This sounds pretty much word for word like what I described in this very forum.
Disc Brakes at CX Nats
For disclosure purposes, I am a partner in November Bicycles. This fact probably colors everything I say. I'm clearly not to be trusted.
Whoops!It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
LOL! Nothing surprising really.The wise man said follow me...and he walked behind.
I receive a sort of 'honorary sponsorship' from one of our venerable bicycle manufacturers. Usually (with their wink, nod, and tacit blessing) I give away the matériel to some kids I work with who can't afford nice stuff themselves. Once in a while I hold something back. Latterly this was a dedicated disc cross build. I'm really glad — thankful would be the better word — that I did not pass this bike along. Towards the end of a long trail ride three days ago, with a lot of gritty, moist descending — the very situation in which discs rather than rim brakes would seem to be the optimal choice — the braking was completely gone. But, hey, cross is about hopping off and hoofing it, right? I did that final two hours (45 minutes had it been in the saddle) mostly on my tootsies.
In know that some of you have expressed surprise that a system that works so well on mountain bikes simply doesn't on cross bikes. Since hydraulic-based cross riders are still hitting the pits constantly for changes that are do to with braking, that can't the difference (or the main difference). My realisation about my own predicament the other day is that with narrower, lower-volume tires, together with a rigid fork, I was on the brakes — and keeping them on to prevent my speed from building — for protracted periods in a way that would never occur on an MTB. With smaller, somewhat vulnerable — as well as less grippy — tires and no suspension you simply cannot smash into every rock, root, and trench. The finesse requires reduced speeds, and reduced speeds means a lot of unrelieved braking. On my mountain bike, on many of these same descents, I would touch the levers here and there briefly; on this cross ride, the brakes were engaged probably 5-10x more often, and almost always for far longer periods of a time.
Meanwhile, I have ridden rim-brake cross bikes on the same route — 60 km on sometimes very harsh terrain — and never reached the point of zero possible braking. (Funnily enough, I actually carry in my tool kit a pair of fresh blocks for just such an emergency, yet have never needed to do a switch.)
I got nothing.Jam Econo
Nice, clear review, and it all makes sense. dkri you were/are right.
I wrote a couple months ago (or so it seems) about the Seattle SSCXWC disc brakes failing, but blamed it on pilot /mechanical (or lack there of) error. Sounded like life really sucked for the disc crowd In Madison. Be interesting to see how this is taken by the riders. I have too short of a career and way too big of supply of rim/wheels for canties that I will never change, but I am sure others are a bit perplexed.
Plan B -
Thanks for the insights, that makes a ton of sense - of course! Spent a lot of Saturday testing road brake pads on a 10% grade, .2 mile hill. You can EASILY reach 40 on that sucker, and re-acceleration is lightning quick when you let go of the brakes.
In related news, if you regularly ride with carbon rims and don't like the way they brake, it's your pads. Following on what I did Saturday, I switched my wife's pads for our ride on Sunday. She said the difference was profound - from carbon rim braking being always worse than aluminum, to being as good as/better than any rim brake situation she'd ever had, and it was wet on Sunday. Pads make a huge difference. Huge.
This is sort of a developing thing, I was working out protocol and everything on Saturday. Then we'll be working on other issues with a pad manufacturer, in a lab setting.
I like the cricket sounds coming from jah and stormchaser.For all the good they've done me, I might as well have stuck them up my arse. - Mark Renton
Before you guys hurt yourselves patting each other on the back, you did read the last paragraph, right?
Saturday’s mud added pounds to the bike within a lap but was mostly thrown away from the center of the wheels. So riders with rim brakes carried a lot more mud dangling from their stoppers, those with mini V-brakes had wheels that barely turned due to the tight mud clearance, and those with disc brakes had mostly clean brakes that worked well.
Sounds like no system is perfect.
CB2 is spot-on. Newsflash - horrific conditions amke almost any bike unrideable.
And of course many of us have said since day one that slapping current technology brakes onto 'cross frames is NOT the answer, but merely a step in the process.Just say "NO!!" to WCP!
"Want to get faster? Work harder, eat better, cut the crap. Instead of talking the talk, work the work"
Perfect CB2, Now I got it. I need more bikes. 2 disc, two canti and 2 mini-v . Brilliant, can't wait to tell the wife I "needs" 4 new bikes to have a bike for all reasons, and a bike for all seasons just to finish in the back of the pack 60+ local series. I am so smart I scare myself. Thinking like that is how I ended up with a garage full of rides.
I'd say those conditions call for a no brake fixie :-)
Nothing that can get gunged up.
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