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  1. #1
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    Shuddering cantilevers

    I'm having trouble with shuddering, cantilever brakes. These are front brakes, and I just threw on a set of new, Koolstop, salmon pads. I have the pads oriented such that the "shovel" (not sure that's the right term) faces to the back of the bike. By "shovel", I mean the part of the pad that dips in towards the rim.

    At first I tried to orient the pads such that the shovel part contacted the rims first. Was I wrong in doing that? I got a lot of shuddering in that orientation.

    I tried to reorient the pads such that the part of the pad facing to the front of the bike now touches first. One caliper is stubborn, and the bolts and washers conspire against almost anything I try to do.

    Shuddering is now reduced, but I can still notice it.

    What could be wrong? The brakes are pretty cheap-looking, and they are a decade old. Could the shuddering be down to just having cheap brakes?

    Unfortunately, I was not able to ride the bike beforehand, so I don't know how well the brakes performed before I changed pads. The bike is a friend's, and it was unrideable when I began working on it.

    It annoys me to have done such an otherwise good job in resurrecting a dead bike only to be stymied in the end by one, niggling little problem. So any tips or suggestions for solving the shuddering problem will be appreciated.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I'll be interested to hear what the MTB boards have to say about it, but aggressive toe-in* is the usual remedy for shudder on cyclocross bikes with canti's.

    * angling the pad so that the front contacts the rims first.

  4. #4
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    It could be a hundred different things... well, maybe 5 different things causing the problem. Why don't you just take it to your local bike shop and pay them 10 bucks to fix it?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba
    Why don't you just take it to your local bike shop and pay them 10 bucks to fix it?
    Because I learn more when I solve this sort of problem myself. That, and there is no "local" bike shop.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by noodletips

    That is helpful, actually. I don't know why I didn't think to check Park's site myself.

    I read the page. I'm ready for "round two" now. Time for another crack at those brakes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba
    It could be a hundred different things... well, maybe 5 different things causing the problem. Why don't you just take it to your local bike shop and pay them 10 bucks to fix it?
    Maybe because he is trying to educate himself rather than trying to throw money at the problem. Maybe because he knows others (like me) can also learn from informative replies.

    That Park Tool site is super nice for free.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeveless
    Maybe because he is trying to educate himself rather than trying to throw money at the problem. Maybe because he knows others (like me) can also learn from informative replies.

    That Park Tool site is super nice for free.
    His answer is better than yours.
    If you can't figure something out by yourself it's easy to take it to a professional and watch what they do. You ask them questions just like you would on the internet and probably get better answers.
    If I buy brake pads from my local store they don't even charge me to set them up. If he had a local store he surely wouldn't be tossing money away to fix the problem. He doesn't have a local shop so this will have to do.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeveless
    Maybe because he knows others (like me) can also learn from informative replies.
    +1

    Plus you can't just walk into any bike shop and be confident that someone will know how to set up cantis any more. Or that their experienced staff's time will be devoted to such a trivial problem (when you know how to deal with it).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba
    You ask them questions just like you would on the internet and probably get better answers
    Good job fulfilling your own prophecy.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba
    If I buy brake pads from my local store they don't even charge me to set them up.
    Cool. A not-for-profit LBS. Any one I've been to is parts plus labor.

    Yeah, there is probably some play in the brake pivots due to wear and/or low quality. More toe-in should fix it.....probably more than you'd think you'd need.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  12. #12
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    I'd also suggest checking how 'tight' the cantilever arms are on the frame bosses. Can you move them about here? Is there any play? Maybe if they are old, worn or cheap parts they may have movement here. There really shouldn't be any movement (except of course their natural movement).

    And although this is probably an issue with the pads on rim, you might want to check if the headset is lose. Grab the forks and put your hand around the frame bottom headset cup and then shake the fork - see if it has any play. If there is, then adjust it. Again Park tools have excellent instructions on headsets

  13. #13
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    +1 on checking the headset......that can amplify the shuddering.

    the arm-to-boss play is what I was trying to say above.....couldn't rememberthe technical jargon :-) Not much you can do about that aside from checking that the pivot bolts are tight. But more toe-in will usually overcome wear or cheapness.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

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