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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 09-21-06, 06:25 PM   #1
hamr22
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cross build

Building up my first cross bike and need recommendations for brakes and headset (1&1/8 threadless). Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-21-06, 09:46 PM   #2
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Any headset by Chris King is going to last longer than the frame. Cane Creek makes a lot of good stuff also. The size will depend on your fork.

Brakes. Any cantilever brakes are fine. Avid is decent
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Old 09-22-06, 09:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamr22
Building up my first cross bike and need recommendations for brakes and headset (1&1/8 threadless). Thanks for your help!
Headset - Chris King (don't compromise)

Brakes - Paul's, Spookey or Avid
I run Paul's Neo-retro and think they are great. Some racers run the Neo-retro in front and Paul's lower profile Touring brake in the back to keep from gouging themself on the remount with the retro brake which sticks straight out to the side. The Neo-retro has more stopping power but then you don't really need that much in a rear brake.
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Old 09-22-06, 11:34 AM   #4
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Chris Kings are the best quality, but I've found that any old cheap-o headset is "good enough" for cross. Mine is a $20 Ritchey threadless with loose ball bearings. I overhaul it once a year, and it works fine. Headsets aren't really a critical component, in my opinion. I guess it depends on your tolerance-level for cheap crap.

Brakes are a different story, as your life depends upon them working properly. The Avid 10c's that I have are merely adequate, but they're cheaper than the "boutique" models listed above.

That being said, I agree with 42x16: Get the Chris King and Paul's, if you can afford it, that is.
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Old 09-22-06, 04:15 PM   #5
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Chris King is the best, by far. And probably the most expensive also. You're going to pay over $100 for a new CK headset. I think Cane Creek makes a great headset, and they're half the price. IF this is your first Cross bike, and you're trying to save some cash, I'd say check out Cane Creek. If you have money coming out your ears, yes Chris King all the way.

I'm assuming you'll be running some sort of canitlever brake? What frame do you have? That could help us help you.
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Old 09-22-06, 06:56 PM   #6
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I'm building a surly cross check.
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Old 09-25-06, 09:38 AM   #7
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Spooky / Paul / Avid are the most common right now, and they work well. However I like old school (80's) cantilevers - I always keep old Dia-Compe 983's and 986's and old Shimano cantis I pull off bikes - that's what I'm using on my current build. You can find them for free or $5 - and they work better than a lot of the modern offerings. Any cantilever will either rock or suck based on setup.

That said, get some Grafton's off ebay. You'll be the coolest.
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Old 09-30-06, 12:29 AM   #8
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I'm building a surly cross check.
did you get the frame already? see my comments on the thread questioning the weight of the corss check. and if you already have the frame, would you put a $120 headset on a $340 frame? and brakes that run over $100?

FSA also makes a nice headset. there two things to look for in a headset for cross: 1. steel races, you need something that will hold up. 2. a good seal, you have to keep the dirt out. you should be able to find it for less than 40 bucks if you're willing not to go with a CK.
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Old 10-02-06, 11:44 AM   #9
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Hey hamr22, I'm also working on my building first bike/ first cross bike. It's not quite moving yet, but I've recently decided on a lower-end Cane Creek headset (cartridge bearings), the S-1, and went with the Tektro Oryx brakes - widely reviewed as a great brake for a fantastic price.

Hopefully I'll be able to let you know how they work soon!

(building up the IRD Crossfire, for the record!)
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Old 10-02-06, 08:52 PM   #10
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fogrider: how do you know if a headset has a good seal? do you mean sealed bearings vs. cartridge?
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Old 10-02-06, 09:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pfwitucki
Hey hamr22, I'm also working on my building first bike/ first cross bike. It's not quite moving yet, but I've recently decided on a lower-end Cane Creek headset (cartridge bearings), the S-1, and went with the Tektro Oryx brakes - widely reviewed as a great brake for a fantastic price.

Hopefully I'll be able to let you know how they work soon!

(building up the IRD Crossfire, for the record!)
didn't get any parts yet, because i'm sidetracked. look forward to seeing how your build works out. this is my first build of any kind and i can't wait to get going.
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Old 10-04-06, 01:06 AM   #12
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fogrider: how do you know if a headset has a good seal? do you mean sealed bearings vs. cartridge?
in the cups there is a resin ring.
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Old 10-30-06, 10:49 PM   #13
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FSA Orbit series headsets are pretty bomber, and in diff colors too. I got mine on ebay for like $20 or something cheap. Works like a dream...as good as my CK so far...
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