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I have a 2008 Giant XTC 01 that came with disc brakes. Those brakes have been difficult to service throughout my time with the bike, now the pads on the back are worn out the fluid lines on the front has ruptured. As such, I'm ready to consider replacing the disc brakes with more easily serviced calipers or cantilevers. The problem is, I'm not sure whether my frame and wheels will support this style of brake. Attached are images of the fork, wheels, and frame.

front wheel and fork

rear wheel and frame

  • The simple answer is NO, I'm afraid. Better sell the bike and get one with canti-brakes. That is if you still can find one! – Carel Jan 28 '15 at 16:16
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    As Batman has correctly pointed out below in one of the answers, you would not have to switch out the fork to change to V-brakes or canti's, however you may struggle to find bosses for 2008 for. Behind the plastic covers will be a threaded hole. All of the other parts of the answers are correct. – DWGKNZ Jan 28 '15 at 19:23
  • Any decent bike shop should stock bosses. – Batman Jan 28 '15 at 20:31
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You would need a new fork in the front to add v-brake bosses and the frame does not support this either. I don't think it's worth the effort on this bike. It's sure not going to be easy without replacing both fork and frame.

I think for your situation, what may be a better solution is to switch to Mechanical Disc Brakes. They are much more field serviceable than hydraulics. I'm going to recommend avid BB7 brakes since they are easy to adjust (you can adjust pad position on either side of the brake) and very easy to find parts for (most shops are going to have pads).

  • Yeah. The other thing, putting aside the "difficult to service" comment, is that the actual problem right now is just some worn pads. In itself, that problem is easy to sort - swapping pads should only take a couple of minutes. – PeteH Jan 28 '15 at 16:16
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    If my eyes aren't deceiving me, I think I see places on the fork where you can screw in the brake bosses for V-brakes/canti's. If this is the case, you can buy the bosses, brakes and new levers and install them on the front. On the back, you can't though. You will need new wheels too for rim brakes. – Batman Jan 28 '15 at 16:18
  • Yeah, I totally missed the bosses on the fork. It kind of blended in to the photo due to the cap on the cover. Doesn't seem to change the fact that your frame isn't compatible and you'll need a new wheel like Batman said. – Benzo Jan 28 '15 at 21:12
  • Great suggestion on the mechanical disc brakes; solving the serviceability issue without the need for new components is ideal. – user17177 Jan 28 '15 at 21:50
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    @user17177 - You should also consider using a "compression-less" brake cable set. This will improve the performance and the feel of mechanicals brakes greatly, getting them quite close to hydraulics. – Rider_X Jan 29 '15 at 7:13
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The particular model of brakes on that bike are known to be a maintenance headache, and generally have a poor reputation.

Hayes Stroker Ryder w/160mm rotor brakes, Hayes Stroker Ryder levers - See more at: http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?year=2008&brand=Giant&model=XtC+1#sthash.hhqp6sSq.dpuf

If you like the bike otherwise, upgrading the brakes to a newer model might help a lot. Shimano's current XT brakes have a great reputation and are often on sale. I upgraded the brakes on my 2009 Giant and it has made a significant difference.

Switching to Avid BB7's would be about the same cost since you'd need to buy new levers and housing. BB7's are fine, but all in all I prefer my XT brakes.

For mountain biking, I think you would really regret switching from disk brakes.

  • Maybe he can switch to SS and install a coaster brake, heh. – Vorac Jan 29 '15 at 9:08
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Frame, fork, and wheels are not compatible.
Most (actually all that I have seen) disc wheels don't support rim braking.
It is money and weight for the rim surface to accept a rim brake.
Also your frame and fork do not have mounts for rim brakes.

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You cannot install canti or v-brakes on that bicycle frame. Furthermore, if you could, the disc wheels do not have a brake track for canti pads.

As others have mentioned, my opinion is that you should change to a different brand/model of disc brakes. That way you can continue to use your existing frame and wheels.

The Avid BB7 are an excellent choice. They are a highly regarded mechanical (no hydro fluid) disc brake, and easy for the home mechanic to adjust. Two small dials on the brake itself fine tune the position of the pads.

Shimano hydro disc brakes are also highly regarded and would be a fine choice.

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