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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 10-14-10, 06:01 AM   #1
brianbeech
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Disc Brakes

I read in the October issue of Bicycling that the UCI will be allowing the use of disc brakes in cross races. I'm not currently a racer, but hope to change that soon. My question is: if I decide to go get a cross bike, should I wait until next year's models due to the disc brake change?

I'd hate to buy a bike today with canti only to have the new models next year have disc. The cost difference to add disc could be significant and just wanted to get your opinion.

Thanks all!
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Old 10-14-10, 07:32 AM   #2
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I would think that there would be some cross bikes out there with disk brakes now. When I bought my Lemond a few years back they offered it with disk brakes but I got the canti brakes because of that stupid ruling. I wish I had gotten the disk brake one now. It only affected a few of the UCI races I did in the last years but for the most part any of the other non UCI races didn't care if you had disk brakes.

They are a bit heavier but IMO it's the way to go, they save your rims and if you warp a wheel in a race you can keep on going. One dissadvantage however is that you need to get the specific wheels, you can't simply convert your road wheels to cross like a lot of us do.
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Old 10-14-10, 07:41 AM   #3
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I'm looking at the CAADX which has canti and wondering, ever so helplessly, if they'll introduce disc next year. I'm actually thinking of getting rid of my road bike and sticking with a cross bike - two sets of wheels, one for cross and one for road. Hmmmm...
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Old 10-14-10, 02:29 PM   #4
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they won't just switch to discs without making you pay for it. you won't pay as much as if you were to buy the discs and wheels separate, but there are disc models currently available and 'next years model' of a canti bike won't just be the same price but with discs. you pay for it somewhere.

to me, i brake too much as is with cantis. discs are better in every way besides weight, sure, but antiquated technologies are part of the challenge, and part of the fun. how many pros race disc bikes?
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Old 10-14-10, 04:50 PM   #5
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Honestly, braking is not the problem in cross races - if I was commuting in the rain, that'd be different - but I've never had a situation where i didn't have enough stopping power in a race with cantis. I'm just modulating speed with my brakes in a race, and I probably should be doing less of that.
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Old 10-14-10, 05:03 PM   #6
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Honestly, braking is not the problem in cross races - if I was commuting in the rain, that'd be different - but I've never had a situation where i didn't have enough stopping power in a race with cantis. I'm just modulating speed with my brakes in a race, and I probably should be doing less of that.
I agree completely. If somebody wants to make the ultimate cyclocross brake, they need to design a front brake with a mechanism that detects when you're turning and doesn't engage the brake no matter how frantically you squeeze it. I know I'm not the only person who needs that.
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Old 10-14-10, 05:18 PM   #7
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how many pros race disc bikes?
In XC mountain bike races, they all do. Those races are basically a CX race with no running and flat handlebars. Disc brakes are definitely the way to go. The braking power alone isn't the reason. It's primarily the modulation ability of the brakes that is really the deciding factor.
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Old 10-14-10, 08:51 PM   #8
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Those races are basically a CX race with no running and flat handlebars.
Wrong.
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Old 10-14-10, 09:36 PM   #9
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Well, flargle, in all fairness you've got a hell of a lot more experience with CX racing than I do, but I'll make a bet with you that inside of 3 years >75% of the pros will be on disc brakes.

Take a look at this World Cup XC race (which is what I meant by 'pro'). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_OHG...eature=related Is it really so unlike a CX race? Sure, some of the stuff they ride we'd be running, but there's a hell of a lot of similarity....and _no_ canti brakes.
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Old 10-15-10, 03:10 AM   #10
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I'll make a bet with you that inside of 3 years >75% of the pros will be on disc brakes.
That may very well be, but the fact that none are today shows how different the two disciplines are. You simply don't have the long, extended descents in CX that you have in XC. You also don't have the same contact patch. In CX, you can swap bikes twice a lap. In short, the brake requirements are radically different for CX.
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Old 10-15-10, 07:42 AM   #11
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Honestly, braking is not the problem in cross races - if I was commuting in the rain, that'd be different - but I've never had a situation where i didn't have enough stopping power in a race with cantis. I'm just modulating speed with my brakes in a race, and I probably should be doing less of that.
With powerful brakes you can charge right up to the corner, brake hard down to the cornering speed and get through it. It's important especially in the start of the race to be the first ones through the corners.
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Old 10-15-10, 10:25 AM   #12
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This debate is raging on RBR, and one of the posters pointed out how it's unfolding exactly how it did when disks hit the mountain bike world. Too heavy, v-brakes provide all the power necessary, incompatability with what's currently in use...hell, the first time I borrowed a bike with V-brakes I figured I'd hate it due to the "lack of modulation".


Disk brakes are better brakes period. Better brakes allow you to ride faster as you can brake later and with more control (modulation). They'll get lighter as the market matures.

Personally, I'd love disks on all my high-performance bikes, even my road bike. I ride in all conditions, and appreciate the perfectly reliable braking that disks provide. I hate that slip-slidy sensation that you get when the pads first make contact with a wet/icy/muddy rim while the pad ploughs through to the rim.
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Old 10-15-10, 11:33 AM   #13
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I can understand the modulation aspect, I havent ridden a bike with disk brakes, but have lots of experience with cantis and v's.
V's (as on my old rockhopper) are stronger than cantis, especially upon initial application, and I find my newer cantis on my crossbike (which I use primarily on the road) to be strong enough, but need more "pull" and pressure to get to work well.

I do come from a motorcycle background as well, have raced in production road racing (paved, permanent circuits) and so completely can see how a strong but nice to modulate disk setup would be nice everywhere, but especially when diving into corners and braking into the apex as I love doing--nice controlled modulation is what you want whether its on a motorcycle, or on a cross trail or mtn bike trrail with ohter riders around you.
In all honesty, the cantis and v's I have work fine for 90% of what I do, they are cheap, and generally simple and just work. That said, I would have no problem with using disks for all the forementioned reasons, and I agree too that lighter cheaper models will become more common. Are they worth the extra cost? for most day to day stuff probably not, especially considering extra weight and cost for diff wheelsets too.

that said, when I did loaded touring in very hilly/mountainous places, it would have been nice to have stronger brakes for the extra weight when heading into the umpteenth hairpin descent (and outbraking bozo car drivers who are ruining your momentum!)
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Old 10-15-10, 12:18 PM   #14
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With powerful brakes you can charge right up to the corner, brake hard down to the cornering speed and get through it. It's important especially in the start of the race to be the first ones through the corners.
This is true, but I rarely see conditions where my braking power is the limiter on how hard I can brake. More often, I have to back off the brakes to maintain traction even before I enter the corner.
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Old 10-15-10, 01:59 PM   #15
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I can understand the modulation aspect, I havent ridden a bike with disk brakes, but have lots of experience with cantis and v's.
When I bought my last MTB, it came with disc brakes. It was my first disc braked bike. I was really wanting to get the bike out because it was light, had a cool frame and new suspension. The brakes were a complete 'meh'. I didn't care. With V brakes the limiting factor was almost always traction on a loose surface anyhow.

I came away from that first ride I was completely blown away with how nice the discs were and how much I had underrated there ability to improve the entire package. I guess that's why I'd really like to see them on a CX bike now.
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Old 10-15-10, 05:52 PM   #16
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I came away from that first ride I was completely blown away with how nice the discs were and how much I had underrated there ability to improve the entire package. I guess that's why I'd really like to see them on a CX bike now.
Hydraulics?

I've never used hydraulics, but I hear great things. I've got mechanical discs (BB7 road) on my winter bike and have used it for short track mountain bike racing (which, for the record, is a step closer to "a CX race with no running" but still tangibly different). I have no such revelatory experience to report. The same bike with a flat bar and the MTB BB7's was a little better, I think.

That said, disc brakes on a CX bike that is going to be used for commuting makes a lot of sense, because in commuting there are times when you have good traction and need to stop on a dime. If the UCI rule change leads to the availability of drop bar-compatible hydraulic disc brakes, I will definitely be an early adopter.
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Old 10-15-10, 10:44 PM   #17
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When I bought my last MTB, it came with disc brakes. It was my first disc braked bike. I was really wanting to get the bike out because it was light, had a cool frame and new suspension. The brakes were a complete 'meh'. I didn't care. With V brakes the limiting factor was almost always traction on a loose surface anyhow.

I came away from that first ride I was completely blown away with how nice the discs were and how much I had underrated there ability to improve the entire package. I guess that's why I'd really like to see them on a CX bike now.
neat, good to hear that reaction.
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Old 12-02-10, 07:53 PM   #18
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Does this rule take into effect as of the new 2011 season? I figure so since I see no pro riders on discs. From what I have read on MTBR over small threads SRAM is really looking for a hydro drop bar option.
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