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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
CX Disc Commuter

I come again to the experts on this forum for some ideas: I have been looking for a fast cyclocross bike for commuting (105 level components, maybe carbon but Al is good) that has disc brakes. I know because the guys that race are not allowed discs, so most of the companies don't make high end CX bikes with discs, but man I rode home in the rain yesterday and those CX brakes suck compared to the discs on my mountain bike (and I even upgraded to TRP calipers)!

I checked all the major, and some smaller companies, but am I missing one? I heard a rumor that next year they are going to allow discs in racing, so should I wait and some fast bike will come on the market next year. Anyway, for my city commute, I love the geometry of a CX bike; and in the winter I put the full fenders on and take them off in the summer rolling size 35 Marathon Plus. Why can't I have both a commuter and performance? I am looking in the 2-3K price range, so I should be able to find something right? Anyone feel my pain? Can I get an AMEN?!

Thanks MTT :thumbsup:
 

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First, XC (cross-country) bikes are mtn bikes. CX bikes are cyclocross. Same letters, very different meaning.

2 - disc brakes are legal in UCI races this year. But of course the UCI made that decision and announced it mere months before the season kicked off, not really enough time to do much more than a prototype or two.

C - there are a number of disc equipped or compatible CX style bikes out there. Redline has/had one, Salsa had/has one, Bikesdirect has both ti and alu models under the Motobecane label, Nasbar's X frame is disc ready, and there are others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Right good point I mountain bike as well, so I get those two mixed up.

The Redline bike with discs is a lower end model, and the Salsa is a steel frame. I know Salsa is a great bike, and I know people who love them, but I don't want steel. Also there is a bike called the "Portland", but again it is design for cruising. My commute is base miles for training, and I usually try to go as hard as possible, hence I would like something that will corner well and brake on a dime.

So what you are saying is I should ride bikes that are disc compatible, and just order one from my LBS with discs? I didn't know that was an option, but it makes sense (now why didn't I think of that). Not sure if I can afford Ti at this point, but yea that would be my first choice. I think carbon would be good, as my current commuter is Al, and I have only gone down once in four years and didn't hurt the frame.

Thanks for the input..............MTT :thumbsup:
 

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MTT said:
Right good point I mountain bike as well, so I get those two mixed up.

The Redline bike with discs is a lower end model, and the Salsa is a steel frame. I know Salsa is a great bike, and I know people who love them, but I don't want steel. Also there is a bike called the "Portland", but again it is design for cruising. My commute is base miles for training, and I usually try to go as hard as possible, hence I would like something that will corner well and brake on a dime.

So what you are saying is I should ride bikes that are disc compatible, and just order one from my LBS with discs? I didn't know that was an option, but it makes sense (now why didn't I think of that). Not sure if I can afford Ti at this point, but yea that would be my first choice. I think carbon would be good, as my current commuter is Al, and I have only gone down once in four years and didn't hurt the frame.

Thanks for the input..............MTT :thumbsup:
If you looked in the used market, you'll find Salsa had a scandium disc frame in the past few years that people seem to really dig.

My understanding of the Trek Portland, is not as a "cruiser", but as a commuter bike. Have you ridden it?

The top of the line Motobecane from bikes direct is Ti and sells for $2k. You'd need to add the disk calipers, but otherwise should be set. That is in your proce range. Their Tiagra/105 mix bike with disc brakes and alu frame goes for $900. The only downside is you can't test ride it first. But I understand they are pretty good about customer service is there is an issue.
 

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E Plurbus Elvis
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MTT said:
Hey those are nice! Do you have one?
Nope, but my trigger finger is itchy (haven't bought a new bike in at least 3 months). I currently commute 50 miles a day on a steel framed bike with cantilever brakes -- a Lynskey would alleviate my concerns over rust and braking-power in the rain, sleet & snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ElvisMerckx said:
Nope, but my trigger finger is itchy (haven't bought a new bike in at least 3 months). I currently commute 50 miles a day on a steel framed bike with cantilever brakes -- a Lynskey would alleviate my concerns over rust and braking-power in the rain, sleet & snow.
50 miles a day! You deserve a high end Ti bike with disc brakes! I wish I had another car to sell; that would make this easier..............MTT :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
krisdrum said:
If you looked in the used market, you'll find Salsa had a scandium disc frame in the past few years that people seem to really dig.

My understanding of the Trek Portland, is not as a "cruiser", but as a commuter bike. Have you ridden it?

The top of the line Motobecane from bikes direct is Ti and sells for $2k. You'd need to add the disk calipers, but otherwise should be set. That is in your proce range. Their Tiagra/105 mix bike with disc brakes and alu frame goes for $900. The only downside is you can't test ride it first. But I understand they are pretty good about customer service is there is an issue.
Yea used is an option, but I tend to get my bikes dialed in and keep them for 10 years, so I don't mind paying extra for a new bike. I have not ridden the Portland, and maybe I will, but I want to commute on CX racing geometry, and I think that one is a bit relaxed? Not sure, but I have some dirt roads, gravel and tight traffic; so the geometry of my Specialized Tri-Cross is great, but the brakes suck. I have thought of putting a disc on the front, but that would cost about half of what I would spend on a new bike with both.

That Motobecane is nice!
 

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Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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MTT said:
I have not ridden the Portland, and maybe I will, but I want to commute on CX racing geometry, and I think that one is a bit relaxed? Not sure, but I have some dirt roads, gravel and tight traffic;
As compared to "road" geometry, all cyclocross geometry is "relaxed", so it's not surprising that the Trek Portland--which is based on cyclocross geometry--is also characterized as relaxed.

If commuting, CX geometry, and disk brakes are on your list, the Trek Portland should be on your list too.

My 2006 Trek Portland is my primary commuter. It gets all the nasty miles, snow, rain, and a few of the nice miles too. Of the four road bikes I own, the Portland remains my favorite ride. (This includes a classic Ti century bike, a steel crit bike, and another Trek aluminum road bike.) I like all my bikes, but if told I could keep only one, it would be the Portland.

There aren't many commuting bikes you'd take on vacation, but my Portland comes with me on my annual vacation in the back woods of Ontario Canada. I take off the full fenders, mount the cross tires, and ride the hell out of it all week. The bike is just as happy on back woods double-track half-centuries as it is in the daily downtown slice-and-dice.

The 2011 model returns to my "Recommended" list after two years of substandard components took it off that list. Avid BB7s return to the parts spec, they've junked the silly paired-spoke wheels, and the old carbon-wrapped aluminum-core fork has been replaced with real carbon. A rear rack is now standard too.

Three years and over 10,000 miles later, I stand by every word in those two pieces.

I would add that I now know the technical word for the bike's handling is "neutral". It remains the standard by which I judge the handling of all other bikes. I replaced the fork (with different geometry) to get one of my other bikes to handle like the Portland.

The rear brake issue I reported was resolved by re-routing the rear brake cable beginning with the 2008 models. My initial concerns with the paired-spoke wheels were valid. Replacing them under warranty didn't help. I finally junked them entirely and went with standard 32-spoke 3-cross lacing. This is why I'm happy see those wheels are no longer on the parts spec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow that is a nice endorsement. After all that the Portland warrants a test ride. I have never owned a Trek, but I almost bought one of their mountain bikes. They do make some great bikes............Thanks MTT :thumbsup:
 

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Cannondale made a Cyclocross Disc bike for many years. I have one from 2004 and I love it. I was the only disc brake road bike I saw on the road for a long time. Now they seem to be everywhere here in Vancouver.

Some Canadian brands are making disc brake road bikes of various geomtries. Brodie, Rocky Mountain and Kona all have disc brake drop bar bikes in their line up.

http://www.brodiebikes.com/2010/bikes/ronin.php

http://www.bikes.com/main+en+01_102+METROPOLIS_SEA.html?BIKE=958&Y=2011&CATID=3&SCATID=27

http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=honky_inc

I am sure there are plenty of custom builders who will put disc tabs on anything you want. DeKerf and Marinoni are two Canadian brands that will.
 

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oh lonesome road for you
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If your budget really is up to 3k, I would jump on the Lynksey Cooper CX special. I think it's around 2800 for a very nice Ti frame and good component group. Even the wheels are very nice: 355 rims to X.9 hubs.
 

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you could always go cheap and slap a carbon disc-ready fork on a roadie and go mullet. i did that for a while (still have that setup on my mtb) and it worked fine.
 
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