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Best Cantilever Brakes?(19 posts)

Best Cantilever Brakes?daveo
Jun 19, 2003 11:34 AM has quite a few options as far as cantilever brakes. what are the best for the money? and what seperates them in general? is there much difference in the stopping power? i especially curious about the radius brakes as they seem to be a good deal...thanks daveo
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?atpjunkie
Jun 19, 2003 12:49 PM
check posts in the past, but here's abrief synopsis
The Radius' don't stop so good
The Avids Stop well but squeal like a stuck pig
RetroStyle Cantis (Spooky, Froggleggs and Paul Neo Retro's) work well and the higher you set the straddle the better. They lack the adjustment of modern canti's

The Retro CAnti's are modeled after the old Mafac Canti's of the 70's and 80's. Simple but leverage is compromised (thus the need for high straddles) Some dislike as they hit their legs on rear brake during mounts or dismounts. why many Paul owners will have Retro front with Reg. Paul Touring Canti in back.
Buy Spooky or Empella if you want Euro Cool
Buy Paul if you want CNC'd in the USA but cost much more
they work pretty much the same.

IMHO the best cantis made were the Paul MTB CNC's (StopLighjts) of the late 80's.
Super light, cool looking, adjustable, great stoppers, just hard to find. Avid copied these with the TriAlign (a great brake as well and Onza used a similar set up). these would be the best unless you like the 'look' of the retro's (which I as a luddite do)

hope this helps
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?laffeaux
Jun 19, 2003 4:10 PM
IMO the Paul's are the best option if you choose to go the "retro canti" route. The Paul brakes use v-brake pads, while the Empella and Spooky use cantilever pads. I persoally think that set up is much easier with v-brake style pads.
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?snwbdrhoon
Jun 19, 2003 7:55 PM
STX Shimano Brakes... Just kidding...

That's all I can afford right now...

Good luck with your brakes search!
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?dpb
Jun 20, 2003 7:48 AM
Hey...don't laugh. I run these things right now. The finish is actually nice, decent adjustments, and I'll be damned if they don't work as well as the V's on my mountain bike when they're setup properly. A good set of kool-stops doesn't hurt either.

Seriously, setup is key...know your brakes and they'll work, unless the design is inherantly crap, which most aren't. I'd kinda like to get my hands on a set of '95 XTR cantis if I could find 'em, or some tri-align style, but just for the cool factor, my brakes work fine...
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?pdg60
Jun 20, 2003 1:14 PM
Call me crazy but I love my Ritchey WCS's with old 105 STI levers.

You can totally tweak the setup on these and with red Ritchey pads get them to stop on a dime. I've tried a number of different set-ups and will not deviate from this one until I get a new 'cross rig. There is probably a weight penalty relative to all the new "retro" stylies but I would think its negligible. I'll take stopping power over a couple ounces any day.

Obviously Ritchey no longer makes these but I have seen them for very cheap on the web here and there. I would think some LBS's might have some sitting on shelves somewhere collecting dust.

Short of the Ritchey's I would have to go with the Pauls or Spookys. I cannot stand V's/linear pulls on my 'cross bike.

One caveat...I think Dia-Compe is now making a linear pull road lever. If I was using bar-con shifters I would consider using a set of V-brakes with those levers.

Good luck.
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?OffRoadTourer
Jun 20, 2003 8:29 PM
Yeah but if you were going to do that you could just buy some travel agents and use any normal V brake with your standard road levers or STI. You'd have better brakes than canti's then. This canti fixation has got to be a retro-grouch luddite thing.
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?dpb
Jun 23, 2003 11:13 AM
...or maybe just a trend towards decent mud clearance...?

re: Best Cantilever Brakes?pdg60
Jun 23, 2003 11:39 AM
If you noticed in my post I stated that I would go the Dia Compe lever/V-brake route IF I had bar-con shifters.

Relative to canti fixation being a retro-grouch luddite've got me tabbbed wrong.

I am by no means a retro-grouch. The "fixation", for me, is a result of trying a number of different combinations of brakes on my 'cross bike and the Ritchey Canti/105 STI lever ended up being the best set-up for stopping power in all conditions, silence, and keeping it simple (i.e. no chincy travel agents).

There you have it.
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?atpjunkie
Jun 23, 2003 1:04 PM
I am a luddite and I like the way Canti's (especially old school) clear mud. I've never had a stopping issue, yes they may not work as well as vees which don't work as well as discs (I do have discs on my MTB) but they work well enough in most applications. I've yet to encounter a point where carrying my 230 lb mass I can't stop enough.
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?OffRoadTourer
Jun 24, 2003 7:26 AM
Can I assume from what you've said that one of the combinations you tried was a set of V's with Travel Agents?

And can I also assume you found these to be less powerful than cantilevers and that you had reliability issues with the Travel Agents to warrant calling them "cinchy"?

I only ask because I am an ignorant techno-weenie with V brakes and Travel Agents and I'm wondering why I'm stopping quicker and experiencing no squealing or mechanical issues. What am I doing wrong?
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?xcandrew
Jun 20, 2003 8:47 PM
The new Tektro Oryx brakes look really nice:
Saw them up close....Steve_O
Jun 23, 2003 5:30 AM
They were an OEM spec on a Motiv bike at Costco Warehouse store. The finish was a little "chincy" but I think they are functionally nice brakes. As an added bonus they use v-brake style threaded mounting which means you can go to cartridge style pads for easy replacement...
Or you Tektro Mini Cantilevers with normal levers? NMTrevo
Jun 23, 2003 10:07 PM
good question... I think....Steve_O
Jun 24, 2003 9:41 AM
From what I have heard/read you can run Mini-V's without a cam device like the Travel Agent. With this said I just visited a shop last week that had Felt Bikes that used the Mini-V and came factory spec'ed with travel agents on these bikes (go figure)...

Do a search for "Tektro" or "Mini" on this board and you should find some info. Also note that Radius recently came out with their own version of the Mini-V....
Kona Curve?Samu Ilonen
Jun 26, 2003 5:15 AM
Are theyey any good?

I have pair and I'm thinking to instal them on my ti-cc bike.
Got them!Steve_O
Jun 27, 2003 10:22 AM
I think these are actually Curve brand brakes (now out of business). Kona spec'ed these canti's in the late 90's on a bunch of their bikes.

I have them on a '96 Kona AA mountain bike and they seem to work fine for me. They are somewhat simplistic in design and are not the easiest to set up (they use a slanted washer to adjust the toe-in/toe-out).

The reviews I found aren't great but I have no issues with them. Properly adjusted they give good power...

re: Best Cantilever Brakes?terminaut
Jul 3, 2003 6:00 PM
I'm having excellent luck with old XTs and salmon Kool-Stop pads.

Works well enough to ride some steep stuff.... (4MB MPEG)
re: Best Cantilever Brakes?terminaut
Jul 3, 2003 6:07 PM
These old Shimanos also work identically well if you prefer the bolt-on style of pads. They're sort of hard to come by, though.