#CrossIsComing Jul 24, 2013

Firefly

… and someone’s got a new Firefly. That thing better be getting muddy ASAP!

  • SpokeRensho

    Please explain: why does every custom steel bike ever have ENVE carbon clinchers? isn’t it more reliable to ride aluminum clinchers? especially when your not racing and have no use for the aerodynamic or weight-saving properties wheels like that might have.

    • Miles Alexander Greathouse

      The deeper section carbon wheels act like rudders in the mud. Also they look awesome.

      • Joe Maki

        The aero profile also sheds mud better.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      personally, I think carbon clinchers are dumb. I’d rather have tubular wheels for cross. That said, I wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth if a set were to find themselves on my Geekhouse…

    • Kerry Nordstrom

      The carbon vs. aluminum debate will become irrelevant in the near future with many cross bikes going to disc. For one, the former braking surface is now able to be profiled into broader, more durable shapes. Secondly, with regards to clincher/tubular, most newer carbon rims are now able to be made tubeless. CX is notoriously behind the ball when it comes to modernizing, but I can assure you that within a few years, these boutique tire companies will be busting their asses to make competent tubeless tires. Tubulars will continue, at least for a few years, for heavily sponsored race teams. For the masses, tubeless is the answer.

      • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

        I still don’t understand why a braking system that was developed specifically for MTB is “logical” for people to run on road / cross. The way you brake on a MTB with hydro disc brakes is in no way the same as how you brake / modulate on a road or cross…

        • Maxwell Merkle

          yes. a thousand times yes.

        • Kerry Nordstrom

          I’m generally with you on the application of disc brakes on road bikes due to the lack of tire patch with the road surface. Simply put, the minimal grip can become dangerous with the quick stopping power of disc brakes. With regards to cross, the modulation achieved from properly maintained disc brakes is exponentially better than cantis. Anyone who argues this just doesn’t understand physics. Sure disc pads can build up with grit just the same as rim brake pads, but with the focused application of braking forces on a clean rotor, the power is undeniable. With the increased traction from 32-35c tires, you will have a more predictable turn, hands down. Retrogrouches denied the benefits of disc brakes for mountain bikes for years, but now they are standard.

          • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

            You’re confused. Braking power isn’t the issue. Why would you need to stop on a cross bike during a race? All you need is to slow down.

            The issue is, discs were developed for finger-pulled brakes, the modulation is completely differently than a shifter lever. Just like cantis with a finger-pulled brakes, disc brakes with shifter levers aren’t the right match…

            I need to barely tap my XTR brakes on my MTB to skid to a stop. They’ve been developed to work together. On a cross bike, you’ve got two hand positions: on the hoods and in the drops. In the drops you get the most stopping power. Now imagine having the power of XTR hydro in the drops. Why would you ever need that?

            You will never need that much stopping power. Ever. On a cross bike.

            There’s a reason Euro racers *you know, the ones who win everything* refuse to race disc brakes… Their sponsors aren’t pressuring them.

          • Kerry Nordstrom

            I’m not saying that every bike, nay every rider, needs disc brakes. They are certainly a brake that requires a bit of finesse and understanding of their power to operate. You can slam on your cantilevers and receive a slowing response, rather than an insta stop projecting you over the bars.

            That said, brakes/braking power and condition-appropriate tire tread are the two most important factors in the cornering equation. With easily modulated brakes (read: disc, not canti), you can predict how your tires will react in a turn. If we can get away from the idea that you have to have access to instant stopping power, the idea that most roadies and some crossies have, then we will get to a point that everyone will feather their brakes and not worry whether or not they will be able to stop themselves on a dime.

            With disc brakes, as you’ve found out with your XTR calipers, the ability to use one or two fingers is enough to slow down prior to a change in terrain. Slowing down slightly and adjusting your position, no matter the bike you’re on, is all that is required to continue on the path to your next destination. Braking in the drops is a ridiculous concept. Track racers don’t brake in the drops. You are in the drops because you are sprinting. You are in a hard effort. You need access to your brakes when you are on the hoods, descending a gnarly hill, when you really require that extra stopping power. I personally only have a couple fingers barely on the brake lever when I’m on the hoods. The effortless modulation of disc brakes will bring you that comfort in the years to come.

            My last point is the reality that thru axles will change the game in cross and in road cycling. You thought frame stiffness was the final wave of innovation? No, wheel stiffness right at the hub body will revolutionize bicycle development. Front thru axles, rear thru axles. It’s all going to revolve around the advent of disc brakes in road and cross bikes. Your brakes will always be aligned. Brake pad wear will be even. The chassis will be stiff. The ride will be great.

          • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

            K ;-)

    • AdamEldridge

      because we get a kick ass deal on them.

  • Sam Keopraseuth

    Tires?

    • hans

      challenge grifo looks like

  • btdubs

    For ‘Cross, carbon clinchers are valued for their stiffness… and the intimidation factor, mainly. There is no actual need to run carbon wheels in ‘cross.