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Disc Brake Conversion

Old 12-30-20, 11:49 AM
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Stickney
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Disc Brake Conversion

I have a roughly 7 year old Motebecane Fantom CX Ti cyclocross bike that came with canti-lever brakes but had disc hubs and disc mounts as part of the build. I've been interested in getting a new wheelset and am wondering about just converting to disc brakes because that seems -- well -- inevitable.

It appears the frame and fork are pretty traditional 100 mm and 130mm spacing with QR. The bike also has 10 sp Rival. The hubs appear to have a 6 bolt pattern.

Are there any disc brake sets that would work?

(and yes, not converting is also an option).

Thanks!
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Old 12-30-20, 11:58 AM
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mack_turtle
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TRP Spyre
SRAM BB7 (road version)
Juin Tech R1
Yokozuna
Hayes CX
Shimano BR-CX77
basically, any mechanical disc brake caliper designed for short-pull (road) levers will work. be sure you have the correct caliper adapters for your frame/fork and rotor size, and the rotors you want. sometimes those are sold separately because there are several permutations for fitting the caliper to the frame and different rotor sizes.
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Old 12-30-20, 12:06 PM
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The 130mm spacing is traditional for road rim brakes, but was a very short-lived standard for road disc. Road disc quickly migrated to 135mm spacing, even before thru axle started taking hold.

I expect that you will have a hard time finding a selection of 130mm disc hubs. If you want to run multiple wheel sets, I would make sure that hubs are available before completing the conversion.
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Old 12-30-20, 12:25 PM
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since your bike has disc hubs and disc mounts already, itll be pretty cheap to convert. Just get some disc calipers, rotors, and new cables.
trp spyre are good quality mechanical brakes.
juintech are good quality hydraulic mechanical.

these are 2 that ive used in the past so i know about them specifically.

whatever you buy, purchase some compressionless brake housing. specifically compressionless. it reduces the compression(obviously) that is inherent in spiral brake housing.
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Old 12-30-20, 12:51 PM
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Stickney
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
The 130mm spacing is traditional for road rim brakes, but was a very short-lived standard for road disc. Road disc quickly migrated to 135mm spacing, even before thru axle started taking hold.

I expect that you will have a hard time finding a selection of 130mm disc hubs. If you want to run multiple wheel sets, I would make sure that hubs are available before completing the conversion.
Thanks -- this is what I was lead to believe by a LBS. I can always just use my existing wheelset, and I assume I could re-use the hubs if I wanted to lace them to different wheels. hmmm.
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Old 12-30-20, 07:13 PM
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rosefarts
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Hydraulics are great.

However, in my limited experience, mechanical discs don't work noticably better than a good set of Canti brakes. Especially with salmon pads. And almost no futzing around.

For me, hydro disc are worth it. Mechanical is too finicky and don't offer any real improvement over rim.
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Old 12-30-20, 08:11 PM
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dwmckee
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The TRP Spyre, TRP Hy/RD and Avid BB& are great options for cable actuated brakes and will be an improvement over the rim brakes, especially when things are wet.
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Old 01-03-21, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
Hydraulics are great.

However, in my limited experience, mechanical discs don't work noticably better than a good set of Canti brakes. Especially with salmon pads. And almost no futzing around.

For me, hydro disc are worth it. Mechanical is too finicky and don't offer any real improvement over rim.
There seem to be a lot of crappy mech discs out there with bad cables (I've felt some at a LBS).
I'm running a set of BB7's with full length compressionless housing though; they stop the same as my other bikes with hydros and the lever is just as smooth. Plus being able to adjust the pad spacing beats the long dead travel on hydros.
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Old 01-03-21, 12:16 AM
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Chi_Z
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you are going to spend alot of money for a sidegrade, unless you want to run carbon rims everyday, then disc conversion might be worth it on the long run
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Old 01-03-21, 05:33 AM
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you are not converting you are just installing discs if your frame can mount them but mech discs are terrible , hydros are only worth it because they give you full control over your brakes to lock , you can try to get a fork swap , you still wont get the benefit of through axles with a conversion, better to just upgrade the frame now instead of putting money into an old frame , you wont get much return over time ?!
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Old 01-03-21, 06:12 AM
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Are you sure about the spacing? Is this an aluminum frame? If steel, then just re-space it. Even an aluminum frame might fit a 135 hub without being bent. A year ago I would agree with people that this change doesn't necessarily make sense, but right now good rim brake rims are a pain to get. You definitely have to get lucky to buy one that will run tubeless.

I'm fairly happy with BB7 mechanical discs. I am not sure what better braking would really do for me since I can stop as quickly as I want with the bb7. I even have some bb5 on my fatbike and those seem to work just fine. OTOH, I'm sure I don't push my brakes as hard as some other people do.
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Old 01-03-21, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
The TRP Spyre, TRP Hy/RD and Avid BB& are great options for cable actuated brakes and will be an improvement over the rim brakes, especially when things are wet.
While I use and like TRP cable disc brakes (Spyke, the long-pull sister to Spyre) as well as Paul Klamper, I concur with the earlier post that disc brakes will not necessarily perform any better than properly set-up rim brakes. For example, the Paul Mini-moto brakes on my CX bike perform at least as well as cable disc Brakes, and they're lighter and easier to set up and maintain. (Paul brakes are also expensive, but I think there are generic mini-V brakes available too. The "mini" part is what makes them compatible with standard/short-pull road levers, which normal V-/linear-pull brakes are not.)
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Old 01-05-21, 08:58 AM
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BB7 calipers are going to run you around $120, discs will be another $50. I don't know that mechanical discs will really perform any better than a properly set-up cantilever set will, but if you ride in lots of wet/muddy conditions (like CX racing) it might be worth it. I would definitely try this out before buying new disc-hub wheels. Disc hubs with QR/130mm spacing are an oddity these days. If you stick with rim brakes, you will have a lot more options for new wheels.

I've also gone down the road of trying out mini-v's. I had the TRP CX9's for a few years on my old CX bike. They're really powerful, but the modulation is terrible, the levers feel really mushy, and the pads have to be run super close to the rims so they do not work well in mud and were constantly rubbing.

I eventually replaced them with a set of Avid Shorty Ultimates, which have been (by far) the best cantilever brakes I've ever used.
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Old 01-05-21, 09:00 AM
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msu2001la
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Originally Posted by Stickney View Post
I have a roughly 7 year old Motebecane Fantom CX Ti cyclocross bike...

The bike also has 10 sp Rival.
If you really like the frameset, you could also consider upgrading to an 11sp hydro groupset?
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Old 01-05-21, 07:37 PM
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Stickney
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Disc hubs with QR/130mm spacing are an oddity these days. If you stick with rim brakes, you will have a lot more options for new wheels.
Thanks for all the replies -- indeed the 130mm rear spacing appears to be the big issue. I suspect I could squeeze 135mm in the frame, but ultimately the rim brakes work well enough and I'm going to stick with them.
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Old 01-05-21, 08:39 PM
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bonsai171
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Originally Posted by Stickney View Post
Thanks for all the replies -- indeed the 130mm rear spacing appears to be the big issue. I suspect I could squeeze 135mm in the frame, but ultimately the rim brakes work well enough and I'm going to stick with them.
+1 for the salmon pads. I switched to these on my Shimano 5500 calipers, and they stop better than Shimano 5700 calipers with stock pads. For the cost of a new set of pads, you will probably see a dramatic difference.

Dave
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