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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 10-17-10, 01:11 PM   #1
d-klumpp
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CAADX: first race

Hi! Two firsts this weekend.

Last Sunday I picked up a 2011 Cannondale CAADX 105 (58cm). I was attracted to this bike as a lower-cost, back-up bike to my prized road bike. Key features are a useful combination of front and rear eyelets and the new 105 components. Plus, there's NOT A HINT OF RED in the conservative-yet-attractive color scheme (brushed Al frame with black fork, rims and bars).

The only upgrade thus far is a Specialized Toupe 143mm saddle. The cheap stock saddle was unrideable for me.

On my usual mid-week 22 mi road loop, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't seem to give up too much speed to my cherished Seven. The CAADX is really fun to ride -- and I haven't even dialed in my position yet! Today I even rode it on a typical 40mi weekend loop so that my riding buddy could check it out. My poor Seven is feeling neglected. I actually prefer the bend on the Cannondale bars to my ergo bend Seven bars.

Anyway, yesterday I experienced my first CX race, after much trepidation. IT WAS A BLAST!!! OK, it was only 4B, and I hadn't tried a remount until during the race. But I didn't finish last despite my 48 yrs probably making me the oldest guy in my race. I found the bike handled very well in the dry conditions with the stock tires. Indeed, I was surprised to learn how easily I could navigate the course, and I had confidence passing in turns.

However, although the stock Tektro brakes seemed perfect on the fairly flat course (Psychocross in Chicago suburban Wauconda), I find the braking inadequate for urban commuting. The stock cantis aren't nearly quick enough to help avoid getting doored in heavy traffic. Instead, I intend to get a TRP CX 9 for the front -- maybe even another for the rear. (See VeloNews for a recent review of CX 9 front with TRP Euro Mag rear.)

BOTTOM LINE: Attractive and fun all-arounder bike at a decent price ($1400). With the exception of the saddle, the bike is very rideable right out of the box. It's comfortable as a road bike that I will not fear riding in snow/salt conditions that otherwise would force me to ride my DA Seven bike on the trainer. Eyelets make for a practical bike, and the new 105 shifters are an important asset relative to other bikes in price range. And for a cross newbie, this bike is fun and capable.

I'm very pleased with this bike and definitely recommend it.

Dave
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Old 10-17-10, 03:07 PM   #2
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However, although the stock Tektro brakes seemed perfect on the fairly flat course (Psychocross in Chicago suburban Wauconda), I find the braking inadequate for urban commuting. The stock cantis aren't nearly quick enough to help avoid getting doored in heavy traffic. Instead, I intend to get a TRP CX 9 for the front -- maybe even another for the rear.
Dave
can relate, I got a Tricross this summer and also found the stock Tektros underwhelming--they did improve when the pads got worked in a bit, but as someone who had cantis on my old touring bike, I really did think that in 20 yrs cantis would have improved more.

Although I havent done it yet, many people recommend Kool-Stop pads to improve braking. I ride in the city a lot and at some point will try some to see if they increase braking power. At this point, the stock pads are alright, but using the small bar mounted extra set of levers there is a marked decrease in braking compared to the reg. levers. I am hoping the Kool-Stops can help overall, both for the extra levers, as well as braking with my hands on the hoods.

nice to see someone else who finds a cross bike a nice mix of a road bike and all the other stuff a sturdier bike allows you to do + eyelets and fit bigger tires etc. I dont have a road bike, but do see that for many people, a cross bike would be a great choice as I agree that they are a lot of fun.

(I unfortunately didnt see any Cannondale cross bikes this summer when looking at options, c'est la vie as they say)
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Old 10-17-10, 03:42 PM   #3
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"Although I havent done it yet, many people recommend Kool-Stop pads to improve braking. I ride in the city a lot and at some point will try some to see if they increase braking power. At this point, the stock pads are alright, but using the small bar mounted extra set of levers there is a marked decrease in braking compared to the reg. levers. I am hoping the Kool-Stops can help overall, both for the extra levers, as well as braking with my hands on the hoods."

DJB,

You will be interested to hear that I tested Kool-Stops! When I returned from the test ride in urban traffic, I discussed the bike performance, specifically the unsatisfactory braking. The mechanic suggested taking another spin with some old Kool-Stops. Although this second test ride was just a few more blocks, it was clear that braking improved considerably.

However, I've also read quite a bit about canti-associated brake shudder. I was sad to notice that once the Kool-Stops went on, the shudder appeared on the CAADX. The shudder wasn't as bad as I heard it can be, possibly because Cannondale supposedly uses a /smart brake configuration, but adopting the TRP mini V will enhance braking while eliminating any possibility of shudder.

Dave
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Old 10-17-10, 11:48 PM   #4
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You will be interested to hear that I tested Kool-Stops! When I returned from the test ride in urban traffic, I discussed the bike performance, specifically the unsatisfactory braking. The mechanic suggested taking another spin with some old Kool-Stops. Although this second test ride was just a few more blocks, it was clear that braking improved considerably.

However, I've also read quite a bit about canti-associated brake shudder. I was sad to notice that once the Kool-Stops went on, the shudder appeared on the CAADX. The shudder wasn't as bad as I heard it can be, possibly because Cannondale supposedly uses a /smart brake configuration, but adopting the TRP mini V will enhance braking while eliminating any possibility of shudder.

Dave
good, glad to hear that they are effective (Kool-Stops) The Spec Tricross do have those fork mounted hanger thingees that are mentioned in the other thread you and I have been writing in (for a suggestion for a new fork to reduce chatter) and as I said, it works perfectly with no shudder or whatever at all on my bike. I guess I will have to see if anything crops up with the Kool-Stops but I suspect it will be alright.

From what I have been told, v's are problematic with sti shifters--to be honest I dont really see why, something about cable length I think, but iirc this is what I was told when asking why V's werent used on the cross bikes I saw in stores. In my experience, V's are stronger, but the ones on my old mtn bike seem to be a bit trickier for going suddenly to 7-8 to 11 on the braking scale (endo-wise as I have done in an emergency stop) so I still am waiting to see how disks are for being more "modulating" and suspect to see them on cross bikes more and more.

again, tks for another confirmation that kool-stops make a diff.
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Old 10-18-10, 09:45 AM   #5
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From what I have been told, v's are problematic with sti shifters--to be honest I dont really see why, something about cable length I think, but iirc this is what I was told when asking why V's werent used on the cross bikes I saw in stores. In my experience, V's are stronger, but the ones on my old mtn bike seem to be a bit trickier for going suddenly to 7-8 to 11 on the braking scale (endo-wise as I have done in an emergency stop) so I still am waiting to see how disks are for being more "modulating" and suspect to see them on cross bikes more and more.
I'm running V-brakes on my cross bike and I think they are heads and shoulders better than canti's. I did use a travel agent when I installed the brakes so that the road levers work with the MTB brakes. It's a no-brainer in my opinion. For the life of me, I don't know why people run canti's and I really don't understand high dollar canti's. The travel agents cost about $15 apiece and take an extra 2 minutes during the initial install. That's it. It's done and it works. I've got way better stopping power than with the old canti's and I have yet to encounter any fork shutter.

I do think the ultimate answer is discs, but for all the cross bikes out there right now, V-brakes are a really good alternative that have no down side I'm aware of.
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Old 10-18-10, 10:08 AM   #6
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I am not sure of how relevant it really is, but I have read on numerous occassions that V's running closer to the rims can have problems with heavy mud compared to cantis that have more space for gunk, although this would never be an issue for me really.
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Old 10-18-10, 11:39 AM   #7
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V-brakes + Travel Agents + Kool Stop salmons = Scary good, shudderless braking (when adjusted properly).

My Monster Crosser



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Old 10-18-10, 02:04 PM   #8
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V-brakes + Travel Agents + Kool Stop salmons = Scary good, shudderless braking (when adjusted properly).

My Monster Crosser
This setup looks just like mine. I suppose it is possible that this would have some sort of problem if there was enough mud on it. Keep in mind, you're talking about a hell of a lot of mud. It would be muddy to the point that any brake package would have problems (IMO).
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Old 10-18-10, 02:23 PM   #9
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This setup looks just like mine. I suppose it is possible that this would have some sort of problem if there was enough mud on it. Keep in mind, you're talking about a hell of a lot of mud. It would be muddy to the point that any brake package would have problems (IMO).
Yes, I should have been clear that all the mud I encounter is on muddy trails during rainy commutes. To be frank, the clearance for the cable over the tire doesn't seem like enough to make a difference vs. cantis. I have ridden Avid mech discs before and while I like them, it is a tossup compared to this setup.
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Old 10-18-10, 08:32 PM   #10
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interesting, shall keep this setup in mind. I took a peek at my mtn bike and saw that the distance between my front tire and the horizontal cable is about twice as in your photo (mind you, they are slicks....so this may not be entirely true)

I guess my final question is if a V setup like this would have space issues for putting on a fender, as I like the variation of a cross bike as a commuter/light-med tourer with fenders (I have a set I have not put on my bike yet, will probably soon as it gets more into Fall with more rain)

and as for how much mud, I guess this is really an issue for racers who will be in all kinds of goop this fall.
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Old 10-19-10, 07:44 AM   #11
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interesting, shall keep this setup in mind. I took a peek at my mtn bike and saw that the distance between my front tire and the horizontal cable is about twice as in your photo (mind you, they are slicks....so this may not be entirely true)

I guess my final question is if a V setup like this would have space issues for putting on a fender, as I like the variation of a cross bike as a commuter/light-med tourer with fenders (I have a set I have not put on my bike yet, will probably soon as it gets more into Fall with more rain)

and as for how much mud, I guess this is really an issue for racers who will be in all kinds of goop this fall.
I had to use the regular v-brakes as the mini v's caused cable rub on my beefy tires. I use a Topeak clip-on fender on the Surly fork and it works just fine. Chainlove.com also has the Serfas clip-on fender for $11. To keep with the original spirit of the post, if it came down to it, the effort needed to convert from canti to V-brake is well worth it.
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Old 08-08-11, 10:28 PM   #12
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Can someone please post a photo of the break mod. I just bought a CAADX and also feel the lack of break power when powering through the city.
I'm new at this so if you can get me a break down of what the part names are or links, it would be break (i googled travel agent bike and wasn't sure what the heck i was looking for)
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Old 08-10-11, 08:49 AM   #13
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Problem Solvers Travel Agent (instructions are simple and on the package)

If you want to go with the mini-V's (my choice), they are about the same price. Used TA's on regular V's, and they work very well with any road lever. The mini-V's work equally as well and look better.
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Old 08-15-11, 11:52 AM   #14
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Thanks RTDub, can you repost the photos, i only see two graphics with a big "!" on them above...
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Old 08-16-11, 07:27 AM   #15
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I am able to resolve the links, just links to the best place to acquire either or both :-)

I will post pics of my 8 speed road lever/mini-V setup tonight. My travel agents are currently not in use, taking up space in the garage.
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Old 09-07-11, 10:51 AM   #16
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RTDub, i'm going to do your recommended brake mod. I bought Kool stop salmon Supra 2 http://www.amazon.com/Kool-Stop-Bicy...5414176&sr=8-1

to see if i had an improvement but no luck, still feels powerless, mushy braking. Do these Salmons work on the Mini Vs or should i be getting a different model of Kool Stops?
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Old 09-07-11, 11:38 AM   #17
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to see if i had an improvement but no luck, still feels powerless, mushy braking. Do these Salmons work on the Mini Vs or should i be getting a different model of Kool Stops?
A brake setup with a lot of mechanical advantage WILL feel mushy because you are bending/distorting the canti arms and the bosses and stays/forkblades. The levers of a system with insufficient mechanical advantage will feel hard because you dont generate enough force to bend stuff. Mushy feeling levers are not necessarily a bad thing so long as you dont bottom out the lever travel and you have sufficient pad to rim clearance .
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Old 09-07-11, 12:26 PM   #18
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RTDub, i'm going to do your recommended brake mod. I bought Kool stop salmon Supra 2 http://www.amazon.com/Kool-Stop-Bicy...5414176&sr=8-1

to see if i had an improvement but no luck, still feels powerless, mushy braking. Do these Salmons work on the Mini Vs or should i be getting a different model of Kool Stops?
I'm not clear, did you go with the Travel Agents or the Mini-V brakes? If you used Travel Agents, there is a very specific way you need to install them to get the mechanical advantage. I made this mistake the first go around.
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Old 09-12-11, 04:37 AM   #19
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I'm not clear, did you go with the Travel Agents or the Mini-V brakes? If you used Travel Agents, there is a very specific way you need to install them to get the mechanical advantage. I made this mistake the first go around.
Oh crap, i bought both, did i misunderstand? I thought I needed travel agents to install mini-v ? Do you have a link to a reference on how to do the install? And if you don't mind, can you post a pic of your final setup? thanks for following up!
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Old 09-12-11, 11:36 AM   #20
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Sorry, Mini-V brakes are what make TA's unnecessary. Travel Agents are for if you are using the longer, regular V-brakes. If you install both TA's and mini-V's, you will have almost too much stopping power.

I do not have pics of my TA setup as they are sitting unused in my garage. Let us know which setup you go with - if you use Mini-V's, they will end up looking like this:

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Old 09-12-11, 03:52 PM   #21
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FWIW I've used a front mini-V with travel agent, in order to get better mud clearance, and it worked great for me.
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Old 09-12-11, 03:53 PM   #22
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FWIW I've used a front mini-V with travel agent, in order to get better mud clearance, and it worked great for me.

Definitely pay close attention to the installation instructions that come with the travel agent. It's a little tricky.
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Old 09-20-11, 04:43 AM   #23
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FWIW I've used a front mini-V with travel agent, in order to get better mud clearance, and it worked great for me.

Definitely pay close attention to the installation instructions that come with the travel agent. It's a little tricky.
do i need any special tools aside from the standard hex stuff? Mind posting a photo of the final setup?
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