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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am not a fan of disc brakes for gravel/ endurance bikes, and am therefore frustrated that all of the sweet new steel gravel frames (that fit wider tires) are disc only! I guess I am a retro-grouch because I prefer my CX bike with TRP RevoX cantilever brakes. I am a big guy 6'-4" and over 220 lbs, and never had trouble stopping myself with cantilever brakes while riding cyclocross or gravel. Disc brakes are great for mountain bikes, but are such a hassle to set up properly and are way heavier than canti's.

For a short time, I had a Soma Wolverine with a nice steel front fork; the only problem was whenever I turned the brake rotor would rub against the caliper. I guess the fork was too flexible for my weight. So I just put 40c tires on my 2012 Van Dessel Gin & Trombones cyclocross bike, and call that my gravel bike. The Van Dessel has both canti studs as well as a disc mount on the frame. For awhile I thought about "upgrading" to discs, but I don't think I ever will. If its not broke, don't fix it, right?

I just wish that there was a Ritchey Swiss Cross (cantilever) equivalent steel frame that can fit 700x45c tires.
 

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I am not a fan of disc brakes for gravel/ endurance bikes, and am therefore frustrated that all of the sweet new steel gravel frames (that fit wider tires) are disc only! I guess I am a retro-grouch because I prefer my CX bike with TRP RevoX cantilever brakes. I am a big guy 6'-4" and over 220 lbs, and never had trouble stopping myself with cantilever brakes while riding cyclocross or gravel.
So you never ride in the wet and mud.

Disc brakes are great for mountain bikes, but are such a hassle to set up properly and are way heavier than canti's.
What is this hassle you speak of?

How much way heavier do you think disc are? And at 220lbs are you really worried about a few grams?
 

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I agree with what's said above. In the wet, I'd go through a set of rims about every 18 months. There were rides where I'd have to readjust my brakes 2-3 times in 40 miles just due to wear in foul conditions. Discs have actually been better for me in the long run thanks to the 'wear items' being cheaper and longer lasting.
Weight was mitigated easily, I built with a set of carbon rims from Light Bicycle, they've got a solid rep for sturdy rims going back years on MTBR. Weight with discs installed is the same as my set of rim brake wheels and the cost was only about $150 more.
I think rim brakes look cleaner on my road bike, but on my CX/Gravel rig, discs has been great for me.
 

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I agree with what's said above. In the wet, I'd go through a set of rims about every 18 months. There were rides where I'd have to readjust my brakes 2-3 times in 40 miles just due to wear in foul conditions. Discs have actually been better for me in the long run thanks to the 'wear items' being cheaper and longer lasting.
that's been my only issue with Cantis and as someone who doesn't build wheels it's kind of a big deal.

I'm fine with the braking power but might feel differently if I was riding wet hilly trails and gravel under 'race' conditions but they've been fine for fun riding.
 

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Even building my own wheels it was still a pain that I don't have to deal with anymore. Different tools for different jobs.
 

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Corey213
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My first year of cross I ran disc. My second year, I actually went to Canti because of a nice build I was able to pick up. I lucked out with great weather during the season but I also wanted it to teach myself to control the bike more. The disc brakes saved me too many times and just promoted bad habits. I'll go back to disc but will spend a little more time on canti
 

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I sold everything I had with rim brakes and QR.

Between changing brake pads for carbon/aluminum rims, adjusting brakes, poor modulation/poor braking, I'm over rim brakes.
 

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clueless oaf
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So you never ride in the wet and mud.

What is this hassle you speak of?

How much way heavier do you think disc are? And at 220lbs are you really worried about a few grams?

this is basically where I'm at. There's a HUGE difference in wet/muddy stopping power with disc brakes vs. cantis. It's night and day. Hydro discs especially.

As for the hassle, disc brakes are orders of magnitude easier to set up. Loosen a bolt, squeeze the brake lever, tight the bolt. Bam. Set.

For road bikes, I get the cantis. For cross? Oh hell no. Not the kind of cross I ride in. It actually gets wet where I live
 
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