The frame of this bike has the capacity for V-brakes and disc brakes. There are some problems with the rear V-brake and I am considering installing a disc brake instead (just for elevated coolness). The bike is one year old. The only part, that was exchanged is the chain - one month ago. The bike is a commuter/touring/cross-country style ridden. The hubs of the wheels do not have holes for bolts, that should hold a disc.

What are the main things to consider when upgrading to a rear disc brake? What parts should I buy? I am considering brake + whole assembled rear wheel == hub+spokes+rim.

  • Check the rear hub - most are 135mm OLD, but there are "road" hubs (130 mm) that are disc compatible (centerlock or standard six bolt).
    – OMG Ponies
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 2:15

2 Answers 2


First, it's an expensive upgrade that won't benefit you much. You'll see quite a few cheaper bikes that only have a disk on the front, because that's where you get most benefit from a disk. So the cheaper option is definitely to buy a better V brake. It will work just as well and be cheaper.

You will need a new rear hub, and it's likely to be cheaper to buy a prebuilt wheel rather than pay someone to rebuild your current rim with a new hub into a wheel (I suggest not re-using the spokes even if you can). You will, of course, need to buy the disk brake as well.

Since it's the rear brake, I'd go with the cheapest cable operated brake I could find. The advantage there is that it's cheap. A more expensive cable operated brake will work slightly better and have both pads adjustable making it easier to set up. But it won't look any more like a disk brake, so there's no real benefit in your situation. Likewise, a hydraulic brake will work better in the rain and snow, but cost more.

  • +1: There's the initial cost to consider, but using disc brakes also the rim will last longer so it can be a worthy investment.
    – OMG Ponies
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 2:17
  • OMG, he said "(just for elevated coolness)". I'm estimating rough parity between the cost of the wheel and brake, so he'd have to save two new rims to pay off the brake change. Most people don't do even one rim change on a bike. Looking at the above site through google translate the bike was 550 lev new, their cheapest disk is 109 lev and a new disk wheel set for 249 lev, so I'm guessing about 125 for a rear only. So, two rimes = 1 brake upgrade.
    – Kohi
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 3:56
  • @Kohi, we have two identical bikes. The old rear wheel will serve as a replacement when the other (older) bike needs it. Finally, we decided to do it. I'll share the riding experience with only a rear disc after several days of testing have passed. But I guess soon there will be question here "What to consider when upgrading front wheel V-brake to disc brake?".
    – Vorac
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 8:17
  • @Vorac: ok, so at least you get some use out of the spare wheel. The front wheel swap is just like the rear one. If you can afford is buying a pair of wheels now will probably be cheaper than buying them one at a time. You don't have to immediately fit the front disk, but most cheapish disk-capable wheels will work fine with v brakes (some have rims that are not suitable for rim brakes)
    – Kohi
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 22:12

http://sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html goes into quite a bit of detail on front and rear braking. Based on that my first concern in upgrading to a rear disc brake is making sure that I also have a front disc brake in place.

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