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Erik_A

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Reply with quote  #1 

I am not a fan of disc brakes for gravel/ endurance bikes, and am therefore frustrated that all of the sweet new steel gravel frames (that fit wider tires) are disc only! I guess I am a retro-grouch because I prefer my CX bike with TRP RevoX cantilever brakes. I am a big guy 6'-4" and over 220 lbs, and never had trouble stopping myself with cantilever brakes while riding cyclocross or gravel. Disc brakes are great for mountain bikes, but are such a hassle to set up properly and are way heavier than canti's.

For a short time, I had a Soma Wolverine with a nice steel front fork; the only problem was whenever I turned the brake rotor would rub against the caliper. I guess the fork was too flexible for my weight. So I just put 40c tires on my 2012 Van Dessel Gin & Trombones cyclocross bike, and call that my gravel bike. The Van Dessel has both canti studs as well as a disc mount on the frame. For awhile I thought about "upgrading" to discs, but I don't think I ever will. If its not broke, don't fix it, right?

I just wish that there was a Ritchey Swiss Cross (cantilever) equivalent steel frame that can fit 700x45c tires.

 

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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Eric_A- I'm with you. I use Paul's Components Minimoto Linear pull brakes instead of Canti's on my Swiss Cross. :https://paulcomp.com/shop/components/minimoto/

Compared to my TRP Spyre's - a good mechanical disc brake - on my Haanjo Comp., I believe under most conditions I ride, the Minimoto's give me more stopping power with finer modulation than the Spyre's. Good steel canti frames can be built to take very wide tires. But, I don't think that anyone in the industry these days is interested in going that direction. For our "dream bike", we may have to go to a custom frame builder like J P Weigle, or my neighbor Kris Henry of 44 Bikes: http://www.44bikes.com
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chas

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Reply with quote  #3 
Yeah, I went to craig's list to get canti's.  Many front forks will hold a 45, but not many older rear triangles.  So, I put 40 in the rear, and 45 on the front.
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GravelDoc

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hey Erik_A, have you considered a Black Mountain Monstercross?  Steel, cantis, and wide tires. 
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Erik_A

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Reply with quote  #5 
Great idea, I will check them out, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GravelDoc
Hey Erik_A, have you considered a Black Mountain Monstercross?  Steel, cantis, and wide tires. 
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GravelDoc
Hey Erik_A, have you considered a Black Mountain Monstercross?  Steel, cantis, and wide tires. 


I checked out the products on Black Mountain's website. What isn't clear to me however, is where the frames and forks are manufactured. Are they built at the Black Mountain CA location; or are they built somewhere else, to the Black Mountain's spec's. The price is right, and they appeal to me; but I'd like to know more about the quality of the frames, starting with where and who built them. Can anyone provide more info.? 
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Smithhammer

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknh


I checked out the products on Black Mountain's website. What isn't clear to me however, is where the frames and forks are manufactured. Are they built at the Black Mountain CA location; or are they built somewhere else, to the Black Mountain's spec's. The price is right, and they appeal to me; but I'd like to know more about the quality of the frames, starting with where and who built them. Can anyone provide more info.? 


Black Mountain builds frames both domestically and abroad. If you go to their 'Frames' menu on their site, you can look at MUSA frames and Taiwanese made frames. [thumb]

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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithhammer


Black Mountain builds frames both domestically and abroad. If you go to their 'Frames' menu on their site, you can look at MUSA frames and Taiwanese made frames. [thumb]

Got it. Thanks. MUSA=" Made in USA" -- nice road frame semi-custom build by reputable local CA frame builder, but it's a road tourer. Monster CX - built in Taiwan to Black MTn. spec's. Any feedback on quality of Monster CX frame? Could be a winner at suggested MSRP for do anything frame san's disc brahes.
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nalax

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Reply with quote  #9 
Guitar Ted has a BMC Monster Cross - it's in quite a few articles here. I've had one for two years and also a road model. Mike Varley was a product designer for Masi, Haro and other companies. If you have any questions contact him - Mike always responds. Great riding frames.
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nalax
Guitar Ted has a BMC Monster Cross - it's in quite a few articles here. I've had one for two years and also a road model. Mike Varley was a product designer for Masi, Haro and other companies. If you have any questions contact him - Mike always responds. Great riding frames.

Thanks -- The Monster Cross may be my future "mountain bike". I live in rural souther NH. Mecca for both mountain biking and gravel riding. My 5 year old grandson already did 2 mountain bike races! I'll need something with fatter tires to keep up with him. I'm too old and clumsy to take on the challenging single track trails around home; but there are lots of unmaintained old farm roads and class A double track trails that would be perfect for the Monster Cross.
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namdoogttam

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Reply with quote  #11 
Things I have not thought about since upgrading to disc brakes: 
  • "Why aren't I stopping!?"
  • "Hmmm...I could fit a wider tire in the frame, but I'd have to deflate it to squeeze it between the brake pads"
  • "Dang, is my wheel out of true again!"
  • "...just as long as it doesn't rain during the race"

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chas

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Reply with quote  #12 
...to be quickly replaced by my new questions:

  • why is my front fork so stiff?
  • Why do I need a through axle again?
  • Why does my new disk bike weigh more than my old bike
  • Why do I have to get rid of all my wheel sets and by a couple new sets
  • Why do I need so many spokes on my wheel anyway
  • Why are my pads squealing?
  • How do I adjust these things again?
  • Why can't I ride when I accidentally squeezed the brake lever when the wheel wasn't on the bike
  • Why do my pads wear out after one race in bad conditions?
  • Why do I have to buy a new roof rack?
  • Are aerodynamics really that important?
  • How do I adjust these things again?
  • Why can't I ride when I accidentally squeezed the brake lever when the wheel wasn't on the bike

And of course: Why are pro riders getting sliced by rotors in crashes? (LOL)

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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #13 
  • why is my front fork so stiff?
Because you bought a bike with a stiff fork.
  • Why do I need a through axle again?
You don't, not sure why this is a question.
  • Why does my new disk bike weigh more than my old bike
Because a weight penaty in non rotating weight is well worth actually being able to stop your bike.
  • Why do I have to get rid of all my wheel sets and by a couple new sets
Because you have been living in the past so long and haven't bought a new wheelset in a long time.
  • Why do I need so many spokes on my wheel anyway
Not sure why this is even a question.  Do more spokes really bother you that much?  Isn't this already covered with your "more weight question?"
  • Why are my pads squealing?
You gonna tell me rim brakes never squeel?  If so, then I doubt you've spent much time on rim brakes.
  • How do I adjust these things again?
After install they rarely need adjusting, can't say the same for cantis.  Got to adjust canits everytime I swap wheels and retoe as the pads wear (or they squeel!).
  • Why can't I ride when I accidentally squeezed the brake lever when the wheel wasn't on the bike
Because you weren't smart enough to take 10 second to pry the pads apart before reinstalling your wheels
  • Why do my pads wear out after one race in bad conditions?
I'd rather replace pads and have brakes that actually work well, call me crazy.
  • Why do I have to buy a new roof rack?
I didn't, not sure whats wrong with your rack?
  • Are aerodynamics really that important?
For cross or gravel?  No discs aren't going to make much a difference.  You do know Cannondale just came out with a TT disc bike?
  • How do I adjust these things again?
You already asked this, I guess you're not very mechanically inclined.
  • Why can't I ride when I accidentally squeezed the brake lever when the wheel wasn't on the bike
Damn, you did this AGAIN!  Just take 10 second to pry the pads apart, its not hard.  Or you could just stop pulling your brake when the wheel is out.
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Smithhammer

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas
...to be quickly replaced by my new questions:

  • why is my front fork so stiff?
  • Why do I need a through axle again?
  • Why does my new disk bike weigh more than my old bike
  • Why do I have to get rid of all my wheel sets and by a couple new sets
  • Why do I need so many spokes on my wheel anyway
  • Why are my pads squealing?
  • How do I adjust these things again?
  • Why can't I ride when I accidentally squeezed the brake lever when the wheel wasn't on the bike
  • Why do my pads wear out after one race in bad conditions?
  • Why do I have to buy a new roof rack?
  • Are aerodynamics really that important?
  • How do I adjust these things again?
  • Why can't I ride when I accidentally squeezed the brake lever when the wheel wasn't on the bike

And of course: Why are pro riders getting sliced by rotors in crashes? (LOL)



[7c3e0cef-8a08-4ef1-ab8f-d036bbaa165e] 

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chas

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Reply with quote  #15 
glad we all have the same sense of humor!  [crazy][crazy]
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Smithhammer

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas
glad we all have the same sense of humor!  [crazy][crazy]


Indeed!!  [beerchuge] 

It's times like this I turn to this fine little essay...

http://surlybikes.com/blog/post/some_answers_to_just_about_any_bike_forum_post_ive_ever_read

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chas

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Reply with quote  #17 
Nice!  [thumb]

Bookmarked!
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Soonerinfrisco

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Reply with quote  #18 
Man I am torn here...  Just got a brand new Trek Domane disc as my primary club ride but want to build a graveller.  About 10 of my best club riding buddies have pulled me into a few gravel rides in the DFW area and I admit I think I could really get into splitting my time riding on the asphalt and the gravel, including some rally type rides.  I have been riding on an old Motobecane comfort bike that I have monkeyed into a halfass graveller!  I have to carry a 15mm wrench in my pocket because this bike does not have QR!  And has twist grip shifters.

I have a wonderful rim brake wheel set that I had built up about 6 months ago. HED Plus Belgium with Ultegra hubs 32 F/R.  Really stout and wide.  I think would be an excellent gravel/cross set.  Also, I have a pristine Sora 2x9 full groupset in my garage.  Would of course have to buy canti brakeset.  So really only need a frame and canti brakes and can go cheap, which I need to do given the coin I dropped on my Domane.  Or i guess I sell the wheel set and go disc build up? 

Maybe BMC or Vassago Fisticuffs frame?
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NoCoGreg

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Reply with quote  #19 
Sooner...  You've already got the most important part of a "fast" rig - the wheels.  I'd suggest going cheap on the first gravel bike to get a better taste and also to learn what the riding is like in your area.  In other words, what works and doesn't work for your friends?

Find a good aluminum or steel frame and get riding. There are just soooo many variables with gravel rides - IMHO the two biggest being how one wants the bike to ride (quicker or more stable steering), and how much tire clearance (what tire width is needed and how much mud clearance).  Here in Colorado I seldom encounter mud (read: if it's muddy, I'll be on the road or paved bike trails) so I can get by with minimal clearance.  Gearing and tire selection is part of the "tuning" as you find what works for your riding style, the terrain, and the friends you ride with.
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