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Old 03-26-14, 11:38 AM   #1
The B
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Are dual pivot and cantilever brakes interchangeable? In other words, do they use the same brake bosses?

What's the best resource out there for understanding the differences between the several bike brake designs and what can and cant be used with what frames, etc.? Studying up for my first frame-up build.


Last edited by The B; 03-26-14 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 03-26-14, 11:50 AM   #2
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Old 03-26-14, 12:46 PM   #3
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Dual pivot brakes are "regular" brakes that attach to the center hole in the fork and center hole in the brake bridge for the rear wheel.

Cantilever brakes need special bosses on each fork blade and each seat stay.

Do an image search and it should be pretty clear. is another good resource.
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Old 03-26-14, 02:57 PM   #4
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Caliper brakes are sidepull (dual or single pivot). They mount to the hole in the fork crown. They're light, easy to install/adjust. But they have limited tire/fender clearance, for the most part.

Cantilever brakes mount to specific posts (bosses) on the fork legs/stays. They don't limit the tire clearance, which is why they were on touring and mountain bikes for years. Harder to install/adjust, and they require a hanger.

Direct-pull brakes (linear-pull, or V-brakes) mount to cantilever brake posts. They dont' limit the tire clearance. They are easier to install/adjust than cantilevers. Some claim they don't work as well, many find them ugly. They require different brake levers than the above brakes (they pull a different amount of cable to function).

There are also centerpull brakes, that are kind of between sidepull and cantilever brakes.

Disc brakes are totally different, and require specific braces built into the frame.
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