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  1. #1
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    Canti Lever w/ Linear Brake - How bad is it?

    I'm sure this has been discussed ad nauseum, but anyways here's my situation. One of my friends is looking for a bike. I have a 1996 Giant ATX 870 that would fit him quite well, just sitting here for the last 10 or so years and after a quick inspection, mechanically it appears to be o.k. except the RS Quadra shock is done - mind you is was pretty much "done" back in 1996, but I'm talking somehow, sometime the elastomers are missing from it. I have seen the RS XC28 which is the cheapest option to swap in (no oldies on kijiji and ebay is really hit and miss). The problem is that there is no stop for cantis on that fork so I'd have to switch to a V-brake which also can be done fairly cheap, but I don't want to get into swapping the lever - I'm trying to keep this ultra cheap as I'm basically 'giving' him this bike.

    How bad is the V-brake's performance with the canti lever?

    I ask because this guy will NOT be racing or anything even remotely close to it. In fact I doubt he'll even use the front brake at all. He's 5 ft nothing and would be lucky to be 150lbs soaking wet with cement in all of his pockets. It would strictly be for leisurely rail trail/road rides with his wife and daughter (who obviously already have bikes). Is this a good idea, or should I just write it off?
    2002 Cannondale Jekyll 800
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  2. #2
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    It will work, just not well.
    The elastomers are probably disintegrated/melted... you may be able to find replacements for it (ebay or suspension fork parts store).
    You could just go with a rigid fork ($30-50) and either a threadless cable hanger or fork cable stop. (links for examples, there's others out there.)

    I did this a while back for a friend to get a commuter bike going, tossed the garbage RST fork with gooey innards & ordered a basic fork from the LBS for ~$30... The cheapest fork the local trek & specialized dealers could get was ~$50, but the shop that got stuff from J & B Importers had some cheaper forks (hi tensile vs cromo) in their catalog.
    Last edited by logbiter; 09-19-2012 at 11:45 AM. Reason: add link
    [SIZE=1][/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    oh yeah, a LBS may also have cast off rigid forks that'll work too, for cheap.
    [SIZE=1][/SIZE]

  4. #4
    I dd what you see there.
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    update:

    This is now a non-issue as (in true "ask and ye shall receive" form) I've found an old Judy SL fork (with a built in brake stop on the brace) that should swap directly over.

    Thank you for you input logbiter.
    2002 Cannondale Jekyll 800
    2011 Trek Cronus CX Ultimate

  5. #5
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by XLNC View Post
    update:

    This is now a non-issue as (in true "ask and ye shall receive" form) I've found an old Judy SL fork (with a built in brake stop on the brace) that should swap directly over.
    What sort of condition is it in ?

    Will the elastomers in it need replacing too ?

  6. #6
    I dd what you see there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    What sort of condition is it in ?

    Will the elastomers in it need replacing too ?
    I got it through a friend of a friend. Apparently it was used up until last year on a "loaner bike" and has been sitting in his garage since. My friend checked it out and says it appears to be 'working' but it still is a 15 year old fork afterall, so I don't really expect much and it only cost me a case of beer.

    The only thing I'm worried about is that when the shock compresses, it doesn't blow up in my face. The current Q5's end plugs are plastic and there are no threads left on them. I can pop them out with just my hand, so I'm thinking it's a lost cause because even the slighest bump would likely keep popping the caps off
    .
    As I said, I'm giving him the bike for free so he has to take the bike for a tune up anyways. He can find out about it's condition then.
    2002 Cannondale Jekyll 800
    2011 Trek Cronus CX Ultimate

  7. #7
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    V-brakes with canti levers are extremely powerful (more so than with v-levers), but mushy feeling at the lever and harder to modulate. They used to make roller cams which would replace the v-brake noodle that would pull more cable and make for a firmer lever with canti levers.

  8. #8
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by breckenridge View Post
    V-brakes with canti levers are extremely powerful (more so than with v-levers), but mushy feeling at the lever and harder to modulate. They used to make roller cams which would replace the v-brake noodle that would pull more cable and make for a firmer lever with canti levers.
    Extremely powerful if--big IF--the levers can actually move enough cable to fully apply the V-brake.

    Most levers can not do this without having the brake pads constantly rubbing on the rim, or you have no rub and a brake that can not stop effectively

    Those cams increase the amount of cable pull for the brake to work properly.

    Best off to use canti levers with canti brakes, and long pull V-levers with V-brakes
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  9. #9
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    I have this same issue on my 1996 GT Karakoram. The bike is completely functional except the Judy SL elastomers are shot. I have center pull canti's and the new shocks don't have mount for the stop. I would stick v brakes on it with new levers, but my Deore LX shifters and brake levers are all in one.

    So to get this bike running I need to replace the fork, brakes, brake levers, shifters and possibly the derailleurs since the new shifters may have a compatibly issue. Which I'd hate to do since the rest of the bike is working fine.

    Also you cant use a thread less cable hanger, when the shock compresses the cable would get slack and the front brake would not function.

    I was thinking about drilling and tapping a hole into the bar on the forks for a mount, any one have any thoughts on that ?

  10. #10
    What could go wrong ...
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    TXTECH you can get new elastomers for that fork HERE
    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoke2 View Post
    TXTECH you can get new elastomers for that fork - HERE
    Thanks for the heads up on the elastomers , but I think I may need seals and springs as well. And with the total rebuild cost more then a new (and also better) fork not sure its really worth it.

    I guess an easy fix is out, time to get creative

  12. #12
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    These are what I'd mentioned. They replace the v-brake noodle and work like a cam to pull the correct amount of cable for v-brakes with canti levers. I can't speak for this brand but the ones they made in the '90s worked very well. Good luck.

    Travel Agent V Brake Lever Adapter for Tandem & ATB Sil on eBay!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by breckenridge View Post
    These are what I'd mentioned. They replace the v-brake noodle and work like a cam to pull the correct amount of cable for v-brakes with canti levers. I can't speak for this brand but the ones they made in the '90s worked very well. Good luck.

    Travel Agent V Brake Lever Adapter for Tandem & ATB Sil on eBay!
    I used to use these (travel agent brand). They work ok but doesn't work as good as v-brakes with v-brake levers.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent878 View Post
    I used to use these (travel agent brand). They work ok but doesn't work as good as v-brakes with v-brake levers.
    And you can buy decent v-levers for the price of two Travel Agents
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