Hello everyone, this is my first post here and this forum looks to be extremely friendly and helpful.
I have a lot of experience with cars/trucks and am in school for engineering so I know how everything works just fine, but I have no idea about brands, whats popular, some of the terminology, good components, etc.
On to my question. I have a 2007 giant boulder se, which works very well for my needs, that is soon in need of new brake pads. It has the traditional V-style brakes. This bike is pretty heavy, probably about 20-30 pounds and I weigh about 270 pounds, so basically there is 300 pounds of moving weight - no wonder the pads are gone in less than a year, right? As you can imagine trying to stop so much weight in a hurry is not easy with v brakes so I am looking to upgrade to a front-disc setup instead of replacing the pads and still not braking that great. I constantly adjusted the pads so I could get the maximum braking force.
The front fork has mounting tabs for a disc caliper which is good as I can reuse the stock fork, but my wheel (26") does not have mounting holes on the hub for a rotor. So beyond knowing I either need a new wheel or some sort of adapter, a caliper, rotor, and possible wire, I am lost. I would like to stay with a mechanical setup since I dont have any need for hydro, nor do I want to spend that much. I would like to keep the whole conversion under $100, but I want something that is decent. It doesnt have to be the best, but I dont believe in cheaping out with safety devices. After some searches I see the avid mechanical setup mentioned often, but I dont know if that will work for me...
I am currently in college and use my bike to get around campus which isnt particularly taxing, but I also use my bike to exercise and a couple times a week I will ride 15-20 miles at a time. This is my first real bike and I love it. Some things I have done to it are put in a slightly wider and 35mm rise handlebar (last one was bent after a wreck...tore my achilles from that which put me out of commision for a couple months, not pretty) since I have broad shoulders, replaced the stock cassette with a higher 28-13 set, and replaced the stock plastic pedals with some metal ones since I literally tore the plastic ones in half the second day I owned the bike. I also switched the brakes from right-rear, left-front to right-front, left-rear since my right hand has a much better grip.
I have also done away with the quick-release rear axle because I have completely sheared two in half in the course of a few months. The biggest jump I go off is a curb or step, so it was getting a bit ridiculous. I finally had the hollow quick release axle replaced with a solid steel bolt-on axle, and since I never used the quick release feature it wasnt a hard decision. If I break this one then I have real problems.
If anyone could steer me the right direction with how to go about putting a disc brake on my front wheel I would be grateful!