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  1. #1
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    CX bike with Cantilever brakes or Touring bike with disk brakes?

    I'm looking at two $650 to $800 bikes for winter travel and year around wet weather use.

    One is a CX bike with room for 700x32 studded tires: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...0_10000_202396

    The other is a commuter/touring model with room for 700x35 tires & fenders: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400310

    Neither bike is perfect. The commuter/touring bike was a lousy crank-set and with only three frame sizes, I'm between the large and medium size.

    The Nashbar bike might have too little tire clearance for a good studded tire & fender.

    Does the disc brake on the commuter/touring bike along with the added tire clearance make for a better winter bike than the 105 series Shimano spec CX bike? If I install very good brake pads for the rim brakes on the CX bike, can I get the same winter braking performance as the low-cost mechanical disc brake on the touring bike?
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 10-02-11 at 05:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    Well, I can't answer your question but had to make the same type choice. I rode all last winter on a studded tire equipped mountain bike. It had disc brakes and they gave me no trouble at all. All other components froze up occasionally during my daily rides. But I found that I hated not being on a road style bike and kept jumping on my "rain bike" LeMond Zurich anytime the roads were marginally clear. So last month I picked up a CX bike to be this years winter rider. It's a 2003 Kona Jake the Snake. I am a bit concerned about the cantilever brakes but we'll see how that works. Most of my winter riding is on fairly level roads so I think I will be ok. But I did buy the bike with a backup option in mind. If I find the brakes not up to the task I will replace the steel front fork with one designed for disc brakes and add disc brakes to the front of the bike. For me that will be a win/win since this bike has a superlite Easton aluminum frame but a heavy steel fork.
    Steel is real.... cheap and comfy!
    2000 LeMond Zurich, 2003 Kona Jake The Snake, 2008 Raleigh Mojave 8.0, 2009 Scott CR1 Pro, 2011 Trek 5.9,

  3. #3
    tsl
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    Bear in mind that the narrowest useful studded snow tires are 35 mm, not 32. Do a search here on the Nokian A10 and you'll find that those who have tried them, didn't like them.

    Fenders are really nice. The second bike has room for them.

    The rest depends on how and how often you'll ride in the wet, snow and ice. I'm also in a Great Lakes city, although we get lake-effect from two lakes, not just one. I ride at least every workday, no matter the conditions.

    Disc brakes save me a lot of money on new rims. My first winter I rode a budget bike with cheap wheels. I wore the braking track concave in only one winter. That's what drove my decision in favor of disc brakes on my four-seasons, all-conditions commuter.

    While Kool-Stop salmon pads are better gripping in the wet and gentler to the rims, (I run them on my other bikes that see occasional wet service) you'll still be getting cheap wheels. But, I don't have a lot of choice when it comes to conditions and when I ride. If you'll be able to avoid the worst of the conditions, rim brakes may be just fine.

    I'm also in favor of the nine-speed on the touring bike. Winter riding is murder on chains and cassettes. The nine-speed stuff is a whole lot cheaper to replace come spring.

    I agree with you on that crankset and would prefer a 39 in the middle, but, I find the granny really useful to keep my cadence high and spin light when conditions get really dicey. This reduces wheelspin and, makes for quicker recovery from sideslip, since sideslip inevitably occurs when the wrong pedal is down.
    Last edited by tsl; 10-02-11 at 09:08 AM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  4. #4
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    The GT would be my choice. You can have it with much better brakes (Avid BB 7) here at the same price:
    http://www.downcycles.com/store/2011...ur-p-1352.html

  5. #5
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Norco sells a CX bike with discs for about a grand.

    Disc blow away rim in the winter, it's not a contest really.

  6. #6
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
    Well, I can't answer your question but had to make the same type choice. I rode all last winter on a studded tire equipped mountain bike. It had disc brakes and they gave me no trouble at all. All other components froze up occasionally during my daily rides. But I found that I hated not being on a road style bike and kept jumping on my "rain bike" LeMond Zurich anytime the roads were marginally clear. So last month I picked up a CX bike to be this years winter rider. It's a 2003 Kona Jake the Snake. I am a bit concerned about the cantilever brakes but we'll see how that works. Most of my winter riding is on fairly level roads so I think I will be ok. But I did buy the bike with a backup option in mind. If I find the brakes not up to the task I will replace the steel front fork with one designed for disc brakes and add disc brakes to the front of the bike. For me that will be a win/win since this bike has a superlite Easton aluminum frame but a heavy steel fork.
    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Bear in mind that the narrowest useful studded snow tires are 35 mm, not 32. Do a search here on the Nokian A10 and you'll find that those who have tried them, didn't like them.

    Fenders are really nice. The second bike has room for them.

    The rest depends on how and how often you'll ride in the wet, snow and ice. I'm also in a Great Lakes city, although we get lake-effect from two lakes, not just one. I ride at least every workday, no matter the conditions.

    Disc brakes save me a lot of money on new rims. My first winter I rode a budget bike with cheap wheels. I wore the braking track concave in only one winter. That's what drove my decision in favor of disc brakes on my four-seasons, all-conditions commuter.

    While Kool-Stop salmon pads are better gripping in the wet and gentler to the rims, (I run them on my other bikes that see occasional wet service) you'll still be getting cheap wheels. But, I don't have a lot of choice when it comes to conditions and when I ride. If you'll be able to avoid the worst of the conditions, rim brakes may be just fine.

    I'm also in favor of the nine-speed on the touring bike. Winter riding is murder on chains and cassettes. The nine-speed stuff is a whole lot cheaper to replace come spring.

    I agree with you on that crankset and would prefer a 39 in the middle, but, I find the granny really useful to keep my cadence high and spin light when conditions get really dicey. This reduces wheelspin and, makes for quicker recovery from sideslip, since sideslip inevitably occurs when the wrong pedal is down.
    Well the disc brake debate is sometimes polarizing, but I'm going in that direction. I should know from my own experience that disk brakes are better when the rims are wet and dirty.

    I've been using a Soma Double Cross CX bike that will take discs or cantilever brakes and have been marginally happy with rim brakes. They are lighter, especially when the weight of the fork and wheels are considered. They are also cheaper when sourcing parts for a build. Stopping power on dry roads is just good enough, but once the rim is wet or dirty I added plenty of stopping distance to every application of the brake. The same can be said of caliper brakes, except that caliper brakes offer great stopping power and modulation when used on dry roads.

    I'm going to retire my CX bike, it will be at my in-laws home for when I visit. I've already added a road bike for mild weather fitness riding. I've been looking for a multi-purpose bike to use when I'm not riding my road bike on paved roads in mild weather. This includes winter & damp road riding where rim brakes are problematic. I like bar-end shifters when wearing heavy gloves or mittens in cold weather below 40F. It looks like the touring bike will take 700x35 studded tires and fenders and make a good winter bike. It also would make a good gravel road/tow path bike where 700x35 or larger tires are a benefit. I agree that 9 speed is better on a bike like this.

    I'm going to try some touring with this bike. Installing a rear rack and a front bag of some kind should be doable for shorter tours. Have credit card, will travel.

    The crank is worthless, a 48, 36 & 24 would be better. Avid brakes might be needed, but I'm hoping to finish one winter without changing too much. The wheels might be an issue too, I’ll have to check. I’m hoping it’s not a an overweight pig. The Reynolds frame, disc brakes and heavy wheels and tires should put the weight in the 25 to 30 lbs range. With a good wheel-set, I'm hoping for 26 lbs.

    I will order the bike in a large this week. I’ll post a report later this month.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 10-03-11 at 07:31 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    The best for me would be discs and an IGH. I had my cassette pack up with slush several times last year and leave me with just one gear. More problems with that than brakes.
    Steel is real.... cheap and comfy!
    2000 LeMond Zurich, 2003 Kona Jake The Snake, 2008 Raleigh Mojave 8.0, 2009 Scott CR1 Pro, 2011 Trek 5.9,

  8. #8
    idc
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    I liked the Peace Tour a lot when I first saw it, but I don't like the bar end shifters. Now I think I'd rather have a 26" bike for winter commuting anyway. I would definitely opt for disc brakes given the choice though.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have 26x1.9 Nokian winter studs.. , on a drum braked wheelset.. works great..
    the setup is 20 years old now..

  10. #10
    Senior Member matimeo's Avatar
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    That Nashbar cross bike is a lot more bike with higher end components for your money, plus you get a carbon fork. Hands down I would buy it over the other as a commuter. You shouldn't have any trouble fitting larger tires and fenders. A similar bike in aluminum is the Windsor Cyclone from bikes direct. I bought one recently and it makes an excellent year round commuter. Can't comment on how much discs are as ive never personally used them. On the Performance bike that's pretty much what you're paying for as there isn't anything spectacular about the bike (although if it is a well made Reynolds frame it is probably nicer than the nashbar frame, but I don't know that it is.)

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