When I heard they were going to allow disc brakes into cross races, I thought I wanted to put mine on (Fuji- has the mounts for them) but then I realized on a fly over this year, that if I had disc brakes and grabbed them like I did on that fly over, I would of endo'ed and rolled the rest of the way down lol. So for me, they are not an option. Plus, when they get wet and dirty, they cry alot and the pads get really tortured and fall apart after a while....this is just what I experience with my mtn bike. And they increase the weight of the bike. Yes, it's not a whole lot, but pedaling it then hoisting it over barriers, ugh. I heard they were making a light weight disc brake for road bikes but I also heard it failed upon testing (burned pads up during a 30 mph descent. whoops!). Maybe if they came out with mini sealed ones.
At least with calipers or cantis you can grab it and not go "uh oh". Or at least with they way I set them up.
And cross races are dirty affairs, and with mtn biking in the east now, I know that disc brake pads hate wet and dirt. If the rim gets too dirty can you do a quick spin and clean it a little or hit it with some water. If the pads get dirty, ugh. You have to listen to the crying or worse, get resistance from the pads rubbing. And then you need to pay attention to it.
With disc brakes, you also have to keep up with them. Bleeding them and cleaning them. If you hit the disc the wrong way (I have done this a couple of times when crashing) and hit an obstacle or ground with it, you can bend them. Doesn't have to be an unholy crash, just lagging a little over a barrier and thumping it good can smack it off. They can be worked around, but for a race it's a pain.
My vote is no. I use them on my mtn bike and my utility bike (commuter) has them. The reason the commuter has them is I can stop on a dime with them and riding in traffic- stopping on a dime is a good feeling.
And if your bike does not have the brake brackets on the frame, they make adapters but many people including my boyfriend that works at a bike shop, advises against it. The line up has to be spot on and then they don't have a great way of fixing them to frame so if they move, no dice.
Sheldon Brown has some great advice on finding the right adjustment for your brakes if you want more out of your brakes you currently have but can't get the stopping power.
Should be a very fast cross season with the warm winter temps!!!!
Not sure what you're using now, but you could try upgrading your current cantilever brakes. There is a HUGE difference in stopping power between the bottom and top of the line brakes. I switched mine to Avid Shorty 6's right away after getting my cyclocross bike. You can expect even better performance out of the Avid Shorty Ultimates. It's a lot cheaper than new rims and a disc brake set-up.
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Nice article ..... i guess the new rule I do not care for is the 80% rule of being able to be pulled off before being lapped to give the leaders a cleaner race course. Then why call it a race? I thought part of racing is trying to get around lapped riders? Also, then start watching for teh sandbaggers and penalize them for being in Cat that they should not be in only because they want to podium and win prizes. Since I am a Cat 4 Cross racer, how am I going to gauge how well I am doing if I get constantly pulled? I paid an entrance fee as well. If there is a local Series promoting the races then they should either bump up the racers from previous finishes or have sub categories.
Just my 2 cents worth.
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I am not sure on the mountain bike rule for beginner level cross race. My bike is a Redline Conquest Pro for Cyclocross frame for racing. It does have the hangers for disc brakes. I believe the UCI just past a rule allowing disc brakes to be used on cross frames?
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Unfortunately I have never owned a road bike, but regularly do cross-country mountain biking. I rode v-brake bikes as well as disc-brake bikes. I ride with friends from the local cycling club, who ride both types of bikes, i.e. bikes with v-brakes and bikes with disc breaks. I have seen people perform outstandingly with any type of brake. My experience in general taught me that if the equipment is not really cheap, it all depends on the rider. Very expensive gear is useless if the rider does not know how to take right decisions. I have been a victim of my poor decisions too. The last time I went for a ride I fell pretty badly, and it was my own fault. I took the wrong decision. In fact, I was lucky because I did not break any bones.
That said, it is pretty common among the new bikes to use double suspension and disc brakes. Disc breaks are more powerful than v-brakes, but that does not mean that they can keep you safe.
As to if one can fit a disc brake to a road bike, I have not seen one, but it is difficult to say such things are impossible. If you really want it, I guess you can get it, but given that it is rare, it may cost you a significant amount of money. For a road bike, it may be even dangerous to get such powerful breaks because of such thin tires that they have.
Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 2/8/2012 (13:44)
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Any one out there with an opinion pro/con on having disc brakes for a cyclocroos bike. If so, what is a good inexpensive wheel set? Or can you purchase an adapter for a road wheel set? How durable would the adapter be?
Last year during my racing season for cyclocross, I felt uncomfortable with the stopping power I currently have on the bike.
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