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Old 11-20-09, 11:32 AM   #1
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Cantilever Brake question

I understand what makes Front and rear caliper brakes different. Whats the difference between front and rear Cantilever Brakes?
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Old 11-20-09, 11:35 AM   #2
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Sometimes the orientation of the brake pads is different.
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Old 11-20-09, 11:59 AM   #3
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As Retro Grouch said, nothing save for the orientation of the brake pads.
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Old 11-20-09, 12:05 PM   #4
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Some Shimano brakes come with a different link wire for front or rear, but the brakes are the same. Some just come with the pads installed properly for that orientation.

I saw a bike set up with Avid cantilevers that had different arm lengths for the front+rear, but one of the brakes could just have been older than the other. New Avid brakes are sold as only one part that is "front/rear compatible".
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Old 11-20-09, 04:17 PM   #5
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I have seen Shimano BR-550 being sold as both front/rear and without specifying.
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Old 11-20-09, 04:31 PM   #6
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It's common to run wide profile brakes on the front but if you put the same ones on the back, you might hit them with your foot so you use ones that don't stick out so much.
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Old 11-20-09, 08:45 PM   #7
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Shimano used to specify front/rear just to ensure the brake pads were int he right orientation at the time of purchase, but if you swapped the pads left to right the rear are identical to the front.

THere also used to be Scott 'Self Energizing' brakes that were (as I recall) likely to grab uncontrollably and throw you over your bars if used on the front, but these have been off the market for a decade, I think.
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Old 11-27-09, 04:06 PM   #8
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Here's Universal selling the front brake for $9 more then the rear brake. ????
http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...50&category=34
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Old 11-27-09, 09:08 PM   #9
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Mostly it's the pad orientation, but one exception was the M900 XTR center pull cantilever brakes. The front arms were longer than the rear.

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Old 11-29-09, 11:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbear View Post
...selling the front brake for $9 more then the rear brake.
Odd... I don't doubt that Shimano still ships them in boxes labelled "Front" and "Rear," but the retailer must have gotten a better deal on a batch of just "Fronts" or something. I just looked at the associated tech docs on the Shimano website, and there is no mention of front or rear specific, except ensuring the brake pads are in the correct orientation.

http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830677287.pdf
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Old 11-29-09, 01:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
Odd... I don't doubt that Shimano still ships them in boxes labelled "Front" and "Rear," but the retailer must have gotten a better deal on a batch of just "Fronts" or something. I just looked at the associated tech docs on the Shimano website, and there is no mention of front or rear specific, except ensuring the brake pads are in the correct orientation.

http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830677287.pdf
If you're doing a repair where service time is money, front/rear labelled brakes that have the pads in the correct spot saves time. As been beaten to death, there are no differences other than that between either front or rear canti/v-brakes for shimano.
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Old 11-29-09, 02:24 PM   #12
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If you're doing a repair where service time is money...

Repairs, and even more noticable would be an assembly run where multiple bike with similar setups are to be built over the course of a day - the last thing you need is fiddling with tiny washers 4X for every bike - the process is not so complicated but the time it takes to go back and correct a mistake is the real kicker.
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