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If you missed my other posts I'm researching my first road/cross bike purchase and I have a few questions.

How common is steel for cross bikes? Is there any sort of disadvantage to using steel, besides a little bit of weight? Are there any popular steel bikes out there besides the Surly?

And disc brakes. Are these just unnecessary, hence so few people using them? Or is it a weight issue? They seem like a reasonable choice for a guy like me who lives in the PNW.

Thanks.
 

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stell still very popular

as what it lacks in lightness it ames up in plushness. steel is the best metal for shock absorbtion. cheap.lots of custome builders, treated properly will last you decades, etc...

discs: couple issues
a) most believe it is more braking power than you need for cx
b) most believe it adds weight so its stopping power doesn't overcome weight issue
c) cost,for cx racing ya usually need back up wheels, gets expensive with rotors
d) disc wheels are harder to change quickly
e) rotor can bend and drag
f) some fear a spinning rotor in a run up could hurt someone
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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a) most believe it is more braking power than you need for cx - If actually racing, may be true.

b) most believe it adds weight so its stopping power doesn't overcome weight issue - If you mean stopping the extra weight, way better stopping than that. If you mean that you have to carry the weight while running, may not be worth it.

c) cost,for cx racing ya usually need back up wheels, gets expensive with rotors - Rotors go on eBay for $20 each. You would not be able to use your road wheels as back up though (unless you also run disks on the road).

d) disc wheels are harder to change quickly - Not for me.

e) rotor can bend and drag - Not very likely. Spokes break way more often than rotors bend. With discs you can keep riding unless the tire hits the frame.

f) some fear a spinning rotor in a run up could hurt someone - Where does the keep coming from? Rotors aren't sharp. What am I missing?

Bottom line: For racing they may be a disadvantage, but for every day/commuting they are great. Be aware that there are very few 130mm disk rear hubs. A bike spaced for 135mm gives you many more (and way cheaper) options.
 

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TurboTurtle said:
f) some fear a spinning rotor in a run up could hurt someone - Where does the keep coming from? Rotors aren't sharp. What am I missing?
Well, a guy at work last week cut the whole end/tip of his finger off adjusting a disc brake. I think he might argue with you on this one. :)
 

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In terms of the steel option, there are some off the shelf steel bikes in the lower price range, for example the Surly you mentioned, these tend to be a bit more heavy, especially the surly which is a boat anchor.

There are a lot of lightweight steel bikes from the custom builders. Personally, I like to ride a steel bike on the road, but I can't justify spending the extra money for a cross bike that is subject to so much abuse. I don't undersrand people talking about the "harsh ride" of aluminium, you are riding through the freaking woods, of course any bike is going to bounce around, the stupid frame material isn't going to impact that. I'd look at the whole range of cross bikes and understand what various price ranges will buy you. Look at all the componenets on a bike, not just the shifters, look at the wheels (generally crap on the lower end bikes, real throw away quality in some cases) and make sure the shop is willing to swap parts like stem and seatpost to ensure fit.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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DPCX said:
Well, a guy at work last week cut the whole end/tip of his finger off adjusting a disc brake. I think he might argue with you on this one. :)
I just went out and checked all three of mine. You couldn't cut butter with them. Was he adjusting the brakes with a knife? - TF
 

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TurboTurtle said:
I just went out and checked all three of mine. You couldn't cut butter with them. Was he adjusting the brakes with a knife? - TF
When he comes back to work (he was out all last week) I'll get the whole story from him. Brand new rotors are sharp, especially when the wheel is spinning. I just went & checked some on my mtn bikes & they seemed to be a bit more dull. I pulled a new one out of the tool box & it had more of an edge on it. It just occured to me that maybe he got his finger caught on one of the inside edges, those are sharp & when the wheel is spining it could definitely do some damage. I'll let you know. :)

DP
 

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WELL i WOULDN'T CALL THE EDGE

of a spinergy Rev X sharp either. didn't stop one from damn near taking a guys leg off.

yes was referring to weight of carrying (not stopping) so is added bike weight worth the extra pucker power?

yeah rotors can be had cheap, so now lets build some wheels with disc hubs. I've purchased numerous great tubie wheelsets (rim brake) for well under 200 a pair.
 

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jroden said:
I don't undersrand people talking about the "harsh ride" of aluminium, you are riding through the freaking woods, of course any bike is going to bounce around, the stupid frame material isn't going to impact that.
I agree. my last 'cross was a reynolds 853 steel. my new bike is a cheap redline alum.
maybe im retarded, but i cant feel a difference when im coughing up a lung during my race.

oh wait, i just thought of something: my alum frame is like a solid pound less than the steel one.
 

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Seattle or Protland? (just curious)

Are you going to be racing this bike or just commuting, light trails, etc?

Steel: Fine choice for a cross bike. I see lots of people racing Surly Crosschecks but I would prefer an Al Redline instead -- cheaper and lighter. One of these days, I'll have a pair of 853 steel bikes custom made. Now I'm riding a couple Al bikes and have no complaints.

Discs: For commuting and fall/winter/spring riding here in the PacNW, dics are nice. The number one reason why is that it is easier and cheaper to replace discs than rims. If you're going to be racing, just get rim brakes.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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atpjunkie said:
of a spinergy Rev X sharp either. didn't stop one from damn near taking a guys leg off.

yes was referring to weight of carrying (not stopping) so is added bike weight worth the extra pucker power?

yeah rotors can be had cheap, so now lets build some wheels with disc hubs. I've purchased numerous great tubie wheelsets (rim brake) for well under 200 a pair.
If you really want to make bikes safer for the run-up, get rid of those chainrings. They are sharp!!! - TF
 

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chain rings

are
a) in the middle of the bike not the front and rear like wheels/rotors which makes them less likely to come in contact with another rider

b) not 'optional' in the function of a bicycle. cx bikes 'work' without discs and Rev X wheels,until the create belt drive its a risk we are forced to face

I really don't care and I love the discs on my MTB. I was just expalining why the rules seem to be the way they are.
 
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