A few disc brake questions

Aug 14, 2019
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I'm planning a future project and have some disc brake questions. Things to consider in my plans,

First it's not planned to be more than an occasion rider, basically a fairground queen, or ride around the immediate neighborhood.

It will be a trike, each back wheel will weigh between 12-15 lbs.(18 x 9.5 x 8 tires), so figure 40-50 lbs. of rolling weight, I have no idea how much the entire bike will weigh, but it's going to be pretty heavy.

I'm not sure if I will run a front brake. I will have to move the BB forward quite a bit, so I need to get the front wheel forward. My options are a bent springer (I don't trust putting a brake on it), or an extended triple tree style, with disc brake. To use the TT style fork, I will need to rake the head to keep the frame where I want it, I'm not sure I want to do that on this bike. Most of the weight will be over the rear wheels, and I plan to run a very narrow 20" front tire.

My idea is to use two brakes on the rear axle. I'm hoping I can find a way to mount the rotors to each wheel hub, so even the non drive wheel will aid in braking.

I hope some of you can help me with the following questions.

1- What is the bolt circle diameter of the rotor screws?

2- If I can mount the brakes to both wheels, can a double cable lever be used to activate both brakes. My concern would be them working equally/ staying in "balance".

3- Would hydraulic be a better choice to have equal back brakes? If they could run off a tee at the rear axle, will one lever power both brakes adequately?

4- Would you be concerned with having a front brake with what I've described so far?
Jul 30, 2013
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Far from an expert, but it looks like a BCD of either 44mm or 48mm are most common.

Just an opinion, but cable actuated disks might be very tough to synchronize. The hydraulic system you describe ought to self-balance and, in theory, alleviate that concern, while it introduces another...a single point of failure. I can't provide all the answers, but at least you're asking the right questions.
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Apr 20, 2009
Fairfax, VA
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Had a tadpole trike at one time with 2 separate brakes, one on each side. Stopped fine, even though prone to doing stoppies. That wouldn't be a problem with the paired wheels in the rear.

edit: if pulling to one side squeeze the other side harder.
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Most trikes only have a front brake, you could probably set up a disc brake hub as a mid-drive. Use a rear wheel hub and make whatever drive wheel fixed. Either way, you'll need a way to mount disc calipers. You could also use a axle from say a shifter cart that has a rear disc.

Most triple tree style forks are adjustable so you can raise and lower the fork legs. Also wondering why are the wheels going to be so heavy?
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