Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 48
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    My Bikes
    1987 Miyata 615 GT
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Cantilevers worthless for commuting?

    Hi All,

    I recently bought a Miyata 615 GT with cantilever brakes on it. They are the original brakes with ancient pads. The braking performance is poor compared to my last bike that had v-brakes. My local shop is building me a wheelset and they encouraged me to ditch them for some relatively cheap v-brakes for more stopping power. I ride in all weather and stopping distance is very important because my bike is my main means of transportation. However, I like the idea of preserving the mechanical operation and appearance of the bike (v-brakes require adding brake stop, leave empty braze-ons).

    Is it ridiculous to think I can get great braking from a new set of cantilevers?

    For example the Tektro CR720... http://www.tektro.com/_english/01_pr...e&sort=1&fid=2

    What are your thoughts?

    2012-07-15 14.21.11.jpg2012-07-15 14.21.19.jpg2012-07-15 14.21.32.jpg
    Last edited by veryhumid; 07-15-12 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Added blurry camera photos

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,274
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That is ludicrous. Cantilever brakes are fine. I would have them adjusted and put new brake pads on. Once that is finished you can see if they are still inadequate and pick up the tektro.

  3. #3
    自転車整備士 oldskoolwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Denver, Colorado USA
    My Bikes
    '86 Moots Mountaineer, '94 Salsa Ala Carte, '94 S-Works FSR, 1983 Trek 600 & 620
    Posts
    865
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you swap cantilevers for V-brakes you'll also have to change the brake levers to V-brake compatible ones.

    IMHO I would change the pads out to something like Kool Stop Salmon colored cantilever pads... a lot of times
    that will make a huge difference in braking efficiency. The OEM cantilevers on your 615 GT should provide more
    than enough stopping power.


  4. #4
    Senior Member Ira B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Coupeville, WA
    My Bikes
    84 Raleigh Technium- 89 Shogun Mt. Bike-96 Miyata 914
    Posts
    880
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    With nice new pads and when properly adjusted those cantilevers should be plenty good enough to chuck you over the handlebars wet or dry.
    Yep, THAT Ira

  5. #5
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Windy City
    My Bikes
    A road bike for every purpose
    Posts
    8,800
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolwrench View Post
    If you swap cantilevers for V-brakes you'll also have to change the brake levers to V-brake compatible ones.

    IMHO I would change the pads out to something like Kool Stop Salmon colored cantilever pads... a lot of times
    that will make a huge difference in braking efficiency. The OEM cantilevers on your 615 GT should provide more
    than enough stopping power.
    +1

    Use these: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=15110

    Upgrade to these if needed: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=19516
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

  6. #6
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    Two wheeled ones
    Posts
    12,075
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    You CAN get good performance from cantis - especially the older style, wide armed cantis. If they're set up well with good pads, they work very well with excellent modulation. Added bonus, they can fit fenders. They also don't have to be as tight on the rim as a v-brake. If you use v brakes, you'll need specific levers like these:



    Unless you use a travel agent.

    These are the best canti's I've used, but they're hard to find:






  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    My Bikes
    1987 Miyata 615 GT
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you for your responses everyone. I added some pictures to the first thread showing the Shimano brakes and levers on the bike. I feel much better requesting a pad replacement and adjustment now.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    My Bikes
    1987 Miyata 615 GT
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Those look good but I have a different style of pad, it doesn't have any threads on it. Maybe the Salmon version of these?

    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...04&category=36

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    38,876
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That brake was on my mid 80s SBI Expedition Touring bike,
    they stopped a Loaded touring bike just fine.

    Is a said 'a poor mechanic blames their tools'.

  10. #10
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Windy City
    My Bikes
    A road bike for every purpose
    Posts
    8,800
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by veryhumid View Post
    Those look good but I have a different style of pad, it doesn't have any threads on it. Maybe the Salmon version of these?

    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...04&category=36
    Yes, good eye!
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

  11. #11
    Senior Member Big Lebowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    My Bikes
    Not a Kilo TT
    Posts
    304
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by veryhumid View Post
    Hi All,

    I recently bought a Miyata 615 GT with cantilever brakes on it. They are the original brakes with ancient pads. The braking performance is poor compared to my last bike that had v-brakes.
    Does poor equate to increased required stopping distance or are there other issues? I recently test rode a new Felt F35X with cantilevers, but I didn't care for the feel, especially the shuddering. However, I have no doubt that the the brakes could quickly stop the bike.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    My Bikes
    1987 Miyata 615 GT
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Lebowski View Post
    Does poor equate to increased required stopping distance or are there other issues? I recently test rode a new Felt F35X with cantilevers, but I didn't care for the feel, especially the shuddering. However, I have no doubt that the the brakes could quickly stop the bike.
    Good question. The brakes feel smooth but they don't "bite" the rim. Even with strong grip on the levers, the response is soft and the bike stops much more slowly than my old v-brake bike. I can squeeze as hard as I want but it just won't slow down very fast. Even at low speeds I doubt I could lock up the front wheel. With my last bike, I think this would have been possible, or at least plausible.

  13. #13
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    My Bikes
    '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid
    Posts
    2,537
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by veryhumid View Post
    Hi All,

    I recently bought a Miyata 615 GT with cantilever brakes on it. They are the original brakes with ancient pads. The braking performance is poor compared to my last bike that had v-brakes. My local shop is building me a wheelset and they encouraged me to ditch them for some relatively cheap v-brakes for more stopping power. I ride in all weather and stopping distance is very important because my bike is my main means of transportation. However, I like the idea of preserving the mechanical operation and appearance of the bike (v-brakes require adding brake stop, leave empty braze-ons).

    Is it ridiculous to think I can get great braking from a new set of cantilevers?

    For example the Tektro CR720... http://www.tektro.com/_english/01_pr...e&sort=1&fid=2

    What are your thoughts?

    2012-07-15 14.21.11.jpg2012-07-15 14.21.19.jpg2012-07-15 14.21.32.jpg
    I think you need to replace your break shoes like others have recommended. Kool Stops will restore the braking to those cantilevers so you'll literally stop on a dime.
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
    Live in Houston? Come to http://bicyclecommutehouston.blogspot.com/
    1988 Specialized Sirrus, 1989 Alpine Monitor Pass MTB, 2007 Specialized Sirrus 700C hybrid, 2007 Schwinn Town & Country trike, 1970 "Resto-Improved" Raleigh 20, 1970 "WIP" Raleigh 20, and 1980 "WIP" Schwinn Town & Country trike

  14. #14
    自転車整備士 oldskoolwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Denver, Colorado USA
    My Bikes
    '86 Moots Mountaineer, '94 Salsa Ala Carte, '94 S-Works FSR, 1983 Trek 600 & 620
    Posts
    865
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OP,

    The canti's you have on your 615 GT are early Shimano AT-50 canti's, the more basic version of the Deore XT's that fietsbob had on his Expedition.
    Properly adjusted, with those A400 aero levers and Salmon pads you should be able to stop on a dime and make 8 change.

  15. #15
    12mph+ commuter
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Oak Park, IL
    Posts
    863
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    With proper adjustment, new pads and new rims will make all the difference in the world.

  16. #16
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Locked by the Door
    My Bikes
    The Black Knight
    Posts
    2,022
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Without reading the other responses, the cantilevers are fine. They're just trying to soak you for more $$$!
    **************************************************
    Tractorlegs no longer participates in Facebook, the Acoustic Guitar Forum, or bikeforums dot net. He can be reached at email mark@markstone.org, or at his website http://markstone.org. There's just too many miles to ride to be sitting at a computer . . .

  17. #17
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Coastal Maine
    My Bikes
    Specialized Tricross Comp, Lemond Tourmalet, Bridgestone MB-5
    Posts
    1,713
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Um, no. My "modern" Tricross is spec'd with "ancient" cantis. And the bike stops just fine. Simpler the better my friend.
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

  18. #18
    Senior Member Novakane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada's Capital
    My Bikes
    Sekine RM40 1980, Miyata 1000LT 1990, Raleigh Mixte Sprite 1980, Raleigh Grand Prix 1979
    Posts
    549
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Not really new information, but I agree with all of the above posts. Properly adjusted cantilever brakes with new and decent pads can and should stop you just as effectively as v-brakes. If you do go with v-brakes, new levers will be required due to the difference in mechnical advantage. Look up Sheldon Brown's article online about this if you want to know specifically why - but the short version is that your current levers are not compatible for safe stopping on v-brakes.
    There are a few options (Tektro makes a popular set, as mentioned) but most drop bar levers are made to work with cantilever or traditional center/side pull brakes - you'll pay a premium for mixing things... I would be suspicious of a shop that tells you to replace the entire braking system instead of just re-greasing the moving parts and putting on new pads and cables.

  19. #19
    nashcommguy
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    nashville, tn
    My Bikes
    Commuters: Fuji Delray road, Fuji Discovery mtb...Touring: Softride Traveler...Road: C-dale SR300
    Posts
    2,500
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolwrench View Post
    If you swap cantilevers for V-brakes you'll also have to change the brake levers to V-brake compatible ones.

    IMHO I would change the pads out to something like Kool Stop Salmon colored cantilever pads... a lot of times
    that will make a huge difference in braking efficiency. The OEM cantilevers on your 615 GT should provide more
    than enough stopping power.

    Great point. The combo of RB levers and Kool-Stop pads should be fine. No need to spend extra money on Vs and new levers. Make sure your wheels are true and centered. Take all the slack out of the arc cable. Then squeeze the levers hard 20 times to stretch the cable and you should be good to go.

    My main commuter has cantis and I just put new pads on them about a month ago. Aztecs from Nashbar. They work great. It's a CX bike and the brakes do rs a little better to the flat-bar lever than to the hood levers, but either way cantis are fine.

  20. #20
    Insane Member Onions's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    My Bikes
    Huffy Grand Prairie 15sp MTB (don't hate!), 1980 Schwinn World Tourist, 1976 Schwinn Traveler, 1974 Romic Custom (project bike!)
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I commute with canti brakes every day. They work fine, even on lolheug hills.
    This man is no ordinary man. This is Mr. F. G. Superman. To all appearances, he looks like any other law-abiding citizen. But Mr F. G. Superman has a secret identity...

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chicago!
    Posts
    212
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Second everyone's thoughts above. I'd also consider using a different mechanic/LBS - biggest reason to switch to v-brakes is ease of installation, not added braking power. As mentioned above, it'll require new levers too - I like to have an LBS that will give me the cheapest options that keep me riding safely, not try to sell me on unnecessary "upgrades".

  22. #22
    Senior Member juggleaddict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    My Bikes
    LHT
    Posts
    866
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    http://sheldonbrown.com/canti-trad.html see "Mechanical Advantage." I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this, but you can try a more shallow link wire, from your picture it looks to be very long. New pads are still a good idea, but I would try to adjust that first to see what effect it has.

  23. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Central CT
    Posts
    49
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wow.

    I can't believe a bike "mechanic" would make that statement. I commute on cantilevers all the time, and I've ridden a ton of hard mountain biking miles on them too.

    The key to your problem is your "ancient pads." They don't look like they were very good pads to begin with, and over the years the rubber has probably become very hard. As noted several times above, a simple pad switch should have you stopping fine.

  24. #24
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2009 Spesh Singlecross, 2011 RM Flow1
    Posts
    11,316
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by veryhumid View Post
    Good question. The brakes feel smooth but they don't "bite" the rim. Even with strong grip on the levers, the response is soft and the bike stops much more slowly than my old v-brake bike. I can squeeze as hard as I want but it just won't slow down very fast. Even at low speeds I doubt I could lock up the front wheel. With my last bike, I think this would have been possible, or at least plausible.
    That sounds like an adjustment issue in conjunction with the "ancient" brake pads. I've been rolling Tektro CR720s on all my canti equipped bikes for a few years. I use Kool Stop salmon pads and they work very well in all but the worst of conditions... I'm talking about *really* bad; like, iced over middle of winter packed full of snow and road slush on the commuter, or slick wet muddy CX course with fresh-cut grass so a combo of that crap packs in around the brakes.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Zang's Spur, CO
    Posts
    6,244
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by juggleaddict View Post
    http://sheldonbrown.com/canti-trad.html see "Mechanical Advantage." I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this, but you can try a more shallow link wire, from your picture it looks to be very long. New pads are still a good idea, but I would try to adjust that first to see what effect it has.
    +1
    I was considering commenting on that.
    I've never seen such a long straddle cable on a canti.


    Also, that is a tall frame, with a long head tube, and a cable stop mounted up by the stem. That is a recipe for a front brake that shudders and grabs on steep descents. In my experience, it made my front brake unusable in descents of more than 9%.

    Lennard Zinn explains it here: http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/...o-cross_101807

    The solution is a cable stop mounted at the fork crown. Tektro and Specialized make them.
    Last edited by Shimagnolo; 07-16-12 at 10:06 AM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •