decent canti brake blocks for cross bike, any ideas?

louislouis Posts: 13
edited November 2010 in Road buying advice
I love my cross bike but the canti brakes are rubbish in terms of stopping power, they are set up properly, rims clean etc. I tried mini-v brakes for a bit which are more powerful but a pain in terms of set up, need real fine tuning running close to rim and then hard to release noodle for wheel changes. So.... is there decent quality canti brake blocks out there that are better than others. I've got koolstop mtb multicoloured ones on there now but these are just as rubbish as the Shimano ones that came with the brakes. Any tips/advice appreciated. cheers lou


  • Nack
    Nack Posts: 61
    Which brakes do you have ? I run Tektro 720s with kool stop mixed compound (same as yours I think) and they were brilliant last weekend. Loads of modulation and very strong.

    My experience with cantis is that they're very good only if perfectly set up (ie, once you've mastered the right height for the straddle wire, toe in adjustment, etc...).

    I had Planet X Frogs Bollox before and they were absolutely rubbish - changed the pads to Kool Stops but only saw a minor improvement. Changing to the tektros made a massive difference though.
  • I've got (NOS) Shimano STX RC canti's on there right now. On another bike I had xtr v brakes with xtr pads, these were fantastic. Before I look at changing the actual brakes I wonder if I can get xtr pads on post mount canti blocks (as opposed to the threaded types), that might do the trick?
  • vorsprung
    vorsprung Posts: 1,953
    This is what "cantis" are

    The problem with using cantis or v brakes on a cross bike is that cross bikes have drop levers designed for road pivot brakes. Drop bar road levers usually pull less cable than MTB levers. Most cantilever brakes are designed to work with the pull from a MTB lever

    So you have a number of choices

    1) what I guess you are doing at the moment is adjusting the pads to be as close as possible so that the levers with the incorrect amount of pull sort of work

    2) get different levers. If you have STI however I don't believe there are any levers that do v brakes. I have a bike with non integrated shifters that has tektro brake only drop levers that pull the correct amount for v brakes

    3) get different V brakes that work with road levers. But you already tried mini vs that are supposed to do this and didn't like them

    4) I assume you have v brakes so larger tyres can be used? you could try deep drop pivot brakes. This will depend on the frame/forks taking them however

    5) get a "travel agent" that matches road levers to v brakes. This is an inline device that makes mismatched levers and brakes work