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disc brakes for cross
Last Post 02/23/2014 04:23 PM by Kenny Gonzales. 55 Replies.
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Oldfart

Posts:453

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11/12/2013 03:29 PM
Looking at race photos it seems that most of the North American pros are using disc brakes whereas most of the European pros do not. Some of the Euro's are testing them in races but cite weight as a disadvantage but some of those guys do also say they like how they actually work in crap conditions whereas rim brakes do not.

I have ordered a Giant TCX Advanced so I will get to see for myself if it ever shows up. The SRAM recall may have buggered arival time up. Apparently the arrival time was posted on the dealer site but that ETA has disappeared concurrent with that recall. No one seems to know what the recall is about though.
THE SKINNY

Posts:380

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11/12/2013 04:08 PM
laars van der haar was the only one of the top guys riding them in the last race i watched.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
jmdirt

Posts:681

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11/12/2013 04:20 PM
A guy named Nys uses and likes them as well. He said that not only are the brakes slightly heavier, but the frames are also heavies to strengthen the caliper mounting areas. He plans to use disc on sloppy courses without much bike lifting, but use cantis on courses that require lots of bike hefting. I wonder if he considered rim weight? Most disc rims are lighter.
THE SKINNY

Posts:380

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11/12/2013 05:01 PM
i haven't seen nys use them yet but i haven't been religious about watching the races.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
Oldfart

Posts:453

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11/12/2013 07:31 PM
Yeah Nys and another top guy ran them for a few laps during the last race.
dkri

Posts:77

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11/12/2013 09:09 PM
I predict that this year's worlds will be won on discs and rim brakes will be an afterthought thereafter. I will also be the smarmy d-bag who points out that this has happened approximately absolutely exactly how and when I've been saying it would for the past several years.

From the participant/rider side, I think the differences are splitting hairs and there's not that much benefit or cost to either choice. From the gear supplier side, you'll have one or two holdouts making nice Canti frames (Van Dessel will be one - Edwin Bull vocally opposes discs) and everyone else will wholesale switch to discs.

Bad discs will continue to be worse than good rim brakes, and good discs will get better and better. As electric shifting takes over, shutting and braking will decouple from each other inside the mechanism. There will be hydraulic brake pods with shift buttons on them.
formerly dkri
THE SKINNY

Posts:380

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11/13/2013 08:53 AM
the race i watched yesterday evening, nys other bike had disks. it was a super sloppy course.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
Master50

Posts:223

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11/13/2013 08:13 PM
there is still a problem with rotors and sloppy courses wearing out pads before the end of the race. Most rotors seem to trap the mud in the cooling holes. there are a couple of rotors that don't do this but they are uncommon.
the first 2 world cups were won by Van de Haar on a bike with disks
Oldfart

Posts:453

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11/14/2013 03:52 PM
Part of the wearing pads problem was with mechanical disc brakes that needed more adjustment than they had available at the barrel adjuster. Some of the problems are with the use of organic or resin pads which most mountain bikers around here where it is wet and muddy more than half the year know are fast wearing things. Metal pads will help that a lot. Some muds are grittier than others too. And some say using a solid rotor would help a lot as well. All those little holes collect and trap grit.

One of the local shop team guy's has had a problem with one of his SRAM disc brakes wearing fast. He thinks it is a lazy stuck piston that rubbed a lot during one race. The other two riders on SRAM disc brakes have not had that problem though. All are on organic pads as far as I know because the metal pads have not shown up yet.
Hoshie

Posts:113

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11/16/2013 02:46 PM
It's here...good deals this year on canti frames as those get blown out. I had my cantis adjusted and am a bit happier but better brakes are a plus. Most of our races are dry and fast so although I'd like discs, it's not so critical for our style of courses.

Thought about switching but I'd need brakes, a new disc compatible fork, and new wheels so plan to wait until its new bike time. Probably move to trp v brakes after cross season is over.

I think most or all the pros will move over to discs within 2 years or so as the next wave of improvements occur.
6ix

Posts:115

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11/16/2013 05:36 PM
Here is my point of contention with discs. Although thru-axle helps a LOT, the pads rub the rotor because there is so little room for error. Why can't the pads be pushed out further away from the rotor? I don't understand this. At least with road calipers you can open the brakes should you have a bad rim.

I've spent a lot of time adjusting my hydraulic discs on my mountain bike. Fortunately, I have thru-axle and for the most part, they don't rub. But my wife's C'dale doesn't have thru-axle and I've never successfully adjusted those darn brakes to not rub. They don't seem to be very user-adjustable. I typically feel confident working on my bikes, but not if it includes bleeding hydraulic cables. That's where I throw in the towel.

Roadies will NEVER fully adopt discs until they can resolve the issue of pads rubbing if the rotor is off by a millimeter. There needs to be more wiggle-room.
gabbard

Posts:27

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11/18/2013 10:14 AM
DKRI,

What do you consider good and bad disc brakes?  I test rode two disc brake cross bikes over the weekend - Specialized Crux with Sram hydraulic disc brakes, and Ridley X-Fire with Ultegra mechanical disc brakes.  The Crux stopped liked I thought disc brakes should - fast and consistently.  The Ridley cable brakes were much worse than my TRP mini-V brakes on my current cross bike.  I couldn't tell if this was a pad issue, a setup issue, or simply related to the overall design.  My Avid mechanical brakes on several MTBs stop really well (not quite as nice as hydraulic, but way cheaper), so I am curious why the Ultegra brakes were so marginal.

As I start to consider a new cross bike, I am bit worried about buying in to the wrong type of system - SRAM hydraulic vs mechanical - and I am not totally psyched about SRAM road gear, having always used Shimano components.

Any thoughts?

Steve
dkri

Posts:77

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11/18/2013 04:07 PM
Steve -
Mechanical with road levers, IMO, are pretty bad. Mechanicals with road levers don't have enough pad throw to avoid either rotor scrape or over-sensitivity to pad wear. Your experience was right in line with what I would have predicted. I had BB7s on a mountain bike for a couple of years and they were great. Nowhere near as great as the X.9s I use now, but pretty darn good. BB7s on a cx bike with road levers? I'll pass.
Shimano makes very very good stuff. Avid brakes take a lot of guff but I've had great luck with them.
Dave
formerly dkri
pabiker

Posts:80

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11/18/2013 09:32 PM
I pretty much NEVER adjust the pads on my mt bike. I ride in horrible terrain that destroys bikes and gear. If you are spending "a lot of time adjusting pads on your mt bike" you are clearly doing something wrong.

Adjustment would be even more infrequent on a road bike because how would you EVER bend a rotor on a road bike? On hydraulic disc brakes today in lieu of a bent rotor you NEVER have to adjust the pads.

Even if you did, my SRAM (AVID) levers have a pad adjustment knob (which I NEVER) use.
gabbard

Posts:27

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11/18/2013 11:18 PM
pabiker - I am not sure if you are responding to my comment, but I am trying to figure out where someone said "a lot of time adjusting pads on your mt bike". Also, my application would not be for a road bike, (don't see a need for disc brakes there), but for a cross bike that will be used on trails. Not rough trails, but going fast on moderate trails can kick up rocks, so maybe a rotor would get bent. Never had a disc brake cross bike, so this is a new world.

dkri - Shimano makes good stuff, but I don't yet see that they make a hydraulic lever with a corresponding road hydraulic brake, or at least the bikes I have test ridden didn't have that option. I agree with you - my BB7s work pretty well, but I much prefer my Avid hydraulic brakes.

The whole disc brake - road wheel situation is evolving rapidly, maybe I need to wait another design cycle and see how it all shakes out.

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