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  1. #1
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    Finally hit the trail on my Ridley!

    I got a Ridley X-Ride about 3 or 4 weeks ago. I've been doing all road, I put close to 200 miles on her so far.

    This evening I finally took it off road! Not really an established trail, just some short trails through the woods at a few local parks. I also climbed up some steep grassy hills. First one I climbed was a long, rutted access road that was covered in loose rocks and dirt. It's pretty steep, and I had previously climbed it with my mountain bike.

    I actually didn't know if I'd make it to the top on the Ridley due to the gearing, but I actually made it with a lot less effort than I would have thought. It climbed pretty well...the Grifo's had great traction, and with a little weight transfer here and there I didn't spin out at all and made it to the top with little drama.

    When I got to the top I was feeling good and really liking the bike...till it was time to ride down. Goddamn front brakes are basically unusable. The slightest application would cause chatter, and any more pressure would cause violent chatter that made me feel like I would lose control of the bike. Had to come down with basically all rear brake. Only reason I didn't just bomb down the hill was that I passed a group of adults & kids walking down as I was climbing up, I didn't want to plow into anyone.

    I was thinking maybe because the hill was so loose that was my problem. I hit another trail at another park that was hardpacked dirt, and the same thing, if not a little worse. It does it so bad the fork actually makes a knocking noise, almost like a baseball card in the spokes, just slower. I have to believe that this has to be pretty hard on the headset.

    Also does it bad on pavement of course, but I was hoping it would at least be gone on the trail.

    There must be something wrong with the adjustment....I can't believe the "We are cycling, we are Belgium" company would put out such a lowsy performing bike.

    When I take it back for the free tuneup I'm going to try and get them to do something about it. If they can't fix it, it's v-brake time.

    Really wishing I'd have gone for a disk bike...yeah they still don't stop great, but at least my front end wouldn't be bouncing all over the place.

    I hope I can get this brake issue resolved, I can see how taking this on a trail would be REALLY fun.

  2. #2
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    I know Cantis aren't great especially coming down hill off road, but man there is something seriously wrong with your set up. Like I said before, mine still get the job done despite leaving something to be desired and make ZERO noise, on a lower end Cannondale Caadx tiagra. There has to be something your LBS or Ridley can do to make this right.

    Unfortunately I wouldn't suggest legitimate single track until you do get it sorted out, but when you do, definitely try it out. So much fun and presents a lot of new challenges.

    Good luck man, let us know if and when you get this sorted out!

  3. #3
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    Pictures or it didnít happen!!! No, really, I used to own a Ridley (one of the Belgian-made Damocles models from 2008 or 2009, cannot remember which year), so I have an appreciation for their bikes despite the fact that I am 100% mountainbike and 0% roadbike owner at the moment.
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  4. #4
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    Get a mini V up front. It will solve your fork chatter and you will actually be able to stop.

  5. #5
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    Great to hear you like it besides the brakes. Luckily there are solutions for that! In my limited understanding of the issue, you need the brake cable hangar closer to the straddle above the cantis.

    Searching for the pic i saw of a Pro bike to fix it.

    Basically your bike is set up like this: (I am assuming)

    This setup creates the most brake cable between the jam and the straddle.

    I could not find the pic of the custom one, but here are general ideas that can be homemade or custom bought:




    I hope any of this made sense
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  6. #6
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    Yep Mini V TRP CX8.4 or 9 time it sounds like.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    I have to believe that this has to be pretty hard on the headset.
    This comment made me wonder if your headset is properly compressed. Excess chatter might be caused by a loose setup, i.e. the steerer cap bolt wasn't snugged down and/or the stem is floating over the steerer spacers/headset cap. Any excess play would definitely be hard on your headset, so it's worth a quick look.

    Thanks for the update!
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  8. #8
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    KTrain, yeah, my setup looks like that. I've looked into the hangers, and maybe that custom one is what I'd need, as I don't have a hole in the fork to mount one, and I'm not crazy about drilling into the carbon to mount one. BTW, I tried the zip tie trick, and that did nothing at all to lessen it.

    I think it's time for mini V's. They're only like 12 bucks so it's worth a shot.

    I emailed Ridley about it, and I heard back from them the next day asking for more info and some pics. Of course as everything electronic that I own seems to be f'd up in some way or another, for some reason I am unable to attach the pics to the email nor upload them to my flickr account.

    Joe, I saw your comment and checked the cap bolt, and I was able to turn it easily for maybe 1/8 of a turn before it snugged. I didn't go any tighter, I know you're not supposed to just crank those down crazy tight. I don't know if it did anything or not, but I'll take it for a spin tomorrow to check.

    And it's about time for it's free tune-up, so when I take it in I'll have the shop look at the brakes, or hopefully install my mini v's for me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Joe, I saw your comment and checked the cap bolt ...


    Just one question: Did you loosen the stem before tightening? If not, you've only compressed the steerer cap against the top of the stem. When you loosen the stem bolts, too, you'll be using the cap to push the stem and spacers down on the headset. That make sense?

    As you mentioned, you don't need to apply gorilla torque on that bolt. It just eliminates excess play in the headset; a tightened stem is what really keeps it in place. If the bolt was a little loose, though, it's possible you have some excess play below the stem. I mean, how did the person assembling your bike position the stem properly with a loose cap bolt?
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeinchi View Post


    Just one question: Did you loosen the stem before tightening? If not, you've only compressed the steerer cap against the top of the stem. When you loosen the stem bolts, too, you'll be using the cap to push the stem and spacers down on the headset. That make sense?

    As you mentioned, you don't need to apply gorilla torque on that bolt. It just eliminates excess play in the headset; a tightened stem is what really keeps it in place. If the bolt was a little loose, though, it's possible you have some excess play below the stem. I mean, how did the person assembling your bike position the stem properly with a loose cap bolt?
    :facepalm: LOL, no, I didn't touch the stem. Just tightened the top bolt a bit. It's funny, I've pulled the transmission out of my Jeep with no problems, but adjusting a headset is la mystery to me, haha.

    So today I loosened the stem, and snugged down the top bolt. Not Bubba-tight, just snug. I took it for a quick spin, and it seemed the same. Tightened it down a bit more, and still no change. I don't want to tighten it again, I don't want to go too tight and ruin the bearings. Like I said, I'll see what the shop says when I go in for a tuneup.

    The Tektro mini-V's are right around 12 bucks a set, so I think I'll pick one up for the front just in case. The rear brakes actually work fine, so I'll leave those as they are.

    I just can't hit the trail till I work this out, as I don't like the idea of rear brakes-only on the trail.


    Thanks a lot for the info, btw!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Thanks a lot for the info, btw!
    You're welcome.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  12. #12
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    Ever get it fixed Mike?
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  13. #13
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    Sort of. I haven't gotten around to taking it to the shop yet (as Ridley suggested, they said that when they see this issue normally setup is to blame), but I DID reduce it a bit by adding pressure to the front tire. I didn't realize it was so low, it was only around 35psi. I went up to 60psi and it seems like I can get on thefront brake more before it starts to shudder.

    I plan on taking it to the shop this week, my drivetrain is starting to get a bit noisy so I think it's time for that tune.

    I'm still loving the bike though, I've been taking it out around 3 times a week, weather permitting. In fact all day I was looking forward to getting out on it after work, then it started pouring when I was a few min from home. D'oh!

    Still no trails yet though. I'm actually thinking of putting some 23mm slicks on it for the summer, as I'm already seeing noticeable wear on the cross tires. Plus I have this urge to go FASTER!! I fear I'm turning into a roadie. Only about half a dozen rides on my mtb this year so far, but I've lost count the number of road rides. Then again, the trails are a 45 min drive away, while great road riding starts in front of my house.
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  14. #14
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    Canti set-up will be a constant frustration - I've been there. Just when you think it's dialed some other condition - rain, mud, pad wear - will make it squeal and chatter again. If you race you will want to drop the pressure in your tires, so that's no solution. Get the mini-Vs now! I had the Tektro's mini in front and Oryx on back with my Fort and it was fantastic. They even match. Confidence in braking is important. Not having to worry about "what now" will be a relief.
    DSC03829
    And get the noodle with the adjuster on it. Jagwire makes one. Use it to take up slack that you can then let out when the wheel comes out, you'll need that play to unhook the noodle from the bail.
    Last edited by mudrock; 06-11-2013 at 09:19 PM.

  15. #15
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    Picked up my Ridley X-BOW a couple of months ago. Absolutely adore the bike, but mine chatters as well. You ever get it figured out? Still not used to the brakes coming from a fat bike w/disc brakes but getting there. I wouldn't have the stopping power going down a hill with these brakes either so I'm not about to try.

    Next time I'm up in Lincoln, I'll have it looked at. Any suggestions for brakes as well? Not sure if I just need mine adjusted or the ones you are talking about.

    Did my first ever 30 mile trip on my Ridley a couple of weeks ago. My arms gave out at mile 27 or I could have gone farther. LOVE this bike. Shifts like a dream even with Tiagra shifters and I love the handling.

    Only thing I would like are gravel tires instead of the stock ones I have. Great for road, but not so great for gravel.

  16. #16
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    I dropped the bike off at the shop I bought it from the other day, and picked it up today.

    They couldn't do anything with the brakes as the chatter is "an inherent characteristic of that design". I was advised that mini V's are the only cure.

    I have the mini v's to go on, but I was really hoping to get the canti's sorted, just because I like the look of them.

    I'm going to try a local shop, there's an older guy who works there, I'm betting he has plenty of experience with canti's from back in the day. If that doesn't work I'll throw on the V's.

    And the shop I bought it from said they'd install them for $20, plus $10 for new cable and housing. For 20 bucks, I might just have them do it rather then spending a whole afternoon messing with it.
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