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  1. #1
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    As good as shorty ultimates but cheaper?

    I'm looking at upgrading the brakes on my cross bike from avid shorty 3 because frankly I hate them. I looked at mini v's but I'd like to keep the possibility of running really fat tyres for heading off down bridal paths and things so seems cantilevers are the only option without getting a whole new frame for discs (which I might consider once my drive-chain starts to wear out).

    Seemingly avid ultimates are the best out the at the moment when it comes to power, control and ease of setup. As I'm planning on swapping out this bike for a model with disc brakes at some point though I don't want to spend more than necessary and I'm wondering if I'm shelling out more than I need to for weight reductions, something that tbh I'm not at all bothered about (especially when it comes to brakes).

    Are there any other brakes people would recommend that share the other aspects of the ultimates I'm interested in, with less concern for weight? I'm not overly interested in the wide profile canti-brakes, for a mix of aesthetic and clearance reasons.

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1speeder's Avatar
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    Have you checked out the new Shimano CX70 Cantilever brakes? Maybe wider than you like, but I put a set on my tandem and they seem like they brake very well. I don't have any real mileage on them yet, cause I had to get some cracks in the frame repaired. But here is a link to Amazon... Robot Check

  3. #3
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    I've got Shimano CX70's on one bike and Avid Shorty 6's on another. They both get the bike stopped well enough, but I like the Shimanos better. The Shorty 6's are more prone to squealing and I feel like they aren't quite as powerful.

    You could also get Shimano CX50's which I've read work as well as the CX70's and cost half as much. The only thing you're really giving up is finish and maybe taking on a few extra grams.

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    Would you say they're as easy to adjust? That's quite a big point for me as I'm just getting in to doing stuff myself and hear the ultimates are really good for this.

  5. #5
    Senior Member 1speeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dheorl View Post
    Would you say they're as easy to adjust? That's quite a big point for me as I'm just getting in to doing stuff myself and hear the ultimates are really good for this.
    The Shimano CX70 brakes are fairly easy to set up, check out the Shimano site for the instructions. You will need to measure your rim width and also the brake stud widths to calculate the spacer length between the arms and pads. Product

    Mike

  6. #6
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    I'm not convinced that the Shorty Ultimates are easy to set up. I've never used them, but looking at them their strength seems to be that they have a wide range of set up options (arm angle, straddle cable length, etc.), which is great if you know what the different possibilities do, but not so great if you just want to bolt it on and forget about it.

    The instructions for the CX70 are designed to guide you directly to what Shimano thinks is the best set up. You measure, you look at the chart, you use the bolt and spacer configuration they say, you use their link wire and you're done. For me, the recommended configuration has been great.

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    The CX50 looks like a pricepoint winner. The CX70 gets a very positive review from Grant Petersen, which mean a lot to me: Shimano CX70 Cantilever Brakes - 15003

    If it were me, though, I'd replace the stock link wire with a straddle cable and yoke (e.g. Tektro part 1246A) so you could fine-tune the yoke height. The lower the yoke, the more braking leverage you have. The higher the yoke, the more pad-to-rim clearance you get.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The TRP BRAKES https://www.trpbrakes.com/category.p...d=185&subcat=0

    are worth a check into .. Velo Orange gets them to ship a polished version to them ,It appears .. darned close at least.


    the CX Shimano brake seems well suited to forks where the bosses are closer together ..

    I run old Mafacs in that case, as I have on such a frame for 35 years.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-20-14 at 04:05 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    I'm not convinced that the Shorty Ultimates are easy to set up. I've never used them, but looking at them their strength seems to be that they have a wide range of set up options (arm angle, straddle cable length, etc.), which is great if you know what the different possibilities do, but not so great if you just want to bolt it on and forget about it.

    The instructions for the CX70 are designed to guide you directly to what Shimano thinks is the best set up. You measure, you look at the chart, you use the bolt and spacer configuration they say, you use their link wire and you're done. For me, the recommended configuration has been great.
    Well the thing is I was hoping to learn a bit more about the variations in setup do, so was thinking something easy to adjust like ultimates might help with that. I guess I could always get a more traditional straddle cable with the shimano brakes to add a bit of easy adjustability.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Cyclocross racing has become popular and a lot more brakes are made for that market segment..

    more choices .. Cyclocrossworld.com - Brakes

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    I'm partial to the Tektro CR720. I'm not sure what clearance issues you are referring to wide profile brakes having?

  12. #12
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roburrito View Post
    I'm partial to the Tektro CR720. I'm not sure what clearance issues you are referring to wide profile brakes having?
    Hard to beat for the price; they're darn good and reasonable. The Shimanos look pretty good though; I'd like to try them out.

  13. #13
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Depending on which brake levers you're using, you may able to run some reasonably long v-brakes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
    Hard to beat for the price; they're darn good and reasonable.
    Keep in mind, the 720 is a wide-profile canti and therefore has less leverage than a low-profile canti (like the Shimanos) would have with a reasonably low yoke. They are excellent brakes for the price, though.

    I think the fact that you can run the Ultimates either wide or narrow is a little gimmicky. I've never felt that I needed more rim clearance than I can get with a low-profile set of brakes.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle View Post
    I've never felt that I needed more rim clearance than I can get with a low-profile set of brakes.
    You know, I've been wondering about that myself. I'm having a hard time picturing the kind of mud that would cause problems with 2mm of clearance that it wouldn't also cause with 10mm of clearance. It seems like rim clearance really only comes into play if your wheel is out of true.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Kopsis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle View Post
    Keep in mind, the 720 is a wide-profile canti and therefore has less leverage than a low-profile canti (like the Shimanos) would have with a reasonably low yoke.
    This is true. However, since the 720s have a nearly 90 cantilever angle, they're extremely insensitive to yoke height. You can set the straddle cable high for mud clearance without losing much (if any) mechanical advantage.

    And mechanical advantage is a double edged sword with cantis. More MA means more power, but it also means longer pull and "mushier" feel. In CX, pads are often set to allow extra rim clearance. Too much MA and you run out of lever travel and/or lose the "feel" that you need for good modulation. Yeah, you need to be able to grip the levers with a bit of "authority" if you want to stop in a hurry -- but in CX your stopping is usually far more limited by traction than it is by braking power.

  17. #17
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kopsis View Post
    This is true. However, since the 720s have a nearly 90 cantilever angle, they're extremely insensitive to yoke height. You can set the straddle cable high for mud clearance without losing much (if any) mechanical advantage.
    ...which is great if you want a relatively idiot-proof cantilever, but not so great if you want to learn how various adjustments change brake performance.

    Low profile cantilevers have a fairly small range or yoke heights in which they work well, but you can get a lot of change within that range. Wide profile cantilevers have a fairly flat MA curve.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dheorl View Post
    I'm looking at upgrading the brakes on my cross bike from avid shorty 3 because frankly I hate them. I looked at mini v's but I'd like to keep the possibility of running really fat tyres for heading off down bridal paths
    I run 42 mm cross tires with mini-vs and have room to spare.
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  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If the Up position is OK then a IRD Cafam brake may be satisfactory Cantilever Brake


    I'm having a hard time picturing the kind of mud that would cause problems with 2mm of clearance
    that it wouldn't also cause with 10mm of clearance.
    of course there is a thin slurry at one end, and something approaching potter's clay , which can all be called Mud.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-26-14 at 04:14 PM.

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