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  1. #1
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    Are Linear and Cantilever brakes the same?

    Are they? Or are they different things? And more importantly, does it matter when I buy new brake pads?

  2. #2
    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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    The short answer: No, they aren't the same. And yes, it matters when you buy pads.
    Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. --H. Richard Niebuhr

  3. #3
    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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    A perhaps more useful answer.

    If you are planning to buy brake pads from your local bike shop, just take the bike in and let the mechanic help you out.

    If you are planning to buy your brake pads on line, tell us what kind of brakes you have and where you plan to buy them. Maybe we can help you out.

    Linear-pull brakes are a kind of cantilever. They have long brake arms that project upward from the brake pivots. The brake cable enters the brake arms through a little metal tube called a noodle. The cable pulls from one side. Linear-pull brakes are also called V-brakes (Shimano's proprietary name). They use a brake pad on a threaded stud with a nut that fastens them down to the brake arm from behind. They are a breeze to set up.

    The brakes that are normally called cantilever brakes have shorter arms that project more-or-less out to the side from the pivots. The brake connect by a straddle cable. They pull from the center. The straddle cable attaches to the cable that comes from the brake lever by a little hanger or saddle. Most cantilever brakes use a pad that is attached to a post with no threads. They are a little harder to set up than linear pull brakes.

    I have recently seen a cantilever brake that used a threaded, linear pull style brake pad.
    Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. --H. Richard Niebuhr

  4. #4
    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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    If you are a visual learner like me, here is a picture of a V-brake.
    Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. --H. Richard Niebuhr

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    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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    And here are a couple of pics of cantilever brakes.
    Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. --H. Richard Niebuhr

  6. #6
    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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    My last thought on the subject. Whether you are using cantis or V-brakes, spend a couple extra dollars to get cartridge-style brake pads. They make pad replacement a snap. The old pad slips out of the cartridge; a new one slips in. It is secured with a pin. Adjust the cable at the barrel adjuster and you're done.
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  7. #7
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    that was a damn good set of posts there regularguy

  8. #8
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatman
    that was a damn good set of posts there regularguy
    LOL, I was just thinking that.
    OK, so I have linear pulll/cantilever/v-brakes from Tek (or is Tektron?). They came stock with the bike, but the pads are seriously worn down in the back.

    Man the names for some of this stuff is confusing. (My favorite are the clipless pedals that you clip into to.)

    So I should be able to put on some MTB Koolstops for v-brakes, right?

  9. #9
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diggy18
    LOL, I was just thinking that.
    OK, so I have linear pulll/cantilever/v-brakes from Tek (or is Tektron?). They came stock with the bike, but the pads are seriously worn down in the back.

    Man the names for some of this stuff is confusing. (My favorite are the clipless pedals that you clip into to.)

    So I should be able to put on some MTB Koolstops for v-brakes, right?
    Just don't buy traditional mtb posts, you need the V-pads that have a hex key post -( the post is thinner too.)

    If not Kools- Scott\Mathhouser pads are nice also.

    Wierd, the silver set of cantilever brakes that were posted look to be running V-brake pads?

  10. #10
    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff williams
    Wierd, the silver set of cantilever brakes that were posted look to be running V-brake pads?
    I think they are. Like I said, I've seen some cantis lately that use v-brake pads.
    Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. --H. Richard Niebuhr

  11. #11
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    I used both kinds of cantilevers pictured, the ones one the left with the clamped yoke?
    were superior -also the specific design worked better.

    I recently was running that type of cantilever with a bmx cable stay bolted to the fork crown. -With red Koolstops that front setup was really solid, as good as my V's.
    Unfortunatly the rear never got as solid, maybe the frame tubing flex.

    Also Diggy, I have run often red Kools front, black rear as the red are wet pads with lower carbon=grippy, and the higher carbon black for the rear = better for drag\ slowing.

    I did this as the brake power is more front and the rear is used for stability and slowing.

    Looks funny I guess, ...(don't care.)

  12. #12
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    Are the red pads you're talking about the same as the salmon colored pads?

    And think I see some places to get the pads[ not sure if they're MTB or toadie pads though. But how about the holder for the pads? Do I have to use Koolstop holders, or
    can I use any company's?

    Got any recommendations on where to get this stuff online? I don't see it at Performance and Nashbar,

  13. #13
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff williams
    If not Kools- Scott\Mathhouser pads are nice also.
    Actually, Scott/Mathausers are no longer manufacturered. Actually++, Kool-Stop manufactured the S/M pads under license. When S/M went away, Kool-Stop just used the same compound design and refined the mounting hardware. So the Kool-Stop salmon pads of today are really the Scott/Mathausers of old.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  14. #14
    Senior Member BMXTRIX's Avatar
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    Are there more versions to brake pads than post style and threaded style?

    In the BMX world there are at least 20 different manufacturers of U-Brakes and it is probably a 50/50 split as to whether the brake pads are threaded or whether they use posts. It is easy enough to look at a brake and tell which kind of mount you need for it, but is there anything else out there in brake pad style/mounting that would make it incompatible?

    I have also heard that the Salmon Koolstops use a very similar material as the old Mathausers. I still have a set of the OG Mat. though.

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