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  1. #1
    Senior Member smurf hunter's Avatar
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    cantilever straddle cable

    I'm fixing up an old (1990) mountain bike with cantilever brakes. The original brakes had a straddle cable and hanger like this:


    Both straddle cables and carrier are pretty nasty and I happen to have a couple of link cables like this:


    Can I substitute the straddle cable and hanger for the fixed link cable?

    The only downside I can think of is that the link cable has a fixed angle, which may or may not be optimal for my setup.

    Thanks
    -sean
    1990 Merida Albontech DX
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  2. #2
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    The link cable was introduced after people had main cables snap allowing the straddle cable to fall onto the tire and causing the rider to fly head first over the bars. I replaced the link cables on my bikes with straddle cables since the brakes are then easier to adjust and you can achieve more powerful braking. Just make sure you have something under the straddle cable to stop it falling onto the tire. Sheldon Browns website has more details.

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
    The link cable was introduced after people had main cables snap allowing the straddle cable to fall onto the tire and causing the rider to fly head first over the bars. I replaced the link cables on my bikes with straddle cables since the brakes are then easier to adjust and you can achieve more powerful braking. Just make sure you have something under the straddle cable to stop it falling onto the tire. Sheldon Browns website has more details.
    Bike Tools Etc. has straddle cables and the carriers.
    Stuart Black
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    "he link cable was introduced after people had main cables snap allowing the straddle cable to fall onto the tire and causing the rider to fly head first over the bars."

    That's why reflector mounts often run under the cable.

  5. #5
    cs1
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    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smurf hunter View Post
    The only downside I can think of is that the link cable has a fixed angle, which may or may not be optimal for my setup.

    Thanks
    -sean
    If your bike is an early ninties, it probably has wide profile cantis. You're correct, the angle on the bottom isn't wide enough. That's why wide profile cantis use a plain straddle wire.

    Tim
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  6. #6
    Senior Member smurf hunter's Avatar
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    Looks like I might just get a couple new straddle cables then.

    All the cables are new, so I'm less worried about spontaneous main cable failure. Besides, this will be a light duty off road bike and not one I'm riding in city traffic (disc brakes get my vote for the city).

    Thanks all.
    -Sean
    1990 Merida Albontech DX
    2005 Kona Dew Deluxe
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  7. #7
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    You might be able to place a cable tie or two to prevent the straddle wire from dropping onto the tread if the main cable breaks. Yes, it DOES look like ass.....functional, cheap, and light though.

  8. #8
    Year-round cyclist
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    What kind of "cable tie" do you place? Don't count on zip ties to do the job, as they will snap quickly when the brake cable breaks.
    Michel Gagnon
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon View Post
    What kind of "cable tie" do you place? Don't count on zip ties to do the job, as they will snap quickly when the brake cable breaks.

    Well I've actually used braided nylon lacing tape, just mentioned zip ties because everyone seems to have them. (lacing tape is kind of hard to get now, because nylon zip ties are so much easier to apply) They only have to stop the the brake arms from the velocity they get from the return springs....they don't take the braking force.

  10. #10
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    I've got a spool of waxed lacing tape from back when doing Milspec wiring. I wonder if they allow zip ties now?

    At any rate, I'm not sure how they could be used to retain the cable. You mean to just loop it loosely around the head tube and over the cable ? Or one around the head tube retaining a second around the cable? (You could do this with one piece of braiding tape.)
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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