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V-brakes vs. Cantilevers

Old 09-09-14, 11:31 AM
  #101  
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I have Vees up front and canti's out back on the Grey Goose.

I did just find the orig. steerer-mounted cable stop and have purchased a new stradle cable yoke so might be back to canti all around soon.
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Old 01-19-15, 04:37 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by stevage View Post
9.5 years.
Make that 15 years....

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Old 01-22-15, 02:57 PM
  #103  
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Might as well keep this thread alive.

I have been on the verge of making an upgrade to disk brakes on my '02 Rockhopper since it does have the mounts, but good V-brakes are so cheap now I decided to try what the internet people claim is the best V-brake system available.

I just ordered front and back Avid sd 7 V-brakes, Avid Speed dial 7 brake levers, new cables and housings, and new Kool Stop mtb dual compound pads. All for $93.00 including shipping via Price Point with their mtb blow-out sale. I hope this new set-up is awesome, it should be in next week. Many people claim the Avid V-brakes are better than the cheaper disc set ups, only time will tell.


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Old 01-22-15, 05:22 PM
  #104  
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15 year old thread, but werent V brakes declared the winner in 1995 or so? Excepting of course cross bikes and touring bikes due to the leverage ratios
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Old 01-22-15, 06:14 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
15 year old thread, but werent V brakes declared the winner in 1995 or so? Excepting of course cross bikes and touring bikes due to the leverage ratios
+1, True, True. Some compare good V's to low end discs. I can't remember anyone comparing cantis to disc, at best only to low end Vs. I had the older, floating head XT Vs with salmon colored koolstops. They stopped every bit as fast as the Avid BB7s's I replaced them with. BUT, the discs modulate way better so I'm glad I made the change. I think turky lurkey is right. If he ever decides to go to discs, I would recommend nothing less than BB 5s or 7s or hydraulic.
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Old 01-22-15, 06:20 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by turky lurkey View Post

I just ordered front and back Avid sd 7 V-brakes, Avid Speed dial 7 brake levers, new cables and housings, and new Kool Stop mtb dual compound pads. All for $93.00 including shipping via Price Point with their mtb blow-out sale. I hope this new set-up is awesome, it should be in next week. Many people claim the Avid V-brakes are better than the cheaper disc set ups, only time will tell.

I would agree about the better V's compared to the low end discs. However, not in the snow or rain. Water is the enemy of rim brakes, all rim brakes. If you're planning on doing a lot of snow riding, discs are the best bet. If $$$ is an issue, try salmon colored koolstop pads in your Vs. They work best under wet conditions and do make a difference. BTW, nice looking Rockhopper. We still have my 05, I'm saving it for my son when he returns from Europe.
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Old 01-22-15, 08:27 PM
  #107  
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I really wanted to post in the oldest thread in the world. I have cantis and disc mtn bikes. I use koolstop salmons and haven't had any problem stopping. Discs are good, but I think overhyped by the industry (especially now being in road bikes)...but the industry has to sell bikes somehow, and what better way than to make people think they have obsolete or "unsafe" bikes
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Old 01-22-15, 10:40 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
I would agree about the better V's compared to the low end discs. However, not in the snow or rain. Water is the enemy of rim brakes, all rim brakes. If you're planning on doing a lot of snow riding, discs are the best bet. If $$$ is an issue, try salmon colored koolstop pads in your Vs. They work best under wet conditions and do make a difference. BTW, nice looking Rockhopper. We still have my 05, I'm saving it for my son when he returns from Europe.
Thanks, I really like my Rockhopper. I just bought it off craigslist a month or so ago and it had hardly been ridden. It is a solid bike that seems to be up to taking a beating. I really think I would have to pay about 5x as much to get something of comparable quality new. I am sure your son will have fun with yours.


The brakes, however, seem to be the only weak link on mine. I think in part it may be because somebody replaced the original levers with some generic unknown make and model. I guess they did it as a byproduct of upgrading the shifters. I have to set the pads ridiculously close to the rims (< 1mm) to have a reasonable brake lever pull. The brakes themselves are low end Shimano's and I seem to have to adjust them after every ride. So I decided to just get rid of the whole braking system and start over.

My original plan was to find some decent used disk wheels and buy new Avid BB7,s and new levers. Which would have cost $250-$300.00 for everything. But in researching all that I came across so many glowing reviews of the Avid V brake system, which could be had at about 1/3 the price (and they are much lighter) that I decided to give V's one more shot. It is mostly dry weather here, though it has been a snowy couple weeks and I try not to let the snow stop me if I have time to ride.

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Old 01-23-15, 08:16 AM
  #109  
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might have to check whether your levers are set for cantilever amount of pull or V brake. That sounds like it could be the problem
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Old 01-23-15, 09:10 AM
  #110  
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This thread...
This thread is only 11 months younger than I am...

This is both inspiring and slightly terrifying...


Personally I use a pair of Shimano cantilevers, that I bought last fall. The old models of Shimano cantilever brakes used a plastic part to hold the spring in position, and these broke very easily. The new ones are actually pretty great quality, all metal, and are holding up well to winter riding. Cantilevers are a bit better for me as I ride in snow and they tend to leave more clearance around the wheel. They have plenty of stopping power, are easy to fix, and most importantly are CHEAP, which is a big deal for someone in my economic standing (unemployed minor).

I will concede though that a more evil to adjust braking system would be hard to come by. Installing both of them took more than an hour, and most of that was
Step 1: adjust
Step 2: tighten (if bumped while tightening, go to step 1)
Step 3: test (if badly aligned, loosen and go to step 1)
Step 4: ride (if badly adjusted, return to step one)
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Old 01-23-15, 10:12 AM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by V73 View Post
This thread...
This thread is only 11 months younger than I am...

This is both inspiring and slightly terrifying...


Personally I use a pair of Shimano cantilevers, that I bought last fall. The old models of Shimano cantilever brakes used a plastic part to hold the spring in position, and these broke very easily. The new ones are actually pretty great quality, all metal, and are holding up well to winter riding. Cantilevers are a bit better for me as I ride in snow and they tend to leave more clearance around the wheel. They have plenty of stopping power, are easy to fix, and most importantly are CHEAP, which is a big deal for someone in my economic standing (unemployed minor).

I will concede though that a more evil to adjust braking system would be hard to come by. Installing both of them took more than an hour, and most of that was
Step 1: adjust
Step 2: tighten (if bumped while tightening, go to step 1)
Step 3: test (if badly aligned, loosen and go to step 1)
Step 4: ride (if badly adjusted, return to step one)
I like cantilevers as well. I have had them on several bikes, as I am typically a bit of a C&V guy and have owned and ridden several mid 80's to early 90's mtb's. One thing I really like about the cantilever brakes is that there is a lot of adjustment possible as far as how much mechanical advantage you want. I like to run the yoke pretty low to get really powerful brakes.
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Old 01-23-15, 10:36 AM
  #112  
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I do wish someone would make an aluminum (or other metal, steel, lead, I don't care) replacement for those plastic spring holders on the 90's shimano cantilevers. I have a couple pairs I liked really well, but when those things broke, it made adjusting the spring tension a pain in the ass, so they're sitting in my parts bin not doing anything and I'd love to throw some KoolStop salmons on them and get them back on the road.
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Old 01-23-15, 10:40 AM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by V73 View Post
This thread...
This thread is only 11 months younger than I am...

This is both inspiring and slightly terrifying...


I have a 1990-ish Trek 830 with cantis and they don't compare to newer v-brakes even with new, good quality pads. But maybe being 25 years old has something to do with that...
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Old 01-23-15, 05:27 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
might have to check whether your levers are set for cantilever amount of pull or V brake. That sounds like it could be the problem
+1, you beat me too it. Even cheap, Wally World V brake levers will allow for proper clearance and good braking pressure, that's one of the advantages of V's. Sounds like someone put canti levers on cause that's exactly how they would act.
Turky Lurkey, there is a measurement you can make to determine which type of lever you've got. I used to know it by heart, but can't remember now.
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Old 01-23-15, 06:04 PM
  #115  
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might have to check whether your levers are set for cantilever amount of pull or V brake. That sounds like it could be the problem
+1, you beat me too it. Even cheap, Wally World V brake levers will allow for proper clearance and good braking pressure, that's one of the advantages of V's. Sounds like someone put canti levers on cause that's exactly how they would act.
Turky Lurkey, there is a measurement you can make to determine which type of lever you've got. I used to know it by heart, but can't remember now.
Thanks for the insight guys. I had actually already considered that somebody might have installed canti levers, but I haven't bothered to try and figure it out. Though I probably should find out how to make the determination so I know whats in my parts bin (I'll google that next!). I guess I just didn't bother because I knew at the very least I would need to swap out the levers, and I should install new cables at the same time. I also need new brake pads, and since I am going that far I might as well slap on some top notch brake arms while I am it (since they are cheap at the moment). If nothing else I just want to find out how well a highly rated V-brake system can perform, for curiosity sake as much as anything else.
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Old 01-25-15, 11:25 PM
  #116  
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I changed my mind again. I found a good deal on a quality, lightly used set of disc compatible wheels today. I am going to send the V's back and order a set of Avid bb7's.
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Old 01-26-15, 11:31 AM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
15 year old thread, but werent V brakes declared the winner in 1995 or so? Excepting of course cross bikes and touring bikes due to the leverage ratios
I'm curious why touring bikes have/need different leverage ratios than any other type of bike. Can you explain the reasoning there?? Thanks!

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Old 01-26-15, 12:15 PM
  #118  
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Road levers and Canti levers pull less cable than v-brake levers.

Some mtb levers can be switched from canti to vee pull.
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Old 01-26-15, 10:32 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I do wish someone would make an aluminum (or other metal, steel, lead, I don't care) replacement for those plastic spring holders on the 90's shimano cantilevers. I have a couple pairs I liked really well, but when those things broke, it made adjusting the spring tension a pain in the ass, so they're sitting in my parts bin not doing anything and I'd love to throw some KoolStop salmons on them and get them back on the road.
I agree with you completely. I'm a resourcefulness NUT (I got this laptop from the garbage ) and it irks me to have a bunch of old brakes lying around that would work fine if it weren't for a single badly designed part. The new brakes that Shimano makes to replace them are great but why buy new what you can fix? If I ever figure out a good solution I'll post it here as this thread will most certainly still exist.
-V
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Old 09-21-15, 07:22 PM
  #120  
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Much like this thread the debate will never die.

Though I have upgrade question about the two.

Backstory: I'm newer to the off road side of cycling and have a '04 Frankenbike that is slowly becoming a monstercross/rigid single track bike. My levers are a Shimano 105 9speed and a Cane Creek SCR-5. It currently has generic no label Shimano Cantilevered brakes with kool stops

BUT In my spares bin I have both upgraded Cantis (Avid Shorty 6) and V brakes (Avid Single digit 3r). I like the modulation of the cantis and have only found myself wanting more power on the steepest of descents. I realize that I will need travel agents if I go to v brakes but I want to pick up the wide cable hangers if I stick with cantis so I can move to a 40c tire so it is a bust on price. Both need new pads again even on cost.

I am at a total loss about which one to go with...even after reading all 15 years of this thread, please help.

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Old 09-21-15, 07:52 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by Butchchr View Post
Much like this thread the debate will never die.

Though I have upgrade question about the two.

Backstory: I'm newer to the off road side of cycling and have a '04 Frankenbike that is slowly becoming a monstercross/rigid single track bike. My levers are a Shimano 105 9speed and a Cane Creek SCR-5. It currently has generic no label Shimano Cantilevered brakes with kool stops

BUT In my spares bin I have both upgraded Cantis (Avid Shorty 6) and V brakes (Avid Single digit 3r). I like the modulation of the cantis and have only found myself wanting more power on the steepest of descents. I realize that I will need travel agents if I go to v brakes but I want to pick up the wide cable hangers if I stick with cantis so I can move to a 40c tire so it is a bust on price. Both need new pads again even on cost.

I am at a total loss about which one to go with...even after reading all 15 years of this thread, please help.

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Mini v-brakes. Use road levers, all the benefits of v-brakes, none of the crap of canti's. Basic tektro ones are cheap, super easy to setup and stop the bike, quickly. I can fit 40 mm tires with my mini v's.
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Old 09-22-15, 01:38 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
15 year old thread, but werent V brakes declared the winner in 1995 or so? Excepting of course cross bikes and touring bikes due to the leverage ratios
Pretty much this.

Having been in the sport since 1990, I cannot recall one piece of equipment that had such a rapid adoption rate. Not suspension, not disc brakes, nothing. When Vs came out, all serious MTBers got em. Overnight. And never looked back

Also, it killed the entire aftermarket brake industry
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Old 09-22-15, 09:54 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by DavoColo View Post
Okay, this thread is (maybe not quite as) relevant as ever. But I just picked up a Surly Cross Check -- a frame around when this thread started and still around today -- and came here for an answer to a variation on our now age-old question: If I switch from drop bars to flat bars, keeping stock brakes, what levers do I use?

My next question would be: Why do the stock Tektro Oryx brakes provide so little stopping power? I bought the bike -- a 2010 -- just slightly used. But the breaks seriously have little to no power. Would an adjustment and new brake shoes give me something worth bothering with? Since I rarely if ever ride in mud here in the semi-desert part of Colorado, my inclination is to give up on cantilevers entirely and go with TRP CX9 short-arm linear-pull cyclocross brakes. A little less clearance, a lot more stopping power, I hear. If I did that, what flat-bar levers would I use?

Those are general questions. Does anyone have specific, state-of-the-art but not-freakishly-expensive, recommendations for specific flat-bar brake-lever models to go with the Oryx cantis or the CX9 linear-pulls?

Thanks for the opportunity to participate in the World's Oldest Thread.
Tektro Oryx have a beyond 90 angle in them, which is why they suck. Cantis with more than 90 angle don't have much mecanical leverage nomatter how you adjust them, or use v-brake levers. None of the 180 designs I've ever worked with ever stopped too much better than old mtb style stampsteel side pulls.

Yep I jumped off the bridge with the rest of you.
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Old 09-22-15, 10:18 PM
  #124  
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This may be the oldest thread on BF still being updated but it's not the longest, not by a long shot.

So I have no complaints about cantis. My experience with the tektro oryx is really different than jax's. I picked up a 2009 fuji touring with oryx cantilevers and I've been pleasantly surprised by how well they stop.

Even though I'm a long time canti fan, I like the way v brakes work a lot. Picked up a 1992 trek 950 recently; the PO had v brakes installed. I've been riding that bike a lot and I'm impressed with how well the v brakes work.
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Old 09-22-15, 10:40 PM
  #125  
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Cantis work great for me. WAY better if you wanna run fenders.
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