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Cables & Carriers for Cantilevers: What would you use?

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Cables & Carriers for Cantilevers: What would you use?

Old 12-15-11, 01:36 PM
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Cables & Carriers for Cantilevers: What would you use?

I’ll be building my year-around touring, rain & snow bike. I’ll be using Cane Creek SCR-5 road-bike brake levers and Tektro Cantilever brakes. I’m going with Tektro CR-720 in the front and Tektro Oryx in the rear. I’m using a fork mounted hanger in the front.

The front brake cable (both inner & outer) will run from the lever to near the fork crown.

I need to select & source brake cables and straddle wire carriers. I’m looking for high performance for wet and wintery conditions but would like to avoid overspending.

Can I use Shimano XTR mountain bike cables with road levers?

Are compression-less cables a good option? Who produces these?

What cables would you install?
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Old 12-15-11, 02:15 PM
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Barettscv: I like the Problem Solvers cable hangers: https://problemsolversbike.com/produc...cable_carrier/

As to compressionless cables, DO NOT install compressionless shifter cables on a brake system, they are only held together by the plastic housing and can fail catastrophically when you need them most. See: https://sheldonbrown.com/cables

Just use good-quality lined brake cable housings with die-drawn stainless inner wires and you should be fine. Prep the cable housing ends properly and use the proper ferrules and you will be good to go

Kool-Stop Salmon brake pads are frequently praised. The Tektro CR-720s should be fine on the rear as well as the front, since the front brakes do most of the work anyway.
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Old 12-15-11, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I&#8217
Can I use Shimano XTR mountain bike cables with road levers?
No. MTB brake cables have the wrong end to fit in road levers. Shifter cables on the other hand are interchangeable.
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Old 12-15-11, 02:23 PM
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Good to know about compressionless cables, I knew not to use shifter cables but didn't undestand that compressionless cables = shifter cables. I'll be using Kool-Stop Salmon on the front & rear.

Should I lube the cables?

I'm considering these for cables: https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=22672
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Old 12-15-11, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
Good to know about compressionless cables, I knew not to use shifter cables but didn't undestand that compressionless cables = shifter cables. I'll be using Kool-Stop Salmon on the front & rear.

Should I lube the cables?

I'm considering these for cables: https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=22672
Those should be fine. They come with both road and MTB cable ends, so just snip the one you don't use.
I like Jagwire stuff.
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Old 12-15-11, 02:43 PM
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EDIT: I posted this after reading the first one, and people said all the same things I did in the meantime. Ignore this post.

'Compressionless' housing has longitudinal strands instead of metal coils. They improve the performance of indexed shifters, but can fail suddenly (splitting between strands) if subjected to braking forces.

I use $2 MEC house brand cables and a short length of really, really cheap Shimano housing for the Oryx cantilever on my winter beater, and it works fine down below -30C or so. The straddle wire carrier is a cheap-looking Shimano Deore of about 1985 vintage. Performance is just fine. In sloppy or snowy conditions, you won't notice the advantages of fancy cables and such; just keep housing and cable runs short and straight like you would anyway.

Take note that some Tektro brakes (like your Oryx) come with funny 'link wires' instead of separate straddle wires, and these link wires are optimized for cyclocross forks rather than wider mountain forks.
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Old 12-15-11, 02:55 PM
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I'm going with the Jagwire brake cables & Carriers. I think staying with one brand will provide the best results.

Jagwire has two straddle wires available. One is Double End Straddle Wire (380mm) and the other is Single End with EZ Handle (330mm). Does it matter which one?

See: https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=6697
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Old 12-15-11, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dave35
Take note that some Tektro brakes (like your Oryx) come with funny 'link wires' instead of separate straddle wires, and these link wires are optimized for cyclocross forks rather than wider mountain forks.
They do make about 5 different lengths of "z-link" style straddles, which can help accomodate different post spacings.
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Old 12-15-11, 02:58 PM
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tektro CR-720 already comes with a really good straddle carrier.

If you ask me, I'd would skip cantilevers entirely and just use V-brakes with either tektro RL520 or problem solvers travel agents, because cantilevers on the fork are fail-bad. The squealing and shuddering that can happen with cantis on forks occurs because the fork will flex backwards on load and pull the cable tighter, causing the brakes to grab even harder until they slip. This gives poor modulation and is just not fun dealing with.
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Old 12-15-11, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by krome
They do make about 5 different lengths of "z-link" style straddles, which can help accomodate different post spacings.
It's a touring bike with more narrow post spacing.
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Old 12-15-11, 04:27 PM
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Barrettscv: The fork mounted cable carrier will take care of the shuddering problem. I don't care for the "z-link" wires myself, I find the Jagwire cables you mentioned easier to adjust precisely. The E-Z handle makes them a little easier to disconnect for tire changes and the like. I use some DiaTech cables like these https://www.amazon.com/DiaTech-Brake-...m/B000C15I72/2 which have a little handle which goes below the brake mechanism for easy reach. Don't worry about staying with one brand, these are very simple components and there will be no problem getting them to work together just fine.
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Old 12-15-11, 07:42 PM
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The Die drawn stainless cables have the outer winding flattened, to be smoother.

a cable runs in tension , not compression, and the compression-less housing is for gears,
That's a No!.

though over braided Jag wire housing may be OK,
As they made it for Cable disc brake requirements I believe.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-17-11 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 12-17-11, 12:19 AM
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I have two bikes set up with the fork mounted cable hanger. The first bike has a standard Tektro carrier that uses a hex bolt and a 10mm nut to secure the primary cable. I found the nut make contact with the front of the silver cable hanger, pushing the cable forward. Probably not a big deal, but I can feel and hear the slight friction. On the second bike, I replaced the Tektro unit with another different carrier that uses a small grub screw to secure the primary cable. You can see there's free space between the black hanger and the carrier.
This may not be an issue with different setups with larger diameter fork crowns, different head tube angles, etc.
Problem Solvers make an extra wide 50mm carrier using the grub screw. I may install one of these to see if it increases the leverage.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Fuji front hanger.jpg (94.5 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg
Jamis fork hanger.jpg (89.8 KB, 92 views)

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Old 12-17-11, 06:37 AM
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BarrettSCV, Also read Sheldon Brown's article about adjusting stradle cable length and angle. I was able to markedly improve my T bike's cantis following his advice. I use the Tektro cable housing hanger that I drilled out the center of to use the barrel adjuster/nut combo I have, works well as there's no shudder.

Linear pull brakes would deliver more braking power and I have a set in the parts bin "just in case", but I like the look of the cantis.

Brad

Last edited by bradtx; 12-19-11 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 12-19-11, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by vredstein
I have two bikes set up with the fork mounted cable hanger. The first bike has a standard Tektro carrier that uses a hex bolt and a 10mm nut to secure the primary cable. I found the nut make contact with the front of the silver cable hanger, pushing the cable forward. Probably not a big deal, but I can feel and hear the slight friction. On the second bike, I replaced the Tektro unit with another different carrier that uses a small grub screw to secure the primary cable. You can see there's free space between the black hanger and the carrier.
This may not be an issue with different setups with larger diameter fork crowns, different head tube angles, etc.
Problem Solvers make an extra wide 50mm carrier using the grub screw. I may install one of these to see if it increases the leverage.
Thanks, that will be very helpfull. I plan to build it up at the end of the month.
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Old 12-19-11, 05:24 PM
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compressionless brake housing is available. it has a kevlar braid around it. use good ferules too.
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Old 12-19-11, 06:18 PM
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There are also 50mm wide cable carriers for cantilevers,
which might be useful in the set up as in # 13,
when needing to clear mudguards to the side,
and the space above is also limited..
A QBP item..
https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=1613

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Old 12-19-11, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO
If you ask me, I'd would skip cantilevers entirely and just use V-brakes with either tektro RL520...
+1

Since you're not using STI shifters you can use V-brakes with proper V-brake levers. Why not just do that?
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Old 12-20-11, 02:34 PM
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Because V-brakes are hideous?
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Old 12-20-11, 03:43 PM
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+1

Since you're not using STI shifters you can use V-brakes with proper V-brake levers. Why not just do that?
Because v-brakes aren't that great really. I used to love v-brakes and think that it was absurd that people still use center pull cantilever brakes.
As I got experienced with both types, I realized that both work fine -- but I actually prefer cantilever brakes due to their potential to have LESS leverage and better travel. They require more know-how to set up, but are worth it IMO. I run tektro oryx front and rear on my surly with mountain levers and love the braking I get.

With road levers and oryx on your rear brake, I'd be careful to actually adjust for LESS leverage by having the yoke a bit higher and/or making the straddle cable longer. If you adjust them as you would for high leverage, IME, the braking is deplorably bad. Terrible. There's just too much leverage with those two put together. I do well with mountain levers because they have quite a bit less leverage than road levers.

Just my 2 cents. The 720's are great too, I have a set in my parts bin -- with mountain levers those things have GREAT travel but you have to squeeze really hard on the levers to get good braking. It was okay to me, but not ideal. With road levers the 720's are pretty ideal IME...probably like my oryx with mountain levers actually.

V-brakes have terrible travel/modulation and interfere with my front rack . I no longer tout them like I once did. You pay for all that high leverage they provide. Plus, I have 2 sets of v-brake road levers (tektro RL 520 or something...) and think the design is terrible. The cables exit the levers to the sides and make a really sharp angle to the drop handlebars which causes a lot of friction, ruining the feel of the braking IMO. I took a file to the the plastic to try to make their path more gradual, but they still kind of suck. Especially if you like your road levers a bit on the "higher" side on the handlebars. I can send a picture if this doesn't make sense.

Also, cheap v-brakes have issues with return springs IME -- those things always go out of adjustment.

Yeah, actually I'd say to hell with v-brakes unless you already have a set and you have the proper levers. Anything else is a waste of time and effort on them.

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Old 12-20-11, 03:53 PM
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Note: V-brake noodes are great for routing cantilever brakes in some cases. Save those, The ones I have are the ones with barrel adjusters, made for people using v-brakes with v-specific road levers. Don't do this because it sucks -- just save any noodles you have.
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Old 12-20-11, 03:56 PM
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I have two bikes set up with the fork mounted cable hanger. The first bike has a standard Tektro carrier that uses a hex bolt and a 10mm nut to secure the primary cable. I found the nut make contact with the front of the silver cable hanger, pushing the cable forward. Probably not a big deal, but I can feel and hear the slight friction. On the second bike, I replaced the Tektro unit with another different carrier that uses a small grub screw to secure the primary cable. You can see there's free space between the black hanger and the carrier.
This may not be an issue with different setups with larger diameter fork crowns, different head tube angles, etc.
Problem Solvers make an extra wide 50mm carrier using the grub screw. I may install one of these to see if it increases the leverage.
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+1. I only use this kind of hanger now.
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Old 12-20-11, 05:06 PM
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I feel bad getting this thread so off topic but...

I have never had a cantiliever brake work as well as a V-brake. They just don't have as much stopping power. I've used just about every cantiliever out there from the modern low-profile units with non-adjustable link wires to the old school wide-profile ones with adjustable link wires. I've set the link wire so short that it was almost touching the tire, and still I cannot match a V-brake. Every V-brake I've ever used has provided great stopping power, even with crappy old pads.

To me V-brakes feel better because they have so much power, I don't have to pull the lever as hard. I've never had a problem with modulation or wheel lock up using either type of brake.

Originally Posted by TurbineBlade
Also, cheap v-brakes have issues with return springs IME -- those things always go out of adjustment.
Have never had a V-brake go out of adjustment, even on the cheapest off-brand models.

Have never attempted using V-brakes with the drop bar levers, I was not aware of their shortcomings. Never tried them with a front rack either, but I agree that cantis do offer more clearance and I would not be against using them if necessary.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by reptilezs
compressionless brake housing is available. it has a kevlar braid around it. use good ferules too.
I don't know which Jagwire product line this stuff is these days but the Jagwire compressionless/kevlar wrapped BRAKE housing was DA BOMB! ! ! ! ! ! ! Swapping it for the regular but still decent regular brake housing was an amazing exercise. I now lust after finding out what that stuff currently is or if anyone else is selling it as I'd like to get more and put it on my bikes that use regular brake housing at present. And it'll be used on road bikes FWIW as my mountain bikes all have hydraulic systems at present.

It really is that good.
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Old 12-20-11, 07:07 PM
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Here's a pic of some 720s and a fork mounted cable stop. Works like a charm and no shuddering.

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