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  1. #1
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    Cantilever Brake Recommendations

    I have Cane Creek SCX5's on my LHT and I am looking for an upgrade.

    I got these because they stopped well and they do, but the front brake squeals incessantly, almost right from the time I put them on. They have become loose at the pivot point and the springs are shot.

    I want the stopping power and something more durable and less likely to squeal.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by jerseyJim; 05-08-13 at 11:03 AM.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Pauls Comp . they are Made in Chico Cal ,
    rather than rely on the bushing fit on the frame boss, they supply a Stainless Steel Sleeve over it,
    that gets fixed, then it rotates around that piece
    they have control over the fit interface & design adds O ring seals.

    the brake shoes they use on those is V Brake type, so Toe In can be done .. easily.

    its coil springs are tensioned individually back winding each, for balanced return .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-08-13 at 11:50 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    I'm sure Pauls are great but pricey. Probably a step up and not so expensive are Shimano BR-R550 Cantilever Brakes. The easiest I've used to set up. I would replace the pads with Kool Stop SALMONS (Inside joke) which are definitely a better pad than what comes stock with the Shimano. Often times though brake squeal can be removed with better alignment and toe-in of the pads and/or changing to the SALMONS.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyJim View Post
    I have Cane Creek SCX5's on my LHT and I am looking for an upgrade. I got these because they stopped well and they do, but the front brake squeals incessantly, almost right from the time I put them on. They have become loose at the pivot point and the springs are shot. I want the stopping power and something more durable and less likely to squeal.
    Thanks!
    More than likely your pads suck and so does the way they are lined up and toed in. Start here before you get spendy replacing the hardware parts:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    These are two color Koolstops. The salmon part is to improve wet weather use and the black is for regular days. Make sure you point them the right way and toe them in by a 1/16" or so such that the front edges hit first (that should be the black end of the pads).

    If still have issues with squeaks and squeals, post specifics and some pictures.

    In the end, if it turns out that your brakes are what really sucks, I can recommend the Tektro C720's are very nice looking and really stiff. Find them on ebay as a complete set for front and rear for about $30. Of course the stock Tektro pads basically suck, so just move the Koolstops recommended above over to these for really good halts.

    /K
    Last edited by ksisler; 05-08-13 at 12:17 PM.

  5. #5
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    I use tektro CR720's, Clark's pad holders, and kool stop dual compound inserts on my all rounder. I am happy with wet/dry performance and don't get noise. Id bet a change of pads would make a world of difference.

  6. #6
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    Thanks I've tried everything. I've toed them in till my eyes bleed (at first this would work for a while but as the brakes got looser at the pivot it doesn't work any more), changed pad type, cleaned the rims and filed down the pads ad nauseum, nothing works.

    I was told that if the bushings are (or get) loose the brakes will squeal no matter what and these are loose. I was also told that sometimes they come out of the box that way. Maybe I will try the Koolstops and if they start squealing again I can change the brakes and use the Koolstops with the new setup.



    The Paul's look nice but pricey. Would it be stupid in some way to just replace the front and leave the back brake on there until or if it starts acting up too?

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Would it be stupid in some way to just replace the front and leave the back brake on there until or if it starts acting up too?
    Nah, often people mix Pauls Neo Retro, an L shaped type brake , and their Touring , a bit more heel clearance.

    Avid Ultimate has an adjustment to do similar with the same brake.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyJim View Post
    Thanks I've tried everything.
    There's always V and disc brake.

    You could try an Avid SD7 front caliper with a Travel Agent adapter for less than half the cost of a Paul canti.

  9. #9
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    i use paul canti brakes and koolstop salmon excellent brakes but when i clean the rims they sqeel like crazy until i get some rubber back on the rim
    the reason i use salmon pads is there gentle on the rim as for great in the wet ,the pads haven't been invented yet.all brakes are useless in the wet imho.

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    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Nice offering LeeG, I had forgotten about those, but I'm a big fan of IRD and I'll bet the component quality is excellent.

  12. #12
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyJim View Post
    I want the stopping power and something more durable and less likely to squeal.
    Although canti brakes do work they are fiddley to adjust correctly. A LHT is a utility bike so you should get V-brakes for real stopping power and simple adjustment. You'll need to swap your levers out though (don't be tempted by the hokey "travel agents").

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    Nice offering LeeG, I had forgotten about those, but I'm a big fan of IRD and I'll bet the component quality is excellent.
    I switched out the stock Oryx cantilevers and they made a huge difference. Have since switched to v-brakes so the front panniers don't rub when mounted on the front platform rack. I like how the IRD worked more than the v-brakes.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The IRD and Paul's touring have similarities though IRD is now an Import name owned by Merry Sales Corp.
    a big So SF importing distributor that also Own the SOMA brand, and run the web retail outlet.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Although canti brakes do work they are fiddley to adjust correctly. A LHT is a utility bike so you should get V-brakes for real stopping power and simple adjustment. You'll need to swap your levers out though (don't be tempted by the hokey "travel agents")

    When I was building up my wife's custom frame she wanted V-brakes. I tried to talk her out of them, but ended up putting Avid SD-7's with travel agents on it for her. She is a very experienced cyclist and knows what she wants. She rode a bike with the same setup at the shop that built her bike,and really liked the feel of them. That was 7,000 miles ago. While I've changed pads and adjusted the brakes several times, I have never had to do anything with the travel agents. They really work well with great stopping power using Shimano STI shifters. Ironically, I'm waiting for the Cane Creek SCX-5's on my LHT to wear out so I can put a pair of V-brakes on it. They have been on there for 8 or 9,000 miles with no sign of giving up the ghost.

    I find the travel agents anything but "hokey" BTW-Kool Stop dual colored pads.

    Last edited by Doug64; 05-09-13 at 10:00 AM.

  16. #16
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    Hmmm never considered V brakes. I just sold a flat bar road bike that had V brakes and they had serious stopping power.


    I have one of those little Nitto platform racks on the front but it looks like a V would fit. Not sure if I could get one around the rack braces on the back.

    Thanks for all the recommendations. I will be sorting through all your suggestions and I will let you all know what I decide to do and post results.

  17. #17
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    I used to have V brakes with travel agents but found the following maintenence to be a PITA:

    See the cable in Doug's photo where it exits the Travel Agent at about the 1:00 position? When you squeeze the lever it should not rotate past the 5:00 position for the brake to operate properly. As your pads wear down that cable hole very quickly will pass the 5:00 position. Sometimes pulling cable slack through is not enough to adjust it and you'll have to remove and re-thread it through the Travel Agent. That is usually a trial and error procedure to achieve the right adjustment.

    The 1:00 starting position also had an annoying habit of rotating out of location (cable stretch?).

    I'm back to cantis. Just a cheap set of Avid Shortys with Kool Stop pads work fine .

    http://www.parktool.com/uploads/file...ta-5oclock.jpg
    Last edited by BobG; 05-09-13 at 06:58 AM.

  18. #18
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    monstercross clearance R.jpg 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 monstercross tire F.jpg 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.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-09-13 at 11:54 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  19. #19
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    I find the travel agents anything but "hokey" BTW-Kool Stop dual colored pads.
    I realize that people use them effectively (makes sense for STI levers) and they are clever, but I think they are another thing to go wrong.

    If not hokey then travel agents are pricey for what they solve. I use Tektro R520 linear pull, road style, levers. The levers cost less than a pair of travel agents.
    Last edited by BigAura; 05-09-13 at 07:05 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Doug64
    I find the travel agents anything but "hokey" BTW-Kool Stop dual colored pads.

    Posted by Big Aura
    I realize that people use them effectively (makes sense for STI levers) and they are clever, but I think they are another thing to go wrong.
    That's true, and aesthetically they leave a lot to be desired

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    No longer made, but I have had good performance from My Scott-- peterson SE cantilevers I got 20 years ago.

    I use them with Modolo 919 brake levers , the cable out the top sort..
    a middle MA between aero and V brake types..

    They really worked better once I built my heavy duty touring frame ,
    as the beefy wall thicknesses of the tubes the bosses are brazed onto,
    means the tube is not torqued by squeezing the brake pads onto the rim.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    That's true, and aesthetically they leave a lot to be desired
    Yes, but long pull levers aren't perfect either. They don't feel the same in hand when braking, as they are longer to accommodate a longer lever arm to pull more cable, and require a bit more effort to compensate for the reduced leverage.

    This is more evident if your reach is adjusted to the upper limit, then swap from std levers to long-pull levers, as they'll add 5-10mm to reach.

    I tried both ways (V+TA, V+LP levers), and eventually decided I preferred the former.

    One thing to consider (that's never mentioned) is the TA increases the likelihood of a shortened brake cable life. The bending radius of the TA (and Jtek gear cable pull adapters) is really short, which causes cables to fray and break much sooner than normal.

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Braided rather than Bowden type cable, has more Flexibility,... if you can find it.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobG View Post
    I used to have V brakes with travel agents but found the following maintenence to be a PITA:

    See the cable in Doug's photo where it exits the Travel Agent at about the 1:00 position? When you squeeze the lever it should not rotate past the 5:00 position for the brake to operate properly. As your pads wear down that cable hole very quickly will pass the 5:00 position. Sometimes pulling cable slack through is not enough to adjust it and you'll have to remove and re-thread it through the Travel Agent. That is usually a trial and error procedure to achieve the right adjustment.

    The 1:00 starting position also had an annoying habit of rotating out of location (cable stretch?).

    I'm back to cantis. Just a cheap set of Avid Shortys with Kool Stop pads work fine .

    http://www.parktool.com/uploads/file...ta-5oclock.jpg
    Agreed. I bought a pair of TA's, but after taking a good look at them, I never used them.
    I tossed them in the spare parts box, and eventually sold them on eBay.

  25. #25
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    monstercross clearance R.jpg Unequivocally, the Shimano BR-R550 cantilever brakes are the stoutest
    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.


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