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Does it make sense to build a wheel with a hub with Centerlock for disc brakes and a rim for caliper brakes?

My idea is to use the front wheel with a dynamo on two bikes, if I decide that I need a light on my more sportive bike, or to use the wheels for a future bike with disc brakes.

E.g. Shimano Deore LX DH-T675 + Mavic A 319

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    There is certainly nothing to prevent building such a wheel. The off-centeredness of a disk wheel does add slightly to the stress on the front rim (though it may help on the rear), but all but the lightest rim-brake rims should be hefty enough to not notice the difference. – Daniel R Hicks Feb 18 '18 at 19:55
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    This was common in the early days of disk brakes, especially before disk specific rims and discs came down in price. Bikes were sometimes shipped "Disk Ready" - model up came with discs for another $100 or you could upgrade later for $150 – mattnz Feb 18 '18 at 21:31
  • Check the spacing for the rear wheel! Disk wheels have 135mm while non-disk have 130mm – Carel Feb 19 '18 at 7:25
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I've used such wheels for some time on my hardtail. First with V-brakes back and front, then switched to disk brakes as the frame allowed both types of brakes. I cannot say that I have experienced any issues with such wheelset.

My centerlocks hubs even came with plastic covers on disk mounting surfaces so that they would not become dirty when no disks are present.

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The downside is that the disc brake bike won't get the advantages of a disc-specific rim, like greater structural efficiency (how strong it is for its weight) and ding resistance due to no brake track, and the rim brake bike won't get the advantage of a dishless wheel, which is greater total tension and more strength.

Building such a wheel does mean the worst of both worlds. That said, front wheels often have pretty easy lives so it's not all that likely to make any kind of difference in use unless you're pushing the limits of the wheel. If you do want to steer towards getting all the strength and durability you can for the weight, enough is lost here that I wouldn't do it.

  • Very good points about structural strength of the resulting wheel! I actually managed to fatally ding my rim-disk rear wheel. It might very well be true that previous usage of the rim surface for V-brakes weakened it somewhat, or maybe it was not that strong from the beginning. – Grigory Rechistov Feb 18 '18 at 19:33
  • In context of the stated components (comes out at about a $120 wheel) is this really a serious consideration, or is it only when you get to higher end components? – mattnz Feb 18 '18 at 21:18
  • @mattnz I would say the amount of strength/durability at stake is relevant if you knew the wheel was potentially going to have a hard life. – Nathan Knutson Feb 18 '18 at 21:22
  • +1 for easy life of front wheel. I have a dozen spare fronts in decent nick, but very few rear wheels. – Criggie Feb 18 '18 at 23:40

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