I would like to know whether I can replace my old v-brakes with disc brakes. Do I need to also change the wheels or something else?

  • 5
    Does this answer your question? Converting bike from rim brakes to disc brakes, if not, there are many other questions already on this site covering this exact topic.
    – mattnz
    Feb 15, 2021 at 19:20
  • The linked question is the same, but there the bike frame/forks already had the required mounting points. With @manarinian's bike, we don't know. Could you add a clear, well lit photo of your bike?
    – Criggie
    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:27
  • 1
    What about bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/16362/… ... I am certain we have an exact duplicate somewhere - OP can't expect us to do all the homework.
    – mattnz
    Feb 16, 2021 at 7:43
  • @mattnz good spotting - yeah its a common thought. OP needs to come back with more info on what they're starting from. A line-and-a-half of text is lacking in details.
    – Criggie
    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:03

4 Answers 4


You need to have the appropriate mounts on the fork, the rear of the frame, and you need hubs that can accept disc rotors.

My understanding is that some older MTB frames and forks had mounts for both V- and disc brakes. This was when the industry was starting to shift towards disc brakes. While I'm not familiar with MTBs, that might have been in the early 2000s. If you don't have the correct frame mounts, then there's obviously no way to proceed at all.

Even if you do have disc mounts on the frame and fork, I suspect your hubs were rim brake only, so it would be quite a costly upgrade. It's likely more economical to sell the bike or repurpose it as a commuter.

  • 1
    I have a 2010ish GT hybrid with disc mounts on the frame (but not the forks). The more expensive model had disc brakes. That bears out your 2nd paragraph to some extent.
    – Chris H
    Feb 15, 2021 at 15:51
  • I have come across many mtbs of that era by GT, Kona etc that were fitted with v-brakes but also had disc mounts and disc hubs as standard equipment.
    – Noise
    Feb 15, 2021 at 21:42
  • @Weiwen Ng Switching to disc brakes on only the front gets you much of the benefit of a full conversion, and affordable disc-hub front wheels are easily available.
    – Armand
    Feb 16, 2021 at 0:55
  • @Armand you still need to change the forks though
    – Chris H
    Feb 16, 2021 at 15:14
  • @ChrisH Yes, I should have said that I was assuming disc brake mounts on fork or upgrade to disc fork.
    – Armand
    Feb 16, 2021 at 17:09

If you're already planning on replacing your front fork, you should consider switching to disc brakes on at least the front. Disc brake mounts are now standard on suspension forks and it can be difficult to even find a fork with V brake mounts. Be sure to keep an axle-to-crown distance and fork travel similar to that of your current fork, or you'll end up changing the bike's geometry.

A new fork will also allow you to switch from a QR front wheel to one with a thru-axle mount, which will be more robust and safer with a disc brake. In addition, if you choose a mechanical disc brake for the front that is compatible with your existing brake lever, you won't need to change that.

If you're looking to save money, a new front wheel (with disc hub) is cheaper than a full new wheelset. Also, imho many mechanical disc brakes are relatively inexpensive ($50ish) and work almost as well as hydraulic brakes, allowing you to reuse your current brake lever without having to worry about side issues like brake bleeding and losing braking power due to fluid overheating. You can always switch to a hydraulic brake later if you want.


If your frame lacks disk brake mounts now, then give up this idea, and look for a second/replacement bike or frame.

There were dangerous "accessories" that provided brake mounts on frames bereft of them, but the frames weren't engineered for those loads and could fail.

Likewise, adding mounts was no guarantee of success either.

Example - this is a steel fork that has had mounts professionally added, then was painted properly. But the fork was simply not up to the new loads and failed hard under braking. From https://www.mtbr.com/attachments/bentfork1-jpg.869624/

As it stands, we don't know what you need, because we can't see your bike. So its between No or Maybe unless you can give further info.

  • Thanks!!!!!!!!!
    – manarinian
    Feb 16, 2021 at 11:30
  • A fine example of stress concentration with that top mount forming a pivot. My disc tourer (in the next room so I looked) has one piece of steel incorporating both screw holes for the brake, continuously brazed/welded, but also extending to another join further up the forkby about 50mm, with an air gap. The tube is wider there
    – Chris H
    Feb 16, 2021 at 15:18

I would like to know whether I can replace my old v-brakes with disc brakes. Do I need to also change the wheels or something else?

Yes, you need to change the wheels -- or at least the hubs (and possibly spokes too).

You also need to change the fork.

Not to mention the frame.

Also the brake levers are useless unless you buy mechanical v brakes with long pull ratio (if you have short pull mechanical brakes or hydraulic brakes they won't work with your existing levers).

Furthermore, if you are switching to hydraulic disc brakes (the best disc brake technology), you need to change the inner cables and outer cables with hydraulic hoses and hydraulic fluid.

You also need to purchase brake rotors as a new component. And the disc brake calipers of course (they usually come with brake pads -- if not, you need to purchase brake pads too).

I'd say the list of changes needed is so large that actually you'll end up using a very small fraction of your current bike. Changing the frame might change the list of compatible components, so there could be some components needing change that I didn't list.

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