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Cantilever vs. Mini V-Brakes

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Cantilever vs. Mini V-Brakes

Old 04-17-13, 03:11 AM
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Cantilever vs. Mini V-Brakes

Hello,

I was having problems with my front cantilever brakes (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ont-efficiency) and since I was making an order on my usual bike stuff website I got a pair of these Mini V-brakes (https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=34580) since I was getting pretty desperate about my canti efficiency.

As it turned out, the cable of my canti was too tight so loosening it just a bit highly increased the efficiency of the brake that I would now consider satisfactory.

I still have these mini V-Brakes and I was still wondering whether I should install them anyway for the V-Brake mechanical concept feels more efficient (maybe it's just a gut feeling, but with Vs, you pull a cable that directly pulls the pads towards the rim whereas with cantis you pull a cable that pulls on the outer side of an axle the inner side of which the pad is attached... I might be overthinking...).

If I disregard the fact of wasting a set of brakes and the useless waste of cash, if we just consider efficiency, is switching worth it?

Thank you.
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Old 04-17-13, 04:47 AM
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FBG, I'm not positive WRT the mini Vs, but linear pull (V-brake) brakes generally require a lever with a higher pull ratio than a caliper or cantilever brake. If you install the new brakes with the old lever you increase lever travel. Tektro has compatible levers.

Brad
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Old 04-17-13, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
FBG, I'm not positive WRT the mini Vs, but linear pull (V-brake) brakes generally require a lever with a higher pull ratio than a caliper or cantilever brake. If you install the new brakes with the old lever you increase lever travel. Tektro has compatible levers.

Brad

The point of mini V-brakes is that they do work with conventional short-pull levers.
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Old 04-17-13, 05:06 AM
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Never Fix A Running Piece. If it is working satisfactorily I'd suggest you leave well enough alone. Spend the time riding.
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Old 04-17-13, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr
Never Fix A Running Piece. If it is working satisfactorily I'd suggest you leave well enough alone. Spend the time riding.
Exactly. While sometimes it can be a bit of a hassle to figure out a good geometry for a particular brake/lever/bike canti combination, once you've done it, you'll never have to worry about it again.

So just ride!
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Old 04-17-13, 06:08 AM
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You might find this thread of interest as it discusses the relative merits of both types.

The poster colin531 is very experienced and has designed Spa Cycles bikes so he is well worth listening to.

https://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.ph...brakes#p648372
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Old 04-17-13, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Airburst
The point of mini V-brakes is that they do work with conventional short-pull levers.
Excellent news as I am considering the mini V also, thanks.

Brad
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Old 04-17-13, 08:57 AM
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By shortening the effort arm on mini V's they get to be crossing over the tire

low enough to make mudguards tough to fit..


(Worth it? economic, value judgment is yours to make)

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-17-13 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 04-17-13, 10:00 AM
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All V-brakes *are* cantilevers. Mini-vee's just have a shorter lever arm than regular vee's. I found that mini-vee's still have a longer effective lever arm than most cantilevers (even canti's with really short straddle cables), making them feel a bit mushy but grab pretty effectively with little lever force. Accompanying that is smaller clearance to the rim when they're open.

Me, I just use normal cantilevers. I can change the effective lever arm by shortening or lengthening the straddle cable. There isn't any advantage to mini-vee's that I can see.
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Old 04-17-13, 11:32 AM
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If a really lively fork vibrates when the brakes are applied, because the steer tube and everything above the fork boss

In compression, resonates in a relationship with the cable pulled in tension.. fork crown mounted housing stops,
and mini V brakes were useful in taming that..
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Old 04-17-13, 11:38 AM
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My Cannondale CX bike came with cantilevers that did a fantastic job of making a ton of noise, but a terrible job of slowing the bike down. I converted to Tektro mini Vs. Best $30 I've ever spent. The difference in stopping power is nothing short of amazing.

Bob
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Old 04-17-13, 07:38 PM
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I've always noticed that people tend to (what seems to me unfairly) berate (trad) cantis. No doubt that there are some bikes that they just don't get on with, but I'm sure that the majority of issues that people have had with them have been down to poor setup.

In that sense, V's are a *lot* easier to dial-in than trad cantis, but if they're setup nicely, with appropriate length straddle cables, then they can be some of the best performing brakes I have ever used.
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Old 04-17-13, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Airburst
The point of mini V-brakes is that they do work with conventional short-pull levers.
My personal experience with mini-v's hasn't been that great. Whenever I've installed them loosely enough to release the noodle to remove the wheel, they'd bottom the brake levers against the handlebar. There's a couple of work-arounds for that, but I still haven't liked them.
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Old 04-17-13, 09:00 PM
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The problem I am having is that the light aluminum fork shudders terribly under hard braking with traditional cantilevers on my road bike. I am under the belief mini v brakes will solve this problem.
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Old 04-17-13, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Continuity
I've always noticed that people tend to (what seems to me unfairly) berate (trad) cantis. No doubt that there are some bikes that they just don't get on with, but I'm sure that the majority of issues that people have had with them have been down to poor setup.

In that sense, V's are a *lot* easier to dial-in than trad cantis, but if they're setup nicely, with appropriate length straddle cables, then they can be some of the best performing brakes I have ever used.
The cantis on my old flat-bar MTB work great. On my drop bar CX bike, they were *terrible*. I'm sure there's math behind this, but that's what I notice.

When I got my CX bike, a couple of CX guys told me that cantis do nothing to stop the bike...they simply warn the rider in front of you that he's about to get hit.

Bob
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Old 04-18-13, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
My personal experience with mini-v's hasn't been that great. Whenever I've installed them loosely enough to release the noodle to remove the wheel, they'd bottom the brake levers against the handlebar. There's a couple of work-arounds for that, but I still haven't liked them.
I've heard the same thing before, they general workaround seems to be just backing off the adjusting barrel and then releasing the noodle, but that does sound kind of crude. They might work quite well with Campagnolo levers with quick-releases in them, even if that doesn't let you get the wheel out, it should put enough slack in the cable that you can get the noodle unhooked.

Originally Posted by bobonker

When I got my CX bike, a couple of CX guys told me that cantis do nothing to stop the bike...they simply warn the rider in front of you that he's about to get hit.

All that proves is that they didn't know how to set up cantis properly (or they had some completely crap ones, that's not impossible). Properly set up, conventional cantilevers are easily a match for V-brakes. The difference in performance you had between your MTB and CX bike's cantis was likely down to the way they'd both been adjusted.
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Old 04-18-13, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Airburst
they general workaround seems to be just backing off the adjusting barrel and then releasing the noodle, but that does sound kind of crude. They might work quite well with Campagnolo levers with quick-releases in them, even if that doesn't let you get the wheel out, it should put enough slack in the cable that you can get the noodle unhooked.
Another work-around is to clip the tip off the noodle so that it doesn't require as much cable slack to unhook.
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Old 04-18-13, 08:57 AM
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I bought a cross frame and built it up as my winter bike.
I run mini-v's and LOVE them. There are some issues, it is hard to get the noodle out to change a tire, I just deflate the tire and air it up when it's in place. I just installed fenders and they rub slightly. Those are worth it to me, the stopping power w/kool stop pads and the modulation is fantastic. Now i don't ride this bike daily, its my backup, but works to my satisfaction.
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Old 04-18-13, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier
The problem I am having is that the light aluminum fork shudders terribly under hard braking with traditional cantilevers on my road bike. I am under the belief mini v brakes will solve this problem.
It's possible that mini-vee's will alleviate this. But if you toe the pads in wrong, even mini-vee's will shudder and squeal. But another solution is to use a fork-crown mounted cable stop- that removes the flex of the fork from the shudder/squeal equation.

But I'm a retro-grouch- I think canti's just plain *look* better than v-brakes.
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Old 04-18-13, 11:01 AM
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The problem I am having is that the light aluminum fork shudders terribly under hard braking with traditional cantilevers on my road bike. I am under the belief mini v brakes will solve this problem.
the reason why i sold my AlAn Cross Super Frame and fork , 20 years ago..
now with a steel Fork, that is no issue.

The looks were nice when I got it, Shiny silver, but the painted steel functions better..

I also got an AlAn Road frame back then ,
bolt on the fork crown side pulls didnt shudder when I applied the brakes..

maybe you need a proper Road bike?
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Old 04-18-13, 01:17 PM
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I'm going to get around to ordering a fork-mounted cable hanger for the DX cantis on my Marin MTB at some point.
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Old 04-19-13, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cycle_maven
But I'm a retro-grouch- I think canti's just plain *look* better than v-brakes.
Agreed, especially on older bikes. But those TRP mini-v brakes in blue and red really look slick. I'm seriously thinking about pulling the trigger on a set.
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Old 04-19-13, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cycle_maven
It's possible that mini-vee's will alleviate this. But if you toe the pads in wrong, even mini-vee's will shudder and squeal. But another solution is to use a fork-crown mounted cable stop- that removes the flex of the fork from the shudder/squeal equation.

But I'm a retro-grouch- I think canti's just plain *look* better than v-brakes.
Sadly, the brakes I have are old Mafac cantis, which are not adjustable for toe in, except maybe twisting them with a pair of channel locks. I thought about a fork-mounted cable stop, but I fear the straddle cable would be too high to fit under it.

Also, I changed the old badly worn kool stops (black compound) out for a set of Shimano Altus replacement pads and the problem is much less severe. THe shuddering is now more like parkinson's disease and less of a grand mal seizure.
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