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Disc in front, canti in back...any reason not to do it?

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Disc in front, canti in back...any reason not to do it?

Old 06-10-05, 06:46 AM
  #1  
DogBoy
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Disc in front, canti in back...any reason not to do it?

I have a JTS with canti's, but recently I've started riding more hills and the performance is kind of scary on downhills. I'm a big boy (230) and it can take quite a long way to slow & stop. I've thought about buying a project 2 disc fork from Kona and putting a disc in front, but I don't really know what's involved in changing a fork. I think I would need a new fork, new hub (with disc slots), new brake & cable/housing (and have to re-do the bar-tape). What am I missing? Is this the kind of thing I can do myself? (except for cutting the steering tube) I've replaced derailleurs/cranks, adjusted canti brakes, changed stems/handlebars, done bar-tape etc. I'm afraid of anything involving the headset, so if I have to adjust/remove the headset I'll have the bike shop change the fork for me. I think the cost of this may be greater than the benefit so I'm leaning toward not doing it at the moment. I just want to be able to get all the costs figured out before I make a judgment. Thanks.
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Old 06-10-05, 07:01 AM
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You'll also have to get the lower/crown race removed off the old fork and install it on the new fork. This can be a bit difficult so you might want to save time and hassle and have the shop do it for you as well as have the steerer cut but other than that, the installation of the fork is pretty simple. If you've already changed stems then you're pretty much already there. I'm assuming this is a threadless setup? There's a couple of extra steps for threaded but nothing difficult. I'm also assuming you'll have the shop do the wheel rebuild too.
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Old 06-10-05, 07:24 AM
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yes threadless, yes shop will rebuild the wheel. Thanks. Now I just need to decide how much money the improvement in performance is worth, and determine just how much improvement I expect.
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Old 06-10-05, 12:20 PM
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If you ride on really wet or really cold days the benifit is HUGE. I went for disc last year when commuting at -20. I got a nice thin layer of ice on my rims and came up to a stop. . . and didn't stop. . . Ordered the disc brake the next day. I really like the Avid mechanical I have now, very easy to install, wasn't too hard to adjust and very quiet once it broke in (noisy as hell below -10 tho).

I'm around the same weight you are and I have some bad stopping distances with rim brakes as well. I don't anymore. If I can manage to STAY on the bike I can stop in about 1/3 of the distance from top speed but that generally involves playing "drop my butt off the seat and pray".

My braking distances on rainy days are improved as well and wow talk about stopping power. When you pull that handle you STOP. Hasn't improved my handling on ice any of course being only the front brake. So far I'm on around 6k or so on the orig. brake pads and I'm looking to get around another 1000 or so out of them before pulling them.

Oh and stock up on some 99% isopropynol. It's without a doubt the best "degreaser" for the disc that I've used (had some awful contamination problems as they OIL some of the dirt roads here in summer).
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Old 06-10-05, 01:39 PM
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I did the same thing on my Stumpjumper touring bike. Avid mech up front and Shimano's new road brake canti in back. Works GRREAT once you break in the brake. The squeal will go away after 80 miles or so and the performance will increase.
D
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Old 06-10-05, 02:27 PM
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I have Avid mechs on my mtb, front and rear. A couple of rides ago, I horked the line to the rear somehow, and rode with just the front. Even on > 20mph rooty, rocky, very wet descents, I felt very little loss of control by having front only.

I have the 203mm rotors. I'm ~210#, and the front alone is stopping power enough, until I'm going silly fast.

Just don't get the pads or rotor greasy at all.
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Old 06-10-05, 02:29 PM
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it's a huge performance increase, as others have said. i'm running a Hayes HFX9 XC up front and SunTour cantis in the rear and love the way it stops.

as for the cost of having your LBS do it, mine quoted me $15 to install a new headset and drive the crown race on a new fork for me. admittedly, i've brought him or done myself over $3k in business in the last six months, but he's not cutting that much off his usual pricing.

i've done headset installs myself also, and if you're comfortable with everything else you've done it's not a huge step up. buy a crown race driver and make a headset press, and you're set. i use a plumber's type tubing or pipe cutter for cutting steerer tubes, and it works rather well - as long as you take it slow and don't put too much pressure on the cutting disc. if you do, it mushrooms the top of the tube slightly, and that's a pita.

but it's not a hard conversion overall.
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Old 06-10-05, 03:21 PM
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I don't think he'll need a new headset. He just needs to have the crown race relocated to the new fork.
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Old 06-10-05, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by geopolitical
Oh and stock up on some 99% isopropynol. It's without a doubt the best "degreaser" for the disc that I've used (had some awful contamination problems as they OIL some of the dirt roads here in summer).
Denatured alcohol is even better and easier to find
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Old 06-10-05, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
I don't think he'll need a new headset. He just needs to have the crown race relocated to the new fork.
i don't think he'll need a new headset either. i was just qualifying the price i was quoted at my LBS for a similar job - i expect the costs would be different at his, though hopefully not outrageously so...
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