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Would I be an idiot to use cantis?

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Would I be an idiot to use cantis?

Old 02-22-21, 07:00 PM
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shelbyfv 
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Would I be an idiot to use cantis?

I had a Raleigh Tamland that I foolishly sold last summer. I'd like another gravel bike but as we know choice is limited. The Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross frame is available and I have probably 75% of the parts I would need, including wheels and drive train, in the parts bin. I love the look of the Pacenti fork crown. I know cantis would be fine for what there is to ride locally but I'm wondering about elsewhere in the eastern US. Covid permitting, it might be fun to travel to some events later in the year. So, asking you guys who ride in a variety of places if the brakes would be a deal breaker. BMC has a disc frame as well but I wouldn't gain any tire size and would have the additional.expense of a disc wheelset. FWIW, the Kona Sutra ULTD frame would be my first choice but apparently unavailable. Appreciate any comments.
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Old 02-22-21, 08:05 PM
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woodcraft
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I use 'em- my hands get a little tired on the 1,500' descents around here, but wheelset availability & swapability make it a good choice.
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Old 02-22-21, 08:28 PM
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That's funny --- I sold my Sutra LTD in order to buy a Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross with cantis. I've got Paul's Neo-Retros on mine, and I'll ride 'em on anything. Love the feel.

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Old 02-22-21, 08:47 PM
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^^^Cool!
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Old 02-22-21, 09:19 PM
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Not sure I'd buy a new cantilever only bike / frame, but I happily ride the canti bikes I own. At this time, those are all old rigid mountain bikes.
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Old 02-22-21, 09:44 PM
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I would take canti over mini-v or V-brakes with a travel agent when using road levers, but if buying a new frame I would need a serious deal to choose a canti frame over a disc version. Decent wheelsets in disc are getting plentiful and affordable.
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Old 02-23-21, 12:14 AM
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My Black Mountain MC has been perfectly fine for years now. It stops me fine and I don't have a slight build.
Its stopped me great all around the midwest, the deep south,, and out in the west central mountains of CO.
Its currently set up to haul for commuting and weekend camping so it is able to stop me plus gear weight. This entire time my brakes have been 33 year old SunTour cantis so hardly cutting edge or anything.

Cantis have been used for decades...not sure why you would be an idiot.
Just get some mini-v brakes if you are concerned about overall leverage power for braking.
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Old 02-23-21, 12:58 AM
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I’ve never been a fan of smooth post cantis. While they did OK while in use, I never got past setting them up w/o frustration and muttered curses.
Threaded post cantis I’d be willing to consider. Don’t think I’d invest the time and effort in building up a bike with them, but might take on a complete bike if it came that way.
The only situation where I’ve been outright troubled by Canti - or any rim brakes’ performance - has been in LONG, foul-weather descents. I have a medical condition that loves nothing better than to restrict blood flow to fingers and toes. Fingers go numb and reduces how hard - and how accurately- I can pull the levers.
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Old 02-23-21, 07:02 AM
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Price-wise, the frame is only $100 or so cheaper than the disc frames. The primary cost benefit would be using wheels I have vs buying a disc set. I didn't have much success setting up cantis on a bike for my wife. Even less with mini Vs; on/off modulation and limited clearance, IME. I do have to consider my limitations as a mechanic....
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Old 02-23-21, 07:55 AM
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given the choice, I'd rather have discs. but cantis can work very well. IME, the short "road" pads that come with some canti brakes suck. I had a bike with Tktro CR720 brakes and they were terrible until I replaced the pads with some mtb "v-brake" pads that are longer and curved. the difference was STARK. I suddenly had braking power and not the "suggestion to slow down" effect that the old pads offered.

That Black Mountain MC was on a short list for my last purchase because it was singlespeedable, steel, had room for big tires, etc. It looks like an awesome choice.

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Old 02-23-21, 08:00 AM
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I ride single track in Tahoe on my cantilever cross bike. Tektro CR720 with Koolstop pads.
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Old 02-23-21, 09:17 AM
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I have a canti CX bike that has Avid Shorty Ultimates on it. They work pretty well. I am currently running carbon rims on it and I wouldn't want to be running that combo in wet/snow/mud, but for dry weather and flat terrain, it works fine. I'm planning to convert this bike to single speed and use it for some racing.

That said, I doubt I'll ever buy another rim brake bike regardless of type. Road, MTB, Cross, Gravel... Discs are much better in all situations.
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Old 02-23-21, 01:40 PM
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It's not like canti's have been around for over one hundred years or anything

Just make sure to get the right pad for your rims. Makes a big difference.
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Old 02-24-21, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
I have a medical condition that loves nothing better than to restrict blood flow to fingers and toes. Fingers go numb and reduces how hard - and how accurately- I can pull the levers.
My wife calls this Reynaudzing.
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Old 02-25-21, 09:56 PM
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I've done gravel and bikepacking with cantilever brakes and they were fine. (The first 20 years of mountain bikes uses them too.)

You could also consider mini-V brakes, like Paul's Mini-moto, which are powerful and easy to set up - juat make sure that you have enough space between the top of the tire and the cable that connects the two brake arms.

And you could consider MTB V (or linear pull) brakes, with long-pull road levers. Gevenalle offers long pull road levers with integrated shifters.
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Old 02-25-21, 11:44 PM
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There are mountains in Tennessee, will you be riding gravel in them? If so, I say you should hold out for discs.
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Old 02-26-21, 12:26 AM
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Like previous posts we all have use cantilevers for years and it worked out well. I admit I love the disc brakes but I ride my older bikes with cantilevers and adjust quickly. So absolutely not it would not be foolish at all.
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Old 02-26-21, 07:50 AM
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Thanks guys I used TRP mini Vs on a bike with 38SKs and that seemed to be about the size limit. IIRCC, I had to trim something for clearance. I'd be using 45 +/- on this one. Full size Vs would be an option, though. I don't have a lot of hills locally but my hope was to do some riding in East TN/NC and AR/MO. If I ponder this long enough I can probably convince myself I don't need another gravel bike....
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Old 02-26-21, 07:55 AM
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I have 2 gravel bikes, 1 with mechanical disc and 1 with cantilever brakes. I live and bike in Northwest Arkansas and we've got our fair share of hills and mountains. In my opinion, unless you just want the lastest and greatest a properly setup cantilever brake works perfectly for this clydesdale.
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Old 02-26-21, 08:29 AM
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Whichever frame you choose, those BMCs have always looked great to me. That fork crown, in particular, is beautiful.
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Old 02-26-21, 08:44 AM
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Yes, I think the fork crown is why I can't let go of this idea.
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Old 02-28-21, 09:40 AM
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I guess it would depend on what brake levers you have. Cantis look better, but they stick out. V-brakes work better IMO but they just look odd. I like the curved fork better on the non-disc BMC. I really want to try one of those BMCs....but I'm running out of bike-room.
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Old 03-02-21, 12:14 PM
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Ride quality is probably going to be better on a canti frame. Discs require different design to handle the braking forces. Just sayin'....
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Old 03-07-21, 10:31 PM
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I have a Voodoo Wazoo gravel bike, 1997 ish and a great bike. I've bombed it down some stuff with no worries. I do use salmon pads and they can get loud, but other than that, no issues.

I did recently buy a new bike. Discs and thru axles. It really is much better. In every way possible. Enough so that for a serious ride, I wouldn't want the old bike.

I'm comparing Canti's to Hydro discs. Ime, mechanical disc are not an improvement over good rim brakes.

Really it depends on you. Flat roads sure, but those steep crazy descents, your call.
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Old 03-08-21, 11:16 PM
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I swapped out the canti's on a bianchi volpe with the v-brake travel agent set up, works great
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