I'm getting a new rear wheel built for my commuter. My bike frame does not support disk brakes. I do not intend to use disk brakes in foreseeable future either . I checked the price for Hope rear hubs. The price for disk and non-disk are around the same.

Is here a reason I should't go with the disk brake hub? Weight is not concern for me.

A good wheel being a substantial investment, why not future-proof the build? ie, the wheel doesn't need to be rebuilt in case I decide on disk brake bike in future.

  • This is like someone buying a many-seat minivan when getting married, to allow for all the possible kids. Capacity planning is a good idea in sewage systems where the sunk cost is huge and cost to change later is even larger. However, if/when you upgrade to a disk-brake bike, it WILL come with wheels, which will have the required disk-brake hubs. In short, future proofing the hubs is pointless, even at a $0 difference in price. Look for a technical difference, that will affect you now, and base decision on that.
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 22:38

3 Answers 3


As we've discussed earlier, its fine to have a disc brake hub to work with a rim brake rim, but most disc wheels aren't built with rims that can use rim brakes (you need a rim brake track to use rim brakes safely; I don't know of any higher end wheels which are shipped this way, so if you buy a complete bike later, you may end up with better wheels on the complete bike).

One thing you may run into later is that your hub uses a different disc brake standard than the rotors you want to run (but this is an easy enough problem to deal with). Another thing you might run into is different types of hub compatibility needed (e.g. if your next bike has a thru axle or something; unlikely on a commuter though, I suppose, or width as Jamie A points out in the comments).

  • Width is another aspect of hub compatibility, some disc brake road bikes have a rear dropout spacing of 130mm and others 135mm, still others are 132.5mm spaced which should allow for both.
    – Jamie A
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 19:42
  • 2
    Due the ever increasing number of axle standards, building a wheel for a future bike is probably not worth it. Cynically, I think the axle standards are running out of steam to extract money - I don't think it will be long before they decide that Post or ISIS and disk position/size/shape is all wrong and come up with a new set of Disc mounting standards.
    – mattnz
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 20:43
  • 1
    @JamieA - Good point; I've added it to the answer. Matt - yeah, but a thru axle on a MTB really does have a point to it. And I think it will end up on higher end road bikes eventually. I've solved this problem by buying old used bikes for under 300 USD, though.
    – Batman
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 21:03
  • Answers and comments here steered me toward ordering a non-disc hub.
    – greppz
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 21:54

Disc brake hubs are built to withstand different forces, i.e. the twisting from using a disc brake rotor attached to the hub.

Usually this means the hub is a bit beefier and also it may have a different spoke lacing pattern meant to help with the twisting forces from the brake.

It won't hurt to have it, but the price for sturdier parts is usually a weight penalty. I'd say that's worth considering but you may not care in your situation.

  • 2
    Commuters generally don't weight weenie that much.
    – Batman
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 21:00
  • 1
    @Batman agreed. But it's worth considering. Also the wheel rides differently depending in how it's laced, which is somewhat dependent on the hub. Usually disc wheels are not radially laced, although I have one that is half radial. They all ride differently IMO. And the OP is planning on future use when he/she might have become a weenie.
    – ebrohman
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 23:06

You don't say in your question, but presumably you already have some kind of 135mm frame.

Between typical disc and non-disc rear wheels for a given frame spacing (135 is really the only one where disc and non-disc are both prevalent, although 130 disc hubs do exist), the disc wheels are going to be stronger against radial loads because they have more total tension (less tension disparity right to left), but weaker against lateral loads from the left side (not as much bracing angle).

It's not likely to make a difference either way, but this could influence your decision. Other than weight, this is the only functional difference. I'd say go for it if you think there's a reasonable chance it will be relevant for you in the future.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.