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I talked to a bike shop that sells a lot of fixed/single speed bikes. I asked them if they could sell me a single speed with a disc brake on the front. The guys said no because:

  • It will be hard to find a frame that supports that
  • It is silly and not really needed and a waste of my money

If he is correct about the money part, then what would be a better place to put that money?

I bit of background: I commute year round, and I really like the stopping power i get on my mountain bike (with disc) during the winter / rain. I also tend to ride 20-25mph in Boston.

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    Find another bike shop. If he won't because its 'hard', you cannot rely on him to see things though when the going gets tough servicing your bike. If won't because its a waste of money, its your money, therefore your choice, how to spend it (his job is to advise, not refuse). – mattnz May 4 '15 at 20:23
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    I think what he was saying is that his shop doesn't sell that model. – Daniel R Hicks May 5 '15 at 0:27
  • Genesis do a single speed CX inspire bike called the "Day One". Its been around for a while as they are currently doing the 10th anniversary edition. – Qwerky Feb 15 '16 at 14:43
22

Well, there are lot's and lot's of commuter bikes with internal hubs and disk brakes. I see no reason why a single speed wouldn't work as well.

A google search for "single speed cx bike disk brakes" turns up this beauty.

http://allcitycycles.com/bikes/nature_boy_disc

There are low budget models out there as well. Nashbar 29'r Single Speed

Swobo makes one, you can build a Surly Straggler up as a single speed.

Getting exactly what you want will likely cost a bit more, but that should be for you to decide if it is worth it. If you're going to commute in the rain, my opinion is that a disk brake is well worth the extra expense.

I'd go to a different bike shop.

  • -1 because price is no where to be found on the site – mkoryak May 4 '15 at 19:01
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    @mkoryak How is no price a -1? +1 from me – paparazzo May 4 '15 at 19:03
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    id like to know what it costs, before i fall in love with it and its 5k or something – mkoryak May 4 '15 at 21:04
  • Also singularcycles.com has disc braked single speed mtbs. – whatsisname May 4 '15 at 21:20
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    @mkoryak Sure, everyone wants to know the price. But why are you downvoting somebody's answer just because they happened to link to a page that didn't have a price on it? It doesn't seem helpful to penalize somebody for providing you with partial information when they could have just not mentioned that bike at all. – David Richerby May 5 '15 at 10:52
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Brake not break.

A disc brake kind of violates the whole minimalist single speed karma.

That said front disc brake is not a frame thing. Just install a front fork that will take a disc brake. Doubt anyone is going to have an off the rack that way as it violates the karma thing. It is a money thing as it is (likely) a custom build.

You are going to find SS disc in cylcocross (CX) as there is SS heat and disc is common in CX. You will get a bike designed for CX with front and rear disc, knobby tires, and geared for CX. It can be a nice commuter bike but it will not be the same geometry as a street fixie / SS. You are not going to find many CX bikes under $1000 new as they are selling to the racing crowd.

If you really just want disc you are seeing them more and more on street bikes but you are not going to find (many) SS (outside CX). Look at something like a Salsa Collosal. You won't find disc on race bikes as UCI does not allow it. You will find disc on cheaper mtn bikes as mtn bikes are pretty much expected to have disc any more. On road you are not going to find disc on cheaper bikes as disc is not the standard.

  • I second @Blam; replacing the front wheel fork with a fork/hub that supports disc brakes and then installing a disc brake on the front would be a good balance. Depending on quality, expect to spend $200 - $500 for the parts. – Ehryk May 4 '15 at 19:53
  • Depends on what you get. The Redline Monocog for example now ships with disc brakes on the front. As for some city-ish bike, Fred's answer has some. I think its more of a fashion thing than a money thing though. – Batman May 4 '15 at 21:00
  • @Batman Freds answer is also all CX. But a CX makes for a pretty good commuter. I was coming at it from the SS fixie end. – paparazzo May 4 '15 at 21:36
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As others have said, simply purchase a fork that will accept a disc mount.

There will be some initial cost to set it up but you'll save money in the long run just in wheels alone.

I would certainly suggest another shop to have the work done or a different mechanic at that shop, it would have taken them 15 minutes to get you a list of forks and options from their vendors and then to write you an estimate.

If you're going to make the conversion to disc, consider going hydraulic; very responsive which is a huge plus when you're hauling buns thru traffic like you do.

The nice thing about a single speed is that there aren't a lot of other places to put the money if you already have a sound frame. You'll need a new front wheel so you can get the rotor mounted but wheels are where a lot of folks focus their money in single/fixed categories.

And of course the saddle, your butt is worth every penny.

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I own a Surly Steamroller, and although I haven't done it myself, many other Steamroller riders put a Surly Disk Trucker fork into the Steamroller frame. With the exception of the fork altering the geometry ever so slightly, it's a pretty like-for-like switch.

It's also a fairly inexpensive option. You can pick the frames up for sub £200 and the forks for a good way under £100 in the UK. Then build up with whatever parts you fancy.

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