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  1. #1
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    Brake brand opinions

    I'm slowly starting a touring bike build on a Nashbar frame, and I'm making a list of components I'll want to put on it. my last will be my brakes. I'm trying to keep to mnt components. It'll be running butterfly handlebars, twist shifters, and Shimano Alivo drivetrain.

    I'm wanting to get mnt brake levers and Cantilever brakes (cartridge pad shoes if possible) and I'll be using 700 x 32c tires.

    What are your opinions on the various brands I could look into?
    to every climb there is always the other side

  2. #2
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    You'd be better off using V brakes with the mtb components (lever). They brake better than cantis and are easier to set-up and maintain.

    Avid SD7 calipers are great performers and good value.

  3. #3
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    I'll have to look into those, I'm out the door now though.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Paul Components probably makes the best bicycle brakes in the world. I want a set, but I really don't need a set.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    Cantis still have a lot of advantages for touring, and if you want to go that route, you can be sure you will have more braking energy, than any of those of us who use drops and road levers.

    http://www.paulcomp.com/brakes.html

    Go to the Paul components site, and look at their cantis. Forget the cost for now. You will notice the neo retros, and you will see the touring cantis. These are two basic shapes. On the front fork, which is were a lot of your breaking power comes from, you need to choose the canti based on clearances. A neo style works on a wider clearance fork, often welded shoulders, a fork that would accommodate tires well over 35 mm, and maybe nearing on 2". Nashbar's cross/touring fork is in this range, and if their touring fork is similar, you may be in neo territory. Either style works well on the rear, though some people say they hit the neo style back there, so a lot of cross riders run neo front, and touring rear.

    On the other hand, if your front fork is a narrow road style with lessor tire clearance, you may find a touring works well front and rear.

    Of course, if you don't pay the Paul prices, you will find these shapes available in many different brands. I even bought some Nashbar touring shape brakes that were very similar to the Paul touring, and about 15 bucks a pair, and they worked well.

  6. #6
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    I run Paul neo, or sometimes Paul up front, and petersen self energizing in the back.

    When I bought the neos, I thought they might improve my braking result over some Shimanos I was using that were cheap as dirt plated steel, with a plastic fairing for looks. Basically similar results as far as braking power goes. But Paul is easier to service on the road, and looks really nice. So no, you do not need to have fancy brakes.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw...7262&_from=R40

  7. #7
    Senior Member rockpilex's Avatar
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    Tektro CR-720 you can buy them for about $20.00 per wheel (Treefort Bikes), use short pull ie. road levers. Once set up they're wonderful- powerful, great modulation

  8. #8
    Pokemon Master Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockpilex View Post
    Tektro CR-720 you can buy them for about $20.00 per wheel (Treefort Bikes), use short pull ie. road levers. Once set up they're wonderful- powerful, great modulation
    he's wanting to use MTB levers.

    i'll repeat what someone said earlier; go with the v-brakes. much more powerful than regular cantilever brakes, much easier to set up and adjust on the road, and much easier to find replacement pads for when you're away from home.
    i have an avid single digit 7 on the front of my flat bar commuter bike. there's enough difference between the SD7 and the stock tektro that came on it that i ordered SD7s for the front of 2 of my other bikes. on most road style bikes with v-brakes on the rear, the rear triangle flexes before the worst v-brake arm will, so it doesn't make much sense to upgrade the rear brake (unless you find a sweet deal). the fork area is solid enough to notice a difference in braking, though.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    With Trekking bars and a grip shifter, I use Magura's HS33. THE Hydraulic Rim Brake.

    that it is smooth operating is a given ..made in Germany
    the easiest pads in the world to change..

    Fits on v/Cantilever bosses , but an an anchor point, not a pivot.

  10. #10
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    If ~$300 for Magura brakeset is over budget for your Nashbar/Alivio build, then you might consider this Avid SD7 set, $79 including s/h:

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/119...vers-COMBO.htm

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockpilex View Post
    Tektro CR-720 you can buy them for about $20.00 per wheel (Treefort Bikes), use short pull ie. road levers. Once set up they're wonderful- powerful, great modulation
    I'm liking the way those Tektro's look and found levers for em' too that will work on trekking bars ^^ (the RT354AG ones) thanks for all the great opinions people!

    Btw CycleBum and MassiveD. I agree, those Paulcomp NeoRetro seem excellent! though i'd suggest looking here for em' http://www.jensonusa.com/Cantilever-Brakes?c=C0000DYH
    to every climb there is always the other side

  12. #12
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    Those are pretty good prices, and they show up at good prices on ebay also. While you would love them, I just mention them as an example of the geometry, there are a ton of Cantis out there.

  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draig View Post
    I'm slowly starting a touring bike build on a Nashbar frame, and I'm making a list of components I'll want to put on it. my last will be my brakes. I'm trying to keep to mnt components. It'll be running butterfly handlebars, twist shifters, and Shimano Alivo drivetrain.

    I'm wanting to get mnt brake levers and Cantilever brakes (cartridge pad shoes if possible) and I'll be using 700 x 32c tires.

    What are your opinions on the various brands I could look into?
    It sounds like you are going with a flat bar. I'd second seeker333's suggestion of v-brakes and a mountain bike lever. Not because the v-brake does a better job than a canti...it doesn't...but because it's far easier to get v-brake levers for a flat bar than it is to get a cantilever brake for a flat bar.
    Stuart Black
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    It sounds like you are going with a flat bar. I'd second seeker333's suggestion of v-brakes and a mountain bike lever. Not because the v-brake does a better job than a canti...it doesn't...but because it's far easier to get v-brake levers for a flat bar than it is to get a cantilever brake for a flat bar.
    actually, I know at the local LBS they have kits that'll convert brake pads to cartridge so no matter what, I'll be also getting those. so I don't think that will be much of a problem
    to every climb there is always the other side

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draig View Post
    actually, I know at the local LBS they have kits that'll convert brake pads to cartridge so no matter what, I'll be also getting those. so I don't think that will be much of a problem
    I think you are confused about the brakes. The cartridge brake pads are only there to allow you to easily slide new pads into holders. It has nothing, really, to do with the type of brake. Cantilever brakes and linear brakes ( same as a v-brakes) use different cable pulls to make the brakes function. You need to match the levers to the brakes. You can use a cantilever lever on a linear brake but you need a device called a Travel Agent to account for the different cable pull.

    Because the mountain biking world has run away from cantilevers, finding brake levers for flat bars that work with cantilever brakes can be difficult. Your life will be simpler by going the linear brake route if you are using flat bars.
    Stuart Black
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I think you are confused about the brakes. The cartridge brake pads are only there to allow you to easily slide new pads into holders. It has nothing, really, to do with the type of brake. Cantilever brakes and linear brakes ( same as a v-brakes) use different cable pulls to make the brakes function. You need to match the levers to the brakes. You can use a cantilever lever on a linear brake but you need a device called a Travel Agent to account for the different cable pull.

    Because the mountain biking world has run away from cantilevers, finding brake levers for flat bars that work with cantilever brakes can be difficult. Your life will be simpler by going the linear brake route if you are using flat bars.
    I did find some levers and brakes that would work for my build (both tektro) and when I need to replace em' I'll hunt down from a lbs (while on the road) or order em' from an online source.
    Thanks for the concern.

    Also, everyone. Thanks for all the input.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    typically if you get the lower price brake, the pad will be molded 1 piece.
    when you need to replace those ,. then you can go for the replaceable insert type,
    then the 3rd buy can just be the inserts.

  18. #18
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    The Tektro rt354ag are hands down the best mountain levers I have ever used. The ergonomics and adjust-ability are great along with being able to use v brakes or cantis. I use v brakes on my nashbar touring with a deore up front and bottom of the line shimano in the rear. I have no problem stopping. I am 205lbs, I do fully loaded shopping runs with loaded panniers front and back, and pulling my daughter in a trailer behind me. So all together about 330-345lbs and I stop well from up to about 23mph regularly. The caveat is that I live in florida, so no 40mph downhill crazyness.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    You'd be better off using V brakes with the mtb components (lever). They brake better than cantis and are easier to set-up and maintain.
    Have to offer a differing opinion... I have run a lot of touring bikes and tandems. When paired with appropriate levers, the Canti's stop a bike far better than v-brakes. So if the touring is just some longer distance, vbrakes are ok if setup well and fitted with good pads. But if touring is to involve hills and some loaded panniers, then canti's are the best answer without a doubt.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    Have to offer a differing opinion... I have run a lot of touring bikes and tandems. When paired with appropriate levers, the Canti's stop a bike far better than v-brakes. So if the touring is just some longer distance, vbrakes are ok if setup well and fitted with good pads. But if touring is to involve hills and some loaded panniers, then canti's are the best answer without a doubt.
    Yeah, I intended on loaded touring all over (at least California) so I think it'll also involve mountains (not just hills )
    Thanks for the clairification.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Basics of leverage.

    V brakes combine high MA, demand lots of cable pull for a small motion of pads to rim.
    so the lever has to have a much lower MA to provide it.

    cantilever brakes, particularly, the L type 'high profile' are lower MA,
    so the corresponding brake lever can be a higher MA.

    the V brakes have to be set up with a dime's thickness of rim clearance,
    or less, so when wheel true goes off optimum, the brakes drag,
    then people loosen the brake adjustment to not drag,
    then have almost no brakes .. the lever may hit the bars first.

    Whereas a cantilever brakepad can sit, a couple nickels stacked,
    away from the rim,
    so minor imperfections of wheel truing are less of an issue.

  22. #22
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Basics of leverage.

    V brakes combine high MA, demand lots of cable pull for a small motion of pads to rim.
    so the lever has to have a much lower MA to provide it.

    cantilever brakes, particularly, the L type 'high profile' are lower MA,
    so the corresponding brake lever can be a higher MA.

    the V brakes have to be set up with a dime's thickness of rim clearance,
    or less, so when wheel true goes off optimum, the brakes drag,
    then people loosen the brake adjustment to not drag,
    then have almost no brakes .. the lever may hit the bars first.

    Whereas a cantilever brakepad can sit, a couple nickels stacked,
    away from the rim,
    so minor imperfections of wheel truing are less of an issue.
    While you've got the mechanics right, you are off on the set up. V-brakes don't need to be set up as close to the rim as you say, unless you happen to be using the wrong brake lever. I have several bikes with v-brakes and all of them are set as far away from the rim as my cantilever equipped bikes are. There is little problem with a linear brake and a wheel going out of true and it's certainly not any different from a cantilever equipped bike.
    Stuart Black
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  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    just been building up MTB's and repairing them for the last couple years, again,
    and a lot of other bikes, also with V brakes ..
    they are as I described it.

    Was wrenching thru the 70s and 80s. in various LBS.
    pre V brake years, admittedly.

    Folks will tend to ignore pad wear, so after the pads thin out
    they still work OK if starting out closer..

    If you on your own bike are more on top of it, then it may be as You describe.

    L type Cantilevers work better on Muddy CX courses, the rim clearance thing.
    and
    Given few old ones remained , as the younger riders got into the sport,
    so the companies like Spooky , Empella And their copiers at TRP,
    began making a new generation of those..

    My own touring Bikes had Cantilevers, Mafac, and the Scott SE

    now the recent 2 , the HS33 Magura's ,
    and the BB7 Disc Brakes

    They're on the BiFri .. it gets most use.. back out into the Deluge..

    another Veteran of a made up war, .. for Peace.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-19-12 at 05:58 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    Have to offer a differing opinion... I have run a lot of touring bikes and tandems. When paired with appropriate levers, the Canti's stop a bike far better than v-brakes. So if the touring is just some longer distance, vbrakes are ok if setup well and fitted with good pads. But if touring is to involve hills and some loaded panniers, then canti's are the best answer without a doubt.
    I've never found a setup where this was true... The Avid Shorty 6 canti on my touring bike, combined with road levers, is one of the worst brakes I've ever used! I've tweaked the setup six ways from Sunday and it's never been better than mediocre. I would definitely be using V-brakes if they were an option for me!

  25. #25
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Because the mountain biking world has run away from cantilevers, finding brake levers for flat bars that work with cantilever brakes can be difficult. Your life will be simpler by going the linear brake route if you are using flat bars.
    Two sets of Shimano flat bar levers that I`ve had in the past were convertable to either long or short pull by just moving a little plastic wedge. Are they no longer made that way?

    I`ve been wondering that because I`ve been using SD-7s with straddle-cantis for a couple years and they really don`t work like I expected. I thought I`d be able to dial them in with that pull adjustment they have, but it runs out of adjustment before it gets there. I was thinking maybe I`d have to look for Shimano levers.

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