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HiTen stays. Should I upgrade my mtb?

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HiTen stays. Should I upgrade my mtb?

Old 11-23-22, 05:22 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Soody
stupidly
Unnecessary. Keep it civil.
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Old 11-23-22, 05:22 PM
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As for the braking, i haven't known those stamped steel plastic covered junk brakes to actually flex badly so I don't see why they would impact braking. The levers look like short pull (right) and you have high mechanical advantage from a very short straddle cable (technically, too much), so they should be powerful. You just need new pads. Kool stop pads are the best, but even just the cheapest possible new thing would be a major improvement over awful hard 'vintage' cheap ones.
I would also upgrade the front arms while you're at it. The ones i like are the shimano medium profile ones (like below), from altus to xt for about 5 years all basically the same, just different finishes, always seem to work really well. It's hard to say why different arms are good or not aside from flex and play and some say the wide-profile ones are stronger but i haven't found that and i would put it down to 'magic' and recommend you find some of these out of a parts bin and clean them and put new pads on and you will get good braking.

Also not sure why you deleted the headset cable stop. I would prefer you use that as it looks cool having a long exposed cable running to your brake. If it's flexy get a less flexy one.



I would also suggest you get some nicer pedals.
As for how good a bike is, i've loved some pretty cheap bikes and not been that into some fancy ones generally a 'nice' bike is 'nice' but not braking well is a problem you can fix and how much you like something is how much you like it.
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Old 11-23-22, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky
Unnecessary. Keep it civil.
it's a term of endearment
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Old 11-23-22, 05:31 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Honestly, there is nothing that you can do to improve the action of your rear cantilever brake. The problem isnít with the brakes but with the design of the bike.
Agree about the braking. It is nice being able to easily dismount through the middle though, with bulky stuff on a rear rack.
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Old 11-23-22, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Honestly, there is nothing that you can do to improve the action of your rear cantilever brake. The problem isn’t with the brakes but with the design of the bike. You can improve the action slightly by going with longer cable housing on the front but that will only be a slight improvement. The problem is the tortuous route of the cabling on the rear brake. The red line in the picture below is the route of the cable. It has two rather sharp bends in the housing to get the cable to align with the brake straddle cable. The cable simply can’t move freely enough.

If the cable could run along the green line, the brakes would work much better but you can’t have the cable just hanging in air and make it work either.


If you are going to replace the bike to replace the rear triangle, you should get a bike with a larger front diamond frame but a change in material won’t make this frame work better.
I wonder if I could run a v-brake in the rear, face the noodle down, and come up from below? Has anyone seen that done?


Regarding the diamond frame, I need the step through due to hip mobility issues. Makes the ride much more pleasant if I have to dismount to walk the bike past rough parts.
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Old 11-23-22, 05:39 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Soody
I'd like to know if your stupidly long stem makes the front end of the bike super flexy and it handles wierd, or is scary down hills, aside from the braking. If not it's perfectly fine and i'd keep the bike because the colourscheme is really nice.
Actually I haven't notice it being especially flexy or weird in handling.
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Old 11-23-22, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky
I think you are saying "action" to mean the feel of the brake. I mostly agree with you that there is going to be a ceiling to how well the rear brake will feel. That cable routing is tortuous, but I do think the OP can improve brake performance with new pads. A new brake could also improve things too since those cantilevers with plastic arms can flex and reduce brake feel as well.
Actually, I mean the way the brake functions. Iíve worked on a whole lot of this kind of bike. Thereís not much that can be done to improve the brakes, especially cantilever brakes. New pads and new brakes wonít really help. The roller at the top of the seat stay is just too tight a corner to have the brakes work any better. Itís a bad design and nothing short of not using that kind of frame will fix it.

A v-brake works better for this kind of frame but that isnít an option for this bike. It just doesnít have the stop necessary to anchor the cable.
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Old 11-23-22, 05:50 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Soody

Also not sure why you deleted the headset cable stop. I would prefer you use that as it looks cool having a long exposed cable running to your brake. If it's flexy get a less flexy one.

I would also suggest you get some nicer pedals.
I switched to the bottom mount cable stop because I wanted more room for the handle bar bag which isn't shown in the photo. I suppose I could route the front brake housing over the front of the bar and down into the middle space and use the upper cable stop. It has a barrel adjuster that would be nice.
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Old 11-23-22, 06:00 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by kommisar
I wonder if I could run a v-brake in the rear, face the noodle down, and come up from below? Has anyone seen that done?
.
I reckon that would work.

Originally Posted by cyccommute
A v-brake works better for this kind of frame but that isnít an option for this bike. It just doesnít have the stop necessary to anchor the cable.
Pretty easy to add a stop. Just steal a barrell adjuster from an old caliper brake and hose clamp it somewhere.



The front brake is the more important one though and imo cantis are better than vs unless you absolutely need more power, ie, super steep trails in the wet.
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Old 11-23-22, 06:12 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by kommisar
I wonder if I could run a v-brake in the rear, face the noodle down, and come up from below? Has anyone seen that done?


Regarding the diamond frame, I need the step through due to hip mobility issues. Makes the ride much more pleasant if I have to dismount to walk the bike past rough parts.
Lots of step through frames have v-brakes but they are routed differently from what your bike has. For example, this bike from Priority is similar (but better proportioned) to your frame. The red arrow points to a braze-on on the frame that holds the cable against the frame so that the cable doesnít pull away from the frame during braking. Your bike doesnít have that. If you put a v-brake on it, the cable would just flex into the wheel.




You might be able to find some kind of clamp to put on the frame but the housing needs to pass through the clamp with a bit of freedom. It canít hold the cable housing tight to the frame or it wonít let the brake work like it should. Your bike also have a lot more distance to cover than the bike below. It might be possible use something like a downtube cable stop or downtube cable guide and drill out the guide so that the housing can pass through.

There also is a matter of cost. Youíll need levers, calipers, housing, and the clamps as well as a fair amount of work to get everything to work together. But there are no guarantees that you can make it work so you might just be out that cost.
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Old 11-23-22, 06:17 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Soody
Pretty easy to add a stop. Just steal a barrell adjuster from an old caliper brake and hose clamp it somewhere.


That works for a horizontal top tube but the step through frame significantly complicates the issues involved. The cable housing needs to be routed from the frame stop and it needs an anchor in the middle.
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Old 11-23-22, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
That works for a horizontal top tube but the step through frame significantly complicates the issues involved. The cable housing needs to be routed from the frame stop and it needs an anchor in the middle.
Yeah I'm kinda just rambling rather than suggesting he do it. But it could be done.

my actual suggestion is just that he gets better brake pads
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Old 11-23-22, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kommisar
I've got a old schwinn mountain bike with chrome-moly main tubes. I assume the stays and fork are hiten. Would getting a better frame with chrome-moly fork and stays make it ride significantly different? Would the cantilever brakes work better on chrome-moly stays?
No. All else equal, you might save a few grams and get a fancier tubing sticker, but that's about it.
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Old 11-23-22, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
No. All else equal, you might save a few grams and get a fancier tubing sticker, but that's about it.
You have saddened the marketing gods, your no flats now will.
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Old 11-23-22, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Lots of step through frames have v-brakes but they are routed differently from what your bike has. For example, this bike from Priority is similar (but better proportioned) to your frame. The red arrow points to a braze-on on the frame that holds the cable against the frame so that the cable doesnít pull away from the frame during braking. Your bike doesnít have that. If you put a v-brake on it, the cable would just flex into the wheel.




You might be able to find some kind of clamp to put on the frame but the housing needs to pass through the clamp with a bit of freedom. It canít hold the cable housing tight to the frame or it wonít let the brake work like it should. Your bike also have a lot more distance to cover than the bike below. It might be possible use something like a downtube cable stop or downtube cable guide and drill out the guide so that the housing can pass through.

There also is a matter of cost. Youíll need levers, calipers, housing, and the clamps as well as a fair amount of work to get everything to work together. But there are no guarantees that you can make it work so you might just be out that cost.
How about my old frame tidying favorite, the zip tie? Could I zip tie housing to the seat tube and make a v-brake work?
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Old 11-23-22, 10:11 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by kommisar
How about my old frame tidying favorite, the zip tie? Could I zip tie housing to the seat tube and make a v-brake work?
Maybe. But you often need a bit of freedom of movement for a long housing run like that one.
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Old 11-23-22, 11:00 PM
  #42  
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Iíd use the original headset cable stop that is still installed on the bike. Iíd investigate the angle of the straddle cable. Iím going to sag it at 135 degrees. I start at 90 degrees.

Almost all of your stopping power is up front. So Iíd focus there.

The way the front is set up, you have minimal cable travel from the straddle cable hanger to the cable stop.

Since you like the fit of the bike, Iíd stick with the frame.

Not sure where you are located, here in the US Iíd head to the closest co op and find better brake calipers for the front. Clean everything, grease the canti posts, reassemble and you are set. If stopping is your primary goal while staying at a relatively low cost, just do the front. Google bike stopping power, front versus rear brake.

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Old 11-24-22, 07:13 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Soody
As for the braking, i haven't known those stamped steel plastic covered junk brakes to actually flex badly so I don't see why they would impact braking.
Ever used or set up those cheap Lee Chi's? junk. the stamped sheet metal is very thin, not like the (best guess) 8-10GA shimano used to stamp theirs. They flexed badly.
First thing is to dump them for anything aluminum.
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Old 11-24-22, 08:43 AM
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I don't convert older bikes with cantis to V-brakes anymore, if it's something I plan to ride a lot and keep I put Tektro CR720 Cyclocross cantis on them, the pads adjust like V-brakes which is really nice. Do that with a set of Jagwire lined cables and you will see a marked imnprovement in stopping power, plus you really need longer cables anyway. That rear cable coming off the lever is WAY too tight! If you still need a little more then switch the pads out for Kool Stops. But even just a new set of Shimano Altus cantis and Jagwire cables would be a major improvement over what you have now.
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Old 11-24-22, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund
Ever used or set up those cheap Lee Chi's? junk. the stamped sheet metal is very thin, not like the (best guess) 8-10GA shimano used to stamp theirs. They flexed badly.
First thing is to dump them for anything aluminum.
Amen.
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Old 11-24-22, 10:10 AM
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I agree that the brakes themselves are pretty lousy. I had a city bike that came with a similar (though Saccon brand Italian) cantilever on the front along with a plastic lever and all the effort I put into improving the braking was wasted. I would pull the lever until the pads contacted the rim and pull the lever 2" to the bar with no increase in braking force.

I eventually replaced them with the cheapest new V-brakes from Shimano (Acera, as I recall) that I could find together with off-brand cheap levers. Modulation wasn't great, but at least I could stop and put myself over the bars. It was cheap for me to do because I only had a front caliper.

Are you sure that the levers are short-pull (high mechanical advantage) meant for side-pull/centerpull/cantilever brakes? They're quite modern, but I can't make enough out of the picture to be able to search for them. Some levers are adjustable for either application.

I'd also disconnect the brakes and manually pull the cable through each length of housing, back and forth, to see if there's drag anywhere. I recently snapped a barrel adjuster during a move and the brake would periodically not open up upon release, and eventually the cable frayed from dragging on the jagged steel of the tilted fractured adjuster. I had to troubleshoot to find the root cause and replace the adjuster and the cable but reused the housing. Now she brakes just fine...
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Old 11-24-22, 12:46 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
No. All else equal, you might save a few grams and get a fancier tubing sticker, but that's about it.
agree - but move from a low-end steel frame to a high-end butted cromo frame / fork will
probably save more than a few grams ... could possibly weigh significantly less - and possibly provide a better 'ride'

low end frame tubes - especially 'high ten' - are typically lower strength and have increased wall thickness to provide durability

( of course the component mix is a large part of the total weight )
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Old 11-24-22, 09:24 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by kommisar
I would like the brakes to be stronger. Sometimes on a steep hill I'm squeezing them hard and I can't seem to come to a complete stop. The pads are old and replacing them with some salmon kool stops will probably make it better. I'm just waiting for the old pads to wear out before putting new ones on. I think the levers are high gain specifically for cantilevers. Housings are lined. Not sure about the setup of the straddle cable to be honest as I don't have a lot of experience with cantis. Photos of the relevant parts below:
Buy better brakes. Shimano, Tektro, and Avid all make good cantilever brakes with stiff calipers. Available at your local shop or a reputable internet dealer. And don't forget to replace the cables.
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Old 11-25-22, 08:59 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat
Buy better brakes. And don't forget to replace the cables.
This. Cantilever, V-Brake, just get something better.
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Old 11-25-22, 10:26 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund
This. Cantilever, V-Brake, just get something better.
The posts are positioned for cantilevers, not linear-pulls.
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