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  1. #1
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    Mixing cantilever and V-brakes on same bike

    Due to clearance issues, I am seriously having to consider putting a V-brake as a rear brake on a bike.
    The front will be cantilever, for the moduclation/adjustability advantages.

    hence the problem
    are there road levers that are convertible to use different pull modes? (I am aware of mtb flat levers that do this)

    And since the answer is most likely 'no'; does any company make road levers in both cable styles; where the ergonomics and external appearance of the levers is identical between the two models?

    travel agents I hope to avoid; unless someone makes an inline variant with greatly enlarged pulleys compared to the 'noodle' mounted style.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    THere is a device known as a 'travel agent' that changes the amount of cable pulled and makes standard levers work with v brakes.

    http://problemsolversbike.com/products/travel_agents/

    I am kinda confused - what clearance issues do you have that requires you to use V brakes, which are notorious for having insufficient clearance for many applications (cantilever brakes are usually the solution).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    THere is a device known as a 'travel agent' that changes the amount of cable pulled and makes standard levers work with v brakes.

    http://problemsolversbike.com/products/travel_agents/

    I am kinda confused - what clearance issues do you have that requires you to use V brakes, which are notorious for having insufficient clearance for many applications (cantilever brakes are usually the solution).
    Trying to avoid the travel agent; pulley is very small forcing very tight cable bend
    does anyone make an inline travel agent with enlarged pulleys to avoid this?

    Specific clearance issue is; seatpost is too close to tire. space for a straddle yoke and cable hanger as needed for cantilever is inadequate
    a problem with frames for small people

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    Ah, yes - the old 'small-frame yoke-bottoms-out-on-cable-hanger' problem. I have dealt with it before.

    Your aversion to travel agents is not necessary. They work and work well. I have used them and so have many many others. The small radius pulley is necessary as the change in cable pull is a result of the difference in pulley size between the big and small pulleys. And there is an ever tighter bend where the cable crosses between the big and small pulleys. Unless you hope to remove the cable and re-use it on a bike without a travel agent, this will not cause a problem.
    The only real problem with travel agents, in my opinion, is that they are fugly.

    How wide are the tires you hope to run? Because a set of mini-v brakes will work perfectly with road brake levers, but don't allow very wide tires (probably a max of 700 X 38 on most bikes, and probably less with fenders).

  5. #5
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Problem Solvers did make an in-line travel agent, if you want to avoid the brake-end version.

    I think there are also extra wide cantilever yolks just for this problem. I can't find them at the moment, but maybe someone else can find them.

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    "I think there are also extra wide cantilever yolks just for this problem."

    These, maybe? http://problemsolversbike.com/produc..._cable_carrier

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    If you are just using brake levers, not brifters, Tektro's R200 (road caliper/canti/short pull) and RL520 (V-brake/long pull) levers are identical twins in hood shape and lever feel, differing only in cable pull amount. They are each about $25 per set so for $50 you can have your mix-and-match.

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    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    The main problem with your idea is it is normally done the other way; V in front, canti in back. If you do the reverse you going to have an extreme modulation problem with the rear brake; you will probably lock it up continually which will eventually cause you loose control and crash. If you put a V on the back, you will also need one on the front. If you've ruled out a Travel Agent, your choices seem to be to either keep you current brake levers and go with the mini-V's or go with standard V's and replace your current brake levers the Tektro drop bar V levers. OTOH, if you could give us a photo of your current setup. We might be able to come up with something that will work better than what you are dealing with now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
    The main problem with your idea is it is normally done the other way; V in front, canti in back. If you do the reverse you going to have an extreme modulation problem with the rear brake; you will probably lock it up continually which will eventually cause you loose control and crash. If you put a V on the back, you will also need one on the front. Your choices seem to be to either keep you current brake levers and go with the mini-V's or go with standard V's and replace your current brake levers the Tektro drop bar V levers. OTOH, if you could give us a photo of your current setup. We might be able to come up with something that will work better than what you are dealing with now.
    Yeah, you definitely don't want to loose control! People can set there bikes any whey they want, but if their serious about doing it write, the advice on this sight will get them they're!

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    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Do they teach English grammar Quebec, Canada?


    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    Yeah, you definitely don't want to loose control! People can set there (their) bikes any whey (way) they want, but if their(they're) serious about doing it write (right), the advice on this sight (site) will get them they're (there)!
    However, I'm not really sure how one could de-tune a V-Brake to work with a front canti; if it exists on this site I would like to see it. Now Shimano does make an inline modulator, but considering how little it takes to lock up a rear wheel, especially on a fast down hill, I don't think it would be up to the task.
    Last edited by onespeedbiker; 10-28-12 at 08:20 PM.

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    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    His entire post was a dig at osb's loose/lose snafu.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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    Ah lots of good advice, thanks

    good to know that the tektro levers make mix and match possible

    also a good point that v-brake on the rear will be not the best for control, cable issues aside

    will have to look at that wide yoke carrier, it if buys some more space cantilevers may become more workable

    (no camera)
    It's a 14" Surly Troll, was hopeing to get as large as 2.5"tires in there, but will have to prioritize this brake issue first
    another annoying point; if you look at online photos; is that troll's have there seatpost clamp quite high above the seatstays. Thus a cantilever straddle wire will be angled far out of the brake arm's operating plane.

    I recall that with many older mtbs, rather than a seatclamp hanger; they integrate a little braze-on S-tube to the side of the seattube so a top tube cable can snake around it.
    Such a setup would be ideal for both the wire angle and clearance probs.
    any idea if a clamp-on device exists?

  13. #13
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Have you considered the Surly hanger? http://surlybikes.com/parts/cable_hanger

  14. #14
    Powerful-Ugly Creature Greyryder's Avatar
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    Is it possible to use a mini V? If I'm not mistaken, those use regular short pull levers, same as the cantis.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burton
    When some wild eyed eight foot tall maniac grabs you by the throat and taps the back of your favorite head head against the barroom wall, and he looks crooked in the eye, and he ask you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Shorter arm V brakes have a different leverage, more like low profile cantilevers..

    from TRP For Cyclocross, and now Paul's 'mini moto'.., a bit less MA & cable pull demand,

    tektro and cane creek's levers are made in both types.. perhaps a mix and match
    that look and in your hand , largely the same externally,
    but internal pivots are different.. to suit the brake on the other end

    there are not adjustable ones, its 1, from column A, 1 from column B..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-29-12 at 01:07 AM.

  16. #16
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    Multiple possible solutions are becoming apparent

    my main issue with travel agent, is in initial test attempts, the cable at the tightest loop on the small pulley keeps wanting to pop out. (ie, it does Not like to be bent that tight)
    considering modification of pulley to add a guard so that when this does happen, it just falls back into place under cable tension.... -big washer bolted on top


    also, found a seatclamp cable hanger online that appears possibly as much as 1cm shorter than what i had
    http://www.google.com/products/catal...77144792875188
    this might buy just enough room for cantilever brakes' straddle wire
    need to order one and find out


    still wondering if anyone knows about a seattube mounted S-tube that can be clamped on
    -think of old mtbs from the 80s; they had a tube brazed to the seattube so toptube brake cable can go around

  17. #17
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    Have you contacted Surly about this problem? They may have a work-around since it's their frame design.

    Of course, the simplest solution would be fit V-brakes at both ends. They aren't hard to modulate and are actually a lot easier to set up and adjust than cantis. I went that way on my Cross check, switching to Avid SD7 V-brakes from cantis and found them a noticable improvement all around.

  18. #18
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    [Partial QUOTE=xenologer;14890468]Multiple possible solutions are becoming apparent.... also, found a seatclamp cable hanger online that appears possibly as much as 1cm shorter than what i had
    http://www.google.com/products/catal...77144792875188 this might buy just enough room for cantilever brakes' straddle wire need to order one and find out... [/QUOTE]

    That is really a short one and surely should solve the stated problem. To be safe it could be combined with the wide staddle also. If you are not running a fender, it is a good idea to use an old reflector mount or similar attached to the brake bridge to catch the straddle wire should the clamp bolt fail and let the straddle wire drop down.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    my main issue with travel agent, is in initial test attempts, the cable at the tightest loop on the small pulley keeps wanting to pop out. (ie, it does Not like to be bent that tight)
    Braided brake cables are uncommon , but more flexible ,
    in these situations you may find that useful.

  20. #20
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post

    still wondering if anyone knows about a seattube mounted S-tube that can be clamped on
    -think of old mtbs from the 80s; they had a tube brazed to the seattube so top tube brake cable can go around
    I take it you mean something like this.

    stop.jpg
    Last edited by onespeedbiker; 10-29-12 at 11:42 AM.

  21. #21
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    Kona used to use a clamp-on cable guide on the rear of their cantilever-equipped bikes, IIRC.

    THe othetr option could be a brake-bridge mounted cable hanger.

    They can be seen here: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/cable...are-brake.html
    Scroll down to the items named "CAH59 Fork Crown Housing Stop" and "CAH60 Fork Crown Housing Stop." I don't know if these would fit between the brake bridge and the seat cluster, though. THese also would remove the problem of the weird cable angle caused by mounting the cable stop on the top of the extended seat tube, if they fit.

    Edit: Cannondale also had their own solution to your problem, called the Force 40. http://www.vintagecannondale.com/can...structions.pdf
    Good luck finding one of those, though. I also seem to recall they were also a major PITA to get working perfectly, but I had never seen the instructions in the linked doc until just now.
    Last edited by LarDasse74; 10-29-12 at 01:35 PM.

  22. #22
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    nice idea with the kona seattube clamp-on cable guide
    but then I realized the wierd triangle brace on the surly seattube would prevent that kinda thing from mounting

    had another idea; Surly Trolls use track style drop ends. I can get some chain tugs and set the rear axle back farther to get more clearance.
    but then shifting will go bad.
    and the straddle wire upwards bend issue is still there
    -unless I get a seatpost clamp with integrated rack mounts; file off the lip, set it down low below the 'real' seat clamp, put a cable hanger off that.....
    combine with the super short hanger and the extra wide yoke


    Just for laughs I should email Surly and let them tell me this frame isnt designed for cantilevers.

    kinda sad actually; some of their newest frames are totally alienating me by becoming disk brake exclusive...

  23. #23
    Senior Member cale's Avatar
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    I don't see a problem mixing the brakes and if you mixed pad formulas you could minimize the lock up risk. Their breaks, for crying out loud, like cars which have disks on the front and drums on the rear, it is all about setting them up so that the rear doesn't pull as hard as the front. That can even be dun by adjusting the cable length so that the rears have less pull than the fronts. (Speeling intendenal, in spirit of thread.)

    Definitely go with the suggesting of the mix n match Tektros to get the different pulls.

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