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canti brakes on Kona Jake 09

ginger1ginger1 Posts: 94
edited March 2009 in Workshop

I bought a Kona jake cross bike recently. Great bike generally but the brakes are flipping awful. I have never had canti brakes before, and knew they wouldnt have the power of the side pull brakes on my race bike, but their stopping power is virtually non existent. As far as I can see they are set up fine. LBS said not much can be done other than tried to sell me some £25 brakepads.

Is this a well known issue with Canti brakes and can anyone offer any advice on how to improve the braking?



  • star_roverstar_rover Posts: 318
    They can be improved a great deal with better pads, Koolstops for instance.
    Not sure which model of cantis are on the Jake but there are better sets available. I've been relatively impressed with tektro CR520s.
    The Sheldon Brown page on how to set up cantis is also helpful.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    There's a bit of a black art to setting up cantis - most LBS are full of MTB riders who were in nappies when cants were in their heyday! Getting the angle and height of the straddle wire is pretty key- the softer Koolstop pads will help too. Modern cantis like the Tektros use V-style brake shoes which are a lot easier to adjust than the old post-style pads. Alternatives include mini-vees, but mud clearance is less.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • ginger1ginger1 Posts: 94
    Thanks for the responses so far. Will fiddle with the set up and try better pads. Any particular pads recommended? Which model of Koolstop?

  • PennywisePennywise Posts: 54
    I had the same problem with generic cantis, then tried some Avid shortys and noticed a huge difference. The other option, depending on your usage might be som mini Vs
  • ginger1ginger1 Posts: 94
    do the mini vs work with Shimano STIs?
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    use full size v's and a travel adjuster...
  • PennywisePennywise Posts: 54
    mini v's wll work with road brakes, so pretty sure they'll be ok for the STI's.
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