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Not enough slack on Rear cantilever brakes for new pads !

curiumcurium Posts: 815
edited February 2011 in Workshop
Hi, I have a 2009 Specialized Tricross Sport which came with cantilever caliper brakes.

When the front pads wore down I replaced them with Koolstop Eagle 2 threaded stem brake pads. This was fine except that I couldn't use the nuts that came with the pads as they didn't allow toeing (Toeing is crucial to prevent brake shudder on the Tricross). I used the original nuts that had concave washers to allow toeing.

Now the rear brakes has worn out and I've got another set of the Koolstop Eagle 2 pads to fit, except there doesn't seem to be enough brake cable to accommodate the increased pad thickness.
Additionally, while the front brakes use a straddle wire to connect the left & right caliper. The rear brake uses a link unit. I'm not sure why or what effect this will have.

Could someone advise the best way of resolving this? I can't see anyway of lengthening the cable coming from the brake lever. I was wondering about the cost and possibility of converting the rear brake unit to use a straddle wire carrier like the front brake instead of a link-unit.

I've taken some photos.



Rear Cantilever brake lever


Front cantilever straddle wire carrier



  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,679
    Just pop a new cable in, it'll cost about a pound for one. The cable goes through the link unit. Alternatively, you can use the thinner spacer on the rim side of the brake, rather than the thicker one.
  • curiumcurium Posts: 815
    i thought that might be the solution. I was a bit wary as this is the first bike I've owned with drop-bars so have no experience with installing bar-tape. Also the Tricross has 2 brake levers for each caliper which is an added complication that I'm unfamiliar with.

    I'll have to order a cable cutter and cable end caps.caliper
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,922
    You can thread a new cable into the outer without taking the tape off. You need to shift the chain onto the outer chainring when ready and then release the lever as in shifting to the inner ring but DO NOT turn the cranks. Pull the brake towards the bars and also move the gear lever and you'll have more room to look into the lever body for the tiny hole for the brake cable, a torch might help. Push the new cable into the hole and it should go through quite easily till the bar top levers.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • curiumcurium Posts: 815
    Okay, I was going to hand this off to the LBS but they're talking about a week on Tuesday so I'm minded to buy some cable cutters and do it myself.

    I've not done this before as this is the first bike I've owned since I was a kid. Will any old brake cable do? Can anyone link to something suitable on Wiggle?

    I would be keen on converting to a straddle-wire from a link-unit as I think this will make adjustments easier in future.
    Can anyone give instructions?

  • curiumcurium Posts: 815

    Anyone known where I can purchase an appropriate straddle-wire carrier to convert my rear brakes from the link-unit?

    EDIT: What I actually need to purchase is the straddle or yoke that the straddle-wire is held buy. Wiggle sell the straddle-wire but I need to purchase the straddle/yoke.
  • curiumcurium Posts: 815
    okay I've managed to find Cantilever Yoke - 40mm from Hargroves Cycles. £10.99
    Straddle wire from WIggle
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Re brake cable - any road brake cable will be fine. Looking at your photos, your front straddle / yoke is probably too high - suggest you use the "2 finger's width" rule for the distance between top of tyre and straddle yoke - should improve braking power significantly.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
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