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Okay, so the Avids need to go due to noise/chatter. I'm not a big fan of the froglegs/spooky setups because I have a long history of frustration with smooth post style cantilever adjusting (I'd much prefer threaded pads/cartridge holders with spherical washers for adjustment.)

That said, can anybody offer comparison on the Shimano 550s (I've heard a few good compliments around here) versus the Paul Neo front, touring rear setup? I was pretty set on the Pauls, but now people seem to like the shimanos a bit...

Most of the races here (Virginia cyclocross series) I'd characterise as 'somewhat wet' but not a genuine mudfest. Even then, most of the dirt will be more like black soup, not the black supersticky mud of eastern tennessee or the red clay back home.

Thanks, JN
 

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It sounds like the Shimano's will work just fine. The Pauls are pricey but they are really nice as well. I have the frog legs and wish I went with either of the two you are considering. I hear stopping power on both of those is great. Enjoy and good luck.
 

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I tried the Shimanos in our muddy, snowy conditions and found they tended to sit too close to the rims. Otherwise they stopped nicely, the hardware seemed a little fragile, but they are nice brakes and not too expensive.

I use the froglegs now, there is not much involved with the setup, you grab the arms with a pair of channelock pliers and bend them, not a real elegant design, but they do stop the bike and stay out of the way the rest of the time.
 

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I Use the 550s, and they give a good combo of power and modulation. Even handle the "oh ****" riding in traffic moments well. I'm riding in Germany, not a lot of deep thick mud to deal with.

I concur with Jroden about the hardware. The bolts on the stock cartridge pad holders are made of butter.
 

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If you can find a set of Avid Tri-Align II cantis for a good price, you could consider those. They do use post-type pads, but the clamping is completely different--two adjusting bolts, one for height/rotation (toe-in), the other for pad distance and angle. I'm running a set with Aztec pads, and they have great power and don't squeal, and I never felt like I needed 4 hands while I was doing the set-up. Oh, and they came in a great assortment of anodized colors--ones I'm running are copper, which is a great complement for the frame.
 

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spend your wad

johnmyster said:
Okay, so the Avids need to go due to noise/chatter. I'm not a big fan of the froglegs/spooky setups because I have a long history of frustration with smooth post style cantilever adjusting (I'd much prefer threaded pads/cartridge holders with spherical washers for adjustment.)

That said, can anybody offer comparison on the Shimano 550s (I've heard a few good compliments around here) versus the Paul Neo front, touring rear setup? I was pretty set on the Pauls, but now people seem to like the shimanos a bit...

Most of the races here (Virginia cyclocross series) I'd characterise as 'somewhat wet' but not a genuine mudfest. Even then, most of the dirt will be more like black soup, not the black supersticky mud of eastern tennessee or the red clay back home.

Thanks, JN
I say if your going to be racing go for the gusto and get the pauls. I'm sure that the shimanos are decent- I'm still using a old pair of slr canti's from the early 90's on one bike, but the pauls are awesome, and they work best when set up a decent ways away from the rim, and lever feel is awesome. The stock pads and good so use them then change to cartrige holders and koolstops or ritchey red cartrige pads. It might be an extra $30 or more $ per brake extra for the pauls but you won't regret it. The tension adjustment works really well, 15mm wrench and allen wrench needed, but it stays set even when you remove and replace wheels often, and there isn't a little screw or allen bolt to strip out-which happened to me with a avid shorty brake.
 

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Yep, I gotta admit...I love my Pauls!

I hated my XTR Vs w/ Dia-Compe 287V levers. Too off/on. Zero rim clearance. The next was a set of NOS XT II cantis with Record levers....much better, but still not what I was after (I'm a spoiled MTB'er with discs).

I finally bit-the-bullet and went with a set of Paul's (Neos in the front and Tourings in the rear) and am, finally, happy with my brakes! Took a while, but I'm here.

M.
 
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