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Parabox brings hydraulic disc brakes to existing cyclo-cross bikes


January 6, 2012

Parabox is a system that lets cyclo-cross racers add hydraulic disc brakes to their existing rim-brake-equipped bikes

Parabox is a system that lets cyclo-cross racers add hydraulic disc brakes to their existing rim-brake-equipped bikes

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About a year and a half ago, the International Cycling Union - the organization that sets the rules for bicycle racing - announced that it would allow the use of disc brakes on cyclo-cross bikes. This was good news for off-road racers, who were willing to accept the slight weight penalty of disc systems in exchange for the performance advantages that they offer over traditional rim brakes. As a result, we're now seeing various disc-equipped competition-level cyclo-cross bikes entering the marketplace. However, what does this mean for all the perfectly-good bikes out there that were made before the announcement? Well, it turns out that they can be converted to hydraulic discs, thanks to something known as the Parabox system.

Made by bicycle brake manufacturer TRP, Parabox allows cyclists to use their existing cable-based brake levers. Its junction box master cylinder clamps onto the handlebar stem, just beneath the bars. This is linked to the levers via two hose-enclosed cables, which activate the cylinder mechanisms within the box, providing hydraulic braking power. The system also includes front- and rear-specific calipers along with pads, 160 mm rotors, and hydraulic lines.

Presumably, users will still need to purchase disc-friendly wheels, or get their existing wheels rebuilt with disc-ready hubs.

The complete Parabox system will add 451 grams (14.5 oz) to its user's bike - minus the weight of the system it's replacing - and will extract US$469.99 from their wallet. It's available via the TRP website.

Source: Bikeradar

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

I don't think this is meant as a conversion component, as most competition CX bike frames won't have disc tabs. It's more to be able to use conventional cable pull shifter with hydraulic brakes. There have been quite a number of CX bikes with disc in the past, but they have been mostly cable pull discs.

Rob Moore

What\'s supposed to be the benefit of the wobbly edge on the disk? Wouldn\'t it work better if the friction surfaces were round?

Gregg Eshelman
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