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  1. #1
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    Cost to upgrade to disc brakes?

    I have an older bike (1999) that I would like to upgrade to disc brakes. Is there an adapter to attach disc brakes to an old fork that currently has v brakes? I have RST 281 front suspension. Sorry, I am very new to this. Also, if this would work, how much would it cost if I went with more low end brakes?

  2. #2
    007
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    Honestly, it probably can't be done . . . but look down on the lower left leg of the fork. Are there mounts there? Either post or IS . . .

    More importantly, what about the frame? Are there rear brake mounts back there?

    My gut tells me no on one or both accounts, at which point it would be prohibitively expensive. What's wrong with the v-brakes you've got now? I ran v-brakes for years and the right combo of parts can make for a really good setup.
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  3. #3
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    Agreed, we can't even begin to give you a reasonably accurate estimate without knowing if the bike and fork are even disc brake compatible. If the fork isn't then there's no adapter that I am aware of that would allow you to safely mount a disc brake up front. And being the bike is a 99 it may well not have disc tabs on the rear. In 99 disc brakes were just starting to hit their stride and become popular. Most frame manufacturers hadn't caught up with it and not all frames were offered with the mounts. Also, it is highly unlikely that your hubs are disc brake compatible if you still have the stock wheels on the bike.

    If the above is the case then you are looking at a minimum of a new fork, wheels, and adapter for the frame, and the brakes themselves. So assuming you need it all you'd be looking somewhere in the neighborhood of $465 to $520 for new components. You might be able to shave a few $ off of that by going used. But in buying used parts you do incur a certain amount of risk.

    My advice, save up the money and get a new bike with disc brakes. There are plenty of new bikes out there starting at $450 and up, that come already equipped with discs. Granted the components won't be the greatest, but it's be more economically efficient than dropping the same amount on upgrading a 13 year old bike.

    Your call.

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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies!!! Your assumptions are correct, my bike is not compatible for disc brakes. And to be honest I have not problems with the v brakes, just thought it would be nice to switch to disc brakes if it could easily be done.

    So what could I do to make my v brake system work better? All i have are the original cheapo ones that came with the bike.

  5. #5
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    Even if you did have mounts on the frame it would require new hubs/wheels for the discs to mount to. At that point in a lot of situations it's more cost effective to sell the bike and get one that is already using discs.

  6. #6
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    If you are not happy with the performance of your current brakes, you can upgrade to something like the Avid Single Digit 7's that perform really well and will not break the bank. I have a 2003 Specialized Stump Jumper FSR that I use for some of the flatter trails and upgraded the brakes to those last year and it is not quite as good in wet conditions as disc brakes but is a whole lot better than the old stock. New levers and brakes can be found for around $70.

    BlueSkyCycling.com - Avid Single Digit 7 Brakes w/ Avid Speed Dial 7 Levers Combo

    I looked at going to discs, as my fork and frame support it, but the new hubs and then the brake systems seemed like a lot more money to put into it rather than just stick with V-brakes which work quite well on that bike. The stock brake pads with the avids are good, but you can also find some kool stop brake pads that work very well too.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by markley View Post
    I have an older bike (1999) that I would like to upgrade to disc brakes. Is there an adapter to attach disc brakes to an old fork that currently has v brakes? I have RST 281 front suspension. Sorry, I am very new to this. Also, if this would work, how much would it cost if I went with more low end brakes?
    A new bike is going to be less expensive than trying to upgrade a bike that was not built for disc brakes. Frame welding or a Brake Therapy conversion kit on the rear, new fork, new wheels and the brakes themselves will all cost more than an entire new bike by most accounts.

    And you are due for a new ride if your bike is a 1999 model (14 years old).

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