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  1. #1
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    Ridley X-BOW Brakes Stopping Issues

    Had my Ridley X-BOW for a couple of months and the brakes suck.

    Any adjustments that would help? Coming from a fat bike w/disc brakes that stops on a dime might be part of the problem since I'm used to that stopping power. It's just scary going down hills and not slowing down fast enough or almost riding on the brakes.

    Also the brakes seem to chatter if that make sense. I keep thinking something is caught in the tires, but nothing is there. I have a quarter century ride on the 22nd (just crushed limestone) so the brakes will be just fine for that and then I'll take it in. I just might need some simple adjustments.

    Absolutely adore the bike and no regrets on the purchase. Not about to take it on a trail because of the brakes and l'm not that skilled of a rider with a bike this responsive. Fat bike is far more stable on a trail even if it's a weight hog.

    When I checked the specs of the bike on Ridley's site, it lists the bike as compatible with disc-(IS) brakes. What does that mean and is that option worth it?

    Thanks for all the help.

  2. #2
    TXTony
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    I have found on my cross rigs that the canits have to be set up just right to get the optimal performance out of them..and riding a disc equipped bike then one with cantis is gonna take some getting used to for sure...I have to tinker with the adjustments on my cantis every now and then to keep them at their best...getting better brake pads can help or going to some mini v brakes are also another option...I assume your frame is disc compatible from your description.

    Is it worth it to upgrade...I guess it depends on what you want or like..so far I have found the cantis on mine to be fine once adjusted right...just took me some time to get used to using cantis again once I got into cross bikes...some people swear by discs on cross bikes while others still use cantis. If i decide to use another system I will go with some min v brakes and call it a day. So far from gravel to xc trails I have found the cantis to work for me..but it took a few adjustments and tinkering to get them just right.

  3. #3
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    Duh. Figured out the noise problems on the front tire. There are "sprues"..after doing a Google search, on the sides that are rubbing against the top of the brakes. I'll clip them off. Not sure why tires have little bits of rubber sticking out, but at least I'm not that crazy.

    Disc brakes are finicky as well since you have to have the rotor centered perfectly or it rubs against the pads.

    One problem solved. Now to get the brakes set up for performance.

  4. #4
    AZ
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    Kool Stop salmon pads and proper setup should be all that you need for great stopping power.

  5. #5
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    My Ridley brakes suck as well.

    Actually they stop okay now that I'm used to them, and running 65psi in the tires has cut down on the fork chatter, but I consider it unrideable on trails because of the brakes.

    At lower tire pressure when on the trail, the slightest application of the brakes makes the fork chatter like mad.

    Ridley says to take it back to the shop I bought it from, as it's most likely a setup problem. I haven't gotten around to doing that yet, the shop is 45 min away and I haven't been able to find the time yet.

    From what I can tell though, the real solution is to switch over to mini V's.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride

  6. #6
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    I recently went over a X-Bow that a friend purchased and in that case, the brakes were decent because the original owner had swapped from cantis to TRP mini-Vs. If you're running cantis, some shudder is expected because of the long headtube that those frames utilize and because you more than likely have a steerer-mounted hanger.

    Like this:
    Ridley X-BOW Brakes Stopping Issues-tektro-alloy-brake-cable-hanger.jpg

    A fork-mounted hanger has always eliminated shudder for me, although certain pad/rim combos can complicate the issue. So what you're looking for is this:
    Name:  dR4YY.jpg
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    Regardless, I'd recommend checking out the ever-helpful Sheldon Brown:
    About Bicycle Brakes with Brazed-on Fittings

    In my experience: situating your cable straddle ~1 inch above the largest tire you run, running the pads with 1-1.5mm clearance from the rim, and toeing in the front edges of the pads = proper power and all-around good times.


    With regards to your disc question, Redline has pulled funky stuff along the same lines. In some cases this means your frame with have a rear 51mm IS disc mount, but the fork might only have cantilever studs. If your fork is disc-ready, then it likely has the same 51mm IS mount pattern as the frame, which means you just have to bolt a caliper+adapter to either and you'll be ready to rock with discs. However, pics of your exact model are helpful in proper identification.


  7. #7
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    When I checked Ridley's site, there may be two versions of the X-BOW on that's compatible w/disc and then mine. Here's pics of the set up from the shop:

    Ridley X-BOW Brakes Stopping Issues-img_2895.jpgRidley X-BOW Brakes Stopping Issues-img_2896.jpgRidley X-BOW Brakes Stopping Issues-img_2897.jpg

  8. #8
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    Yes it looks like you have the version that is canti-post only. That's not a bad thing though, generally the aluminum frames that have both mounts also have the rear mount on top of the seatstay, without a bridge between the seatstay and chainstay. No reason to expound on that further, I'll leave it at "they aren't that durable."

    As far as the straddle cable you have, replacements can be procured from Tektro, Shimano, Cane Creek, and many other companies. All you have to do is get one with a *shallower* angle, which will bring the top of the "triangle" down and closer to your tire.

    For a lasting solution I'd still recommend getting a fork crown cable hanger, since you have the drilled crown necessary for it.

    As for the 4ZA brakes though, they suffer from the same open-arm design that causes the Tektro Oryx and older Cane Creek cantis to suffer from shuddering. Basically, in braking you're pulling a bent arm toward the rim, and contact from the pads sends force into the arms at the weakest point: the bend. I used cantis like these and experienced shudder, then swapped to the newer Avid Shorty that used a triangular arm shape, and the shudder was immediately gone.

    In lieu of replacing the brakes though, trying toeing in the pads; adjust the pad for optimal contact with the rim, then skew it so the front corner hit the rim before the rear corner, preferably with <1mm space between rear corner and rim (when the front corner is on the rim).

  9. #9
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    That's cool that you have a drilled fork to mount the cable hanger onto. I'd try that on my bike, but I have a carbon fork with no hole. I'm thinking drilling into it probably isn't a good idea.

    Other than that I have the same basic setup as you, with the steerer mounted hanger. My canti arms and cable straddle are different though.

    Blackgriffen, so those Avid's worked for you? Are they the "Ultimate" shorty? I've seen these around, and I saw a youtube review that claimed they eliminated shudder. I'm curious about them, but for the price I'm not sure I want to take the risk. With the mini v's, I can go with the Tektro 926A's for 13 bucks.

    And great info above, thanks.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride

  10. #10
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    Hey StuntmanMike, you're correct, drilling into an undrilled carbon crown is a no-no.

    The Shorty 6 worked for me, but that's not the same as the Ultimate.

    Shorty 6:

    Name:  avid_shorty_6_blk_10_m.jpg
Views: 1514
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    Shorty Ultimate:

    Ridley X-BOW Brakes Stopping Issues-avid-shorty-ult-zoom.jpg

    I wouldn't put much stock in that Youtube video concerning the Ultimates; it's an unrealistic claim to assert that one cantilever "eliminates" shudder. Any halfway decent mechanic can make a good brake shudder, and vice versa. From what my cross people tell me, the Ultimate isn't worth the investment.

    I use the dirt-cheap Tektro CR720 with KoolStop Salmon Thinline pads, and I only have issues when I fail to properly toe-in the pads:

    Ridley X-BOW Brakes Stopping Issues-tfb10_br7462-2.jpg

    If you're interested in having more outright power, the Mini-Vs you've been looking at are pretty decent, as it seems they have the same stopping power as the more expensive TRP CX9 (which I've had good luck with on a friend's Ridley).

    As always, you're very welcome!


  11. #11
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    Here I tried to give the overview of the methods (collected from the internet), which could help to eliminate/minimize the fork chatter: Fork shudder/chatter problem solution (works for me). Hope it will give a bit of help

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