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  1. #1
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    Disc Brake CX Bike Build

    Okay, up front I will admit up front that I am a MTB rider. If I could get a suspension fork on my CX bike I would probably do that, well maybe not. I digress.

    I have major hand issues with riding/racing CX. It has something to do with having my hands on the hoods, more weight on them, bumpy tracks, etc, but seems to be worst when combining a bumpy section with hard braking. My hands just can't take the beating and the pain in my palms and wrists is severe. I am hoping that having better brakes (Avid Ultimates) helps, but what I really want is discs as i assume they will always work well like on my MTB. An added bonus is that disc brakes make for easier wheel changes (no fiddling with canti brake cables to adjust for rim width or to remove/replace wheel), and when i bend the rims i don't have brake rub.

    After getting a CruX (canti brakes) I feel that I could get rid of my road bike and just use the CX bike (need a bigger garage, but that isn't in the budget) and sell my Tarmac. So I have started to collect info on the build....

    Here is my rough plan:

    Disc specific frame/fork
    three wheelsets (road, multipurpose, CX race)

    I am aware that some of the MTB world cup racers race on tubulars so what tubulars wheels are available for CX duty that are disc specific (no brake tracks)?

    As for components what disc brakes are going to be compatible with the road levers?

    I really wish the manufacturers would step up with hydro road levers! (Di2 with hydro will be sick when that happens)

    Also, what does everyone run for bars? I think that having carbon bars has helped dampen road vibration on the road bike and i remember an article on carbon bars being used for CX, are all major carbon road bars acceptable for CX?

    My wife's website....
    Allison Mann

  2. #2
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    You raise a lot of good points. Unfortunately, I think it is still a bit early for disc brakes on a CX bike and options are limited. There have been some prototype hydro brifters floating around, but nothing produced yet. I think BB7's are your only option (someone please correct me if others have been released).

    As for bars, Ritchey makes a few CX bars in carbon. I'm currently using the new Salsa Cowbell and like the bar, but there isn't a carbon version available (yet??).

    Disc compatible wheelsets seem pretty few and far between. On a postitive note I heard that Enve was working on a disc compatible carbon CX fork.
    CyclingCentralVa.org

  3. #3
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    consider riding the rough stuff in the drops, you'll typically be a wee bit wider and the additional flex will take some of the edge off.

    Often people will double-tape the bars or use things like the Fizik Gel pads

    If you have trouble braking/shifting from the drops, consider going to a compact/short/shallow bar. I run the aluminum Zipp Service Course

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    consider riding the rough stuff in the drops, you'll typically be a wee bit wider and the additional flex will take some of the edge off.

    Often people will double-tape the bars or use things like the Fizik Gel pads

    If you have trouble braking/shifting from the drops, consider going to a compact/short/shallow bar. I run the aluminum Zipp Service Course
    there are times that riding in the drops makes sense, but it isn't always the best/fastest for me. thanks for the tips on the Gel pads and the bar!

    another good question, who makes the best CX bar tape. the stuff that comes on the CruX bikes is amazing, but i don't know if you can purchase it separately. it is not listed on Speccy's website (it is definitely not Classic, Roubaix, or Cork). Allison tried the Lizzard Skins stuff last year and it was okay but not as good as the stock CruX tape.
    My wife's website....
    Allison Mann

  5. #5
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    I run BB7 and pretty happy with them, way better than the BB5, not as good as hydro, but one day we'll get there.

    As per wheelset I have NoTubes Crest 29 with ZTR hubs for cross, setup tubeless (Hutchinsons) and for the road wheelset I have NoTubes Alpha 340 rims on 3.30 disc hubs, not tubeless yet, but ready.

    Tubeless allows you to run lower pressure, without pinch flatting, adding lots of comfort to the ride. I am 200# and I run around 40-50psi on a 34c tire, way better than the 85 I need on tubes.

    Love the setup: having discs also allows me to swap the front wheel from ny 29er and run monstercross, the Conti Race king 2.0 fits my front fork, making for a really plush ride.

    ZT
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  6. #6
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    I'm wondering if you are setting your bars too low, and balancing your weight towards your hands in the process. If you were to take a long road ride on your CX bike, would you have the same issue?

    Interesting pic.....I may have just found my new commuter frame.

  7. #7
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR1 View Post
    I think BB7's are your only option (someone please correct me if others have been released).
    There's also the Avid BB5 Road version and Shimano has the BR-R505 model.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbigisbudgood View Post
    I'm wondering if you are setting your bars too low, and balancing your weight towards your hands in the process. If you were to take a long road ride on your CX bike, would you have the same issue?
    My bars on my CruX are a bit higher than they are on my Tarmac (huge saddle to bar drop for a recreational roadie IMO), but for some reason my hands hurt a bit worse on my CruX (could be the dirt riding putting more pressure over bumps?). I'm even wearing gloves, which I don't on the road generally.

    We've done some longer rides on the cross bikes, but typically a good mix of dirt and pavement.

  9. #9
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    What will happen is as you go farther over you activate different muscle groups, such as your abdominals, and they start supporting your weight more, keeping the pressure off your hands. Is the pain across your entire hand or is it localized front/back? If so, you may want to try adjusting the angles of your hoods or bars to take the pressure off that area and distribute it across your hand.

  10. #10
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    I agree, learn to use the drops more, especially in all decents. Being on the hoods can be dangerous and akward. You'll likely need to raise your stem some. most certainly make sure it's flipped up.

    I have BB7r's with Shimano 105 5600 levers. works ok but i'm not sure they are worth it yet. You should also know going into it that your lever feedback will be spongy at best.

    *disclaimer - I don't race cross... yet. but I do spend a lot of time in the woods on a cx bike. I have a redline conquest alloy frame with the nashbar carbon fork with disc mounts.
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  11. #11
    conjoinicorned
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    i don't race, but i ride my CX on a lot of long mixed terrain rides...the best thing i did for my hands was going to dirt drops (or the newer style shallow bend drops...)
    the extra width, flare, and shallow drop means i spend almost 100% of the time there (pain free!), but the hoods are still useful on the paved/smooth sections...and even the flats if i need a break.
    disc brakes saved CX riding for me....the winter + canti's = suck, at least around here.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  12. #12
    My Ass is My Pilot
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    I just built a flat bar Xross S/S bike with disc brakes. This bike is, and I hate to say it, FASTER then my 29'r. The bike is a mixed bag-o-parts. I built a pair of Tubulars. 135mm WTB S/S rear hub with a 17t on Mavic Reflex tubular rims. Hope front disc hub same rim. Challenge Fango 34's. I used AvidBB7 road disc calipers with the new Paul's E-levers, they do not recommend it, but I do. It works so rad. Dura Ace crankset with a 39t ring and XTR 112.5 bb. Also the new Paragon sliding drops. The frame is from Realm Cycles in Sisters,Or. Warren and I talked about this bike for weeks. When it was delivered to my door I put it together and have ridden it for days now. This bike has totally impressed me in every way. Very tight handling and light, 20lbs for a ridged S/S is not bad. Bike has a longish top tube for me at 23.5 so I went with a 50mm stem. It felt short at first but after two days in the woods in Central Oregon...It is going to Kill this weekend at Alpine Rose dairy in Portland. See you in PDX
    B.O.S/S Shampoo Now with More No More Gears! 34/18
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  13. #13
    more skier than biker
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    I had that Disc specific Crux frameset on order as well. I originally thought it was suppossed to be delivered in early September, but then that changed to October, and I cancelled my order.

    My thinking for a disc specific frameset is similar to yours. Very versatile for the MTB'er-moonlighting-as-a-CX-racer in the Fall. These new disc CX framesets with 135mm rear hub spacing mean that guys like us can get the frameset, and not have to worry about buying a separate wheelset if we don't want to as our disc MTB wheelsets will transfer right over no problem. So just need to purchase some BB7's (road version) if you don't already have them, which are cheap and work fine, fill the rest of the build out with parts in the garage (hopefully) and you are good to go.

    Last year, I put drop bars on my Niner Air 9 Carbon and raced in SS Open division and did very well on it (won my local series overall season title in SS class on it), so I got addicted to having disc brakes in cross (mud doesn't effect 'em obviously, and you can brake way later going into turns than guys with canti's).

    After cancelling my disc Crux frameset, I ordered something else. A friend of mine is a rep for Grammo and I was able to get in on the first batch of their new carbon disc CX frameset, the Paru. There are only like 10 or 12 of these around right now. It just came out of paint up in Oregon and is now on it's way to me. But it has all the latest 'bells and whistles' in a CX frameset that I was looking for:

    -disc specific carbon frame and carbon fork (160mm front, 140mm rear)
    -135mm rear hub spacing
    -BB30
    -tapered headtube
    -internal cable routing

    BB30 was important to me because I am going to use the BB30 EBB adapter from Beer Components to make it a single speed. BEER Components

    For wheels I will be using my Stan's ZTR Race 29'ers with American Classic Hubs set up tubeless. These are extremely light weight for a 29'er wheelset (about 1350 grams), and I flex the crap out of them on my MTB (I'm 165 - 170 lbs), but for CX they should be perfect.

    I think I'll set it up with drop bars initially since I have a set of 46cm Salsa Bell Laps in my garage. If I don't like that, I'll just switch to some flat bars.

    Might take me a week or so to fully build it up, but here's a pic that got sent to me yesterday. I can't wait to find out how wide of a tire I can fit on there...could make for an interesting monster cross bike as well with some narrow MTB tires on there. Hopefully it is in the mail today
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Disc Brake CX Bike Build-grammo-frame.jpg  


  14. #14
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    Road the new 2012 Specialized Crux disc on Saturday. Really nice on those long downhills in the rain. At $1900 with all Sram Apex.

  15. #15
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    That Grammo is looking pretty sweet. Any idea on what the prices are going to be?

  16. #16
    more skier than biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctownposse View Post
    That Grammo is looking pretty sweet. Any idea on what the prices are going to be?
    Here it is! Pretty reasonable if I do say so myself $1,289 for frame + $175 for Carbon Disc fork. -> Grammo - Grammo Paru Carbon CX Disc - FR081 I just heard that there are more available than what I thought so it shouldn't be that hard to get your hands on one.

  17. #17
    Weird huh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Here it is! Pretty reasonable if I do say so myself $1,289 for frame + $175 for Carbon Disc fork. -> Grammo - Grammo Paru Carbon CX Disc - FR081 I just heard that there are more available than what I thought so it shouldn't be that hard to get your hands on one.
    Interesting, and thanks for the info. I run a Grammo tubular wheelset that I purchased a few years back. Fantastic made in Italy light wheels. Until your post, I really hadn't heard this company mentioned much.

    Good luck on the build and post up when she's up and running
    And don't do the burrito jump... Francois

  18. #18
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    Did you weigh the frame/fork before you built it up? Have you built it up? I am interested in one and would love to hear how it rides.
    Thanks

  19. #19
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    I like this one! Introducing the Raleigh Furley! I hope to own this bicycle in the near future.

  20. #20
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    I have been riding a Merida Cyclocross 4 with discs and BB5 calipers since January. I don't race cross but ride it on Singletrack as well as a commuter.

    I am just waiting for the pads to wear out before I buy some BB7's for it. So far 4000kms and they still have a fair beat of meat left.

    Not sure you can get Meridas in the US though. I from Australia and this was one of about 3 2011 cross bikes that came with discs. It cost me $AU1500 with full 105.

    Can't post pics yet but will come back when I can.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme View Post
    Disc specific frame/fork
    three wheelsets (road, multipurpose, CX race)

    This is my plan as well. I currently have 2 sets with a 3rd to be built once all my parts arrive. One set is a road training set. Heavy as can be, Velocity Deep V's (unmachined brake tracks) with Deore hubs. My second set is a lighter weight tubeless set-up. Stans Crest/355's with a hope hub up front and a SRAM X9 in the rear. It's my all around set....race CX, single track, fat road tires. My newest set is a set of carbon tubulars for just flat out racing. I plan to race CX on them in the fall/winter and then change tires to road for the summer. I've consolidated my bike line-up so my CX bike is now doing double duty as my road racer. From experience, I'm not noticeably slower on my CX bike, and it's a better ride since it's steel. As a Cat 4 roadie, I should be fine.

  22. #22
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    due to unfortunate circumstances i don't think i will be building myself a disc bike, but i will keep drooling on all the sweet rigs you guys post up here till i can get one of my own.
    My wife's website....
    Allison Mann

  23. #23
    Glorified Hybrid Owner
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewy View Post
    I have been riding a Merida Cyclocross 4 with discs and BB5 calipers since January. I don't race cross but ride it on Singletrack as well as a commuter.

    I am just waiting for the pads to wear out before I buy some BB7's for it. So far 4000kms and they still have a fair beat of meat left.

    Not sure you can get Meridas in the US though. I from Australia and this was one of about 3 2011 cross bikes that came with discs. It cost me $AU1500 with full 105.

    Can't post pics yet but will come back when I can.
    What is the biggest tire you can fit in the Merida frame?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme View Post
    due to unfortunate circumstances i don't think i will be building myself a disc bike, but i will keep drooling on all the sweet rigs you guys post up here till i can get one of my own.
    That's a shame. Here are some photos of mine.






  25. #25
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    Another disc crosser....

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