Shiny Stainless and Custom Fork Disc Brake Tab

Shifting gears briefly to get the last few things done on the Stainless Lugged Disc bike. Polishing is done and have the custom disc tab brazed up. That’s pretty much the frame and fork done, but still have front and rear racks to do, and I will probably be juggling back and forth between that and the “vintage” bike I started last week.

Here are some pics of the Stainless Lug Disc bike:





I am particularly proud of the front disc tab. I was aware of the difficulties of putting a disc tab on a curved road fork and was not pleased with the tabs that were readily available. Heavy braking can have the tendency to “un-rake” a fork. A lot of builders are finding that using a extra long tab, designed by Wes Williams and on offer by Paragon Machine Works, helps spread the brake force out over a longer distance instead of all of the force being in a very localized area.

Some builders took this tab and bent it to conform the curve of the fork blade. I will admit, this did not occur to me as an option till I went to NAHBS and saw it on quite a few bikes. I was more influenced by Alex Wetmore’s solution which was to machine a curved tab.

I designed the tab on CAD, but as I have minimal access to machining equipment(all by hand y’all) and not so much machining experience, so  I sent the design to my machinist friend Jeff Gjersten to make the tab for me.


Though influenced by both the Willits and Alex’s tab, I added a little tweak to the design. When I was designing the tab and messing around with other tabs to see how things fitted up and was finding that the tab was wanting to sit nearly on the side of the fork blade for the caliper to be spaced properly in relation to the brake rotor.

This seemed like a less than ideal place as the surface contact between the tab and fork tubing was minimal. Since I was going to have a tab made from scratch I designed the tab to braze onto the center line of the fork, increasing surface contact, but then offset the part of the tab that the caliper mounts onto. This places everything in the correct location, but the tab is now brazed in a better position.






4 thoughts on “Shiny Stainless and Custom Fork Disc Brake Tab

  1. Nice solution there with the offset tab. I setup my tab in the same location (related to the dropout) as a rear brake mount instead of the normal front position to avoid having to do that offset. It isn’t perfect and I still had to modify my disk brake adapter a tiny bit to make it all work.

    1. thanks alex. i hadn’t thought of using the rear mount. another solution might be to make a tab that was more of a post mount/direct mount and getting rid of the adapter altogether. probably a little harder to machine, but would save a few millimeters.

  2. Hello, very nice fork solution… how has this worked out for you? Very interested in getting one built for my old aende frame… Cheers, s

    1. Hi Steve,
      This is a customer’s bike. He has had it on the road for a couple years now and its going well. I just built another disc road frame using the same tab, that bike awaits paint and then I will have some pictures up. And down the queue a little, I am making a disc brake bike for the girlfriend of the original owner.

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