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  1. #1
    imi
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    Mixed brakes, cantilever and caliper

    Hi!

    I'm putting a new bike together. I'm considering a cantilever brake on the front (for stopping power) and a dual caliper on the rear due to the rather odd nature of my luggage (a guitar on one side, crash bag and tent on the other and a small rucksack on the top of the rack). The arms of a cantilever stick out too much...

    I have mostly had bikes with calipers and like the sensitivity and control of the back wheel with them (no problem locking the wheel in an emergency stop fully loaded).

    Would this be a foolish combination in your esteemed opinions?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I have mostly had bikes with calipers and like the sensitivity and control of the back wheel with them (no problem locking the wheel in an emergency stop fully loaded).
    Why would it be odd. I also find calipers more "feathery" then canti.

    I rode from Tacoma to Boston to the Outerbanks shelping 50lbs of gear with the same setup and it worked fine.

    Note: Naked canti posts just look funny.

  3. #3
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    Hi!

    I'm putting a new bike together. I'm considering a cantilever brake on the front (for stopping power) and a dual caliper on the rear due to the rather odd nature of my luggage (a guitar on one side, crash bag and tent on the other and a small rucksack on the top of the rack). The arms of a cantilever stick out too much...

    I have mostly had bikes with calipers and like the sensitivity and control of the back wheel with them (no problem locking the wheel in an emergency stop fully loaded).

    Would this be a foolish combination in your esteemed opinions?

    Thanks!
    What type of brake levers and handlebars do you have? Traditional down turn bars or more of a moutain bike flat bar? Long pull or short pull levers?

  4. #4
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    when properly setup, modern dual-pivot calipers have similar stopping-power to cantilevers. the main advantage of the canti's, these days, as improved clearance for fat tires, mud, fenders, etc. Gregw's questions are good ones, and i'd like to ask what kind of brakes your frame/fork will accept...
    Are they both drilled for calipers? do they each have canti posts?

    -rob

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    Have you considered linear pull brakes? More compact than cantilevers. Great stopping power and modulation. I use Avid Ultimate Digit's.

  6. #6
    imi
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    Thank you all for your replies... here are the answers to the questions you posed:

    The bike is going to be a fully custom Mercian, so it can be bored for calipers and have canti posts... Basically it'll look the same as my Miyata 100 from 1984. Time in my life for my "dream bike" Handlebars are going to be bullhorns hacked from drop handlebars (see picture)

    At the moment I have aero brake levers (Shimano BL-R400 pulling BR-A550 calipers) which are great as I ride the hoods a lot.
    No need for fat tires, I'll stick to 32-700C as I'll be keeping mostly to europe and northern america

    I'm afraid I'll have to do some googling about linear pull brakes (ignorance shines through, but I'm here to learn)

    Interesting that the stopping power of cantis and calipers may be comparable (I'd garnered a different impression from reading other threads)

    Yeah naked canti posts look wierd, but I guess you can always hang your socks from thenm at night

    Once again, thank you for your interest
    Last edited by imi; 04-24-09 at 02:27 PM.

  7. #7
    imi
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    whoops! soory about the pic being on its side... can't seem to change it by editing either :/

  8. #8
    imi
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    sorry, dunno what happened... pic disappeared! :/ try again...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    Here's a link to the Avid Single Digit Ultimate Brakes which I use on my touring bike:

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...e.aspx?sc=FRGL

  10. #10
    imi
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Smokester View Post
    Here's a link to the Avid Single Digit Ultimate Brakes which I use on my touring bike:

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...e.aspx?sc=FRGL
    WOW! they really look good, hope they are for 178$/pair! No seriously, good brakes ARE very important (why do things keep getting in my way!) Thanks for the tip!

    Has anyone done any SCIENTIFIC research into the comparable stopping power of calipers, cantis, linears?
    Yeah yeah I know, lab conditions may or may not translate to the real world and every bike and rider and load and road is different, but even so it would be interesting (to me at least) to see some graphs, and vector formulas and whatever else those guys in long white coats get up to

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    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    Has anyone done any SCIENTIFIC research into the comparable stopping power of calipers, cantis, linears?
    It's easy enough to do your own research all it takes is a ruler, measure the lever arms of the calipers and the angle of force (This is important when looking at canti's)

    #1, Linear pull (especially with the parallel linkage) easy winner
    #2, Canti's (the shorter the yoke angle the better, but that has side effects)
    #3, Caliper, (they have one long arm and one short one, so they are only as good as the short arm, also no room for fenders.)

    However, the mechanical disc brakes are probably the best, if your bike is set-up for them.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Here are the brakes I have on my touring bike, best brakes I have ever used.

    https://shop.sunrisecyclery.com/item/10256/

    I did a lot of research before buying this type of brake and it was worth it. Careful, you need long pull brake levers for any of the linear pull units.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    WOW! they really look good, hope they are for 178$/pair! No seriously, good brakes ARE very important (why do things keep getting in my way!) Thanks for the tip!

    Has anyone done any SCIENTIFIC research into the comparable stopping power of calipers, cantis, linears?
    Yeah yeah I know, lab conditions may or may not translate to the real world and every bike and rider and load and road is different, but even so it would be interesting (to me at least) to see some graphs, and vector formulas and whatever else those guys in long white coats get up to
    I think that some of the features of a "good" brake, such as modulation and "feel" would indeed be hard to quantify scientifically.

    However, I have Shimano Ultegra's, Shimano 600-Series long reach, Avid Juice-7 Hydraulics and the Avid Single Digit Ultimate linear (or V) brakes...All of them premium brakes and I can't complain about any of them. However, for combined stopping power and modulation (feel), the Ultimates are my favorite. (The hydraulics "feel" more powerful but don't modulate as well.)

    I did a trip to Yosemite (in California) last week and the last part of the ride was coming into the Valley down a 10 mile, often 5% or more grade with beautiful scenic points. We stopped frequently to take pictures and savor the hard-earned moment and the Ultimates were just so easy, smooth and powerful pulling my fully loaded touring bike to a stop.

    Please be aware of some pitfalls: If using road-style brake levers you will need either special long-pull brake levers (which are restricted in variety and don't come in brifters) or an adapter to make them work with regular road levers and brifters. I have heard good things about the adapters (called Travel Agents) but haven't personally used them. There can also be clearance issues if you are using big tires and fenders. Finally, some people complain that they squeal but I have not had this problem on my LHT with 26" wheels and 1.75" touring tires. (If it does arise, cleaning and rough-scouring the rim will fix it.) And yes. The good ones are bloody expensive.
    Last edited by The Smokester; 04-27-09 at 01:18 PM.

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