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  1. #1
    Senior Member thehammerdog's Avatar
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    swapping cantis for V brakes..on old school steel SS MTB

    As I ride the old girl more and more I grow to luv what she is, but I hate the poor stopping power of cantis. I have an extra pair of V brakes but can I do a simple swappingout ? Will I need any extra parts I may be missing the steel noodle. I have old school Paul Love levers will they work?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member melloveloyellow's Avatar
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    I had no problems switching to V's from Canti's on my Ritchey Ascent. The fork brake bosses were positioned properly. You will need noodle(s), and likely cables/housings. The brake levers for the Canti's won't work well, if at all. The Tektro Eclipse 2.1 worked for me, but any levers specific for V's should do. I don't know how the current rear cable/housing is routed on your bike, but it should be doable. Good luck! The V's are definitely better, IMO.

    PS: I used the Tektro's because my rear brake is a U-brake, under the chainstays. This is NOT compatible w/V's, as there is interference w/the chainrings or crank. Thus the Tektro "universal" levers. If you don't have this rear brake setup, please disregard.
    Last edited by melloveloyellow; 04-16-14 at 02:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    The fit WRT the rim width, the frame bosses width and height placement, the brake arm configuration and the pad thickness/placement options are way too varied to say without actually trying what set up will work best.

    But I take issue with the OP's premise that cantis aren't powerful. I run them on all my bikes that have brake bosses including the tandem. A well set up set of cantis can work very well. But then I'm picky with where i place the frame bosses and which cantis and pads i use. Andy.

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    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    vs will likely work
    but youll have to try them out to make sure they do

  5. #5
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    . . .
    But I take issue with the OP's premise that cantis aren't powerful. I run them on all my bikes that have brake bosses including the tandem. A well set up set of cantis can work very well. But then I'm picky with where i place the frame bosses and which cantis and pads i use. Andy.
    No. 1.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You can run brake housing all the way, just wont make the sharp curve as nicely ..

    Paul makes a canti and V pull lever , IDK what you have,.

  7. #7
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    Properly set up cantis will stop as well as anything else. I've never had an issue with the ability of any kind of quality brake to stop the wheels, after that stopping the bike is a matter of tire performance.

    If the cantis are still on the bike, set them up so the shoe hits the rim with the brake arm arc coming to top dead center rather than passed it. Then ensure good cable geometry (shortening the yoke usually helps), make sure all is tight and try again.

    In terms of set up, The more classic design with shoes on a post are more of a pain to get spot on, but they offer the important ability to move the shoe in and out, so you can control the point in the arc where the shoe touches. On more modern cantis I'll often use shims to move the shoe forward (if the design allows, and the bolt is long enough) when the bosses are too far from the rim.

    Otherwise, since you already own a pair of V-brakes, it's a plug and play swap on most modern bosses. (older bosses may have the spring hole in a different place). Unlike cantis everything is in the brake unit, so there's no other hardware needed.
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  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    FWIW,

    If the frame hole is on the outside , Pauls V brake works.. as It has both ends of the spring is within itself
    and the end bolt holds the adjustment.


    As would the cantilever set on my loaded touring bike.. Scott-Peterson SE. but a whole different mechanism ..

    the Self Energizing mech works so well, the lawyers at SunTour, when they used the design would only make a rear brake.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-16-14 at 03:10 PM.

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    The fit WRT the rim width, the frame bosses width and height placement, the brake arm configuration and the pad thickness/placement options are way too varied to say without actually trying what set up will work best.
    I've swapped cantilevers to linear brakes on many bikes and never had an issue with the brakes fitting nor functioning properly...with the one proviso mentioned by melloveloyellow. The brake levers have to be compatible with linear brakes or you have to use a "travel agent".

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    But I take issue with the OP's premise that cantis aren't powerful. I run them on all my bikes that have brake bosses including the tandem. A well set up set of cantis can work very well. But then I'm picky with where i place the frame bosses and which cantis and pads i use. Andy.
    I agree completely. I have 3 cantilever equipped bikes and all of them have excellent brakes. I even had lots of mountain bikes with cantilevers without issue. Set up is a tad more difficult but once set up, they stop as well as any brake on the market...including current hub mounted discs. The problem is that most people don't set them up properly...starting with Shimano's stupid link wire.
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  10. #10
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    Just a note- V-brakes are cantilever brakes. They just have linear pull rather than a straddle cable.

    If you don't change the straddle cable length, then most modern "canti" brakes are exactly as easy to set up as V-brakes; they have the exact same method of mounting the pad to the brake arm, the brake arm is mounted to the same stud with the same pivot. The older versions with the unthreaded clamped bar mount were the difficult ones.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    & there are lever types , depending on where the pivot is.... compact cantilever and V brakes its on the end.

    L type cantilevers , its between the cable and the pad.

  12. #12
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    "If you don't change the straddle cable length, then most modern "canti" brakes are exactly as easy to set up as V-brakes; they have the exact same method of mounting the pad to the brake arm, the brake arm is mounted to the same stud with the same pivot. The older versions with the unthreaded clamped bar mount were the difficult ones." cycle_maven

    Yet it is these older smooth pad mounting shaft that are more adjustable. Ease of adjustment has nothing to do with ultimate power. Range of adjustment allows the greatest potential power to be had.

    Many/most more current bikes have the brake bosses placed in a narrower placement range. So the more current canti brakes (and "V" brakes) can be designed around this more consistent boss spec. But I've seen more then a few bikes with vastly differing boss placements on the front VS the rear, on the same bike. A Bridgestone I service yearly has the ft bosses about 70mm apart and the rear about 80mm apart. Just 10mm of difference may as well be a mile for brake set up purposes.

    As a shop wrench I've learned to be very careful about assuming any bike's dimensional specs. Also I've learned to be reserved in making broad claims without actually having the bike in front of me. This concept is hard for many to accept. In today's interweb world of information sourcing so many think that what they read is absolute and applies to their situation without qualification. I've had customers not understand why i hesitate to quote them services over the phone, only to have them end up in the shop later with a poorly serviced bike or a partially done replacement/up grade. Andy.

  13. #13
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    Agreed.

    Braking "power" is a specious term. For a given pad material and size, all you have is modulation ratio (how hard the pad presses against the rim for how hard you pull the handle). It doesn't matter what the actuation method is, for a well adjusted brake.

    That being the rub- the difference in frictive force between a well adjusted brake and a badly adjusted brake is huge for a given amount of hand pressure for a given modulation ratio. And the older smooth post brakes were more difficult to set up correctly, which gave them a reputation for low "power". They were just badly adjusted.

    I also think that the best cantilever brake for a bike is likely to be the one it came with, for the same reason. I have bikes that vary between 55 mm between posts to 80 mm between posts.

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