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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 09-07-06, 05:12 PM   #1
francisb
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advice requested; discs or canti?

Hi,

I live in Portland, OR, and have decided to get a cross bike as a winter trainer, commuter, cross-bike, (and who knows, perhaps dabble in some races although that's not a top priority).

I think I've narrowed down my choices to the Poprad, and have my choice of either canti ('06) or disc ('07).

The '06 is $300 less than the '07 w/discs.

My question; Are the disc brakes worth 300 more, and the added weight/complexity/incompatability over the canti brakes? I plan on riding all through the winter, which means lots of rain/mud...

Any NW'ers have any thoughts? This'll be the first winter I try to keep riding as opposed to hanging up my road bike in the garage until spring...

thanks in advance.
Francis
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Old 09-07-06, 07:14 PM   #2
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no, i wouldnt pay more for discs--especially not $300.

Canti's work well in bad weather, and are easy to maintain and service.
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Old 09-08-06, 11:30 AM   #3
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As gets stated in every post about disc brakes on CX bikes, they are not allowed in UCI races. So if you think you might race, don't get them. If not, then I gotta say disc brakes are nice. I've got Juicy 7s on my MTB and I would never go back to any kind of rim brake except on my standard road bike. No more wear on rims, so they should last a lifetime (factor that in to your price). Rotors are much cheaper to replace. During wet periods, canti/vbrake pads get imbedded with sand/grit and grind away and make much noise. I have to pull the pads out fairly frequently to clean out the pads.

I must say though that $1650 is pretty steep. Seems like $1500 is a better price.
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Old 09-08-06, 11:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by bsyptak
As gets stated in every post about disc brakes on CX bikes, they are not allowed in UCI races.
I thought they were allowed at the non-elite levels of racing... ?
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Old 09-08-06, 02:57 PM   #5
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thanks for the opinions.

I should say I've found the '06 canti Poprad for $1200, and the '07 disc Poprad for $1500

Another difference, besides the brakes, are the carbon fork vs. the steel fork on the '06. Not sure if that makes a big difference.
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Old 09-08-06, 03:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francisb
thanks for the opinions.

I should say I've found the '06 canti Poprad for $1200, and the '07 disc Poprad for $1500

Another difference, besides the brakes, are the carbon fork vs. the steel fork on the '06. Not sure if that makes a big difference.
You sure it's steel? I seem to remember the 06's as being a steel frame with an Alloy (read Aluminum) fork
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Old 09-08-06, 07:58 PM   #7
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Hey, how come you got my weather on your post?

Ron
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Old 09-11-06, 02:38 PM   #8
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Hey.

I live in PDX too. If you're going to be using the bike for winter commuting, by all means get the disc brakes. My mountain bike has discs and they seem unfazed by water, mud, grime, etc.

You can still race a disc brake equipped bike in cyclocross races-- like the most excellent Cross Crusade series that starts Oct. 1 at Alpenrose dairy. (Come watch if you don't race. It's a gas!)

www.crosscrusade.com

You just can't qualify for points in UCI races. Unless you are a super-pro and travel the country and world following UCI races-- you're okay with discs.

Anyway. As great as disc brakes are, cantis are pretty darn good, too. Just toss the stock brake pads and get some dual-compound "Mtn. Pads" by Kool-Stop (make in Lake Oswego, OR! Yay us!). These are excellent pads and work really well. You can get them at any bike shop.

Oh and the 2006 Poprad has an aluminum fork. Kenisis X-Lite.
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Old 09-11-06, 05:24 PM   #9
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Hey I-R,

thx for the post; you're right about the fork, it's Al.

I ended up with the canti version, and was horrified at the amount of brake chatter. We're talking at any speed, with any modulation of brakes (all but the lightest touch). A brake you can't use isn't very useful in my book. Sometimes you simply have to stop right now. (especially on the road as a commuter)

Took it back to the shop (RiverCity), where they put on Deore v-brake on the front, and it works fine. I can stand on the brake hard enough to flip the bike over if I want, and no chatter.

Not sure if I like the v-brake due to tire clearance, but I'll try it for a while. A lighter fork and different brakes will probably be something I try if I get really into racing. I'm going out this week with some local racers who go to Pier Park for a training loop this weekend. They promise to go easy until we get there.. Not sure what to expect, but I'll be happy just to hang w/them to and from the park...

I really like the bike; nice geometry, good off road, very stable and comfortable, even on an 18 mile ride on Lief Erikson. I love the color and cockpit. I feel spoiled with STI shifting, my late 80's roadbike has downtube indexed DA (7 speed), this is a treat! I wish it had lower gearing, but the only way to make that happen is to replace the crank with a compact version... So I'll hit the weight room more instead :-)

I think it's a lot of bike, and am looking forward to getting familiar with this bike, and this sport.

thx,
Francis
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Old 09-11-06, 06:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francisb
I ended up with the canti version, and was horrified at the amount of brake chatter. We're talking at any speed, with any modulation of brakes (all but the lightest touch). A brake you can't use isn't very useful in my book. Sometimes you simply have to stop right now. (especially on the road as a commuter)
I had this issue for a while. Toeing out the front of the brake pads made both the squealing and chatter go away. I stuck a penny between the front edge of the pad and the rim while tightening the brake pad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by francisb
Took it back to the shop (RiverCity), where they put on Deore v-brake on the front, and it works fine. I can stand on the brake hard enough to flip the bike over if I want, and no chatter.
Did they use a Travel Agent? Road levers don't usually pull enough cable without a pully or other contraption.
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Old 09-11-06, 06:56 PM   #11
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Discs or cantis?

First of all, you don't need discs. After all, many generations coped without them. Yet, they may offer a few advantages:

Discs are definitely more reliable in rain and mud. You'll brake almost the same way whether the road is wet or dry. That being said, there are a few drawbacks with discs:

– The rear brake is most often placed on top of the seat stay and it interferes with rack installation. There are very few rear racks compatible with a rear disc brake, and the few that exist are more expensive. So that's a reason to avoid a rear disc brake.

– Installing a front disc means a heavier more rigid fork. So you end up with either a less comfortable bike, fatter tires, a suspension fork... or all of the above. In a nutshell, you can't have an old style slender rounded steel fork with a front disc, yet this is the type of fork that provides the most comfortable ride on bumpy streets.


If you go for the more traditional canti brakes, get if possible a bike that uses threaded hardware. Then I would suggest one major improvement: [http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakeshoes.html]Kool Stop Salmon[/url] brake pads. While you'll still notice slightly lower performance when it rains, these pads are much better than stock pads in rain or snow, are less noisy, last much longer and wear less the rims.

Whether you still feel the need for discs depends a lot on your commute, notably its length and the amount of braking you need to do. I live in Montréal which is less rainy, but 3-4 months per year, roads are wet from snow, ice or salty runoff, yet, during my urban commute I never feel unsafe with my canti rim brakes.
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Old 09-11-06, 08:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyBob

Did they use a Travel Agent? Road levers don't usually pull enough cable without a pully or other contraption.
Not sure what a Travel Agent is. There's a metal pully at the top of the v-brake that then routes the cable to the brake lever, is that a travel agent?
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Old 09-12-06, 01:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francisb
Hey I-R,
I ended up with the canti version, and was horrified at the amount of brake chatter. We're talking at any speed, with any modulation of brakes (all but the lightest touch). A brake you can't use isn't very useful in my book. Sometimes you simply have to stop right now. (especially on the road as a commuter)

Took it back to the shop (RiverCity), where they put on Deore v-brake on the front, and it works fine. I can stand on the brake hard enough to flip the bike over if I want, and no chatter.
Yeah-- the stock Avid brake pads were TERRIBLE! Part of the problem is that they are symmetrical. With Kool-Stops, the pads are asymmetrical-- there's more pad in the back and less in front. This alone eliminates much of the brake chatter (which was a problem back in the early 90's when cantis were the standard and linear-pull and disc brakes were still on the drawing boards...) Plus the dual-compound (black/hard in the front of the pad and salmon/softer in the back) further improves performance and further reduces the likelihood of chatter.


Good info to have, though, that mounting linear-pull brakes solved your problem.

Quote:
I really like the bike; nice geometry, good off road, very stable and comfortable, even on an 18 mile ride on Lief Erikson. I love the color and cockpit. I feel spoiled with STI shifting, my late 80's roadbike has downtube indexed DA (7 speed), this is a treat! I wish it had lower gearing, but the only way to make that happen is to replace the crank with a compact version... So I'll hit the weight room more instead :-)

I think it's a lot of bike, and am looking forward to getting familiar with this bike, and this sport.
Hah! Funny-- my road bike is a 7-speed 94 with downtube shifters. I do so much back and forth that i find that i keep trying to shift with the brake levers on my road bike!

The Poprad has plenty low gearing for off-road. Remember-- when you can't ride it, dismount quickly, throw the bike over your shoulder and run! That's the way mountain biking used to be.

I ride up Springville-- it's definitely much harder than when i ride my mountain bike, but somehow more satisfying in a sadistic sort of way. Perfect for cyclocross! No pain, no pain!

Oh-- and you might want to run at least 50 psi in your tires for rides up in Forest Park. And watch out for the for the rocks-- even seemingly piddly little things. I've gotten TWO pinch flats in the past couple of months. Botheration!! I'm going to have to lay in a stock of tubes!

Last edited by i_r_beej; 09-12-06 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 09-12-06, 03:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by i_r_beej

I ride up Springville-- it's definitely much harder than when i ride my mountain bike, but somehow more satisfying in a sadistic sort of way. Perfect for cyclocross! No pain, no pain!

Oh-- and you might want to run at least 50 psi in your tires for rides up in Forest Park. And watch out for the for the rocks-- even seemingly piddly little things. I've gotten TWO pinch flats in the past couple of months. Botheration!! I'm going to have to lay in a stock of tubes!
Haven't tried Springville yet, only Salzman which is the easiest way down/up. Does anyone go down or up Firelane 3 on a XC bike? I can do it on my mtn bike, but that's in my granny gear on the steep parts...

I'll have to get used to carrying/running a bike; for years on my mtn. bike the goal was to never get off the bike no matter what... :-)

thanks for the update
-f-
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Old 09-12-06, 03:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by francisb
Not sure what a Travel Agent is. There's a metal pully at the top of the v-brake that then routes the cable to the brake lever, is that a travel agent?
That's a travel agent. It turns a small pull of the brake cable into a larger pull.
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Old 09-12-06, 03:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by francisb
Haven't tried Springville yet, only Salzman which is the easiest way down/up. Does anyone go down or up Firelane 3 on a XC bike? I can do it on my mtn bike, but that's in my granny gear on the steep parts...
Wait. Did you just type "the easiest way..."?? Hah! 'Cross is ALL ABOUT the HARD WAY!! You must unlearn what your old MTB ways have taught you. No more "granny gear". When it gets too tough to ride, get off and run! (Which, oddly, seems even more difficult.)

Firelane 3 on a CX bike? I haven't done it yet. I had actually forgotten about #3! That's a nice one.

Going up would be great for practicing loooooooong run-ups. Riding down #3 would be good for practicing the downhill running skills.
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