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Rim brakes on a touring bike

Old 05-05-20, 03:53 PM
  #76  
Doug64
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There has been only one time that I ever wished I had disc brakes. I was decending a hill down to the Saskatchewan River into Medicine Hat, Alberta when I hit a large piece of metal on the shoulder of the road. It blew my tire and put a large bulge in the rim's sidewall. The rim was still round and true, so I put a new tube in and headed into Medicine Hat without the use of my front brake. I called the guy in Portland, Oregon who built the wheels and asked about hammering the bulge out. He advised against it, and said a new rim would be the best thing to do. And with over 1,500 miles to go, riding without my front brake was not an option. Luckily, there was a bike shop in town with one wheel that would work.

The bulge is at about the 9 o'clock position.



I almost cried when I watched the mechanic cutting my hub out of the wheel, but it was a good hub that was mailed home. My bike with the new wheel is in the background.

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Old 05-05-20, 06:08 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
You can't be serious. Sorry, I tour on cantis, and have been on bigger descents than that. I also commuted in the Ozarks for a couple of years and had much steeper descents, every day, loaded. I live in Western PA and have a number of 20 percent grades within a mile or two of me and cantis work just fine. I would even say I feel more comfortable using cantis on long grades than some disk brakes since I have no fear of them overheating and causing brake fade.

Disc brakes are fantastic, but there is nothing at all wrong with cantis.

I will add, that I rarely ride the brakes during a long descent, I prefer to blast to the bottom. Wind resistance tends to limit top speed anyway, so sitting up effectively keeps my speed to around 40-45 max. On my commute in the Ozarks I would have to pedal furiously to hit 45mph on a descent.
I actually agree that cantilevers are a viable option, fine, and adequate. However, I apologize for omitting the fact that I know from experience that V-brakes will stop faster and are therefore better in any sort of emergency. I've few, but enough close calls with my old center-pulls, side-pulls and cantilevers in 100k miles of cycling in a lifetime, that I appreciate the extra margin of safety provided by V-brake’s (and dual-pivot brake’s) extra stopping power.

And you’re all correct, I do look like a big dumbass. A 2 mile 6% grade is no big deal. What I could/should have explained is:

The noob OP (no offense meant) asked if he should upgrade his cantilevers to V-brakes to go touring. He doesn’t state the distance, the terrain or his experience, yet denys that he is a noob. I’m worried that he would go down a 2 mile 6% decent at 40 mph, find a car turning left only 100 feet in front of him and being inexperienced, start braking, find out that cantilevers that work great with moderate pressure at 15 mph are not half as effect at that 40

Also agreed there’s nothing better; descending at 45mph in the Ozarks, but when that fisherman’s trailer comes around the corner and that boat starts drifting into your lane…
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Old 05-05-20, 06:10 PM
  #78  
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here's an interesting issue that my neighbour is having with his shimano hydraulic disc rear brake. Since last year he mentioned that the lever sometimes would go to the handlebar (hybrid bike, so straight type bar) but then be ok. I looked at it and then thought maybe it was because he hangs his bike from a hook in his garage, so I thought maybe an air bubble was moving somewhere from the resevoir , I thought he hung it bars down.
Thought this was the issue, as it worked fine after being kept on two wheels, but recently he told me its doing it again , lever to bars and little braking.
I tried it and sure enough, I couldnt lock the wheel. The pad material was thin but still ok, from my experience with my mechanical discs I found his pad material thickness alright, not great but ok.
My concern was fluid loss, so I told him to look all around for any sign of leakage, either wet or even just lots of accumulated dirt in places , but it didnt look like we could spot a leak.

anyway, the other day he told me that he removed the caliper from the bike frame, took out the pads and pulled the lever to see if the pistons were moving. Says one moved out, the other didnt much, but also said that he saw some leakage near the seat of the piston...

I dont have any hydraulic bicycle brake experience, but this guys experience is one that is exactly why I didnt want hydro discs. He doesnt ride in winter, he doesnt ride very much, and the bike is kept in his garage. Pretty average regular Joe bike experience, and the bike cant have many kilometres on it, is only 2 years old probably.

His mid level deore flat bar setup is a totally common and presumably reliable, and uses shimano mineral oil, so I dont know if hanging in his garage near the door it either got frozen and or maybe heated up a lot if it was near a hot water rad.....as it appears that there is a seal failure, fluid loss, and probably the fluid contaminated the pads too....

the other possibility is that he has kids and a pretty busy garage, so whol knows, they could have banged the bike with something, who knows, although the leak he says he saw at the piston doesnt bode well, and that couldnt be from an impact issue....and doesnt appear to be a housing damage issue...

so just a real life story of hydros and why I prefer mechanicals for never having to worry about stuff like this.
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Old 05-05-20, 06:33 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by joel1952 View Post
I actually agree that cantilevers are a viable option, fine, and adequate. However, I apologize for omitting the fact that I know from experience that V-brakes will stop faster and are therefore better in any sort of emergency. I've few, but enough close calls with my old center-pulls, side-pulls and cantilevers in 100k miles of cycling in a lifetime, that I appreciate the extra margin of safety provided by V-brake’s (and dual-pivot brake’s) extra stopping power.

And you’re all correct, I do look like a big dumbass. A 2 mile 6% grade is no big deal. What I could/should have explained is:

The noob OP (no offense meant) asked if he should upgrade his cantilevers to V-brakes to go touring. He doesn’t state the distance, the terrain or his experience, yet denys that he is a noob. I’m worried that he would go down a 2 mile 6% decent at 40 mph, find a car turning left only 100 feet in front of him and being inexperienced, start braking, find out that cantilevers that work great with moderate pressure at 15 mph are not half as effect at that 40

Also agreed there’s nothing better; descending at 45mph in the Ozarks, but when that fisherman’s trailer comes around the corner and that boat starts drifting into your lane…
thanks Joel for getting back. You certainly do have lots of riding experience, and I agree, V-brakes are quite a bit stronger than cantis, well the cantis anyway that Ive ridden on over the last 30 years and continue to ride on. My one V-brake bike is an old mtn bike, top end one from the late 90s and its v-brakes (probably xt) are good and strong and certainly nice to use when Ive used that bike touring in mountainy terrain in latin america.

and yes, until anyone has gone downhill loaded up where not too many inattentive seconds can turn into a runaway train scenario for braking, its a valid concern to bring up for someone who hasnt toured yet. As you say with your good example of cantis at 15mph vs 40, throw in a much heavier bike and not having the experience riding a fully loaded bike downhill, and its easy to get into a dicey situation--I'm sure most of us have stories where nothing happened , but it darn well could have, when we were young and stupid, or old and stupid, or whatever ;-)
I know I have, been stupid that is. Close calls like yours that could have been ugly.

I come back to my winter driving example, you can't go down the road or highway on ice and snow at speeds like you do on a dry pavement day in summer.
Its up to us to evaluate our stopping distances and times for driving a car in winter, just as it is for our bicycles.
Learn proper braking techniques, HARD front application and minimize dragging the brakes.

safe riding all.
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Old 05-05-20, 07:01 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by joel1952 View Post

And you’re all correct, I do look like a big dumbass. A 2 mile 6% grade is no big deal. What I could/should have explained is:

The noob OP (no offense meant) asked if he should upgrade his cantilevers to V-brakes to go touring. He doesn’t state the distance, the terrain or his experience, yet denys that he is a noob. I’m worried that he would go down a 2 mile 6% decent at 40 mph, find a car turning left only 100 feet in front of him and being inexperienced, start braking, find out that cantilevers that work great with moderate pressure at 15 mph are not half as effect at that 40

Also agreed there’s nothing better; descending at 45mph in the Ozarks, but when that fisherman’s trailer comes around the corner and that boat starts drifting into your lane…
Your hyperbole is ridiculous. Sorry, but I have no problems stopping with my cantis from 45mph, when I am actually going that fast. I can reach the point of braking threshold with my brakes, which means the point in which the tire begins to lose traction. Any more than that, and you are skidding, which in turn makes you lose some control. That is all I need in a brake. Yes, V-brakes have more power, generally speaking. That doesn't mean though that the OP will go down in a fiery crash as he loses braking as his one carbon fiber accessory bursts into flames, if he or she decides to use cantis.

Please. I have no issues creating down a big grade if I so desire, and in many ways, as stated before, I would feel better doing so with cantis or V-brakes than with a lot of the disc brakes available for bikes, because they will dissipate heat better, therefore, less chance of brake fade, in fact, I have never experienced brake fade with cantis, or V-brakes, or any other rim brake, but I have with disc. Disc brakes though, generally speaking, work better in wet weather, although good pads enable rim brakes to perform very well in wet weather. Mine stop perfectly fine in wet weather. I toured in a lot of it last summer. Discs are great in rain though.

There is nothing wrong with cantis, they stop fine, even in an emergency situation. I can do stoppies on my Long Haul Trucker, with it unloaded. I did it yesterday with eh bags on. There are always some things in the bags, but essentially they are unloaded. The dire warnings about cantis are absurd. People safely toured with them, and yes, even stopped with them for many years before V-brakes became popular. By the way, V-brakes are actually cantilever brakes, more specifically, direct pull, side pull cantilever brakes.

I love disc brakes, but for my touring bike, I prefer rim brakes, and at the moment, cantis. I will most likely be replacing my brakes at some point, since mine are a low end model and I would prefer something a little better, mine flex a lot, and they are not really tight on the mounts, the arms wiggle a lot, but they stop well. I will replace them with...cantis. Because I like them, they work very well with wide tires and wider fenders, whereas V-brakes don't always fit well. That, and I simply like them. They work.
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Old 05-05-20, 07:11 PM
  #81  
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Ok...so using your head and listening to conditions is the way to go with any brake, regardless of whether it's cantis or disks. Canti's will do the trick for now with the bike I have and if I upgrade I'll get a complete bike with mechanical disk brakes.

I haven't ridden a loaded touring bike yet but for my first foray out I plan on taking a small day trip to a local campsite to check the bike's handling and see how my gear works out. That's the test I think will let me get a feel for what I'm riding. There's a downhill going to the campsite that will test the braking system and if I'm lucky the conditions will be dry. I'll try to test them in rainy conditions too but will do my best to control the bike.

I'll do the best with what I have and decide on changes as necessary. Thank you one and all for your help here!
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Old 05-05-20, 08:57 PM
  #82  
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Something that has not been mentioned is proper braking technique. This is a portion of Sheldon Brown's take on braking techniqe. I was taught a similar technique with a slight weight shift to the rear, then hammer that front brake. 0n a loaded touring bike there is already a lot of weight on the rear wheel and some on the front so the shift is less important

Maximum Deceleration--Emergency Stops

The fastest that you can stop any bike of normal wheelbase is to apply the front brake so hard that the rear wheel is just about to lift off the ground. In this situation, the rear wheel cannot contribute to stopping power, since it has no traction.- Shedon Brown
This is the entire article:Sheldon Brown on brakes.

There is another technique for making an emergency turn. Lean in the direction you want turn pushing the bars and wheel in the opposite direction , then turn in the direction you want to go. I think it may be called a counter steering turn. You can make close to a 90 degree turn going 15+ mph using this move.

It is the same phenomenon that causes crashes while drafting. A rider gets too close overlaps the rear wheel of the bike in front of him, and leans away from the other rider. This forces the drafting rider's front wheel into the rear wheel of the rider in front. It is the rear rider who goes down, and it happens very fast. I've got several scars to veriify that statement. I ride down a short 10% hill almost daily year-round, and get close to 30mph near the bottom. There is a cross street near the bottom that is a main artery for parents taking their kids to a nearby school. I can't even begin to count the times in the last 10 years that parents have made left turns in front of me, pulled out of the cross street in front of me or tried to pass me. There is a true 20 mph turn at the bottom and they don't realize how fast I am going. We finally learned to really take the lane aggressively, which eliminated a lot of the passing. Granted I am not loaded, just carrying my gym gear, but I have done a lot of "emergency stops in both wet and dry conditions ( it does rain a little in Oregon). I have lights and wear hi-viz clothing , but I even had a school bus pull out in front of me. I think that the drivers under estimate the speed of a bike on that little hill.

My point is that I have complete confidence in my cantilever brakes and my bike handling skills.

Last edited by Doug64; 05-06-20 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 05-05-20, 09:14 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Absolutely fair enough, and the change to a v type and levers that will work properly, if he feels the need and is sure the bike fits him well and is in good shape, is a relatively inexpensive change, but still requires more than new pads.

It is rare to hit long steep downhills, and if you keep things in control on most hills, it works out.

Have you toured Joel?
The advantage of Mini V-brakes is that they use the same levers as cantilevers. I wouldn't have suggested the upgrade if it required levers. Cantilevers and Mini V-brakes are "Standard Pull" 7mm, in regard to cable travel. Long pull levers 15mm are used with standard V-brakes. Thus mini v-brakes have about half the advantage of V-brakes.
Cable Lever and Brake Compatibility

I only do a occasional 4-day trip. I Mostly just road ride 40-70 miles, 160 miles/wk, And an occasional 100 miler on my own, just to say I did it.

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Old 05-05-20, 09:38 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by joel1952 View Post
Mini V-brakes also use cantilever pads, not standard V-brake pads
I'm sorry I don't understand. I run mini v's on one of my cycle cross bikes and use Kool stop salmon replaceable V type brake pads with the compatible alloy holder. In fact I use the same pads and holder in my canti brakes, and I also at one time used the same on my Shimano standard linear v brakes as well. Love em'
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Old 05-05-20, 10:02 PM
  #85  
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We tour on our steel, rim-braked tandem. Our all-up weight in sport trim is about 335. We run Avid 7 V-brakes with Travel Agents, using 9 or 10 speed Ultegra road brifters. This all works fine now. I say "now" because we did blow a few tires off rims on what were really minor descents compared to what one encounters on tour. The secret to rim brakes on a heavy bike is deep alu rims, 25-30mm deep. Once we switched to deep rims, no more blown off tires. That said, I would not want to make a steep switchback pass descent on this bike, even in sport trim. I would very definitely recommend switching to V-brakes and Travel Agents. That's quite inexpensive and the V-brakes are very powerful and easy to set up.

It's our touring bike, too. When we tour, we switch out the rear wheel to one with the coveted Arai drum brake, with which we can descend anything.

Yes, wet and dirty rim brakes in the rain, have to apply them at least 50' before anything really happens. That just means being conservative and also somewhat lucky. But luck finds those who are conservative anyway. Rubbing alcohol is wonderful for cleaning the rims before a ride.

My worst rim brake experience was doing a winter rando training ride, which all involve a lot of climbing. In this case, we climbed out of the rain and into very wet snow. The wet snow soon covered our rims with ice. Ice is very slick. It turns out that rim brakes can't generate enough drag to melt said ice. Luckily, we only had to come to a full stop a couple of times. The other feature of this snow is we fairly quickly had only one one usable cog in back, though we still had 3 rings in front. We descended down out of the snow without a major disaster, though we did get two flats, once on each end, while up there in the snow. Once down, we bailed along with another tandem couple, the course running about a mile from our house. We partied all afternoon and them drove back to the start in our truck with the other tandem, sorted vehicles and went back home. Isn't rando fun?
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Old 05-05-20, 10:18 PM
  #86  
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The bottom line is, for the most part, any of the brakes available today, cantis, v-brakes, or disc brakes can work well for touring, just get ones that can handle the task. For disc brakes, get appropriately sized discs, and consider mechanical vs hydraulic, since cables can be easily replaced by the side of the road with off the shelf parts available almost anywhere. That is only opinion though, and hydraulic brakes work nicely. Whatever brakes you use, be sure they are adjusted properly.

Braking power is more easily modulated on my bike with canitis, but the v-brakes on another bike we have are more on/off. Modulation is something to think about, and some brakes are worse than others.

Knowing how to brake effectively is very important, and another poster mentioned. Practicing that will help immensely when confronted with a panic stop. I had a car pass me, then immediately turn right in front of me, as I was doing about 21mph. I brakes hard on both brakes, and laid a very long black mark with the rear, since all the weight shifted forward. Which is why you need to know how to use your from break hard. I stopped before hitting the car, only to be greeted with the confused stares from the driver and his passengers. Oh, the brakes were my canits.
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Old 05-05-20, 11:10 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
I'm sorry I don't understand. I run mini v's on one of my cycle cross bikes and use Kool stop salmon replaceable V type brake pads with the compatible alloy holder. In fact I use the same pads and holder in my canti brakes, and I also at one time used the same on my Shimano standard linear v brakes as well. Love em'
Right.Thanks I got that wrong

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Old 05-06-20, 09:04 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
...
I haven't ridden a loaded touring bike yet but for my first foray out I plan on taking a small day trip to a local campsite to check the bike's handling and see how my gear works out. That's the test I think will let me get a feel for what I'm riding. There's a downhill going to the campsite that will test the braking system and if I'm lucky the conditions will be dry. I'll try to test them in rainy conditions too but will do my best to control the bike.

I'll do the best with what I have and decide on changes as necessary. Thank you one and all for your help here!
The first time you try to stop with a bike that has 40 or 50 more pounds of weight on it, you will be surprised how the brakes did not work as well as you anticipated. But, all that means is that with a heavy bike you need to anticipate better.

On very rare occasion, you can get a sudden surprise shimmy on the bike at a higher speed. If that happens, you can often negate it by pressing a knee against the top tube. If you have never ridden that bike with a load before, it would be a good idea to try to press a knee against the top tube a couple times when you are coasting, so if your bike suddenly starts to shake, you know exactly what to do because you did it before.

First time with a load on the bike, put your panniers on the rear rack as far forward as you can without having a heel strike problem, do that because if the center of gravity on the rack is farther back than it needs to be, the bike can feel a bit unstable.
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Old 05-06-20, 11:00 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The first time you try to stop with a bike that has 40 or 50 more pounds of weight on it, you will be surprised how the brakes did not work as well as you anticipated. But, all that means is that with a heavy bike you need to anticipate better.

On very rare occasion, you can get a sudden surprise shimmy on the bike at a higher speed. If that happens, you can often negate it by pressing a knee against the top tube. If you have never ridden that bike with a load before, it would be a good idea to try to press a knee against the top tube a couple times when you are coasting, so if your bike suddenly starts to shake, you know exactly what to do because you did it before.

First time with a load on the bike, put your panniers on the rear rack as far forward as you can without having a heel strike problem, do that because if the center of gravity on the rack is farther back than it needs to be, the bike can feel a bit unstable.
great tips.
another little thing to help how a bike handles and rides loaded with front and rear panniers, is to keep the weights more or less even side to side. If you can , don't overweight the back of the bike, as this puts extra strain on the rear wheel spokes, cuz your body mass is more at the rear also---AND it can make the bike squirrelly handling wise.

I can only speak for my Caravan, but my take is that coming from the Japanese, where people are slighter, its more suited to a light to medium load. Im a lightweight, so fit into the Japanese mold, but this is still a bike frame from the late 80s early 90s, and they werent generally as stiff as more modern frames. Unloaded the Caravan has a lovely flex to it, which makes for a really nice ride feel. Loaded it certainly does flex, and I never really knew any better back in the day, but noticed the difference after I started riding a tough aluminum mtb from the late 90s, and then about 10 years ago when I bought an aluminum cyclocross bike basically as a replacement for the Caravan tourer.
The cross bike was markedly more stiff and even allowed me to stand and pedal when fully loaded, which I tended not to do on the Caravan because of frame flex.

so if you can, try to keep the load to 40 or so pounds, but you'll see how it feels when you start doing some rides with panniers on it.
Do keep in mind to try out different weight placement try outs, front back etc, to see how it feels riding. My front rack back in the day was a rack typical of the day, aluminum blackburn low rider, and they werent overly stiff also, and my front panniers were really small, so maybe you'll have better racks already than what I had and this will help.

anyway, like tourist said, be cautious and observant at first, and it is really going to feel fricken weird first time fully loaded. You'll be at a snails pace, so just accept it for what it is, and you'll see that any small gradient will need so much more work from you, and shifting down into the small front ring, but thats what its for, so downshift downshift and downshift--your knees will be happier.
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Old 05-06-20, 12:52 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
There has been only one time that I ever wished I had disc brakes. I was decending a hill down to the Saskatchewan River into Medicine Hat, Alberta when I hit a large piece of metal on the shoulder of the road. It blew my tire and put a large bulge in the rim's sidewall. The rim was still round and true, so I put a new tube in and headed into Medicine Hat without the use of my front brake. I called the guy in Portland, Oregon who built the wheels and asked about hammering the bulge out. He advised against it, and said a new rim would be the best thing to do. And with over 1,500 miles to go, riding without my front brake was not an option. Luckily, there was a bike shop in town with one wheel that would work.

The bulge is at about the 9 o'clock position.
I hit a chunk of concrete on a downhill once, and did the same to my rim. I reshaped it with a hammer and block, like you use for bodywork. Once I finished, I was surprised to find the rim was still true. They were the stock LHT rims. I did have them de-tensioned and re-tensioned when I bought the bike though. I did that in 2015, and the rims are still doing well, even after fully loaded touring.
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Old 05-06-20, 04:10 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by av1 View Post
God bless the rim brakes!
They are the best ever, and I believe they are the best ever because I say so......

You know they sell mechanical disc brakes that are dual pull now. Of course your wheels have to accommodate discs.
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Old 05-07-20, 02:44 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
They are the best ever, and I believe they are the best ever because I say so......

You know they sell mechanical disc brakes that are dual pull now. Of course your wheels have to accommodate discs.

Really?! And what else they sell that we should have?
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Old 05-07-20, 06:50 AM
  #93  
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Ask MR Orange.
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Old 05-07-20, 08:33 AM
  #94  
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Mr Orange can't talk. Mr White made sure of that.
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Old 05-07-20, 08:47 AM
  #95  
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Mr Orange is dead. He hit a brick wall as his disc brake run out of oil or something.
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Old 05-07-20, 09:12 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
And you know what, if they had good pads and were adjusted right, it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference going down that 2 mile 6% descent. He'd get the same braking as he would with V Brakes, and possibly better than some cheap discs. Manufacturers didn't like cantis because they were fiddly to install. Punters don't like cantis because they are fiddly, you need to learn something to adjust them.
My first tour was on cantis on my 1992 MTB, 5 weeks, lots of downhills in Japan, they worked fine pulling up 320lbs. Next couple of tours were on V brakes because I got a new $70 MTB- they were fine too. Tours since then on discs because I got a great deal on some wheels withdiscs and a Rohloff. I'm now on my 3rd disc upgrade to solve a fading problem I didn't have with cantis or Vs. Think they are OK now, 203mm two piece discs and semi metallic pads does the trick when you are stopping 330lbs
You are getting at, I think, the questiion that I have about the comparison between normal cantilever brakes and V brakes. Under what conditions will V brakes work better and what are the drawbacks of normal cantilevers under those conditions. And what about normal old center pull brakes? What do V brakes do that MAFAC racers or Weinmann 999 brakes won't do?
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Old 05-07-20, 12:24 PM
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*quietly excuses self...
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Old 05-07-20, 01:43 PM
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Oh no... you started this thing and you have to stick around till it's finished.
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Old 05-07-20, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
You are getting at, I think, the questiion that I have about the comparison between normal cantilever brakes and V brakes. Under what conditions will V brakes work better and what are the drawbacks of normal cantilevers under those conditions. And what about normal old center pull brakes? What do V brakes do that MAFAC racers or Weinmann 999 brakes won't do?
I am sure you will find many reasons that various people cite for why there was a shift from canti brakes to V brakes. But one reason is that canti brakes on a bike without fenders could have the straddle or yoke cable catch on the tire if the main cable failed, causing sudden wheel stop. Manufacturers for liability reasons chose to seek alternatives to a canti brake with a standard straddle or yoke cable.
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Old 05-07-20, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
You are getting at, I think, the questiion that I have about the comparison between normal cantilever brakes and V brakes. Under what conditions will V brakes work better and what are the drawbacks of normal cantilevers under those conditions. And what about normal old center pull brakes? What do V brakes do that MAFAC racers or Weinmann 999 brakes won't do?
V Brakes are definitely easier to work with, there are a couple of less parameters to work with, like not having a variable length straddle cable that can change the characteristics of the brake by changing leverage ratios. Because pads were post mount in the canti era that was another variable that, combined with the straddle cable, could affect the performance of canti brakes, more or less pad projection changed the leverage ratio, plus posts made it more difficult to adjust them, you needed to be an octopus if you didn't know what you were doing. Early V brakes were post mount too, and they were annoying, but changes in the pad projection didn't affect the leverage ratio as much as cantis because of the angles of the arms. Plus there was the straddle cable liability issue mentioned by TMSN, not a big thing on a quality bike, but make it cheap and failure prone and you have a problem.
V brakes were a step up in power from caliper brakes due to the pivots being mounted on the forks or frame below the rim. This uses the strength of the frame as a structural part of the brake. The distance from the pivot to the pads is quite short which means there is more leverage from the actuating arm. The cable pull point is even further out, so the force needed on the cable is much less, the cable needs more pull distance wise, but less force wise. Center pulls were a sort of midway step between single pivot calipers and Canti/Vs The pivots on the outrigger center section reduce the distance from the pivot to the pad. But still not as close as a V brake or canti. The actuating arm is on the other side of the pivot as well, so it needs to be much stronger because the force from the straddle cable end is nearly the same as the force on the pad end and this needs to be transferred around the hinge point. Because all the forces are contained within the brake itself, to make good center pulls is harder than to make good V or Canti brakes. It might help to think of the situation as being akin to nutcrackers and scissor ;like salad tongs, sort of. Cantis and V brakes are nut crackers Calipers are salad tongs. To make salad tongs that would crush nuts you need to make them very strong...
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