Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2

    Can you convert a bike with calipers to disc brakes?

    Looking for a WSD bike with disc brakes. Is is possible it to take a caliper brake system and change it to disc brakes?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    305
    I'm sure someone more qualified can answer,
    But think about that for a second

    Brake calipers are: at the top of a fork, or the top of a rear triangle.

    Disc brakes are: At the end of the fork, or hub of a rear triangle.

    Thus to do this you need to have:
    The extra width of the wider hubs to accept the brake disc itself attached to the front and rear hub,
    and the frame attachments to attach the disc brake system to which needs to be non-moveable and super sturdy.

    So while you can probably easily change the front of a bike - new fork and front wheel, the back of the bike might be a bit more challenging or non-realistic.

    I've actually thought of this too for my Trek MTB in the past. New front fork would be required, and then I'd only get it on the front. I could have someone braze the fixtures on the rear MTB triangle (it's aluminum) but it would have to be very precise. I haven't done anything though but it was an interesting concept vs a new bike.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,831
    We have put men on the moon, .... they say. So, it would be possible.
    The next question "Is it worth the cost?" The answer is no.

    It would probably require: new wheels, new brake systems, new shifters, and sending the frame to someone that knows what they are doing.

    Look at the bright side, you're getting a new bike!

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,437
    For the front wheel, the concerns are; will the rotor clear the left fork leg? If it's a steel fork, is the fork strong enough to resist the brake caliper forces? Otherwise, you have to replace the front fork.

    For the rear wheel, if the frame is carbon, then you're out of luck. If it's any other material, you have to know whether the frame tubes are strong enough to handle the braking forces before you put a caliper mount on.

    Too many questions; too many headaches. Better to buy a frame already so equipped.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: nhluhr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    899
    It's not too difficult of a deal to swap the fork for one that is disc compatible but you will want to pay close attention to the steerer tube dimensions (taper vs straight) for simple compatibility and the axle-to-crown height and rake of the new fork to make sure it doesn't compromise the geometry of the bike.

    Of course, you'll need a caliper (mechanical, unless you want to worry about trying to buy a single hydraulic 11spd left shifter and hydraulic brake), the rotor, and of course a new wheel to accept the rotor. You'll spend upwards of $500 minimum for this.

    I'd agree with getting a bike that's already built this way or starting from a frame and building as needed.

  6. #6
    Cranky Old Bastard
    Reputation: Randy99CL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,316
    Yes, you can buy adapters:
    Amazon.com : Bike Disc brake bracket frame adaptor bicycle REG / BIG / XL 3 sizes for 140mm /160mm /180mm disc brake rotor : Sports & Outdoors

    But then you need both wheels, calipers and rotors and by the time you do all that you'd be better off selling what you have and buying a new bike that's designed for disc brakes.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    942
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy99CL View Post
    Yes, you can buy adapters:
    Amazon.com : Bike Disc brake bracket frame adaptor bicycle REG / BIG / XL 3 sizes for 140mm /160mm /180mm disc brake rotor : Sports & Outdoors

    But then you need both wheels, calipers and rotors and by the time you do all that you'd be better off selling what you have and buying a new bike that's designed for disc brakes.
    I would strongly advise against clamping something like this on carbon. Disaster waiting to happen.
    Click here to edit signature.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    278
    I've made a few mounts and had them welded on aluminum frames over the years, two mtb and one CX. It can be done.

Similar Threads

  1. Brakes: disc or rim for road bike
    By Bobonli in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 06-23-2013, 05:59 AM
  2. Best 'cross bike under $2k, with disc brakes?
    By JChasse in forum Cyclocross
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 10-20-2011, 05:00 PM
  3. Cyclo Cross Bike with Disc Brakes
    By bikesdirect in forum Motobecane - Mercier
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 08-16-2010, 12:36 PM
  4. Road bike w/disc brakes, who makes one?
    By ifcjti in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 49
    Last Post: 11-12-2009, 10:33 PM
  5. Separate bike for commuting? Disc brakes?
    By Tahoe Gator in forum Commuting, Touring and Ride Reports
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-08-2006, 11:41 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •