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Thread: Cantilevers vs Disc for winter/cross bike

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    Default Cantilevers vs Disc for winter/cross bike

    I've been sitting on this beast for a couple years now and it's about time to think about doing something useful with it. I need a bike for dirty roads and dirt roads and plan to build it up with fenders.

    I am considering single speed and am also thinking cross bike build. We'll see.

    Anyway, it is a bit unusual in that I can use either disc brakes or cantilevers. I am familiar with the great braking of hydraulic discs, but I think on this bike I'd have no choice but to use a cable-actuated disc system because there is no appropriate lever for road bikes for hydraulics, is that correct?

    I'd prefer the quiet braking of a disc. But the cable ones always seemed kinda cheap to me and one side drags on the disc IIRC.

    Thoughts?
     

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    Avid mech discs are good. I have various hydros on the MTBs, but have a winter/fender rig with Avid mechs. Solid. I do most of my winter road riding on that bike. About 25 pounds and worth every ounce. No more wearing out canti pads over a few long wet rides, or not being able to stop. Around here, if you don't have a set-up like this for winter, you're in the minority and we'll look at you funny. Keeps rims and wheels way cleaner, too. Do it.
     

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    +1 on Avid mechanics. My BB7 or .. BB5, I forget what I had, worked nice and was easy to maintain.

    Also, put your broom to work. I hope you aren't calling that your stash house with all those leaves in there.
     

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    Get an ENO rear wheel and Tektro CR720's, plus fenders.
    The Tektro cantis have enough up and down adjust-ability to let you set up the rear wheel far enough away from the fenders.
    Add Kool Stop salmons and you're all set for winter.

    (this is exactly how my Kona Jake is set up)
     

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    How many bikes do you have Saab? :-D

    If it isn't too much of an hassle to get the right hubs I would use mechanical disks. The road version will work with regular road brake levers. I have avid BB7 on the MTB and they are extremely good. Probably too powerful for CX races, but for the intended usage they would rock -they work well regardless of water/snow/dirt etc.
     

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    I have also had good experiences with Avid mechanical disc brakes. Go for it.
     

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    Avid mech discs are good. I have various hydros on the MTBs, but have a winter/fender rig with Avid mechs. Solid. I do most of my winter road riding on that bike. About 25 pounds and worth every ounce. No more wearing out canti pads over a few long wet rides, or not being able to stop. Around here, if you don't have a set-up like this for winter, you're in the minority and we'll look at you funny. Keeps rims and wheels way cleaner, too. Do it.
     

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    You can set up cable discs so there's no drag. I do this all the time on Tektro and Avid models.As long as your frame has the mounts there waiting to be used, it's definitely worth it.
    YOTO-You only tan once.

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    The BB7 / road lever combination still isn't what it should be. The brakes aren't sensitive enough to the amount of cable being pulled. The result is that you will need to pull the lever a lot further than you're used to.

    You eventually get used to it, but it still bugs me a little. I have one bike with BB7's and upgraded rotors which I like. Another with BB5's and the standard roundagons which annoy me for the lack of adjustability of the calipers and the noise of the roundagon.

    My Salsa (bb7 bike) has been out of commission for about a year now. Wore the drivetrain out and haven't gotten around to replacing it. Then I sold the wheelset. Now, I'm not sure what purpose it would serve. I have another bike I ride to work, and cross bikes if I want to do loops in the state park across the road.
     

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    Avid mech discs are good. I have various hydros on the MTBs, but have a winter/fender rig with Avid mechs. Solid. I do most of my winter road riding on that bike. About 25 pounds and worth every ounce. No more wearing out canti pads over a few long wet rides, or not being able to stop. Around here, if you don't have a set-up like this for winter, you're in the minority and we'll look at you funny. Keeps rims and wheels way cleaner, too. Do it.
     

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    After years of commuting without discs, this winter I switched to discs. OH MY GOD! the difference they make is unbelievable. Beyond just the performance improvement, the maintenance improvement is so worth it.

    I have them on my cx bike and they are night and day better than cantis. I use Avid bb7 roads and also use Avid Flak Jacket cables and housing which makes them buttery smooth.

    If you are building up that bike I have 2 extra sets of 700c wheels, which is one too many(both with rotors, send me an email joe at inotion d0t com).

    -Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by frenk View Post
    How many bikes do you have Saab? :-D
    Grandis
    Serotta
    Serotta
    Croll
    Zanconato
    Look
    Lemond
    Redline

    I've never ridden the Redline

    But that's it for now...... Got another couple in mind and I'm always browsing. Tried to sell the Croll but got no interested answers to my advertisement. I guess that makes about 8. Too many. But they are all spread out in the different places I frequent. So I always have a bike to ride wherever I am. I'm bringing one back to Switzerland when I go in April! Probably the Lemond.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by vredstein View Post
    As long as your frame has the mounts there waiting to be used, it's definitely worth it.
    It does have the mounts. As far as being able to set up the levers with the proper amount of travel, is there a particular lever which can help with this problem?


     

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    the guys that I trust at the LBS were having a conversation about how bad disks were for a winter/commuting bike. We have a lot of salt and ice, and long term survival seemed to be their concern. What really sucks under those conditions is vintage Universal 61's.
     

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    [QUOTE=Saab2000;173367]It does have the mounts. As far as being able to set up the levers with the proper amount of travel, is there a particular lever which can help with this problem?

    I am using BB7 Road with Sram Force levers and they work great.
    As long as you stick with the BB7 over the BB5, you can adjust both sides of the caliper for drag-free use.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricKeller View Post
    the guys that I trust at the LBS were having a conversation about how bad disks were for a winter/commuting bike. We have a lot of salt and ice, and long term survival seemed to be their concern. What really sucks under those conditions is vintage Universal 61's.
    I used a pair of BB5's through two full Maine winters, commuting five days a week. I never had to adjust the brakes, never had drag etc. But when it came time to check the pad wear, I found the pads had corroded and were a permanent part of the caliper. But in the worst case scenerio, a replacement calipers was still way cheaper than a new rim/rebuild, not to mention the peace of mind that comes from having consistent braking no matter what the conditions between seasons or within the same ride.
    YOTO-You only tan once.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricKeller View Post
    the guys that I trust at the LBS were having a conversation about how bad disks were for a winter/commuting bike. We have a lot of salt and ice, and long term survival seemed to be their concern. What really sucks under those conditions is vintage Universal 61's.
    I wouldn't trust them anymore :)

    -Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricKeller View Post
    salt and ice, long term survival seemed to be their concern.
    Yes, because, rims, soft brake pads, and even brake internals do really well long term in these conditions.
     

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    I have an ENO disc rear with the eccentric mount. Make sure the bolts you use to attach the caliper aren't too long, or they will score the internals of the mount. Don't know about running this arrangement fixed. I use another non-disc ENO for my winter fixed, with front brake only. This is sufficient for my purposes.
     

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    I finally put a BB7 on the front of my fixed commuter this season and I love it. The stock rotor (roundagon?) is kind of loud, but I figure I'll use it and then upgrade. Being able to modulate/stop in ice and freezing rain/slush is awesome. I say go for it, since you have the mounts. My Chicago commute feels much safer and more secure. Cheers.

    Watch out for locking up the wheels at first. The discs are pretty powerful in the slippery stuff and it doesn't take much to make your tires slip.
    Last edited by The Narg; 02-10-2010 at 08:54 PM. Reason: dumbness
     

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