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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 02-02-08, 12:39 PM   #1
trin2du
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Cross Brakes

My first cross frame should arrive in a week or so and I'm starting to debate some component choices. I have most of what I need, or at least know what I'm thinking of getting with the exception of the brakes.

Is there a performance difference between say the TRP Euro X or Empelle Frog Legs versus the brakes styles like the Tektro Oryx? Or is it mainly a personal choice with setup being more important than style?
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Old 02-02-08, 01:22 PM   #2
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My first cross frame should arrive in a week or so and I'm starting to debate some component choices. I have most of what I need, or at least know what I'm thinking of getting with the exception of the brakes.

Is there a performance difference between say the TRP Euro X or Empelle Frog Legs versus the brakes styles like the Tektro Oryx? Or is it mainly a personal choice with setup being more important than style?
I have the Tektro Oryk brakes with Tektro pads. I dont think these have the greatest stopping power. I will be trying a different setup on payday. Hope this helps. Enjoy your build, there always fun.
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Old 02-02-08, 01:54 PM   #3
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Avid Shorty 6 with straddle cable. Easy to set up and with one end of the straddle cable bolted in, you wont run the risk of losing the straddle cable when you remove the wheel, which can happen with the Oryx.
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Old 02-02-08, 05:00 PM   #4
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i like my spooky's, but am looking to get a standard straddle cable holder.
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Old 02-03-08, 12:00 AM   #5
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The most critical aspect of picking 'cross brakes is being clear about how much mud you are liable to get into. There is a tradeoff between mud clearance and leverage. A brake with more leverage has less pad movement per unit of cable travel, I believe that the term 'low-profile' applies to this. They will work perfectly until the rims get muddy. There is a different category of brakes with more pad movement per unit of cable travel and this may feel 'harder' but the pads drop further away from the rim and this yields more clearance for any mud or debris. It can make a marked difference. One example of this design, thought not in every shop, and certainly not cheap, is the Paul Neo-Retro, which uses very long arms to increase 'mechanical advantage' Those of my friends who use them are very big fans.
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Old 02-03-08, 09:03 AM   #6
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The most critical aspect of picking 'cross brakes is being clear about how much mud you are liable to get into. There is a tradeoff between mud clearance and leverage. A brake with more leverage has less pad movement per unit of cable travel, I believe that the term 'low-profile' applies to this. They will work perfectly until the rims get muddy. There is a different category of brakes with more pad movement per unit of cable travel and this may feel 'harder' but the pads drop further away from the rim and this yields more clearance for any mud or debris. It can make a marked difference. One example of this design, thought not in every shop, and certainly not cheap, is the Paul Neo-Retro, which uses very long arms to increase 'mechanical advantage' Those of my friends who use them are very big fans.

That's the answer I was looking for. Good info. Thanks.
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Old 02-03-08, 09:49 PM   #7
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Also, Trin, geography is destiny for 'crossers. In the mid-Atlantic states, you have a good possibility of seeing a good deal of mud in November, I am in the northeast, it's the same, as is the Pacific NW. The southwest and places like Utah, not so much. It is really a drag... pun intended... to hear your brakes scraping the crud on your rims and even tires, because they don't move much. You still see the thirty year old Mafacs out there, especially in benelux countries, no one had improved much upon them until very recently with Paul Design. My observation is that the in this geographic, the more experienced 'crossers have mostly ditched SPD as well for atac and eggbeaters, because the muddy cleat has a much better chance of engaging.
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Old 02-03-08, 10:45 PM   #8
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The new Tektro CR720's are a very good and cheaper alternative to the Paul Neo's. Same basic design, good clearance for mud, and very affordable. I have both and it is hard to justify the Pauls at times.
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Old 02-04-08, 10:30 AM   #9
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Awesome guys thanks. I was looking at the Cr-720's. I'm getting my frame (Van Dessel Hole Shot) through the shop that sponsors the road/tri club I ride with. The manager had a used bike I looked at first, too big unfortuneately,and he rode the CR's. And I've already got ATAC's on the mountain bike, so that was a given.

Any other suggestions on things to use or stay away from?
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Old 02-04-08, 11:13 AM   #10
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How about these brakes?
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Old 02-04-08, 01:25 PM   #11
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The new Tektro CR720's are a very good and cheaper alternative to the Paul Neo's. Same basic design, good clearance for mud, and very affordable. I have both and it is hard to justify the Pauls at times.
It was inevitable that a someone who was in a position to utilize economies of scale would take advantage of this new niche market. Until the V-brake, cantis were ubiquitous, and since the V, cantis had been seen as quaint. There really is a cyclocross resurgence, both as a sport and a style of bicycle that many are realizing is suited very well to a general purpose bike. That Tektro Oryx is very similar to the shorty, but the CR720 shows they know that one size doesn't fit all.
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Old 02-04-08, 02:35 PM   #12
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Why don't more people run v-brakes? They stop so much better than cantis. As long as it's not mini-Vs the clearance is decent too.

XTR is the de-facto standard.

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Old 02-04-08, 02:47 PM   #13
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The V's will offer much better "ultimate" stopping power, however, they run very close to the rim. Also, they require you to runa travel agent in order to bring the travel ratio back to terms between a v-brake lever and the pull of the road levers.
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Old 02-04-08, 05:09 PM   #14
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isn't the cable pull requirement the same on v-brakes and mechanical discs?
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Old 02-04-08, 05:17 PM   #15
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Yes, which is why you need road-specific disc brakes on your Poprad .
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Old 02-04-08, 05:29 PM   #16
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Yes, which is why you need road-specific disc brakes on your Poprad .
Ahhh gotcha. I still don't understand why a V-brake (or a modified version) still isn't more commonplace on cross bikes. I love v-brake on the mtn bikes that I'd had. The stopping power relative to canti is staggering.

With that said, ultimately stopping power isn't a huge issue when cross racing. However, i thought I'd throw that thought out there.
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Old 02-05-08, 10:05 PM   #17
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Ahhh gotcha. I still don't understand why a V-brake (or a modified version) still isn't more commonplace on cross bikes. I love v-brake on the mtn bikes that I'd had. The stopping power relative to canti is staggering. ...
Actually, I have a set of Shimano STX's (which are no great shakes but not really bad) that have the Salsa wide cable hanger, a longer than usual straddle cable and (most importantly) Kool-stop Salmons. They will stop just as good as the linear-pull XTR's. And with the Kool-Stop Salmons, stopping in wet is no big deal.
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Old 02-07-08, 10:04 PM   #18
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The more I ride with my tektro CR720s, the more I like them. I even like the stock pads. Have them up front, and stock Avid Shorty 4s in back.
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Old 02-09-08, 12:51 AM   #19
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mini-v brakes will come !
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Old 02-10-08, 10:03 AM   #20
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+1 for the CR-720. I just got one for the front of my bike and it's been working out wonderfully! Lots of clearance, enough power, and no more fork shuddering!!

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Old 02-12-08, 11:23 AM   #21
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oh yeah, I forgot about that benefit:

my front used to squeal and shudder like CRAZY with the avid shortys on it.

all that is gone with the CR-720s. The 720s are less powerful than the Avids, but you gain a lot of modulation.

Stella--you didn't like the stock tektro hanger?
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Old 02-12-08, 03:40 PM   #22
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comradehoser,
can you speak to how much less powerful the 720's are than Avid Shortys? I've been looking to upgrade the Shorty 4's on my Jake, but most my riding is on the roads, so I'm wondering if it's a good idea?
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Old 02-12-08, 09:29 PM   #23
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Stella--you didn't like the stock tektro hanger?
I originally set it up with the tektro cable carrier but didn't like that i needed to use three different bolts if I wanted to adjust it. I prefer using the older style carrier.
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Old 02-12-08, 09:34 PM   #24
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I run the Pauls and love them. They're extremely easy to adjust as well.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:43 PM   #25
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stella--yeah? I kind of like that the tektro hangar locks into place. It kind of makes the adjustment screws redundant.

knucks--34.7% less powerful. No, I don't know. With this style of cantis, there are a lot of variables that affect the braking power--how close the pads are to the rim, how high or low you put the straddle, how wide the straddle is, etc. But I do think, on the whole, that the avids are stronger, if a more on/off type of brake. The 720s really give you quite a bit of modulation. Which means you don't lock up the wheel, but you don't need to lock up the wheel.

I actually think the "strength" of the avids might contribute to fork chatter and squeal. I was running the stock avid 4s with dual compound black/salmon mtb pads, and they were super grabby. Since chatter and squeal are just oscillations of pad grab and release, that would make sense. Like I said, no such problems with the 720s.

Plus, they are fairly inexpensive, and by my lights quite well-made, so what do you have to lose? However, if you are loath to spend the ducats, you may not appreciate the extra mud clearance the 720s afford, and might be just as happy with the Avids or even mini-Vs

You may also want to try the Kore brakes shipping with Jamis Supernovas and a couple other bikes (maybe the high-end Kona Jakes)
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