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Do these work on my bike? … Disc Brakes

Mike’s Bike Advice

Disc Brake Conversions

Part II of our three part series– answering your questions about if and how to upgrade your steed

Usually, answering this question is pretty straightforward. Are there disc tabs on the bDisc Brake Tabike? If your bike was built with disc brakes in mind, it can be easy–though costly–to upgrade. So if you are looking to upgrade the brakes on your bike to work best in wet, muddy weather, for higher speed braking or for quite steep hills, check for these tabs on your front fork and rear triangle:

Once you’ve determined you have a bike frame that will accept disc brakes, bring it on in to figure out whether cable or hydraulic disc brakes will work best for your purposes. For most commuting uses, cable disc brakes provide the cheapest, simplest and most maintenance-free option. If you are looking for the best braking system regardless of price, hydraulic brakes do provide a slightly stronger and smoother platform that doesn’t suffer from cable stretch. Look for trusted brands like Shimano and Avid when you’re ready to buy for the best reliability and longevity.

All that is left is to find the perfect wheel set to complete your disc brake transformation. There are two styles of attachment between the rotor and disc hub: 6-bolt and centerlock. Match your rotor disc with the hub style you have an you’re ready to roll with a bit more safety and security.

Surly Disc Fork

This Surly Fork is a great option to upgrade your front wheel to a disc brake

If you have found your perfect bike for touring, commuting or exploring but the bike doesn’t have disc tabs, we have a workaround for those looking to improve braking. Adding a new fork to your commuter can give you access to disc braking on just your front wheel–the wheel that provides up to 80% of your braking power.

There are quite a few options to upgrade your fork for under $100 to allow disc braking power on your favorite steed.



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2008 – Kaboom

2008 After waiting months for the 1st of the year to come around, I registered my business with the state like an afterthought and completed my first website. I had already started collecting bicycles and gear for a fleet and the 2007 garage sale season had rained bikes upon me. After taking some time to hone my mechanic skills, I bought liability insurance and completed my first “official” bike tour. I started volunteering for the Community Cycling Center and attended dozens of bike related events. I went to the Car Free Cities Conference, the National Handmade Bike Show, the Oregon Manifest Show, Cirque de Cycling, and raced my first Cyclocross season ( single speed YEah! ) under my own business name. I set up guerrilla style on the Eastbank Esplanade and talked with commuters and tourists about my Ideas. I was picked to show a custom bike in the greener homes and gardens expo. I checked out road races, attended BTA workshops on bike commuting and gave my own workshops wherever I could find a host with space for participants. I volunteered for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance Bicycle Safety Education Program and saw the next generation learn the rules of the road. I rented bikes out of my basement for a while, and ended up buying a short school bus to move bikes around and act as a support vehicle for longer distance bike tours. I got to be on the KBOO bike show and experienced my first Filmed By Bike Film Festival. A busy year for sure and my first whole business season of leading bike tours and showing off Portland’s bike infrastructure. Just the beginning.

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