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Choosing a fork and brakes

Old 05-06-04, 04:18 PM
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Choosing a fork and brakes

I'm thinking about building up a Soma Double Cross as a commuter/light trail/light touring etc bike, so I'm trying to figure out what to do about fork and brakes. 80% the bike's use will be on sealed roads with average surfaces, the remainder on gravel roads (not singletrack).

Brake choices seem to be cantis (probably Avid Shorty 6) or Tektro Mini-V. Recommendations? Other brakes to consider?

Fork - either the matching Soma lugged crown cross fork ($65), or an IRC Mosaic carbon cross fork ($200). I really like the look of the lugged fork, but appreciate the absorption benefits of the carbon fork on my roadie. Are there any other forks I should consider? I'd prefer not to spend over $250, as I'm sure I'd be happy with the steel fork.

Are there any problems to watch out for with any of these combinations? Any problems with cantis or V-brakes on carbon forks?
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Old 05-06-04, 05:54 PM
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I've got a doublecross with the soma fork and a set of cantis, and I've got no complaint with either.
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Old 05-06-04, 06:00 PM
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to be honest, the advantage of a carbon fork on a 'cross bike is weight savings, not vibration damping. the fat, loe-pressure tires do most of the vibration damping.

as for brakes... people i've raced with have had varying levels of success with the mini-vs. they can be hard to set up, and quite finnicky. i'm actually quite anti-avid. they are much too expensive for what you get. and what you get is a flexy, finnicky brake that squeals like a banshee. you're better off checking out your lbs's odd's and ends box and seeing if you can find a set of old shimano lx, or better still, xt cantis. you'll probably be able to get the whole set -- front and back -- for $20.
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Old 05-06-04, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by velocipedio
to be honest, the advantage of a carbon fork on a 'cross bike is weight savings, not vibration damping. the fat, loe-pressure tires do most of the vibration damping.

as for brakes... people i've raced with have had varying levels of success with the mini-vs. they can be hard to set up, and quite finnicky. i'm actually quite anti-avid. they are much too expensive for what you get. and what you get is a flexy, finnicky brake that squeals like a banshee. you're better off checking out your lbs's odd's and ends box and seeing if you can find a set of old shimano lx, or better still, xt cantis. you'll probably be able to get the whole set -- front and back -- for $20.
Understood... but I'm using it mostly for commuting and light trail work, so probably 700x28 or 32 road-based tires.

Thanks for the tip on the brakes... I'll have to check out my LBS.
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Old 05-06-04, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jim-bob
I've got a doublecross with the soma fork and a set of cantis, and I've got no complaint with either.
Which cantis are you using, and what other components did you use to build yours? If I'm thinking of the right bike, yours is black with barcons? Just interested in how you've spec'd it up as a roadie.
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Old 06-06-04, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Stubacca
Which cantis are you using, and what other components did you use to build yours? If I'm thinking of the right bike, yours is black with barcons? Just interested in how you've spec'd it up as a roadie.
Wow, I don't know how I missed this the first time around. Yes, it's the black soma with barcons - it's got the low-end american cyclery build kit. They went with the cheapo shimano cantis, and they seem to work fine - if I'd built this one up myself, I probably would've gone with avid shorties or tektro radius, as I find those much easier to set up properly. The cheapy low-profile cantilevers always seem to give me headaches.
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