Readers Write – Disc Brake Road Bikes

Bike Hugger picked up a comment this week that is near and dear to my biking-heart. As I’ve posted (twice), I’m a fan on disc brakes for the rainy season.

Robert B of Calgary, Alberta writes:

“Hey huggers! I’ve been reading your blogs for a while, however, I have a burning question about an interesting bike build I’m doing.

A fast ultra-marathon road bike with disc brakes. The bike has a little dirt alter-ego mixed in there for fireroads. It’s almost done, but I’m still pondering all my wheel options. One set for road, and one for cross of course.

I was thinking DTSwiss 240 (28h) hubs, on Zipp 417 or 505 clinchers.

The guys at Cane Creek “were” interested in building me a set, but discovered they no longer have any hubs in stock. As they are getting out of geared wheels, and only doing track wheels for 2008.

Any suggestions on wheel/hub configs.”

I’ll start with hubs. My biggest question is around the rear hub. From what I’ve found, the only 130mm rear spacing (road) hub made is the Phil Wood which lightens the wallet at $459! Someone told me the DT 240s would go 130, but all details I can find say otherwise. A couple manufacturers make road disc wheelsets: Bontrager Select Disc, FSA RD-460, Mavic, and Velomax/Easton. None of these are available as a hub only that I know of. Unless you have 135mm (mtn) rear spacing, your options are rather limited.

For Carbon rims, there are a number of options out there, but the spoke count of the hubs you choose will dictate where you need to look. I know me and friends have had luck with HED, Zipp, Bontrager, and Reynolds. What works the best – hard to say. Clinchers limits your options, but if you are thinking of taking them off-road, I’d really consider Tubulars.

I’m envious of your dilemma as it sounds like a real fun project. Send pictures and I’ll get them up.