Ribble/Campagnolo disc bike. A die hard rim braker's first disc brake build!

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
c60rider
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm

by c60rider

Sorry could this be moved to the Introduce yourself/gallery forum please :thumbup:

As the title says, I love my rim brakes and never had a problem with them or with their stopping power (including my Delta's!), apart from being caught out in the rain with my Bora's and forgetting the lack of brakes momentarily! I've been intrigued by disc brakes and I'm always open to new technology, whatever field it's in, but I'm absolutely not an early adopter and prefer to wait and see how things develop. With disc brakes there was just no reason to purchase a bike with them. My last builds were my C60/SR11 dream bike (on this page viewtopic.php?f=131&t=56175&start=4770) and then following that a refurb of my old steel bike viewtopic.php?f=10&t=148462

Over the years I've done what I always have, and what everyone used to do, and that's use older frames/components as hand me downs to make a winter bike and squeeze mudguards onto it. It's got harder to do that with bigger tyres and closer clearances but mudguards like crudracer have meant I've still been able to get 25mm and mudguards on a bike not designed for them. However when my current winter bike decided to stealthily rupture the gear hanger with the rear mech silently being pulled around the cassette and into the spokes viewtopic.php?f=3&t=155657 meant I needed a new winter bike. Now was the opportunity for the first time ever to build a new winter bike and of course it was the obvious opportunity to go with disc brakes seeing as it would be an exclusive wet weather bike. I'd thought about it before the winter last year and considered a Colnago v2r but was less than impressed with the finish of those along with the price tag. Ribble have introduced a new range of models of rim and disc brake frames and they've always been fairly good quality with a decent price so I pulled the trigger on that. The smart thing about these frames is they have discreet mudguard mounts. The plan was SR11 and I decided to go with Bora One (I know on a winter bike! But I may do some racing again and this bike will be ideal).

I've read lots of articles, reviews, on here, and so on about the so-called benefits of disc brakes but I've never had all my questions answered fully. I'm very cynical of any industry and insider in that they have a vested interest in getting consumers to buy new products. Lighter frames, wider rims, bigger tyres, tubeless, disc brakes and so on. So it's really hard to get an honest impression as to what it will be like until you try it for yourself. This build turned into a horrible experience and took nearly 2 months from receipt of the frame before the bike was actually ridden. I'll document the frame specifics and issues I had with that first of all and then go into issues I had building the bike. Finally I'll give my impression of disc brakes. I'll say again. It's my impression of disc brakes coming from a background of alloy and carbon fibre wheels with rim brakes. I absolutely do not want this thread to turn into a dispute between the pros and cons of disc brakes v rim brakes. They're everywhere. The problem I had is I couldn't get my questions answered clearly but I can imagine there are lots of rim brakes riders out there that will have exactly the same questions and hopefully this may help.

Onto the build.

The frameset was from Ribble's Endurance Road Bike range. The top model is the SL R and the SL which is the model I purchased. The sole deciding factor on this was that the SL has a threaded BB whereas the SL R is a press fit BB86. There was also a £500 difference in price that did come into it as well! Anyone who has bought from Ribble will know they're generally a decent company, good prices, delivery is slightly on the slow side and you can certainly expect issues that will involve having to ring them up. Ribble buyers know what I mean! They had the frames in stock with delivery within 3 days. A week went by and nothing. Heading towards 10 days I rang to be greeted with several ums and ahs and after a couple of minutes she came back to tell me she wasn't sure what had happened but I will get it tomorrow! So they lost my order somewhere! Frame came the day after they said! Minus the seatpost. Followed it up again "you'll get it next day", few days later no seatpost, finally the seat post arrived. Typical Ribble shambles! I also purchased the rear stay bridge that clips onto the stays and acts as a bridge to attach the mudguard to.

The issues I had with the frame were many. The quality is ok but it's unfinished and just not ready to be built up into a frame without a bit of work.
Areas I'll pick out are the junction being a bit rough around it and the two scews needed to be persuaded to fit as they didn't line up over the corresponding holes in the frame.

Image junction box

The rear caliper mount, more on that during the build :unbelievable:

Image rear caliper mount

The lack of any of the threads for mudguard mounts having been tapped. There bolts were rammed right in there full so obviously when they came out the threads were pretty much stripped. I have a tap set and that's what came out from the front fork mudguard one. Ribble supplied new bolts.

Image thread tapped

A design feature? :unbelievable: I've read others who've had frames where the front mech cable catches on the front mech but really is this acceptable? I just wonder how much input they have in frame design and how much is just left to the factory where they're manufactured and once that hole that the cable comes out of the frame is set there's no going back.

Image front mech cable rub

Typical of Ribble a good idea failed in that the stay bridge snapped the first time I tightened it up :unbelievable: . I've just not bothered with this and secured that bit of the mudguard a different way

Image stay bridge snapped

This horrid seatpost. I really hate proprietary components and this is no exception. It's a really odd seatpost in that the supports that the saddle rails sit on are position with a piece of rubber in the centre, then the two clamps on the outside are separate and you have a bolt going through from the side to clamp it up tight against the sides of the seatpost. There is nothing that actually goes through the seatpost at all. It just clamps against the side of it. I hope I've explained that well enough to understand. I don't like it and would have preferred to swap it for a deda but no good.

Image seat post

Image

Further inspection of the frame shows small imperfections on it. It's hard to show on this picture but there's a notable ding in the rear stay. If you follow the pink reflection from the bottom of the picture and stay upwards, you then see a white reflection appearing and the pink one goes a bit fatter. There's a dent there! There are others in places and I only notice it because now I saw one I went looking all over for more! :roll:

Image stay dent

The components I built it up with are as follows:

Campagnolo Super Record 11 front and rear mech
Campagnolo H11 ergolever/calipers/discs
Chorus 12-27 cassette
Chorus chain
Bora One 35 disc wheels
Continental Gatorskin tyres 25mm
Power2max type S power meter with 52/36 rings
Time RXS carbon pedals
Deda Superzero stem and carbon bars
Cinelli gel cork ribbon double wrapped below the levers
San Marco Aspide supercomfort saddle
Elite custom race cages
SKS Bluemels mudguards with extended front mudflap
Total weight a hefty 8.6kg. I know the mudguards add about 500g and the discs a bit of extra but I'm disappointed it's not nearer 8kg. Maybe Ribble lied about the weight of the frame and it's a few hundred g heavier :noidea:

By the end of this build I utterly hated the bike. From receipt of the frame it took the best part of 2 months before it was actually ridden. There were all sorts of problems, then waiting for bits to come and so on. Some of it was my fault but then it's my first ever disc build and knowing what I know now I would be better prepared.... in fact my preparation would be that I'd have bought a rim brake bike :roll: :lol: ... but more on that later!!!

The first thing I really don't like is through axles. I know why they say they're necessary but they're a pita when it comes to maintenance. I'm constantly taking wheels in/out and cleaning and through axles are not my friend for this. The two big issues I had was cabling the bike and the disc brakes. With the rear gear cable running through the entire length of the stay I didn't know that the outer cable needs to engage in a lug on the plastic cable guide under the bottom bracket. The guy at Ribble didn't even realise this until he had pictures off me and checked with the build team. That was a week faffing about there! But this means the standard outer cable is too short. By half. Eventually discovered Campagnolo make a double length outer and amazingly it was just £4 which is stunning for a Campag part :unbelievable:

So the real problem with this build was the disc brakes. I just installed the calipers on the frame, discs on the wheels and popped the wheels in. What I did notice was that the calipers were not sitting flush against the frame. This picture shows the extent of the problem affecting the rear mounts:

Image

I had read plenty about poor disc brake function being due to mounts not being correctly faced. So I contacted the LBS thinking they would have an amount to do it and I would just ask Ribble to pay that. What I didn't expect is for the shop to say "we don't have a facing tool". They said most of their frames are already done so I asked what about those where they aren't and the comment was "we just use a file". And this is my Colnago dealer.....

So I mulled over it and decided just to plough on with the build and see.

You can't do anything until the cables are all in, oil in, bled and so on. It all went fairly well following the Campagnolo technical videos until it came to bleeding the brakes. Once you've pushed the fluid back and forth a few times to get rid of most the air you then push it from the caliper end while flicking the brake lever a few times. Then you pull fluid out from the caliper while doing the same with the lever. Every time I did the final stage it kept sucking in air from somewhere. I must have done this 20 times and it still kept doing it. Eventually I gave up with that final one and just hoped that all the air had gone. And this is where the problems really began. I just could not get the brake pads so as not to touch the disc somewhere. Tried every method I could find and eventually got a spot that you couldn't hear it. Took the wheel out back in and it was catching horribly again. This happened over and over and over. Eventually I realised it was the fricking disc itself that wasn't straight! Despite a well known rep telling me how hard Campag had worked to get their discs straight to within whatever fraction it was, clearly there are issues with quality control. I don't know who makes them but they have made in Taiwan on the boxes. Wiggle sent me a new one, next day delivery, after chatting with them online without even having the old one sent back. Wow! This improved things greatly but the slightest movement (normally a wheel being taken in and out) was enough to cause the pads to catch again.

I accepted the inevitable and purchase the Park DT5.2 facing tool. A huge hit at £350 odd but if you want things doing right there's sometimes only one option. So if anyone needs disc mounts facing let me know for a small fee :lol:

I haven't got pictures but it took quite a bit of paint off and made a big difference to getting pads and disc not to catch.

Trying to think what else. The mudguards went on smoothly once I'd tapped out the threads. But the issue I had with the rears was how was I going to attach the mudguards to the stays. The bolts faster from the rear but the stays need to attach from the side. I did some searching and finally discovered these

Image

I think they're made by Trek but yet again a good idea by Ribble to have discreet mudguard mounts but poorly executed as they don't supply or sell those bits! The other issue was the pathetic stay bridge that just snapped. I decided to use the dremel and zip tie to secure it instead.

Image

I may add to this build but I've tried to forget how tedious it was and as I've written it I've remembered other bits. The only other bit to add is the bar tape is double wrapped at the lower part up to the bottom of the brake hoods. Anyway here's a few more pictures of the completed bike

Image

Image

Image

Image

A minor thing but I don't like how the front brake cable goes down the same side as the rear but this was about as neat as I could get it

Image

Image

Image

So onto the actual bike itself. The frame rides really well, nice and stable, but then it has a good wheelbase (similar to my C60) which really aids to feeling stable. I don't like twitchy nervous front ends. The gear changing, wheels and so on I'm not going to bother commenting on. What this is really about is my impressions of disc brakes.

So my bike history goes back to basic side pulls on alloy rims (I have them in my cupboard but can't imagine what the performance would be like these days!), I have my Delta's which are far better than most people seem to comment about. I think most of the negative comments about those brakes are from people that have never ridden them! They won multiple grand tours in their day! I love them!! I have dual pivot on alloy rims and dual pivot on carbon rims. Everything Campagnolo. So this is my first ride on disc brakes and I state again these are my personal feelings. I was left utterly underwhelmed by the performance :unbelievable: . They stop but they lack (for me at least) that real grabby feeling you get with alloy rims when you yank a load of brake lever. In the dry disc brakes don't stop any better than alloy rim brakes. I think carbon rim brakes are a fraction off alloy rims but then you just need to squeeze much harder and sooner to get a similar braking performance to alloy. Ok got that off my chest but this bike is about wet weather performance. What horror show or sound more like. What the heck is going on here? They make the most horrendous screeching as you brake in the wet. And it doesn't go away. For anyone in the UK who saw the Tour series during May/June on ITV4 the first one in Redditch had Connor Swift breaking away on his own in the wet. They apologised for the noise his brakes were making and not to adjust your tv!! It's an embarrassing noise people do look round and think wtf is that noise???? Nohere have I read about that in any detail. For that alone I don't want to use them. I've done what I do with car brakes and that's put anti-seize on the back of the pads. Only problem is I've not had a wet ride since to be able to try it. I can only hope this is enough to make a difference. Yes I've bedded them in, even though there's nothing from Campagnolo about any kind of bed in process, but it made no difference. So time will tell on that one.

Ok that's all I have to say on it for now. Any questions about the build, disc brakes, suggestions, constructive comments are all welcome. What isn't welcome are the hostile disc v rim brake arguments that's not what this write up is for. It's for rim brake riders like me that are interested in disc brakes but hesitant to pull the trigger. I did and in hindsight, if there was no cost implication I would get rid and have a rim brake bike in less than a heartbeat!!!

I'll look through again and re-edit if I see anything missing or doesn't make sense :beerchug:
Last edited by c60rider on Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tymon_tm
Posts: 2814
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:35 pm

by tymon_tm

how dare you being not only not impressed, but even finding mayor flawes in otherwise perfect system :evil: do discs brake better? not necessarily. do they squeek like slaughtered pigs? yeah maybe to some, but other than that they are just BETTER

sorry, I had to.. your findings are almost identical to mine, guess that makes us haters unworthy of riding anything beyond cheap alu bike on 9spd sora. will we ever gonna learn...
kkibbler wrote: WW remembers.

by Weenie


ChiZ01
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:20 pm

by ChiZ01

i thought sram's hydro leveler were ugly, those are eyesore

spdntrxi
Posts: 2761
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

overall that's a nice looking foul weather bike...

yes disc will howl when wet or contaminated.. a little of that depends on the compound used. Sounds like your pads are contaminated

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Alexbn921
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:39 pm

by Alexbn921

Damn! Great write up on the build. You obviously take your time and have great attention to detail. It's a sad state of affairs with all the QC problems you have had with your bike. Overall it's a nice looking bike and I hope it serves you well in your wet weather endeavors. :thumbup:

Try some dyno matt on the spiders to absorb the vibration. Also the stiffness of the mount has a big influence on the harmonics of the system. Even things like loose brake lines will add to the noise. A zip tie to secure the line has fixed a squeal on my mountain bike.

Trickstuff makes the best brake pads in the business and if they offer them your calipers, it would be a big upgrade.

PS I want your brake facing tool! My bike didn't need it, but I’m a sucker for nice tools.

Mep
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 4:11 pm

by Mep

Appreciate the honest review. Nice to see your candid reactions to all kinds of situations! How much of your frustration do you think stemmed from being unfamiliar with disc, and how much of it from a realization that it's not what you wanted/needed?

citrusparty
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 pm

by citrusparty

Thanks for posting this.

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Klaster_1
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:25 am
Location: Krasnoyarsk, Russia

by Klaster_1

c60rider wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:01 pm
A minor thing but I don't like how the front brake cable goes down the same side as the rear but this was about as neat as I could get it
Another option was to leave enough of extra front hose so it goes along the FD housing, but it might rub the head tube. Here's how mine used to look.

spdntrxi
Posts: 2761
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

I've built 3 bikes from frame up recently.. Road, Gravel and TT.. 2 Parlees and a BMC... guess what.. not one of your build issues with my disc brake builds.. 2 are hydro and 1 mechanical. So it does not have to be a nightmare...miracles do happen... and I'm far from a bike mechanic, but I try my best. I still have a couple rim brake bikes and always will and actively searching for another. N+1 and all.

Honestly I do prefer riding my disc (hydro) builds .... noise niggles, extra maintenace and all. I dont worry about being caught out in foul weather, setting PRs on most of the downhills I do now, less hand fatigue on the long descents without question. I do have nerve issues so it's been a blessing for me.... only thing it hurt was the pocket book.

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corky
Posts: 1286
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:53 pm
Location: The Surrey Hills

by corky

im From the Uk too......round here disc brakes are known as horse scarers......

RTW
in the industry
Posts: 3462
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:32 pm

by RTW

I feel for you with your QC issues, but also perhaps you came to this from a position of not wanting to be impressed with the discs? The noise notwithstanding. You wrote that you can get similar braking performance with carbon rims to alloy by braking sooner and squeezing harder. That isn’t similar performance! You’re braking earlier and putting in more effort to do it.

However I still find your write up of real value.

On the front mech, sometimes you find this and it is usually when the bike has been designed around other components with different geometry (like a shimano front mech). It’s down to the testing the company does or doesn’t do.

I am in agreement with you throughout though - sort of. I have disc on a wet weather bike for 5 years. They are cable actuated hydraulics. They are really good. No rubbing, easy to adjust and great feel. They squealed a lot to begin with, but a switch to metallic pads as good as cured that. Stopping is far better than alloy rim brakes in the wet.

I don’t have any bikes with alloy rims and daul pivots anymore. My summer bike has carbon rims and dual pivots. Braking is fine, not as good as the wet weather bike (in any condition) but perfectly good. I have, however, delaminated a carbon rim in the mountains using carbon clinchers. So it is a system I’m wary of on longer prolonged braking efforts.

I now also have a SRAM hydraulic set up, and the jury is out. I cannot stop the discs skimming. I have adjusted and readjusted. It is annoying to say the least. It has been back to the shop once too. I am yet to be convinced, but on longer descents, given previous delamination, I am happier. I don’t think I will take it into the real mountains myself though, having now discovered that renting a bike is my preference!

My thoughts are that the SRAM System is one I need to learn. Become familiar with the quirks and I will probably get it set up just right. I just need to be willing to invest that time and frustration. And, like you, I don’t know if I am willing when the other systems appear to be good enough for me! And you have put in more effort than me.
Your cycling kit is one size too big!

XCProMD
Posts: 733
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:25 am
Location: Cantabria

by XCProMD

Another one here that prefers rim brakes for road bikes. Boras with Campag dual pivots just work as good as I need them to work and it’s a simple and light system, spot on for the application.

Said that, your problem with Campag discs is strange as what you have there is the best disc system money can buy right now. Try changing pads and cleaning the discs with isopropyl alcohol or acetone.


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c60rider
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm

by c60rider

ChiZ01 wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:50 pm
i thought sram's hydro leveler were ugly, those are eyesore
Yes I always hated these from the first pictures I saw, when I first saw them in person as well but now I've got them and they're on a complete bike they look far better, nowhere near as good as rim brake levers, but maybe they're just growing on me. To the feel when riding you wouldn't know at all that you were using these monsters! And of course when your hands are on them they're hidden out of sight :lol:

c60rider
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm

by c60rider

spdntrxi wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:48 am
overall that's a nice looking foul weather bike...

yes disc will howl when wet or contaminated.. a little of that depends on the compound used. Sounds like your pads are contaminated
So everyone's disc brakes that howl is totally down to pads being contaminated? In that case every single ride (in the wet as that's what this will be used for) will result in immediately contaminated brake pads!
I was OCD when it came to not touching the pad surface or the disc rotors with dirty hands when installing everything. I actually cleaned them thoroughly with IPA so contamination of braking surfaces is not that problem.

by Weenie


c60rider
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm

by c60rider

Alexbn921 wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:03 am
Damn! Great write up on the build. You obviously take your time and have great attention to detail. It's a sad state of affairs with all the QC problems you have had with your bike. Overall it's a nice looking bike and I hope it serves you well in your wet weather endeavors. :thumbup:

Try some dyno matt on the spiders to absorb the vibration. Also the stiffness of the mount has a big influence on the harmonics of the system. Even things like loose brake lines will add to the noise. A zip tie to secure the line has fixed a squeal on my mountain bike.

Trickstuff makes the best brake pads in the business and if they offer them your calipers, it would be a big upgrade.

PS I want your brake facing tool! My bike didn't need it, but I’m a sucker for nice tools.
Thanks for that it may be worth trying the dyno matt if things get desperate! Trickstuff, looks like they do https://www.bike24.com/p2333081.html it says they're for both Magura and Campagnolo so it may be that many of the Magura ones will fit without necessarily stating they're for Campag as well.

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