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  1. #1
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    Swapping disc brake wheels

    I've been commuting on a entry level road bike (Trek 1.2) which I really like, other than the minefield known as downtown Toronto. I was a noob to road bikes and now knowing what I know I'd like to move up from the Sora groupset I'm using.

    Thanks to a promotion at the LBS I am VERY close to making the move to a CAADX 105 Disc. I've been eyeing it for a while and it this weekend it falls inside my budget ($1550 CDN, all-in incl. taxes). The bike will be a year round commuter, plus I'll be adding in some gravel roads and rail trails through the summer. Add the options available for racks and panniers and this looks like the bike offer me all sorts of versatility.

    Rather than switch tires around between a road friendly set or knobbier off-road, I'd like to eventually get a second wheelset and just switch the wheels if possible. So my question is will the fact it uses disc brakes present a problem? I know I'd need a disc brake wheel, but are the alignment of the disc generally consistent that it will fit reliably in the caliper? Is anybody doing this or am I asking for problems?

  2. #2
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    I have some wheelsets that interchange w/o requiring any adjustments. Some of my wheelsets require that the calipers be adjusted, and one wheelset only requires that the front caliper be adjusted.

    When in doubt, try to use the same make/model hubs on all your wheelsets if you'll be swapping them around.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  3. #3
    Senior Member cderalow's Avatar
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    ultimately you'll likely need to adjust the brake pad centering no matter what to account for varied wearing in the disc rotors.

  4. #4
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    I know you said "rather than switch tires...", but I would suggest having another set of tires for gravel/dirt. It takes me less than five minutes to switch a tire, and I'm slow

    Also, you may be able to get by with a beefy road tire (say Schwalbe Marathon Plus...and lots of other options) on gravel/dirt. You could up the pressure on the road, and lower it for off-road. You will save a lot of money this way, even if they wear out quicker and you buy them more frequently.

    Good luck either way

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You can do a quick tweak, just holding the brakes on, and loosening the post mount bolts and retightening them..

  6. #6
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    I just bought a CAADx Ultegra Disc a couple months ago. I absolutely love the bike! I ride 90% on the road the rest on rail trails. Right off the bat I bought a set of Conti Grand Prix 4 Seasons in 28mm size. I mounted them and did some road rides with them. Like them great tires. But.... Last weekend I decided to goto a rail trail. Left my house, road for about 30 minutes on the road, and then hit the rail trail. The stock Sammy Slicks felt so good. And honestly, they roll really well on the pavement. I was probably a little slower with those tires, but if riding solo, they are fine for riding on the road and rail trails. When I ride with others I will throw on the Conti's.
    I was thinking about getting a second set of wheels also, but after riding with the sammy's on the road, I don't see a need. I will just switch tires when I want a little faster ride on the road.
    You will love your new bike. It's so cool how versatile it is. Perfect geometry for my needs....
    2013 Cannondale CAADX Ultegra Disc
    2013 Specialized Carve Comp 29er

  7. #7
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    I do just that. One set of slicks for faster riding, one set of beefier offroad wheels and tires. slx hubs on one, deore on the other. Spacing is identical but occasionally I have to recenter the calipers. No big deal.

  8. #8
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    Great. Thanks for the info everyone.

  9. #9
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Making sure both wheels have the same hubs can help a lot. If that is not an option, your LBS can buy shims to go behind the cassette and you can shim both the rotor and cassette out so they are in the exact same position between wheels. It is a little time consuming but a very easy job and once you have it dialed in you should not have to mess with it at all. When I was a mechanic at a shop, if the customer bought the extra set of wheels from me I would offer to do this for free or very little money other than shim costs depending on the customer so you might be able to work that into the negotiations of buying the new bike from them.

  10. #10
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    Ok, the hub thing make sense. I wan't planning on the second set right away, don't have the budget for it. Figured I would comb the want ads for a used hand-me-down set. I'd certainly be willing to take the time and effort to get it shimmed properly if it meant easy swapping.

    Is it true 29er disc wheels work too?

    Did a test ride today and oh yeah, I think I just succumbed to n+1. The shifting was great, the ride was great, immediately felt confident in the braking. The 105 groupset felt like a big jump from the Sora fittings I've got now. Looks tons fun when I take it for a good gravel ride.

    Told them I'd sleep on it, but I think my minds made up and I'm closing the deal.

  11. #11
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialJ View Post
    Ok, the hub thing make sense. I wan't planning on the second set right away, don't have the budget for it. Figured I would comb the want ads for a used hand-me-down set. I'd certainly be willing to take the time and effort to get it shimmed properly if it meant easy swapping.

    Is it true 29er disc wheels work too?

    Did a test ride today and oh yeah, I think I just succumbed to n+1. The shifting was great, the ride was great, immediately felt confident in the braking. The 105 groupset felt like a big jump from the Sora fittings I've got now. Looks tons fun when I take it for a good gravel ride.

    Told them I'd sleep on it, but I think my minds made up and I'm closing the deal.
    Congrats, a new bike is always fun! 29'er wheels will work just fine as long as your new frame is spaced at 135mm for the rear hub, which it likely is. The one thing to look out for if doing 29'er wheels, the rims may be a little too wide to run narrow road tires so if you end up with 29'er wheels I would either use them for the knobby tires or simply run a little wider road tire on them which would likely be a good idea anyways since it sounds like your roads are nasty.

  12. #12
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    When you get the second set you can shim the rotors so as they sit in the same location in the caliper. Bike shops have the shims.

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