I have a Gary Fisher bike (wahoo I believe). I think it's considered the entry level Fisher mountain bike. Could I put on disc brakes as opposed to using the standard brakes on this bike?

Standard brakes are the rim brakes.

Thanks Carlos

  • 2
    Top quality and properly adjusted V brakes will easily out perform low end cable disks. Before upgrading to discs, see if you can test ride a bike with the same discs as you intend to install to be sure its worth it. Think about high end V brakes. By the time you have purchased the upgraded wheels, discs, possibly forks and brake lever (Check the brake is not integrated with the shifter, else its a new shifter as well....), it quickly gets into the uneconomic - even for a Gary Fisher) .
    – mattnz
    Jun 24 '13 at 5:18
  • You have to check if the frame and fork support this. That is, are there a couple of holes where the disc brakes are supposed to be, like the ones in this picture:  

enter image description here

  • You will need to change the front and rear wheel, as your current ones probably do not have the six mounting holes for discs.

  • You may consider exchanging only the front brake, as it is generally more often used. Leaving the rear brake a V-brake will help with not adding so much weight to the bike (and expense).

  • If you are looking at mechanical (cable operated) discs you may need new levers also.
    – mikes
    Jun 21 '13 at 12:10
  • 2
    There are long pull and short pull versions of mechanical discs, so he shouldn't need to buy new levers at all.
    – WTHarper
    Jun 21 '13 at 12:15
  • *unless he acquires hydraulic discs...
    – WTHarper
    Jun 21 '13 at 17:12
  • 1
    @Carlos The new wheel won't use an adapter, it'll have a hub that is disc ready with the six bolt holes already built in. You will also need a fork that has tabs similar to those pictured, like this. Cables will be the cheapest part of the conversion. Just get some new ones.
    – jimchristie
    Jun 21 '13 at 19:33
  • 1
    @Vorac - no - there are two 'standards' for disk caliper attachment, and it is possible to get adapters to switch between them as well as for different disc sizes. Also there are two standards for disc attachment to hub 6 bolt and $himano. Although not hard, it is far from "just buy a disc and bolt it on"
    – mattnz
    Jun 24 '13 at 22:59

Unless your wahoo is really old, it will probably be disc compatible. The frame can look a little different than Vorak's and still be disc compatible. My blue 05 wahoo looks a little different and is ISO disc compatible (see pic), the two big holes are about 50mm apart. rear fork on 2005 GF wahoo

However, my 1998? purple/yellow GF Hoo-Koo-E-Koo has the older Hayes compatible mount. The HKEK has smaller holes (again, the two holes farthest apart) are about 44mm (1.75in) apart. See 2nd pic. 1998? Hoo Koo E Koo

Don't know if there is an adapter to convert Hayes mount to fit newer ISO brakes. But I do wish I had gotten disc brakes on my 05 wahoo, because one of the original WTB dual-duty rims was defective, causing the bike to shudder when brakes were applied. When purchasing the new, but 1yr old bike, the store owner wrongly said it was just oil on the rims. After closer more careful inspection at home, it became apparent that the wheel was defective, with the rim sides not parallel - I checked it with a good dial caliper. I went to a different LBS and they told me after a bit of investigation that this was a "silent" (better called secret if you ask me) recall by GF. The LBS repaired it, but in talking with the service manager, he told me that GF only reimbursed them for the replacement rim, but not for the labor to rebuild the rim. So now I am loyal to the 2nd store and I tell my friends about how good they were to me.

  • +1 I never knew there are different disc brake attachment standards. You and mattnz (in his comment above) point that out. Also, great idea that is the wheel gets damaged it is a perfect time to consider brake upgrade :)
    – Vorac
    Jun 25 '13 at 7:29
  • 1
    Here is some explanation: bikeman.com/bicycle-repair-tech-info/bikeman-tech-info/…
    – Vorac
    Jun 25 '13 at 10:54

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