Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Cantilevers vs. V-brakes
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I have read from many different sources that the reason canti-levers are used in cylocross is because they provide superior stopping power in adverse conditions, i.e. like muddy rims. If this is the case, then why don't new mountain bikes come with canti's instead of the linear- pull V- brakes which are so prevalant on todays mountain bikes? Anyone have any ideas?
08-11-00, 01:41 PM
i think the context of the comment you read was that canti's are used rather than standard dual pivot road brakes.
There's definitely more leverage and much more mud clearance with canti's than standard road brakes.
The reason a lot of people still use them for cyclocross is that they require less cable pull than a linear-pull/ V-brake. Since most road levers pull less cable than a V-brake compatible lever, this works out best equipment wise.
You will see people using V-brakes on cross bikes, but you either have to use an adapter to pull more cable, or find a lever that pulls more cable than a standard road brake would need.
V's are used on mtn bikes with very different lever designs, and are certainly good stopping designs for most conditions.
[Edited by PacificJim on 08-11-2000 at 02:43 PM]
I was at a cross recently in England, and saw a Cross Bike with disc brakes on it.
It looked pretty cool, and I guess would work a dream in muddy conditions..
I think there's a little bit of traditionalism in using Cati's instead of V-brakes too....Weinmann brakes of yesteryear seem the popular choice of many a top crosser..
The Dutch Giant
02-15-01, 03:03 PM
Last season was my first in 'cross. I don't have a 'cross frmae yey, but a bikefriend once tipped me a converter kit, which you bolt on to your brakemounts. It's like a brake booster, but with an extra set of brakemounts on it, some 3 1/2 cms higher, to adapt to 700c wheels in 26" bike.
So I took a saw and cut a cheap mtb bar to a regulation 50cm.
I now had a mountainbike on 700c wheels, with V-brakes. I even did our Dutch Nationals with this bike. The extra high BB (31.8cm) due to bigger wheels in an already higher BB-frame was a real pain, although my single fall was neat for that specific race.
Let me tell you: stopping power was not my problem, at least as long as I set the brakes up correctly.
About using V's with STI or other road-type levers, this is really impossible without a converter set, and the good ones are very rare. Systems from the best of brands have always felt like spunches to me.
An other reason to use canti's would be their weight. The lightest V's are about the same weight as the heaviest canti's. The ones to have are Dutch-made Spooky-brakes, Por's the likes of Groenendaal all use them.
BTW, did anyone notice Miquel Martinez winning big-time in MTB-events on a bike fitted with canti's? I believed he even chooses BBB-pads, BBB is know for it's budget parts...
I think canti's are great, some 8 years ago I used them on a work-school mtb, and the modulation is unbelievable. Try brake-riding on your from wheel for 15 meters on V's!
However, I also remember long nights of trying to get the #*&$)%@$ pads tightened. I guess Martinez has good mechanics to do this for him after each race, so it's easier for him to make the decision...
Jan Gerrit Klok
03-03-01, 01:24 AM
Thanks for that information dude from Holland..I have a 'cross bike (GT ZRX), wiyh the standard Avid 1.0 canti's on it , and the koolstop grey/red brake blocks on it , and I must say that they have a really nice Modulation to them..I set them very close to the rim ,the only way I can remove the front/rear wheel is if I deflate it !,but the power is fantastic..and there very light...maybe different catagorys of bike sport , hold on to certain "traditions" to somehow maintain a standard in there given field ...????
03-03-01, 10:51 AM
If you can squeeze the pads together, you may be able to unhook the straddle cable, and make wheel removal easier.
I use cantis with Campy Ergolevers, and they have a tension release built into the levers. Release the tension, and the straddle cable pops out with no problems.
In the UK, CX bikes are a mix of trad and modern. The classic chainset is a 1970s Campy Record, still lighter than the current model. Some bikes have a small MTB front brake lever mounted on the top of the bars , for that extra bit of control. You need some sort of cable adaptor to make 2 levers operate one brake.
The Dutch Giant
03-03-01, 11:00 AM
Empella has specially designed levers to put on the straight part of the bar. Your regular brake-cable runs THROUGH it, allowing you to use both the extra lever and your STI or Ergo-lever to operate he brake. No more adapter-problems. The systems is incredibly light, little over 100grammes I believe.
I'm a little unsure of running two sets of brakes on a cross bike...
It all seems a little cluttered, and I always find myself on the hoods when crossing off road, the only time I'm on the flat part of the bars, is when I'm going up hill.
Still I can see the benefits...
It seems as if it's gone back to the STI/Ergo levers, and not many people are running the two brakes system.
08-15-04, 02:00 PM
The reason canti's are used vs V-brakes (Shimano's trade name for linear pull brakes) is the cable pull aspects of road levers. Canti's use esssentially the same amount of cable pull as normal road calipers. V-brakes on the other hand use almost double the amount of cable pull (which V-brake compatible mountain bike levers have).
It is possible to use V-brakes with road levers. However to make them work properly a cable pull adapter such as the "Travel Agent" must be used. There are some disadvantages of course (additional weight, complexity, and potentially premature cable failure). However with those things in mind V-brakes can work fine with road levers.
There is also a road lever made by Diacompe specially for V-brakes (287V?). It has the correct amount of cable pull for V-brakes. However this a brake lever only, so shifting must be done by using bar-end or downtube shifters.
One additional note: using top mount levers is relatively simple. Almost all of the modern top mount levers are designed to be installed inline with the existing brake cables. Only the brake housing needs to be cut and the levers are installed where the cut is. The internal cable remains uninterrupted and simply passes through the lever. So there is still only one cable set (not two). Squeezing the lever actually pushes on the housing (as opposed to pulling on the internal cable), but essentially it's the same as far as the brake caliper is concerned. A very simple but effective design.
08-15-04, 07:00 PM
I used the V's with a travel agent last year and had good results. But it did take a bit of work to get them properly adjusted.
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