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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 10-06-09, 04:17 PM   #26
CrimsonKarter21
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I had some TRP EuroX's ordered today, but QBP probably doesn't have any because they never have anything I need.
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Old 10-06-09, 04:29 PM   #27
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I have Tektro 720 with Kool Stop Mountain pads being pulled by Shimano Ultegra brifters - I'm not in love with the braking power, but these are also my first canti brakes. Not sure whether I don't have my straddle cable the right length or if its just the nature of the beast.
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Old 10-07-09, 12:23 AM   #28
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I had some TRP EuroX's ordered today, but QBP probably doesn't have any because they never have anything I need.
lucky you. I am working on these brakes for a friend.

Brakes without toe in adjustment should go away.

BTW, the Kore brakes look like a slightly nicer version of the CR720
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Old 10-07-09, 09:19 AM   #29
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I have Tektro 720 with Kool Stop Mountain pads being pulled by Shimano Ultegra brifters - I'm not in love with the braking power, but these are also my first canti brakes. Not sure whether I don't have my straddle cable the right length or if its just the nature of the beast.

You should play with your straddle cable. I have the exact same set up and I had to adjust my cable to reduce the braking power. I was worried that in a race I would grab a fistful of brake and go over the bars.
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Old 10-07-09, 09:49 AM   #30
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I don't ride the VO brakes. I just figured they might be a good TRP alternative, and a little cheaper. I actually run Tektro CR-720s at the moment. I swapped them in for some Avid Shorty brakes I never liked, which I had used to replace Frogslegs I never really liked. ** hum!
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Old 10-07-09, 09:59 AM   #31
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You should play with your straddle cable. I have the exact same set up and I had to adjust my cable to reduce the braking power. I was worried that in a race I would grab a fistful of brake and go over the bars.
It could also be that the pads are positioned for a lot of mud clearance: the further they are from the rim, the less the braking power. Setting up with mud clearance that you don't need is a mistake.
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Old 10-07-09, 10:04 AM   #32
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I am running SRP (note: not TRP) brakes and I have found them to be excellent. They are a wide profile minimalist design with the toe in built into the design. There is no adjustability for toe in but these are the first brakes I've ever had for cross that don't squeal.

Seems to me that you are better of running brakes that are designed for mud even in dry conditions. All it takes is one muddy race and you'll be dragging 15 pounds of grass along with you. Sure they don't have the greatest stopping power but what do you want to stop for anyway
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Old 10-07-09, 10:50 AM   #33
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I adjust my brakes for either race conditions or daily use. I reduce the power by adding clearance for racing but for daily use, I need stopping power.
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Old 10-07-09, 11:17 AM   #34
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You should play with your straddle cable. I have the exact same set up and I had to adjust my cable to reduce the braking power. I was worried that in a race I would grab a fistful of brake and go over the bars.
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It could also be that the pads are positioned for a lot of mud clearance: the further they are from the rim, the less the braking power. Setting up with mud clearance that you don't need is a mistake.
Would more straddle yield more power?

I'm not running a lot of clearance, but I can try taking things in a bit. Winding out the cable adjusters on my inline brakes does help a little. I love inline brakes btw.
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Old 10-07-09, 12:32 PM   #35
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I swapped out an Avid Shorty 4 for a Tektro CR720 on the front on my bike last night. I'm not sure why they bothered to include installation instructions -- they describe the basic process of attaching the brakes to the frame/fork but omit everything you need to know to actually make the brakes useful.

Anyway, I resorted to studying Sheldon Brown's article on cantilever geometry, which was probably where I should have started in the first place. That still didn't get me as far as I wanted, but I slept on it.

This morning I remembered a tip someone here had given me about wanting the brake arms to be parallel to the rim when they make contact. To achieve that I moved a 2mm washer from the outside of the brake arm to the inside and, presto! -- braking power.

FWIW, I had done a lot of tweaking with the Avids and had gotten them tuned in pretty well, so until this last adjustment the CR720s weren't working any better than the Avids had been for me, but this last adjustment did put them over the top. I was sticking with link wires on the Avids so that severly limited their adjustability, though I did get a shorter link wire -- it could be that with a yoke and straddle cable I could have squeezed a little more power out of the Avids.
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Old 10-07-09, 01:22 PM   #36
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Would more straddle yield more power?

I'm not running a lot of clearance, but I can try taking things in a bit. Winding out the cable adjusters on my inline brakes does help a little. I love inline brakes btw.
check out the sheldon brown article on canti set up. higher straddle, essentially what you are doing with your inline adjusters, yields less MA and a stiffer feel at the lever, and the opposite holds as well. After reading that article and following his advice I got a really nice feel out of my shorty 4s, which are a brake that is usually hated on FWIW
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Old 10-07-09, 01:58 PM   #37
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Would more straddle yield more power?

I'm not running a lot of clearance, but I can try taking things in a bit. Winding out the cable adjusters on my inline brakes does help a little. I love inline brakes btw.
The lower the pulley and the closer the pads to the rim, the more power you get. Mechanical advantage can be altered through a range of - oh, probably a factor of four - by what seem like quite small changes. Search this forum for past threads.

VERY important point: cantis feel squishy, not hard, when set up right. And you can carry on pulling the lever for quite a distance after this squishy feeling starts. That's because they're so powerful that they squish the brake pads and you can feel this through the levers - and squish them more - and more - for extra power. Set up right cantis can lock your front wheel or make you endo (depending on how much grip you have) with very little effort.

Last edited by meanwhile; 10-07-09 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 10-07-09, 02:02 PM   #38
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Seems to me that you are better of running brakes that are designed for mud even in dry conditions. All it takes is one muddy race and you'll be dragging 15 pounds of grass along with you. Sure they don't have the greatest stopping power but what do you want to stop for anyway
I feel guilty pointing this out as I can't race in cross because of Weird Mutant Foot Syndrome - but stronger brakes mean that you can brake later, which means that you can go faster longer. Getting your brakes right is a big part of going fast off road. There's a reason why the UCI banned disks as giving an unfair advantage. Although I wish the idiots hadn't.
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Old 10-07-09, 03:00 PM   #39
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I feel guilty pointing this out as I can't race in cross because of Weird Mutant Foot Syndrome - but ....
Truth is truth, wherever it comes from. Have you ever seen Leo Mazzone pitch? No, but he's an awesome pitching coach. Don't let an injury keep you from sharing what you know.

Oh yeah, I completely agree with your point about braking in a race too.
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Old 10-07-09, 03:05 PM   #40
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I got a set of the FSA SLK cantis and they rock. I hated my TRP Euro X brakes. I road the Cane Creek brakes for a while and really liked those but the FSAs are the best brakes I have had for a cross bike.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:00 PM   #41
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Two races now on the Tektro CR720's. The second one without an endo and corresponding major mechanical.

I am 210lbs and these brakes are great. SO MUCH better than my crappy avid shorty 4s.

Do people really give a crap about how the brakes 'look' on their 'cross bike? Everything is brown when it is covered in mud.

Oh, and zero heel interference and I have pretty big feet (US 13, EU 48 or 49)
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Old 10-10-09, 12:33 PM   #42
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The lower the pulley and the closer the pads to the rim, the more power you get. Mechanical advantage can be altered through a range of - oh, probably a factor of four - by what seem like quite small changes. Search this forum for past threads. ...
I lowered the pulley and shortened the straddle - definite improvement. I don't think I could endo myself, but the grip is much better, and I still have reasonable rim clearance.

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Two races now on the Tektro CR720's. The second one without an endo and corresponding major mechanical.

...

Do people really give a crap about how the brakes 'look' on their 'cross bike? Everything is brown when it is covered in mud. ...
I didn't realize 720s were considered ugly. I have the black ones, and they look fine.
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Old 10-10-09, 01:30 PM   #43
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I lowered the pulley and shortened the straddle - definite improvement. I don't think I could endo myself, but the grip is much better, and I still have reasonable rim clearance.
Ok. The next thing you need to do is to just move the pads in towards the rim until the clearance is the least you will tolerate. Then you're done. Braking power should go up quite a bit more when you do this. Canti tweaking is pretty simple, really.

I have a set of NOS Pedersen "self energizing" cantis waiting to be installed on my MTB-crosser hybrid. These things are notorious for their braking power - they've been known to lift the rear wheel of a tandem off the ground.
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Old 10-10-09, 02:16 PM   #44
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I feel guilty pointing this out as I can't race in cross because of Weird Mutant Foot Syndrome - but stronger brakes mean that you can brake later, which means that you can go faster longer. Getting your brakes right is a big part of going fast off road. There's a reason why the UCI banned disks as giving an unfair advantage. Although I wish the idiots hadn't.
You are correct that you should go fast right up to the point that you need to stop but setting up brakes for mud, within reason, is only a slight margin of difference. My brake pads are probably 1cm away from the rims but I can still stop or more importantly slow down.

I think a lot of people, especially those that come from the road think that cross brakes feel like mush but really they are just set differently and so you have to react differently to them. A lot of roadies have their brakes set to a hair trigger so when they get on a cross bike and have to pull a lot of cable it feels weird.

But yes like all things there is tolerances in the set up and design.
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