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Modern Canti's not working on '86 Schwinn Passage, help!

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Modern Canti's not working on '86 Schwinn Passage, help!

Old 05-14-14, 09:37 AM
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holycalamity
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Modern Canti's not working on '86 Schwinn Passage, help!

Hey all,

I'm running into a brick wall with my attempt to replace the canti's on my vintage touring frame. As I was trying to replace the pads on the original Dia/Gran Compe canti's, the washer between the pad and brake arm split like butter. That led me to believe it would be a good idea to replace the brakes entirely. Which is where I'm at now. I bought two sets of Avid Shorty 4 based on cost/reviews. I originally thought there would be a compatibility issue with the older brake bosses, but the new brakes fit over the boss housing and into the single spring anchor on the boss. The original brakes contained an external spring that went on before the brake arm, and the new brakes fit into that anchor hole.

Unfortunately, I'm not able to fit the new brakes correctly on the bike. I'm unable to create any spring tension, they just flop back and forth. And the pads seem to hit the frame tubing, not allowing any spring tension. I have absolutely no experience with modern center-pull canti's. However, the original brake sets are extremely easy to install/set up. So I have a couple questions.

1. Are the original Dia/Gran Compe brakes worth keeping? Is this concave washer that broke a fluke and I should just find a new one? Where would I find this?

2. Per the video, am I just installing these incorrectly? The pads are hitting the frame as you'll see, and the spring arm is just dangling. I assume the spring should create tension while the arm moves forward towards the rim? I've played with the spring tension bolt on the brake arm, which does not help.

3. These particular Avid brakes seem to be too wide for a touring setup anyway, they extend wider than the racks which may interfere with the panniers. In my previous post I was told that there are Canti's where the spring is within in an internal cam that tightens around the boss housing. I really like the idea of that. I'm familiar with the Paul touring brakes, which seem like they'd work great on my setup, but are way more than I'd like to spend.Paul Touring Cantis Are there any cheaper options for canti's with internal springs that are good for touring? Or any options that would work on my frame at all?

Thanks, really want to get this bike back on the road!!



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Old 05-14-14, 09:57 AM
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kinda hard to tell
the return spring end should be
in the brake boss hole

on picture number six
the end of the return spring looks like it is loose
but it must be mounted in the hole on the side of the brake boss
you may need to loosen the brake pad and turn it vertical
to make it possible to put the brake in the position that inserting the spring is possible
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Old 05-14-14, 10:02 AM
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I'd have to Be there .. to really see... It may not be the best brake for the frame . a compatibility issue ..

may not be the right brake to use.

If you went to a Bike shop they would try another brand and type of brake ..


I have (sell) a Set of Modolo Cross Cantilevers ,, but like Mafac there is no up/down Pad height adjustment .

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-14-14 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 05-14-14, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
kinda hard to tell
the return spring end should be
in the brake boss hole

on picture number six
the end of the return spring looks like it is loose
but it must be mounted in the hole on the side of the brake boss
you may need to loosen the brake pad and turn it vertical
to make it possible to put the brake in the position that inserting the spring is possible
Hey, thanks for the reply.

In the picture you mention the notch is actually in the brake boss hole, but the spring doesn't find tension, it just wiggles around. Even after adjusting the tension. But like I said, I could be installing these completely wrong as I've never installed modern canti's. And the gap between the frame post and rim doesn't leave much room for spring tension to take place. It's almost as if the pads are too long? Or my boss housing isn't long enough to account for the width of the pads? I'm stumped.
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Old 05-14-14, 10:07 AM
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there seems to be an extra washer between the inboard concave washer and the brake pad
remove that and you will get and extra precious mm to work with

also
if you can find shorter brake pads
then you might not have the issue with the pads movement lmiited by the seatstay
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Old 05-14-14, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I'd have to Be there .. to really see... It may not be the best brake for the frame . a compatibility issue ..
Wish you were, that would sure help! haha. Should I be looking more at ordering vintage Suntour XC or Dia-Compe 98X brakes with internal springs? I just figured if I were going to upgrade my brakes I might as well go with modern ones, but compatibility seems to be a major issue. Or like I've said, I'm just not installing these damn things right. But also these brakes come out way too wide for touring it would appear, and they're ugly as hell. Do you know what canti options I have for this frame that would work for touring?
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Old 05-14-14, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
there seems to be an extra washer between the inboard concave washer and the brake pad
remove that and you will get and extra precious mm to work with

also
if you can find shorter brake pads
then you might not have the issue with the pads movement lmiited by the seatstay
Yeah, on the newer brakes the pad hardware allows itself to be customized by using different washer combinations. I've tried this and still am unable to achieve any spring tension. I also can't find any compatible pads for modern canti's that are short enough. All of this style, that uses an allen head, seem to be longer than the vintage rectangular pads. So weird, didn't think this would be so complicated.
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Old 05-14-14, 10:21 AM
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Never held these in my hand or fitted them , on any bike , but since you are ordering stuff shipped in from elsewhere ..

I have seen these and there seem to be a number of adjustments .. the set screw may work to compensate for spring balance

Grand Cru Zeste Cantilever Brakeset - Brakes - Brakes & Parts - Components

they may be un branded TRP.. VO often buys the same parts others get like in black ,
but orders the makers to supply them with a polished version.

With the ones you have they used a V type shoe, you dont have to use them replace them with something else.

even the one above , you can change the pad inserts from what it ships with.


another option https://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...-.br_road.html

the brake pads also can be mounted differently .... thinner spacers . ,

the pivot off set may work for you & your frame Pivots spacing.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-14-14 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 05-14-14, 10:42 AM
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Without knowing these cantis specifically, I'm going to guess that your mounting/pivot bolts that thread into the frame bosses are too long to properly clamp the spring down so it stays stationary.

If I'm right, either shorter m6 (I think?) bolts or cutting down the ones you already have will resolve this.

E: that's not it at all. The spring goes in the little hole in the boss. You should be able to tighten up that little 3mm Allen screw or bend the spring further out.
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Old 05-14-14, 11:50 AM
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Looking at the video, it's obvious why it isn't working. The brake spring has to engage both the frame (canti boss stop) and the brake itself to push it open. You don't have the spring engaging the brake so there's no way for i to work.

Now as to where or why the spring doesn't engage the brake, I can't tell for sure, because the video doesn't show the spring side of the brake arm. But I see a leg of the spring pointing backward, which is odd. Before wasting more time, is it at all possible you have the right and left springs reverse? The spring wind should be that applying he brake pulls the coil to a smaller diameter.

If the springs are right, more video showing the brake off the bike, sequence of assembly an specifically the spring side of the brake so the arm attachment point can be studied.

BTW- I don't know this brake specifically, but many (most?) brakes of similar design have the shoe on the frame side of the arm. If this brake is the same, you have the right and left arms reversed. Search the net (or look on the box) for an image of this brake to confirm which way it mounts, or take a shot and see if reversing the arms (and maybe also the springs) solves the problem.

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Old 05-14-14, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Never held these in my hand or fitted them , on any bike , but since you are ordering stuff shipped in from elsewhere ..

I have seen these and there seem to be a number of adjustments .. the set screw may work to compensate for spring balance

Grand Cru Zeste Cantilever Brakeset - Brakes - Brakes & Parts - Components

they may be un branded TRP.. VO often buys the same parts others get like in black ,
but orders the makers to supply them with a polished version.

With the ones you have they used a V type shoe, you dont have to use them replace them with something else.

even the one above , you can change the pad inserts from what it ships with.


another option Product

the brake pads also can be mounted differently .... thinner spacers . ,

the pivot off set may work for you & your frame Pivots spacing.
The Grand Cru actually seems like an awesome cheaper alternative to the Paul Comp. Seems like it would be a very low profile for touring panniers, perfect! Thanks for the insight!
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Old 05-14-14, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by IthaDan View Post
Without knowing these cantis specifically, I'm going to guess that your mounting/pivot bolts that thread into the frame bosses are too long to properly clamp the spring down so it stays stationary.

If I'm right, either shorter m6 (I think?) bolts or cutting down the ones you already have will resolve this.

E: that's not it at all. The spring goes in the little hole in the boss. You should be able to tighten up that little 3mm Allen screw or bend the spring further out.
Hey, thanks for the reply! The brake arm actually does sit nearly flush with the boss allowing the notch to enter the hole and hold the spring. It just doesn't have any tension, it's very strange from my perspective. I've tried tightening the bolt to add tension, but the spring just flops around. It truly does seem like a compatibility issue with this particular frame/brake combo. Any insight would be appreciated though!
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Old 05-14-14, 03:29 PM
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Also be sure to measure the spacing between your canti braze-ons/posts. Older touring bikes often had narrower spacing between the posts than modern bikes, making modern cantilever brakes take up too much room. I tried everything to fit a pair of Tektro 720s on an old Pro Tour to no avail because of this.

They aren't fancy, but these Shimano brakes are often used as a work-around for narrow spacing on older touring bikes: https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-BR-CT9.../dp/B001GSQO1E . I replaced the stock with some Kool Stop thinline pads and had no problems on a couple thousand miles of touring. Though I didn't have huge mountain passes and was only loaded with ~40lbs of gear.
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Old 05-14-14, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jmeb View Post
Also be sure to measure the spacing between your canti braze-ons/posts. Older touring bikes often had narrower spacing between the posts than modern bikes.......
+1. I've run into this issue, too, with '80's touring frames/forks.
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Old 05-14-14, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by well biked View Post
+1. I've run into this issue, too, with '80's touring frames/forks.
+2; the modolo cross cantilevers that bikebob offered up in thread no. 3 should work. I use a pair on a 1982 trek 720; most of the cantis I tried didn't work but the modolos worked like a champ.
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Old 05-14-14, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
+2; the modolo cross cantilevers that bikebob offered up in thread no. 3 should work. I use a pair on a 1982 trek 720; most of the cantis I tried didn't work but the modolos worked like a champ.
Many, if not most of the boss separation issues can be solved by switching to lower profile shoes. However, I looked at the video, and it appears that the shoes are hitting the rim too soon. So step one would be to see if the OP can rearrange washers or find lower profile shoes so contact happens when the face of the mounting slot is coming close to vertical. It should still be open (like a V) and never pass vertical in use.

If the shoe clearance can't be corrected, the next best solution is to use cantis where the shoes mount on a post. These are a PIA to set up right (until you're used to them) but offer the most adjustment for shoe clearance.
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Old 05-14-14, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jmeb View Post
Also be sure to measure the spacing between your canti braze-ons/posts. Older touring bikes often had narrower spacing between the posts than modern bikes, making modern cantilever brakes take up too much room. I tried everything to fit a pair of Tektro 720s on an old Pro Tour to no avail because of this.

They aren't fancy, but these Shimano brakes are often used as a work-around for narrow spacing on older touring bikes: Robot Check . I replaced the stock with some Kool Stop thinline pads and had no problems on a couple thousand miles of touring. Though I didn't have huge mountain passes and was only loaded with ~40lbs of gear.
I think you're very right. The space between the posts is quite narrow. Which makes since, if that were the cause for the lack of tension. Those brakes seem like they would work on my frame, I just don't know if I'd trust them to stop 200 lbs pedaling 40 lbs worth of gear down a hill. But this definitely gives me better understanding, thanks!
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Old 05-14-14, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Many, if not most of the boss separation issues can be solved by switching to lower profile shoes. However, I looked at the video, and it appears that the shoes are hitting the rim too soon. So step one would be to see if the OP can rearrange washers or find lower profile shoes so contact happens when the face of the mounting slot is coming close to vertical. It should still be open (like a V) and never pass vertical in use.

If the shoe clearance can't be corrected, the next best solution is to use cantis where the shoes mount on a post. These are a PIA to set up right (until you're used to them) but offer the most adjustment for shoe clearance.
Exactly, the space between the rim and post is just too darn narrow for the brake arm to find tension. It's almost as if i'd be hard pressed to find brakes that require pads that are wide. I think unfortunately any of the above tests would be futile, as these brakes are always going to be too wide for panniers it would appear, regardless of how I might tweak them to work. I think post mounted shoes is a good idea, and yeah they sure as hell seem more difficult to set up, but can't be any harder than this so far!
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Old 05-14-14, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by well biked View Post
+1. I've run into this issue, too, with '80's touring frames/forks.
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
+2; the modolo cross cantilevers that bikebob offered up in thread no. 3 should work. I use a pair on a 1982 trek 720; most of the cantis I tried didn't work but the modolos worked like a champ.
Thanks! The Modolo's, like many cyclocross canti's, seem too wide for touring panniers unfortunately.
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Old 05-14-14, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by holycalamity View Post
Thanks! The Modolo's, like many cyclocross canti's, seem too wide for touring panniers unfortunately.
I toured across country with mine but then my Trek 720 has one heck of a long wheelbase:


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Old 05-14-14, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by holycalamity View Post
Exactly, the space between the rim and post is just too darn narrow for the brake arm to find tension. ...
The post separation/strike angle issue is different and unrelated to the spring issue.

My advice, is to put these out on ebay, and go to a local co-op (if there is one) and let them deal with all the issues and help you select and install an appropriate brake.
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Old 05-14-14, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
The post separation/strike angle issue is different and unrelated to the spring issue.

My advice, is to put these out on ebay, and go to a local co-op (if there is one) and let them deal with all the issues and help you select and install an appropriate brake.
With these particular brakes, the issue seems to be that the brake shoes are hitting the frame too soon and in this case disallowing the brake arm to pull back enough to find tension. I'm sure that's not the case with all similar issues, but it seems to be for these brakes.

I'm always driven to do everything myself until I've exhausted every angle that I'm aware of (aka, stubborn), but will definitely take them to a nearby co-op (chicago) to give me a hand if needed.
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Old 05-14-14, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I toured across country with mine but then my Trek 720 has one heck of a long wheelbase:


Nice, the brakes don't come out as far as I thought they would now that I see them on your frame. I'll definitely take those into consideration. So assuming you had full panniers in front/back that the brakes didn't get in the way of?
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Old 05-14-14, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by holycalamity View Post
Nice, the brakes don't come out as far as I thought they would now that I see them on your frame. I'll definitely take those into consideration. So assuming you had full panniers in front/back that the brakes didn't get in the way of?
No; I use lowriders in front. But it was a total non-issue; the modolos were designed back in the day when canti posts were closer together. Here is a thread with some info on this, https://www.bikeforums.net/recreation...nce-issue.html
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Old 05-14-14, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by holycalamity View Post
With these particular brakes, the issue seems to be that the brake shoes are hitting the frame too soon and in this case disallowing the brake arm to pull back enough to find tension. ....
This is the least of your problems, and if the tire can clear to remove the wheel with the shoe trapped under the stay it's a non-problem. However it's nor related to the spring problem. The spring should be engaged fully when the brake is closed, and drive shoe into the frame, and beyond Iif not stopped).

So, don't fret the non-issue. Check if the swing of the arms and thickness and angle of the shoes allows adjustment for a square strike on the rim. (can't see for sure either way in the video because of camera angle) If so, the brakes pass, and all you need to do is figure out where you're going wrong with the springs. If not, see if you can thin the washer stack, or measure your shoes against low profile shoes like KS thinlines.

Sometimes, you need o know your limits and quit when ahead (or at least not hopelessly behind). If there's a decent co-op get local, eyes and hands on help.
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