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All of the Shimano Claris groupsets I have seen come with cantilever brakes as far as I can tell.

Is it possible to get this with disc brakes, would I have to buy the individual components?

What would be a good, affordable configuration of components (or entire groupset ideally) to get this?

I'm thinking of STI levers, is this important?

3

You can use disk brakes with road levers as long as you buy the ones specifically designed to work with road levers. The difference is the amount of cable pull (the distance that the cable moves when you squeeze the lever). This distance is lower for standard road levers than for MTB levers, so the design of the brake has to take this into account. I know that the Avid BB7 brakes are available in road and mountain versions, I'm not familiar with the Shimano line.

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    If you do put a mountain cable disc brake, you can use a problem solvers travel agent to adapt the cable pull. But, it is cheaper to just buy the bb7 or one of the many road disc brakes on the market. – Batman Mar 11 '16 at 3:43
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As far as I know all Claris brakes are rim brakes, so yes you would need to buy the brakes independently. Road disc brakes are still relatively newish. Or at least have only recently started to gain traction in the market. I believe Shimano recently released the new version of the 105 line that uses a disc brake. You could look at going that route for the brake but..

Compatibility will come into play with the brifters (brake & shifter) as the Claris is made for 8 speed and the higher levels that include a disc brake will more than likely be 9/10 or 11sp, but it is doable with some creativity or use of other brands/models. If my memory serves me you could use the ST-R500 from Shimano with a mechanical disc, its an 8sp. Personally I don't see a need for disc brakes on a road bike as cantis are tried and true but that's just my opinion.

Also STI in shimano terms stands for Shimano Total Integration , a fancy name for the brake lever and shifter in one unit.. aka a brifter

  • My frame is a disc-only frame, so discs are a must, but I'm trying to keep the cost down. So would it be true that any 8spd shifter would work with claris, or just any Shimano 8spd shifter? – Adam Mar 10 '16 at 22:30
  • Ideally you would want an 8 speed shifter that is made for disc brakes, as the required cable pull is different for canti's than it is for Disc/Vbrakes. So where a brake lever made for canti's will work on a mechanical disc, it will not perform very well at all, and your braking will suffer. If you don't have to have brifters, or your using a flat bar rather than a drop you would be fine with a trigger shifter brake lever combo and a mechanical disc brake. If you want brifters and a drop bar its a little trickier. – Nate W Mar 10 '16 at 22:39
  • Shimano uses a 2 to 1 shifter pull ratio where Sram uses a 1 to 1 on their higher end stuff and a 2 to 1 on the lower end to be compatible with shimano entry level products. 8 speed being "entry level" now a days you should be fine but I would check that whatever you are going to buy is a 2 to 1 ratio as that is what Shimano uses, if you go Claris that is. – Nate W Mar 10 '16 at 22:42
  • the trick will be finding an 8sp brifter (STI) that is disc brake compatible, if you go flat bar and a trigger shifter you will have zero issues finding one. Someone correct me if im wrong But yes as far as I know you should be fine with any 8 sp shifter as far as compatibility, its the disc brake that will cause issues – Nate W Mar 10 '16 at 22:44
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    All the cable operated road disc brakes are short pull, just like caliper/cantilever brakes, so you can drop them into a system using caliper/cantilever brakes provided that the frame takes disc brakes. Ones which are marked mountain use the same pull as V-brakes and require a travel agent to work with brifters. – Batman Aug 5 '16 at 14:22
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Yes.

My 2014 Trek Crossrip Comp has a Claris group set and Avid BB5 disc brakes. Soon to be upgraded to Rd-M375 calipers.

  • Vote to leave because this is an answer to the question "is claris compatible with disc brakes?" – Criggie Aug 5 '16 at 21:04
  • Yeah, this is fine if short. – Batman Aug 6 '16 at 1:50

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