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  1. #1
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    What to replace cantilever brakes with?

    These brakes suck - low-end 1992 Lee Chi (look like Tektro).
    • Don't stop very well (already have Kool Stop shoes).
    • Can't balance contact - one shoe alway hits first.
    • Major PITA to adjust.
    • Noisy as hell.
    • The release sucks too.


    I suppose V-brakes are an alternative, but I don't want to replace the levers (might be convinced). And I'm not sure there's room for the long arms.

    Are there better cantilevers?
    Last edited by DMF; 06-28-07 at 05:36 PM.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  2. #2
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Tektro Oryx are supposed to be pretty good. I actually bought some and can't use them on the frame I wanted to use them on, the bosses weren't right on the frame (early '80's touring frame). I've got an old mtb frame I'm going to put them on. Anyway, I've not actually used them so I can't say for sure, but Rivendell puts them on some of their canti-equipped bikes, FWIW. They look nice and adjust very easily in terms of centering, and they come stock with threaded (with spherical washers) cartridge-type shoes, but you do need to replace the junk Tektro cartridge pads with salmon kool stop cartridge pads for v-brakes (this is the type of cartridge refill they use). Here's an ebay link:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Tektro-Oryx-...QQcmdZViewItem

  3. #3
    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    Avid Shorty 4's are pretty good too. Even with the original pads i can brake hard enough to endo if i'm not paying attention (i do have koolstop pads on standby though). They just squeal like a mofo when it's cold.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
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  4. #4
    Senior Member JOHN J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF
    These brakes suck - low-end 1992 Shimano (maybe Tektro).
    • Don't stop very well (already have Kool Stop shoes).
    • Can't balance contact - one shoe alway hits first.
    • Major PITA to adjust.
    • The release sucks too.


    I suppose V-brakes are an alternative, but I don't want to replace the levers (might be convinced). And I'm not sure there's room for the long arms.

    Are there better cantilevers?
    YES THERE ARE BETTER CANTIS.

    Right now im using the New Shimano BR550 and they have worked very well!! when I built up my commuter I bought a set of tekto oryx YUK there on the spare bike that My nephews use at the moment or they were destined for the garbage.

    I then Bought a set of Pauls Neo retros, Loved These brakes But contrary to popular belief Long arm cantis dont apply as much force as shorter arm cantis can Esp from the hoods on drop bars, they just have more rim clearance than the short arm cantis do.

    actually there seems to be several cantis That I would have no problem using.

    I have to say I realy liked the pauls But $$ the Neo retro is great for bad weather but not hard stopping in traffic that said I would be fine using any of the following cantis.

    Shimano BR550 very good

    avid shorty never used but always hear decent comments about them , similar profile to shimano

    Paul Touring cantis pricey but I like the mounting / adjustment better than the set screw that everyone else uses Note arms are a bit longer than Avid or shimano so not quite as much force but close, but better rim clearance though

    The IRD cantis look pretty good same profile as the Paul touring Cantis but less money and set screw adjustment like the rest.

    thats it, again Im quite happy with My shimano BR550 much better than the cheapos (still have to be set up properly)

    Ill be putting the pauls on a crummy weather commuter that will use big long MTB brake levers .

    "John"
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  5. #5
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    I would second the endorsement of the Paul Components and Avid canti's. I've used the Paul retro canti's and they stop just as well as any v-brake I've tried. Pricey, but very cool, and beautiful too -- I think each arm is cnc machined from a solid block of aluminum. Now, if you want to talk brakes as pieces of artwork, check out the Bruce Gordon site where he sells his own design canti's for about $175 per wheel (more for Ti). They look like they would be monters, but who can afford to drop $350+ on brakes?

  6. #6
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    I've got a couple bikes recently with canti's and one thing I found that takes a lot of pain away is cable hangers you can cinch down. Like this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/AVID-TRI-DANGLE-...QQcmdZViewItem

    I put some Tektro hangers like that avid one on both of my canti bikes and... it's like a fresh spring day. Just by locking down the straddle cable adjustments are a lot easier to do.
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
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  7. #7
    bike rider jimmythefly's Avatar
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    Mini-Vs are another option. Also, for clarification, regular v-brakes don't require new levers, just an in-line cable pull adjuster thingy. Even that's debateable for some folks.

  8. #8
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmythefly
    Also, for clarification, regular v-brakes don't require new levers, just an in-line cable pull adjuster thingy.

    Travel Agents. But they've got to be at least as expensive as a simple set of v-brake levers. I think Travel Agents are most practical for use with conventional drop bar levers to be used with v-brakes. The only truly v-brake compatible drop bar levers are Dia Compe 287-V's, and they're quite pricey, so the Travel Agents make more sense in that case-

  9. #9
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    The Tektro Oryx look pretty good, and not too expensive.

    BR-550s seem extinct in the market. The Pauls and Avids cost more than the bike is worth.

    Btw, existing brakes are Lee Chi brand. I had to take one of the canti arms off to find a logo. Little suckers might be dangerous, too: http://www.johnforester.com/Articles...Eng/Leechi.htm
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  10. #10
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    The Avid 7's on my tourer work quite well, too, though I wasn't a big fan of their "Rim Wrangler" pads. Once replaced, however ... smooth, quite linear, powerful, and quiet.

  11. #11
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    Go to a co-op or a LBS that sells used parts and look for old MTB canti's. Our co-op has buckets of them and they work very well.

  12. #12
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Co-op, huh? I'm not sure they allow such communistic organizations here in the Heart of Dixie.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  13. #13
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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    I kept my Shimano Alivio shifter/lever combo on my MTB when I switched to a V-brake on the front. I lost a bit of modulation ability but it's much more effective than the canti calipers.

  14. #14
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    You know, V-brake on the front isn't a bad idea. There's more room there. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

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