Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    30mi/day commuter
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    794
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    calipers vs cantilevers?

    Whats the deal, i cant figure out why caliper brakes exist? Cantilever brakes seem simpler (design standpoint) and allow for fenders and things.
    What can caliper brakes give me that cantilevers cant?
    Why are they mostly used on road type bikes?

  2. #2
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    the desert
    Posts
    1,070
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
    Cantilever brakes seem simpler (design standpoint) and allow for fenders and things.
    You can get fenders under long reach sidepull calibers, too, though most modern road bikes use short reach brakes.

    What can caliper brakes give me that cantilevers cant?
    Simple installation and adjustment

    Why are they mostly used on road type bikes?
    I'd guess style is one issue; sleeker design with no need for cable hangers or inline adjusters. But short reach sidepulls probably allow mfrs to use a bit less frame material due to the overall tighter clearances, resulting in a frame that is somewhat lighter and still stiff. Besides, most modern dual-pivot sidepulls perform quite nicely and mate well with STI/Ergo levers.

  3. #3
    30mi/day commuter
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    794
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What can caliper brakes give me that cantilevers cant?


    Simple installation and adjustment
    Really you think its easier.. i find calipers harder to adjust... they is lots of metal close together and springs and things, which get gummed up and rusted. This might be more of an issue over many years but you say that on a month to month basis calipers are easier?

  4. #4
    .
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    My Bikes
    Moots Psychlo-x ybb, Soma ES, Trek 950
    Posts
    3,781
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree desertdork. Much easier to install and adjust caliper brakes. Canti's are difficult if you don't know what you're doing. Most people that I've heard talk about Canti's hate them because of the poor braking power. Truth is, they probably are just adjusted incorrectly. Rarely find that with calipers.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  5. #5
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    My Bikes
    several
    Posts
    4,270
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've run both cantilevers and modern design calipers. There are two big design differences in favor of calipers.

    1) Calipers are mechanically self centering whereas cantis are not.

    2) Calipers provide the same mechanical advantage through their range of motion whereas the mechanical advantage ration of cantis decline as the brake pads move towards the rim.

    I currently run cantis (Avid Shorty 7's) on my LHT because of the reach and fender clearance requirements, and they perform very well so long as the maintenance is maintenance kept up. I'd be running calipers if I could.

  6. #6
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Fife Scotland
    My Bikes
    Airnimal Chameleon; Ellis Briggs; Moulton TSR27
    Posts
    1,899
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Caliper brakes and cantis were designed for different purposes. In road racing when cycling in groups the need is for modulation in braking so as to respond immediately and proportionally to changes in position within the group. In that safety is the issue her , modulation of braking, not raw power is the priority.
    In heavy touring, when carrying heavy loads, or in extreme conditions when mountain biking, sufficient power is needed to cope with this. The configuration of cantis and of V brakes can deal with these conditions.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,936
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
    Really you think its easier.. i find calipers harder to adjust... they is lots of metal close together and springs and things, which get gummed up and rusted. This might be more of an issue over many years but you say that on a month to month basis calipers are easier?
    So what are you compareing?

    In the old days, calipers tended to have the "stickies" a lot so that one pad would drag. Canty's, on the other hand, required holding the pad steady in 3 different planes while you tightened it - arguably the most difficult bike mechanic task to perform. Then there is the whole yoke wire angle thing that was also a joke.

    Modern canty's are a whole lot easier to adjust than the old ones but modern dual pivot calipers are easier to adjust too and have to be the most trouble free bicycle brakes out there.

    Were it not for tire clearance issues, I'm not sure canty's would exist anymore.

  8. #8
    .
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    My Bikes
    Moots Psychlo-x ybb, Soma ES, Trek 950
    Posts
    3,781
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Were it not for tire clearance issues, I'm not sure canty's would exist anymore.
    Don't necessarily agree with you on this. It's not just about tire clearance. In mountain biking and cross, you need mud clearance as well. Just because you can fit 32's on your road bike doesn't mean you could ride it through a muddy cross track. For at least these applications, they will probably be around for a long, long time. Hopefully improved over that time as well, just like you stated.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  9. #9
    STFD mcgreivey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    North Bergen, NJ
    My Bikes
    '80 Windsor Carrera Sport, '02 Specialized Sirrus A1, '10 Giant Escape 2
    Posts
    778
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I like the old Dia Compe center-pulls on my old road bike--easy to adjust; effective braking. This design is arguably a variation on cantilevers.

    I like the v-brakes on my other bike--lots of stopping power, easy to adjust.

    Point is: all the common braking designs can work fine for stopping a bike. Some implementations of these designs are better than others. Some types of brakes are better for certain applications.
    Last edited by mcgreivey; 09-30-09 at 11:03 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,936
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by knobster View Post
    Don't necessarily agree with you on this. It's not just about tire clearance. In mountain biking and cross, you need mud clearance as well. Just because you can fit 32's on your road bike doesn't mean you could ride it through a muddy cross track. For at least these applications, they will probably be around for a long, long time. Hopefully improved over that time as well, just like you stated.
    Yeah, you have a point. It's been so long since I've been in mountain biking mode, and I never did cyclocross, that I forgot about the mud clearance thing.

Posting Permissions

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