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  1. #1
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    One Disc- Front or Back?

    I'd like to add one hydro disc brake to my fisher marlin. Only one to save weight and money, and I'll probably go with something basic like Hayes HFX-9. Question is, should I put it on the front or rear wheel?
    It makes sense to me that replacing the rear brake makes more sense, to eliminate the stretchiness of such a long cable. Plus, I can already usually lock up the front wheel on a descent with the v-brake. But my friend was saying front, because I will get better modulation over the stopping power of the front wheel. Who's right? Does it matter? Any comments appreciated...

  2. #2
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    FRONT, and you can save $$ by getting...

    an Avid Mech disc brake, which will let you keep using the same brake levers. All you'll need is a front disc brake wheel (cheaper than rear disc wheel), an Avid Mech disc brake, and a new cable & housing.

    Most of your stopping/slowing power comes from the front. A stronger, more consistent front brake = more control over your ride.

    I've heard of people running a disc rear and v-brake front, but to me it makes utterly no sense. I'd rather have more power in the front. I've found that as my skills increased, so did my reliance on both a powerful front brake and the ability to modulate that powerful front brake.

    I run v-brake rear, Avid Mech disc front on my singlespeed hardtail. Great combo.

    If you're heavier than average (i.e. over 180lbs) or ride very fast, I would suggest getting a 185mm rotor for the front.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the quick reply. Another reason to go front is the lack of mounting bolts on the rear triangle (would need some sort of adapter), whereas my fork is disc ready (despite being a shitty fork that i will probably replace soon).
    Snobowl eh? I went to UM last year (transferred back to wa for in-state tuition) and made many a turn on those damningly steep slopes!

  4. #4
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    yeah baby, rippin' it at the Bowl!

    I was gonna mention the frame issue, but I didn't know whether your frame had a disc caliper mount.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    a little more

    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    I was gonna mention the frame issue, but I didn't know whether your frame had a disc caliper mount.

    Good luck!
    Gonzonstrike is 100% correct. ~75% of all stopping power comes from your front brake.
    [SIZE=5]For the love of Oi[/size]

    [size=6]Rent a house at Attitash[/size]

  6. #6
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    Think of it this way...

    Install only a brake on the front of your bike. Brake as hard as you dare. Your weight quickly transfers to the front tire, increasing its traction. As this is happening, the rear tire is unweighted to the point where the rear end lifts from the ground. 100% front braking; the rear is useless.

    Now install only a brake on the rear of the bike. Brake as hard as you dare. As before your weight quickly transfers to the ront tire, but your rate of deceleration is arrested because, as before, the rear tire unweights and begins to skid.

    I was quite happy with a front-only Avid disc for two years, even with steep conditions and clyde+ proportions. I'd still happily ride a disc/V setup but I really don't miss eating up rims with brake pads, and I don't mind the extra weight. But performance-wise, a disc/V setup was all I needed and then some for primarily dry weather riding.

  7. #7
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    Hey, that's exactly what I did! If I'm not mistaken, the weight penalty on a front disc hub is less than for the back as well. I'm loving the consistent stopping, and now that the damn thing stopped squeeling, I'm thrilled. I only gained 1/4 pound.

    My husband just did the exact opposite. His was afraid that being 240 lbs and lots of it in the upper body, he would be an endo waiting to happen if he had better braking on front than rear. Who knows?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by litespeedchick
    Hey, that's exactly what I did! If I'm not mistaken, the weight penalty on a front disc hub is less than for the back as well. I'm loving the consistent stopping, and now that the damn thing stopped squeeling, I'm thrilled. I only gained 1/4 pound.

    My husband just did the exact opposite. His was afraid that being 240 lbs and lots of it in the upper body, he would be an endo waiting to happen if he had better braking on front than rear. Who knows?

    Well, look at it this way.....your hubby is my size. So he's having to work alot harder to stop himself. The main reason for going to discs, after the control and power issue, is the fact that it takes far less hand power to stop with discs. With alot of upper body weight, he's already unweighting the rear wheel more than smaller riders on a hard stop, and negating any effect the rear disc may have.

    Other post have mentioned, correctly, that putting a disc on the rear ONLY is not only a waste of money, but damaging to the trails. The added power of the rear only disc will cause the rear wheel to lock up sooner, and skid, leaving a nice, 240 pound guy sized groove through the trail. Not a good thing......being someone who spends alot of time maintaining trails for riding, I've seen firsthand the damage caused by not just the skid, but the rerouted water flow in rainstorms, which then widen and deepen that groove into a nice, muddy ditch.

    Anyway, I would strongly suggest that your hubby move the disc to the front, use less hand pressure on the front brake, like you learned to do, and find out how much better it is.......

    From a post made a few years ago: "I want to put a rear only disk brake on, because I'm afraid the added power will make me endo, if I put it on the front." "The brake will not make you endo, YOU will make you endo. Even a cheap v-brake will make you go over the bars if you slam on the brakes too hard. Use them properly, and you'll find that you have far less hand fatigue, far more control, and alot more fun. If you crash, it's not the brakes, it's the moron with the hand on the lever."

    Something else to keep in mind.........disc brakes are still relatively new, even in the automotive world. Quite a few cars and motorbikes have a combination of disc and drum brakes, and the discs are ALWAYS on the front. Same reasons apply, and over the years here, I've found it amazing how many 15 year old kids think they're smarter than college educated engineers, and say the disc should go on the back.......hmmm........

    Besides, all this is in the DISC BRAKE FAQ that still never seems to get read......

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