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What's the worst part about loving old cantilevers?

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What's the worst part about loving old cantilevers?

Old 01-22-12, 09:16 AM
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LesterOfPuppets
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What's the worst part about loving old cantilevers?

Super low mileage ones rendered worthless after a certain plastic piece fails:

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Old 01-22-12, 09:18 AM
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One word...

AVID.
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Old 01-22-12, 09:20 AM
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Is that plastic collar a structural part or just a protector for the return spring? Will the brake function without it even if it looks a bit odd? Could you superglue the pieces it or wrap a zip tie around the outside to keep it together?
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Old 01-22-12, 09:23 AM
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I do have one set of Avid cantis and a couple sets of their Vees. Unfortunately it's tough to make a lowend-midrange MTB flip work out economically when they need $25-60 worth of brake arms

I've yet to try supergluing, HillRider, and don't have any on hand. I think I'll give it a go with these and some epoxy since it's a nice clean break and I still have all the pieces.

And these particular ones are useless without the plastic bit, I should've angled the arm better in the pic to show how there's no hole for the spring in the arms, rather slots which don't contain the spring's end well enough.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 01-22-12 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 01-22-12, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Is that plastic collar a structural part or just a protector for the return spring? Will the brake function without it even if it looks a bit odd? Could you superglue the pieces it or wrap a zip tie around the outside to keep it together?
structural part. spring goes in a hole in the plastic piece and holds the spring tension. i see them broken all the time. just due to age
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Old 01-22-12, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
structural part. spring goes in a hole in the plastic piece and holds the spring tension. i see them broken all the time. just due to age
Too bad. I had a set of Shimano LX cantis on a '93 Trek MTB and the plastic collar broke on one of them. But it was just a shield and the brake worked OK without it, or more correctly, with the broken pieces just slipped into place.
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Old 01-22-12, 09:41 AM
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Yeah, I have some '96 STX cantis with one of the plastic bits broken. Much smaller plastic bit and it's not pretty but brake still works.

The ones in the pic are 1997 Altus. I guess I just need to stay with STX or above brakes from now on.

I really need to get a tube of CA glue. I don't have epoxy patience at the moment
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Old 01-22-12, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
The ones in the pic are 1997 Altus.
They are really that new? From the picture I thought they were from the '70's or early '80's
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Old 01-22-12, 09:47 AM
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Might be '95s, I just remember an odd-numbered year around that time. I guess I have time to look it up again while glue dries

...

Oops, 1995 Altus C90.
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Old 01-22-12, 10:29 AM
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I have a full set of old Shimanos. One of the plastic pieces is broken.

The arms have holes so the piece is just dressing.

How many of yours are broken?

I would part with any or all the pieces I have.

Edit:
Just went to the shop and checked, the one is just cracked,
still in one piece. I thought about using shrink to to hold
it together?

I replaced them just because I wanted the Trek to be 100%
new when I did the up grades. Only the frame and fork are
original.

Last edited by BHOFM; 01-22-12 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 01-22-12, 11:35 AM
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I don't understand how anyone can love cantis...

It's like one of those old british leyland cars. You own it so you can get grease under your fingernails, and not so you can get anywhere.
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Old 01-22-12, 11:48 AM
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I generally like the modulation of cantis better than Vees. If I'm on a project that warrants purchase of new brakes I typically go for V-brakes however, for simplicity's sake and bang-for-buck.

I find most cantis plenty serviceable. I've put tons of miles on my 1996 STX cantis and they still work great, even with the one busted plastic bit.
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Old 01-22-12, 11:49 AM
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The breakage of that part was a design flaw. Shimano provided shops with new collars for free for quite a while, then began charging for them. But the moral of the story is that LBSes may have those collars in a drawer (and redesigned so they don't break, too). Take your Altus brakes in and they may be able to match them up.

Alternately, you can still get basically that exact brake today, with fixed collars. J&B part #13359 and #13360 (they're described as front and rear, but are interchangable).

Tangentially, these brakes were contemporaries of Shimano's cranks that broke, and I often see them together, so check your cranks. They're under perpetual recall: FC-M290, FC-MC12, FC-CT90. If you have one, you're entitled to a new crank pack from Shimano, see your LBS.

Last edited by mechBgon; 01-22-12 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 01-22-12, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for the tips mechBgon, I'll keep that in mind for future consideration. If this bike doesn't sell right away I may just bug a couple of shops about such parts, see if I can get replacements cheaply and make this bike more dependable for its future owner.
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Old 01-22-12, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
structural part. spring goes in a hole in the plastic piece and holds the spring tension. i see them broken all the time. just due to age
"Planned obsolescence." You have to go further back to find vintage cantilevers built to last:

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Old 01-22-12, 01:23 PM
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Alternately, you can still get basically that exact brake today, with fixed collars. J&B part #13359 and #13360 (they're described as front and rear, but are interchangable).
The only difference I found was the rear had a shorter cross cable. After I got mine together
wrong and had no rear brakes. Cable block hit the brass on.
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Old 01-22-12, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
"Planned obsolescence." You have to go further back to find vintage cantilevers built to last:

I think it was more like "unplanned" obsolescence. If Shimano planned to obsolete cantis, they wouldn't still be producing that same brake today after fixing the design. Now called the FC-CT91, it's still a staple item at our shop for a budget repair canti.
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Old 01-22-12, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
I don't understand how anyone can love cantis...

It's like one of those old british leyland cars. You own it so you can get grease under your fingernails, and not so you can get anywhere.
Fighting words! Bad cantis suck for sure, but a good pair of cantis are really nice and quite effective. Thanks to the new VO brake pad holders for them they are easy to swap out pads once you get them set-up the first time.

Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
I generally like the modulation of cantis better than Vees. If I'm on a project that warrants purchase of new brakes I typically go for V-brakes however, for simplicity's sake and bang-for-buck.

I find most cantis plenty serviceable. I've put tons of miles on my 1996 STX cantis and they still work great, even with the one busted plastic bit.
+1

That, and aesthetically I find cantis more pleasing than V brakes.
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Old 01-22-12, 03:00 PM
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I'm with JDT, 30 year old Mafac cantilevers, still just fine..

I noticed while working on the newer adjustable pad height cantilevers,
back in the MTB 80's the factories were able to get the Boss location Off spec.
and get away with it, because the brake had adjustment range,
so they got sloppier as they could pass errors thru, and ship them anyway.

Now with Brakes like TRP EuroX, for Cyclo-cross racing,
they have to get the brake bosses spot on for height and width again.
those are top notch, and on the right frame/fork will work well.

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Old 01-22-12, 11:01 PM
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You don't need to go that far back for last well made cantis
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Old 01-22-12, 11:53 PM
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I had that happen on a $25.00 flip bike. 4 out of 4 cracked. Had some in the junk box fortunately.

My 30 year old Univega Gran Turismo has the original cantis. Setting them up just about reduced me to babbling tears. Incremental f(iddling) for over an hour. Do love V-brakes. The vintage cantis work very well with the Kool Stop pads in place.
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Old 01-23-12, 12:27 AM
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I don’t know why anyone would be in ‘love’ with cantis other than for the classic look factor. V-brakes clearly have the superior mechanical stopping leverage.
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Old 01-23-12, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
I don’t know why anyone would be in ‘love’ with cantis other than for the classic look factor. V-brakes clearly have the superior mechanical stopping leverage.
My old Trek with Canti's, and Cool Stops (blacks) sure doesn't need any more brakes. And yes the look
is right.
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Old 01-23-12, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
I don’t know why anyone would be in ‘love’ with cantis other than for the classic look factor. V-brakes clearly have the superior mechanical stopping leverage.
With cantis, by adjusting the straddle wire width/height you can alter the mechanical advantage of the brake at will. Whereas with v-brakes the mechanical advantage depends on the length of the arms and is not adjustible.
In general, v-brakes are stronger than cantis on their default settiing, but a canti can be adjusted to be stronger. -not that you would want to adjust one that way, fine control is more useful than instant wheel locking
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Old 01-23-12, 11:49 AM
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That plastic piece breaking is one of our most common fixes at the shop. Good thing a new set of comparable brakes are only $10 or so.
On my own bike, I made those old cantis work again without the plastic piece. I was able to get the spring to hook onto the square side of the brake boss. Was supposed to be temporary, but ended up running it that way for 3 years with no troubles.

OT - I have a couple of those rubber cutting knives and they are great for cutting things in the shop.

For me, I'd say the worst part of working on those old cantis is having the angle adjusting washers being pitted, rusty and worn. When you try to tighten them they like to settle back into their old position or rotate instead. I take them apart and hit them with the wire wheel on the grinder and then put a tiny bit of grease on all of the contact points. Makes a world of difference.

Last edited by Glynis27; 01-23-12 at 11:54 AM.
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