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Old 07-25-08, 07:03 PM   #1
erbfarm
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brake recommendations for gran turismo

would like to upgrade the mid-80's wide canti's on my gran turismo -- the springs are kind of crooked and the pads are thick. I've got the brake shoes pushed back as far as they will go and it's still really tight clearance. I'm using the original 27" wheels and as far as I know, the brakes are original too (just bought the bike recently). Do I need to stick w/ another wide profile canti? I'm looking at the Tektro CR720. Any recommendations for other brands/types? I tried the Avid Shorty's but they didn't fit at all -- way too big for the space. I'm not sure about the year of my bike, it's triple butted cro mo tubing and has the midway mount on the front fork as well as double eyelets on the front and rear forks., if that helps. Thanks!
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Old 07-25-08, 07:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by erbfarm View Post
would like to upgrade the mid-80's wide canti's on my gran turismo -- the springs are kind of crooked and the pads are thick. I've got the brake shoes pushed back as far as they will go and it's still really tight clearance. I'm using the original 27" wheels and as far as I know, the brakes are original too (just bought the bike recently). Do I need to stick w/ another wide profile canti? I'm looking at the Tektro CR720. Any recommendations for other brands/types? I tried the Avid Shorty's but they didn't fit at all -- way too big for the space. I'm not sure about the year of my bike, it's triple butted cro mo tubing and has the midway mount on the front fork as well as double eyelets on the front and rear forks., if that helps. Thanks!
Based on that triple-butted tubing, the bike should be about an '86 or so. You can confirm that by checking the date codes on your components, and deciding them at the Component Dates page at Vintage Trek.

I think you can go with lower-profile cantis, but if you do, you may need to swap out the brake levers for a pair (most likely, Dia-Compe 287-V's) that has enough mechanical advantage to operate the lower-profile cantis.
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Old 07-25-08, 09:25 PM   #3
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You're telling him to use levers designed for parallel pull brakes with cantilevers? Have you tried it?
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Old 07-25-08, 09:35 PM   #4
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You're telling him to use levers designed for parallel pull brakes with cantilevers? Have you tried it?
No, and in fact, I'm just going by memory. There's a set of Dia-Compes that have enough mechanical advantage to work well with lower-profile cantis, and I think they're the 287-Vs, but again, just going by memory. I'll see if I can find my original source...
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Old 07-25-08, 10:06 PM   #5
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My mistake, it's the Dia-Compe 287. That's what I get for going by memory, instead of taking the time to look it up.
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Old 07-25-08, 10:13 PM   #6
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I've got a Trek 620 and my wife has a Trek 720, both with very tight clearances on front cantis. On my 620, I was able to fit a pair of Tektro "Mafac Froglegs" knockoffs in there, and on my wife's, a pair of Velo Orange Grenouille brakes. I got them both from Velo Orange, and they are both smooth post cantis. I think it is easier to fit the smooth post cantis than threaded ones - on one setup, I swapped the pads for some low profile pads, on the other I did a little filing of excess material on the back of the pad to make it fit. The added benefit of both of these brake models is a classic look, which I don't think you get with the Tektros you are considering (I considered those, but didn't like the look).
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