Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-02-10, 07:43 PM   #1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
dsbrantjr's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta
Posts: 5,412
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 365 Post(s)
Cantilever Straddle Cable Length

The cantilever brake straddle cables I have seen seem to come in two varieties: one with the cable carrier an inch or so above the tire and the others about five inches above. I am setting up a mountain bike with new brake cables and am wondering which way I should go.
I am considering using a fork mount cable stop and a Problem Solvers Wide Cable Carrier on a bike which currently has the long straddle cable, which would necessitate shortening it. I want to change out the handlebar and stem which currently has the cable stop in the stem. I understand that I will need to put in a longer cable housing.
Is there a big difference in braking performance or another consideration which I am missing?
dsbrantjr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-10, 09:09 PM   #2
Soma Lover
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Logan, UT
Bikes: one bike for every day of the week
Posts: 765
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How much leverage do you need? Lower yoke = more, higher yoke = less.

Rain and snow, really hard brake pads, and rolled steel rims require more leverage. The wide problem solvers yokes help with rear brake clearance on small frames where more leverage is needed. It may also come it handy for the fork mounted cable stop. Straddle cables are cheap enough that I start with a 90 angle and go higher if I get fork shudder, lower if the brakes feel spongy. I usually get them dialed in mashing up and otherwise compromising one straddle cable and then replace it with a new one once I know how long I want it.

The best part of cantilevers is their adjustability. The worst part about cantilevers is mechanics and riders without the patience or know how to adjust them properly.
cachehiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-10, 09:26 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Grid Reference, SK
Bikes: I never learned to ride a bike. It is my deepest shame.
Posts: 3,769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One very important thing left out of cachehiker's reply - it depends on the 'type' of cantilever brake...

If you have a 'low profile' (like modern shimano, Avid etc.) brake then lower is more power/softer feel and higher is less power/firmer feel. How low? Real low. THe lower the better. If you don't have fenders then get the cable so low that the fuzzy molding flash on a new tire will rub on the cable yoke. Then you will see how much power is possible in a rim brake.

If you have a 'high profile' cantilever (like old Mafac or Paul's Neo Retro or SRP) brake then lowering the straddle cable will not give you more power - you want the angle between the straddle cable and the arm of the cantilever to be close to 90 deg. when the brake is engaged, so these ones pretty much need to be high. I don't think these would work well at all with a fork mounted cable hanger.

edit: has two excellent articles on cantilever brakes.

Here is the theory


here is the practical

Last edited by LarDasse74; 12-02-10 at 09:30 PM.
LarDasse74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-10, 09:35 PM   #4
Senior Member
AEO's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin
Posts: 12,258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
IMO, tektro sells a better product.
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
AEO is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:27 AM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.