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Cantilever Brake Question

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Old 07-12-18, 09:04 PM
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bicyclridr4life
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Cantilever Brake Question


Which is the better cantilever brake:
c1984 Dia-Compe 980
or
SACHS 5000? (Sorry, I have not been able to find what years the SACHS was on the market.)

The Dia-Compe 980 are high profile. (they stick out 90 from the frame.)
The SACHS are low profile. (they don't stick out more than 35 or so.)

Both use a double ended straddle cable.

Brake pads are Cool Stop dual compound.

Last edited by bicyclridr4life; 07-13-18 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 07-12-18, 10:21 PM
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Sorry but with all the squealing Dia Comps I've had to deal with I won't ride them myself. My pathetic Google search brought no images of the Sachs 500 canti. so I can't say much about it.

But I will say that the Shimano MT60 series of cantis are my favorite. Good pad placement adjustment, not squeal prone, don't stick out a lot, adjustable straddle cable, one side spring adjustment. Various versions were made for a number of years with finish and hardware grade being the big differences. Andy
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Old 07-13-18, 08:25 AM
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Better for what? I see a number of setups where the ' high profile.
(they stick out 90 from the frame.)'
go on the front Like Paul's Neo Retro..

and a compact like your ' low profile.
(they don't stick out more than 35 or so.)'

on the rear..
paired with Paul's touring if you were getting the USA made brakes..
But people do just that.

I have a bike with Mafac Cantilevers ...front, the longer arm 'tandem' ,
rear, the shorter arm 'criterium'..
had it 35+ years.. bought 2 sets for that mix.

Best? a forum staple; asking 'best' is seeking opinions,
you never will get complete agreement - consensus.

I've never owned either of your specific parts.. to offer a ranking
between those two ,

so I say 'one of each'.





...

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Old 07-13-18, 11:34 AM
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We
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Better for what? I see a number of setups where the ' high profile.
(they stick out 90 from the frame.)'
go on the front Like Paul's Neo Retro..

and a compact like your ' low profile.
(they don't stick out more than 35 or so.)'

on the rear..
paired with Paul's touring if you were getting the USA made brakes..
But people do just that.

I have a bike with Mafac Cantilevers ...front, the longer arm 'tandem' ,
rear, the shorter arm 'criterium'..
had it 35+ years.. bought 2 sets for that mix.

Best? a forum staple; asking 'best' is seeking opinions,
you never will get complete agreement - consensus.

I've never owned either of your specific parts.. to offer a ranking
between those two ,

so I say 'one of each'.
...
By "best" I am referring to stopping power.

On my 1989 KHS Montana Summit, I'm running the Dia-Compe 980 on the front and the SACHS on the rear.

I refuse to use ANY Cantilever (other than a linier pull/"V" brake, which I don't like or use if I have a choice, anyway) that bolts one end of the straddle cable directly to the brake arm. That pretty much eliminates any by Shimano.

I've had the straddle cable break at the anchor bolt once. That brake was removed, and given a proper burial at sea. (Approximately 1 mile from shore, Atlantic Ocean.)
I was 18 miles from home, returning from Home Depot. I was on my Miami Sun Traditional Trike, pulling a 4 wheel garden/nursery cart with 1,200 pounds on it. (the cart/trailer was "only" overloaded 200 pounds)

When the straddle cable broke, the only "brake" I had left was one of my feet against a rear tire.
Admittedly, Florida is fairly flat. The tallest "hills" in the state are bridges, after all. (not an exaggeration. The Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg is higher at the roadway than the tallest natural hill, found over in the panhandle area somewhere.)
Anyway, the final 18 miles of that ride was un-fun with no brake.

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Old 07-13-18, 11:41 AM
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I cannot supervise your mechanics over the internet to actually help you physically..

Know any old guys with decades of mechanical experience at a bike shop where you live?
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Old 07-13-18, 03:44 PM
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Edited first post with picture of the SACHS 5000 brake
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Old 07-13-18, 06:22 PM
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By "best" I am referring to stopping power.

Almost any cantilever brake can provide all the braking power you need (i.e., they can lock up a wheel) when setup correctly with good pads. Okay, really cheap ones where the arms flex aren't good. Suggest you review Sheldon Browns article on Cantilever geometry and adjustment. Its at The Geometry of Cantilever Brakes
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Old 07-13-18, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclridr4life View Post
WeBy "best" I am referring to stopping power.

On my 1989 KHS Montana Summit, I'm running the Dia-Compe 980 on the front and the SACHS on the rear.

I refuse to use ANY Cantilever (other than a linier pull/"V" brake, which I don't like or use if I have a choice, anyway) that bolts one end of the straddle cable directly to the brake arm. That pretty much eliminates any by Shimano.

I've had the straddle cable break at the anchor bolt once. That brake was removed, and given a proper burial at sea. (Approximately 1 mile from shore, Atlantic Ocean.)
I was 18 miles from home, returning from Home Depot. I was on my Miami Sun Traditional Trike, pulling a 4 wheel garden/nursery cart with 1,200 pounds on it. (the cart/trailer was "only" overloaded 200 pounds)

When the straddle cable broke, the only "brake" I had left was one of my feet against a rear tire.
Admittedly, Florida is fairly flat. The tallest "hills" in the state are bridges, after all. (not an exaggeration. The Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg is higher at the roadway than the tallest natural hill, found over in the panhandle area somewhere.)
Anyway, the final 18 miles of that ride was un-fun with no brake.
Cables rarely break spontaneously, there's generally a lot of heads up to note if you're looking. So when I hear of this kind of failure I question the maintenance the bike saw. Sorry if I'm a bit harsh. But in your world one failure is all it took to swear off a design that millions have found fully functional and reliable. A reasonable choice in your world. BTW did the bike not have a second brake? After all cables are known for their failure rate.

I have found that the cable anchor designs that allow for a long clamping area on the cable and have few other parts seem to work best in the long run, or have no straddle cable length adjustment (and if you don't understand the value of this feature you likely don't ride a small bike). Shimano and others seem to understand this. Other designs generally use a separate anchor bolt/fitting that is then secured in the arm. Some of them are real cable crushers. Andy
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Old 07-14-18, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Cables rarely break spontaneously, there's generally a lot of heads up to note if you're looking. So when I hear of this kind of failure I question the maintenance the bike saw. Sorry if I'm a bit harsh. But in your world one failure is all it took to swear off a design that millions have found fully functional and reliable. A reasonable choice in your world. BTW did the bike not have a second brake? After all cables are known for their failure rate.

I have found that the cable anchor designs that allow for a long clamping area on the cable and have few other parts seem to work best in the long run, or have no straddle cable length adjustment (and if you don't understand the value of this feature you likely don't ride a small bike). Shimano and others seem to understand this. Other designs generally use a separate anchor bolt/fitting that is then secured in the arm. Some of them are real cable crushers. Andy
Hi, Andy. I hope you are well.

Nope. It was a standard single speed Miami Sun Traditional Trike, front brake only.
There were no frayed/broken strands or corrosion visible where it broke.
Believe me, if there had been any indication that the straddle cable was going to break, I would have replaced it before it did.

I replaced that brake with a "V" brake, even though I am not all that fond of them. They don't have the pad adjustment range of the older style/regular cantilever. It was all I had on hand though, so I put it on.

My new Miami Sun Traditional Trike has a "V" brake in front, so I guess I was not the only one who had that daRn cable break.
Oh, my new trike has the optional seven speed, which includes the optional rear disk brake.

Both the Sachs 5000 and Dia-Compe 980 brakes I have use a double ended straddle cable, like on a centerpull brake.
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Old 07-14-18, 11:40 AM
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Park Trike?
Get a Front wheel built around a Sturmey-Archer Drum brake hub..

I ran mine for years with a Motorcycle thick brake cable...

The Hubs have a 90 or 70 mm drum option... Sturmey-Archer | Products.




,,,

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Old 07-14-18, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclridr4life View Post
I've had the straddle cable break at the anchor bolt once. That brake was removed, and given a proper burial at sea. (Approximately 1 mile from shore, Atlantic Ocean.)
I was 18 miles from home, returning from Home Depot. I was on my Miami Sun Traditional Trike, pulling a 4 wheel garden/nursery cart with 1,200 pounds on it.

When the straddle cable broke, the only "brake" I had left was one of my feet against a rear tire. Admittedly, Florida is fairly flat. The tallest "hills" in the state are bridges, after all. (not an exaggeration. The Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg is higher at the roadway than the tallest natural hill, found over in the panhandle area somewhere.)
Anyway, the final 18 miles of that ride was un-fun with no brake.
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Get a Front wheel built around a Sturmey-Archer Drum brake hub.
And keep the caliper brake as well. That way you'll have some redundancy if/when one of the brakes decides to fail. Particularly important if you're in the habit of hauling 1000# of cargo.
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Old 07-14-18, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclridr4life View Post
Hi, Andy. I hope you are well.

Nope. It was a standard single speed Miami Sun Traditional Trike, front brake only.
There were no frayed/broken strands or corrosion visible where it broke.
Believe me, if there had been any indication that the straddle cable was going to break, I would have replaced it before it did.

I replaced that brake with a "V" brake, even though I am not all that fond of them. They don't have the pad adjustment range of the older style/regular cantilever. It was all I had on hand though, so I put it on.

My new Miami Sun Traditional Trike has a "V" brake in front, so I guess I was not the only one who had that daRn cable break.
Oh, my new trike has the optional seven speed, which includes the optional rear disk brake.

Both the Sachs 5000 and Dia-Compe 980 brakes I have use a double ended straddle cable, like on a centerpull brake.
I find it hard to believe all the cables strands broke at the same time. In 45 years of full time LBS service work I don't remember such a break. I have seen many cables with one or more strands broken, some only found after repositioning the cable during normal tuning service. hence my statements.

When you replaced the cantis with a V brake did you also swap out the lever for a V brake compatible one? If not how did the replacement brake work for you? It's pretty common knowledge that canti/caliper levers don't pull enough cable for a V brake to work well without really tight (as in rubs likely) pad/rim gaps. Or to have the lever bottom out on the bars before full "power" is achieved.

That your trike had only one brake is what I call a poor choice. I've sold many over the years and always equipped then with two brakes. On a "service" (as in not a "sport" style) trike this is a coaster brake, whether a 1 speed or a 3 speed hub. But as I said this is your world so it's your choice as to what to be comfortable with and how to manage your risks.

lastly the likely reason that the newer trike models use V brakes is that this is what the two wheeled industry is using on the vast majority of new bikes (and cycle cross bikes are an example of cantis still being the norm, although with disk brakes this too is changing). The economics of scale to have fewer SKUs in a factory/bike assembly business is a real driver to what is found on bikes. The days of cheap cantis are nearly past as now that portion of the market has transferred to V's for the most part.

I will admit that I see a lot of V brake cables breaking at the anchor bolt but these are all on the non tensioned side of the bolt. The rider's feet/leg brushes the cable (that is sticking out) and over time the paper clip breaks, so to speak. Andy
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Old 07-15-18, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I find it hard to believe all the cables strands broke at the same time. In 45 years of full time LBS service work I don't remember such a break. I have seen many cables with one or more strands broken, some only found after repositioning the cable during normal tuning service. hence my statements.

When you replaced the cantis with a V brake did you also swap out the lever for a V brake compatible one? If not how did the replacement brake work for you? It's pretty common knowledge that canti/caliper levers don't pull enough cable for a V brake to work well without really tight (as in rubs likely) pad/rim gaps. Or to have the lever bottom out on the bars before full "power" is achieved.

That your trike had only one brake is what I call a poor choice. I've sold many over the years and always equipped then with two brakes. On a "service" (as in not a "sport" style) trike this is a coaster brake, whether a 1 speed or a 3 speed hub. But as I said this is your world so it's your choice as to what to be comfortable with and how to manage your risks.

lastly the likely reason that the newer trike models use V brakes is that this is what the two wheeled industry is using on the vast majority of new bikes (and cycle cross bikes are an example of cantis still being the norm, although with disk brakes this too is changing). The economics of scale to have fewer SKUs in a factory/bike assembly business is a real driver to what is found on bikes. The days of cheap cantis are nearly past as now that portion of the market has transferred to V's for the most part.

I will admit that I see a lot of V brake cables breaking at the anchor bolt but these are all on the non tensioned side of the bolt. The rider's feet/leg brushes the cable (that is sticking out) and over time the paper clip breaks, so to speak. Andy
Yep. I changed the brake lever. I know a Canti lever with a V Brake (or a V Brake lever with a Canti brake) for all practical purposes leaves you with no brake. Dragging your feet would stop you better than mismatched brakes and levers.

FWIW, my original trike is in storage, in another state.
When (if?) I get it back, I'll rebuild and upgrade it with the 7 speed and rear disk brake, unless I can find a disk brake fork for it. (Unlikely, since I think it uses a 1" steerer)
Heck, even finding a disk brake fork that will work on the new trike is harder than I expected. The 1 1/8" steerer is not a problem, but the 24" wheel is the issue. A 26'er fork might work, or it might throw the front end geometry off.
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