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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 10-16-06, 11:40 AM   #1
dbattan
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Best way to change wheels if you have cantilevers?

I just got a new Gunnar Crosshairs (which is sweet, btw) but one thing I did not realize. The mechanic at the LBS told me there is no easy way to switch wheelsets because the bike has cantilever brakes (Shimano). So even though there are quiick releases, he says I cannot easily pull off the CX wheels and swap them for wheels with road tires (I plan to use this as a CX bike and also as a backup road bike/winter trainer).

He says the best thing to do is deflate the tires when you switch, because then you can pull the wheels off. This is not so bad but I wonder if there is a better way....

I have not had a chance to look at them, and I am also mechanically un-gifted.

Does this topic ring any bells? Thanks.
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Old 10-16-06, 11:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbattan
I just got a new Gunnar Crosshairs (which is sweet, btw) but one thing I did not realize. The mechanic at the LBS told me there is no easy way to switch wheelsets because the bike has cantilever brakes (Shimano). So even though there are quiick releases, he says I cannot easily pull off the CX wheels and swap them for wheels with road tires (I plan to use this as a CX bike and also as a backup road bike/winter trainer).

He says the best thing to do is deflate the tires when you switch, because then you can pull the wheels off. This is not so bad but I wonder if there is a better way....

I have not had a chance to look at them, and I am also mechanically un-gifted.

Does this topic ring any bells? Thanks.
I have Shimano cantilever brakes on my MTB. The straddle cable has a small protruding piece at the end which can be gripped and eased out while squeezing the brake-arms, thus releasing the straddle cable, and facilitating removal of the wheel without deflating the tyre.

- Wil

(I'll post some pics if you're still in the dark…)
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Old 10-16-06, 11:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil Davis
The straddle cable has a small protruding piece at the end which can be gripped and eased out while squeezing the brake-arms, thus releasing the straddle cable, and facilitating removal of the wheel without deflating the tyre.
Thats how all cantilevers I've ever seen are designed for opening for release. The protuding piece is often a disk about 1/8" thick 3/8" diameter and fits into a half circle cup on the break arm.
Did the tech really install the wheel with tire deflated when building the bike?
Al

Last edited by noisebeam; 10-16-06 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 10-16-06, 12:11 PM   #4
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Here's a pic…

BTW - I recently replaced a straddle-cable which had frayed, and the only ones I could find with the protrusion thingy were made by Shimano.

- Wil
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Old 10-16-06, 12:16 PM   #5
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I've never seen cantilevers (crappy ones or nice ones) that did not open by unhooking the straddle cable on one side. Any chance the mechanic said "caliper"? I have a road caliper on a bike with cyclocross tires and I have to deflate the tire to get the wheel out.
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Old 10-16-06, 12:30 PM   #6
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Mechanic is a crackhead? I have two wheelsets for my CX bike (doesn't everyone) and I change them several times a week. The rims have to be comparable width, but it isn't usually a problem.
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Old 10-16-06, 12:56 PM   #7
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I haven't been able to get the wheels off my CX bike when mounted with 32c cx tires without deflating them. Its fine with skinny road tires, but the CX tires are too fat. I tried to release the brake arms, but the straddle cable just ends with a little hockey puck shaped piece, instead of the keyhole shaped piece that is on Wil Davis' picture. As it is I have nothing to grasp to gain a decent purchase on the cable, so it stays where it is...
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Old 10-16-06, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiznaz
I haven't been able to get the wheels off my CX bike when mounted with 32c cx tires without deflating them. Its fine with skinny road tires, but the CX tires are too fat. I tried to release the brake arms, but the straddle cable just ends with a little hockey puck shaped piece, instead of the keyhole shaped piece that is on Wil Davis' picture. As it is I have nothing to grasp to gain a decent purchase on the cable, so it stays where it is...
It can be hard to get the 'hockey puck' past its 'holder'.
Often one has to squeeze the brakes together quite hard by hand then pop the puck out.
If it is too tight, then I open up the brake spacing width using the in-line brake adjuster and then I can pop out the 'hockey puck' easier.
Al
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Old 10-16-06, 02:12 PM   #9
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Not all straddle cables have the part to grab like in the picture above. Some have a little piece on the cable that you can use to push the cable end out of the cantilever. I don't even have proper straddle cables; I am currently using the moutain lever end of a brake cable as a straddle cable. It's not too hard to unhook the straddle cable by pulling the cantilever toward the rim to create some slack and then pop the hockey puck end out.
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Old 10-16-06, 02:36 PM   #10
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i may have an idea of what he's talking about
i've got a brand-new '07 Conquest, with textro cantis, and even with the straddle cable pulled off, its still a squeeze to get my 35c Maxxis Locusts in and out when they are inflated (i just force the side knobs through, im too lazy to deflate them). This MAY be what he's talking about.
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Old 10-16-06, 03:12 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies so far. I think I know what to try and what the issues are now....

This is what makes BF so great....
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Old 10-16-06, 08:24 PM   #12
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if you've got your brakes set up so that you don't have a whole lot of lever travel it can be really hard to get the straddle cable undone.

i have my brakes setup so i can just about bottom-out the lever on the bar. i have no problems releasing my straddle cable, and with 35c tires i've got plenty of room to get the wheels in/out.
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Old 10-17-06, 06:20 AM   #13
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I have to back off (or tighten, depending on how you percieve it) the adjustment barrel adjuster at my inline lever before I can unhook the straddle cable. But that's really easy. I take my wheels off all the time without deflating them.
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Old 10-17-06, 09:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiznaz
I haven't been able to get the wheels off my CX bike when mounted with 32c cx tires without deflating them. Its fine with skinny road tires, but the CX tires are too fat. I tried to release the brake arms, but the straddle cable just ends with a little hockey puck shaped piece, instead of the keyhole shaped piece that is on Wil Davis' picture. As it is I have nothing to grasp to gain a decent purchase on the cable, so it stays where it is...
I think you're too young to have lived the cantilever adventure. They used to be high tech MTB brakes. Anyway, my straddle cable is like yours. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you've got it, it is really easy to release. Some brake set ups are harder than others though.
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Old 10-17-06, 09:11 AM   #15
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They were what I used when I was little, but back then I was riding ccms and various other junky mtbs that you could never get adjusted properly (but its not like I ever had the desire to take the wheel off anyways). I blame my compressionless Nokon bling cables now.
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Old 10-17-06, 11:39 AM   #16
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Some brake levers have a quick release feature built into them similar
to how a road caliper has a quick release arm. This can make it really
easy to change a wheel. Mine are Tektro and I think most Campy stuff
does the same.
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Old 10-21-06, 10:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
I have to back off (or tighten, depending on how you percieve it) the adjustment barrel adjuster at my inline lever before I can unhook the straddle cable. But that's really easy. I take my wheels off all the time without deflating them.
this is what I do too, the brakes are set up with the pads pretty close to the rims. it nice to have it close but I could add a bit of slack and I could get the cable off, but its pretty easy to back off the barrel on the top levers. but thats only if you have the top levers.
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