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Promax Decoder R cable actuated disc - Cannondale Topstone

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Promax Decoder R cable actuated disc - Cannondale Topstone

Old 06-10-19, 09:38 AM
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TheRef
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Promax Decoder R cable actuated disc - Cannondale Topstone

Test rode a Topstone yesterday. Sore level. Loved the bike and it checks every box for what I want it to be. Riding around with flat pedals, Light touring/bikepacking and occasional recreational gravel rides. I have 2 dedicated road bikes for serious rides.

Loved the bike except the brakes. They feel extremely weak and I couldn't even lock up the rear trying to lay around and fishtail on dirt. Don't know if it's a matter of adjustment or they are really crappy.

The guy at the shop was super nice but I'm not sure I buy the idea that they will get better once they bed in better. I have zero experience with disk brakes, mechanical or hydraulic. I am however an experienced rider who always used rim brakes since a kid and I never had problems locking up a rim brake or any bike.

I don't want to turn this into a disk x rim brakes debate. I'm just wondering if it was a matter of adjustment or they are really bed. I hear that the TRP Spyres are the benchmark for mechanical disks and I plan to tes ride the checkpoint AL4 that comes with them.

Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 06-10-19, 09:59 AM
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I can confirm that properly bedding in the brakes makes a significant difference. I can also confirm that mechanical disc vs hydraulic disc is also a world of difference. If you have a large hill near you, take it for a ride & bed the brakes.
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Old 06-10-19, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
I hear that the TRP Spyres are the benchmark for mechanical disks and I plan to tes ride the checkpoint AL4 that comes with them.

Any input would be appreciated.
I'm not sure you'll have a much different experience on the Spyres if they're also not bedded in correctly. My girlfriend recently got a bike with TRP Spyre-C mechanical brakes, and they weren't bedded in at all. They really lacked stopping power at first, but as they get used they seem to be improving.

You didn't mention a budget, but if you liked everything else about the Topstone the other option is to jump to the 105 model, which has hydro discs. They were great for me right out of the shop.
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Old 06-10-19, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Lava View Post
which has hydro discs. They were great for me right out of the shop.
In my experience, hydraulic brakes are the same an mechanical when it comes to bedding. The two new bikes I have had with hydraulic brakes were terrible when new. Once they got a proper bedding, they worked great. In the case of my mountain bike, I would almost say they work too good. The one time I didn't properly bed in the brakes and just started riding, they never got better. I almost think they got worse.
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Old 06-10-19, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Lava View Post
I'm not sure you'll have a much different experience on the Spyres if they're also not bedded in correctly. My girlfriend recently got a bike with TRP Spyre-C mechanical brakes, and they weren't bedded in at all. They really lacked stopping power at first, but as they get used they seem to be improving.

You didn't mention a budget, but if you liked everything else about the Topstone the other option is to jump to the 105 model, which has hydro discs. They were great for me right out of the shop.
Ok, So whats exactly is bedding process? What should/could've been done when they installed it or after I take deliver?

As for the 105 model it's a big jump in price for a bike to be ridden around with flip flops and a rack to go get groceries. It'll from time to time see a gravel event, or overnight trips on rail-to-trails
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Old 06-10-19, 01:50 PM
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Old 06-10-19, 02:03 PM
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Bedding in doesn't make that much of a difference. Housing, adjustment and pad material make a bigger difference. Bedding in crappy pads with crappy housing isn't going to do a whit of good.

See if you can find the housing label - if it's Shimano M-Sys or unbranded it's going to feel pretty bad compared to something like Jagwire KEB-SL. IIRC Promax pads are made by TRP and TRP makes terrible OEM pads, I can actually feel the difference in how firm the brake lever is between TRP pads and much better aftermarket TruckerCo pads.

So it's probably a combo of things and hard to suss out on a test bike.
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Old 06-10-19, 05:36 PM
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If you do get the Sora Topstone I'd swap them for Juin Tech, compressionless housing and Swisstop pads.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:31 AM
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You can get a set of Spyres for like $75, Hy-Rds for $100, and Juintech's for like $150
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Old 06-12-19, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by medic75 View Post
I can also confirm that mechanical disc vs hydraulic disc is also a world of difference.
That's heavily dependent on which mechanical and which hydraulic! I have felt some cable discs at the bike shop that had gritty and terrible lever feel. But, OTOH I've got Avid BB7 Road cable discs on one bike and honestly would rank them equal or better than my hydraulics. With full length Jagwire disc specific housing, the BB7's are every bit as smooth as hydraulics. The thing I really like about the BB7's though is that I can set the clearance from the pad to the rotor and keep it nice and tight so the brakes respond without too much lever travel. Every time I ride the other bikes with hydros I have a few pucker moments due to the brake travel needed before the pads engage. Very annoying and not adjustable with hydraulic brakes.

Another thing to consider is the pad material. Not all are created equal, and a manufacturer might not spec the highest performance pad if trying to keep a bike under a certain MSRP. This may be hard to tell when buying, but is an option if it's a bike you already have.
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