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Swapping disc brake wheelsets

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Swapping disc brake wheelsets

Old 08-23-21, 11:27 AM
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Swapping disc brake wheelsets

Hey everyone -

So I finally got my Santa Cruz Stigmata and I'm toying with the idea of selling my road bike and using the Stigmata for both road and gravel. I'm not 100% sure if the mullet gearing on it will work for the road, but I wanna try it out for a bit to see before I decide.

The bike came with 6-bolt SRAM rotors, but the cheap road wheelset I bought to test it with road tires is set up for centerlock rotors. What would be the best way to approach this with minimal adjustment when swapping wheelsets?

Should I:
  1. Get Shimano centerlock rotors for the road wheels and then readjust the brakes every time?
  2. Get a centerlock to 6-bolt adapter and run the same SRAM rotors on the road wheelset?
  3. Get the centerlock rotors and adjust the calipers to those and then use shims to adjust the 6-bolt rotors on my gravel wheelset?
  4. Something else all togther?
Thanks!!
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Old 08-23-21, 11:46 AM
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You may not need to shim at all. I would not change 6-bolt to centerlock. Both wheelsets may center in your caliper the same - if they don't - - - the one that rubs to the towards the inside of the frame gets shimmed away from the wheel until it is centered. Don't dick around with moving the calipers everytime you swap wheels.

Last edited by tdilf; 08-23-21 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tdilf
You may not need to shim at all. I would not change 6-bolt to centerlock. Both wheelsets may center in your caliper the same - if they don't - - - the one that rubs to the towards the outside of the frame gets shimmed until it is centered. Don't dick around with moving the calipers everytime you swap wheels.
Thanks for the response - so basically you're saying to go ahead and get the centerlock rotors for my new wheels and then see where I'm at after that? Don't bother with an adapter?
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Old 08-23-21, 12:25 PM
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That's what I would do. Shims for 6-bolt are different than shims for centerlock so just wait to see which one you might need.
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Old 08-23-21, 01:19 PM
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Don't bother with the 6 bolt/CL adapter. It probably won't make any difference. Running a 6 bolt adapter on a centerlock hub shouldn't really move the position of the rotor in or out, it just provides a different attachment point so you can use a 6 bolt rotors instead of centerlock.

Even if you have the same system on both wheelsets, you may end up needing to shim rotors on one of them to get things aligned better. There's some variation in hub manufacturing. The shims are usually 0.25mm thick so you can make up very small variations by adding one or more shims as needed to shift the rotor position.

And, just to clarify - you can shim both a centerlock rotor and a 6 bolt rotor. The shims are different for each, but they do the same thing. The shim goes between the rotor and the hub, so you can only shim the rotor in one direction (outboard). This is why you should wait until you get the new wheels, then align your calipers with the set that has the rotor more outboard without shims installed - and install shims on the other until it's centered.
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Old 08-23-21, 02:04 PM
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Agree with the above comments. Also, it would probably be helpful to use the same brand/model of rotors, even if one is 6-bolt and one is center lock. I did that on my 2 wheelsets on my mechanic's recommendation.
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Old 08-23-21, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
The shim goes between the rotor and the hub, so you can only shim the rotor in one direction (outboard).
Although, if you have cup&cone hubs, you can add a shim underneath the locknut to shift the rotor inboard. A fraction of a mm will not upset either fork or frame.
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Old 08-23-21, 02:25 PM
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Keep the road bike!!!

If something happens to the Stigmata you may be screwed. Swapping may work, but from experience it wasnít perfect and required tinkering with indexing to the point where it became a hassle.

Good luck either way and enjoy the bike!
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Old 08-23-21, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut
Keep the road bike!!!

If something happens to the Stigmata you may be screwed. Swapping may work, but from experience it wasnít perfect and required tinkering with indexing to the point where it became a hassle.

Good luck either way and enjoy the bike!
I run two sets of wheels on my gravel bike with two different size cassettes (same brand and model though). works perfectly. plug and play
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Old 08-23-21, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia
I run two sets of wheels on my gravel bike with two different size cassettes (same brand and model though). works perfectly. plug and play
Worked for me with one of three bikes. I still think if doing so with my current bike but Iíve resisted (for now)
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Old 08-23-21, 05:57 PM
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I use a 6 bolt wheel as well as a CenterLok wheel on my Topstone with 105 disc brakes. I did not need to shim the rotors.
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Old 08-24-21, 08:33 AM
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I use two of the same center lock wheelsets and I even have alignment issues with exactly the same wheels and disc rotors. I'm running GRX hydraulics and used the business card method of aligning the calipers with the rotor with a tendency to rub (sliding the card in-between the rotor and brake pad). I then tightened up the calipers and that seemed to align the brakes properly for both set of wheels.

Last edited by jonathanf2; 08-24-21 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 08-24-21, 09:15 AM
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Keep both bikes. Different tires and gear ratios give you flexibility. Ride A, gravel bike is best. Ride B, road bike. Variety adds enjoyment. Also, if you get a flat or a mechanical problem, you can still ride the other bike until you get the problem fixed.
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Old 08-24-21, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckles1
Keep both bikes. Different tires and gear ratios give you flexibility. Ride A, gravel bike is best. Ride B, road bike. Variety adds enjoyment. Also, if you get a flat or a mechanical problem, you can still ride the other bike until you get the problem fixed.
More bikes is always the correct answer.

That said, wheelset swapping shouldn't be seen as a barrier here. Even if rotors need to be shimmed, it's a one-time thing and after that all you have to do is take of and put on wheels, and go ride. I've never needed to adjust anything with my drivetrains, even when switching between brands/sizes of cassettes.
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Old 07-15-23, 04:02 PM
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Solved centerlock spacers!

HI, after checking this forum, I finally found spacers for the centerlock's on ebay. just copy the object nr to ebay: 256141889281
All my wheels are now perfectely aligned, FINALLY!

eBay-objectnrr:256141889281
'Centerlock Shims, Centerlock Spacer, centerlock Washer. Disc brake adapter'
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Old 07-18-23, 03:19 AM
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I don't skim; with 3 wheelsets, the difference is negligible and it may rub a little but not enough to shim so, I just undo the torx T25, clamp the brake a little and retighten. 10minutes max..
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