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Old 02-16-08, 08:27 PM   #1
VeloVeg
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Tektro Oryx canti brakes

Hi all,

I'm building up a 26" wheeled touring rig from a vintage Bridgestone. It came with Dia Compe 983 canti brakes, but I'm wanting to upgrade with good modern components. I think I like the Tektro Oryx cantis, but does anyone have any experience and input on these stoppers before I buy a set? If not the Oryx, what should I be looking at? BTW, will be using road-type levers.

Thanks,
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Old 02-16-08, 08:42 PM   #2
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i would recommend against the oryx. i have them on my surly lht with paul canti levers. they just don't stop well. it takes a pretty good effort to do a stoppie or even lock the rear wheel (when the bike is unloaded). i haven't tried new pads, but that'll probably be my next step. i'm tempted to try the CR720, atleast on the front wheel.
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Old 02-16-08, 08:51 PM   #3
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Get the Shimano's.
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Old 02-16-08, 08:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Fueled by Boh View Post
i would recommend against the oryx. i have them on my surly lht with paul canti levers. they just don't stop well. it takes a pretty good effort to do a stoppie or even lock the rear wheel (when the bike is unloaded). i haven't tried new pads, but that'll probably be my next step. i'm tempted to try the CR720, atleast on the front wheel.
Thanks Fueled. That's just the kind of input I'm looking for. They may look great, but they've gotta stop the bike! I hope some others have some additional thoughts on the matter.

Thanks,
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Old 02-16-08, 10:10 PM   #5
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The Oryx work much better with KoolStops than what they are provided with when purchased. KS don't need as much toe-in and wear better, seem to have better modulation and need less lever pressure.
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Old 02-16-08, 10:29 PM   #6
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do you have a particular model of koolstop to recommend? the tektro pads that the brakes come with are clearly not the best.

is there any advantage to a wider brake like the tekro CR720 or the paul neo-retro? i assume there is a leverage advantage, but is there anything else i'm missing (besides the tendency for a nicer brake to be stiffer)?
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Old 02-17-08, 01:30 AM   #7
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"particular model of koolstop to recommend"

Am using the Mountain Salmon (http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakeshoes.html#mountain) though mine have different logo I think. Your LBS should have them also.

I'm finding the salmon are fine all round except more grabby or chattery if rim is dirty. So keeping rims clean of chain lube helps.

I haven't tried the dual compound.
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Old 02-17-08, 08:09 AM   #8
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The Tektro Oryx cantilever brakes are about as good as other modern cantilevers, but harder to set up because of the old fashioned yoke and staddle cable. They are, BTW, the same brake as the Crane Creek cantillevers. If you use these brakes, it might take a lot of time to get them set up 100%. There is a huge difference in braking power if the pads hit the rim to soon or too late in their arc. But they can and will work.

I'd look hard at getting the Shimano BR550 cantilevers-- way cheaper than the Pauls (very nice brakes), don't squeal like the Avids (I hate these), easier to set up than the Tektros. Plus they have a nice sliver finish.

I'd also think about getting new pads for the Dia Compe 983 cantis on the bike and using those. I honestly think that cantilever brakes haven't got any more stopping power in the last 30 years. So if your low on money, go get new Kool stop pads for your old brakes and mess with them awhile. If you can't get them dailed in, order these brakes.

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=6351

These are the older Shimano canti brakes-- they work fine and are dirt cheap. Be prepared to mess with them a while to get them set up however
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Old 02-17-08, 08:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by VeloVeg View Post
Hi all,

I'm building up a 26" wheeled touring rig from a vintage Bridgestone. It came with Dia Compe 983 canti brakes, but I'm wanting to upgrade with good modern components. I think I like the Tektro Oryx cantis, but does anyone have any experience and input on these stoppers before I buy a set? If not the Oryx, what should I be looking at? BTW, will be using road-type levers.

Thanks,
Nothing wrong with the Tektro Oryx cantis except the pads. I am very happy with mine. I don't find them particularly hard to adjust.

Edit: I forgot to mention... I think the Kool Stop black pads are fine and even preferred over the salmon ones unless you live in a wet climate where they are a bit better.
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Old 02-17-08, 08:57 AM   #10
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Nothing wrong with the Tektro Oryx cantis except the pads. I am very happy with mine. I don't find them particularly hard to adjust.
This is my experience as well. Just put a set on a 1983 Specialized Expedition -- easy to set up, stop better for me than the old Shimanos IMHO (both have Koolstop pads), and can adjust toe-in.
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Old 02-17-08, 09:24 AM   #11
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. . .I'd look hard at getting the Shimano BR550 cantilevers-- way cheaper than the Pauls (very nice brakes), don't squeal like the Avids (I hate these), easier to set up than the Tektros. Plus they have a nice sliver finish. . .
Thanks tacomee,

I want to look at the BR550's. Money is not an issue, but I'm not putting out for the Pauls. I do have a set of beautiful NOS Suntour XC Pro cantis that I was going to put on my '83 Expedition. They have a gorgeous silver finish and a good reputation (from what I've read), but I have never personally used them. They're still in the box.

If I go with the Oryx I can see that the consensus is to go ahead and get Koolstops all around. Or should I go with the XC Pros? Or the Br550s?

Decisions, decisions.

Next comes the derailleurs.
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Old 02-17-08, 09:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by VeloVeg View Post
Thanks tacomee,

I want to look at the BR550's. Money is not an issue, but I'm not putting out for the Pauls. I do have a set of beautiful NOS Suntour XC Pro cantis that I was going to put on my '83 Expedition. They have a gorgeous silver finish and a good reputation (from what I've read), but I have never personally used them. They're still in the box.

If I go with the Oryx I can see that the consensus is to go ahead and get Koolstops all around. Or should I go with the XC Pros? Or the Br550s?

Decisions, decisions.

Next comes the derailleurs.
I would go with the XC pros if I already had them. They are very pretty and I bet they work well too, although I don't have first hand experience with them. You can always swap them out later if you don't like them.
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Old 02-17-08, 10:16 AM   #13
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What kind of levers are you using? Are they V-brake compatible? If your levers are not v-brake compatible and you are trying to save money, then keep your old brakes, switch to Kool Stop pads and shorten the cable yoke to increase braking power. I see no reason to switch from one type of canti brakes to another unless the lever arm of the new one you are looking at is longer.

If on the other hand if your levers are v-brake compatible, go with v-brakes. They are much easier to adjust and have far more stopping power. Also have the side benefit of not sticking out so far on the sides.

Traditional cantilever brakes (lever arm out to the side)and v-brakes (lever arm straight up) are both cantilever brakes, its just that v-brakes have a much longer lever arm, hence need levers that can pull more cable. More leverage, more braking power, with more control.
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Old 02-17-08, 10:31 AM   #14
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i have the paul's on my thorn there brilliant they look class easy to set up they come with coolstop pads
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Old 02-17-08, 11:44 AM   #15
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What kind of levers are you using? Are they V-brake compatible? If your levers are not v-brake compatible and you are trying to save money, then keep your old brakes, switch to Kool Stop pads and shorten the cable yoke to increase braking power. I see no reason to switch from one type of canti brakes to another unless the lever arm of the new one you are looking at is longer.

If on the other hand if your levers are v-brake compatible, go with v-brakes. They are much easier to adjust and have far more stopping power. Also have the side benefit of not sticking out so far on the sides.

Traditional cantilever brakes (lever arm out to the side)and v-brakes (lever arm straight up) are both cantilever brakes, its just that v-brakes have a much longer lever arm, hence need levers that can pull more cable. More leverage, more braking power, with more control.
In the orginal post I said that I would be "using road-type levers". Actually, they are Shimano aero levers that are pulling the original Shimano 983 cantis. They're real nice levers.

I'm not sure where anyone got the idea that money was one of the major concerns. That is not part of the original post. Actually, I shared with Tacomee that money is not the issue, but that I still don't want to spring for the Paul brakes. But, I do want something that is nice looking and functional. I really don't want to keep the 983 brakes even though they actually work just fine. One of the reasons for wanting to switch out the 983 brakes is just what you stated--they are of the type that stick out so far and they are somewhat pitted. A more compact design, but still traditional cantilever, has a cleaner look, shorter straddle cable, and perhaps more braking power. But, I won't be going with v-brakes.

Now, antokelly wants to tempt me with the Pauls. Yes, they're brilliant! If I were building up a new, high-end rig, that might be the way I'd go. But, the Bridgestone that I'm building up is from the early '90s, and although very nice, doesn't need the Pauls. Even though I want the bike to look great, I plan to use it touring a lot of dirt and fire roads (not single track type riding), and perhaps in Asia. Those sweet Pauls would be overkill.

Thanks,
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Old 02-17-08, 01:04 PM   #16
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Am using the Mountain Salmon
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Old 02-17-08, 02:25 PM   #17
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I have the Nashbar rebranded Tektro cantilever brakes and replaced the front pad with the KoolStop Salmon (will be replacing the rear pad eventually). Stopping power seems fine to me while touring using he new pads.

One recommendation made above was to use the older cantilever brakes with new pads. I have several makes and models of older cantilever brakes and I have found that the new Tektro cantilever brakes to be much easier to adjust -- far less fiddling to get the pads in the right replace. I'll not use older cantilever brakes again because of the adjustment factor.
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Old 02-17-08, 02:46 PM   #18
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bwgride hits the nail on the head-- I'm pretty sure the older cantilever brakes are about as good as the new ones if you add the Kool Stop pads. But there are harder to dial in right. My favorite canti is the new Shimano BR550-- I don't think it's any better than other models of cantis, it's just really easy to set up and keep running.

I do miss all that *cold forging* that the MacFacs took to get to work right

One last thing-- if you can't get the braking power out of your cantilevers, check the housing for flexing and think about levers with a better mechcanical advantage. Newer levers are better.
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Old 02-17-08, 05:09 PM   #19
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list of cantis used:
- paul neo retro-light, sexy, great stopping power with ks pads. expensive, hardware corroded from wet 'cross conditions, too wide to use with panniers and might catch your heal if you have big feet or a really small frame.
- cr720-equal to the Pauls in look and power. not easy to get equal modulation from both sides, too wide to use with panniers and might catch your heal if you have big feet or a really small frame.
- oryx-easiest of all to set up, nice looking in black or silver, very inexpensive($9 wholesale, $15 on ebay). pads that they come with are mediocre, stopping power with KS is better but still not as good as Pauls or CR720.
- current version shimano canti-i had no positive experiences with these other than that they were free. they were on my commuter bike and they squealed, corroded, and required much more hand strength to operate than any of the others.

As a disclaimer, I have minimal touring experience so I cannot speak to the performance of these brakes while touring although I have towed a BOB while using the Oryx and intend to do so when I do the TransAm this summer. Most of my experience with cantis comes from 'cross racing, road training, and commuting.
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Old 02-17-08, 05:28 PM   #20
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i'm looking for some tips on setting up my cantis, actually. so far i've found the oryxs to be weak. I've worked extensively with v-brakes, disc brakes, and road caliper brakes, and i've been able to set up my cantis passably but i would like to get them dialed.
Would shortening the straddle cable help?
What about a wider "yoke"?
At what point in the arc should the pads be hitting the rim?
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Old 02-17-08, 06:05 PM   #21
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I use Park Tool's instructions to be useful in setting up cantis. Also, so you understand why you're doing what you're doing, read your bible.
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Old 02-17-08, 06:12 PM   #22
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The Oryx brakes have decent stopping power, but I had a lot of problems with grit contaminating the pivots. The grit made the brakes work poorly (kind of a gritty feel to the braking action), and once, after riding in salty conditions, the rear brakes actually seized up from corrosion in the pivots.

I have since replaced my front Oryx brakes with Pauls, and have been really happy with them. They have a lot of stopping power, and the mechanism is sealed with o-rings, so I don't have to worry about contamination. I still use the Oryx brakes on the rear; it just doesn't make sense to spring for the pauls because I almost never use my rear brake.

I have Shimano BR-550s on another bike and I prefer those to the Oryx. They have better seals, and stopping power is a little better.

Regardless of which brakes you get, be sure to get kool stop pads. I prefer the salmon MTN flavor.

Edit: I am an all weather commuter, so in my case the Oryx brakes are operating in extreme conditions. You might not have issues with grit and corrosion if you don't ride much in the rain/salt/sand.

Last edited by matthew_deaner; 02-17-08 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 02-17-08, 06:36 PM   #23
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I have the Oryx on the back and Tektro CR720 on the front. The CR720s are the easiest brakes to set up that I 've ever had and can be found for $21. The Oryx are decent but I find a difficult to set up. I plan to replace them for that reason, some time.
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Old 02-17-08, 09:54 PM   #24
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it looks like my primary problem is that my straddle cable is too long and my cable yoke too high. do wider cable yokes/carriers allow you to run your yoke lower and still clear fenders/ tires? whats the reasoning here?
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Old 02-19-08, 10:45 AM   #25
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I just installed the Tektro Oryx cantis on my LHT. I didn't put a lot of effort into dialing them in, but they stop at least as well as the V-Brakes I used to have on my MTBs and much better than the cantis I used on my MTBs in the 80s and early 90s. I can easily do a front wheel stand with them and lock the rear wheel at will. Modulation is good too.

Because of my experiences with cantis years ago, I was nervous about using them on my LHT, but I didn't want to replace my brake levers in order to use V-Brakes. The Oryx cantis are much better than any cantis I've used before (including various Diacompe and Sachs models).

Chris
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