Disc brakes onto a “ladies” bike

BikeSnail

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2021
32
8
With the need for lots of torque (Bath hills, toddler on my rack) and for a step through frame I am warming up to making a winter project of my trusty old Raleigh Voyager GLX.

In the first instance I would like to change my rim brakes to disc brakes. Unfortunately there are no mounts on my “ladies” bike. I understand that I need (1) a new 26” wheelset with disc brake mounts, (2) a disc brake set and (3) frame adaptors.

Could you please make gear recommendations? What wheels and brake sets are trustworthy and won’t break the bank? We have a second hand bike shop , Julian House, in town - should i buy wheels there? Is there anything to watch out for with a future mid drive BBS01 conversion in mind? I need a pretty universal bike that will allow me to ride on road, through dirt and in gravel and will be suitable for installing a crank BBS01 later down the line. Short rides in the surrounding area. With kiddo at the back the load is 80 kgs and on our way home is a mile long hill with 10% average and max 17% incline. Does all this matter for what wheels I buy?

To preempt comments, no I cannot simply buy a ready made bike with disc brakes because the combo of a “ladies” step through frame and disc brakes is nowhere to be found except on ebikes. I’d love to be wrong about this so do show me a suitable candidate for conversion if you see one :)

Thank you!

4379043791
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,922
Basildon
Discs, calipers, adapters, cables, wheels and god knows what else for brakes that are going to be sub-standard - It's not worth it. Even a pair of forks with disc mounts will probably cost more than what that bike's worth. Those disc mount adapter things don't really work. I wouldn't advise using them, especially on an electric bike. if you're going to invest £600 on a conversion, you might as well spend an extra £100 or so on a decent donor.
 

BikeSnail

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2021
32
8
It's not worth it. A pair of forks with disc mounts will probably cost more than what that bike's worth. Those disc mount adapter things don't really work. I wouldn't advise using them, especially on an electric bike. if you're going to invest £600 on a conversion, you might as well spend an extra £100 or so on a decent donor.
@vfr400 - Could you pls suggest a donor bike model with a step through frame and disc brakes? Every step through frame I see has v-brakes. I’d love to be wrong about that! I’ve been looking at analogue bikes only - would it be worth to convert a cheap hub motor ladies bike instead? Many thanks,
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
11,625
4,781

you can get them but all will be from Europe and expensive not that matters as wont post to the uk anyway or try find one on ebay ect :mad:

its not cheep but you can buy it.
 
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BikeSnail

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2021
32
8
Thanks @soundwave! :) Those are very cute bikes but I really need a more Dutch style frame that is super low and has no second bar. I tried a liv bike a while ago with this type of halfway step through frame and it wasn’t working for me.

I found a company who builds those low frames in Bristol but they cost upwards of 1+ k so I might as well rob a bank and get myself something with a Bosh Motor already installed :)
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
11,625
4,781
yeah you are getting to a price point where a diy bike makes no sense and will have 2 year warranty with a new ebike.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,922
Basildon
You can buy a ready-made ebike from e-bikesdirect.co.uk for the same cost as a decent kit. Choose one with small wheels for hill-climbing.
 

BikeSnail

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2021
32
8
Mhmmm… i think we’ve had this chat on the forum before @vfr400 :)

As a result of your advice (which I’m grateful for) I’m now arranging to test a Wisper 705 on my nemesis hill and there is a Swytch Bike loan shop locally that I’m planning to check out as well.

Let’s see how those hub motors cope.
 

BikeSnail

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2021
32
8
Thanks @sjpt. A bit high for my liking but desperate times call for desperate measures -I’ll drive up to Halfords to double check if this would work :)
 

BikeSnail

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2021
32
8
What a brilliant thread find @Stanebike - It made for an exciting read. Thanks for the hydro brakes idea — I didn’t realise these existed — they may improve my bike regardless of whether I convert or not.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,671
2,098
The Magura (HS11?) rim brakes we have on the Motus work reasonably well when adjusted right, but not really significantly better than good V-brakes, and adjusting them is a huge pain.

The main problem is that the brake does not slide smoothly forwards/backwards on its shaft when the tightening bolts are loosened a bit. You have to loosen off too much; even then its awkward to get set exactly right and is liable to change as you retighten. I posted here thinking that maybe someone would know the trick, or be able to point out if there was something a bit wrong with my set, but the only responses were a couple of other people agreeing.
 
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BikeSnail

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2021
32
8
I’m sorry to hear that @sjpt.

I think I’m willing to take the risk but which ones are best for an ebike? HS 11, 22 or 33?
 

nigelbb

Pedelecer
Sep 19, 2019
216
190
It is worth looking out for a suitable bike used. My wife & I between us have bought a couple of Woosh & one Wisper step through with hydraulic disc brakes for £450, £500 & £800 respectively.
 

Cad205

Finding my (electric) wheels
Staff member
Apr 4, 2021
6
3
60
Uk
I also picked up a second hand Woosh 'big bear'. Dutch style as you see. It has a front drive and disc brake with rear being V brake. It was made to pull more load so I believe it has a higher torque motor. I changed the bars back to the originals from the picture to suit it's Dutch style. The wife loves it and actually wants to get out cycling again!
 

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BikeSnail

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2021
32
8
I also picked up a second hand Woosh 'big bear'. Dutch style as you see. It has a front drive and disc brake with rear being V brake. It was made to pull more load so I believe it has a higher torque motor. I changed the bars back to the originals from the picture to suit it's Dutch style. The wife loves it and actually wants to get out cycling again!


Thank you for this, I’m glad your wife is enjoying this bike. I was actually looking at the Woosh Serena with a mid drive but have just heard from the producer that this model was discontinued. Perhaps it will pop up somewhere second had - it does tick nearly all of my boxes.
 
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Cad205

Finding my (electric) wheels
Staff member
Apr 4, 2021
6
3
60
Uk
Thank you for this, I’m glad your wife is enjoying this bike. I was actually looking at the Woosh Serena with a mid drive but have just heard from the producer that this model was discontinued. Perhaps it will pop up somewhere second had - it does tick nearly all of my boxes.
Definitely worth keeping an eye on your local Facebook marketplace, they do pop up but are often snapped up quick.
 
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BikeSnail

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2021
32
8
Hi, just a quick update to say that I bought a hydraulic Magura HS33 rim brake on Bikester (£65) and installed it on my back wheel. The positioning and hose cutting was quite a faff but now that all is done I’m super pleased. The braking is instantaneous and requires very little force. Performance in dry weather is excellent. In rainy conditions the brake still works but is, expectedly, less efficient. Before installation I still toyed with the idea of a new fork & front wheel with disc brakes, but given how complicated & expensive that would be, and how nice the HS33 is, I decided to get a second set for the front. This should be more than sufficient for my short work commute and uphill-downhill adventures with the sprog - all in dry weather.

Thank you for suggesting this solution @Stanebike .
 

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