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Touring Bikes with Cantilever Brakes

Old 10-15-22, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
That’s not “beside the point”. The reason people buy steel frames for touring is because of the fear of breaking a frame. They still think…after more then 40 years since the introduction of aluminum frames and nearly ubiquitous usage in mountain biking for many of those 40 years…that aluminum is somehow “delicate”. Millions of aluminum mountain bikes have be used…and most definitely abused…throughout the decades and they have survived.

As to a “permanent repair” on steel, if the steel has cracked for some reason, simple welding it is not addressing the reason for the crack. There is some underlying flaw in the metal and the weld will likely break in the future…just like an aluminum weld might break. Or might not. In either case, the repair should be considered temporary. A steel tube might be replaced but that would be a much larger job and probably wouldn’t be worth the cost in a production steel bike.
Hence the word: rare.

I have no idea what you mean by “accuracy”. If you mean stopping where you want to stop, I’ve never had a rim brake bike fail to stop where I need it to stop…including 50+ mph downhills on a heavily loaded touring bike. Even in driving rain storms, my bike stops where I need it to. Yes, I anticipate a longer stopping distance in rain (or snow or ice) but I anticipate a longer stopping distance with disc brakes as well because the stopping distance is a function of the friction the tire needs on the road and has very little to do with the type of brake used.

Um…no. Again, I’m not sure what you mean by “accurate” but cantilever brakes are better in a lot of applications than side pull rim brakes. If the tire is narrow, side pull brakes can be stiff enough to be effective but as the tire width increases, the arms of a side pull have to be made wider and longer resulting a more flexible brake arm. Flex in the brake arms means that energy goes into the arm instead of into the pad. For wider wheeled bikes, cantilevers provide a stiffer arm which makes them more effective in that application.
Comparing brakes is indeed difficult. Hence I nowdays use a cover all term: accuracy. An accurate brake means that you're able to achieve just the amount of braking you want with the least amount of effort but with limits. Having too much power with too little hand effort makes stopping the wheels effective but isn't very accurate. A big stick stops a wheel instantly but has no accuracy. A brake that's just right requires very little effort but isn't on off, ie. it's controllable even with the very little effort required to get full stopping power. That's the shimano brake. Every cantilever I've tried has required quite frankly herculean efforts to reach full stopping power to a point I'd worry about bursting a cable housing.

Braking is a fine motor function (or should be). I'll give an example. Say you were oil painting. Would you choose a brush that weighed 20 grams or a brush that weighed 2 kilograms? I know my choice. Same with playing an instrument. I'd rather use an instrument that's effortless to play rather than one that required gross motor functions to operate.

And, just as there are good disc brakes and bad disc brakes as well as good sidepulls and bad, the same pattern is repeated with cantilevers. Most people’s experience is with bad, cheap cantilevers.
My avid ultimates performed just as badly as tektros.

All of the disc brake equipped bikes I own have 203mm front rotors and good calipers. My touring bike (and a couple of other of my bikes) have cantilevers. I have added touring loads to disc equipped bikes as well as to the rim brake equipped touring bike. Neither one is substantially different in terms of how effective the brakes are. Neither one has ever failed to stop me when and where I want to stop.
You never mention which calipers though. I've also had situations where cantilevers just weren't good enough and had to walk instead of riding (steep loose gravel sections). Wouldn't think of it with any of my discs.

If I were to have “almost crashed because of [the brakes]”, I would not put that in the category of a good thing. Brakes shouldn’t be so touchy that they become a danger to the rider. That’s not what I would call “modulation”. If the brakes are that touchy they are the very opposite of “modulated”.
Ah you misunderstood. I'm not surprised. What I meant was that the brakes are so good that I went into corners /situations too fast than I had skill or reaction time for thinking that I'd be fine with the amazing shimano's I had. I was in the end but wouldn't have been with cantilevers that's for sure. So perhaps the brakes in question are bad because they're too confidence inspiring? They're not touchy though. Not sure where you got that.

That doesn’t impress me since my cantilever brakes on mountain bikes back 40 years ago did the same as do my current cantilever brakes. I’ve never run across a modern brake of any kind for which the same can’t be said. Maybe not the one finger thing but I don’t find using a single finger to actuate a touchy brake to be a positive. The only hydraulics I’ve ever owned required far more attention to how they were used than any other brake I’ve ever used. I don’t need to “think” about how hard or soft I apply brakes to my mechanical brakes…disc or rim…to avoid going over the bars. I don’t see how having brakes that require thought about how much hand pressure you apply to be a positive attribute.
Again, not touchy. Not even a little bit.

I mean if you brake with them like ypu need brake with cantilevers you'll be over the bars right quick. But I see it as a positive that you don't need 100kg grip squeeze just to come to a stop.
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Old 10-15-22, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Trueblood
Well, there is this - https://www.bikesdirect.com/products...ng-bikes-v.htm It has cantis. I may need to get out the popcorn at the mention of this company, but the bikes are just fine..
That is a direct copy of the pre-disc brake Fuji touring bike. It’s very similar in geometry to classic Japanese touring bikes of the 80s and not dissimilar to a rim brake Trek 520. The Surly LHT (and Cannondale touring) have slightly longer chainstays which are a plus for people with larger feet.

@staehpj1 - how do you wear out a rim using rim brakes? Haven't heard of that before, but it is entirely possible i guess.
It happens. I’ve worn out only a few rims in nearly 50 years of bicycling and using rim brakes. Those have been entirely on mountain bikes which get a bit more abuse than road bikes.
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Old 10-15-22, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
It happens. I’ve worn out only a few rims in nearly 50 years of bicycling and using rim brakes. Those have been entirely on mountain bikes which get a bit more abuse than road bikes.
Yep, riding a lot of muddy single track will do it way quicker than road riding. I have worn out a few mountain bike rims over the years. If you ride in really wet muddy conditions it doesn't take too many years of active riding. It takes a lot of paved road riding to wear out a rim, but I have done it on high mileage bikes in decades of riding.

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Old 10-15-22, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
That is a direct copy of the pre-disc brake Fuji touring bike. It’s very similar in geometry to classic Japanese touring bikes of the 80s and not dissimilar to a rim brake Trek 520. The Surly LHT (and Cannondale touring) have slightly longer chainstays which are a plus for people with larger feet.
Not a direct copy. Too many differences. Similar, yes, but not a direct copy. Similar in that it is standard style DF bike used for touring.
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Old 10-15-22, 12:03 PM
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Cantilevers have something of a learning curve, where a lot of folks just don't really "get" them. Once you take the time to really understand their setup, & fine tuning, they work great.

Cable adjustment is critical, especially the straddle cable. That took me awhile to get, but once you get it, you got it. 😉
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Old 10-15-22, 01:05 PM
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Then again, if a braking system requires some occult voodoo magicks to get at least somewhat functional, it's not really a good braking system is it?

I had cantilevers for a decade and tried every permutation I could think of. Straddle cable in every possible position, wide set, narrow set, pads toe in, pads no toe, kool stop, shimano pads, compressionless housing, machined rims, shimano levers, tektro levers, sram levers etc etc.

never could get them to not suck. The only brake worse than cantilevers I've used was the spoon brake.
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Old 10-15-22, 02:25 PM
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Regarding the noise of disc brakes, if you choose a bicycle that features thru-axles, the noise will never happen. The noise happens because QR-skewers were not designed for disc brakes and are not strong enough to resist the force of them. After the rotor gets pulled out of alignment with the caliper, the noise starts. The thru-axle is designed hold against the force of the disc brake and works very well with it.

Sometimes QR-disc is the only kind of disc brake available, such as in the current scenario of mass-produced folding bicycles, mini-velos and internally-geared hubs. In those cases, I demand that frames/forks accommodate for V-brakes. I refuse to own/buy any QR-disc bicycles/frames/forks.
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Old 10-15-22, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Your choice is and should ultimately what makes you happy. I can see the noise issue more so than anything else being a good reason to avoid discs since you find it to be an issue for you.


I haven't found then to be worse than cantis in that regard. Maybe it is a matter of pad choice, brake usage habits, or just dumb luck, but I have had very little problem with the dreaded disc squeal. Also I have found that cantis require a fair amount of fiddling with adjustment including toe in to avoid noise (again depending on pad choice, brake choice, and other factors). The bottom line is that for me the choice was about a wash between the bikes I have owned with discs and with cantis when it came to squeal.


I have never bothered to take the discs off when shipping (maybe I should, but Ive never had a problem). The broken spoke thing is kind of a stretch unless you break a lot of spokes. It takes what, a few minutes to take a disc off given how frequently you need to do it I wouldn't sweat that.


I am not up to date on these, but aren't most of the Ryde Andras sold for ebikes and built up with discs? In any case I would think pretty much any rim can be buily up as a disc wheel.

Any way, there is no reason not to buy what you prefer. I just figured that I sound off on my experiences in case they might be useful to you (or more likely someone else considering the same choice). You may be best off tring to find a nice lightly used bike of the model you like, buy custom, or buy something that isn't a pure touring bike. Personally I really don't like pure touring bikes so something less truck like would be on my list. Even when I packed pretty heavy I didn't care for them and not that I pack MUCH lighter I am more inclined away from them than ever. If shopping today I'd buy a gravel bike myself. It sounds like you are more interested in a pure touring bike though. Just maybe something like a crosscheck might suit you though.
I really do appreciate the sharing of experience. I've only toured on disc, and only used rim brakes on road bikes. So it's very possible once I try them out with a heavy load, I will decide that you (and apparently the whole bike industry) were right. But I can only learn so much from the internet. I do want to give it a thorough try in the real world.
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Old 10-15-22, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah
Regarding the noise of disc brakes, if you choose a bicycle that features thru-axles, the noise will never happen. The noise happens because QR-skewers were not designed for disc brakes and are not strong enough to resist the force of them. After the rotor gets pulled out of alignment with the caliper, the noise starts. The thru-axle is designed hold against the force of the disc brake and works very well with it.

Sometimes QR-disc is the only kind of disc brake available, such as in the current scenario of mass-produced folding bicycles, mini-velos and internally-geared hubs. In those cases, I demand that frames/forks accommodate for V-brakes. I refuse to own/buy any QR-disc bicycles/frames/forks.
Oh really? I haven't heard that before. It would explain things though
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Old 10-15-22, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
unlimited budget? frame builder for a custom frame.
otherwise look on ebay for complete 2nd-hand touring bikes.
MY budget is flexible, but I don't think I'm ready to go for a custom build quite yet. It is tempting though
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Old 10-15-22, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
Hence the word: rare.
That’s not a word you used in your post. I’ll agree that frame breakage is rare…rare enough that the frame material makes very little difference. Aluminum touring bikes, of which Cannondale is a rather uncommon example, make for good, strong touring bikes with attributes that make them worth riding.

Comparing brakes is indeed difficult. Hence I nowdays use a cover all term: accuracy. An accurate brake means that you're able to achieve just the amount of braking you want with the least amount of effort but with limits. Having too much power with too little hand effort makes stopping the wheels effective but isn't very accurate. A big stick stops a wheel instantly but has no accuracy. A brake that's just right requires very little effort but isn't on off, ie. it's controllable even with the very little effort required to get full stopping power. That's the shimano brake. Every cantilever I've tried has required quite frankly herculean efforts to reach full stopping power to a point I'd worry about bursting a cable housing.
Your description of accuracy…thank you for defining it, by the way…fits any brake I’ve used with the exception of some cheap old center pull rim brakes. By that I mean Diacompe Mafac knockoffs. I’ve never had a brake that requires “Herculean effort” to stop. I run my brake levers close to the rims which makes a very large difference in braking power, in my opinion. The common “set the brakes to half lever before they hit the rim” makes for some bad braking. But the same can be said of any disc that is set up the same way.

Braking is a fine motor function (or should be). I'll give an example. Say you were oil painting. Would you choose a brush that weighed 20 grams or a brush that weighed 2 kilograms? I know my choice. Same with playing an instrument. I'd rather use an instrument that's effortless to play rather than one that required gross motor functions to operate.
I hate analogies because they simple don’t work in most cases. I simply don’t find bicycle brakes to work that differently from type to type as long as the brakes are of equivalent quality. I start with quality brakes and never have problems. Even with poor quality brakes I can usually adjust them so that they stop adequately when I refurb old bikes at my local co-op. I have to test them after I work on them and I make sure that I can stop when I put my considerable bulk on the bike.

You never mention which calipers though. I've also had situations where cantilevers just weren't good enough and had to walk instead of riding (steep loose gravel sections). Wouldn't think of it with any of my discs.
I have Paul Klampers on a three of my bikes (one with a Klamper front and a Motolite linear brake back), Avid BB7s on some bikes, and TRP Spykes on another one. All of them are excellent and require very little brake force to be effective. On my bikes with cantilever rim brakes, I have Paul NeoRetros. They, again, don’t require a whole lot of force to actuate. I probably push them to a greater extent than my mountain bike brakes because I carry more load on that bike than I do on my mountain bikes.


Ah you misunderstood. I'm not surprised. What I meant was that the brakes are so good that I went into corners /situations too fast than I had skill or reaction time for thinking that I'd be fine with the amazing shimano's I had. I was in the end but wouldn't have been with cantilevers that's for sure. So perhaps the brakes in question are bad because they're too confidence inspiring? They're not touchy though. Not sure where you got that.
I misunderstood because you didn’t make yourself clear. I’m not shy about speed and any willing to go very fast on any downhill. I’ve never experienced a situation where my brakes would have let me down in those situations…mostly because I do my power braking before the corner and use the brakes sparingly in corners.

I got that the brakes are “touchy” from your poor description. Saying you “almost crashed because of [the brakes]” says something very different from what you meant to say.

Again, not touchy. Not even a little bit.
And yet you have to one finger the brakes to make them work. What happens if you grab the brakes with more than one finger in a panic stop?

I mean if you brake with them like ypu need brake with cantilevers you'll be over the bars right quick. But I see it as a positive that you don't need 100kg grip squeeze just to come to a stop.
Exaggerate much? I’ve never needed “100kg of grip” to come to a stop with cantilevers. I’ve never needed my full grip strength to come to a stop with cantilevers. I’ve had tandems with cantilevers only and the additional weight of two riders and never needed to use my full grip strength…about 40 lb per hand… to come to a stop. Hell, my loaded touring bike is nearly the weight of two riders (my stokers are small) and I don’t need full grip strength. I brake with 2 fingers most of the time and from the hoods on road levers. I’m not putting a whole lot of effort into braking in any circumstance, no matter what brake I’m using.
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Old 10-15-22, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by elmo449
I really do appreciate the sharing of experience. I've only toured on disc, and only used rim brakes on road bikes. So it's very possible once I try them out with a heavy load, I will decide that you (and apparently the whole bike industry) were right. But I can only learn so much from the internet. I do want to give it a thorough try in the real world.
Folks successfully toured on rim brakes almost exclusively up until pretty recently so they will work. Discs are my preference, but I have done somewhat recent tours with both cantis and dual pivot side pulls and might use either of those bikes again depending on the trip. Sure I'd choose discs if buying a new bike, but I'd still happily ride my older bikes with rim brakes for some tours. So I doubt you will have some bad regrets if you go for cantis.
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Old 10-15-22, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes
Not a direct copy. Too many differences. Similar, yes, but not a direct copy. Similar in that it is standard style DF bike used for touring.
Perhaps I should have been more precise with my dates. The Windsor touring bike frame has the same frame geometry as my daughter’s 2003 Fuji touring bike. Fuji used that frame for a number of years around 2000 to about 2010 and perhaps beyond. It’s been known for a long time that they are the same bikes. Component specification has changed.
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Old 10-15-22, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Perhaps I should have been more precise with my dates. The Windsor touring bike frame has the same frame geometry as my daughter’s 2003 Fuji touring bike. Fuji used that frame for a number of years around 2000 to about 2010 and perhaps beyond. It’s been known for a long time that they are the same bikes. Component specification has changed.
Or I could have read "Fuji" instead of seeing LHT. I thought you were comparing the LHT to it. My mistake.
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Old 10-16-22, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Perhaps I should have been more precise with my dates. The Windsor touring bike frame has the same frame geometry as my daughter’s 2003 Fuji touring bike. Fuji used that frame for a number of years around 2000 to about 2010 and perhaps beyond. It’s been known for a long time that they are the same bikes. Component specification has changed.
The were also speced with pretty much identical components, at least during the years you mention. When my TA group of three bougt them in 2007 they were as far as we could tell pretty much identical, pretty much just a rebadge of the same bike. I am not sure about subsquent years, but I think maybe they departed with some changes in componetry at some point. I think I recall one or the other switching to bar end shifters and the other not. I could be wrong on that, my memory is fuzzy on it.
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Old 10-16-22, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
That’s not a word you used in your post. I’ll agree that frame breakage is rare…rare enough that the frame material makes very little difference. Aluminum touring bikes, of which Cannondale is a rather uncommon example, make for good, strong touring bikes with attributes that make them worth riding.
Ah yes. My bad. Unlikely was the word I used. Synonyms you know. Difficult to go through post with a phone while writing.


Your description of accuracy…thank you for defining it, by the way…fits any brake I’ve used with the exception of some cheap old center pull rim brakes. By that I mean Diacompe Mafac knockoffs. I’ve never had a brake that requires “Herculean effort” to stop. I run my brake levers close to the rims which makes a very large difference in braking power, in my opinion. The common “set the brakes to half lever before they hit the rim” makes for some bad braking. But the same can be said of any disc that is set up the same way.
Indeed I used to prefer to have the pads close to the rim. That's why I'd start bothering about sub millimeter throws in trueness.


I hate analogies because they simple don’t work in most cases. I simply don’t find bicycle brakes to work that differently from type to type as long as the brakes are of equivalent quality. I start with quality brakes and never have problems. Even with poor quality brakes I can usually adjust them so that they stop adequately when I refurb old bikes at my local co-op. I have to test them after I work on them and I make sure that I can stop when I put my considerable bulk on the bike.
I find analogies are a great way to emphasize points. The point I was trying to make here that it's easier to be accurate if the actuation effort is lighter (in almost anything and up to a point).

Since we're talking brakes I'll use one closer to home. I always found that while driving a car without abs it was easier to maintain traction on snow with a powerful brake I could actuate with my ankle rather than with the brakes of an old clunker I would have to employ my thigh muscles to actuate.

But we do need testing as it would seem brakes are quite subjective. How much pulling force on the lever creates how many newtons of braking force and with what kind of linearity.

If I just had the time...

I have Paul Klampers on a three of my bikes (one with a Klamper front and a Motolite linear brake back), Avid BB7s on some bikes, and TRP Spykes on another one. All of them are excellent and require very little brake force to be effective. On my bikes with cantilever rim brakes, I have Paul NeoRetros. They, again, don’t require a whole lot of force to actuate. I probably push them to a greater extent than my mountain bike brakes because I carry more load on that bike than I do on my mountain bikes.
BB7's are ok for mechanicals. Haven't tried spykes but spyres are also ok. For mechanicals. Neither shines a light against good hydraulics though.


I misunderstood because you didn’t make yourself clear. I’m not shy about speed and any willing to go very fast on any downhill. I’ve never experienced a situation where my brakes would have let me down in those situations…mostly because I do my power braking before the corner and use the brakes sparingly in corners.

I got that the brakes are “touchy” from your poor description. Saying you “almost crashed because of [the brakes]” says something very different from what you meant to say.
Well the point was that the brakes didn't let me down, I did. But it takes a good brake to be able to stop in a situation where one is in a corner too fast with too little lean.

And yet you have to one finger the brakes to make them work. What happens if you grab the brakes with more than one finger in a panic stop?
I slow down in a controlled fashion? The fact that I can actuate with one finger does not mean I must use all of my grip strength when actuating with two or three.

I have had one set of brakes which were, as you say, touchy. Full length V-brakes. Those had a very strange power curve. Almost like a wall, with steps.

With the shimano brakes you have a very shallow power curve at the beginning but if you need more you'll get it very quickly with very little effort all the while being controllable. With V-brakes you'd get the power but it wasn't controllable.

I think the friction of hydraulic fluid compared to cables in housings has a surprisingly large effect here.

Exaggerate much? I’ve never needed “100kg of grip” to come to a stop with cantilevers. I’ve never needed my full grip strength to come to a stop with cantilevers. I’ve had tandems with cantilevers only and the additional weight of two riders and never needed to use my full grip strength…about 40 lb per hand… to come to a stop. Hell, my loaded touring bike is nearly the weight of two riders (my stokers are small) and I don’t need full grip strength. I brake with 2 fingers most of the time and from the hoods on road levers. I’m not putting a whole lot of effort into braking in any circumstance, no matter what brake I’m using.[/QUOTE]

I just remember having to literally grab a fistfull of brake and pulling the lever almost to the bar to get full braking. My loaded touring bike with me on it probably weighs more than most tandem teams.
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Old 10-16-22, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
I find analogies are a great way to emphasize points. The point I was trying to make here that it's easier to be accurate if the actuation effort is lighter (in almost anything and up to a point).
I don’t agree. If the actuation effort is too light…like in most hydraulics…achieving fine control is difficult. There’s just too fine a line between “easy does it” and practically be launched over the bars. That’s what I mean by “touchy”. The hydraulics I’ve used had very little fine control. They were all either off or complete stop which is the very opposite of what I would call “modulated”.

Since we're talking brakes I'll use one closer to home. I always found that while driving a car without abs it was easier to maintain traction on snow with a powerful brake I could actuate with my ankle rather than with the brakes of an old clunker I would have to employ my thigh muscles to actuate.
Different subject but I’m not thrilled with ABS either. In practice, I’ve had several…and observed several…that had poor control over the rear wheels. They lock the rear wheels which then become skis and have a significantly bad effect on the control of the vehicle. The back end tends to want to exchange places with the front.

BB7's are ok for mechanicals. Haven't tried spykes but spyres are also ok. For mechanicals. Neither shines a light against good hydraulics though.
Just not my experience. The BB7s I use replaced the bad hydraulics I had. Again, I’ve never been in a situation where I thought I needed more braking power.

I’m also not a fan of the maintenance needed for hydraulics. I can do it but I find it time consuming and, frankly, quite messy. Shimano mineral oil brakes are a bit easier to work on then most DOT fluid brakes but where I can change both front and rear cables and housing in 10 to 15 minutes, a brake bleed job takes an hour, at least, and involves lots of clean up afterwards.

Well the point was that the brakes didn't let me down, I did. But it takes a good brake to be able to stop in a situation where one is in a corner too fast with too little lean.
You are giving too much credit to the brakes. We all make mistakes. I’ve made similar ones but the type of brake isn’t what saved my bacon. How you use the brake is more important than the type of brake used.

I slow down in a controlled fashion? The fact that I can actuate with one finger does not mean I must use all of my grip strength when actuating with two or three.

I have had one set of brakes which were, as you say, touchy. Full length V-brakes. Those had a very strange power curve. Almost like a wall, with steps.

With the shimano brakes you have a very shallow power curve at the beginning but if you need more you'll get it very quickly with very little effort all the while being controllable. With V-brakes you'd get the power but it wasn't controllable.
Perhaps I’m not that sensitive to brake input but I’ve never experienced what you (and others) describe with regards to linear brakes. I’ve had a large number of them on bikes over the years and have worked on, literally, thousands of them…some really, really cheap…and never experienced any kind of “on/off” behavior or inability to control the amount of braking I needed.

I think the friction of hydraulic fluid compared to cables in housings has a surprisingly large effect here.
Only if the cables are not maintained properly. Sure, corrosion can cause brake issues but contaminated hydraulic fluid can also, as well as air. Those are maintenance issues

I just remember having to literally grab a fistfull of brake and pulling the lever almost to the bar to get full braking. My loaded touring bike with me on it probably weighs more than most tandem teams.
Again, that sounds more like a maintenance issue than something wrong with the design of the brakes. I’ve done a lot of touring…both on roads and off-roads…with lots of steep downhills. And I’m not afraid of letting the bike fly on downhills. I’ve never had a brake system fail me or even make me question my speed. Frankly, I’d be comfortable mountain biking with cantilevers. I look on each “improvement” to brake systems to more of a lateral move than to be the “vastly superior” improvement that most people gush about.
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Old 10-16-22, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Is that true? Maybe it is for bikes? In general when merchandise sells out the popular sizes are gone first and the ends of the bell curve are all that is left for a while. I know that it is pretty common when pulling down the size pulldown list on an item that medium and large are sold out and there are plenty of XXS, XS, XXL, and XXXL. Whats sizes are popular may depend on what the item is. Obviously how well they targert the numbers they make to what they actually sell is a big factor as well.

I remember when my daughter was young I used to buy specialiized sport stuff really cheap because the end of a season or model year they always had a surplus of XXS or XS. We used to be able to get her Mountain Surf kayaking stuff for crazy cheap at the end of the season at their home store. I got her bike clothes and hiking stuff at pretty good prices as well.
hey there stae, while I agree on the clothing clearout rack thing about the far end sizes being around often, from my perusing of used bike listings sometimes, it seems to me that its not the same thing. Not a ton of people sell used bikes, not good ones anyway, so it generally seems that just because of the averages of people size, there are always going to be less of xs and xl stuff. I was looking last fall for a used small fatbike and they were few and far between.
Anyway, this guy will soon get a good idea of how the used market it--around here though, used touring bikes get snapped up quite quickly, no matter the size, so you really have to be on the ball and always keeping an eye on listings to find one, plus of course having the knowledge to know what is overpriced crappy condition bikes.
Real hit and miss and luck involved.
cheers
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Old 10-16-22, 10:29 AM
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CX racers used cantilever brakes for years. A lot of them have switched over to discs, which does not always make a difference

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Old 10-16-22, 09:26 PM
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I have to say that the current trend to gearing restrictions (moving away from 3x systems) would be my bigger concern for a true loaded touring bike, then the brake system is. I'll add that if my touring were to include 3rd and 4th world areas my hardgear would drift away from what's trendy in the 1st world market driven offerings. Andy
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Old 10-17-22, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by elmo449
Thanks very much for the advice and suggestions everyone! I'm still looking through all the examples but already seeing some interesting options that I missed before. It seems like the clear consensus is that I should forget about the big manufacturers and focus on getting something secondhand, so I'll do that. In the past I've had trouble finding a used bike because I'm very tall, and my size rare. However, having some specific models to look for will definitely help the search.
Go over to the Classic and Vintage forum and enlist those guys to help you locate a used deal. They are good at it and seem to enjoy helping you spend your money.
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Old 10-17-22, 07:27 AM
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On both the cantilever brake bikes that passed through my fleet, the cantis stuck out and occupied the same space as the f/r panniers. They were fussy to set up and used special brake pads. Not a fan. YMMV.

I thought discs were another trendy dodad I had no use for. Then, to combat COVID ennui, I built up a bike with f/r TRP HY/RDs, Jagwire cables & Shimano Ultegra ICE rotors. Wow. Sold.

...if my touring were to include 3rd and 4th world areas...


...I'd fit Sturmey-Archer drums. But that's just me.



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Old 10-17-22, 07:38 AM
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...you are entertained by his lovely daughter under the shade of a spreading chestnut tree (with) a mariachi band and a cowboy gunfight...


Am I touring with the wrong partners or in the wrong places?
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Old 10-17-22, 09:52 AM
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Here's what an indestructible tour bike looks like. The front SA XL dyno DRUM brake has been 100% reliable in any weather for 10 years/ 29,000 miles. ZERO worries or fiddling. Overheating/ fade seems to be a laughable concept with this hub. Cable TRP Spyre with the Rohloff14. I changed the resin pads at 5,300 miles. I made the mount and adapter myself. Seat tube is wrapped in CF. It goes easier every day. The newest chain was never cleaned/ lubbed in over 2 years/ 3,000 miles. Bike was 120 lbs on both tours. LOL.
This year I was testing the drum brakes on both wheels from 40 mph to zero. 100% perfect controlled stop.




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Old 10-17-22, 03:21 PM
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You'll have to go to the used market.

Earlier this summer I bought a Co-motion Nor'wester Tour Co-pilot frame on eBay for $900. This is a very high end S&S coupled frame that cost over $3500 new for the frame alone. It's a 2008 frame in near perfect condition, and of course it takes rim brakes. Deal of a lifetime frankly. I couldn't believe it.

I put some v-brakes on it. I don't use cantilever brakes anymore. I use bar end shifters so I can use v-brake specific drop bar levers. V-brakes are much easier to set up optimally than cantilevers, they also don't require cable hangers. I'm using some 2003 era Shimano XT v-brakes. These were the last model year before Shimano went disc on their high end mountain bike groupsets. They have a parallelogram design that keeps the pads always moving perpendicular to the rims. The 1990s era parallelogram designs had a tendency to squeak, but the problem was eliminated in the later generation design.

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