Does anyone have any experience with or can anyone offer any insight. I want to build a steel bike for touring/winter commuting and would like to do disc brakes. I figured I could buy something like a Soma Doublecross DC frame, or I could take an old steel road frame and have disc tabs welded to it.
Most old road frames aren’t going to be able to handle a retrofit disc mount. Just too much stress on those dainty steel tubes unless you pick just right and potentially have a reinforcement put in as well. And even then, I’d think that’s a bad idea. When disc brakes were first being figured out a number of otherwise overbuilt mountain bikes were having disc mount cracking issues, either at the mount itself or the seat or chainstay. Still not all that uncommon.
I’d stick with a ‘cross bike with disc mounts. I think that’s your only real option besides maybe one of the flat-bar road bike models out there.
I would prefer steel to aluminum, but I wont rule out aluminum. I have looked at the kona sutra, the salsa fargo, the soma doublecross. I have also looked at getting a 29er hardtail or the nashbar aluminum cyclocross frame..
Maybe one day when I get my own jigs and stuff and try to build my own frame I will try some oddball stuff then.
Another thought on this, if I do get a cross frame with disc tabs, they usually come with 130mm spacing. There dont seem to be many inexpensive 130mm disc hubs out there just yet. Is it a big deal to stretch the rear spacing to 135?