Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

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fieldmouse
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Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby fieldmouse » 1 Apr 2015, 9:30pm

My recently acquired Raleigh Royal lightweight touring bike has Mavic Open Pro wheel rims and Avid Shorty 6 cantilever brakes . The front brake works O.K. ,although not great , but the rear one is very poor . I've changed the brake blocks , which were fairly low , for some new standard Clarks blocks , but it's made no difference . Is there any obvious solution to this problem ? Different blocks ? Different type of brakes ? Any ideas would be appreciated .

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Vantage
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby Vantage » 1 Apr 2015, 10:12pm

If you have the old fashioned straddle cable type setup,have you tried lowering the straddle cable?
And make sure the lever has some travel in it before the pads hit the rim to give you a bit more leverage. My own brakes have the same problem, significantly less power at the rear but that setup helps a fair bit.
Also, I've lost count of how many miles are on my blocks but this set seem to be lasting forever and they do seem to grab and stop the bike fairly quickly, even in rain. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001 ... detailpage
Bill


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greyingbeard
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby greyingbeard » 1 Apr 2015, 10:40pm

I understand that they work best with the cantis spread wide and the straddle cable at 90 degrees to them. If the fronts are good, copy that set-up. Your blocks should be slightly toed-in, so that wheel rotation pulls them flat against the rim.

Brucey
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby Brucey » 2 Apr 2015, 4:32am

clarks standard blocks are OK but there are others with a higher friction coefficient. Their 'gold' brake blocks are one such; you should get an immediate improvement with these.

Re brake setup; Shortys (a mid-profile brake) work best (most power) with the straddle set as low as possible. The V pads that are normally used can be respaced to some extent and this can lower the straddle but in some cases the straddle will need to be replaced with a shorter one in order to get it low enough.

You also need good cables, and brake levers with a high mechanical advantage. Brake levers meant for V brakes are certainly not suitable and even brake levers meant for DP calipers (most STIs) are not as good as some older brakes levers (typically non aero levers or 1st gen aero levers meant for side pulls) which have a shorter cable pull.

So I'd suggest
a) better brake blocks
b) use a lower straddle cable
c) fit new brake cables and make sure they are well lubricated.

[edit; BTW when set up right Avid Shortys are amongst the most powerful cantis available. In fact they are amongst the most powerful brakes available of any kind if you do everything you can do to them. I have them set up nigh-on as best I know how on one bike and if I just lunge at the brakes -in the way you need to on some machines- then I am in some danger of hurling myself over the handlebars on this one. If your Shortys are not powerful enough for you, it is invariably going to be a set-up fault of some kind. ]

cheers
Last edited by Brucey on 2 Apr 2015, 6:40am, edited 1 time in total.
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irc
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby irc » 2 Apr 2015, 5:02am

Or switch to V brakes. Needs V specific levers for drop bars like Tektro RL520 and an adjustable brake noodle.

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/dia-compe-fl ... prod32084/

RogerThat
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby RogerThat » 2 Apr 2015, 6:16am

I've been using these Magura HS33 hydraulic on my commuter bike for a year now, they're rim brakes and set up just like v brakes. Amazing stopping power but not for very lightweight wheels (these are the updated versions, but you can buy the originals all over eBay for £25-40 a pair!) :

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mobi ... prod107695

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531colin
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby 531colin » 2 Apr 2015, 7:46am

If the front and back brakes are set up similarly, the front works and the back doesn't, I would think the cable is binding.
Too good to lose has at least 2 threads on cantilever set up.
Mini-vees work with STI levers, but you need an adjuster in the system to release the brake and get the wheel out.....you can use a front mini-vee for stopping power, and a rear canti. for ease of living with it.....but its the rear canti. you are having trouble with.... :?

tb
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby tb » 16 Aug 2015, 10:25am

Apologies...thought I might hijack this post rather than start a new one.....

So if I replace the canti-lever brakes on my front forks with mini V brakes I know I'll have to replace the current Shimano levers on my drop handlebars.

Will I be able use a set of Shimano STI levers which I have in my spares box or do I need to buy a V brake specific lever set like Dia Compe 287VEE aero brake levers ?

thanks,

Tony

tatanab
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby tatanab » 16 Aug 2015, 10:51am

Try what you have first. For 10 years now I've been using mini V with Campag Ergo which work very well for me. BUT my taste is for a lot of lever movement because I brake from the hoods 99.9999999% of the time. The increased movement of course means greater clearance to the rim so my wheel building does not have to be micron perfect.

So that is non V levers working with mini V. Conversely I also have Tektro levers for full V brakes working nicely with mini V, admittedly the Shimano mini V which is 90mm long (from memory) versus my Campag and Tektro ones at 85mm.

So I'd say to try what you have and before making up your mind that new parts are necessary.

irc
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby irc » 16 Aug 2015, 1:55pm

tb wrote:Apologies...thought I might hijack this post rather than start a new one.....

So if I replace the canti-lever brakes on my front forks with mini V brakes I know I'll have to replace the current Shimano levers on my drop handlebars.

Will I be able use a set of Shimano STI levers which I have in my spares box or do I need to buy a V brake specific lever set like Dia Compe 287VEE aero brake levers ?

thanks,

Tony


Mini Vs should be fine with STIs. Full size Vs need either the 287s or Tektro V brake levers - 520s?.

Bowedw
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby Bowedw » 16 Aug 2015, 6:32pm

Are we talking about a modern Raleigh Royale or a older bike from before 2000? The spacing of the cantilever bosses on an older model are likely to be to close together to change to mini v brakes or modern cantis. Sorry if I have missed the age of the bike somewhere in the query.

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531colin
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby 531colin » 16 Aug 2015, 7:02pm

tb wrote:Apologies...thought I might hijack this post rather than start a new one.....

So if I replace the canti-lever brakes on my front forks with mini V brakes I know I'll have to replace the current Shimano levers on my drop handlebars.

Will I be able use a set of Shimano STI levers which I have in my spares box or do I need to buy a V brake specific lever set like Dia Compe 287VEE aero brake levers ?

thanks,

Tony


Mini-vees work with aero levers, either STI or not. Tektro RX 6 is my current favourite. You will need a barrel adjuster in the system in order to unhook the brake to get the wheel out, for example on a noodle that includer an adjuster.
Brake posts need to be about 80mm apart.

tatanab
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby tatanab » 16 Aug 2015, 7:21pm

531colin wrote:a noodle that includer an adjuster.
Cheapest source is http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BSTKCGP90D ... -90-degree where the 99p is not a sale price, they always seem to be that much. You can buy the same item from other online shops for twice the price, or more.

Distance between brake posts - I've seen mini Vs on a 1950s frame with consequently narrow forks. It worked ok because the owner used narrow rims and was not bothered that the brake arms splayed outwards to the top. Not elegant, but it worked.

irc
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby irc » 16 Aug 2015, 9:24pm

Or you can get flexie adjustable noodles. Better choice of coplours! The gold matches the decals on my Spa Tourer.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Stainless-Fle ... 3a8c2c5863

tb
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Re: Upgrading touring bike cantilever brakes

Postby tb » 16 Aug 2015, 9:52pm

Thanks for all your replies...

the 'upgrade ' is for an early 90's 531 touring frame.
Last edited by tb on 21 Aug 2015, 11:12am, edited 1 time in total.