The Bro-Set Experience

P1050527

I suspect that whoever first put a set of downtube shifters on a bike immediately knew that while it was superior to having the shifter on the seat stay, it was a design that was going to be improved upon. Not only did it require being seated to shift, it also required taking your hands off the bars. Shimano got close with the introduction of the STI shifter in the early bit of the 90’s, although the decision to allow the brake lever to pivot laterally was a fundamental flaw.

I remember the first time I saw a set of STI levers in person; I was at County Cycles and they had a complete set of Dura Ace 7400 in the box. It was a truly beautiful groupset, and the metal details on the shifters were as stunning in my hands as they were glinting sunlight off the Pros as they crossed countless finish lines with their arms aloft. The price point was well out of reach, and so I dove headlong into various experiments to find a way to get my shifters on the bars.

Bar-end shifters didn’t look cool so they were out, full stop. I first tried Grip Shift, which was a complete disaster, partly because they didn’t shift well, and partly because they required twisting the bars and invariably introduced a terrifying wobble toward either traffic or the ditch. The low point of my experimentation involved mountain bike thumb shifters mounted near the brake levers, but I couldn’t get them positioned in a way that I could reach them. Cue more wobbling into traffic. Finally I got a set of Suntour Command Shifters, which were basically double-ended thumb shifters that were mounted at the brake lever. These might have worked well, except I couldn’t afford a Suntour rear mech, and the Command Shifters couldn’t get along with my Shimano 105 drivetrain. I had no alternative but to set those shifters to friction, which meant even more wobbling about as I tried to coax it from one gear to the next. But being unsuccessful didn’t mean it wasn’t fun, and when Shimano finally released a 105 STI version – which I could afford – I was that much happier to finally realize my dream of having functional handle-bar mounted shifters.

I’ve never liked the lateral pivot off the STI system, though, and once I could afford to, I moved to Campa and their superior design of incorporating a Go Button along with a paddle shifter. Campagnolo, for all its beauty and functional flawlessness, does require some coddling. It doesn’t particularly like being dirty, and I find myself tweaking the cable tension a few times a week – just a fraction of a turn – to keep it perfect. Because a perfectly tuned Campa drive train runs more perfectly and more silently than anything else – and the Principle of Silence holds sway over all else.

When it came time to building up my Graveur, I never seriously considered Campa because doing that on a bike intended for taking regular mud baths demands something less finicky. And I really don’t want my brake lever wobbling about as I’m trying to control a bouncing, bobbing machine on a twisting gravel or single track descent. Shimano was out, which left me with the choice between Command Shifters and SRAM. SRAM it is, then.

It took me an age to get used to how to adjust it, and how to shift. It requires a lot less cable tension than Shimano or Campa, a trick that took me a while to discover. Upshifts are totally awesome – tap, tap, tap and the chain just drops down along the cassette irrespective of mud or sticks or whatever is in there. I found half a tree trunk in my cassette after my ride this morning, and it didn’t adversely affect the shifting. The front shifting is absolutely blazingly fast, once you get the thing adjusted correctly. And the hoods themselves are very comfortable, possibly even more so than my 10spd Ergos.

But to this day, I still have to think about downshifting (push, *click*, push a bit more, *click*). And Merckx forbid I try shifting more than one gear at a time – I’ll invariably lose track of my clicks and wind up air-shifting between cogs. That’s going to inspire some new curses in a race situation, so there’s that to look forward to.

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163 Replies to “The Bro-Set Experience”

  1. @frank

    @mouse

    @frank

    Babe indeed.

    Interesting to note the 0mm extension on that stem. Would have been a fucker to steer that, I’d imagine.

    Those bars, if I recall correctly, came out from the headset at about 45 degrees to the frame, so her hands would have been over the wheel as usual and the handling should have been “normal”.

    @scaler911

    You didin’t put up the whole thing. STI right lever, std left, 1 dt shifter, broomstick. The only way that could have been cooler was if you’d had some spinazis on there.

    And this is why I’m damn lucky to have @scaler as my Sensei, even when I’m too busy being a big fucking bitch at work to ride much.

  2. @TommyTubolare

    I don’t write this post or my earlier ones to call you out in a bad manner but it was hard to understand what you meant.

    Doesn’t bother me in the slightest, because you’re still wrong!

    As far as FMB goes why did you use a pit stop? Did you carry a spare with you? Did you use Vittoria Pit Stop or something else from the can?

    I didn’t have a spare – shame on me. Also, this being my first time using pitstop, I fucked it up. I meant to ask you to re-post your instructions for how to use that crap. 

    All my spare tubs are full size; I’m on the lookout for a light, 19mm tub to fold up small and tie under the saddle. I get flats so infrequently that I have been taking just the pitstop on my local rides. That a better strategy only if you understand how to use the stuff.

  3. @jimmy

    @scaler911


    I did the left DT shifter/right STI back in the day too. Only ran across a couple of guys in the US with the broomstick. The Scott Drop-ins were fairly comfortable on the lower bend, didn’t spend much time in the actual drop-in straight part. A guy I knew had the 2nd generation ones with the strut to the fork like LeMan used at Roubaix in 92 or so and said getting into the low fwd section was mildly suicidal. I imagine the broomstick was equally unstable?

    During the same period described above, I also mounted some MTB bar-ends on the drops of my bike; a few years later, I got drop-ins but actually the MTB bar-ends were better; they actually pointed forward, so the position was much more comfortable, not to mention that the Cinelli bars I had them mounted on were stiffer, so they were less flexy.

    Those were fun days, all that experimentation. In many ways, I miss the early 90’s. Seems like it was such a golden era of innovation.

    I miss Suntour Superbe Pro. I remember many of the Belgians wanting to buy up any remaining Suntour stock as bad as the newly united Berliners wanting Levi’s 501″²s. Some Lithuanians were winning regularly and making life difficult for everyone with outdated 7-spd bikes when I was over the moon to have the new 8-spd STI. Once I realized it was about going as fast as fuck in 53X12 and not so much how you got there, the racing was a little more straight forward.

    Great shot. Suntour was such a great company; their stuff was totally bomber and the top end stuff shifted really well. Their cheap stuff was 100% reliable and also bomber – just heavy as fuck.

    I always find it strange that such great companies go out of bidniz.

  4. @frank Tufo Elite jet something-or-other. Folds up to close to the same size as a standard inner tube, weighs about 160gms, I think, is a tt tyre but has a puncture proof bel in it.

  5. @frank

    @jimmy

    @scaler911


    I did the left DT shifter/right STI back in the day too. Only ran across a couple of guys in the US with the broomstick. The Scott Drop-ins were fairly comfortable on the lower bend, didn’t spend much time in the actual drop-in straight part. A guy I knew had the 2nd generation ones with the strut to the fork like LeMan used at Roubaix in 92 or so and said getting into the low fwd section was mildly suicidal. I imagine the broomstick was equally unstable?

    During the same period described above, I also mounted some MTB bar-ends on the drops of my bike; a few years later, I got drop-ins but actually the MTB bar-ends were better; they actually pointed forward, so the position was much more comfortable, not to mention that the Cinelli bars I had them mounted on were stiffer, so they were less flexy.

    Those were fun days, all that experimentation. In many ways, I miss the early 90″²s. Seems like it was such a golden era of innovation.

    I miss Suntour Superbe Pro. I remember many of the Belgians wanting to buy up any remaining Suntour stock as bad as the newly united Berliners wanting Levi’s 501″²s. Some Lithuanians were winning regularly and making life difficult for everyone with outdated 7-spd bikes when I was over the moon to have the new 8-spd STI. Once I realized it was about going as fast as fuck in 53X12 and not so much how you got there, the racing was a little more straight forward.

    Great shot. Suntour was such a great company; their stuff was totally bomber and the top end stuff shifted really well. Their cheap stuff was 100% reliable and also bomber – just heavy as fuck.

    I always find it strange that such great companies go out of bidniz.

    Man, some pretty classic (awesome) jerseys there: Z-Peugeot, PDM, Carrera, RMO and, I think, two of the worst: Toshiba and the denim shorts mob.

  6. @frank

    @Dr C

    Anyway, back on trail, how do you find our cross compatibilty with different shifter and brakes? I’m contemplating going Avid Ultimate Canti brakes on my cross bike, but it has 105 STIs

    I cannot understand the science behind the double tap Force shifters, though I like the idea of not changing gear when I toss the anchors, but would financially be happy to not have to change my shifters in one move

    Or should I just stay with my Cx50s, and stop looking at the bike to make up for my shortcomings….

    If you fancy stopping at all, its TRP Mini-V’s or nothing. They make different models for Shimano and other brifters based on cable pull. Work great.

    I have the Avid Shory Ultimates.  They are awesome. That is all.

  7. @frank

    @TommyTubolare

    I don’t write this post or my earlier ones to call you out in a bad manner but it was hard to understand what you meant.

    Doesn’t bother me in the slightest, because you’re still wrong!

    After further consideration, up and down the cassette works for me. Just like a bigger gear is on a smaller cog. You’ve lost a bit of cred anyway, @frank, what with being on the small ring in the article photo and all.

  8. @ten B

    @frank

    @TommyTubolare

    I don’t write this post or my earlier ones to call you out in a bad manner but it was hard to understand what you meant.

    Doesn’t bother me in the slightest, because you’re still wrong!

    After further consideration, up and down the cassette works for me. Just like a bigger gear is on a smaller cog. You’ve lost a bit of cred anyway, @frank, what with being on the small ring in the article photo and all.

    There is the back of the cassette — inner near the spokes. And front of the cassette — outer near the dropout. Shifting goes front to back or back to front.

  9. @minion

    @frank Tufo Elite jet something-or-other. Folds up to close to the same size as a standard inner tube, weighs about 160gms, I think, is a tt tyre but has a puncture proof bel in it.

    Beautiful. Its a tire to get home on, not to ride around endlessly, so small and light is the way to go. Cool!

  10. @frank

    @TBONE

    I think that we need to look to the past a bit when it comes to building up a ‘Graveur’. We’ll use John Tomac, Yeti, and Campagnolo as our ‘gold standard’ of how to build and ride a Campy equiped MTB. Furtado didn’t know how to finesse the Italian bits, claiming that they were inferior, but we all know that this is not the case. I’m thinking with a bit of eBay, scouring obscure shops, a fucking ill disk wheel, and a bit of mettle we could have a proper Campy equipped off road slaying machine

    Those disk wheels slay me. They were so cool. And, I think they were just spoked wheels with covers. Which basically amounted to just more weight.

    Julie Furtado was my second major crush – and one that happened as I was discovering my adolescence. Rebecca Twigg was the other. Good times.

    I thought that they were tensioned kevlar strands? I saw Tomac, Jaurez, and Ned in ’94 at the Silver Start World Cup, Tomac was rolling on said wheel in the XC race. It sounded like the second coming of Christ when it went past. Sydor had her first of many World Cup wins there, on home turf. Furtado was banging. I always did prefer Paulo Pezzo, and word on the street is so did Cipo.

  11. @frank

    I didn’t have a spare – shame on me. Also, this being my first time using pitstop, I fucked it up. I meant to ask you to re-post your instructions for how to use that crap.

    The instruction for using pit stop is don’t.  It doesn’t work for shite.

  12. @unversio

    @ten B

    @frank

    @TommyTubolare

    I don’t write this post or my earlier ones to call you out in a bad manner but it was hard to understand what you meant.

    Doesn’t bother me in the slightest, because you’re still wrong!

    After further consideration, up and down the cassette works for me. Just like a bigger gear is on a smaller cog. You’ve lost a bit of cred anyway, @frank, what with being on the small ring in the article photo and all.

    There is the back of the cassette “” inner near the spokes. And front of the cassette “” outer near the dropout. Shifting goes front to back or back to front.

    This compounded with the fact that it is the opposite for the cranks.  By your logic, upshifting the crank would be the same as downshifting the cassette.  Up is hard, down is easy.  I believe the terminology originates from the ratio.  As you move the cassette down in size, the ratio goes “up”.  53/11 > 53/16 > 42/23.  I could be wrong about the true origin though.

  13. @Nate

    @frank

    I didn’t have a spare – shame on me. Also, this being my first time using pitstop, I fucked it up. I meant to ask you to re-post your instructions for how to use that crap.

    The instruction for using pit stop is don’t. It doesn’t work for shite.

    Now that we’ve gone full on graveur tire discussion (which is like ‘cross for roadies right), I’ll ask.  I have a pair of these (Clement MXP tubs) on order with the LBS.  Clement recommends this.  My experience is that manufacturer recommendations have nothing on experience, so I’m wondering if anyone has used the Clement MXPs and what sealants they have used with success.  Does Clement have it right on the guide?

  14. @razmaspaz

    @unversio

    @ten B

    @frank

    @TommyTubolare

    I don’t write this post or my earlier ones to call you out in a bad manner but it was hard to understand what you meant.

    Doesn’t bother me in the slightest, because you’re still wrong!

    After further consideration, up and down the cassette works for me. Just like a bigger gear is on a smaller cog. You’ve lost a bit of cred anyway, @frank, what with being on the small ring in the article photo and all.

    There is the back of the cassette “” inner near the spokes. And front of the cassette “” outer near the dropout. Shifting goes front to back or back to front.

    This compounded with the fact that it is the opposite for the cranks. By your logic, upshifting the crank would be the same as downshifting the cassette. Up is hard, down is easy. I believe the terminology originates from the ratio. As you move the cassette down in size, the ratio goes “up”. 53/11 > 53/16 > 42/23. I could be wrong about the true origin though.

    Chain moves left and right — back and front — or over

  15. My golden tickets are off getting a new spoke and a true over the weekend.  Some 27mm Pave clinchers are on the way for experimental purposes.  And I am getting close to pulling the trigger on some FMBs, to put on the Ambrosios when I get them back.

  16. @Nate

    My golden tickets are off getting a new spoke and a true over the weekend. Some 27mm Pave clinchers are on the way for experimental purposes. And I am getting close to pulling the trigger on some FMBs, to put on the Ambrosios when I get them back.

    27mm FMB P-Rs!

  17. @Dan_R

    @Nate

    My golden tickets are off getting a new spoke and a true over the weekend. Some 27mm Pave clinchers are on the way for experimental purposes. And I am getting close to pulling the trigger on some FMBs, to put on the Ambrosios when I get them back.

    27mm FMB P-Rs!

    Yes.  Trigger pulled!

  18. @Nate

    @frank

    I didn’t have a spare – shame on me. Also, this being my first time using pitstop, I fucked it up. I meant to ask you to re-post your instructions for how to use that crap.

    The instruction for using pit stop is don’t. It doesn’t work for shite.

    it works on the tiniest of punctures.  anything bigger than a pinhole, kiss your $20 pitstop good-bye!

  19. I first had the Suntour command shifters with a Suntour drivetrain. They worked OK but they got in the way of my thumbs when I was riding with my hands on the hoods. Then I got a good price on a set of Ultegra STI levers that I retrofitted my Trek 2300 with. It was equipped with Shimano 600, the Ultegra precursor. The only problem in theory was that the drivetrain was 7 speed and the levers 8. I adjusted the stop screw and I got perfect shifts. They still worked fine 22 years later when I sold the bike this year. My best bike now is a Specialized Roubaix which is all Shimano 105. This is an easy one, they are the best shifter/drivetrain that I have ever had.

  20. Index shifting ruined cycling, it use to take skill and finesses to shift down tube frictions levers. Now any Fred wanker can shift. How can people marvel at what was clearly a step in the wrong direction…..

    How depressing.

  21. @roger

    @Nate

    @frank

    I didn’t have a spare – shame on me. Also, this being my first time using pitstop, I fucked it up. I meant to ask you to re-post your instructions for how to use that crap.

    The instruction for using pit stop is don’t. It doesn’t work for shite.

    it works on the tiniest of punctures. anything bigger than a pinhole, kiss your $20 pitstop good-bye!

    However, any decent tubular (and the good clincher tubes, as well) should have removable valve cores. Get home, remove core, inject a good 50-80cc of Cafelatex or whatever you have handy, and pump it slightly (low pressure helps sealing). Rethread the core, pump, go.

    And do that to the yet-unpunctured tubulars and tubes for good measure. This saved my ass so many times in the past…

  22. @mouse

    @frank

    @Dr C

    Anyway, back on trail, how do you find our cross compatibilty with different shifter and brakes? I’m contemplating going Avid Ultimate Canti brakes on my cross bike, but it has 105 STIs

    I cannot understand the science behind the double tap Force shifters, though I like the idea of not changing gear when I toss the anchors, but would financially be happy to not have to change my shifters in one move

    Or should I just stay with my Cx50s, and stop looking at the bike to make up for my shortcomings….

    If you fancy stopping at all, its TRP Mini-V’s or nothing. They make different models for Shimano and other brifters based on cable pull. Work great.

    I have the Avid Shory Ultimates. They are awesome. That is all.

    Cyclocross Mag did a “study” about 18 months ago looking at stopping power. disc and road calipers were vastly superior of course.

    among the canti’s, mini-v were the most powerful. not a subtle finding. the regular canti’s were limited by the physics of the setup. That all being said, I have been observing a big split on the mini-v’s; Molly Cameron loves ’em for several years running, never has trouble. I hate em- everytime you fuss with something (like swapping brake pads to go from a carbon to non-carbon), they go out of adjustment and require a bunch of dinking around. I hate dinking, since I’m not a “natural” like @scaler or @frank might be.

    I swear by the cx70/cx50 brakes over the other canti’s by far. They can stop the rig on wet road at road descent speeds.

    Those fancy, gorgeous trp mag euroX canti’s are strictly for racing- look pretty, weigh nothing and pat you on the back for your sense of history and style. They will even support you when you start chanting “please help me slow down, please help me slow down.” forget stopping, but then who intentionally comes to a stop at a cx race?

  23. @FuriousFred

    Index shifting ruined cycling, it use to take skill and finesses to shift down tube frictions levers. Now any Fred wanker can shift. How can people marvel at what was clearly a step in the wrong direction…..

    How depressing.

    Preach brother!  Been saying that for years!  Also, I want to know what exactly was wrong with wooden rims and solid rubber tires?  Nowadays every Fred wanker wants tires with air in them but this whole “pneumatic” thing is all full of hot air if you ask me.

    How depressing.

  24. @gaswepass

    @mouse

    @frank

    @Dr C

    Anyway, back on trail, how do you find our cross compatibilty with different shifter and brakes? I’m contemplating going Avid Ultimate Canti brakes on my cross bike, but it has 105 STIs

    I cannot understand the science behind the double tap Force shifters, though I like the idea of not changing gear when I toss the anchors, but would financially be happy to not have to change my shifters in one move

    Or should I just stay with my Cx50s, and stop looking at the bike to make up for my shortcomings….

    If you fancy stopping at all, its TRP Mini-V’s or nothing. They make different models for Shimano and other brifters based on cable pull. Work great.

    I have the Avid Shory Ultimates. They are awesome. That is all.

    Cyclocross Mag did a “study” about 18 months ago looking at stopping power. disc and road calipers were vastly superior of course.

    among the canti’s, mini-v were the most powerful. not a subtle finding. the regular canti’s were limited by the physics of the setup. That all being said, I have been observing a big split on the mini-v’s; Molly Cameron loves ’em for several years running, never has trouble. I hate em- everytime you fuss with something (like swapping brake pads to go from a carbon to non-carbon), they go out of adjustment and require a bunch of dinking around. I hate dinking, since I’m not a “natural” like @scaler or @frank might be.

    I swear by the cx70/cx50 brakes over the other canti’s by far. They can stop the rig on wet road at road descent speeds.

    Those fancy, gorgeous trp mag euroX canti’s are strictly for racing- look pretty, weigh nothing and pat you on the back for your sense of history and style. They will even support you when you start chanting “please help me slow down, please help me slow down.” forget stopping, but then who intentionally comes to a stop at a cx race?

    I’m contemplating creating an abomination – the ultimate abomination – a road bike with discs…

    Well, obviously this will be a Cx frame, but I’m going to set it up with 23s and ride it up and down mountains (tarmac’d ones)

    After much deliberation, I can only conclude that discs are the way forward, sort of – though they do look terrible

    I’ll hang onto my Roubaix just in case I offend myself and repatriate it with its intended purpose, but it’ll be interesting to see how the differing modulation feels on the big descents

    I’ll try the cabled BB7s first, as the hydraulic shifters just look horrible

    All this only if my Cx50s aren’t up to the job for descents on 23s

    Mmmm…

  25. @Dr C As far as cross bikes go, I’d recommend trying them out first (if you haven’t already).  I was surprised by how differently my Lemond handles relative to my road bike.  It’s noticeably more sluggish to turn and less self centering once leaned over (a combination of slacker angles and less trail).

    The cross bike feels kind of weird on the road but makes a lot of sense on dirt and gravel once I experienced it.  I don’t mind taking it on long road rides with 25mm tires, but I’m not sure the handling traits are everyone’s cup of tea.

  26. @Nate

    @frank

    I didn’t have a spare – shame on me. Also, this being my first time using pitstop, I fucked it up. I meant to ask you to re-post your instructions for how to use that crap.

    The instruction for using pit stop is don’t. It doesn’t work for shite.

    What about using the leak stop thing from Hutchinson for CX punctures that don’t seal when riding tubeless?

    I have only punctured once doing a cx training ride and didn’t have it with me. Costs $10 or $12 though.

    What are other folks doing in this situation, tossing in a tube? Limping home? Using the Hutchinson pit stop stuff?

    Has anyone seen this Giro helmet? Cool for commuting and a nod to LeMan or…just don’t do it?

    http://www.westernbikeworks.com/product/giro-reverb-helmet?v=bupz00m&utm_campaign=products&utm_source=google&utm_medium=base&adl=1&gclid=CIXNsZGJnLkCFYiY4AodpAUA-Q

  27. Oh, and I put a new chain, new cassette, new crankset on my cx bike. Bigger outer ring necessitated moving the FD a bit too.

    Same Force shifters but the shifting is nice, smooth, and good for the first time I’ve been on SRAM. I didn’t monkey with the RD though but damn, after two years of half shifts and rattling chains today every shift was precise and smooth.

    The Bro-Set might have been getting a bad wrap due to poor set-up. That ain’t cool, bro.

  28. @Dr C If i may ask, why do you want to go road disk? I don’t really see the advantage in road racing. If anything, it’s just more rotating mass. A good road caliper has enough power to lock up both wheels at 30km/h.

  29. @Weldertron

    I think the argument for road disc is in modulation, not outright power.  Proponents say that being able to hold the wheel right at the limit of lock-up is easier than with rim brakes.  My own findings: certainly true on mountain bikes, but the difference between a clean, smooth aluminum braking surface on a rim with high quality pads and a disc brake setup is much smaller when talking about road bikes.

    Accept the inevitable.  In five years we will all be riding hydraulic disc equipped electronically shifted bikes with 15 gears in the back.  That’s when the big argument will be whether anti-lock braking controlled by the Di2 computer is necessary on road bikes.

    “15 gears is too many!  I got along fine with 14 gears and non-abs brakes!”

  30. There has been a lot of development put into hydraulic calipers. In my opinion, a much better idea. You won’t need proprietary wheels.

  31. @VeloVita

    @Dr C

    You may want to have a listen to this discussion on disc brakes for the road

    http://velocastcc.squarespace.com/tech5/2012/12/13/episode-1-meet-sean-lally.html

    Great conversation there. Supports my experience riding Avid BB7s for a year.

    People assume that new tech is always better. Sometimes it’s just different.

    MTB manufacturers adopted pressfit and BB30 bottom brackets and then realized they are horrible when the slightest amount of dirt enters the system. Many top manufacturers backtracked to traditional threaded bottom brackets, and it eliminated the problems of the newer (but worse) pressfit technology.

    Not to mention that Avid hasn’t significantly changed the design of the BB7 in 10 years. So is this new technology, or better tech, or just something different that needs to be critically evaluated like anything else?

    I have a set of BB7’s that are sitting in the toolbox unused.

  32. Don’t get me started on BB30. (if you want to REALLY hate BB30, watch the FSA BB30 video, the way he says it makes me cringe.)

    I have an adapter in the mail to run a rival crank. I’ve regreased my BB30 twice in a month and the click keeps coming back.

  33. so if I upgrade my cdale to ultegra should I get an adapter to run the ultegra crank or get a proper bb30 crank? im conflicted

  34. @RedRanger I don’t think the crank makes any difference (it’s the bearings that are the problem). A report I read showed that the BB30 crank wasn’t measurably stiffer.

    I love Shimano’s front shifting so I would go for an Ultegra crank.

  35. @G’rilla sounds like the sensible thing to do when the time comes. I was at my LBS the other day getting tubes and they had all the high end groups in a display case. I was amazed how much less an ultegra crank was compared to some of the chic stuff by Tune and Lightning that they sell.

  36. @G’rilla

    @RedRanger Tune and Lightning? I can see you’re planning ahead based on your upcoming aerospace industry salary.

    My income seems to be overstated by pretty much everyone I talk to. Im just gonna be a aircraft mechanic(a knuckle dragger). But Im single with no kids so all my income is mine and what better to enjoy that income than to spend some of it on bikes. BTW these Lightning Cranks dont seem much more than any aftermarket higher end crank, as in Cannondale hollow gram(or what ever) and FSA.

    The Ultegras I saw in the display case were less than $400.

  37. @G’rilla

    @VeloVita

    @Dr C

    You may want to have a listen to this discussion on disc brakes for the road

    http://velocastcc.squarespace.com/tech5/2012/12/13/episode-1-meet-sean-lally.html

    Great conversation there. Supports my experience riding Avid BB7s for a year.

    People assume that new tech is always better. Sometimes it’s just different.

    MTB manufacturers adopted pressfit and BB30 bottom brackets and then realized they are horrible when the slightest amount of dirt enters the system. Many top manufacturers backtracked to traditional threaded bottom brackets, and it eliminated the problems of the newer (but worse) pressfit technology.

    Not to mention that Avid hasn’t significantly changed the design of the BB7 in 10 years. So is this new technology, or better tech, or just something different that needs to be critically evaluated like anything else?

    I have a set of BB7″²s that are sitting in the toolbox unused.

    Very interesting conversation – makes me wonder if there would be enough power in the discs for descending, as I am a last second full whack brake into the entry of the hairpin type rider, and the overheating rotors sounds a big issue – Mmmm

    Regarding the disc brakes, I don’t think they will improve braking over the rim brakes in function, but the abomination will arise because I am trying to have one bike (respect to n+1, but now I am buying race bikes and MTBs for the kids and wife, the budget needs attention) – so I thought a Cx disc, would allow me to switch between carbon rims and allow road rims easily, and not wear my rims out

    As I say, I may have to hold onto my Roubaix Expert, but that will be a fight for the other end of the winter – I need to make sure the new S-works Crux frame is up for the big mountain stuff – I suspect it won’t be

    Still slightly concerned that for the one bike solution, the cantis wouldn’t give me the power I need on the descents

  38. I find the evolution from rim to hub mounted disc interesting. From a motorcycle point of view, Buell split with tradition by moving the disc from the hub to the rim. He did this because the braking forces no longer had to be transmitted by the spokes, so they were smaller, so the wheel was lighter.

    In a bicycle, the opposite is true in that you want the weight moved to the hub and keep the external rotating forces lighter despite a heavy disc being added to the hub. In doing this I wonder what effect this has on the wheel (spokes) during heavy braking. I am not sure that on a disc brake equipped clincher wheel the rim is any lighter, it has to hold the tyre in both cases so in the end, the wheel is heavier but braking performance is increased especially in the wet. What we need is hydraulic rim brakes (ala SRAM) but with disc brake pad materials. A heavier rim is required to conteract the wear rate of the course pads, but the net is lighter?

    I don’t know the answer to any of these questions…. but it is an interesting thought experiment. For now, I prefer the tradition rim brake.

  39. @Dr C

    in my experience, the cx-50/70 has been able to stop the rig on and off road in the wet  well.

    as I mentioned, the disc stopping power is top notch. so there are 2 main reasons to not go disc- if you race, neutral wheels will typically be shimano/sram compatible 10 speed, not disc. the other is the aggregation of  weight, complexity and tradition.

  40. @Puffy @gaswepass
    interesting indeed – I don’t race to the extent that anyone on a yellow motorbike will be giving me a yellow wheel if my tub blows

    I suspect there is no bike that fits all purposes – I rode my wife’s 105 clad Defy 0 into work this morning in the pishing rain, and the brakes were tragic – probably needs better pads – I haven’t ridden with new cantis yet, they may surprise me

    I might try the TRP V-brakes Fronk suggests, though they are so old fashioned looking on a new frame (no offence F) with that curvy bit of metal piping – but if they work, that may be the solution – the Avid Ultimates look pretty cool though, so maybe give them a go too, and play with the pads a bit

    At some stage in the next few months, I’ll need to decide, disc or canti on the new frame, coz I won’t be getting another one for a long time!

  41. Of course there is stopping a carbon rim with cantis in the wet vs discs to consider too – must be little doubting the discs in that scenario

    I’m also concerned about the strain that goes on the spokes when you disc brake the hub hard on grippy terrain – at least the fork mount takes all the mullah when you have rims stoppers – I don’t see too many disc hubs for sale with less than 32h

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