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    dbg
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    Mixing brakes (disc front, canti or caliper rear)

    Is there anything wrong with mixing brake technologies on a bike. I'm considering doing a build with disc front and canti rear. Has anybody considered, built, or ridden such a mix? Are there any issues?
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Why?????
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

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    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    Is there anything wrong with mixing brake technologies on a bike. I'm considering doing a build with disc front and canti rear. Has anybody considered, built, or ridden such a mix? Are there any issues?
    Yes. The front wheel will get wobbly, the gears won't shift right, people will avoid you on the street, your BB bearings will grind themselves to dust, and if you ride like that long enough the fork could spontaneously combust. Other than that, I can't think of anything.

    Oh, wait, this isn't C&V. Or the roadie. Nevermind.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Not at all sure a standard road type front wheel would be happy with a disc brake. Notice that spoke patterns and angles tend to be different for rear wheels than for front, reason being that in addition to supporting a load, the rear wheel spokes are also transmitting torque. The torque that most of us can generate by pedaling is small compared to what could be generated by a brake. With cantilever brakes no problem for the spokes because the braking force is applied directly to the rim. I suspect the wheel has to be designed for the loads to be transmitted via the spokes.

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    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    Why?????
    Why not --was kind of my question.
    I usually build from scratch where fork and frame are obtained separately. I have the ability to do it. Considering the options and looking for anyone who has done it and did or didn't like it.
    Last edited by dbg; 12-22-12 at 08:07 AM.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    Not at all sure a standard road type front wheel would be happy with a disc brake. Notice that spoke patterns and angles tend to be different for rear wheels than for front, reason being that in addition to supporting a load, the rear wheel spokes are also transmitting torque. The torque that most of us can generate by pedaling is small compared to what could be generated by a brake. With cantilever brakes no problem for the spokes because the braking force is applied directly to the rim. I suspect the wheel has to be designed for the loads to be transmitted via the spokes.
    Got that. No radial spoking. 80% of braking comes from front. Disc on the front might clear up some upper rack mounting issues. It also might put added braking power where it's needed.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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    New fork, unless you have an adapter in mind, for the caliper carrier, a new front wheel that has a compatible hub for a disk and an Avid, I suspect 5 or 7 disk kit are in the cards. This would give you a strong fairly fade free front brake where the largest braking load is concentrated. Which bike are you thinking about this for?

    Best of luck and please post pics if you do this build.

    Bill

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    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Can it be done? Yes, but why do it. If you're trying to improve your braking, go to full salmon colored Koolstops. For a lot less money you'll improve your braking substantially.
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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    No issues - I did a conversion like that myself on an ebike. It required respoking the front rim onto a disc compatible front hub - I used a DH model. The fork was replaced with a disc compatible Rock Shox and the installation went from there.

    The only reason you might NOT want to do something like this is if you use the rear brake more than the front. Believe it or not - some people do that. Otherwise a V-brake or canti in the rear will provide more than enough force to lock up the rear wheel when its been unweighted by applying the front brakes.

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    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    I've read on the 41 about this. Apparently a front disc brake (oops, I'm sorry, disk break) can put a lot of force on a carbon fiber fork so it limits your choice of forks. I've also read that motor sickles do this, disc in front and drum on the back and it works just fine.

    But mainly I'm just killing time and have no earthly idea what I'm talking about.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Don't you want more of your braking in the rear? Wouldn't a significant amount of braking in the front compared to the rear increase the chances of a flip over?

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    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    New fork, unless you have an adapter in mind, for the caliper carrier, a new front wheel that has a compatible hub for a disk and an Avid, I suspect 5 or 7 disk kit are in the cards. This would give you a strong fairly fade free front brake where the largest braking load is concentrated. Which bike are you thinking about this for?

    Bill
    I'm thinking of dropping to 650b wheels on my Lemond BA (favorite light tourer) to accomodate bigger tires. I may change forks at the same time and shift the rack to the front rando style (since the wheel drop also reduces trail a bit) --just to see if I like it. But I also have some other frames --and ideas for randoneurring style builds. But one compelling call for better brakes comes from some of the SW-Wisconsin trips I do where we encounter some seriously steep hills. I've had several harrowing descents where I was not sure the brakes were up to it. The kind where you let go of the brakes (to avoid heat build up) and it feels like you've entered "free fall." Scary.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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    Mikey, not if the braking is done right. I learned the front brake usage on dirt bikes, much better controlled, effective braking off the front. Front brake bias is common in a lot of stuff, think about your car or truck and its braking bias set to the front. I use the front brake much more on bicycles and dirt bikes. I went to Kool Stop Dura Dual cartridges on my CAAD a few weeks ago, made things so sweet.

    Bill
    Last edited by qcpmsame; 12-22-12 at 09:03 AM.

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    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
    Don't you want more of your braking in the rear? Wouldn't a significant amount of braking in the front compared to the rear increase the chances of a flip over?
    But I do wonder about that in road bikes --especially where trail is reduced. Seems like higher trail (tire contact point is well behind fork angle intersection point) would make "endo" less likely. And mtb bikes usually have way more trail than road bikes (I think. Mine do anyway).

    And, now that I think about it, maybe head tube angle is a bigger factor. Slack head tube and large fork offset can push the front wheel way out and still have low trail. Hmmm.
    Last edited by dbg; 12-22-12 at 09:03 AM.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Not to hijack the thread (feel free to redirect me) but what's up with the 650b wheels? Seems like just another thing to clog up the poor LBSs inventory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    what's up with the 650b wheels? Seems like just another thing to make money for the wheel builders to me.
    FIFY, same reason the 29er wheelset got on the rotation, the 28/32 width vs. the 23 in the 700 diameter and the carbon wheelsets got going. I am just not a fad-hitcher-one'r type. I am not sure these computers or cellular phones are not just a fad that will pass, I am buying stock in rotary dial, hard wired phone systems now.

    I finished all out Christmas shopping last Friday morning, so I have nothing else to do besides 50+ posts.

    Bill
    Last edited by qcpmsame; 12-22-12 at 06:57 PM. Reason: Cannot spell worth a darn.

  17. #17
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    Why not --was kind of my question.
    I usually build from scratch where fork and frame are obtained separately. I have the ability to do it. Considering the options and looking for anyone who has done it and did or didn't like it.
    yeh, I got that... But I think the real answer will depend on what you are trying to accomplish. Or is it simply to use old parts or maybe as a research project?

    Forgive me for asking: After 10 years as a cost accountant / analyst and 25 years as an IT systems analyst, asking that question has become ingrained in my way of thinking.
    ... Too many people come to IT asking for a new system to be built thinking it will make their lives better somehow --even though the new system they are asking for will likely increase their problems...

    My motto: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"
    ... And: "If it doesn't need to be built, don't"

    ... That may make me an overly pragmatic wet-blanket. But, sorry, for me, the question is almost automatic...
    --------------------------------------
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    Mixing brake types is also fairly common in Cyclocross applications, especially since disc brakes are approved now. My son recently added a disc front to an older hardtail mountain bike with v brakes. In most braking instances the front brake does the most stopping. I would use a disc front on a tandem, but I may not want a disc rear. I applaud the OP for thinking outside the box....
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  19. #19
    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    FIFY, same reason the 29er wheelset got on the rotation, the 28/32 width vs. the 23 in the 700 diameter and the carbon wheelsets got going. I am just not a fad-hitcher-one'r type. I am not sure these computers or cellular phones are not just a fad that will pass, I am buying stock in rotary dial, hard wired phone systems now.

    I finished all out Chriatmas shoppin last Friday morning, so I have nothing else to do besides 50+ posts.

    Bill
    You may be on to something. Between making informative and helpful posts on this forum, I'm reading a very interesting iBook. Unfortunately my battery life is down to 6% and I'm going to have to close it down for awhile.

    If only I had one of those cool paper-type of books. You don't have to plug those in.

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    Build the bike. Enjoy it.

    The fork will need to be intended for the asymmetric loads put upon in by a disk. (It will be as is will have to be one with caliper mounts)

    The wheel will have to be one intended for disk loads. (It will be as the hub will have to be a disk hub)

    There will be differing force required for each lever, you will learn this very quickly. (This is also the case for matching brakes, more braking force is required at the front wheel)

  21. #21
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Is there a bicycle anti-lock brake available? (only half in jest). As a successful survivor of a couple hundred thousand miles on street motorcycles, I learned to be ginger with the front brakes in circumstances other than dry pavement straight up stops. Lock it up in front and you immediately dump. Not saying you can't get on them hard if necessary but thought/feel/experience is needed. And that goes triple for a street bicycle.

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    My main issue is how the bars will look with two different shifter/brake setups. I have a gravelgrinder titaniumframed bike that now has V-brakes and since it is old rear discs are not an option. At the moment I have a Surly 1x1 heavy steel fork on and I am considering getting a rigid carbon fork and a disc brake.I do not think there is any kind of issue with the different braketypes front and rear, we accomodate to what braking force we have on a bike by instinct. I will have 8 speed XT levers on the right and dualcontrol XTR disc on the left, I wonder if that will look goofy.

  23. #23
    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    yeh, I got that... But I think the real answer will depend on what you are trying to accomplish. Or is it simply to use old parts or maybe as a research project?

    Forgive me for asking: After 10 years as a cost accountant / analyst and 25 years as an IT systems analyst, asking that question has become ingrained in my way of thinking.
    ... Too many people come to IT asking for a new system to be built thinking it will make their lives better somehow --even though the new system they are asking for will likely increase their problems...

    My motto: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"
    ... And: "If it doesn't need to be built, don't"

    ... That may make me an overly pragmatic wet-blanket. But, sorry, for me, the question is almost automatic...
    Cool. I tend to ignore the "if it aint broke" mentality because I prefer the "could it be better?" approach. And trial-and-error is my favorite kind of lesson because it adds experience.

    And I do find it annoying when I ask a store clerk or supposed expert if "I can do this" or "can I get it with this?" and they reply with "Why?" I've generally thought it out carefully and am looking for something I want.
    Last edited by dbg; 12-22-12 at 10:28 AM.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  24. #24
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I converted the Tandem to disk brakes many years ago from the previous V Brakes that were fitted. Nothing wrong with the v's until about 6 hours into rides when the hands used to cry enough. (Offroad on 12 hour rides).

    When I changed over I only fitted the front brake initially as I ran out of time to fit both. Next day and test ride of 30 miles and only one problem came up. In comparison to the rear brake- the Disk front was too effective. It rarely got used and when it was it had to be applied gently. Got home and fitted the rear disk setup and that worked--Except we now had too effective a rear brake. We had gone for 200 mm disks front and rear and in hindsight we should have used a 180 rear. Still run the 200 mm front and rear but we have found it easy enough to modulate braking effect through the levers.
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  25. #25
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    Why?????
    To improve wet-weather braking.

    It's pretty straightforward to get a disc-compatible fork for the front. Much more difficult to add ISO disc mounts to an existing frame. So you go disc front and caliper rear. Works great.

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