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Is an extra $50 worth it for disc brakes but lower end components?

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Is an extra $50 worth it for disc brakes but lower end components?

Old 07-21-08, 01:12 PM
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check67
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Is an extra $50 worth it for disc brakes but lower end components?

I haven't seen too many people on these boards that mention commuting on any of the Cannondale Cyclocross bikes but I've been looking at the XR6 and XR7. The specs that are different between the two are referenced below. My question is, for only a $50 difference between the two, would you take the disc brakes but lower end components? I'd like to think that I will commute in the heavy rain (which is the only justification I can make for why I would need the discs) but am not 100% sure I will. Any thoughts?

Cross XR 6 Cross XR 7
Frame Cyclocross CAAD9 Optimo Cyclocross Optimo Disc
Fork Slice Ultra X Carbon Fatty Ultra XR Disc
Rims Shimano WH-R500A Mach1 CFX, 32 hole
Hubs Shimano WH-R500A Cannondale Omega Disc
Spokes Shimano WH-R500A DT Swiss Competition
Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra Shimano Sora
Rear Derailleur Shimano Tiagra Shimano Tiagra
Shifters Shimano Tiagra Shimano SORA
Brakeset Tektro Oryx Avid BB5 Disc
Brakelevers Shimano Tiagra w/ Cannondale C-2 B-levers Shimano Sora w/ Cannondale C-2 B-levers
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Old 07-21-08, 02:15 PM
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If you can't upgrade to the discs later on (no mounting points), go with the discs, and upgrade the components when they wear out.
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Old 07-21-08, 02:18 PM
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Absolutely not. Buy the best bike-overall- that you can get. Either set of brakes will be more than sufficient for your needs.
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Old 07-21-08, 02:26 PM
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Tiagra vs. Sora

Aside from the disc brakes, the biggest difference between the two bikes are Tiagra vs. Sora on the front derailleur and shifters. Is there much of a quality difference between the two?
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Old 07-21-08, 02:33 PM
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I have discs on my road bike -- a Trek Portland -- and love them. They are way better in the rain than rim brakes which I have on my other bike. That said, the discs are more expensive, weigh more, and probably don't give you better performance 90%-95% of the time you will be on your bike. The Portland comes with mostly 105 components.

Your call.
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Old 07-21-08, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by check67 View Post
Aside from the disc brakes, the biggest difference between the two bikes are Tiagra vs. Sora on the front derailleur and shifters. Is there much of a quality difference between the two?
YES. I rode both recently, and the Tiagra shifters are a huge upgrade IMO. Ride them both and see what you think.
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Old 07-21-08, 02:39 PM
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As far as Sora vs. Tiagra goes, opinions are all over the map.

I'll give you my two cents though. I didn't much like the Sora triple front derailleur that came on my bike.
As for the shifters , I've used Soras and some older 105s which would be similar to Tiagra in how they work. I think Tiagras now have a gear indicator (maybe Soras do now too).

Anyway, Soras use a thumb lever mounted near the hood for upshifting (or for downshifting on the front).
Tiagras use a paddle that's located behind the brake lever. This means that you can't really upshift while in the drops with Sora's. Some people claim they can, but I can't, - at least not comfortably.

The one advantage Sora's have is they have an adjustable reach which might be useful if you have smaller hands.
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Old 07-21-08, 02:44 PM
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Thanks to everyone for chiming in. I'm a newbie that is very excited to ditch my car and start commuting by bike. It's taken me way longer than I expected to get a bike because I've been suffering from analysis paralysis and can't pull the trigger on a decision. The reason I'm focusing in on Cannondale is because I can get a discount.

Unfortunately, I stopped by my lbs yesterday and test rode a Specialized Tricross Expert (way beyond my price range) and can't get it out of my mind. It was a SWEET ride. And I really like the SRAM group and the shifters were awesome. Unfortunately, that bike is about $1800 more than what I'll be able to score one of the Cannondale Cross XR 6 or 7 for.
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Old 07-21-08, 02:48 PM
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Assuming the frame has tabs for disc brakes, going with better components is generally a better idea in my opinion. Unless you plan on upgrading everything past what it already is.

I test rode a Tricross and fell in love too. No cash here to purchase one though.
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Old 07-21-08, 05:56 PM
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If you really like the Tricross, see if you can find a Tricross Sport Triple in last years model. I was offered one recently for $950.
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Old 07-21-08, 06:11 PM
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Wow! That's a pretty sweet deal. Good idea. I'm going to scour all of the lbs in my area for inventory of last years models and see if I can get a deal like that.
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Old 07-21-08, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
Absolutely not. Buy the best bike-overall- that you can get. Either set of brakes will be more than sufficient for your needs.
+1. People commuted in bad weather for decades before disc brakes on bikes. Take the better components, especially if it involves better shifters. (I'm way uncrazy about the Tiagra SORA.)
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Old 07-21-08, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by check67 View Post
Wow! That's a pretty sweet deal. Good idea. I'm going to scour all of the lbs in my area for inventory of last years models and see if I can get a deal like that.
Note: This is not the model you rode, it's a lower end components bike. Check out the Specialized website.
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Old 07-21-08, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by check67 View Post
Unfortunately, I stopped by my lbs yesterday and test rode a Specialized Tricross Expert (way beyond my price range) and can't get it out of my mind. It was a SWEET ride. And I really like the SRAM group and the shifters were awesome. Unfortunately, that bike is about $1800 more than what I'll be able to score one of the Cannondale Cross XR 6 or 7 for.
Bike Shopping Rule Number One: If you can't afford it, don't ride it.
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Old 07-21-08, 06:48 PM
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Yes, I certainly learned my lesson. The guy at the lbs wanted me to ride it just to see how it felt from a size perspective. When I came back in I told him I can understand how someone can come in not expecting to buy anything and walk out of there $3000 poorer (or more in debt).
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Old 07-21-08, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by check67 View Post
Yes, I certainly learned my lesson. The guy at the lbs wanted me to ride it just to see how it felt from a size perspective. When I came back in I told him I can understand how someone can come in not expecting to buy anything and walk out of there $3000 poorer (or more in debt).
OK commuter-"Bike Shopping Rule Number One: If you can't afford it, don't ride it."

I've fallen for this more than once.
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Old 07-21-08, 07:38 PM
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I say no. Discs are a pain in the neck. Although discs might be preferable to calipers for a commuter. Calipers are likely to make fenders problematic. Do keep fenders in mind (I'm assuming this is for commuting) with rim brakes.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
I've fallen for this more than once.
I made the rule up for myself. For next time. The OP's experience is familiar, as I went in to test ride a Crosscheck and walked out (two weeks and three visits later) with a Salsa La Cruz.

Thank ye gods for the George Bush Bike Shop Stimulus Program!

(But I'd give up the bike to get rid of the Bush. 5 months and counting...)
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Old 07-21-08, 08:30 PM
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I'm going to run a little counter to the other opinions here. It would require some number crunching but I'd probably suggest the discs if your area is super rainy. Rims were used for decades in the rain but the discs are SOOOOO much better when it's coming down that tradition can go dunk it's head on this factor.

The big question would be to consider how much it would cost to go discs on the one bike vs upgrade the cheaper parts on the other.
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Old 07-22-08, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ok_commuter View Post
+1. People commuted in bad weather for decades before disc brakes on bikes. Take the better components, especially if it involves better shifters. (I'm way uncrazy about the Tiagra SORA.)
Sure, and people biked for years with spoon brakes, too.

Discs exist now, and I'll take them for bad weather. In fact, I'm going to ride my disc bike to work today because I see rain on the radar.
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Old 07-22-08, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
Sure, and people biked for years with spoon brakes, too.

Discs exist now, and I'll take them for bad weather. In fact, I'm going to ride my disc bike to work today because I see rain on the radar.
Don't get me wrong, I prefer discs and have them on my bike. But if I had to make the choice between discs and upgrading the rest of the key components on my bike one or two tiers, I'd choose the latter. Discs FTW for sure; but no Tiagra Sora shifters! YMMV.
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Old 07-22-08, 07:48 AM
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I wouldn't even look at the Sora, but I have a bike with Tiagra and it's pretty good. As for discs - I have some decent discs on my MTB, and I do like them, very low maintenance. However, I remember hearing bad things about the BB5s, though I'll admit I've never ridden them. Many claim that low-end disc brakes in general suck.

I'd either A) get the Tiagra bike and install dual-compound Kool-Stop pads for all weather happiness, or B) wait a little bit and save enough coin to get a bike with better disc brakes.

Good luck however you go.
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Old 07-22-08, 07:49 AM
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Discs.

... Brad
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Old 07-22-08, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by check67 View Post
Wow! That's a pretty sweet deal. Good idea. I'm going to scour all of the lbs in my area for inventory of last years models and see if I can get a deal like that.
If you're interested in the Sport, I have a 56cm 2008 model with less than 100 miles on it for sale. $750 + shipping.
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Old 07-22-08, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ok_commuter View Post
Don't get me wrong, I prefer discs and have them on my bike. But if I had to make the choice between discs and upgrading the rest of the key components on my bike one or two tiers, I'd choose the latter. Discs FTW for sure; but no Tiagra Sora shifters! YMMV.
Yeah, true; the way I figure it, it's easier and more dependable to put on better shifter components than it is to convert a non-disc bike to discs. I'm probably going to upgrade the Tiagra on my disc commuter bike to 105, and the 105 would be taken from my fast bike if/when I put something even nicer on that.
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