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Retro fit disc to rim frame possible?

itchieritchieitchieritchie Posts: 332
edited April 2016 in Road general
Daft question. I have a rim brake Trek Domane. I'm happy with the setup. After a bike fit and an upgrade to Ultegra with some lovely new 3T bars, Lizard Skins and Dura Ace wheels, I finally have a bike that is light and comfortable for me.

I do sometimes wish I'd waited for the disc version to come along though. And yes I could just chuck it all in, sell my bike at a loss and just buy up. But is there another way to hitch a ride on the disc train?

Would retro-fitting a disc fork be such a crazy idea? Something along the lines of the TRP carbon CX fork. Obviously I can't go disc out back because the frame isn't designed for it, but if I put ONE hydraulic lever to cover the back shifts and front brake...my braking would be immeasurably improved. In any case, I use just the front brake for 90% of my shifting so this is the one that counts.

I fully appreciate that the levers would be mismatched but cosmetics/aesthetics aside, is this possible and or even a sound idea?

Anyone ever heard of somebody doing similar to their rig?

Posts

  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,178
    Rim brakes aren't THAT bad. I don't think you'd see the benefit for the considerable cost. Is there one team in the pro peleton using discs ? Kit isn't a problem for them so if there was an advantage - they'd be all over them, But they aren't.

    You could do it - but its a new wheel - new fork - new caliper - new lever - and you'd prob need to buy a set. A set of Ultegra hydraulic shifters ?

    Then you'd have odd levers. Yuk.

    I think it'd work out cheaper to sell the bike and buy the disc version.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,594
    Yes it's possible

    It's not a crazy idea as such but it's probably unnecessary and unlikely to make a lot of difference

    No I wouldnt do it and I suspect no one else has either

    Edit - "becasue the pro's do it" is not a reason for an amater to do/not do anything
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,178
    DD = the pro's aren't doing this. And they could if they wanted to.

    I agree that not everything a pro does is suitable for normal people - but they do want to get every benefit they can out of their bikes and they've not gone for discs yet.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,594
    and I'm saying that that is irrelevant for the amateur user - we do not ride like the pros, except maybe in our heads
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Thanks for your thoughts on this. No, I don't care a fig for what the pros do or don't do. And no, I don't think rim braking is bad per se, just that with all the wet weather riding I've been doing these last few months, maybe I've become a tad disillusioned and wished for something more 'secure' in the wet. Maybe those ruddy bike manufacturing marketing claims finally got to me. I just wondered if it were possible.

    But it's true that I didn't appreciate that the cost might be prohibitive so thanks for pointing that out. Also, in fairness, I've yet to test ride a disc road bike so I guess I'm speculating a lot here. I used to mountain bike a lot though (shudder) and really missed the braking modulation and performance.

    The other thing is that I am seeing more and more disc roadies out there these days. I guess in the UK it's not that big a surprise. Have they all just bought into the marketing hype or are they genuinely having a better time of it on our crappy roads?

    If it wouldn't make that much difference, however, then it's just a non-starter.

    Anyone want a rim Trek Domane...?? :-)
  • Another point - one thing the pros don't do a GREAT deal of is wet weather riding. So perhaps their predominantly dry weather braking is already well catered to by rim calipers. A valid enough reason for passing up on disc brakes?
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,594
    It's not marketing per se it;'s offering a tool for the job that may be more appropriate than what Chris Froome uses. For northern European winters (or "summers") they may be a better option for you, but go try one out first.

    You'll remember from MTBing that retrofitting disc brakes to rim frames never really worked. The same applies here
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,178
    Another point - one thing the pros don't do a GREAT deal of is wet weather riding. So perhaps their predominantly dry weather braking is already well catered to by rim calipers. A valid enough reason for passing up on disc brakes?

    It's not often they cancel races due to rain. They race in pretty much all conditions. At the end of the day its your tyres on the road that slow you down. I can lock up my rim brakes quite happily anyway. I'm not seeing a massive advantage in having discs.

    (I also think marketing is a lot to do with the push for disc brakes on road bikes. It's one more tool for the marketeers to use. Your rim braked bike is obsolete. EVERYONE is on disc now. And I think its working)
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,594
    yes but they do organise races in southern Europe in June, July and August...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,178
    And why not ! ;-)

    We've not had the drier races yet though. If they were going to be running discs I'd have thought they'd have started to use them now.

    Just wait - Paris Roubaix will now be disc city !
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,251
    You can't fit a CX fork to a road frame, they are about 40 mm different in length of the blade, so your front end will end up being raised by that much... you can fit a road disc fork, if the steerer size is the same as yours
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,325 Lives Here
    Agree with everything DDR is saying. It's possible, but probably not worth it. What the pros do is completely irrelevant, but you know that.
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    Winter bike with discs for when roads likely to be muddy and wet, keep Domane as is for dry summer use - sorted!
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,594
    Svetty is of course correct - n+1 FTW!

    A freind has just picked up a PX Kaffenbach which looks great and costs about what you'd have to pay to try and retrofit stuff
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    I would be careful as disk brake road bike frames are reinforced to stand the extra stress disc brakes provide.

    In terms of performance hydraulic disc brakes have more power and better control than rim brakes. In mountain biking this is very noticeable due to the terrain and the way the bike is ridden. On a road bike for heavier riders and in the wet it is again very noticeable. For lighter riders in the dry there is less of a difference but it is still a marked improvement.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 38,242
    They (Pro's) have hurtled down mountains in the GT's for years on rim brakes even in snow*, very rarely coming unstuck.

    maxresdefault.jpg
    S - The Brazilian beach volleyball team
    W - Wiggle Honda

    "This year will be harder than last year. But that is good news; this year will be easier than next year." President of Abyssinia's annual address to the nation.
  • stanthomasstanthomas Posts: 265
    I swapped cantis for a disc on my CX bike. Changed the fork, fitted an Avid caliper, new front wheel and good to go. Was it worth it? Probably not. It stops better but even more of a pain to setup than cantis. At least one rim isn't wearing out anymore.

    But your problem is going to be getting hold of a Domane disc fork. I don't think Trek will sell a fork on it's own so you might be looking at a frameset. Lynskey do a carbon road disc fork with a tapered stem that ought to fit http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/lynskey-pro-disc-carbon-road-fork-2016/rp-prod115098 but it might not. And you'll still be left with a rim brake on the rear. Probably better to trade-in your current bike for the disc model.
  • 852Kompol852Kompol Posts: 67
    ^^^ That or the ENVE Road disc fork(if you're posh) some other companies made them as well so your not short on choices, but I would say its either Hydraulic rim brakes(Sram) for your current bike, or trade-in the frameset for the disc one, otherwise its more fess than its worth.
  • noodlemannoodleman Posts: 852
    fenix wrote:
    DD = the pro's aren't doing this. And they could if they wanted to.

    I agree that not everything a pro does is suitable for normal people - but they do want to get every benefit they can out of their bikes and they've not gone for discs yet.

    One major reason the pro's aren't doing it is because of the non standardised technology regarding disc size, thru axles, and so on. Once this is sorted they'll be much more likely to go to discs.
    argon 18 e116 2013 Vision Metron 80
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  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,311
    Well let's face it, part of the attraction of the bike is the aesthetics, and it could look a right dogs dinner if you went down the two-braking-methods-on-one-bike route - plus as Kajjal has already said, the frame may not be designed to take the extra braking force. IMO a non-starter.
    So the options are - sell the entire bike, and take the hit on upgrading to a new disc road bike.
    Split the bike, keep the components you can swap over, buy a road disc frame (and wheels, new shifters etc) and flog the components you can't use. I've seen some good bargains on the Boardman clearance website:
    https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/clearance/
    Or...Just buy a new disc road bike, and use the Trek in the summer month(s). I bought a Specialized Roubaix disc, primarily for the wetter months (which in Cumbria is 11 out of 12!), so I can keep my (rim braked) custom built steel beauty for best.
    Your decision will of course depend on budget. And storage space.
  • I contemplated mutilating my Tricross Singlecross after my off, getting a disc front wheel and either a Hylex front or run it as a flat bar with a MTB hydraulic brake.

    But the Hylex route would cost ~£200 minimum (using a Kaffenback 2011 cromo fork), while the flat bar route would cost ~£120 minimum, plus getting an LBS to fit the fork for me (~£40 these days?).

    I might try it at some point, I might end up advertising the Tricross for spares (just like the Alfine kit and Recon Race on the unuseable Saracen), but in the short term I decided I'd rather spend ~£400 on a new bike.
    ================
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