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  1. #1
    My cassette goes to 11 Barabus's Avatar
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    Looking for a new bike for Century riding

    I am in the market for a new bike frame and probably a century rig. My current ride is a 1997 Canondale T2000 Cadd2 aluminium frame. See picture below.




    As you can tell I am not a small rider- 6' 2" and 250lbs. I ride about 100-120 miles weekly and at a club level. The things I like about the Canondale T2000 are the 28mm gatorskins that I run on it and the overall comfort of the bike. I also like the 135 mm rear dropout and have two great wheelset that I want to transfer over to a new frame. FYI, I also have a 2008 Trek Madone 5.2 for when I want to go fast.

    The things I don't like about it is the harsh ride and the cantilever brakes. These brakes are a bear to adjust and really lack power. In comparison, the ultegra brakes on my 2008 trek are light years ahead in stopping power. Bear in mind that I still want to run the 28mm tire on the new century bike.

    I have been thinking about building up a Waterford frame like an ST-22. Budget for frame would like to keep below $1200 but would go more. Hell, I would like to keep the whole bike below 1500 but know better. http://waterfordbikes.com/now/models.php?Model=658. I am not committed on any course of action and am open to new ideas.

    What would you do if you were faced with this situation?

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    Get a trek 520 (new) about 1300$, use 32 tires or 28s and add fenders if you like

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    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    I'd stick with the Madone. If there is something wrong with it I'd probably spend the money to upgrade it instead, if your finding it uncomfortable for long distances you may want to consider a new saddle. If I were in your shoes and really wanted to spend money on a new bike I'd go Ti, much more comfortable and durable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabus View Post
    The things I don't like about it is the harsh ride and the cantilever brakes. These brakes are a bear to adjust and really lack power. In comparison, the ultegra brakes on my 2008 trek are light years ahead in stopping power. Bear in mind that I still want to run the 28mm tire on the new century bike.
    Cannondales -- especially older Cannondales -- will definitely give a harsher ride than about anything else. IOW, just about anything else you buy will give a more comfortable ride. I wouldn't give up on cantilevers, BTW, or at least they shouldn't be a deal-breaker for you. They definitely take more effort to set up, and you do need to find some good pads (most cantilevers, in my experience, are really let down be cheap OEM pads. I've had good luck with salmon Kool-Stops) but cantilevers will out-perform sidepulls when everything is working right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barabus View Post
    I have been thinking about building up a Waterford frame like an ST-22. Budget for frame would like to keep below $1200 but would go more. Hell, I would like to keep the whole bike below 1500 but know better.

    What would you do if you were faced with this situation?
    Buy the Waterford, probably. It's a nice frame. You can also look into the lower-end (ie. made-in-Japan) Rivendells, and Marinoni. And you can get most of the performance with a substantial price savings (and zero pride of ownership) with a Kogswell or Surly.

  5. #5
    Senior Member teamcompi's Avatar
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    I too have a t-2000, I too am looking for a better riding, long distance w/o gear kinda bike. Heck we are even the same weight.

    I do not know what I want, money is not really an issue, I would like it for free but am willing to spend whats needed, I already have good wheels, and ultegra on the cannondale.

    I got a surly KM, a while back and dam its a nice riding bike given what it is. As for brakes, I found that a front Vee brake on C'dale stops plenty fine and allows for easy tire changes. I know its not all that classy, but I was thinking something like a LHT or maybe their road bike.

    My logic for this is hell at 250 lbs, and given the amount of riding I do I am not likely to get much smaller, and for long rides I am glad to give up some of the response for a stable ride. At the weight we are its sort of like a normal guy riding a race bike on a tour. We are big boys, need a big strong frame. I think the 520 in our size tends to flex a lot.

    Another bike I have sort of thought about was the Tricross, seems like your getting a decent enough bike for the money, the ride was for sure more responsive than the canondale, but its hard to tell on a 10 minute test drive.

    I wonder how the ultegra brakes compare to the vee brakes especially in the rain.

  6. #6
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    Have you checked out co-motion?

    http://www.co-motion.com/norwester.html

    This model is in-between...they have some heavier bikes for loaded touring...some sportier bikes that are lighter.

    Given their heritage making tandems, their more rugged frames (and wheelsets) have good reputations for holding up to a lot of abuse. The model above, though, seems more like a Century model...

  7. #7
    My cassette goes to 11 Barabus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamcompi View Post
    I too have a t-2000, I too am looking for a better riding, long distance w/o gear kinda bike. Heck we are even the same weight.

    I do not know what I want, money is not really an issue, I would like it for free but am willing to spend whats needed, I already have good wheels, and ultegra on the cannondale.

    I got a surly KM, a while back and dam its a nice riding bike given what it is. As for brakes, I found that a front Vee brake on C'dale stops plenty fine and allows for easy tire changes. I know its not all that classy, but I was thinking something like a LHT or maybe their road bike.

    My logic for this is hell at 250 lbs, and given the amount of riding I do I am not likely to get much smaller, and for long rides I am glad to give up some of the response for a stable ride. At the weight we are its sort of like a normal guy riding a race bike on a tour. We are big boys, need a big strong frame. I think the 520 in our size tends to flex a lot.

    Another bike I have sort of thought about was the Tricross, seems like your getting a decent enough bike for the money, the ride was for sure more responsive than the canondale, but its hard to tell on a 10 minute test drive.

    I wonder how the ultegra brakes compare to the vee brakes especially in the rain.
    Well, let me know what you decide to do. I am partial to Waterford bike since it can be built to spec. I dont know about dealer support for your location. The pin stripe stainless lugs do it for me. Otherwise I would go for a lower cost option.

  8. #8
    My cassette goes to 11 Barabus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godwin View Post
    I'd stick with the Madone. If there is something wrong with it I'd probably spend the money to upgrade it instead, if your finding it uncomfortable for long distances you may want to consider a new saddle. If I were in your shoes and really wanted to spend money on a new bike I'd go Ti, much more comfortable and durable.



    This bike is sexy and just like a sexy woman- hard to handle. Note the short top tube and straight bladed forks. Make for what Trek marketing calls "responsive" steering. For me that translates to twitchy. You do not take a Ferrari cross county. The 2008 madone as I have it built weight under 17lbs. Has great acceleration and helps me chase down the 30mph rabbits in the pace lines, but is not for century riding. It hates rough roads and I have to partially deflate my 25mm tires to clear the brakes.

    As to Ti bikes, are they preferred over steel for long distance?

  9. #9
    My cassette goes to 11 Barabus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Have you checked out co-motion?

    http://www.co-motion.com/norwester.html

    This model is in-between...they have some heavier bikes for loaded touring...some sportier bikes that are lighter.

    Given their heritage making tandems, their more rugged frames (and wheelsets) have good reputations for holding up to a lot of abuse. The model above, though, seems more like a Century model...
    Very cool stuff. I will add it to the list of bike in consideration. The coupled version would do double duty as a travel bike.

  10. #10
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabus View Post

    This bike is sexy and just like a sexy woman- hard to handle. Note the short top tube and straight bladed forks. Make for what Trek marketing calls "responsive" steering. For me that translates to twitchy. You do not take a Ferrari cross county. The 2008 madone as I have it built weight under 17lbs. Has great acceleration and helps me chase down the 30mph rabbits in the pace lines, but is not for century riding. It hates rough roads and I have to partially deflate my 25mm tires to clear the brakes.

    As to Ti bikes, are they preferred over steel for long distance?
    Race bikes are built for centuries (TT bikes and build for shorter rides). 100mi is a common length for a crit so as long as you get your bike set up properly it should be comfortable for long rides. A Ferrari compared to just about any other non-race car, given the same engine, will get better mileage because of the way it's built. As for titanium bikes, they tend to be a bit more flexy which can absorb more shock than Al. I've only ever ridden Ti and Al long distance but I can say that my Ti bike with 20c tires is much much more comfortable than my Al bike with 24c tires (I've only ridden my steel bike to work and back). As for a race bike being twitcher, it is, there are things you can do to reduce it like getting a longer stem, but you also become better a handling the bike over time.

    That's the way I see it, but then I don't always see thing the same as others on this forum.

  11. #11
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabus View Post
    I am in the market for a new bike frame and probably a century rig.... I would like to keep the whole bike below 1500 but know better.

    What would you do if you were faced with this situation?
    I'm not 6' 2" and 250 lbs, but.... What I did was pick up a Surly Cross-Check. Very comfortable, very stable, rugged, steel frame, can handle very wide tires and fenders, 132.5mm rear, which can take either 130mm or 135mm hubs. Very good for all conditions -- roads, gravel, dirt, pretty much everything except serious MTB. Frame is $400 iirc, complete bike with bar-end shifters is $1000.

    The hitch is that it uses canti brakes. Put some good brake levers and Kool-Stop brake pads on and that resolves the "stopping power" issue, though. Calipers aren't great for wide tires anyway iirc.

    A few other bikes to consider: Lemond Sarthe, Jamis Quest, Salsa Casseroll. Maybe Fuji or Specialized Roubaix as well.

  12. #12
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    I recently finished a Salsa Casseroll for long rides. I bought this frame from Jenson when they were closing out the 2007s for $289. My Trek 5200 was great for short, fast rides, but it was beating me up on long rides and the seating position was too aggressive for rides exceeding 100 miles.

    I'm 6"0', 170lbs, and the Casseroll frame seems plenty stiff at my weight. I'm not sure how well it would hold up to 250 lbs though... Anyway, it rides really nice and handles well. The handling is a little too quick for a distance bike, but I'm getting used to it.

    The Salsa frame requires long reach calipers to use tires bigger than 25c. I used Tektro R556, and have been really satisfied with them.

    There are some pics of the completed bike towards the end of the "Century Bikes" sticky thread.

  13. #13
    My cassette goes to 11 Barabus's Avatar
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    I saw this posted in some forum and have forgotten the posting but remember the bike-





    Absolute beautiful. I would do it a little different, but this is a show stopper...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabus View Post
    I am in the market for a new bike frame and probably a century rig. My current ride is a 1997 Canondale T2000 Cadd2 aluminium frame. See picture below.




    As you can tell I am not a small rider- 6' 2" and 250lbs. I ride about 100-120 miles weekly and at a club level. The things I like about the Canondale T2000 are the 28mm gatorskins that I run on it and the overall comfort of the bike. I also like the 135 mm rear dropout and have two great wheelset that I want to transfer over to a new frame. FYI, I also have a 2008 Trek Madone 5.2 for when I want to go fast.

    The things I don't like about it is the harsh ride and the cantilever brakes. These brakes are a bear to adjust and really lack power. In comparison, the ultegra brakes on my 2008 trek are light years ahead in stopping power. Bear in mind that I still want to run the 28mm tire on the new century bike.

    I have been thinking about building up a Waterford frame like an ST-22. Budget for frame would like to keep below $1200 but would go more. Hell, I would like to keep the whole bike below 1500 but know better. http://waterfordbikes.com/now/models.php?Model=658. I am not committed on any course of action and am open to new ideas.

    What would you do if you were faced with this situation?
    Barabus,

    I think the Cannondale would be a better long distance bike than you think if you did a few things to tweak the bike. You already have a skinny tire fast road bike so you should make this into more of a light distance tourer for centuries.

    First, that rig looks like it could use some even wider tires. I would go to some fast treaded 32, 35mm or even 38 mm tires and run them at 80-90 psi. This will tame the harsh ride a lot and be a better tire for unpredictable weather conditions on long rides. For heavy riders this works really well. A 35-38mm tire at 80 psi will roll as well as a 28mm at 100-110 psi but it will be heavier. But for long rides at slower speeds this is not really much of a problem.

    Second, it's probably the brake levers or the brake shoes that are the problem. Not the cantilever brakes. Most likely the levers do not work well with those types of brakes because they do not have enough mechanical advantage. I just built up a cyclocross frame and used liner pull brakes instead of the usual cantilever types and they work really well with the standard road bike levers. But it is hard to get them adjusted with 20mm wide rims. I am also a clydesdale and run 38mm tires on my 700c distance touring bike. However, they might work better if you had a 28mm wide rim wheel set instead of the usual 20mm wide used for most road bikes. That is the third suggestion. Try running some 28mm wide rims with the 32-38mm wide tires at lower pressure. This will help those mountain bike style brakes to work better and be easier to adjust.

    You can also install a cyclocross carbon fiber front fork which will tame some of the harshness of the existing fork but the tires have more of an effect and the steel fork is more reliable for long distance rides. You also might try a good leather seat which may be more comfortable. The Brooks B17 is reasonably priced to try out.

    Here is a picture of my light touring bike with 38mm tires and fenders with linear pull brakes.

    Good luck
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Hezz; 02-02-08 at 07:09 PM.

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    I think if you hate the handling of your Madone that much, maybe you need a different road bike, at least for long rides. I ride my ti roadie on my longest (one day) rides, and it is super sweet. A CF bike should be too. If I were you, I would pay attention to weight on 100 miles rides, you can be comfortable AND have a light bike, which means you'll spend less time on it, and be that much more comfortable at the end of the day. In fact, the only time I wouldn't pay attention to weight was 1) if i was the strongest of everyone i road with or 2) if i'm going to be piling so much additional weight on (touring load) that bike weight barely factors in. I have never ever been even a little bit tempted to ride my trek 520 (equivalent to your T1000) on a century.

    If you are considering canti brakes on any bike, maybe you can use v-brakes instead, and get part that lets it work w/road levers... I think it's called a "Travel Agent." I don't actually know if canti brake bosses are universally compatible w/v-brakes, though. (I'm sure someone here does).

    I think that T-series c'dale is made for loaded touring, and is thus absurdly stiff when unloaded. If you get away from that particular frame, you might not need the super wide tire that requires the canti brakes.
    ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I think if you hate the handling of your Madone that much, maybe you need a different road bike, at least for long rides. I ride my ti roadie on my longest (one day) rides, and it is super sweet. A CF bike should be too. If I were you, I would pay attention to weight on 100 miles rides, you can be comfortable AND have a light bike, which means you'll spend less time on it, and be that much more comfortable at the end of the day. In fact, the only time I wouldn't pay attention to weight was 1) if i was the strongest of everyone i road with or 2) if i'm going to be piling so much additional weight on (touring load) that bike weight barely factors in. I have never ever been even a little bit tempted to ride my trek 520 (equivalent to your T1000) on a century.

    If you are considering canti brakes on any bike, maybe you can use v-brakes instead, and get part that lets it work w/road levers... I think it's called a "Travel Agent." I don't actually know if canti brake bosses are universally compatible w/v-brakes, though. (I'm sure someone here does).

    I think that T-series c'dale is made for loaded touring, and is thus absurdly stiff when unloaded. If you get away from that particular frame, you might not need the super wide tire that requires the canti brakes.
    I agree this is probably a stiff frame made for touring but at 250 pounds this is as much weight as an average 170 pound rider with 80 pounds of gear. I think he has the right frame. In fact, a stiff frame is really good for handling.

    The wider tires at lower pressure can mitigate the harsh ride to some degree as can a leather saddle that has more compliance.

    You might try the linear pull type of mountain bike brakes for kicks to see if they work better. Mine are a long reach kind that have a longer arm. They take a little longer to come on strong but have a better modulation for light braking and because the arms are longer eventually produce higher braking force. They really have a powerful stopping power but they don't grab at all. Also not very expensive and pretty light. From Tektro.

    Regarding the Madone,

    If it was me I would sell the Madone and buy a high quality carbon fiber cyclocross frame and put your road bike components on it for road riding. You probably should be running 25-28mm tires on your road bike and not have to run them at lower pressures to make them fit. A cyclocross frame should be made a little stronger than a road frame and I think would be the perfect solution for a large clydesdale rider. I'm only 220 in winter and 208 in summer when I ride. I can get by with 23mm tires on my road bike. I think 25mm would be OK for a 250 pound rider on a road bike if they could get full inflation and have enough tire clearance for slightly bigger tires to experiment with.

    Actually, might I suggest buying this frame for about 1000 bucks. 08' Specialized S-works tricross frame and putting all your Madone running gear on it except for the brakes. You'll need some new brakes. Sell your Madone frame and use the money to buy 28mm wheel set for your Cannondale and some brakes for the new tricross. And some new brakes, 38mm tires and seats for the Cannondale.

    http://planocycling.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=5264

    If you really like the tricross frame after using it on the road then you might opt for this more expensive one to make your road bike and use the other one for your century rig.

    Here is the all carbon S-works tricross frame for 2800 bucks:

    http://thebicyclebarn.com/itemdetail...gId=39&id=1929

    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Last edited by Hezz; 02-02-08 at 08:45 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member brianmcg123's Avatar
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    I would get you a Rivendell Rambouillet, (can be found at good prices on ebay). This would be a great bike for century rides. You can run 700x32 tires easily with fenders if you needed them, raise the handlebars above the height of the saddle if you needed to, and have a couple of racks to carry a bunch of chow if you wanted to go on an unsupported century.

    You could also get you a Surly Pacer if you were on a budget.

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    Everyone's a roadie, they just might not know it yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabus View Post
    I am in the market for a new bike frame and probably a century rig...The things I don't like about it is the harsh ride and the cantilever brakes. These brakes are a bear to adjust and really lack power. In comparison, the ultegra brakes on my 2008 trek are light years ahead in stopping power...
    I will soon start my own thread on this topic so I am very interested in what you are thinking--getting a new LD bike--and the suggestions posted here.

    First, I have linear pull brakes on my touring bike...They are the Avid Single Digit Ultimate Brakes which are pretty pricey but I think are probably worth the extra money. Many cyclists complain that linear pulls squeal but that has not been a problem with these. The power, smoothness and modulation of the brakes are comparable to the Avid Juicy 7 hydraulic disk brakes on my mountain bike. Bear in mind (as valygirl points out above) that you need either compatible long pull brake levers (which don't come in brifters) or, if you are sticking with your regular levers/brifters, a "Travel Agent" to take up the extra slack involved.

    Regarding frames, I am looking hard at the Salsa Casseroll, the Gunnar Sport, Marinoni Sportivo and Co-Motion Nor-Wester. The advantage (for me) of the Gunnar and Co-Motion is that they can be delivered with the S&S couplers which allow the bike to be taken apart and packed in a airline-compatible 26" suitcase. So, right now I think I am down to those two. (Note, I am about 175 lb and 5'10" and can use off-the-rack sizes.)

    Hope this helps and keep us posted on how the decision process is going for you.

  19. #19
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Barabus, I have a Gunnar Sport and it is much more comfortable than my CAAD5. I use 23 tires, but it will accept much wider, as well as fenders/racks. It uses caliper brakes, but long reach for clearance. It's tigged, but I think it looks pretty good. About a grand for the frame and fork.

  20. #20
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    I'm not 6' 2" and 250 lbs, but.... What I did was pick up a Surly Cross-Check. Very comfortable, very stable, rugged, steel frame, can handle very wide tires and fenders, 132.5mm rear, which can take either 130mm or 135mm hubs. Very good for all conditions -- roads, gravel, dirt, pretty much everything except serious MTB. Frame is $400 iirc, complete bike with bar-end shifters is $1000.

    The hitch is that it uses canti brakes. Put some good brake levers and Kool-Stop brake pads on and that resolves the "stopping power" issue, though.
    At the beginning of the year I bought a Cross-Check complete. I'm 6'6" and 235 pounds. I swapped out the 'cross tires for 28mm Conti Ultra Gatorskins and put on some SKS P45 fenders with full mudflaps. It's an excellent bike: Everything Bacciagalupe says above. For the last week I had Innova 35mm studs on it because we got some snow/ice and it even handles great it that.

    The Tektro Oryx canti's and levers are acceptable on stopping power. The levers are comfortable, the hoods are nice to rest your hands on for longer distances (not as large as STI hoods, though), and the brakes themselves are fairly strong. I have no problem regulating speed and stopping in the rain/slush midway down a 10% grade to get to work every day.
    I would like something a little stronger, so I'm moving to either Cane Creek SCX-5 or Paul Touring canti's.
    If you want super stopping power in a canti brake, get Paul neo-retro's and Kool Stop Salmon pads. Just check your clearance at the heel and for any racks/bags you use. They're built after the old Mafac design and stick way out to the side for best leverage.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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    Is there no way to set up a cross-check with discs?

    Also, I wonder why the Pacer seems to be generally neglected as an option (yes, I did see the picture above).

  22. #22
    My cassette goes to 11 Barabus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    I would like something a little stronger, so I'm moving to either Cane Creek SCX-5 or Paul Touring canti's.
    If you want super stopping power in a canti brake, get Paul neo-retro's and Kool Stop Salmon pads. Just check your clearance at the heel and for any racks/bags you use. They're built after the old Mafac design and stick way out to the side for best leverage.
    Those Paul neo-retro's maybe a gap stop measure. They just look like they would work well. I may try those. My coda canti's need to be tossed on the circular file! Thanks!

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    You'll also need to make sure that your posts are the correct distance from the rim. Paul's aren't as adjustable as most modern brakes and are picky about that dimension. For my money, almost any cantilever works pretty well with Kool-Stop salmons.

  24. #24
    Getting older and slower!
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    I really love my 2006 Trek Pilot 5.9. A bit more upright and less stiff than the Madone. Sweet ride and absorbs the road vibrations well.

    Check out the Pilots in your price range.

  25. #25
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zowie View Post
    Is there no way to set up a cross-check with discs?
    Disc brakes? No, the frame won't take 'em.


    Quote Originally Posted by zowie
    Also, I wonder why the Pacer seems to be generally neglected as an option (yes, I did see the picture above).
    I think the Pacer is less common because it's less versatile and more "generic road." As far as long distance and touring goes, you can't fit as wide a tire; rear dropouts are 130mm vertical (instead of 132.5mm horizontal). The wheelbase is also shorter, so it won't be as stable.

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