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  1. #1
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    another disk brake question

    First all I am new too the forum in a membership stance. I am not new to reading the forums though.

    Ok I have read through the forums and found a lot of different views on disk brakes for touring bikes.

    Here is what I would like to do and get some thoughts on this approach. I am getting ready to build (well rebuild an older bike) and make it a touring bike. The frame is not set up to take disk brakes and I am fine with that as I wont Cantilever on the back anyways. What I would like to do is add disk to the front being that I am going with new forks anyhow. My thinking is disk might interfere with bags on back and it doesn't take the beating that a front rim takes. The front is what can have rim problems and also takes 90% of all my braking. So disk brakes in the front would give me brakes in almost any situation and I would have my Cantilever that have easy repair if something should happen to disk brakes that cant be field repaired.

    I will be using this bike for both street and dirt path (not major off road) touring.

    Does this sound like an OK setup or am I asking for troubles?

  2. #2
    Senior Member KLW2's Avatar
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    I was thinking about the same thing. Read an article about frames/forks and learned that changing a fork to one that would accommodate disc brakes may change the handling a lot. (angles , etc)
    Not sure how to go about choosing the right fork...

  3. #3
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    Yes it will change the handling

    It will for sure change the handling and I am actually after this. It does have more to do with the angle of the head tube but I am going to have a fork that has less of a bend in the front. It will make it react quicker to my actions (will sacrifice smoothness).

    I will possibly be changing the wheels/hub to a narrower tire. Right now its got 26 - 1.75 and I loved the wheels that came stock on my old trek 720. It was an awesome tire for my needs. I have a few other things I am going to do including changing handle bars, seat, and cosset/chain/(well all sprockets)

  4. #4
    Senior Member nubcake's Avatar
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    discs are great, they have proven themselves time after time on a mountain bike. I feel the reason most dont like them or call them complicated is the fact that it is just something different.

    The one place i would be very hesitant to use them is on a touring bike that will spend alot of time in third world countries where anything modern is hard to find parts/pads for.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    My tourer has discs, and I love them.

    The basic problem with discs for touring is that they do get in the way of most regular racks -so if you have front discs, they will more than likely get in the way of any front low rider rack you wish to use.

    Other disadvantages? Well if you do need spares, a bike store might not have them compared to "regular" cantis or V's -though ask yourself when you last had trouble with a good quality brake anyway? The biggest disadvantage to me though is that given a good quality canti or v-brake is usually more than sufficient, the amount of money required to get a disc brake gives low bang for the buck. Having said that, my disc brakes have been the best brakes I've had, and since I've already spent the money, I'm not giving them up any time soon!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by desert_gold View Post
    It will for sure change the handling and I am actually after this. It does have more to do with the angle of the head tube but I am going to have a fork that has less of a bend in the front. It will make it react quicker to my actions (will sacrifice smoothness).
    Contrary to popular belief, using a fork with less rake (less bend) usually results in more stable handling. The important figure is not headtube angle or rake but the combination of both that makes up trail.

  7. #7
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Discs can be fine, but I don't think mixing brake types is a great plan. It's more complex than necessary with minimal payoff.

    Disc and canti will brake at different rates. That would drive me nuts, and could also be potentially unsafe.
    AFAIK disc and cantis use different lever types. So you'd either need to use one travel agent (suckage) or two different brake levers (also suckage).
    Unless I'm missing something, you should be applying even braking pressure to the front and rear - especially when the bike is loaded.
    Field service on disc brake is more difficult than cantis; and two braking systems means you'd have to be prepared for twice as many potential brake repair issues.

    And while rim problems do happen, proper braking technique and maintenance ought to mitigate most issues.

    In this case, I'd just stick with cantis.

  8. #8
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Field service on disc brake is more difficult than cantis; .
    Naa, I have to disagree with this one. Decent disc calipers come apart faster than canti's or V's and are about brainless to adjust.

  9. #9
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    after reading your comments (some I agree with and some disagree) I have decided to keep what I have. I might end up buying a new frame anyhow as the local bike shop has a trek 800 for sale I might get due to the mods that's already been done. I would have very little work to due to it as its already set for touring.

  10. #10
    Have Beer Will Travel cupsal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Discs can be fine, but I don't think mixing brake types is a great plan. It's more complex than necessary with minimal payoff.

    Disc and canti will brake at different rates. That would drive me nuts, and could also be potentially unsafe.
    AFAIK disc and cantis use different lever types. So you'd either need to use one travel agent (suckage) or two different brake levers (also suckage).
    My road bike has Campy Record breaks the back single pivot the front dual pivot they work differently handle differently but present no unsafe conditions. Even with the same breaks the front and back handle differently due to the difference in breaking load (the front handles something like 70% of the stopping load).

    Avid BB7 Road disk will work with any road lever. I have them on a tandem and they work great with standard shimano brifters.

    Chip

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