Ultimate Cyclocross Braking Power From the TRP CX8.4
TRP's CX8.4 linerar pull brakes are designed specifically for cyclocross bikes in order to get the maximum stopping power possible. The 84mm arms are just a touch shorter than the TRP CX9 brakes, but were designed to work seamlessly with Campagnolo and SRAM levers. Being able to command enough braking force with one finger will be an advantage when battling at your cyclocross race trying to out-brake your opponents. Since the TRP CX8.4 uses direct cable routing foregoing any steerer-mounted stop, fork shudder is eliminated. TRP integrated a barrel adjuster on the noodle to make easier "on the fly" adjustments. If you are using newer7900 or 6700 Shimano levers, TRP recommends their TRP CX9 Brakes due to the amount of cable those levers pull. The TRP CX8.4 brakes are sold as a set and include all mounting hardware and TRP Alloy pads. .
I put on these brakes to replace a set of FSA SLK Cantis. The SLKs did have enough stopping power for me and by the end of a 45 minutes cyclocross event my hands would be perma-clenched from man handling the brakes. Things got even worse with carbon rim and Swiss Stop Prince pads.
I decided to go with a mini-v brake after reading other reviews and I don't regret it.
Installation was a cinch. But note you will need new inner-cables and some housing if you are converting from a conti brake. Also, you have to set these up really close to the rim for best performance. This means your rims had betwer be about the same width and really true. The barrel adjuster offers some adjustment but not as much as I would have liked. I added a second barrel adjuster on the bars. So when you set them up use your widest rim with the barrel adjuster all the way in; then adjust for rim width as you swap wheels. If you like to ride with the pads far off the rim forget these as you will not be able to pull the lever far enough. The individual arm adjustement help you center the brakes perfectly with little hastle.
First ride was awesome. I couldn't believe it, I could now stop quicker that my road bike and almost on par with a hydraulic disk brake.
Next was cyclocross race test. This is where things were a bit tougher. With two or three fingers you can lock a tire in an instant or even endo (something I never worried about with cantis). The window between marginal breaking and full on is small so you really need to finesse the levers. If an emergency situation be careful. I am learning to live as I love the increased breaking power.
The one big drawback is mud clearance. My wide spaced SLK were never a negative factor in the mud. These TRPs are mud magnets. In fact the gooey mud just clobs on the brakes until the entire rim/brake/stays combo is a big old mud ball. I just hope it is semi-dry at jingle cross in two weeks.
PROS: Easy To Install, Durable, Lightweight, Attractive Design, Huge Power
CONS: Decreased Modulation, Mud Magnets
BEST USES: Cyclocross, Gravel Racing, Commutingcity
These are awesome brakes! I put them on my Cross Check and the stopping power is out of this world. I'm really impressed. They take a little while to set up, but no longer than canti brakes do. The only down side is that they don't leave much room for fenders or monster cross tires.
I have these on my tandem and cross bikes. If you're not or cannot run hydraulic discs, this is the next best thing. Cantilevers are great for tradition, but if you want your bike to stop, these are a better choice.
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