The cantilever is dead, long live the disc brake! Or is it? Yes disc brakes are more powerful, safely away from the mud and mean no more worn rims; who wouldn’t want some of that? I do, but I already own a cyclo-cross bike and various pairs of non-disc wheels, to swap over to discs would mean a whole new bike and wheels, which is no small matter. But what if I could improve on my current set-up? To that end I’ve just received a set of TRP CX8.4 mini V brakes from those nice people at Upgrade bikes and am looking forward to trying them out.
Most of my winter ‘cross riding revolves around league races, where absolute braking power isn’t really an issue, descents are usually short and everything is usually so gummed up with mud that stopping isn’t a problem. Bring on the dry weather however and with the South Downs sitting just outside my garden gate and events like the Wiggle CX Sportive series, the Dirty Reiver and others, suddenly being able to brake on a long downhill becomes very handy. And to be able to do it again and again on long rides without suffering from loss of the use of your forearms; leading to the kind of uncontrolled descending that would have your mother banning you from your bike for quite some time!
Hopefully the TRP CX8.4 should be the answer to my prayer for increased power and control, without having to buy a new bike. The CX8.4 arms are made from forged and CNC machined aluminium, fitted with titanium fittings and road size cartridge brake pads. Weighing in at a claimed 148g per set they are sold as a complete set, that’s front and rear.
The Mini-V arrangement should offer more power and also have a lower profile on the bike, allowing for better heel clearance on smaller frames and making it easy to fit panniers without catching. The supplied noodle that connects the two arms has a handy adjustment screw on the top, which can be adjusted to allow for pad wear, useful on long, gritty rides.
In addition to the TRP CX8.4 we have TRP’s compression-less disc brake cable kit. Although intended for cable operated disc brakes, I have heard that they can improve the feel and modulation of standard rim brakes, so I’m keen to see how they help with the CX8.4s. The cable kit comes as two full length runs and each set should be enough for a single bike.
Once I’ve got the TRP CX8.4 brakes fitted and have thrashed them around Sussex’s tracks and lanes, I’ll let you know how they performed, hopefully they will see me through the CX Century, with some feeling still in my hands. Have a look at my preview video below to get a closer look at the TRP CX8.4 mini V brakes.
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