's Forum Archives - Cyclo-Cross

Archive Home >> Cyclo-Cross(1 2 3 )

Paul cantis, are they worth the money?(14 posts)

Paul cantis, are they worth the money?greg n
Sep 10, 2002 6:14 AM
Anyone have experience using XTR cantis or similar and then switching to Paul's? Is there really that much of a noticeable improvement in braking? Any downsides other than emptying your wallet?
re: Paul cantis, are they worth the money?flyweight
Sep 10, 2002 7:23 AM
I have the Paul cantis on two bikes and last generation XT cantis on the other. Can't tell any difference at all. The XT's are somewhat better in that they have the centering screw which the Paul's lack. They're almost identical to the last generation XTRs but cost less.
correction and 2nd opinion...seamus
Sep 10, 2002 1:07 PM
Meaning no disrespect to previous poster, but Paul's DO in fact have a spring tension/centering adjustment and it's quite easy to use, but different than what's on XT/XTR.

I have XTR canti's on my Waterford and Paul's Retro's front/NeoRetro's back on my Ritchey. Paul's are easier to get top-quality pads for since they work with late-model cartridge pads instead of older post style pads, and pad swaps are quicker and easier.

As for power, I've found my Paul's to be better than my XTR's, especially in the front, where the width of the Retro's makes for a little more stopping power. How much better? Maybe 20% stronger than my XTR's, at best. Is that worth the money? I don't know...I got a deal on mine, but I love 'em.
correction and 2nd opinion...flyweight
Sep 11, 2002 9:46 AM
I never said they didn't have a centering mechanism. I said they don't have the allan scew style mechanism found on Shimano. I find the Shimano mechanism superior because you can easily adjust it in the field using your folding allan wrenches/mini tool. The Paul requires a wrench (and two hands) making it a bit harder to do out in the middle of nowhere.

The Retro's are a totally different beast. Way more powerful than the low profile cantilevers. On my older Gunnar I found them to be too powerful and had to change them out for the Touring model. In the back I've had problems with heel strikes. I do have them set up on the front of one my other bikes and they work extremely well.

If money were no object, the Paul Neo Retro is probably the way to go. However, XT's have 90% of the function for half the price.
question for flyweight...seamus
Sep 11, 2002 10:49 AM
Okay, I see what you're saying about the centering mechanism on Shimano vs. Paul, and I totally agree. When it comes to trailside tweaks, shimano's setup is better. I also agree with what you said about heel strikes running Paul Retro's in the back. I cut my calves up pretty good a couple times too,until going to the low-profile ones in the rear.

Sounds like you've got your XT's dialed in pretty well. I'm still messing with setup on my XTR's to squeeze more power out of 'em. How much straddle cable are you running, i.e. as short/low as possible, or as high? I've heard conflicting stories as to which is best. Right now I have the straddle cable sitting way, way low, about an inch above the tire, and braking power is good, but not great. What's your setup?
question for flyweight...flyweight
Sep 12, 2002 9:14 AM
I'm actually using the standard Shimano cable hanger, the old round ones with the etched line used to determine straddle length. I did swap the pads out for some of the orange-ish Kool Stop pads. I'm also using Campy Ergo levers which pull more cable than STI levers. Even with a 38mm Ritchey in front and a 35mm Ritchey in back I've not had a problem with stopping power or modulation.

I do think the Paul's are a better brake in most respects. Problem is they're twice as much as the XT's but don't offer twice as much performance (more like a 10-20%) increase. For most people I'd say they're not worth the extra money.
re: Paul cantis, are they worth the money?www-mtnpedaler-com
Sep 10, 2002 5:49 PM
I was going to order some Touring cantis from Paul. But I was on the phone with Tufo the other day and ended up ordering some Spookys. MSRP is $99.95 for both front and rear. They're only 78 grams without pads. I don't have a clue if they're any good. I figure I can sell them for about $75 or $80. I'll post back after I get them. Anybody ever try them?
re: Paul cantis, are they worth the money?flyweight
Sep 11, 2002 9:50 AM
I have the nearly identical Empella Froglegs brakes on my Colnago and they work great. Set up is more of a hassle due to the lack of independant pad height adjustment and lack of toe-in (besides filing the pads)

They work great on the Colnago. Not as much all out stopping power as the Paul or Shimano XT's on my other bikes but they do have a nice smooth feel to them.
re: Paul cantis, are they worth the money?www-mtnpedaler-com
Sep 11, 2002 6:34 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if they were made in the same place. A lot of companies do that, kind of like Nilli Vanilli. I hope they work better than the Dia Compe 986s I'm running now. But they sound about the same. Maybe I'll just call Paul and pop for the good stuff. Thanks, Paul (no relation)
re: Paul cantis, are they worth the money?flyweight
Sep 12, 2002 9:21 AM
I used to have 986's and the Empella's are MUCH better. I'd rate the brakes as follows:

For all out stopping power:
1) Paul Neo Retro front/Touring back (Neo Retro is a bit too wide to run in back)
2) Shimano XT
3) Empella

1) Empella
2) Paul
3) Shimano XT
(of course your lever choice plays a factor in this)

Bang for buck:
1) Shimano XT
2) Empella
3) Paul

1) Empella
2) Paul
3) Shimano XT

Ease of set-up:
1) Paul
2) Shimano XT
3) Empella
Thanks for the info.www-mtnpedaler-com
Sep 12, 2002 6:02 PM
I'll give them a try. May the cross gods shine on you this season. Thanks, Paul
Thanks for the input folksgreg n
Sep 13, 2002 6:43 AM
All your opinions helped. I think after reading what you had to say, I'll stick will my XTRs unless I can find a REALLY good deal on Paul's.
Thanks for the input folkswww-mtnpedaler-com
Sep 13, 2002 6:53 AM
Contact me if you want. Maybe I can help you with the Paul's.
Nice siteB123
Sep 14, 2002 2:59 PM
Hey Paul,

Nice website...See you on the river rides.