Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cross bike update - Brake breakdown

The time has come to talk about brakes. It's an age old argument. Disc brakes are out of the question because I don't have disc compatible wheels, and they're not allowed in UCI races, in the unlikely event I want to suffer through a CX race. (read: not likely at all)
In any case, there are two kinds of brakes that can be mounted on the posts that are on the frame and fork we're working with here. Standard road bikes brakes mount from the center, and they're called caliper brakes. They look like this:

The Schwinn frame has post mounts, which look like this:

These mounts will take either V brakes or cantilever brakes. V brakes are popular among mountain and BMX bikes, and look like this. They have greater stopping power, but require more cable pull than a caliper brake. Canti brakes look like this. The advantage of a V brake or a cantilever brake over a caliper are that you can run larger tires, which is good for commuting, and they clear mud out more easily, Caliper brakes can get real clogged up with road grime and stuff.
So, much like a lady in the throngs of love, the time spent on the decision of brakes is akin to time spent focusing on the intimate needs of a sweet, sweet lover. Moving on, I'm going to be running cantilever brakes partly because they are classically used on a 'cross bike, but also I think they look cool. I don't expect to be doing a ton of panic braking (if I planned it I guess it wouldn't be a panic situation)

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