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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see a cross bike in my future.Will use it for cross country ski trails during the summer, small local x-races, smooth trail riding including singletrack and basic zooming around. Plan on 10 speed ultegra. Questions...
Disc or cant...why?
Anyone have anything to say about Hottubes bikes(I am leaning toward Waterford)?
Regular clincher or those Tufu things?
Forks?
BB drop?
stay length?

I am sure who ever builds my frame will have strong opions on these issues.

I bought a Gunnar Crosshairs a while ago. The top tube was too long. I was a little streched out even with a tiny stem, but it sure did handle the dirt well! I can only dream what a proper fitting bike would do for me.

Thanks people.

akdeluxe
 

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You would value tremendously from reading the cyclocross archives and searching for info about the brakes. Do a search for best cantilever or cantilever versus V. Also, ive started an attempt at a cyclocross FAQ on my blog here
In which ive tried to answer some questions about brakes, which model of brakes, and tubular tires as well pedals

There are some owners of Hot tubes in the forum, doing a search for either Hot Tubes or steel bikes will result in some good info as well.

Welcome to the sport and the forum.

jeremy
 

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My comments focus more on the general trail riding side of cx as opposed to cx racing which I haven't done. Between my dura ace brakes on my road bike, avid disc brakes on my MTB and cheapo cantis on my cx bike, the cantis suck. All of my MTB recollections from pre disc, pre vbrake days are that cantis suck. They can work well when setup correctly but that requires a lot of diligence once the pads start to wear. I haven't tried the Pauls or Avid Shorty's everyone talks about so maybe they're better.

Despite all of that, I'd recommend Cantis or V's. Discs are expensive and you need a special frame, fork & hubs. Plus, they're overkill - you're not going to be bombing rocky, technical singletrack like you do on a FS MTB. It's actually sort of fun to go back to the days where instantaneous braking didn't exist ;)
 

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I hate having to constantly fiddle with brake adjustments. With the discs if I fell there is too much play in the lever, you just tighten the puck a click or two. Dics brakes give you great feel and control, IMO.
 

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goldsbar said:
My comments focus more on the general trail riding side of cx as opposed to cx racing which I haven't done. Between my dura ace brakes on my road bike, avid disc brakes on my MTB and cheapo cantis on my cx bike, the cantis suck. All of my MTB recollections from pre disc, pre vbrake days are that cantis suck. They can work well when setup correctly but that requires a lot of diligence once the pads start to wear. I haven't tried the Pauls or Avid Shorty's everyone talks about so maybe they're better.

Despite all of that, I'd recommend Cantis or V's. Discs are expensive and you need a special frame, fork & hubs. Plus, they're overkill - you're not going to be bombing rocky, technical singletrack like you do on a FS MTB. It's actually sort of fun to go back to the days where instantaneous braking didn't exist ;)

I'd agree that canti's are more fussy and are more prone to sucking. That said, the more recent CX specific canti's like Avid's and Pauls are easier to set up and IMHO more than powerful enough for racing and even some fairly aggressive trail riding...I ride in the Santa Cruz mountains on CX bikes (finally sold all my MTB's) and with Paul's, braking is never an issue. No, they're not as crazy powerful as V's or disks, but remember, your braking traction on a CX bike is less than on an MTB since the tires are smaller, meaning it doesn't take as much brake to lock up a wheel.

I'm sure there are lots of people who really like their V or disc setups, and there's nothing wrong with either, but for me there's no beating Paul's Neo Retro/front and Touring canti's in back.
 

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vegan wrench
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goldsbar said:
My comments focus more on the general trail riding side of cx as opposed to cx racing which I haven't done. Between my dura ace brakes on my road bike, avid disc brakes on my MTB and cheapo cantis on my cx bike, the cantis suck. All of my MTB recollections from pre disc, pre vbrake days are that cantis suck. They can work well when setup correctly but that requires a lot of diligence once the pads start to wear. I haven't tried the Pauls or Avid Shorty's everyone talks about so maybe they're better.

Despite all of that, I'd recommend Cantis or V's. Discs are expensive and you need a special frame, fork & hubs. Plus, they're overkill - you're not going to be bombing rocky, technical singletrack like you do on a FS MTB. It's actually sort of fun to go back to the days where instantaneous braking didn't exist ;)
when you say "cantis suck", i think what you meant to say is that cantis aren't particularly powerful. the qualities a brake needs to posses for cross are not just power. mountain and road bikes both need more powerful brakes than a cross bike.

mountain bikes obviosuly do to stop their wide grippy tires during steep technical descents. road bikes go fast, they obviously need very powerful brakes too.

cross bikes on the other hand don't often go above 25-30 mph and due to the nature of cyclocross the terrain they are ridden on is very predictable (you ride the same section of course multiple times in a row) so you can adjust your speed for obstacles in advance. sninny cross tires don't need brakes powerful enough to stop a 2.2" knobby, it'd just make you skid.

the main qualities a cross brake needs to posses are modulation and wide clearance for mud. a canti is pretty good a both of these.
 

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towerscum said:
I see a cross bike in my future.Will use it for cross country ski trails during the summer, small local x-races, smooth trail riding including singletrack and basic zooming around. Plan on 10 speed ultegra. Questions...
Disc or cant...why?
Anyone have anything to say about Hottubes bikes(I am leaning toward Waterford)?
Regular clincher or those Tufu things?
Forks?
BB drop?
stay length?
I say canti. Brakes are over-rated, all they do is slow you down, and if they can do that then they are good enough.

Tubular tires. You're spending far too much on this bike to futz with clinchers or "clincher/tubular." Get the real deal.

Forks? Yep, you'll need em. Those and the rest are all about getting the geometry together as a package. The singletrack riding says you want a tallish BB. Otherwise, the guys building them know better.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cants

On the Gunnar I owned, I installed the Avid Shorty6. They worked pretty good. Easy to set up for me as well. The disc brakes appeal to me because I think they look cool. But, I also think that those Frog Legs look pretty cool too! I was planning on going with the cross style cants from the beginning...still am. Thanks for the imput.

towerscum
 

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towerscum said:
On the Gunnar I owned, I installed the Avid Shorty6. They worked pretty good. Easy to set up for me as well. The disc brakes appeal to me because I think they look cool. But, I also think that those Frog Legs look pretty cool too! I was planning on going with the cross style cants from the beginning...still am. Thanks for the imput.

towerscum
Froglegs look great and they're very euro, but if I'm not mistaken they use post style pads and have no toe-in setup. Personally I think the adjustable pads used on Paul's and Avids make for better brake setup and better braking overall.
 

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Canti's are plenty powerful. You just need a good brake (Paul's) with good pads (Kool Stop, stock with Paul's) and the proper set up.

I also run Neo Retro's on my 29er with 2.3" tires -- more than enough stopping power (for riding in the SF Bay area).
 

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So many people want to get cross bikes, but cross bikes are for racing cyclocross. Perhaps they should be getting touring bikes or hybrid instead. If it has disks, it's not a real cross bike. It might not be a bad bike -- it's just not a cross bike.
 

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tobu said:
So many people want to get cross bikes, but cross bikes are for racing cyclocross. Perhaps they should be getting touring bikes or hybrid instead. If it has disks, it's not a real cross bike. It might not be a bad bike -- it's just not a cross bike.
in case you haven't noticed, the cross bike category is getting more and more attention from manufacturers - and a lot of the new bikes are not targeted at racers.

i understand the purist sentiment but if a "cross" bike is perfect for things other than racing, what's the problem? if i looked at the percentage of days my "cross" bike spent racing cross, it would be very small - mainly because i use it every day for commuting and it's way better than any touring or city bike for that. i've also used it to do mtb races. is that forbidden?

if you're talking about a cross bike with no watter bottle bosses, a single front ring, cantis set up with modulation and mud clearance as a priorty, and tubulars - of course it's for racing - but those are the minority i'm afraid.

just another perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
threads are good

I think the threaded brake pad posts are one of the smartest things on a bike. I will go with a brake that has such. I have read how some riders go with one model of Pauls on the rear and another on the front(tour model and some other). Why is that?


towerscum
 

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jnichols959 said:
in case you haven't noticed, the cross bike category is getting more and more attention from manufacturers - and a lot of the new bikes are not targeted at racers.

i understand the purist sentiment but if a "cross" bike is perfect for things other than racing, what's the problem? if i looked at the percentage of days my "cross" bike spent racing cross, it would be very small - mainly because i use it every day for commuting and it's way better than any touring or city bike for that. i've also used it to do mtb races. is that forbidden?

if you're talking about a cross bike with no watter bottle bosses, a single front ring, cantis set up with modulation and mud clearance as a priorty, and tubulars - of course it's for racing - but those are the minority i'm afraid.

just another perspective.
I actually agree with you -- but in my grumpy mood I was just railing against these manufacturerers who try to market bikes as something they are not. Why don't they just call the bike for what it is -- a hybrid or a touring bike.

At least in the current fixed gear craze, you can see the differentiation between a type of racing and the bike itself. People (and some companies) will call their bikes a "fixed gear" unless their bike is actually designed for or used on the track.

Of course it's nice that more companies are making more bikes that can be used on and off road, but my "purist" sensibilities are tweaked when companies decide to jump on the band wagon and appropriate a name incorrectly. Maybe I liken it to selling bikes as "trial trial bikes" and then giving options for triple cranksets and fenders. Anyways, these are all just minor quibbles -- anything to get more people riding bicycles can't be all that bad.
 

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My 2 cents worth......

Paul Neo's are the best brakes I've ever used, including road: Dura Ace, Mavic SSC, Zero Gravity. Mtn: V-brakes, Avid cable Disc's and both Hope hydraulics, and Hayes. Properly set up Pauls, are the best brakes I've used, in all of cycling. Grab ahold of the front brake hard and watch your arse sailing over the bars....;)
 

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towerscum said:
I think the threaded brake pad posts are one of the smartest things on a bike. I will go with a brake that has such. I have read how some riders go with one model of Pauls on the rear and another on the front(tour model and some other). Why is that?


towerscum
A lot of people (including me) use a Paul neo retro in the front and a touring canti in the rear. Reasons being: The neo retro is very wide. You can hit your leg/foot on it when installed in the rear. The touring canti tucks more or less out of the way. The neo retro is more powerful than the touring model, but it works out fine because you don't need as much power back there. It's a good combo.

That's the most of it.
 

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ChuckUni said:
A lot of people (including me) use a Paul neo retro in the front and a touring canti in the rear. Reasons being: The neo retro is very wide. You can hit your leg/foot on it when installed in the rear. The touring canti tucks more or less out of the way. The neo retro is more powerful than the touring model, but it works out fine because you don't need as much power back there. It's a good combo.

That's the most of it.
Yeah, what he said. I do the Neo/Touring front/rear combo on two of my CX bikes, but on last year's race bike I ran Touring's front and rear. Not my preference but it's what was available. Surprisingly, they work great. I'd guess that I have a little less power in front, but since it's a race bike and I don't ride it on trails much, it's not a problem at all.
 

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people tend to scrape

their thighs and calves on the wider canti brake in back, hence the combo.

post style pads do too have a toe in mechanism. It's called a pair of pliers and a vise or locking plier. have done so for years, works just fine. Though I love the Pauls, they are out of my price range. Use Spooky's and Froggleggs
 
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