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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 03-31-10, 07:28 AM   #1
Scotland Yard
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Dialing In Cantilever Brakes

I just bought a cross bike for commuting and riding on the road, so this is my first time dealing with cantis.


Perhaps I just don't know what I'm doing, but I'm finding them to be a nightmare to keep in check. Firstly I removed my in-line brake levers because I never used them. W/out the barrel adjusters it was a nightmare to get the brakelevers feeling tight and having the pads and cables set-up right, so I ended up paying a shop to set them up for me.

But after a few hundred miles and a few rides in the rain the pads are worn but not worn out and I had to compensate by adjusting the brakes once again because I had too much mechanical advantage. I feel like I'm constantly having some issue or another with the brakes on this bike. I put in a lot of miles, but I wouldn't think normal pad wear would cause issues.

So I'm looking for some advice for someone like me whose brakes get a lot of use. Is it really necessary to adjust cantis this much or will something like installing barrel adjusters or link cables (I have a yoke on there now) make things less painful, the right pads, or just a better set-up make cantis less painful?
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Old 03-31-10, 07:37 AM   #2
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Well, at least now you know why those inline levers have barrel adjusters.

It's a shame the shop didn't install adjusters, either inline or at the cable hangers, when they re-did the cabling. In lieu of that you can get rid of the cable slack at the anchor bolt.
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Old 03-31-10, 08:21 AM   #3
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*sorry misread your post. I have no relevent information to add. Best of luck getting them straightened out.

Last edited by bautieri; 03-31-10 at 08:22 AM. Reason: *foot in mouth*
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Old 03-31-10, 08:28 AM   #4
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Nah its a Raleigh RX 1.0 frame with a mix match of parts off of a kona cross bike. I think I may also be expecting perfection and am used to road brakes. There's a guy at my school who commutes on a surly cross-check w/out inline levers gonna have to check out his set-up on of these days when I can catch him.
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Old 03-31-10, 09:05 AM   #5
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It sounds like you have a good idea what you're doing, but I'd like to recommend this thread anyway. It's the best discussion I've seen here about adjusting cantis.

The problem with using the anchor bolt to adjust brake clearance is that it changes the dynamics of the system. Even so, that's probably the way I'd do it. A fourth hand tool can be helpful in this regard.

I'm a little surprised that just a few hundred miles wore the brakes enough to put things out of adjustment.
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Old 03-31-10, 09:19 AM   #6
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Eh it came with really ****ty pads. I put maybe 350 miles or so a lot of it commuting, tons of stop and go and a few rainy rides in there. Gotta get outta urban areas so my rides can be uninterrupted by stop lights.

Thanks for the thread I'm checking it out now.
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Old 03-31-10, 09:37 AM   #7
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Good advice, especially for a canti noob: don't over tighten against the cables. That way you can adjust without mashing and having the hassle of replacing those. Also take heart that it is aggravating for everyone at first but gets easier with experience. Takes practice.
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Old 03-31-10, 09:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the pope View Post
Good advice, especially for a canti noob: don't over tighten against the cables. That way you can adjust without mashing and having the hassle of replacing those
Too late... I'm learning a ton from these brakes at least.
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