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Are all canti brakes the same?

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Are all canti brakes the same?

Old 06-21-16, 08:55 AM
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OrangeBike
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Are all canti brakes the same?

I just picked up a bike with cantilever brakes, a first for me.

Looking to upgrade to a nice set and I've noticed that outside of the arm geometry/angle and straddle wires, there's nothing mentioned about the size.

Do all canti's have the same relationship to boss/pivot, pad location, etc? Or am I missing something? Like when side or centerpulls talk about reach...
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Old 06-21-16, 09:26 AM
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Yep, the size and positioning of cantilever studs are standardized - you can swap in whatever cantis you like and they will work. There are differences in shapes, angles, pad style, and there are slight differences in the adjustment procedure between the different kinds of cantilevers, but they all use the same studs.

If you want a recommendation for modern, new canti's, I like the Tektro CR720's: they work well, are relatively easy to setup, look good, affordable, and they come with nice pad holders that use standard road pads and are easily adjusted.
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Old 06-21-16, 09:34 AM
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I will second the plug for Tektro 720s. Very nice brakes for the coin.
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Old 06-21-16, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by lasauge View Post
Yep, the size and positioning of cantilever studs are standardized - you can swap in whatever cantis you like and they will work. There are differences in shapes, angles, pad style, and there are slight differences in the adjustment procedure between the different kinds of cantilevers, but they all use the same studs.

If you want a recommendation for modern, new canti's, I like the Tektro CR720's: they work well, are relatively easy to setup, look good, affordable, and they come with nice pad holders that use standard road pads and are easily adjusted.
Excellent, thank you.
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Old 06-21-16, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
I will second the plug for Tektro 720s. Very nice brakes for the coin.
I was looking at those, neat looking. Those with a set of Kool Stops are tempting...
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Old 06-21-16, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by OrangeBike View Post
I was looking at those, neat looking. Those with a set of Kool Stops are tempting...
They come with pads, so why switch?
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Old 06-21-16, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by lasauge View Post
Yep, the size and positioning of cantilever studs are standardized - you can swap in whatever cantis you like and they will work.
This isn't the whole story. The spacing between the posts has changed. Touring bikes from the 80s tend to have the studs spaced 65mm or so while mountain bikes and modern hybrids, cx and touring bikes seem to be in the 80+mm area. For example on a bianchi randonneur i had the only brakes that would work were vintage dia-compe becuase the posts were placed for 27" wheels. Modern cantis also didn't work on miyata 1000 because the posts were too close together. The shimano altus cantis are the only modern brakes I can think of that would work.

I highly recommend measuring your spacing on the studs before buying new brakes if the bike is from the 80s.
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Old 06-21-16, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
This isn't the whole story. The spacing between the posts has changed. Touring bikes from the 80s tend to have the studs spaced 65mm or so while mountain bikes and modern hybrids, cx and touring bikes seem to be in the 80+mm area. For example on a bianchi randonneur i had the only brakes that would work were vintage dia-compe becuase the posts were placed for 27" wheels. Modern cantis also didn't work on miyata 1000 because the posts were too close together. The shimano altus cantis are the only modern brakes I can think of that would work.

I highly recommend measuring your spacing on the studs before buying new brakes if the bike is from the 80s.
It's a 90's Schwinn Crisscross. CX-ish bike with 700 wheels.
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Old 06-21-16, 11:51 AM
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It probably doesn't suffer from close spacing, I had a 90s miyata tricross that was able to take modern cantis no problem. Easy enough to double check with a ruler if the wheel is off.
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Old 06-21-16, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
It probably doesn't suffer from close spacing, I had a 90s miyata tricross that was able to take modern cantis no problem. Easy enough to double check with a ruler if the wheel is off.
I measured, the posts are 65 in front and 80 in the rear.
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Old 06-21-16, 07:02 PM
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Rim width factors into canti performance too. The typically wide Araya mtn rims from the 80's don't play well with modern canti's. Similar problem as the narrow post placement.
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Old 06-21-16, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Rim width factors into canti performance too. The typically wide Araya mtn rims from the 80's don't play well with modern canti's. Similar problem as the narrow post placement.
Rims are 23mm.

I lied, front bosses are 70mm.

Dia Competition XCM on there now.
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Old 06-22-16, 03:31 AM
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As I continue to replace everything on the bike that must have gone around the planet two or three times...



...I found that the Dia Compe cantilever brakes were badly worn. Not the pads, but the bushings that fit the posts. They were incredibly sloppy fitting. So...

Having only one set of cantilevers on hand, an old set of Weinmanns, I tried a swap. No problem. The Weinmanns fitted just perfectly. I can, however, have a set of Dia Compes off of a couple of scrap bicycles at B4H. I must ask to do so and, these days, I always give a nice donation for anything that I get.

I plan to do some picture taking today. I will snap a shot or two of this fix.
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Old 06-22-16, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
This isn't the whole story. The spacing between the posts has changed. Touring bikes from the 80s tend to have the studs spaced 65mm or so while mountain bikes and modern hybrids, cx and touring bikes seem to be in the 80+mm area. For example on a bianchi randonneur i had the only brakes that would work were vintage dia-compe becuase the posts were placed for 27" wheels. Modern cantis also didn't work on miyata 1000 because the posts were too close together. The shimano altus cantis are the only modern brakes I can think of that would work.

I highly recommend measuring your spacing on the studs before buying new brakes if the bike is from the 80s.
Exactly!

The difference between different brakes is the difference in being able to make them work or not. This is especially evident when going from 27" to 700c.

FWIW- the front bosses on my Voyageur SP Are spaced at 50mm. For real.
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Old 06-22-16, 08:47 AM
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I agree with the points @clasher points out.

In addition, the brakes themselves have a different relationship between the mounts, the pads and the frame. Clearance for the frame varies by brake manufacturer and model. With pads attached, some brakes will clear the frame/fork easily. Others will not. As far as I know, there is no reporting of this measurement.
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Old 06-22-16, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by OrangeBike View Post
Rims are 23mm.

I lied, front bosses are 70mm.

Dia Competition XCM on there now.
Are the XCMaster cantis not working well? I have them(and XCExpert) on 2 bikes that I ride multiple times a week and they perform great. New pads, of course.
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Old 06-22-16, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Are the XCMaster cantis not working well? I have them(and XCExpert) on 2 bikes that I ride multiple times a week and they perform great. New pads, of course.
Don't know, haven't ridden the bike yet.

I don't like them, they're ugly (no offense), looking to spruce it up.
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Old 06-22-16, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by OrangeBike View Post
Don't know, haven't ridden the bike yet.

I don't like them, they're ugly (no offense), looking to spruce it up.
The XCM brakes are the standard DiaCompe low profile design that Shimano copied.

I think they're pretty spiffy looking when they're cleaned up- but then again, the XC Pro cantis are my favorite brake.

If you're lucky, the Tektro 720 will work on there, unless you want to hunt down some XC Pros...
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