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Old 05-23-07, 03:50 PM   #1
bugmenot
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Need to upgrade brakes. What kind do I need? pix attached.

I'm new to bike repair but I know these are not doing the job. Don't know what kind to get. Would like better stopping power and don't want to spend a lot (on a budget). Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-23-07, 03:56 PM   #2
neil0502
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You've got cantilevers, and may well benefit from simply buying new pads for your existing brakes. I like the KoolStops ... available at your local bike shop or on the 'net.

If that doesn't do what you need done, then you can still transfer the KoolStops to whatever cantilever brakes you buy to replace these

I tend to like the Avid canti's. Some love Shimano. Others hate Shimano. Whaddyagonnado?
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Old 05-23-07, 04:04 PM   #3
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Kool stops
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Old 05-23-07, 04:59 PM   #4
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Thanks! I'll check em out at my LBS.
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Old 05-23-07, 05:10 PM   #5
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Yes Cantilever brakes are not renowned for their stopping power. The best way to upgrade them is to fit V-Brakes which are very strong however you will need new brake levers as well. Check eBay as you may be able to pick up what you need for this conversion cheap.

You could also set those brakes up better and fit better brake pads. See, http://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-adjustment.html

Regards, Anthony
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Old 05-23-07, 05:49 PM   #6
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Shimano Deore V-Brakes. $13 at Nashbar. Dont forget to get new cables and housings.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...20ATB%20Brakes
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Old 05-23-07, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG
Yes Cantilever brakes are not renowned for their stopping power. The best way to upgrade them is to fit V-Brakes which are very strong however you will need new brake levers as well. Check eBay as you may be able to pick up what you need for this conversion cheap.

You could also set those brakes up better and fit better brake pads. See, http://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-adjustment.html

Regards, Anthony
Actually, cantilevers are often used on tandems and touring bikes because of their good stopping power.

But AnthonyG is correct that V-brakes are not compatible with the levers normally used with cantilevers, as outlined on the link he referenced on Sheldon's site.

IIWM, I'd buy a set of Kool-Stops and adjust the brakes you have now before doing anything else.

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Old 05-23-07, 08:16 PM   #8
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[quote=waffenschmidt]Actually, cantilevers are often used on tandems and touring bikes because of their good stopping power.

You know...this debate could go for years, but here's my historical perspective. Cantilever brakes were a big hit and/or necessity, depending on your point of view, for a variety of reasons. At first, yes, power was an issue. But look at what the competition was...the only brakes that had the required clearance were thin centerpull's like Mafac and Dia-compe. And of course, normal calipers wouldn't work for "real" tourists. Nowadays though, cantilevers really do tend to be underpowered compared to modern brakes. Not to mention...almost every type of brake these days is about a zillion times easier and more simple to adjust. And once you adjust modern brakes they tend to stay that way for a while. Anyway...I apologize for furthering this rather pointless debate.

Oh...sorry, by the way, personally I would go with the Nashbar deal. You can easily get a good deal on a set of levers and V-brakes (shimano or tektro, etc...) and your bike will stop WAAAAAAAAAY better. I used kool-stops back in the day on my mountain bike, before V-brakes came about and they were great, but if you can...go ahead and do the upgrade.

Last edited by redtires; 05-23-07 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 05-23-07, 08:37 PM   #9
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You can increase the powwer of cantilevers by fitting a straddle cable between the two cantilever arms passing over a yoke on the centre cable from the brake lever. I think there is more detail on Sheldon Browns website. You can upgrade the cantis to modern Shimano ones or Tektro Oryx, which take the V-brake type of pads. This wont increase stopping power but will make pad adjustment much easier. KoolStop pads will hoowever improve braking performance.
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Old 05-23-07, 08:42 PM   #10
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Here's a good deal on levers and brakes:

http://www.chucksbikes.com/store/bk024.htm

I swapped out my canti's on my commuter with v-brakes, and there is a world of difference. Kool-stop dual compound pads are an excellent upgrade as well.
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Old 05-23-07, 11:48 PM   #11
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nothing wrong with those brakes, put a set of kool stop salmons in there. people just suck at setting up cantilevers, done properly they are superior to single pivot calipers in every way. still used on many touring and cross bikes. I don't like V-brakes personally. The side pull thing bothers me, only the high end ones work properly, cheep cantis work better than cheep V brakes. It's all in the pads, have the right yolk and cable length such that the pads are moving nearly laterally to contact the rims, you want the least amount of arc in the movement of the pad as possible.
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Old 05-24-07, 02:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine
nothing wrong with those brakes, put a set of kool stop salmons in there. people just suck at setting up cantilevers, done properly they are superior to single pivot calipers in every way. still used on many touring and cross bikes. I don't like V-brakes personally. The side pull thing bothers me, only the high end ones work properly, cheep cantis work better than cheep V brakes. It's all in the pads, have the right yolk and cable length such that the pads are moving nearly laterally to contact the rims, you want the least amount of arc in the movement of the pad as possible.
+1 Show me someone who doesn't like cantis, and I'll show someone who can't set them up. There is nothing wrong with cantilevers. They just take a little extra time to set up. If you set them up properly and use good pads you can do an endo on a bike. Good luck to the OP


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Old 05-24-07, 03:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cs1
+1 Show me someone who doesn't like cantis, and I'll show someone who can't set them up. There is nothing wrong with cantilevers. They just take a little extra time to set up. If you set them up properly and use good pads you can do an endo on a bike. Good luck to the OP


Tim
+1, although I use v-brakes. I agree because it is all about the set-up no matter what brakes you are using.

Spend on time tweaking them and you'll be happy. My v-brake set-up can stop as good or better than any mechanical disc brakes I've ever tried, including high end ones so I wouldn't doubt that a properly set-up and maintained cantis can stop better than high end vees just slapped on.
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Old 05-24-07, 03:21 AM   #14
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Oh, the link to Sheldon Brown posted earlier has been modified somewhat. Heres the newer one: http://sheldonbrown.com/canti-trad.html
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Old 05-24-07, 08:55 AM   #15
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I almost endo'ed once from a 5mph emergency stop on my commuter/CX bike equipped with cantilevers. They're plenty powerful.

+1 for replacing the pads. But from the pics i'm ginving another +1 for getting a shorter straddle cable, both of which are relatively cheap. If doing those two things don't let you lock up your wheels when braking hard then you can start looking for other ways to increasing braking power.
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Old 05-24-07, 09:03 AM   #16
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Lemme throw in another minor piece that may help: start with great braking surfaces on your rims, too.

Use a rag and either isopropyl alcohol or acetone and give the rims' braking surfaces a good cleaning. Do this along with replacing the pads.
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Old 05-24-07, 09:52 AM   #17
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I'm going to sound like an old grouch, but I never thought cantis were hard to set up. Sure, there was a trick to getting them set up right, but it wasn't that hard, and it was just what you did. Now, i hear everybody complaining that cantis are so hard to adjust, and don't work right, etc etc...

You've all just been spoiled by v-brakes and discs

Cantis work fine. The trick that i used to use was to hold the lever in using something like a couple of elastic bands or a cycling glove, and then put a loop of thin wire, like telephone wire, over the tire, and between the rim and the back of the pad. This gave the correct amount of toe-in. Then loosen the pad attachment bolt, let the pad and arm sit comfortably, and then re-tighten.
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