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  1. #1
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    Opinions on replacement cantilevers?

    I have a 1984 Univega MTB with a brake problem. I can squeeze the rear brakes for all I'm worth and still pedal the bike without too much effort. The front brakes work, but don't work great. I have have VO brake shoes with a little over 100 miles on them, so I don't think that's that problem. These Dia Compe brakes do not have an adjuster for the straddle wire, so I can't get the mechanical advantage up to where I'd like it.

    I plan to replace the brakes, and am thinking I might as well put something pretty adjustable on it since this bike could become a 650b conversion down the line (it's 559 now). Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations about the following brakes, or other suggestions?

    Origin8 Origin8 Wide Profile Cantis

    Origin8 Ultim8 Cantilever Brake

    Tektro CR720 Cantilever Brakes

    Thanks,
    Eric
    1992 Bridgestone XO-3
    1984 Univega Alpina Sport
    1984 Univega Gran Turismo
    1968 Me
    1967 Raleigh Superbe

  2. #2
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    bad idea.

    first of all, the rear brake is never going to be able to stop your bike that well. front brake does most of the work. secondly, these new cantis don't jive that well with our old bikes. mtbs may be different than road bikes in this manner, i dont know.

    why dont you post pictures of your brake setup so we can give you pointers?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
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    Set your brake pads very close to a very true, very clean rim and 99% of braking problems go away instantly. If you do want to swap out cantis, the Shimano BR-AT50 and BR-MC70 are widely available in used bins, look handsome, and work wonderfully.
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  4. #4
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    You need to get adjuster barrels into the system somewhere.

    Headset hangar for the front:



    Seatpost hangar for the rear:



    Both are Dia-Compe, easy to find...and you get those handy QRs too.

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    Senior Member GrayJay's Avatar
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    if these use pads with an unthreaded post, you may be able to adjust the mechanical advantage somewhat during setup by pushing the posts as far inboard as they will go, forcing the cantilever arms outward. This makes the unadjustable saddle cable angle a bit flatter and results in better mechanical advantage. you can also buy (or make) saddle wires in different lengths, a slightly shorter wire may help if you still have clearance for it.
    The cyclocross forum has a good sticky note posted about cantilever setup,
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...lver-Brake-FAQ

  6. #6
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Get the hangars, and switch to Tektro R5 mini-V brakes. Affordable alternative and they will definitely stop you.

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  7. #7
    Cottered Crank Amesja's Avatar
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    Maybe swap out the cantis for v-brakes? but don't forget the levers too as canti levers aren't compatible.

    $30 -done.
    '74 Raleigh Carlton Competition w/ Ultegra | '97 Trek 720 Singletrack CX-er w/ 105 | '64 Raleigh LTD-3 modernized w/ all alloy components |'69 Raleigh Twenty | '54 Raleigh Sports

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    These brakes are already adjusted pretty well in terms of proximity and alignment to the rim and both have barrel adjusters at the brake levers. Also the rims are clean and I replaced the brake cables. I'm not bottoming out the lever against the grip, I just can't squeeze it hard enough to make a difference. On my Gran Turismo I can adjust the length of the straddle wire and dial the brakes in quite nicely. GrayJay, I'll try your idea about the posts, I hadn't thought of that. Captain Blight, thank you for the recommendations, I'll have to look around for a shop with a decent used parts bin.
    1992 Bridgestone XO-3
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    Student of Hybrid Gearing BluesDaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewmyers View Post
    I'm not bottoming out the lever against the grip, I just can't squeeze it hard enough to make a difference.
    Make sure you set the length of the brake cable such that, at full force, you can squeeze the lever almost all the way to the grip without bottoming. If you don't, you're not getting the full advantage of the work the lever is made to do. When I first started working on mountain bikes 20 years ago, I would set the brakes to engage with just maybe 3/4" of lever pull and that made the brakes feel hard and weak. Then I learned that allowing more lever travel gave the brakes more power with easier effort.

  10. #10
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Are you sure that your levers are for cantilevers? A mismatch could impact the mechanical advantage, but I don't know if v brake levers with canti brakes would give you problems with mechanical advantage or with modulation...
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  11. #11
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
    Maybe swap out the cantis for v-brakes? but don't forget the levers too as canti levers aren't compatible.

    $30 -done.
    +1

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    Are you sure that your levers are for cantilevers? A mismatch could impact the mechanical advantage, but I don't know if v brake levers with canti brakes would give you problems with mechanical advantage or with modulation...
    +1

    Tektro also made some levers that have an adjustable anchor point for canti and V brakes, setting the wrong point might give the results the ewmyers describes.

  13. #13
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    might be those VO pads: I have only seen some that were sold super cheap (maybe close-outs?) from them, and even though they had the salmon color of Koolstops, they were far inferior.

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    Well, I said I had replaced the brake cables which was true, but I hadn't replaced the cable housings. I noticed there was a lot of movement in the housing when I applied the brakes, so I replaced the brake cable housing this afternoon, and now the brakes work well enough that I don't feel the need to replace them. I'll still keep an eye out for a good deal on replacements that can adjust the straddle wire, but I'm in no rush now. Thanks for your help everyone.
    -Eric
    1992 Bridgestone XO-3
    1984 Univega Alpina Sport
    1984 Univega Gran Turismo
    1968 Me
    1967 Raleigh Superbe

  15. #15
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Glad you got it sorted out! The housings must have been stretched out, that's pretty odd...

  16. #16
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    housing that is too long or not the right shape can do that.. you can lose a lot of lever distance to moving housing, especially on the rear brake. i'm actually trying to set up a rear ubrake and it seems like it might need a vbrake lever due to so much lever travel :\
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    Chirs_in_Miami I am not sure the old housing stretched, but it could have degraded in some way I suppose. I wonder if perhaps it wasn't original, or was actually shifter cable housing instead, since some of that seems a lot more flexible. Also, I shortened the rear brake cable housing (two pieces) by a total of almost 1 inch.
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  18. #18
    RFC
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    I have to think it is an adjustment issue. But, if not, I haved used these on three cyclocross bikes with excellent results. And, the price is very right.

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...1_10000_202421

  19. #19
    Senior Member southpawboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
    might be those VO pads: I have only seen some that were sold super cheap (maybe close-outs?) from them, and even though they had the salmon color of Koolstops, they were far inferior.
    +1. Don't get me going on these worthless pieces of rim-destroying matter. They may look like Salmon Koolstops, but they don't work like them.

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