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Cantilever brakes

dhobiwallahdhobiwallah Posts: 272
edited July 2014 in Cyclocross
OK - so the canti vs 'mini-v' debate seems as settled as the Shimano v SRAM v Campy but....

From what I gather the majority seem to favour the mini-v for improved power and ease of setup. But a significant minority seem to prefer cantis saying power is fine and the setup is probably the reason others find it wanting...

Anyway, I have a CX bike which I predominantly use on the road with slicks and for the occasional adventure type race. Following knee issues I am riding it regularly since it has far lower gearing than usual bike and I don't want to be standing out of the saddle...
It currently has mini v brakes which are OK in use but I cant switch tyres with them. If I run the pads close enough to the rims for decent braking then I can't close them enough to get the 'noodle' to clear the mechanism to remove the wheel, I have to undo the bolt securing the brake cable! I suppose I could run the barrel adjuster out and use that - but it isn't half a faff! But even once open I can't fit an inflated CX tyre between the pads.

Anyway, with that in mind I am considering cantis. I see many seem to bill themselves as CX and others don't. Is there actually a difference? The 'CX' ones seem to have long, horizontal arms, while the others are far more compact. I am assuming the longer ones have better leverage/power but will create drag when used regularly on the road (although not as much as my beer gut).

I also have a set in my parts bin taken from a high end MTB in the mid 90s. Will these be a good low-cost option or has the technology moved on so that a cheap modern set will outperform a higher end 20 year old set?

Looking at min cost as this is far from my primary bike!

Or should I stick with the 'v's?


  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Best value cantis are Tektro 720s but you still might want to upgrade the pads and far easier to set up as they use Vee-style pads with orbital adjustment. I have cantis (TRP 950) and minivees (TRP 8.4) on my CX bikes - I've been doing some offroad riding in Scotland this week on my CX at Glentress and Innerleithin - the mini vees were great with 40mm tyres on A23 rims including a few black sections.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
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