Author Topic: Cantilever brakes for touring bike  (Read 8372 times)

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Offline waynebyrd

Cantilever brakes for touring bike
« on: May 15, 2011, 11:06:15 pm »
On an extended tour last summer, I had a very difficult time stopping my bike on steep descents.  My T-700 Cannondale has the original cantilever brakes, which I am hoping to replace.  Has anyone had a similar experience?  And did you make a successful upgrade on your brakes?

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Re: Cantilever brakes for touring bike
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2011, 11:36:36 pm »
Although most V-brakes are more powerful than most cantis, the cantis have been the touring brake of choice for decades. Mine work fine with heavy loads on steep hills.

Let me suggest new brake pads before replacing brakes. Cheaper and faster, if they do not work out you can transfer them to the new brakes. Kool Stop seems to be the favored brand.

Also check that the straddle wire is not too long, which would reduce the braking force. See http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/cantilever-brake-service

Fred

Offline whittierider

Re: Cantilever brakes for touring bike
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 02:44:59 am »
Quote
Let me suggest new brake pads before replacing brakes. Cheaper and faster, if they do not work out you can transfer them to the new brakes. Kool Stop seems to be the favored brand.
+1.  Just consider it standard practice, whatever brand of brakes you get, to replace the pads with Kool Stop pads.  You'll get stronger braking and longer rim life, and you won't get the little metal bits embedded in them.  They last a lot of miles too.  The ones on my main bike have something over 20,000 miles on them and they still have life left in them.

Offline waynebyrd

Re: Cantilever brakes for touring bike
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 10:37:41 pm »
Thanks for the good ideas.  In reading about cantis, I noted Kool Stops were mentioned favorably several times.  Shortening the straddle wire makes sense.

THe Avid Shorty 6 and the Paul Components Tour Canti are highly rated.  Any experience with those?

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Cantilever brakes for touring bike
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 01:17:19 pm »
I had a pair of Avid Shorty 6 brakes on a previous bike and they were fine.

Kool Stop makes an excellent pad, but they are not the only maker of good pads.  It sounds like you might also want to consider a softer pad.  A softer pad has better stopping power, but will wear quicker.  I think these are salmon colored in the Kool Stop world.  Shimano's standard pads tend to be a little on the hard side, which is why they are unpopular.

You can also go with a softer pad in the rear and a regular pad in the front.  If you flip the pair and run softer in the front, you risk being launched over the handle bars more.
Danno

Offline happyriding

Re: Cantilever brakes for touring bike
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 08:37:00 pm »
On an extended tour last summer, I had a very difficult time stopping my bike on steep descents.  My T-700 Cannondale has the original cantilever brakes, which I am hoping to replace.  Has anyone had a similar experience? 
Yes.

Quote
And did you make a successful upgrade on your brakes?
No.  I spent a lot of time trying to adjust them instead--until they got decent.  I stuck with the original Shimano pads(black). 

Read this article:

http://www.bikequarterly.com/cantisetup.html

Note the difference between 'wide profile' and 'low profile' canti brakes.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 08:40:48 pm by happyriding »