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zachv81 11-01-13 10:24 AM

Brake suggestions wanted
I am looking for some input from you folks here. I have a Cross Check I use for ultralight touring, and in need of some new brakes. I chose to post here as my use if fast, very light, short trips. I thought more in line with Rando, then convential touring, and looking for suggestions that reflect that.

I built up the bike with Cane Creek cantilevers, Sram Apex shift / brake levers, and I must say the brakes don't seem that great. The anodizing has all faded, and they never stopped that good. I do realize if I got new pads, they would probably be better. What has worked good in your experience? The Paul Components caught my eye, but $! Any input here? Thanks!

fietsbob 11-01-13 12:13 PM

difference is Paul, CA, USA small Shop Vs Asia Big factory.

You thinking Mini-V ? or another Cantilever brake.. to keep the cable pull mix right?

TRP is Tektro's Racing parts division . they make several types..

some in exotic materials, like carbon fiber and Magnesium. [that bumps up the $]

then get the Kool Stop pad inserts. ..

Or just get new Pads for your existing brakes , maybe new cables and housing too ..

unterhausen 11-01-13 02:19 PM

avid ultimates seem good. I think you should buy some Pauls

Coluber42 11-01-13 03:47 PM

If it helps, I commute on a CrossCheck with only a front brake, and I have never been really satisfied with any of the various brakes I've tried on it. I don't know if it's the position of the studs, or what. I've tried a couple of V-brakes (with a travel agent), and a couple of cantilevers. I have Pauls on there now, and they're the best of the bunch, but I still don't get the braking power out of them that I think I should. I've got Cane Creek levers on there, but I've been meaning to swap them out for something else in hopes of getting more leverage, plus I never liked the Cane Creek ones much anyway, plus they're old enough that the hoods are turning into glue. Incidentally, I have fairly good grip strength - I don't think that's the problem.

One thing I will say about the Pauls though, in addition to getting slightly better performance out of them, is that the spring tension is more adjustable and the bushings are actually serviceable, which makes them much more worth the price. Lots of the other ones don't hold up that well to the constant bad conditions and lack of maintenance that I consider standard fare for a commuter bike. ;)

So I guess that didn't really help you much, except to say that it's not just you, and maybe it's the CrossCheck? :P

Homeyba 11-01-13 07:36 PM

Aren't Surly Cross Check and "Ultralight weight" mutually exclusive terms? ;) You could spend a lot of money upgrading brakes but, how much did you spend on your bike?
Is it worth it? Those TRP brakes run $160 (each) for the low end up to almost $400(each) for the higher end. I would say that Disk brakes are always an option if $'s aren't a concern. You'll get superior wet weather braking as well as good dry weather braking as well.

StephenH 11-01-13 07:44 PM

On the Surly site, I don't see that the frame has mounting points for disk brakes, and that'd also require new wheels or at least hubs.

Homeyba 11-01-13 08:54 PM

yep Stephen, it would be pretty expensive. I was just throwing that out there. I (personally) wouldn't choose that option. My point was really that the Surly isn't an expensive bike and throwing a lot of money at it may not make a whole lot of sense. Maybe it does? Just depends on the owners priorities. At some point, money wise, you're better off getting a whole new bike. What that point is, is different for each of us.

Carbonfiberboy 11-01-13 09:00 PM

Seem to me that Kool Stop Salmon pads is about the right price point.

mander 11-01-13 09:53 PM

I say this as a five year crosscheck rider and canti user: Cantis offer great clearance but as brakes they just kind of suck compared to v's, short-to-medium reach calipers, or discs. you can make them suck less by using koolstop salmons but dont spend a lot of money trying to get something that works as good as eg Tiagra caliper brakes.

rekmeyata 11-01-13 10:03 PM


Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy (Post 16212201)
Seem to me that Kool Stop Salmon pads is about the right price point.

I agree, I had a shop put a set of those Kool Stop Salmon pads on my 80's era cantilevers and they helped a lot; but at the same time they put on a set of Jagwire brake cables; and put different link wires on because they determined the brakes didn't have enough mechanical advantage so they changed the wire to increase the mechanical advantage a bit. Now my brakes are almost as smooth operating as my mid level single pivot brakes on other bikes.

It's far cheaper to get your current Canti's working correctly then buy Pauls brakes!. I had a shop do mine because I fiddled with the brakes for about 2 weeks and couldn't get it them to operate right because I have no experience with those type of brakes.

By the way I'm not promoting Jagwire over other cables, there are other cables that are probably equal too or maybe a tad better or a tad worse, but cables like Shimano Dura Ace, Alligator I-Links, Gore Rideon, or Campy. I didn't try all the other brands on the same brakes because it would have been completely impractical obviously, thus I can't say if mine work better then the others or not. What I can say the combination of everything the shop did made a day and night difference in the feel and stopping power of the brakes.

Carbonfiberboy 11-02-13 09:04 AM

I'd been messing with my tandem's cables and housings for years and never could get the thing shifting perfectly. I finally gave up and took it to my LBS. They charge a fixed price for recabling, plus parts. I had them redo it with Jagwire Ripcord plus Alligator housing up front. The manager said the mechanic had it on the stand all day. Result: heavenly shifting and braking. I already had Koolstop pads on the V-brakes.

unterhausen 11-03-13 12:36 PM

I have some long reach double pivot brakes that work much better than the cantis on my rando bike. The only problem is that they don't open very far, barely allowing a large 30mm tire to pass. Although that isn't an issue on the rando bike. I would never put cantis on another rando bike, they are a pain. I am working on a bike that will see some rando usage that is going to have the ability to use both cantis or discs.

zachv81 11-03-13 07:48 PM

Thanks all for there input. Nice (I guess..) to hear that someone else is not the most pleased with there braking action on the CC. I built up this bike last year, with new Apex, and new cables. I may try the Kool stop pads and new cables, then if that doesn't help, go for the Pauls.

rekmeyata 11-03-13 07:54 PM


Originally Posted by zachv81 (Post 16216594)
Thanks all for there input. Nice (I guess..) to hear that someone else is not the most pleased with there braking action on the CC. I built up this bike last year, with new Apex, and new cables. I may try the Kool stop pads and new cables, then if that doesn't help, go for the Pauls.

There may be a bit more too though then pads and cables, though start there and see what happens. But you may need a different length link wire. I found a site that goes into more depth concerning canti brakes, but read about the link wire closely because it has a lot to do with changing the mechanical advantage of the brakes, so once you see the section regarding the link or yoke wire then scan down a bit further and Mechanical Advantage is in blue and read that. Obviously read the entire thing it may help in other places too like proper lubing of all the pivot points.

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