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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:490

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11/20/2013 04:16 PM
Yeah jrt. Pretty similar experience for me too. Those first Hayes Mags worked really well back in the day. Compared with what is available for mountain bikes today though they wouldn't be nearly as nice. Those Hayes brakes did a lot to change the way we rode our bikes in North Vancouver. Brakes that worked and worked consistently in all weather. Almost no maintenance required.

I think the change will be faster for cross because of what has been learned off road. I mean Shimano are using the Ice tech freeza rotors already. And I read somewhere that the calipers are XT which means one can use XTR race brakes if one so chose.

I have ordered a cross bike with disc brakes but I am not totally convinced that the braking difference will be as big a deal then it is with a mountain bike. It may be that after riding a disc brake cross bike a while that going back to rim brakes will reveal how crappy rim brakes really are. Sometimes going forward doesn't seem like much improvement until you back to the old stuff.
dkri

Posts:91

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11/20/2013 07:04 PM
The cx transformation is already way way further along than the mtb one was at the equivalent stage, at least in terms of xc racing. Discs were INVISIBLE in World Cup xc until after the '04 Games. Two seasons after they were made legal there have been World Cup cx wins on discs. As Oldfart says, they've already learned how to make disc brakes really really good, they just have to adapt them completely to cx bikes.

You're pretty far down the food chain at hermaphrodite cross bikes even since a while ago - many higher end bikes were offered as either, but very very few were offered as both. From all I see, cantis are gone for next year. It will be hard to buy a bike with canti setup.
formerly dkri
pabiker

Posts:80

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11/21/2013 12:02 AM
there you go again. mountain disc brakes are not "generally improved" at this point they are entirely dominant. there is no comparison in performance, reliability, durability; and if you are running anything other than hydraulic discs on your mountain bike at this point you are either (a) broke (b) don't care (c) a luddite (d) a moron.

Cosmic Kid

Posts:1192

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11/21/2013 09:05 AM
Well, the CX transformation is benefitting from the XC transformation. The path has already been blazed to some extent, so adoption is happening faster. This is true from both the industry and consumer perspective.

The industry has done this before and have learned from their mis-steps and consumers are more willing to accept the technology based on the MTB success.

That said, I disagree that it took until after the '04 games to see widespread acceptance in XC. I was spec'ing all discs above $1K back in '00 and was hardly a pioneer in that regard.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
dkri

Posts:91

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11/21/2013 09:36 AM
Read carefully - I said they were invisible in World Cup xc until after '04. Watch "Off Road To Athens," which was filmed in the build up to Athens. I don't know if you see a set of discs in that film. Widespread acceptance below World Cup level was years old at that point, as you said.

If World Cup cx were to follow a similar arc, Nys, VdH, Albert, and whmever else wouldn't have used discs yet. As it is, I'd say odds are better than 50% that this year's cx worlds will be won using discs.

I would agree with you and attribute this quicker adoption to the fact that disc brakes now work exceptionally well. The only substantive challenge is adaption to the cx platform. That's a much smaller problem than inventing brakes that work.

PA - if you read closely JRT said that discs "generally improved with each new iteration," not that they are "generally improved."

formerly dkri
longslowdistance

Posts:744

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12/08/2013 09:27 PM
Another voice has chimed on on the TRPs: retrogrouch randonneur engineer Jan Heine of Bicycle Quarterly really, really liked the TRPs (for road riding) - he found them better than the best rim brakes both in terms of power and feel. And he's never been a fan of road disc brakes -- he has consistently panned BB7s. So the rave review is impressive.
For me the fade/boiling question during sustained braking remains. Heine didn't ride a 5 mile sustained 12+% very twisty descent in warm weather, which I do from time to time. That's a lot of heat loading. Won't be until next spring that I can try this for myself.
jrt1045

Posts:362

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12/09/2013 10:23 AM
if you can ride a road bike hard enough to fade a hydraulic brake system you are certainly "The Man"

keep the rubber side down
longslowdistance

Posts:744

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12/09/2013 10:53 AM
Unfortunately, in my case there is too much man, so the brakes need to be good. Remember the trp hy/rd is not a full hydro, just a reservoir at the calipers actuated by a cable. I am using ice tech rotors which should help with the heat dissipation.
Master50

Posts:252

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01/01/2014 08:01 PM
Sven Nys just won a world cup on his new disc equipped Trek. That is like 3 or 4 big races now
79pmooney

Posts:1192

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01/06/2014 03:36 PM
I just noticed that Katie Compton was racing cantis at Koksijde. (http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/01/news/the-world-cup-secure-katie-compton-switches-focus_312446). I had assumed she was riding discs being with Trek. Now, that photo does look like it is dry. But she was also riding cantis yesterday in Rome's mud. (http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/uci-cyclo-cross-world-cup-6-2014-cdm/elite-women/photos/287159)

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:1251

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01/06/2014 04:02 PM
The deal with Trek for Nys (and I assume for Compton as well) is that now he can chose between either disc or canti, picking best option for each race. I assume mud means rapid disc wear = cantis better.

With Colnago Nys only had one disc equiped bike so the race he won on the new Trek was his first FULL race with discs.
Red Tornado

Posts:37

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01/07/2014 02:59 PM
A friend of mine has a BB7 equipped All City CX bike and he loves it. He also runs BB7 on his 29er MTB and has that setup dialed as well. I'm in the early stages of a CX build for next season, but with a used canti/V-brake frame and used wheels. Money is tight right now, so I guess you take what you can get - especially if it's steeply discounted stuff from fellow riders. If it pans out well for a season or two, I'll probably build a proper CX bike - most likely by then with discs. My friend tells me CX discs are "it" and he has switched from V-brakes.
I'm a little hesitant regarding discs though, because an MTB I had a few years ago with BB7's where the rear ONLY howled (as Old Fart put in) like a banshee. Swapped the rotor, caliper, pads (all one at a time); checked & double-checked setup; had my friend try to dial it; took it to the shop. Nothing would quiet that sucker down. Front disc ran dead quiet. Head shop guy thought it was some kind of vibration/harmonic thing maybe with the frame or rear wheel. We never thought of/tried tape behind the pads. Got to be extremely frustrating as it seemed you could hear that thing a mile away. Traded the MTB for a nice Fulcrum wheelset for the road bike and now am riding my old MTB (re-claimed from my son - he hadn't used it for a few years) with Shimano mechanical discs and they work fine.
If I go the disc route again, it will definetly be hydraulic. Like the auto adjustment and better pad clearance.
79pmooney

Posts:1192

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01/07/2014 05:39 PM
RT, your old MTB would make a perfect Boston commuter. Quiet with the old reliable front brake stop. But when you need attention, the howl is there on demand. There were times when I had almost that with the old Mafacs, famous for their squeal. When they were dialed in right, I could stop fairly hard reasonably quietly. But should a car cut me off, I would hit that front hard! Every head within a block or two with any hearing at all would turn. I would point to the offending car. Eyes followed my point. At about the same time, the driver, having been awakened from his stupor, looks up. Guess what? Everyone is looking at him! Driver slinks off with his tail between his legs. That was always fun!

Ben
Red Tornado

Posts:37

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01/08/2014 01:56 PM
LOL.  I hear ya on the commuting thing.  As a rider that commutes to work 2-3 times a week, having a loud "horn" would definetly come in handy at times.
Wish we would've thought of the tape thing; other than the brake howl that was one sweet mountain bike......
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1192

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02/03/2014 12:27 PM
Whaddya know....Vos rode discs to her win.

Nope, discs are never gonna catch on at the highest levels of the sport.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
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