I ran across an article on Urban Velo about a new frame from Surly; the Surly Straggler. Searching a bit further, I found a post on Surly’s blog about it. It is described as a cross bike with disc brakes. Assuming that it has geometry similar to the Cross Check, that’s good enough for me.
When I was looking for frames on which to build my all-purpose bike, I looked very carefully at the Soma Double Cross and Double Cross DC. I can’t recreate the thought processes that led to my going with the Surly, but I can tell you that disc brakes were in the equation. Obviously not the biggest factor in the equation, however.
My commuter bike is a 2009 Giant Seek 1 equipped with Shimano Hydraulic disc brakes. So, I’ve experienced them and… I LOVE THEM!Those brakes are so smooth. There is no grabbiness (if there is such a word) and you have a very fine degree of control; from just the slightest resistance to full-on lock-up. And it doesn’t matter if you’re riding through the rain or not. I really don’t know how bicycle braking could be any better unless the system just starts to think for you.
I put Avid Shorty 4 brakes on my Cross Check. They work well; much stronger than the Tektro caliper brakes on my road bike. They will stop in wet conditions, but only after enough friction has dried the rim some. And they suffer from the same maladies common to all rim brakes.
So, the bottom line is that I love my Cross Check, but I’d love it more better with disc brakes. The expense of buying the new frame is enough to push this off into the future. On top of that, SRAM’s new Hydraulic Road Disc brakes are around $550. Eeeek! That means this will have to be a dream that might be realized some time in the future.
Oh, well. It’s fun to dream.