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View Poll Results: Which Cantilever brake system would you choose?
Tektro Oryx Levers and brakes 9 47.37%
Shimano BR-R550 Cantis and BL-R400 Aero levers 10 52.63%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-14-07, 03:05 PM   #1
Robert_in_ca
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Tektro Oryx vs. Shimano BR-R550 + BL-R400

These are the two different cantilever brake systems I am comparing to for my LHT.

I like the fact that the Tektro Oryx setup can be had for less money and comes in all black, but I do not mind going to the Shimano setup if the braking power and quality ofthe components is much better.

What are your thoughts?

I included a poll as well
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Old 01-14-07, 06:07 PM   #2
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Not to disparage either, but they are very similar. I think between the two, the choice of brake pad will make the difference more than anything else.
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Old 01-14-07, 06:17 PM   #3
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I've got Shimano Alivio, Oryxes, and the new IRD 'CAFAM' cantis.

All in all, I like the IRD's the best, followed by the Oryx, followed by the Alivio. But the thing to keep in mind about the Oryx is that you can't get the pads extremely low on it - so it is unsuitable for bikes that are 700C conversions of cantilever equipped 27" bikes.
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Old 01-14-07, 07:03 PM   #4
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I replaced my squealing Avid Shorty 4's with the Shimano BR-R550 Cantis and I have finally and permanently eliminated the awful noise. Couldn't be more pleased with the BR-R550's. I believe that the Shimano brake shoes may make the contact between pad and rim more stable and prevent the vibrations causing the squeal. I had been using the Kool Stop salmon pads on the shoeless Shorty's, and the Kool Stop's had not helped in lessening the noise.

The stopping power is precise and powerful.
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Old 01-15-07, 03:11 AM   #5
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I'm moving this from Bike Mechanics to Touring as per OP's request. Please weigh in with touring specific opinions!

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Old 01-15-07, 03:44 AM   #6
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Don't know, can't vote, but the IRD's look very good. Those long arms look like they would be very powerful.
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Old 01-15-07, 04:32 AM   #7
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I would check what they are using on the new LHT bike. One thing about touring cantis is that the breaking performance is more related to geometry than quality or cost. Many cantis are designed for MTBs and very wide forks, and won't work well on narrow touring fork, LHTs are mid-way. My guess having handled but not assembled the various parts, is that you would get by fine with the Tektro, and if as others have mentioned all the choices are similar then you can just follow that advice. I went overboard with my (not Surly) touring bike looking for great brakes and largely outsmarted myself. I should have just run the same thing as the OEM.

By the way, the Nashbar cantis are about 15 bucks a pair, or each, depending on the style of block. I think they are tektro (though I forget what made me think that. I bought the 15 dollars a set units and am pleased though I am probably going to replace the straddle cable.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...20ATB%20Brakes

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...20ATB%20Brakes
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Old 01-15-07, 12:17 PM   #8
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Shimano BR-R550s, without question. Adventure cyclist (or maybe it was the rivendell reader?) or bicycling mag, recently lauded the Shimano brkae levers as some of the best levers available on the market nowadays.

The Tektro levers are shoddy crapola compared to the Shimanos.

i think you'd just have to trust me on that one, I'm looking at them both on bikes in my living room as I type this.
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Old 01-16-07, 11:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
Shimano BR-R550s, without question. Adventure cyclist (or maybe it was the rivendell reader?) or bicycling mag, recently lauded the Shimano brkae levers as some of the best levers available on the market nowadays.

The Tektro levers are shoddy crapola compared to the Shimanos.

i think you'd just have to trust me on that one, I'm looking at them both on bikes in my living room as I type this.
Which shimano levers are you refering to? I have a set of the 550s that will go on my LHT build but I need levers.
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Old 01-16-07, 12:08 PM   #10
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I'm running the Shimanos with STIs and they work fine...
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Old 01-16-07, 12:24 PM   #11
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I have both Shimano Tiagra and Dura-Ace new road brake levers, and both are more finely finished then the tektros, which remind me of cheap levers off a road bike from 1977.

just checked the Shimano levers, they are BL-R400s (Tiagra) and the BL-R600 (DA). Both are schweet and better quality than Tektro brake levers. Its tough to go wrong with levers, as long as they don't rattle or cut your cables (!) but the Shim's look and feel top notch. I can't tell any real difference between the 400's and the 600's except in the price I paid, and the color of hood trim.

just my opinion. and the BR-550 canti brakes are STOUT. there IS a difference in construction that carries over to the efficency and sweet modulation to their braking that no Tektro canti can duplicate.
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Old 01-16-07, 09:14 PM   #12
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Thanks Bekologist. Now I just need to decide if it's worth it to try out the Nashbar Steel fork and disc brakes.

I'll probably just go with the Shimano Cantis.
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Old 01-20-07, 03:09 AM   #13
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I found these for sale on ebay and bought them.

They are a set of 105 brake levers.



21 shipped.


Are these any good?
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Old 01-21-07, 09:26 AM   #14
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That's what I have on my Miyata. They work great with canti brakes and the hoods are comfortable. Nice deal on levers to be sure.
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Old 01-23-07, 01:00 PM   #15
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Does anyone know what the letters E and F mean on the cable carriers supplied with the BR-R550. Each brake comes with two carriers. Not sure which one to use.
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Old 01-23-07, 11:35 PM   #16
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they are two different sized straddle cables. one will be more optimum than the other. Shimano makes five or six different sizes of that style of straddle cable.

I'm running F both front and rear on my LHT.
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Old 01-24-07, 05:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert_in_ca
I found these for sale on ebay and bought them.

They are a set of 105 brake levers.



21 shipped.


Are these any good?
The 105's represent about the best value you can buy. You did fine.
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Old 01-24-07, 11:21 AM   #18
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I install lots of cantis on Heron touring bikes. I usually recommend either the Tektro Oryx or the Shimano BR-R550. As others have mentioned. The Avids generally have a terrible squealing problem. Paul's and some of the others work fine but are fairly expensive.

Between the Tektro and Shimano brakes, both have a very similar and simple set up. Both have similar performance. However, the Tektros tend to have a bit more play in them though this seems to vary from brake to brake. The stock Tektro pad is not as nice as the stock Shimano pad. They both work fairly well, but upgrading to KoolStops is the standard course for both.

When customers are looking for the best bang-for-the-buck Heron, I usually use the Tektros. Otherwise, I go with the Shimanos. On super-fancy tourers, I often use stuff like Phil Wood hubs and King headsets but usually there is no need to get fancier than the Shimano cantis.
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Old 01-24-07, 04:45 PM   #19
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Cane Creek levers are very nice for the price. Nice wide palm rest area. They come in all black or retro silver with gum colored hoods. Nashbar puts 'em on sell for under 25.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...0Road%20Brakes
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