploded drawings and block diagrams and see how they work... not just in a raw piston area ratio sense, but where the moving parts are, how they are exposed to the environment, and level of complexity. They really do have a lot of advantages over cable, and are just satisfyingly clever to boot. The cable road bike is getting converted soon.
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Old 08-08-20, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
cyccommute in what sense do you believe hydraulic brakes are more powerful, or run closer? They have about the same leverage. I happen to have a cable disc road bike and hydro disc MTB right now. Though I haven't measured it with valve shims or anything, they appear to have about the same gap at rest and the same lever travel to clamp. The advantages of hydraulic vs cable are many but that's not one. I invite you to look at some exploded drawings and block diagrams and see how they work... not just in a raw piston area ratio sense, but where the moving parts are, how they are exposed to the environment, and level of complexity. They really do have a lot of advantages over cable, and are just satisfyingly clever to boot. The cable road bike is getting converted soon.
Most all of the gushing about hydraulic brakes is how they are so much more powerful than other brakes. Whenever I bring up what I would consider the lack of modulation, Iím always told to use only one finger. I understand that but I donít feel that is the solution.

As for the gap, hub mounted discs need a much closer gap than rim brakes. Hydraulic brakes are even closer. Iíve gapped them with a Birdzman Clam which has 2 sides that are each less than a millimeter thick. Hydraulic pistons can pull back only a very small amount before they become ineffective. Automobile discs donít even bother with a gap and just let the pads rub all the time. We obviously canít do that on a bicycle.

I donít see hydraulics as being ďcleverĒ. I had to try and bleed too many of them...rather unsuccessfully in most cases. They are mess, difficult to deal with, have many seals that can decay and fail, and, if the disc box at both locations of my local co-op is any indicator, they are replaced often.

A cable operated brake on a bicycle is clever. Itís simple. It requires very little maintenance. Itís effective enough that the limits of braking on bicycles can be reached with hand power alone.

The point I am trying to make is that cable brakes...either hub mounted disc or rim brakes (still a disc)...are as bad as people make them out to be. I have cable brakes that are single pivot side pulls, cantilever, linear, linear (rear) with hub mounted disc (front), and disc front and rear (at least 3 bikes with them). All of them stop when I want them to stop and I have never worried that they wouldnít work...even a 50 mph in the rain with 40 extra pounds of gear in a driving or a steep rocky drop from the top of a Colorado Pass with 25 lbs of gear. I even went for a mountain bike ride with cable disc brakes on some steep and rocky trails this last week and didnít have any problems with surviving the ride.
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Old 08-08-20, 07:22 PM
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New koolstop or swiss stop pads > Decent compressionless cables> Shimano Deore level V brakes> Job done
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Old 08-12-20, 10:20 PM
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My daughter's bike is a hybrid with a suspension fork, it is running V-brakes but the fork has a disc mount so we could switch to a disc brake on the front pretty easily. I don't know what is the setup of your bike.
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