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Avid Shorty 4 Question (not squeak)(7 posts)

Avid Shorty 4 Question (not squeak)JerBear
Mar 31, 2003 11:26 PM
I just got my first CX bike (An '03 Lemond Poprad). Set it up for commuting and some off-road riding but have only commuted so far. As mentioned in the topic, I don't have a problem with squeaking (thanks to the genius mechanic at my lbs). My problem is that they don't feel half as strong as the Ultegra brakes on my Zurich. They seem fine if I'm in the drops and using my whold hand but when on the hoods, they just seem to not be a grabby The Ultegras are good anywhere. Is it the pads? The way the cables accuatte the brakes? What can I do? They are not instilling a lot of confidence to tackle some of the local fun downhills..
several things...Steve_O
Apr 1, 2003 6:32 AM
First off... It could be the pads. I would look at how they contact the rim to make sure you get maximum stopping power. You might also see if they have a little toe-in which might help with modulation (and also might bring on the dreaded squeal). Finally, see if the pads are glazed and if so, sand them a little to see if it helps the braking.

Aftermarket Avid Shorty's come with two sets of straddle cable thingies to adjust the feel of the brakes. If you have them you can alter how these brakes feel by swapping them out. I just sold my Shorty Ti Brakes on eBay but you can see in the pict below what I am referring to:
could be this??roadboy
Apr 1, 2003 8:13 AM
I have old XTR canti's on my Surly, and if Im on the hoods they have little power, however if Im in the drops the have a lot of power. Also I use the paul top mount brake levers and those help big time with down hills and off road riding in general. The reason your road brakes may feel better and stronger when braking from the hoods, is because they are caliper brakes and dont seem to require the amount of pulling power to get good braking power. hell if my XTR canti's stopped like my duar ace road brakes I would be one happy guy.
Check out sheldonbrown.comtxcross
Apr 1, 2003 8:43 AM
Sheldon goes into great detail about how cantis work. Specifically by adjusting the length of the straddle cable and position of the yoke you can get varying degrees of leverage.

I spend most of my time on the hoods so that is where I tested all of my changes. I played with the setups for about 2 hours one night till I got it just right.

Here is a link. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-geometry.html

Theoretically you should be able to setup your cantis to have as much leverage as v's or your ultegra. Don't flame me, I did say theoretically...

On the other hand, if my interpretation of Sheldon's geometry is wrong please correct me.
Check out sheldonbrown.comJerBear
Apr 1, 2003 9:24 PM
thanks for all the info...I'll try a few of the suggestions and see how it goes..

Thanks All..
avid shortyskiwisimon
Apr 2, 2003 6:15 AM
i use these brakes and following set up re instructions from avid they work really sweet.keep your pads fresh with sand paper and your rims clean and you'll be able to lock the wheels up on pavement from the hoods. i just tested them tonight and no probs.
good luck and sheldons web site should also be a mine of information
simon in japan
I had the same experience ... first replace padsGlowBoy
Apr 8, 2003 12:09 PM
My Volpe came with Shorty 6s, and I also never had the squeal problems that some do. They stopped OK on in the dry, but even then it took a lot of effort from the hoods. On off-road descents they were also barely adequate, bringing back memories of the old canti-equipped mountain bikes. In the wet they were totally inadequate with the stock Rim Wrangler pads ... and just marginal even with red Ritchey pads.

I never felt quite safe enough on them for commuting in the rain. I finally replaced them a few weeks ago with V brakes (Avid SD7s) and Dia-Compe 287-V levers. The difference was light night and day. Just to make for a good test, I moved the exact same pads over to the V-brakes when I made the swap, and they still worked fantastically better in the rain than the cantis ever did.

Fortunately the conversion was easy for me because my bike is now a singlespeed. If you have STI then it's not so easy. Before you do anything extreme, try replacing the pads with salmon Kool-Stops or red Ritcheys. May be a noticeable improvement.

- Dan