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Winter bike: disc or drum brakes?
#1
I'm planning on building a new bike to use for commuting this winter, and I'm looking for some advice. So far I have the following specs in mind:

• 5- or 7-speed hub gear
• hardtail
• cheap-ass frame (something department-store variety like Supercycle or Giant) as a theft deterrent and sacrificial lamb to the elements
• Torx or security Torx bolts on all components

However, there's one question that I'm still mulling over. I'm trying to decide whether it would be better to go with drum brakes or disc brakes. Any opinions?

• how do prices compare?
• would they be compatible with a stripped department store bike frame?
• are they compatible with hub-geared bikes?
• any other considerations/options I'm missing?

As a side note, any suggestions for a good site to buy bike parts in Canada? Or would I be better off looking for a shop here? (I've recently moved to Montreal.)

Thanks in advance for the help.
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#2
(08-21-2011, 06:19 PM)AlienCollective Wrote:  I'm planning on building a new bike to use for commuting this winter, and I'm looking for some advice. So far I have the following specs in mind:

• 5- or 7-speed hub gear
• hardtail
• cheap-ass frame (something department-store variety like Supercycle or Giant) as a theft deterrent and sacrificial lamb to the elements
• Torx or security Torx bolts on all components

However, there's one question that I'm still mulling over. I'm trying to decide whether it would be better to go with drum brakes or disc brakes. Any opinions?

• how do prices compare?
• would they be compatible with a stripped department store bike frame?
• are they compatible with hub-geared bikes?
• any other considerations/options I'm missing?

As a side note, any suggestions for a good site to buy bike parts in Canada? Or would I be better off looking for a shop here? (I've recently moved to Montreal.)

Thanks in advance for the help.

I don't live in a snowy, wintery climate but if I did I would want disc brakes. Here's the problem with what you have in mind: I doubt that you are going to find a department store bike that has disc brake tabs. These tabs are necessary to mount disc brakes: no tabs means no disc brakes. Disc brakes are very much compatible with IGH; it's done all the time in current quality production bikes that are designed for that. There are a million other reasons not to buy department store bikes. I have no experience with drum brakes.

If I were in your situation I would get a decent used hard frame mountain bike or hybrid that already has disc brakes and tune/overhaul it as necessary and apply any left over funds to: snow tires (possibly studded) (expensive) and strong u-locks, gloves, rain gear to keep me dry and warmish.

This may be controversial, but I consider department store bikes a chimera.
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#3
(08-21-2011, 08:48 PM)Tim M Wrote:  
(08-21-2011, 06:19 PM)AlienCollective Wrote:  I'm planning on building a new bike to use for commuting this winter, and I'm looking for some advice. So far I have the following specs in mind:

• 5- or 7-speed hub gear
• hardtail
• cheap-ass frame (something department-store variety like Supercycle or Giant) as a theft deterrent and sacrificial lamb to the elements
• Torx or security Torx bolts on all components

However, there's one question that I'm still mulling over. I'm trying to decide whether it would be better to go with drum brakes or disc brakes. Any opinions?

• how do prices compare?
• would they be compatible with a stripped department store bike frame?
• are they compatible with hub-geared bikes?
• any other considerations/options I'm missing?

As a side note, any suggestions for a good site to buy bike parts in Canada? Or would I be better off looking for a shop here? (I've recently moved to Montreal.)

Thanks in advance for the help.

I don't live in a snowy, wintery climate but if I did I would want disc brakes. Here's the problem with what you have in mind: I doubt that you are going to find a department store bike that has disc brake tabs. These tabs are necessary to mount disc brakes: no tabs means no disc brakes. Disc brakes are very much compatible with IGH; it's done all the time in current quality production bikes that are designed for that. There are a million other reasons not to buy department store bikes. I have no experience with drum brakes.

If I were in your situation I would get a decent used hard frame mountain bike or hybrid that already has disc brakes and tune/overhaul it as necessary and apply any left over funds to: snow tires (possibly studded) (expensive) and strong u-locks, gloves, rain gear to keep me dry and warmish.

This may be controversial, but I consider department store bikes a chimera.
I agree. Rotors are self cleaning with the pads and are very effective in crap weather. I had drum brakes on a recumbent I built and they did get rain in which stayed in and produced fade and rust. Todays disc brakes are very good. Stay away from cheap Dept. store bikes! I once built from a frame a decent getting around cycle that was as cheap as a store special. Second hand bits, e-bay and good old shimano!
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#4
(08-21-2011, 06:19 PM)AlienCollective Wrote:  .....
• 5- or 7-speed hub gear
...
• cheap-ass frame (something department-store variety like Supercycle or Giant) as a theft deterrent and sacrificial lamb to the elements
....

However, there's one question that I'm still mulling over. I'm trying to decide whether it would be better to go with drum brakes or disc brakes.
........

hub gear and cheap-ass frame doesn't make sense. IHG are not inexpensive. This is the least expensive one that I could find with disc brake:
http://www.amazon.com/Sram-I-Motion-135mm-Freewheel-Shift/dp/B004YIDD1M/
there were some less expensive disc ready, and no shifter, but the total system, this was the lowest.

5 speed or more, 8 speed more yet.

You'll end having more in the rear hub than the rest of the bike combined.....

You would spend less money if you bought one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/Cadillac-AV-T-Commuter-Finish-19-Inch/dp/B0039N88SQ/
Nigel
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