Lookin' great Mark. As usual, the attention to detail is awesome. Love the decals especially, turned out really good.
Cheers Richard, ti-mega is inbound so reckon this build will be stripped of all its parts very soon
Back in the early nineties I lusted most for Magura Hydraulic brakes more than any other brake set. I never got a set back then, but recently I put a set on my cro-mega DX. They work really well, but too well if that makes sense as they are extremely positive indeed. The combination of a short wheelbase frame and brakes that function in a near ‘digital’ on or off way makes for an unstable downhill experience with my rear wheel locking regularly. When I was doing the Team Raleigh project I read about David Bakers’ bike set up, he deliberately had his rear brake set up to be piss poor. It would slow him but never with enough force to lock the wheel. At the time of reading I thought ‘madman’, but the more time I spend riding short wheelbase bikes, the more I’m starting to see his logic.
Therefore, I’m going for a conventional cantilever set up on my ultimate alpinestars cro-mega. The best cantilevers I’ve tried are the M900 XTR ones, but sadly M900 XTR doesn’t fit right on this bike as it was never really my dream to own it in 1992. So the only other viable Shimano brake system that fits with the build is the 1992 M734 XT cantilevers, but these are poor performers and rather plain in appearance. So I’ve taken a different route entirely by choosing a brake set that was a good aftermarket choice, the Ritchey Logic cantilever brake set.
Ritchey Logic brake levers were built by Dia-Compe in Japan and are therefore remarkably similar to the Dia-Compe SS-5 and SS-7 levers in both design and common parts. There are many cantilever brake levers out there that I could of chosen for this build, not least the Shimano Deore XT 2 finger levers or more bling CNC options. But, retro elegance has been the brief from the start and these fit the bill extremely well. My set came from Italy and arrived fully polished, I’ve since repainted the brackets in satin black. The clamp bolts sit below the bars and with this being a common rust hot spot for steel bolts I’ve replaced with titanium M5 x 10mm bolts.
Once more the Dia-Compe influence is apparent with these Ritchey Logic cantilevers sharing similar looks and common parts as the Dia-Compe 986 and 987 models. I like the look of these cantilevers, just simple and elegant, with performance to match some of the more expensive cantilevers on the market. Mine came in silver but had the logo’s missing, so I’ve matched them to build by painting the bodies in gloss black. The brake block holders have also been freshened up with a new coat of paint.
Cantilever Brake Pads:
To go with the Ritchey Logic cantis I went with Logic pads too. These cost just £2 a pair at CRC at the moment so are a real bargain. They should do the business in performance too.
I decided I’d try something a bit new to me here, Odessey Straddle Rods. I’ve seen plenty of them on retro bike and they look functional. So when a set turned up on the forum NOS, I took a chance and bought them. They are black anodised so fit the colour scheme well and with luck will enhance the braking power of the Ritchey Logic set up.
Cantilever hanger front:
I went down the cheaper route here, locating a cheap Zoom 1 ¼” hanger off Ebay for a few ponds. Cheap, cheerful and functional, what more could you ask for? However in a sad effort to disguise the fact it’s Zoom and to match the headset I’ve repainted it in satin black.
Cantilever hanger rear:
The alpinestars bikes from the early nineties uses a rear canti hanger that utilises the seat clamp. Thus these are fairly rare and therefore makes me quite mad that I’ve recently mislaid one. They were originally silver, but for this build I sent this one to the powder coaters for a coat of gloss black.