cantilever to caliper question
Maybe a dumb question, but…
I got a new cx bike a few months ago and the cantilever brakes are driving me insane. As much as I toe them in, use different pad compounds, etc., I can’t get rid of the shuddering, squealing, and the fact that the pads just wear down incredibly fast. I know there are a lot of ways to work on this, like a lower cable hanger, but I’d rather just convert to something I’m more experienced with. I’m not using big enough tires (just commuting on this) to justify cantilevers anyway, so I’m probably just going to get a nice set of dual-pivot calipers. I know I’ll need new cables and housing, but my question is, can I still use my current levers with no problem? They’re Tiagra brifters.
Never mind, this *is* a dumb question – I’d need the longest reach calipers known to bicycles. I guess it’s either deal with it or get discs.
I’m a noob at mechanics. Is there a chart or something that shows how much cable pull (millimeters) various levers and calipers etc. need? I would think this would be very useful, assuming every brand/type is probably unique.
I think cable pull between all brakes but v-brakes is essentially the same. So as long as the current brakes aren’t v-brakes, you should be fine with the current levers.
Superletour – are the current cantis on your bike decent? All are not created equal. The longest calipers that I know of are 73mm, so if the distance from the brake hole to the rim is that or less, you could be ok. I have the Tektro 556 on a bike I converted from a 27″ wheel, and although they technically are less powerful than cantis or centerpulls, they stop the bike fine in my experience.
What brand/model of brakes are they? Most of the older Avids and Tektros were close to impossible to keep quiet, particularly on the front.
Try some Kool Stop pads, particularly in the salmon color (really more orange than salmon, but whatever). They are also nicer to your rims and work better when wet.
I recently tried the new Avid Shorties, much much quieter. http://www.sram.com/avid/products/shorty-4-rim-brake
Or maybe try a low mount cable stop, Tektro makes one, some people claim this helps the squealing.
Mark, for the most part brakes can be split into short or long pull:
-pretty much all of them from short road to U-brakes, all the same pull
-some people claim most cantis are a little longer pull than road levers are set up for, I’ve never had a problem, but a few companies sell wide hangers to increase pull slightly
-Mostly MTb levers, but there are a few long pull road levers (no STI types)
-Disc Brakes (cable)
-there are a few short pull discs on the market but long pull is standard.
I’m sure there are specific amounts of pull in the specs somewhere, but in practice I’ve never seen a need for anything other than short or long.
Thanks Eric. I really need to take more classes at freeride this year.
You might find that a stiffer canti squeals less. Or just changes the pitch up high enough that only dogs can hear it.
Assuming you’re stuck with cantis (I hate ’em too), I know some people with chronic squealing issues have fixed them with one of these:
Might be worth a try if your fork crown is drilled. There’s a Lennard Zinn article that describes his theory on why these seem to work. Seems pretty reasonable. His other suggestion is to try out V-brakes, but this means getting new levers or a travel agent. If you have STI levers, replacing the levers is out, unless you want to run a single front ring and swap out only the left lever/front brake. Also, having tried travel agents on V-brakes I was really unimpressed.
You could go mini/short V brake and not have to change anything at all.
I sometimes like the fact that my brakes squeal- it makes me then noticable to motorists or pedestrians unexpepctedly pulling out in front of me.
Thanks for the advice. I’m definitely going to try the kool stop pads.. I’ve been using pads with black compound so far and it’s been a disaster since it’s been cold and wet. Hopefully that’ll help. Also going to try a fork-mounted cable hanger. Maybe Kraynick has something like this?
They’re fairly nice Avid cantilevers so I don’t think an upgrade would help *too* much. From what I understand looking at other forums it’s bad specifically on this frame due to a really long headtube.
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