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Replacing cantilever brakes

Old 03-13-22, 02:15 PM
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phtomita
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Replacing cantilever brakes

Anyone have replaced cantilever brakes on old steel bikes with modern ones?
I had a pair of Altus BR-CT91 and thought it will just fit nicely and went ahead disassembled the old ones to find out that doesn't fit
The boss that holds it to fork / seat stay is too close to the rim, so I have installed back the older one for now
I am looking at the BR-CX50 and found there are 3 different size of washers but still seems too long for my Centurion ProTour15.
I am running 700c while originally it is for 27" rims, and have wider rims at 25mm.
Since the frame of BR-CX50 is like a caliper where the pads are attached - kind of - does someone actually try to attach the caliper pads directly to the BR-CX50?
It seems will work, but if someone actually did it will be great to know
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Old 03-13-22, 02:24 PM
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Some touring bikes have their posts too close to use modern cantis. The width between the posts is too narrow. Sounds like that might be your case.
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Old 03-13-22, 02:44 PM
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Old 03-13-22, 05:18 PM
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I found the same as I adapted a 1981 Miyata 1000 for my wife using 700c wheels instead of the original 27's. The nice, new Tektro's fit the rear, but I had to locate and acquire something with shorter arms for the front.
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Old 03-13-22, 06:12 PM
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Cool, I see some nice comments regarding the Shimano CX50 and its richer brother CX70 for the 27 -> 700c conversion on older steel frames.
Will try out and update some pics here.
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Old 03-13-22, 09:20 PM
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I'd say most cantis Pre-1986ish will usually have that narrower spacing. I usually just throw on new pads and the cantis will perform good enough for what I typically need. New pads will do wonders, as long as they are set up correctly (straddle cable length/angle, toe in, etc.).

I have seen someone on Instagram use some CX50s (on a '83 Specialized Expedition), as you mentioned, with success, but I haven't tried them personally. Please let us know how it turns out for you!
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Old 03-17-22, 08:44 PM
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Got the BR-CX50 today and tried to install it.
There are 3 spacers and I used the shortest one at 10mm - for reference on second pic the longer spacer is the one that came assembled.


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Old 03-17-22, 08:48 PM
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The Centurion ProTour15 has a 65mm center to center space between the bosses to attach the brakes. The rim is 23.4mm wide.
Having the pads at lowest position and the shortest spacer it fit nice.



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Old 03-17-22, 08:54 PM
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For the front, I measured 57mm between the bosses... so trouble coming.
I tried to attach a 105 brake shoe (it is upside down) to see how the spacing goes - it gets a bit too far.
I am thinking on cutting the longer spacer to 6mm and use it, so will fit nicely.





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Old 03-18-22, 07:18 AM
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If it were me, I might try a set of threaded Koolstop Thinlines. By playing with the conical spacers, you might be able to get the right angle. Or I might just try running an mtb pad without any spacers just to see if it would work. If so, then I'd tweak the post or file the pad to get a little toe.
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Old 03-18-22, 08:06 AM
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Curious why you don't just use period correct cantis?
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Old 03-18-22, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Curious why you don't just use period correct cantis?
I converted this from 27" to 700c and had the dia-compe cantis where I had to direct the pads down. Anyways, the bike is built with modern components.
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Old 03-18-22, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
I converted this from 27" to 700c and had the dia-compe cantis where I had to direct the pads down. Anyways, the bike is built with modern components.
I did that exact same thing to my 81 Univega Specialissma (sister ship to your Miyata 1000) . The brakes are the same that are in your photo, and the frame is probably the same too.... certainly was the same color. I have not had any issues running them for the last 10 years. Used compressionless housing and new pads.... all is well. They work great.
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Old 03-18-22, 09:24 PM
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Would you run into the exact same problem with mini-V brakes as you would with modern cantis on a touring bike with too-narrow spacing?
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Old 03-19-22, 12:36 AM
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Happy with the outcome of shortening the spacers.
Used a drill attached to the bike stand, a bolt with nut and few rounds of electric tape to get tight into the spacer hole.
First, marked the length with a file and then a hacksaw to cut it. Need to file to make them flat and smooth.
Will cut the bolts tomorrow with same method to go with shorter spacers.


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Old 03-19-22, 07:03 AM
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Don't know if it helps but they make offset pad holders as well.

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Old 03-19-22, 11:41 AM
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That would actually be a decent use for those offset pads. I should have tried them when I needed them.
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Old 03-19-22, 04:03 PM
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Finish modifying the length of spacer and installation.
The actual length of the spacer got to 6.7mm - didn't want to file down to around 6mm that should be the ideal leng.
The rear one is the shortest one that comes with the brakes at 10mm.



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Old 03-19-22, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Don't know if it helps but they make offset pad holders as well.
The main issue on cantis was the distance from the brake to the wheel rim.
I am moving the rear brake bridge a bit up to have a wider tire fit on a steel frame and if caliper gets short these will be nice.

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Old 03-20-22, 06:28 PM
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Today went to a morning ride and took a long downhill that merges to a busy road and braking feels much better compared with the old dia-compes.
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