Some questions to be answered (wheels, brakes, frame, Di2)

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:30 pm

by pofijanika

Hi there!

I'm pretty new here (well... I've been read-only for a long time :) ). I tried to find the right topics, but I couldn't, so I decided to pop some questions in a new one.

Note that I'm 6'1 (187 cm) and weigh 166 pounds (75-76 kg).

1, I have a 2010 Zipp 404 wheelset. Not the CX version, nor the Cylesdale rim version. It's been used for road racing for two years by me and one year (I guess) by the previous owner. Should I use these for CX or not?

2, If not my 404s, what carbon wheels do you guys reccomend for my weight? I've seen some pretty good deals on EC90SLX wheels in good condition on eBay. Or maybe build a stronger wheelset with higher spoke count and say Yishun 38mm carbon rims, Circus Monkey hubs (I'm pretty satisfied with these!) and Revolution spokes (or Competitions? Or a mix?)?

3, I bought my Cube Cross Race Pro with Avid Shorty 4s. After a while I discovered they're not the lightest, so I ordered a pair of Tektro CR720s. Well, they're lighter, but I feel really unsecure with these brakes. I mean, the power of the Avids where superb in my opinion, but with the Tektros -even after changing the stock pads to green Swisstops (rims: Mavic Reflex)-, the power of these brakes (especially the rear) feels like nothing. What do I do wrong? I read that others are satisfied with the braking power. Well, I'm really not.
3/b, If you would have to choose between Avid Shorty Ultimates (I would run them narrow to get more braking power) and TRP EuroX Magnesiums, what would you do if you would want more power? Let's say both cost the same.

4, I found this frameset: ... 75633.html
It would cost 600 bucks total (around 670 if I would have to pay taxes and stuff). I would change the fork to a 4ZA Oryx (as in the Ridleys) that I already have and trust in. But what's your opinion about this frame? They told me it's around 1150 grams in my size (58 cm).

5, I'm seriously thinking about upgrading to Ultegra Di2 6770. I'm kind of confused right now... I would only need the right shifter and the rear mech since I run Absolute Black in the front. But I'm confused about the wiring and the junction box and the battery holder etc..
So what parts would I need to make this work? Also, which parts are interchangeable between the 7970 and the 6770 regarding the wiring, battery, charger, holder, etc.?
5/b, I found this:
What do you think of it? What else would I need apart from this, a rear mech and the right shifter to make the system work?

I think that's it for now. If you could answer any of my questions, I would be very grateful!

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by victorduraace

If your old brakes feel suberb, don't try to lose 50 grams there ;) Really not worth it just my 0.2c

by Weenie

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by efeballi

Re 1, the 404 should hold up fine but carbon braking in the mud and wet will be bad and will wear the rim down quickly.
I wouldn't really recommend any carbon wheelsets(if not disc) for that matter. Carbon rims with alu braking surfaces, maybe.
Re 4, I wouldn't use a Chinese frame in cyclocross.
Re 5, you can use Di2 with a single chainring. 7970 and 6770 Di2 stuff won't match. Mixing Dura-Ace drivetrain with Ultegra shifters and mechs are fine. You can use a seatpost battery with 6770 but not 7970.
You can use any brake lever/brifter for front and 6770 Di2 brifter for rear.

Also if you are building a new bike, why not disc?
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by euan

If you are finding the braking power poor with CR720/520s you've got them set up wrong in my opinion. They work as well as the best cantis from my experience.

Look at reducing the the yoke/stradle wire length
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by JBV

3. I would look at changing the setup of current brakes and/or trying different pads before dropping a lot more money on new brakes. Lots of threads in this forum on canti setup (and also on Ultimate vs. Eurox). Good primer here:

4. If you're 6'1", you're likely not a 58 in that frame, you're probably a 56 (assuming a 56 top tube) unless you've got really long arms or torso.

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by availpunk9

1) Plenty of people use 404s for cross. The rims will wear faster, due to mud, dirt, etc. on your pads.
3) IMO in comparison to other modern brake choices, EuroX design is dated. I switched this season to Avid Ultimate, run in narrow, on all my bikes. Night and day diff. in stopping power. The ease of adjustment is the biggest plus, though. I weigh ~10 lbs more than you; I would highly recommend the Ultimates.
4) I would buy a second identical bike setup, before investing in electronic shifting. Having the same A & B bike is a must in cross. My bikes are set up the same, w/just diff saddle colors and bar tape/hoods. I would even go as far as down grading to alu or more cost effective tubular wheels, to get the same on both bikes. After switching to tubulars, many seasons ago, getting identical bikes was my next big aha moment in cross. When taking a bike from the pits, there's no adjustment to one's riding stile or confidence, due to slightly different feel of different frames, bars, wheel, brakes, etc.

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by Juanmoretime

If you are in the states you might want to look at the Sette CX - 1 at Pricepoint. Their close out price is pretty good. My size 56 came in exactly at the advertised weight and the fork was only 3 grams heavier. I just got mine so I'm in the process of waiting for some parts that won't swap over. The close pout price is good and you have a US company to stand behind it should you have issues(warranty). I lucked out on mine. I bought it from someone that had purchased the frame and fork and never built it. Other than taking it out of the box for pictures since I could tell the dropouts have never had a wheel installed and a seat post has never been inserted. Worked out a deal where I got mine for $350 shipped but after getting it and looking it over I would have gladly paid the close out price.

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by Ragamuffin

1./2. Like others have said, the 404s are fine, but the rims really will wear out quickly - you may get a season or two out of them depending on the conditions and how often you're braking. I would go with something reasonably light and affordable; I've seen a lot of people with Eastons and Revs up here in the North East and both seem like reasonable choices. Again realize that these rims will probably not last a long time.

3. I've used the Ultimates before and they're pretty good. I've been testing out a set of Mini-Vs this season (the cheapo Tektro ones) and while not the lightest, they perform very well. However, between these two, I would go with the Ultimates based on price/stopping power & modulation/and weight.

4. I stick with steel for my cross frames (I know, not weenie at all), but the Sette seems like a good option, especially at that price point.

5. What's the reason for picking Ultegra Di2? You can definitely go lighter with a Red/Force setup. Sram is also cheaper to replace if and when you break something. I don't think Di2 particularly adds much value unless you're constantly riding in situations where mud prohibits proper mechanical shifting.

by Weenie

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