New CAT brakes

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
gholl
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 12:35 am

by gholl

J-Nice's comments are well taken-where no objective testing is available, time, that is duration of esteem (or lack thereof) of a product may be all we have to go on.
In any event, I've decided to become part of the process myself by ordering a set of these brakes. Unfortuntely, they'll become part of a bike rebuild that won't be completed for several months.
I'll let forum members know how they compare to Campy Record 10 brakes-going down the Matterhorn (just kidding).

by Weenie


bobalou
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 6:05 am

by bobalou

LOOK wrote:My point is don't take one person's bad experience with something as the gospel as you could be missing out on a great addition to you bike.


Good point. This is a very interesting topic because it illustrates the differences and bias that we all tend to have. I'd add to that: don't take a person's good experience as gospel either!

Given what LOOK says here I'm assuming I could replicate his experience, that is, if I were 155 lbs, rode a KG281 and had Ksyrium (SL?) and/or AC carbon wheels and were the same type of rider.

The trouble is we all have different equipment, weigh different amounts, have a different riding style and ride in different areas with different humidities, temperatures, hills, road conditions, etc., et. al.

I don't have CAT brakes but have the single-sidepull Cane Creeks and can say definitively that they don't stop anywhere near as well as the campy records (circa 03) I have (with Rolfprima Elan wheels). Then again, the pads only have about 250 miles on them. I'm going to switch out and try DA pads and/or Kool Stops (as soon as the freekin crap weather clears). Maybe it'll be a bit different, maybe not. I'm a 80kg aggressive rider that prefers hills .. but maybe what I consider "aggressive" is not the same as you. OR, maybe what I consider hills you may not!

To me, this is a great topic for discussion but the bottom line is I'm hoping that someone like Velonews, Pezcycling or Cyclingnews does a real world test. Apples need to be compared with apples.

LOOK
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 7:53 pm

by LOOK

My comments about the CAT brakes outperforming Dura Ace and 2004 Campy brakes are pretty well founded as all three sets of brakes have been on the same bike and mated to the same wheels for litterally thousands of miles. So for me it was an apples to apples comparision. It may very well be that heavier riders have problems with these brakes but for me they stop better then anything else I've tried.

Like you bobalou, I prefer the mountains over any other terrian. The Blue Ridge mountains are right at an hour away and I spend the majority of my time there. Races I do are primarilly hilly or mountain based races. I wouldn't be far off by saying the CAT brakes have 5 thousand miles on them with the majority of said miles being in the mountains. Granted these aren't Colorado mountains, the Alps, or the Pyrenese, but I wouldn't think twice about taking these brakes on any of those moutain rides.

I guess my point is that if you are looking for the best stopping power then may be these aren't the brakes for you because of the mixed results. If you are looking for a well made light set of brakes to compliment a weight weenie bike then you can do far worse then these brakes.

bobalou
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 6:05 am

by bobalou

LOOK wrote:My comments about the CAT brakes outperforming Dura Ace and 2004 Campy brakes are pretty well founded as all three sets of brakes have been on the same bike and mated to the same wheels for litterally thousands of miles. So for me it was an apples to apples comparision. It may very well be that heavier riders have problems with these brakes but for me they stop better then anything else I've tried.



Just to clarify what I mean by "apples to apples" comparison. I'd like to see it where ALL the brakes are compared against a representative sample of wheels with a representative sample of riders under different conditions - this would probably have to be done by a magazine similar publication. Different rims, different pads, different riders (weights), wet, dry, humid conditions, hills, mountains, flats. Including stopping distances, coefficients of friction, mass, speed, etc. .. and importantly, all in one comprehensive comparative test.

Not to take anything away from the WW forum.. I like the different subjective opinions. This is a very valuable source of info.

Anyway, LOOK, I'm sure the brakes work well for you and I have no doubt you've done a valid comparison for yourself. BTW, some of the best rides in the country are in the Blue Ridge dude! The only downside: dogs & rednecks! I've never had more dogs chase me there, it was like the dog olympics.

LOOK
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 7:53 pm

by LOOK

You're right about the rednecks and dogs! I rode in the snow and ice up there yesterday and got chased by 3 dogs on Richard Russell. I look at it as good sprint work...Haha. Unfortunately the road to Hogpen was closed... :(

bobalou
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 6:05 am

by bobalou

LOOK wrote:You're right about the rednecks and dogs! I rode in the snow and ice up there yesterday and got chased by 3 dogs on Richard Russell. I look at it as good sprint work...Haha. Unfortunately the road to Hogpen was closed... :(


I'm in VA .. but I've heard of that climb before (hogpen). That's like a TDF climb. I'd like to do the next 6-gap century if I can. You know anything about it? Is there an official website?

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nzkiwiguy
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:18 pm
Location: Colorado

by nzkiwiguy

http://radar.ngcsu.edu/~aroush/sixgapcentury.html


be aware there a lots of riders(1000+). best to get a group together and do it on yourself. the course is well marked. Do it in reverse as well. I think it's harder that way. Hogpen is shorter in reverse but just as steep.

I trained there last summer and loved it.

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Delpi
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:32 pm
Location: Italia

by Delpi

This summer Iwill try to finish this race:
http://www.oetztaler-radmarathon.com
I have a question. Can I use these brakes on this race?
Ciao Zauri

LOOK
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 7:53 pm

by LOOK

6 gap is a fun ride! If you do the ride and are interested in riding for time then you need to be in the first 50-100 at the start. Since there are about 1,000 riders, including quite a few pros that come out, if you aren't out front you miss the train you'll need to get to the first and second gaps (Neels and Jacks). The pros drop the hammer at the beginning to weed out the wanna be's so being up front is important since you'll be going fast enough to draft up the hills (short and tough) that lead up to Neels. Once at Neels the pace stays high for about the first 2-3 miles of the climb and then settles down and is very rythmic (6 mile climb at about a 13-14 mph average, 6-7% average gradient). The pack will be weeded down to about 100-150 riders by then and the decents are tolerable in that size of pack considering the caliber of riders you will be with. The first finisher of 2003 finished with a time of 4:58. I finihsed in the top 50 with a time of 5:16.

Yep, I rode the LOOK which has the CAT brakes on it. Max speed on Hogpen 64.13mph.

jim
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 5:04 am

by jim

hmmm when i last looked, there wasn't any prize money on offer, so i rode six gap as a century ride, not a race, and thoroughly enjoyed it. i am one of the wannabes as you call it, who got dumped half way up the neels gap climb, after sitting in the front 20 to that point.

formed a little bunch, stopped at all of the sags, took photos, and finished in 6:10. max speed down hogpen for me, no pedalling, freewheeling only, 56.4 m/hr.

i rode dia-compe brakes with ti bolts, and never had any problems. i am about 155lbs. shortly, i will be taking possession of the latest variant of the cat brakes, so they should be interesting. ted at zero gravity has been a pleasure to deal with. his customer service is first class.

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J-Nice
Posts: 1474
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 12:35 am

by J-Nice

Speaking of experiences with components, yes they may be biased depending on terrain, bike, etc. but I think one could do worse when considering how LOOK quantified his assessment of the CAT brakes. I'd take his word for how the CAT brakes rode and would consider them on my next frame. I would still like to see how the sponsored pro teams do on them. But right now I think I'm sold. Good review, LOOK!

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nzkiwiguy
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:18 pm
Location: Colorado

by nzkiwiguy

Hopefully some of the sponsored teams will be in the tour of Georgia on their G.V brakes, and we will see them in action on Hogpen, Neel's etc.

I can't wait :wink:

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Superlite
Posts: 2492
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:01 pm

by Superlite

I just wanted to share this email I received from Ted Ciamillo, creater of CAT/ Zero Gravity Brakes, a few days ago.


----- Original Message -----
From: Ted Ciamillo
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2004 9:00 PM
To: jimrcs@msn.com
Subject: Zero Gravity

Superlite,

I am the designer and manufacturer of Zero Gravity road brakes, previously distributed by CAT-USA. I have read your comments on weight weenies and believe that there must either have been a problem with the brake set-up or you may have a faulty pair. In either case I will be sending you a new pair of Zero Gravity this week. Power has never been an issue for us; the cam lobe system allows for power modulation through cam lobe placement; the closer the lobe to the fulcrum, the greater the leverage. On initial prototyping and testing, I managed to crush a rim. I in fact moved the lobe further from the fulcrum to reduce power. Please check that the cable adjuster on your current set was not lowered too low; this could interfere with the cam lever and result abbreviated movement.

The other problems; spring, set-up, cable damage and cheap pads, are valid.

The pad holders are now made in house and supplied with KoolStop's carbon compound blocks. Please visit the website for a complete description of the improvements.

I am sorry about your experience with CAT-USA. Rudeness is never on the menu, especially when you are dealing in high-end.
Expect an entirely different level of customer support from me.

The main reason why I am giving you special attention is due to your treatment by Chris. You had valid concerns that he should have considered valuable feedback, instead he damged your faith in the product and the company. Again, I apologize.

I have posted a message on WW concerning power; please read. After you receive your new brakes, let me know if you desire more power. I can customize a cam-lever to produce several times the current setting, however, this would come at the price of reduce travel of the arms... the cam-lever is easy to swap out, you could keep the stock one for the flats, and the custom one for the CO. cliffs.


Also, provide me with an address to send this new pair of ZG.


Thanks,

Ted Ciamillo
Ciamillo Components, Inc. http://www.zerogravitybike.com/
Ciamillo Prototyping, Inc. http://www.ciamillo.com/
(706).757.2414



Now I don't know about you guys, but that is a level of unprecidented service. I commend Ted for beleiving in his product so much. That is truely a man who wants nothing but the best for his customers. This is a rare thing to find theses days. Ted deserves nothing but the best.

I 'm looking foward to receiving the brakes this Wednsday. I think his Zero Gravity brakes are now a refined work of art and should prove to be the ultimate in light-weight and function. I'll let you all know how they perform. If there as good as his customer service, they should become a mandatory item on every weight weenies bike. 8) Lets give it up for Ted!

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nzkiwiguy
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:18 pm
Location: Colorado

by nzkiwiguy

very cool. Got my vote for president. Oh Hang on - I'm not allowed to vote :lol:

by Weenie


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ras11
Posts: 859
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2003 9:11 pm
Location: SC, USA

by ras11

Thanks for posting that SL. Some how I can't believe all your bitchin' actually paid off.. :roll: Please let us know how the new breaks are.
:-) Toys-R-Us

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