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  1. #1
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    Disc Brakes + 2001 Specialized M4 S-Works Can it be Done?

    Alright guy/gals first post, hopefully this is the right spot for it...

    I'm the 2nd owner of a 2001 M4 S-Works which I've pilled quite a few miles on. Its an awesome bike and still in really good shape but the bottom bracket is just about wore out and the part is no longer available as it was only used Specialized high-end bikes of that era so I may end up need a whole new crankset. Also the original Manitou fork leaks a bit of oil.

    What I would like to do is modernize the bike with disc brakes, new fork, crank and paint job. I would like to have the necessary mounting hardware welded to the frame and not mess around with clunky adapters (it's a very light bike and I'd like to keep it that way), trouble is my research has turned up conflicting information. This thread leads me to believe it should be fairly simple with the frame in qualified hands.
    Adding disc brakes to non-disc frame?

    But this page suggest that an AL frame can not be re-welded due to the weld weakening the frame.
    http://bikehugger.com/2009/07/ask-bi...rake-conv.html

    Advice?

  2. #2
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    If I were you I'd just get a new fork with 80mm travel like a SID or similar with disc brakes and a new front wheel and not mess with retrofitting the frame for disc brakes. Just too much work involved, IMO, but I'd rather ride than have the frame in the shop for welding/painting. If you really wanted rear discs, I'd go with something like an A2Z adapter and be done with it. I don't know why a lot of people discount V-brakes. If you've got a good set which for an S-Works bike I'm guessing XT/XTR V-brakes, they'll provide more than enough braking power on the rear. What kind of bottom bracket is installed? square taper? ISIS?
    Amolan

  3. #3
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    do not try and have a rear disc mount welded on, you would need to re-heat treat the frame of it would break. The disc front fork and v brake rear is your best option

  4. #4
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    No way to weld M4 alloy and be safe

    You are not going to be able to weld the M4 alloy frame (or most aluminum frames) and be able to not have areas of severe weakness. The frame is extremely thin walled and it would be impossible to heat treat it again to harden.

    Best option would be to but a used frame with disc mounts already installed, there are plenty of these around.

  5. #5
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    A "mullet" setup (disc front, v-brake rear) gives you most of the performance of a full disc setup with less cost and less modifications needed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by commo_soulja
    If I were you I'd just get a new fork with 80mm travel like a SID or similar with disc brakes and a new front wheel and not mess with retrofitting the frame for disc brakes. Just too much work involved, IMO, but I'd rather ride than have the frame in the shop for welding/painting. If you really wanted rear discs, I'd go with something like an A2Z adapter and be done with it. I don't know why a lot of people discount V-brakes. If you've got a good set which for an S-Works bike I'm guessing XT/XTR V-brakes, they'll provide more than enough braking power on the rear. What kind of bottom bracket is installed? square taper? ISIS?
    Yeah, I'm pretty happy with the performance of the brakes themselves (they are XTR), more than enough power. Just don't care for the noise, and I thought if I have to go disc up front I could look into getting them out back as well but I can live with rear V brakes (if anyone asks I probably won't refer to it as a "mullet" though, LOL). I also kinda liked the idea of repainting the bike but obviously I can still do that if I really want.

    As far as the bottom bracket I'm not 100% sure but it is some kind of splined design, Octalink possibly. A local bike shop checked it out and put it back together (I don't have the tools) and said the part was no longer being made. It stayed tight for awhile but now about a month later there is a bit of play in the cranks again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Porkchop_Power
    You are not going to be able to weld the M4 alloy frame (or most aluminum frames) and be able to not have areas of severe weakness. The frame is extremely thin walled and it would be impossible to heat treat it again to harden.

    Best option would be to but a used frame with disc mounts already installed, there are plenty of these around.
    Ok, thanks. So welding is out....

    I guess it comes down to keeping the rear V-brakes or swapping to a new frame. Hmm.... decisions, maybe an M5?

  7. #7
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    Your LBS is blowing smoke. Octalink, ISIS and even square taper BBs can still be had. Just because the newer standard is the outboard bearing BB design doesn't mean that older BB designs are no longer available. This would save you some $$'s for springing for a new BB/crankset.
    Amolan

  8. #8
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    Do you have a pic of the BB in question?
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD (155mm 650B)
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by commo_soulja
    Your LBS is blowing smoke. Octalink, ISIS and even square taper BBs can still be had. Just because the newer standard is the outboard bearing BB design doesn't mean that older BB designs are no longer available. This would save you some $$'s for springing for a new BB/crankset.
    I see... I will have to see for sure which BB is in there and see if I can find a replacement. It seems this bike was made from 99 to 01 and at least three different BBs where used, but based on components and paint the closest is actually a 99.

    http://www.bikepedia.com/Quickbike/B...s M4&Type=bike

    Quote Originally Posted by spunkmtb
    Do you have a pic of the BB in question?
    No, I don't. I just had the bike shop tighten it up and put it back together.

  10. #10
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    Sounds to me like your local bike shop is not so good. You can't adjust a Shimano sealed bottom bracket, and I'm willing to bet good money that you're rocking some sort of Shimano BB. Could it be that you've rounded the square holes on the crank arms? It happens sometimes if they've worked their way loose. If that's the case no matter how much you tighten them they'll still get loose. You'll need new cranks and while you're at it may as well get a new BB.
    You've gotten good advice on the rear disc, don't do it. As far as the fork goes, get whatever you want 100mm travel or less.
    Good luck!

  11. #11
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    No, it wasn't supposed to be a fix, just looking to see what the BB was. Once they said they couldn't order the part I didn't bother to really pay attention to what it was since I figured it didn't matter if I couldn't get a replacement. I should have taken note of what it was when they had it out....

    Also, its not really that loose. Impossible to notice while riding, I just noticed when I was cleaning it so I have some time to figure it out and decide on a fork.

  12. #12
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    Well I ended up picking up a Magura Menja XC 85mm on Ebay with V brake bosses, it was sort of spur of the moment.

    Will this be a good fit or did I screw up?

  13. #13
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    The bottom bracket you were talking about is a basic Octalink bb. Those are available all over. Bikepedia specs yours with a 107mm spindle length, which seems to be a bit harder to find than the 109.5mm, but they exist.
    .|.. O_o ..|.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by metaljim
    The bottom bracket you were talking about is a basic Octalink bb. Those are available all over. Bikepedia specs yours with a 107mm spindle length, which seems to be a bit harder to find than the 109.5mm, but they exist.
    Yeah, I was looking at Bikepedia and it looks like the three years Specialized made this bike they switched the BB for every year but I do think it is a Octalink.

    I'm also thinking I might switch to SRAM 2x10, perhaps an X0 X9 combination but I'd still get a BB for the Specialized crank.

    Now.... someone please tell me I didn't blow it with the Menja XC fork .

  15. #15
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    You may not have blown it on the fork, but your whole idea behind the bike may be off.

    You're going to be spending a lot of money upgrading to disc and maintaining a similar weight, as V-Brakes are almost always lighter than disc. You will also be spending a lot of money upgrading your drivetrain to a 2x10.

    All that on a bike that is usually found on craigslist for $300-400? Why would you even do that?

    Keep the bike as original as possible, and upgrade only the stuff that breaks. When you start itching for a bike with all of the new technology, then don't waste your money building up an 11 year-old frame. Buy something newer, and enjoy the difference yielded by 10 years of technology development.

  16. #16
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    Early on in the thread I was gona go with disc up front (out of necessity) but the reason I jumped on the Menja is that it has V brake bosses which will allow me to keep my XTR hub and nice Mavic wheels, and obviously the brakes so that will save me a big chuck of change.

    It's still a pretty sweet bike, with a pretty modern geometry and being an S-Works I would think worth more than $400.

    Also, the cassette needs really should be replaced soon and the shifters are also showing some wear and tear. I think it would be worth hanging some new components on it, and I can always transfer the modern stuff to a new frame down the road and rebuild the M4 with the original stuff, or put a solid fork on it.

  17. #17
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    Specialized "Shark Fin" Disk Brake Adapter
    http://www.retrobike.net/forum/viewt...ec64d1aab17d01

    In case you get a wild hair and want to go disk I am pretty sure your bike will work with the "shark fin" adapter by specialized. there should be a hole on the left side chainstay made especially for it. But I am not positive if the 01's had it or not.
    Don't listen to these guys about the new bikes. An aluminum hard tail has changed little since then. A carbon one might ride a bit better but no great strides in aluminum has been made in the last ten years. It is a great frame and if it is in good shape it will serve you well and is worth a new set of parts. I personally have been rocking my 2001 zaskar in MS for the last couple of months and it is awesome.
    You do need to figure out the bottom bracket problem though. I know it doesn't feel like much movement, but if for some reason it is loose in the frame it could slowly ruin the threads and make your frame worthless. If the bearings are going bad that is a different story. The type and length of the bb should be stamped on the shell of the bb, however you have to take it out to see it. And previous posters are right, you should be able to get the bb.
    Not sure if two by nine is worth it. Seems like out west you loose some of the low gears for climbing. In the midwest it might be fine. Sounds mostly like marketing crap to me.
    Oh another thing. Do you have xtr v-brakes? on the older style xtr's the linkages would were and cause them to vibrate witch made them squeal. If you have avids, however you should be able to toe the pads enough that they won't squeal. Anyways, congrats on the new ride.
    Live fast, Die young, Leave a good looking corpse!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgestone14
    Specialized "Shark Fin" Disk Brake Adapter
    http://www.retrobike.net/forum/viewt...ec64d1aab17d01

    In case you get a wild hair and want to go disk I am pretty sure your bike will work with the "shark fin" adapter by specialized. there should be a hole on the left side chainstay made especially for it. But I am not positive if the 01's had it or not.
    Don't listen to these guys about the new bikes. An aluminum hard tail has changed little since then. A carbon one might ride a bit better but no great strides in aluminum has been made in the last ten years. It is a great frame and if it is in good shape it will serve you well and is worth a new set of parts. I personally have been rocking my 2001 zaskar in MS for the last couple of months and it is awesome.
    You do need to figure out the bottom bracket problem though. I know it doesn't feel like much movement, but if for some reason it is loose in the frame it could slowly ruin the threads and make your frame worthless. If the bearings are going bad that is a different story. The type and length of the bb should be stamped on the shell of the bb, however you have to take it out to see it. And previous posters are right, you should be able to get the bb.
    Not sure if two by nine is worth it. Seems like out west you loose some of the low gears for climbing. In the midwest it might be fine. Sounds mostly like marketing crap to me.
    Oh another thing. Do you have xtr v-brakes? on the older style xtr's the linkages would were and cause them to vibrate witch made them squeal. If you have avids, however you should be able to toe the pads enough that they won't squeal. Anyways, congrats on the new ride.
    Whoa, I didn't forget about this thread but I did miss your post, sorry about that.

    The frame dose have the hole you mentioned, but I was unable to find any of those adapters. Besides, I think I'll just keep the V brakes all around, since the Magura Menja fork I picked up has mounts for them. They are XTR and I don't have any problems with them (aside from the noise). I was at ridding at Underdown last weekend, a bunch of trails on terrain carved up the glaciers so there is ton of quick intense climbs and descents and the brakes were fine.

    Thats what I was thinking in regards to frame too. I compared it to a friends 2009 Stumpjumper and there are some differences in the geometry, the slacker angle looks a bit different and the top slopes a bit more but overall not much.

    I hadn't thought of that but I think the BB is secure in the frame, just the crank itself that is a bit loose. Since my last post I've replaced the chain and cassette and it shifts much better but now I sometimes get drops from from the middle cog to the granny when going over the rough rock gardens. Taking a closer look and the middle cog is noticeably worn compared to the other two so I assume thats the cause. Rather than replacing the cog and BB I'll probably just end up getting lighter crankset even if I don't do the 2x10 X9 setup.

    Thanks for the congrats but I've actually had the bike for awhile, just now getting to point of wearing stuff .

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