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I'm just getting into cyclocross. I bought a redline conquest pro and am going to build it up with chorus and ksyriums. What is you guy's preference on gearing? What is the advantage of running a single ring up front and a chain guard? And for brakes.. what do you guys like. Im looking for something in the fairly cheap range and nothing carbon. Thanks.

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Double rings are good for areas where there is a lot of variety in course terrain and conditions. Most guys run a 46x38, which you can run on a standard spider or a compact.

Single rings are good if you race at the same locations a lot and really have the gearing dialed. The added benefit is that you can't drop the chain (or I've never seen it happen).

The above are both my personal opinion based upon experience. I currently prefer to race with a double at 46x38. I race primarily in New England and travel to most USGP races.

Paul brakes are pretty legit. TRP Euro brakes are a good value and have similar mud clearance.
welcome max.

typical rear cassettes are 12-25, 26 or 27.

i'm not in the majority but I like 10t jumps up front, esp. if I may be riding the bike on trails and the road as well. 38/48, 39/48 or 36/46 works well for me...but I'm not pushing the 48/12 in cx. on my 8 or 9 speed bikes I have 13-26 cassettes sometimes.

gabe's right - harder to drop the chain on a SS setup IF chain tension is tight and you run guards/watchers. without all of those (trust me on this - learned the hard way long ago) it's easy to drop the chain as the big ring acts often acts as a guard.

you can also save weight if you have just a brake lever and single ring system, although the weight penalty isn't as much as it used to be with the lighter shifters.

good luck
ok thanks alot. My dad runs paul brakes on his single speed so i think i'll run those.
For good cross brakes on the cheaper side of things the Avid Shorty 4's are great. Mine are two seasons old and I've never had an issue with them. They don't have as much clearance as some of the fancy canti brakes out there, but they work well enough when things get muddy and the price is hard to argue with. 90% of what makes a canti brake 'good' or 'bad' is how you set it up. As brake prices go up they get lighter and you get more clearance, but they start to get very expensive. If you put some extra time dialing your brakes in and run a good set of pads that match the conditions you race in, almost any set you put on will work well. Good with your new setup.
I run 46/38 on my campy ride and run a 13-26 cassette. I like the 13-19 straight 21, 23, 26. Don't worry about not having a 12, you'll rarely be pushing that big a gear.

Don't get a Campy crank, the 135 or 110 campy BCD limits your chainring choices. Instead get something with a standard 130 or compact 110.

Avid Shortys are nice and relatively cheap. I've got a set for sale, if you want more info, contact me.
I'm also running a 46X38 with a 12-27 cassette.
It gives a good range.

As for brakes, I'm using the Tektro CR720's.
I like these a lot. They offer lots of adjustment with plenty of pulling power.
I like the Tektro's too. They are cheap and easily adjustable. Get Kool Stop Salmon pad though. They are ALOT better than the stock black pads that come with it.
These are what I use also.
They really are good.

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