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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:40 pm 
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Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
When I demo'd a specialized bike the other day, the first thing I noticed was how good the Ultegra shifter/brake combo was with the Roval wheels. Scrubbing off speed immediately from 40+ mph down to 15 or so for a hairpin was amazing. What I'm trying to figure out is if this is due mostly to the new Roval brake tracks or the Ultegra combo?

I currently have the 2010 SRAM red shifters (2013 are coming this week) with THM Fibulas and 2012 Reynolds Thirty Two wheels. Braking with the Fibulas is at least as good as when I was using the SRAM Red Calipers, but these are a joke compared to how good the Roval/Ultegra combo is.

Being WW, I'd prefer not giving up 500+ grams to get stellar brake performance, so I'd like to see if there's an alternative to get comparable performance.

So, a few of my questions are:
Are the 2010 SRAM brake levers flexier than the Ultegra?
Are the 2013 SRAM brake levers stiffer than the 2010s?
Are the Roval wheels' brake tracks better than the Reynold's Ctg?
Would Ultegra brakes give me the same performance with SRAM shifters as they do with Ultegra levers? (I'm guessing not)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:50 pm 
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Location: Bristol
The actual brake levers don't make a difference when it comes to braking, it's the callipers that are responsible for applying force.
The problem is the THM Fibulas. Nowhere near the power of 6800 callipers.
Reynolds braking surface is far better than Roval's although pad difference plays a part (are you using cryo blue?).
Ultegra 6800 callipers are much stringer than the Fibulas, but the SRAM levers use a different pull ratio so braking would still be (slightly) compromised.
Best option is to use Red brakes to match the SRAM shifters.


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Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:50 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:56 pm 
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6800 calipers are going to knock the socks off of any other caliper you put them against....they do weigh 330g after all. I have always thought Reynolds braking was excellent.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:08 pm 
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@Grill, yes i'm using the Reynolds Blue pads. Swissstop yellow were terrible.

According to the Fairwheel Brake Review, the Fibulas were ahead of the Reds and very close to Dura Ace:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=125349

The amount of force to reach wheel lock up (estimated at 90 lbs of compression) was:

Shimano 7900: 65.3
Thm Fibula: 66.5
Shimano 9000: 68
Sram Red: 69
EE: 72
Campag Super Record Dual: 73
Far and Near: 75.5
Kcnc CB3: 84
Kcnc C7: 86
Kcnc CB4: 88
Kcnc C6: 101.5
Campag Super Record Single: 102

And, compression at the calipers (higher the better) for a given amount of force on the cable, put the Fibulas on par of the Dura Ace offerings:

The results in alphabetical order:
Compression at 30/60/90
Campag Super Record Dual: 29/72/125
Campag Super Record Single: 22/57/102
EE: 30/70/115
Far and Near: 35.5/72/106.5
Kcnc C6: 24.5/55/81.5
Kcnc C7: 28/62/94
Kcnc CB3: 27.5/63.5/96.5
Kcnc CB4: 26/59.5/91.5
Shimano 7900: 39.33/82/126
Shimano 9000: 38/81/122
Sram Red Aero link: 41.5/84/124
Thm Fibula: 39.5/80.5/122.5

That's my reasoning for not ditching the Fibulas at the moment and thinking it's not as simple as a caliper issue, unless I'm reading the Fairwheel review wrong.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:17 pm 
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I have a buddy who has them and he thinks they're worse than both Zero G and Campy brakes. Try a different caliper and see if it makes a difference.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:24 pm 
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@Grill: I've had Planet X, Ciamillo Gravitas SL and SRAM Red. The THM's are significantly better than the first two and on par with the Sram Red Aerolinks.

I supposed I could pick up a pair of Dura Ace to try, since I have not had those yet.

I should probably add that I have iLinks on my setup. Maybe that could be a factor too.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:15 pm 
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Location: Bristol
I'd hope they're better than the PX given the price!

FWIW, the braking performance on 6800, 7900 and EE's is close enough that I don't notice it on my bikes (I use mostly Reynolds carbon wheels) and I don't have any issue in regards to the braking power (if anything I feel as though I have too much). There is a big difference when compared to my 6700 brakes though.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:24 pm 
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Without knowing the specific roval wheels, we are just guessing. If the rovals had new clean aluminum brake tracks vs the carbon on your reynolds, its going to be a huge difference in performance.

Old red vs new red levers don't pull any different, but I think the newer levers have a better overall feel to them due to better ergonomics.

That all being said, Shimano does great brakes. I'd rate them as the benchmark as far as stopping power and modulation.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:30 pm 
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Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
Sorry, should have specified. It's the new CLX 40's. Full carbon wheels.

The big difference that I noticed was how much later I could brake into a fast turn with what I perceived as very little effort.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:13 pm 
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Grill wrote:
The actual brake levers don't make a difference when it comes to braking, it's the callipers that are responsible for applying force.
Except I believe the new/latest generation shimano brakes 5800/6800/9000 use another new cable pull ratio. Which is annoying, as I've only just got the shine worn off my 5700 brakes. Which also had a new cable pull ratio........ :cry:

So there is another potential reason why the latest ultegras are so good.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:39 am 
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Grill wrote:
I'd hope they're better than the PX given the price!

FWIW, the braking performance on 6800, 7900 and EE's is close enough that I don't notice it on my bikes (I use mostly Reynolds carbon wheels) and I don't have any issue in regards to the braking power (if anything I feel as though I have too much). There is a big difference when compared to my 6700 brakes though.



I have to ask, have you actually ridden CLX's to know if they are better or worse than the wheels you own (Reynolds)? If I'm reading correctly, you mentioned it was likely the OP's Fibula's that were the problem without actual first hand experience?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:20 pm 
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Location: Bristol
mattr wrote:
Grill wrote:
The actual brake levers don't make a difference when it comes to braking, it's the callipers that are responsible for applying force.
Except I believe the new/latest generation shimano brakes 5800/6800/9000 use another new cable pull ratio. Which is annoying, as I've only just got the shine worn off my 5700 brakes. Which also had a new cable pull ratio........ :cry:

So there is another potential reason why the latest ultegras are so good.



AFAIK only the mechs use a different pull ratio. Brakes should be the same


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:24 pm 
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Location: Bristol
SLCBrandon wrote:
Grill wrote:
I'd hope they're better than the PX given the price!

FWIW, the braking performance on 6800, 7900 and EE's is close enough that I don't notice it on my bikes (I use mostly Reynolds carbon wheels) and I don't have any issue in regards to the braking power (if anything I feel as though I have too much). There is a big difference when compared to my 6700 brakes though.



I have to ask, have you actually ridden CLX's to know if they are better or worse than the wheels you own (Reynolds)? If I'm reading correctly, you mentioned it was likely the OP's Fibula's that were the problem without actual first hand experience?


One of my buddies manages a Spec concept store and another is a head mechanic at another one. They have both ridden the CLX and tell me it's nothing special and certainly no better than Reynolds. In fact they've both said to stay away from Roval wheels.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:23 am 
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I guess owning 2 sets of them and having 4k+ miles on them, in addition to 3 sets of ENVE's and previously owning Reynolds doesn't hold much water to anecdotal evidence.

Ah, the Internet.....


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Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:23 am 


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:28 am 
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The internet, where people confuse anecdote, hearsay and rumour.


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