1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Disc conversion trek 4300

    hey guys i'm sure this has been answered but i'm looking to do a disc conversion on my 07 trek 4300.

    my question is what hubs should i get / stay away from same for brake sets and which any preference between mechanical and hydro? looking around on amazon i think i can get the hubs and brake set for about 130 or so.

    can i use the stock rims that came with the bike? i mean is there a need to upgrade the rims? if the hole count is the same as teh new hubs.

    thanks,
    -James

  2. #2
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    Are you gonna be welding brake tabs onto your bike?
    Or does the 4300 already have tabs?

    And yes, you can use the same rims, but it's usually cheaper (better?) to get a wheelset if you don't know how to build your own wheels. Plus, V-brakes wear rims out, so your current rim has wear, and you'll have to replace it soon.

    And different hubs have different flange lengths, so you'll have to get new spokes.

    Lastly, what brakes and hubs are you getting for 130 total?! You get what you pay for.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  3. #3
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    already came with tabs.

  4. #4
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    Building your own wheel or having someone else do it?

    Again, what brakes? Most mechanical brakes aren't much of an upgrade from V's other than heat dissipation, weather resistance and good looks. Some may have worse power, and definitely more weight.

    Most people say BB7's are the best mechs. For hydraulic brakes, you'll need these: Problem Solvers because your current cable guides have stops, which won't allow hose through.

    Most say Shimano and Hope make the best Hydraulic brakes.

    Best of luck,
    sauprankul
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  5. #5
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    i'd probably have a shop build it unless i watch youtube videos over and over and try to do it myself.

    something thats a decent price but not a total POS

    i've got a BB7 on the front of my trials bike and can't complain about it. but some say its just better to get hydro for a MTB

    alright thanks Sauprankul

  6. #6
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    What do you not like about your current brakes? That will be a big expense for a marginal performance improvement. I'd sell the bike and buy something new and spec'd more appropriate to your riding style.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    marginal performance improvement. I'd strip the paint and convert the bike to SS and use it as a commuter and buy something new and spec'd more appropriate to your riding style.
    Yep. That's better. 4300 is a "starter bike", kinda like the bikes they had back in the day.
    The "mountain bike."
    Now they have several different types, and each is unique, and suited for different people. Chances are, you've outgrown the 4300 as a whole.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  8. #8
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    it will be cheaper to buy new wheels than to have your old rims laced up to new hubs. chances are, you will need new spokes to make that wheel work, and, in the event that the old spokes are the correct length to work with the new hubs, no competent bicycle mechanic would charge someone to re-use spokes. (I have been known to re-use spokes for building wheels that go one co-op bikes, but I do that for free.)

    most shops will charge something like $1 per spoke x 64 spokes, but $50 per wheel for labor. that's $164, plus the cost of the hubs. unless you have some really nice, high-end rims, you can get some nicer wheels for about the same price or a little more. I would just get new wheels and keep your old wheels around for another bike or sell them.

    I am partial to Avid BB7 disc brakes. you can use your old brake levers, they are easy to set up and adjust, and are very powerful if set up correctly. and they are a LOT cheaper than most hydros to boot.

  9. #9
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    Yep. And I severely doubt that watching YouTube vids will do you any good.
    Wheel building is much harder than it looks.
    Get a cheap wheel set. You'll be much happier.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  10. #10
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    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  11. #11
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    I highly recommend learning to build wheels though! my suggestion for that would be to buy some BB7's and some new wheels for your bike. then buy a spoke wrench for your old wheels. label the front spokes separate (they should all be the same length) and label the left and right rear spokes separately (the left ones should be a little longer than the right). clean everything up really good, and practice re-lacing the wheel. if you screw it up, you still have your nice new wheels on your bike and you can take them apart and redo it.

  12. #12
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    Def learn to tension or true your wheels. That's not as hard. But if you screw up, it can be catastrophic.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 12-11-2012 at 08:37 PM.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  13. #13
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    Personally, I think you would get more benefit from selling your current bike and putting that money, plus what you were planning on putting into the disc conversion into a nicer bike that comes out of the box with discs. You would end up paying almost as much,if not more for the parts and labor (assuming you take it to a shop for installation/wheel builds) than what your current bike originally retailed for.

  14. #14
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    It's not that hard to build wheels. But it's time consuming, and I don't think it's cost effective if that's the primary motivation unless I already have some of the parts on hand. For example, building a wheel on a hub I already have tends to be kind of a wash with an inexpensive hub and would save me money with a nice one, and replacing a rim 1:1 with an existing hubs and existing spokes is usually a cost-saver. It's rare to have it be feasible to replace a hub but not the rim, and you still need spokes. But often, well-used rims can't be successfully built onto another wheel.

    This thread, like a lot of these threads, is long on generalities and short on numbers. If I were to take a non-disc bike to disc, assuming that it has the tabs and the shift and brake levers are separate, I'd need the wheels themselves and the brakes, including levers, hoses, calipers, rotors - the whole package. Luckily, disc brakes are frequently sold that way anyway.

    I'd get the wheels here.
    MTB Hot Deals
    Depending on what you want, it'll run you $200 and up. There are cheaper wheels, but I try not to buy anything aftermarket that I can't maintain.

    Without doing a ton of research, I can see some feasible brakes on Jenson for $93/wheel. So that's a little short of $200 to add to your budget. (Hydros. Can be done for less with BB7s, but it's not as big an improvement either. Although some people prefer them!)

    You'll also need rim tape and you may as well do new tubes, and there'll be tax and shipping. So let's call the whole thing $450.

    For some background - have you upgradeitised the bike or is it mostly stock? My bike is a bit of a posterchild for upgradeitis, and I'm thinking about doing it yet again next year. So while the frame says "Specialized Hardrock" it's really (and somewhat expensively) my own build. Once I already had a better fork and drivetrain, deciding to bolt better brakes to it was just another step down the garden path. Same with the wheels, and now it has a stock... seat post. (And seat collar, which doesn't function right, incidentally.) Had I been working when I started racing and felt like I was missing shifts and leaving time on course due to the build of the bike, I'd probably have cut my losses, maybe put some slicks on it to ride to work, and bought a purpose-built racer. I'm still promising myself that bike, incidentally, but I decided that it's an "after I pay for grad school" present now, and that pushes it out another few years. The point is, you need to think long-term. Have you been chipping away at the build? Are you planning to? Can you afford to just get out ahead of the whole business now and buy a nice bike to begin with?

    Since you're on a Trek 4-series, I also highly recommend test-riding some other bikes with more typical XC geometry. Giant Talon and up, Trek 6-series and up, Specialized Hardrock and up, I think all of Cannondale's, usually all but the lowest model from any of the other brands. If there's a more "you" frame, the sooner you know, the better.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    What do you not like about your current brakes?
    the reason other then just cause is i usually ride in winter- spring maybe fall. since i live out here in sunny san diego i can ride then but if it rains then some spots get nice and muddy so when i ride through it, which a bit ends up on the rim which i don't like braking with mud all gunked up in the brakes/ rims.

    but i usually just end up waiting a week or 2 to let the trails dry.

    yea i know thats a stupid reason. but w/e

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    For some background - have you upgradeitised the bike or is it mostly stock? . The point is, you need to think long-term. Have you been chipping away at the build? Are you planning to? Can you afford to just get out ahead of the whole business now and buy a nice bike to begin with?
    i'd say its 90% stock, the only thing thats really different is the tires, rear derailleur (attempted to learn trails and ruin the stock one) cranks and pedals.

    i haven't really touched the bike in atleast a year and a half i got sucked into trails once i got an 05 echo pure. so this weekend will be the first time i've gotten back on it on a trail.

    this bike was a birthday present of 08 i think. at this point i am unemployed, so now that i have time to ride on weekends but wont have much money to spend for much longer.

    but this thread is so i can look into going to disc but i won't be pulling the trigger till i am constantly back on the bike and not just once or twice here and there sorta thing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfoot4300 View Post
    the reason other then just cause is i usually ride in winter- spring maybe fall. since i live out here in sunny san diego i can ride then but if it rains then some spots get nice and muddy so when i ride through it, which a bit ends up on the rim which i don't like braking with mud all gunked up in the brakes/ rims.

    yea i know thats a stupid reason. but w/e

    No it's not! That's the exact reason why so many people switch to disk brakes!

    i'd say its 90% stock, the only thing thats really different is the tires, rear derailleur (attempted to learn trails and ruin the stock one) cranks and pedals.

    Great. Now you can advertise it as "upgraded." It'll sell for MOAR.
    I really advise AGAINST getting disk brakes on that bike. Just start saving up and ride the snot out of your 4300. Then after a couple years (or less), if it lives, sell it and buy the absolute BEST (as in $$) bike you can.

    Upgradeitis always seems like a good thing, but it's never better than saving up for a new bike.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, for sure do not upgrade this bike. It's a good bike and will suit you well for XC action. It's going to start breaking and needing maintenance as you ride it a lot. Spend time understanding what you do and don't like about the 4300 so you can get the right bike when you land that new job and are making BANK!
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  18. #18
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    Or, maybe you won't get a new job for a bit, you'll do some self-examination, and you'll borrow tons of money to get that degree in rocket science.

    The main thing is to stick to keep-it-rolling parts until you figure out what you're doing. The irony of unemployment is that one finally has time to ride a lot, but buying gas and maintenance parts turns into more of a burden too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Or, maybe you won't get a new job for a bit, you'll do some self-examination, and you'll borrow tons of money to get that degree in rocket science.
    .
    I've done that. Don't do that.

    But do get a set of Koolstop salmon pads for your V brakes. Great upgrade for the price of dinner out

  20. #20
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    alright well it looks like i'll ride what i got and if it rains let the trails dry and go ride the trials bike.

    if i keep riding and i get a job then i'll see if i ride and still work if so then possibly save up for the next level of bike..... the jeep doesn't use that money.....

  21. #21
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    I've heard good stuff about Aztec pads too.
    But srsly V brakes aren't bad at all in dry weather. Just be sure to lube the pivots.

    A better thing to do would be to get new cables, like the Jagwire kits. One kit for two brakes is like 18 bucks.
    Also, consider getting the 20 dollar speed dial 7 levers.
    Total of pads + levers + cable kit = ~50 bucks.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by faceplant72 View Post
    I've done that. Don't do that.

    But do get a set of Koolstop salmon pads for your V brakes. Great upgrade for the price of dinner out
    Asteroid mining people, Boeing, or one of the random other aerospace firms?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
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    Heed everyone's advice about not dropping a lot of money into this bike. A friend of mine has this exact bike you do, and its strength is it's overbuilt like a tank, which means it has a heavy frame and will always stay heavy. If you ever decide you like cross country hardtails, save up for a better one.

    However...that friend of mine was bent on upgrading something, so he bought the single most effective upgrade - lighter wheels. Nashbar sells a Vuelta rim brake wheelset for $80. It is a low budget wheelset, but very light and durable for his 160 lb weight. Instantly made his 4300 more enjoyable. $80 isn't bad compared to a set of BB7's and new disc compatible wheels. And it will always be lighter than a disc system. If you're patient, wait for them to have their free shipping on wheels offer, since it will be an oversize item and will cost extra.

    How many gears do you have on the rear cassette? I'm hoping you say 8 or more, which means it will transfer straight over to the new wheels. If 7, you have a freewheel cassette, which isn't compatible.

  24. #24
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    The 4300 looks like an 8 speed Free hub. So a new wheel set is on the radar, but SO not worth it.
    Just ride the current bike and don't upgrade it.
    You may be bitten by the bug, but its up to you whether you let it affect you.
    Just hold out on buying anything for your bike other than, like Andrew said, "keep it rolling" parts.

    Save up. Like actually put money in a jar or something. Then when your 4300 snaps in half or your wheel tacos, you'll be able to (justifiably) get a new bike with a good wheel set AND disk brakes.

    But like I always say, I'm not here to make decisions for you. Its your money, and your 4300 may have sentimental value, as indicated by your user name. In which case, go for it!
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  25. #25
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    alright thanks guys, i think my mind is all made up so i'll be holding off on it.

    the username was it only thing i could think of at the time.

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