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Old 05-09-13, 12:26 PM   #26
Bekologist
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Agree with you but wondered how old your canti's are because now each Shimano canti comes with two different cable straddles as shown below, each with different angle and width built in and it makes for really easy set up.

not enough adjustment for some of my setups, i use those on several of my bikes with cantis. the bike in the video had the stock shimano straddle cables.

i believe shimano makes 5 or six straddle wire lengths, i need some of the longer ones for 29er and 26er + fender setups, but are not readily available at wholesalers, only shimano direct2dealer, if they even have them in stock.

So, on a couple of bikes i just run the old style straddle cables.
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Old 05-09-13, 02:20 PM   #27
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Unequivocally, the Shimano BR-R550 cantilever brakes are the stoutest, most reliable set of cantis a person can put on a bike. Properly set up they are true mountain stoppers for descents like this


i wasn't worried about scrubbing speed one handed doing 40 miles an hour, for instance.

Shimano BR-R550.
That's a very convincing video. Makes me want to go out an find mountain to ride down
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Old 05-09-13, 02:35 PM   #28
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the cable yoke above , 25, 26, is a safety fearure when running Knobby front tires. and no mudguards
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Old 05-09-13, 03:10 PM   #29
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yep, but the straddles provided by shimano aren't long enough, captain! throwing a straddle cable is exceedingly rare, rigging with cable as keeper in front of straddle pocket adds level of retention to an acceptable level.

I will have the shop try to order some for me next time i'm in though, and will report back.
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Old 05-09-13, 07:16 PM   #30
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The old Shimano cantis on my bike work just fine, but I caught those IRD Cafams on sale and they look so purdy that I caved and bought a set
When I unboxed the first pair and went to mount them, I couldn`t pull the spring out to detension for set up (yeah, I`m a whiner, but that`s how I do it), didn`t feel like fighting them, so they went back in the box until I have more time. Is there a way to pop the spring out for set up, or do you just have to do it under tension?
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Old 05-09-13, 08:06 PM   #31
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yep, but the straddles provided by shimano aren't long enough, captain! throwing a straddle cable is exceedingly rare, rigging with cable as keeper in front of straddle pocket adds level of retention to an acceptable level.

I will have the shop try to order some for me next time i'm in though, and will report back.
I really like this Tektro part to solve this problem: http://www.amazon.com/Tektro-Alloy-B.../dp/B001CK0F0W

Oh yes, to OP: I really like the Tektro CR720 I have on the front of one of my bikes. I have Shimano BR-550's on another bike as well. The Shimano brakes are good, but the Tektro sets up very easily, works as well (if not better) and is cheaper as well.

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Old 05-10-13, 12:39 PM   #32
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I've got Tektro CR720s, Shimano BR-R550s and Shimano CX-50 cantilever brakes. They all work well if set-up properly and equipped with Kool Stop pads. Of the three, I prefer the Shimano BR-R550s because they look nice, stop as well or better than the others, and don't jut out as much on sides (so they won't catch on things).
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Old 05-11-13, 12:12 AM   #33
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QBP has 4 sizes of those cable yoke things..
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Old 05-11-13, 04:30 AM   #34
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Hey couple of more questions....

I only see the Shimano Br550's on ebay. So these are old stock only? They seem to have replaced them with the cx50's. Anybody have experience with shimano cx50? I saw posted somewhere that they take proprietary pads. That can't be true is it?

Also my LBS (whose opinion I respect) recommended Avid shorties. Anybody have any comments on the shorties?

Leaning towards the IRD Cafams but haven't decided yet.

Thanks again. J
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Old 05-11-13, 09:32 AM   #35
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what about the CX 70 brakes, looks like it has a finer finish and can use cartridge pads

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Old 05-11-13, 09:56 AM   #36
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those might even be OK with Older forks with narrow boss spacing , substituting V brake pads,
rather than that 1 tall spacer.

I'm still keeping my bought new , 30 year old Mafacs , though..
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Old 05-11-13, 10:51 AM   #37
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btw Jerseyjim,
thanks for the heads up on the Shimano R550's now being discontinued. On your advice, I hopped over to eBay and picked up a new front and new rear set for $10 each and a couple bucks shipping. Sure beats the $100 for the pair a short while back.
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Old 05-11-13, 06:55 PM   #38
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I have the Shimano CX-50s and BR-R550s on different bikes. The CX-50s function great, but just don't look as nice as the R550s -- unless you prefer a matte gray finish to polished aluminum. I installed the CX-50s on my touring bike because my LBS recommended them. He works on a lot of cross bikes and said they worked well and were easy to set up. What I like about the R550s is they don't jut out as much as most other canti brakes, and I also like the polished aluminum surface. Functionally, both of the Shimano brakes work equally well in my experience.
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