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What does the plow tip on Kool Stop cantilever brake pads do?

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What does the plow tip on Kool Stop cantilever brake pads do?

Old 12-11-23, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Chain smoker
Wow! Glad I just joined this forum. I thought this C&V thread was an example of friendly people being civil, “BUTT” this? Check please!
Well welcome aboard, glad you found us, you should be in the right place.

We normally have a good time here and there are some of the best minds in all of C+V here so hope you stay.
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Old 12-11-23, 03:02 PM
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I was going to echo the clearing away snow, water and debris, It works pretty good for that.

But one other reason for the longer pads on MTBs at least is that technical riding that became popular in the 90's and later required bikes to be able to lock up their wheels on a dime. That's why V-brakes were developed. And longer pads with more surface area certainly help in that regard.
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Old 12-11-23, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW
I was going to echo the clearing away snow, water and debris, It works pretty good for that.

But one other reason for the longer pads on MTBs at least is that technical riding that became popular in the 90's and later required bikes to be able to lock up their wheels on a dime. That's why V-brakes were developed. And longer pads with more surface area certainly help in that regard.
Didn't someone say v brakes were a solution to the straddle cable catching on the knobbies and sending the rider over the bars? Are they any better than cantilevers for stopping?
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Old 12-11-23, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rgvg
Didn't someone say v brakes were a solution to the straddle cable catching on the knobbies and sending the rider over the bars? Are they any better than cantilevers for stopping?
IIRC they are easier to set up and therefore generally have better stopping power than cantilevers. But a well set up cantilever can be just as good but with better modulation.
Then again, there is something to be said for two-finger stopping like you would have on V-brakes and disc brakes.
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Old 12-11-23, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Well welcome aboard, glad you found us, you should be in the right place.

We normally have a good time here and there are some of the best minds in all of C+V here so hope you stay.
Thanks. I will stick around but after watching this thread for quite awhile and seeing the fighting on some of the other threads I thought those who contribute to C&V were a class act. I know you are but the timing for this dust-up just caught me by surprise. Hope I am able to contribute to the C&V thread without starting arguments about “brake pads” of all things.
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Old 12-11-23, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Chain smoker
Thanks. I will stick around but after watching this thread for quite awhile and seeing the fighting on some of the other threads I thought those who contribute to C&V were a class act. I know you are but the timing for this dust-up just caught me by surprise. Hope I am able to contribute to the C&V thread without starting arguments about “brake pads” of all things.
Tx, not sure about being a class act, I think I try to be somewhat diplomatic but won't hesitate to call BS as I see it.

You never know what will light off but in general we do ok IMO.

Spirited discussion can be a good thing but it can devolve quickly as we know, usually when an infrequenter blows in to make a declaration that most of us know to be questionable from our experience.

We all think we know what we know and have a lifetime of knowledge but many of us have vast experience from other relevant arena's that we rely on for much of what we know and do.
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Old 12-11-23, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy
'tis truly one of the greater mysteries of the cycling industry.





random pics found in a quick internet search
Where do the sneaker-shaped pads fall into this ???
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Old 12-11-23, 08:15 PM
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The plow tip just as advertised allows for some toe-in without creatinga big, dirt-collecting opening at the rear end of the pad.

Also as advertised, it automatically toes in the pad if the brake is applied lightly as the nut is secured.

I think there is more to the long offset pads though, which appear to move the normal force of the brake pad closer to the fork leg or the seat stay, either of which reduces the known tendency of the pivot posts to splay outward.
Reducing the post splaying means that 1) there is less travel lost to flex, 2) there is less change in the toe-in angle with changes in braking force, and 3) resultant more-even wear across today's wider brake pads.

Noting here that most tire fitments allow easy tire removal even if longer/offset pads don't clear the fork blades or seat stays (it's only when the tire is much wider than the rim that total pad retraction is needed).
Also noting that front and rear pivot post splay affects the toe-in oppositely, with toe-in increasing with braking force in back but decreasing with braking force in front.
I've noticed the effects of these flex-induced changes in toe-in, so have in a few cases gone to the trouble of making a brake booster bridge plate for cantilever or centerpull brakes where better braking modulation seemed to be needed.
Again, the offset pads can be of help in reducing pivot-post-splay torsional forces, perhaps negating any perceived need for any brake booster bridge plate.

One last point is that when these directional "plow tip" offset pads are installed so as to reduce the seatstay torsion effect at the back brake, the plow tip will be at the wrong end of the pad for it's intended purposes (but the retraction clearance will tend to be more uniform from one end of the pad to the other).

The performance advantage of V-brakes has to do with the elimination of the straddle cable and with the reduced range of tension force in the main cable, both of which reduce cable flex.
The elimination of the cable housing hanger usually further reduces system flex, and also prevents self-energizing shudder-inducing forces caused by the flexing of the fork steerer and resultant rocking of the fork crown.
The reduction of flex in the cabling allows for some increase in the net leverage without reducing the pad retraction, giving stronger braking with less "give" felt at the lever.
The elimination of the straddle cable also means that no support hook (typically the reflector bracket, or made integral with any crown-mounted cable housing hanger) under the straddle is needed to keep the straddle from snagging the tire if the main cable were to fail.







I used some long, offset, low-profile, dual-compound pads on my 1964 Schwinn Varsity build, after first noticing that the longer reach down to my 700c rims caused the Weinmann 500 calipers to feel scarily squishy at the ergolevers when using the standard/cheap salmon-colored Matthauser replacement pads/holders.
Switching the pads to the longer, low-profile offset pads gave the brakes an entirely different feel though, plenty of grab with less lever squish, and no squeal noted even without any toe-in applied.

Last edited by dddd; 12-23-23 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 12-11-23, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rgvg
Didn't someone say v brakes were a solution to the straddle cable catching on the knobbies and sending the rider over the bars? Are they any better than cantilevers for stopping?
Also coiled brake cable has a tendency to compress under the high leverage high compression of short pull levers. V-brakes pull 2x the cable half as hard. Same braking force, better feedback at the lever. Kevlar reinforced compressionless housing hadn't been invented yet
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Old 12-22-23, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Butt-head = high praise coming from you, Tx!

I apologize for being such a butt-head myself in the manner of my replies to you Merziac. What I said about the plow tip stands of course as it's from my own experience using them. The butting heads with you about it was just silly.
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