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Canti Question?

Old 03-18-09, 09:56 AM
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Canti Question?

So I have the 09 Surly LHT complete and it came with Tektro Oryx brakes, and I really don't like these. They aren't as smooth or reliable as I would like. What are some good touring cantis? I've been looking at the Avid Shorty 6's OR the Paul Touring or Neo-Retro Canti. What are your opinions? thanks!

Last edited by patgoral; 03-18-09 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:54 AM
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I wasn't really a fan of the Oryx either. For this year's tour I've opted for Tektro CR520's. They sound pretty promising from this review https://www.zepnat.com/images/cr520review.jpg

Setting them up was a pretty simple affair, but I haven't yet tested them out on the road yet.
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Old 03-18-09, 12:33 PM
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Hm, those do look promising and ALOT cheaper than going for the Paul brakes!
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Old 03-18-09, 01:29 PM
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You could try Shimano's best, they've always reviewed well and less than Paul's
Shimano BR-R550 Deluxe Cantis
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Old 03-18-09, 02:40 PM
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tektro cr 720 are the best currently available and cheap design. Im speaking just in terms of leverage here....
https://www.evanscycles.com/product_i...ever-brake.jpg
As an aside, I was thinking on my commute in this morning, that tektro is probably one of my favorite component companies right now. The campag. copy drop bar levers for 25 bucks, the r556 brake for 55 bucks, and the cr 720 brakes for 30 bucks are all great quality parts at rock bottom prices. Pauls are nice as hell, I used to have some, but they really are about the cache of the brand. not worth the money, unless you have the money to spare....

I have a set of machine tech zeroflex 2 cantilevers https://www.bikepro.com/products/brak...ach_tech.shtml
simply because I like vintage MTB stuff and they were 40 bucks, but if I were buying new, tektro cr720s for sure.
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Old 03-18-09, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by elduderino12
I wasn't really a fan of the Oryx either. For this year's tour I've opted for Tektro CR520's. They sound pretty promising from this review https://www.zepnat.com/images/cr520review.jpg

Setting them up was a pretty simple affair, but I haven't yet tested them out on the road yet.
+1
These are the best cantis presently available for my money.
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Old 03-18-09, 04:43 PM
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"... aren't as smooth or reliable as I would like..."

How so?

Might want to check the levers and cables for smoothness of action. Pad toe-in for braking smoothness.

Reliable? Have pads seated in? Cables stretched and readjusted?
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Old 03-18-09, 04:57 PM
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I went for the Avid Shorty 4's on my Cross Check. They helped a little bit, but I still don't quite feel like I've got the same stopping power as I do with the caliper brakes on my road bike. I may try to tweak 'em a little bit more, see if I can get a little more oomph out of them. Otherwise they work well.
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Old 03-18-09, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by patgoral
So I have the 09 Surly LHT complete and it came with Tektro Oryx brakes, and I really don't like these. They aren't as smooth or reliable as I would like. What are some good touring cantis? I've been looking at the Avid Shorty 6's OR the Paul Touring or Neo-Retro Canti. What are your opinions? thanks!
Different strokes. The Oryx brakes seem fine to me.
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Old 03-18-09, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Different strokes. The Oryx brakes seem fine to me.
Same here. I have them on my old Bianchi mountain bike and they stop me on a dime. I haven't taken this bike on tour, but stopping with my panniers full from a grocery run is great.
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Old 03-18-09, 08:17 PM
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I have the Shimano BR-R550 on my Cross Check.

Last edited by Yan; 03-19-09 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 03-18-09, 08:17 PM
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Wide profile cantilever brakes such as the CR-720 are only still made for cyclocross because they have excellent mud clearance. The CR-720 also seems to be quite popular with the retro grouches, but really now. That style's stopping power is inferior to refined low profile cantilevers such as the oryx or shorty. They also require a much firmer squeeze at the lever, which makes braking from the hoods almost useless.

I have older shorty 6s; they squeal. The redesigned version should be fine though. I hear very good things about the IRD Cafam, which is a ripoff of the Paul Touring canti at 30% cost. But if I were you I would switch to V-brake levers as I have found the newish Tektro RL520 drop bar V-brake lever to be VASTLY more comfortable than the standard pull R200 lever that comes stock on the LHT. YMMV of course, but with a swap to that lever, you could then run Avid Single Digit 7 v-brakes, which are widely heralded as one of the finest caliper brakes ever made.
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Old 03-18-09, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by robow
You could try Shimano's best, they've always reviewed well and less than Paul's
Shimano BR-R550 Deluxe Cantis
I have them on my Soma Double Cross. They work at least a well as the Campy brakes on my road bike.
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Old 03-18-09, 08:39 PM
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Add another hearty endorsement - Shimano BR-R550s for the win!
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Old 03-19-09, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
Add another hearty endorsement - Shimano BR-R550s for the win!
Sheldon was also quite fond of them, and he would always lose me in his discussion on the advantages of the physical leverage, applied forces, etc.
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Old 03-19-09, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
Add another hearty endorsement - Shimano BR-R550s for the win!
The repeated endorsements by Bekologist...and others...on this forum prompted me to give the 550s a try. A reasonable investment in time for proper setup has resulted in brakes that truly perform better than I expected. The braking is reliable and smooth with STI, and they haven't shuddered or squealed (with Kool Stops) in 2k miles.

That said, I suspect a common reason for the varying performance issues with canti brakes is a function of how well they were set up initially. I made numerous adjustments before they felt just right. Though my experience with the 550s has been great, I've had no experience with the Oryx model. Since others have made positive statements about the Oryx brakes, is it possible yours are not adjusted as well?
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Old 03-19-09, 05:37 PM
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I think there are better cantilever brakes than the Oryx, but not a whole lot better. I'd mess with the pads (get new ones) and straddle cables until the brakes work better.

I like the Shimano BR 550s as well. Not that they are better than other cantilevers, but they seem not squeal as much and they are the easiest cantis to set up.
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Old 03-19-09, 06:52 PM
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I have some Nashbar deluxe cantis that I think are really Oryxs (Nashbar doesn't sell them anymore). Anyway, they perform terrifically. I do think that setup is vital, but also throw in the levers and pads you use as other factors. I have some old style canti levers that are really full handles that seem to be perfect for the setup (I also use the Shimano supplied straddle wire, not an adjustable one and find I don't need to get one that is adjustable.)

You might have to experiment to get the brake setup that works.

Originally Posted by desertdork
The repeated endorsements by Bekologist...and others...on this forum prompted me to give the 550s a try. A reasonable investment in time for proper setup has resulted in brakes that truly perform better than I expected. The braking is reliable and smooth with STI, and they haven't shuddered or squealed (with Kool Stops) in 2k miles.

That said, I suspect a common reason for the varying performance issues with canti brakes is a function of how well they were set up initially. I made numerous adjustments before they felt just right. Though my experience with the 550s has been great, I've had no experience with the Oryx model. Since others have made positive statements about the Oryx brakes, is it possible yours are not adjusted as well?
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Old 03-20-09, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Thasiet
.......................That style's stopping power is inferior to refined low profile cantilevers such as the oryx or shorty. They also require a much firmer squeeze at the lever, which makes braking from the hoods almost useless.

I've had both and you couldn't be more wrong. The mechanical advantage enjoyed by the wider profile arms is very obvious and these brakes are now rapidly becoming the brakes of choice for experience tourists.
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Old 03-20-09, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by onbike 1939
I've had both and you couldn't be more wrong. The mechanical advantage enjoyed by the wider profile arms is very obvious and these brakes are now rapidly becoming the brakes of choice for experience tourists.
What is obvious is that wide profile brakes have a terribly firm lever feel, and that many people associate that lack of sponginess with greater power. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mechanical advantage is only part of the equation. V brakes have the lowest mechanical advantage and the softest feel of all caliper brakes, yet are the most powerful.

“There is no question an Empella or a Spooky brake - if you are looking at sheer stopping power - are not as powerful as an Avid or Shimano brake,”
-Stu Thorne, owner of cyclocrossworld.com

Avid's newest top of the line cantilever for cx racing can actually transform from a wide profile to a low profile in about ten minutes. Why would they suffer the headaches of engineering that if wide profile cantilevers had both greater mud clearance and greater power? They wouldn't. The design is so that cx racers can have a wide profile for mud clearance in wet races, but still be able to switch to a more powerful brake when it's dry.
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Old 03-20-09, 11:35 AM
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Lever choice is just as important when talking about mechanical advantage. Combining to two to achieve ideal lever action (firm, crisp action vs mushiness) and good stopping power is sometimes difficult.
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Old 03-20-09, 12:34 PM
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Thasiet:
"V brakes have the lowest mechanical advantage and the softest feel of all caliper brakes, yet are the most powerful."

A very nice article from Sheldon, dispelling a lot of myths.

https://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-geometry.html


"Direct-pull cantilevers have a very high mechanical advantage, which makes them unsuitable for use with conventional levers."

Last edited by robow; 03-20-09 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 03-20-09, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by robow
Thasiet:
"V brakes have the lowest mechanical advantage and the softest feel of all caliper brakes, yet are the most powerful."

A very nice article from Sheldon, dispelling a lot of myths.

https://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-geometry.html


"Direct-pull cantilevers have a very high mechanical advantage, which makes them unsuitable for use with conventional levers."
Well just as I'm about to reply I see you completely revised your post. Was just looking back over Sheldon's canti article myself and saw my mistake. Indeed, V-brake has very high mechanical advantage coupled with low mechanical advantage levers. wide profile canti is opposite; low mechanical advantage needing very high mechanical advantage lever.

All can provide adequate power for touring, even wide profiles, though once again, their near complete lack of give and large lever forces makes solid braking from the hoods nearly impossible. As to your deleted request for further explanation that v-brakes are the most powerful, at 240lbs, with new brake pads, clean rims, and perfect setup, the Shorty 6 on my touring bike fork could probably send me over the handlebars. The v-brake on my ill-maintained mountain bike, on the other hand, will do it with gusto.
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Old 03-20-09, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Thasiet
What is obvious is that wide profile brakes have a terribly firm lever feel, and that many people associate that lack of sponginess with greater power. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mechanical advantage is only part of the equation. V brakes have the lowest mechanical advantage and the softest feel of all caliper brakes, yet are the most powerful.

“There is no question an Empella or a Spooky brake - if you are looking at sheer stopping power - are not as powerful as an Avid or Shimano brake,”
-Stu Thorne, owner of cyclocrossworld.com

Avid's newest top of the line cantilever for cx racing can actually transform from a wide profile to a low profile in about ten minutes. Why would they suffer the headaches of engineering that if wide profile cantilevers had both greater mud clearance and greater power? They wouldn't. The design is so that cx racers can have a wide profile for mud clearance in wet races, but still be able to switch to a more powerful brake when it's dry.
Because people are stupid, and will pay more for brakes that can do a neat trick like that?

It may well be true that wide profile brakes are inferior, but why then were they the standard for cantilever brakes for so long?
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Old 03-20-09, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050
It may well be true that wide profile brakes are inferior, but why then were they the standard for cantilever brakes for so long?
Evolution is slow.
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