I have a Felt Z80 road bike like the one pictured below. Would it be possible to add disc brakes instead of the caliper brakes it came with? I don't plan on getting a new bike for awhile so I thought this would be a beneficial upgrade because I ride in the rain from time to time.

Felt Z80 Road Bike

I suppose my other question would be, if it is possible, would it be worth it?

  • 2
    In short: no, you can't convert, as your neither your frame nor your fork have bosses to mount the brake caliper to. (See e.g sheldonbrown.com/images/disc-brake.JPG) As for whether it's worth it, opinions vary widely from "they're spectacular" to "they're no better than rim brakes".
    – Ross
    Sep 28, 2016 at 13:18
  • @Ross Ok. That's a shame. You would think they would include that little piece of metal in case you want to upgrade to disk brakes. I think it has to do with the bike being almost 10 years old.
    – npsantini
    Sep 28, 2016 at 13:33
  • 2
    It's more than just a piece of metal, the forks have to be strengthened in specific ways to accommodate the braking forces of disc brakes, making them heavier and stiffer. Even today I can't think of a bike that's sold with disc mounts and caliper brakes. If you're having braking issues in the wet, look into getting some all-weather pads (such as Kool Stop Salmon), and try to keep your rims clean.
    – Jamie A
    Sep 28, 2016 at 14:20
  • 1
    It used to be more common to see bikes with v-brake bosses and disk brake mounts. The idea was that you could have multiple bikes all based off the same frame with various price points. Now that disk brakes are being used more, the price has come down, and manufacturers can offer disk brakes across all price levels. Still you do see some bikes like the Surly Ogre which can accommodate both disk and v-brakes. This is not so common on road bikes because of the extra strength needed for disk brakes, which is presumably already there on a mountain bike.
    – Kibbee
    Sep 28, 2016 at 14:28
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    @andy256 the trouble is that anything is possible, but the dupe I linked says clearly that it's not financially worth while. Given that the OP is kinda sorta vaguely wondering... the answer linked says it's too much hassle and will cost too much. That does answer the OP question. What possible new variation can there be to "welding new brake mounts onto any older frame is a disaster waiting to happen"? Are you saying a road bike is likely to be more suitable than a mountain bike for this conversion?
    – Móż
    Sep 29, 2016 at 1:27

1 Answer 1


2 parts: front and rear.

For the front, getting a new fork with disc brake mounts is not that impractical if you are serious about disc brakes. You will have to get a new hub or wheel anyway. The front does most of your braking, so that may be all you need to upgrade. Get a mechanical brake that is compatible with your cantilever style brakes and you won't have to change your levers. I did this on an old touring bike of mine, and the improved braking in the front only was great and all I needed, even fully loaded on long descents.

For the rear, there are a few disc brake adapters on the market if you do a search. But they are heavy, flexy or both, compared to a frame mount. You can try them, of course, but I don't think they will give you the benefit you are looking for, esp. for the price of the adapter, new/updated wheel, brake, rotor, etc.

  • You're totally correct, but we try to avoid answering questions that are duplicates of existing questions. This one will become closed and gain a link to the earlier question and its answers.
    – Criggie
    Sep 28, 2016 at 23:58

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