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  1. #1
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    top pull to side pull switch?

    I know this is kinda an outdated question, but i still need to know. I picked up a GT backwoods, for the wonderful price of free. No idea what year the bike is, but it was rocking some top pull style brakes. Im making the bike a SS and i want to go with V brakes, is there any reason that this would not work??? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Ride on
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    need different lever ratio

    Old-school cantilever levers pull cable at a different rate than V-brakes. You will either need to replace your brake levers or install a problem solver widget that changes this ratio. Replacing the levers is easy if you don't have Shimano STI (where the brakes and shifters are integrated into the same unit); if you do then maybe someone can chime in on how well the problem solver widget works.

    If you run fenders then you should also check clearance. I have an old bike with cantis that would require unusual Vbrakes to clear my fenders.

  3. #3
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    I probably should have provided a bit more info about what i was planning on regarding this . Im probably gonna go with the Avid single didgit 7's and levers to match. My main concern was if they would bolt up to the same post in the same spot. Thanks.

    edit: I wont be running fenders and the old levers were the shifter/lever dealie, so they are pretty much usless for singlespeed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandmanLJS
    ... My main concern was if they would bolt up to the same post in the same spot....
    Yes, cantilever brakes and side pull vees mount to the same bosses. So you are all good to go on your upgrade.

    It's the U-brake that had a different boss positions.
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  5. #5
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    Wait, I take back my last post.

    Make sure you brakes are NOT U-brakes. Early mtn bikes had the U-brakes, which are still used on BMX bikes.

    U-brakes look like this:


    If you have those brakes, then you cannot add modern vee side pulls because the boss position is different.

    But if you have cantilevers like these:

    Then yes you can add Vees because cantis used the same boss position as Vees.

    Just wanted to clear that up just in case.
    Give me a big scoop of Manteca!

  6. #6
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    one more thing....

    You also need to consider that V brakes require a cable stop somewhere near the rear of the top tube. Depending on how your center pulls are configured, you might lack this feature on your frame. Some older frames had a tube that sort of snaked around the seat tube and routed the cable to directly centered above the brakes. Bolt-on cable stops are available for not much; another option is to use full length cable housing secured to the top tube with your choice of device.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by alibi
    You also need to consider that V brakes require a cable stop somewhere near the rear of the top tube. Depending on how your center pulls are configured, you might lack this feature on your frame. Some older frames had a tube that sort of snaked around the seat tube and routed the cable to directly centered above the brakes. Bolt-on cable stops are available for not much; another option is to use full length cable housing secured to the top tube with your choice of device.

    I do have the canilever style, so thats good to hear.

    I had a feeling that was gonna be an issue when i looked at some other bikes with v brakes. There is a eyelet kinda deal on the back of the seat post, that MAY(might be ifey) work as the cable stop, i would just have to kinda jam the cable in there, but that may not work. I would have no problem with a bolt on cable stop if that would solve the problem. Thanks for the help!! I might end up with some shamano dore LX brakes now, not sure. Thanks again.

  8. #8
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    Bypass that rear center cantilever cable stop. That only works if you are pulling the cable from the center like cantis.

    Vees pull from the side, so dont' try to route your cable through that center stop.

    Install a cheapie $5 cable stop on your top tube or just run full housing all the way to the back and use zip ties or fancier stick on cable ties.

    LX brakes are good stoppers. Just as good as the pricer Shimano stuff, just a tad heavier, but only the weight weenies will notice.
    Give me a big scoop of Manteca!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by partially hydrogenated
    Bypass that rear center cantilever cable stop. That only works if you are pulling the cable from the center like cantis.

    Vees pull from the side, so dont' try to route your cable through that center stop.

    Install a cheapie $5 cable stop on your top tube or just run full housing all the way to the back and use zip ties or fancier stick on cable ties.

    LX brakes are good stoppers. Just as good as the pricer Shimano stuff, just a tad heavier, but only the weight weenies will notice.

    Thanks for the help man, answered all my quesions really. Im not worry about weight at all, that frame is superlight, and im not gonna have any derailers. Thanks again!!!

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