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Thread: Brake chatter?

  1. #1
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    Brake chatter?

    Just bought and rode a CX bike for the first time.
    When moving at 12 mph or so and hitting the brakes to slow way down, but not come to a stop, I get some serious front end chatter, vibration,etc.

    Is this normal, perhaps the brake pads need to wear a bit?

    BTW, they are canti brakes.

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    This is pretty normal with cantis, will get a bit less pronounced as pads get worn in. Do you know what material your fork is made of?
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    This is pretty normal with cantis, will get a bit less pronounced as pads get worn in. Do you know what material your fork is made of?
    Yes, the front fork is carbon. The bike is a Cannondale CAADX 105. I jumped on my wires new road bike, which is brand new, got up to speed and pounded on the brakes to come to a full stop, no chatter??

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    Re: Brake chatter?

    Canti brakes flex alot more than road calipers because there is so little structure. It will die down a little once pads are worn in, but never disappear when braking suddenly at speed. Nicer cantis are better but I ended up replacing mine with TRP mini-V's that mostly eliminated the chatter. Less mud clearance when racing but usually sufficient.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

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    No racing for me, in fact it is all street riding and some members have said I should go with mini-v"s!

    The fellow at the bike shop said if I am unhappy with the brakes, they would install the mini v's for free if I pay for the materials. Now I am really wondering if the chatter is always going to be there and if there is any downside to the mini-V's with the exception of spending $100.

    Do the mini's give you better braking? I weigh more than 210 and do not care about mud or the additional weigh of the v brakes. I just would like good breaking power with decent looking brakes.

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    Re: Brake chatter?

    I think the mini v's look a little worse but they stop much better. Not as powerful as road calipers but pretty good up to 30 mph or so.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

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    here is a good article that will help to understand it.

    Technical Q&A with Lennard Zinn: How to stop cyclocross brake chatter

    getting the cable hanger closer to the stradle cable helps. If your fork has a hole at the base of the crown, they make a hanger that goes there. Also different forks chatter more that others.

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    Re: Brake chatter?

    Another thing that helped for me was gitting rid of the cheapy z-link wiring (looks like this http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=1613) the bike came with and replacing with proper cable carriers (look like this http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=1613).

    At the end of the day they didn't do enough for me though. My bike rides much better on roads and singletrack since I switched to the mini V's.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

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    Good reply there t-dawg, great information!

    It will take me a while to figure out the mount height issue before fully understanding the problem. The simple solution seems to be what others have mentioned prior tony taking the bike home.Several members have said to have the local bike shop change out the brakes to mini-v"s before even picking it up.

    I guess I need to ride the bike more to get the full feel of the brakes but I am a big guy and would like to feel totally confident when heading down long hills. My normal ride is a men bike with hydraulic brakes which have incredible stopping power. That is my frame of reference!

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    I've been able to solve the chatter and squealing 95% of the time with simply toeing in the brake pads.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

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    Besides toeing in the pads or switching brake type you could sand the pads and rim braking surface. I had bad chatter with an EC90X fork and low end shimano cantis so I tried using 100 grit sand paper to take a thin layer off of each pad. I also sanded the rim until the brake surface was nice and shiny (looked like new)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpolka View Post
    Besides toeing in the pads or switching brake type you could sand the pads and rim braking surface. I had bad chatter with an EC90X fork and low end shimano cantis so I tried using 100 grit sand paper to take a thin layer off of each pad. I also sanded the rim until the brake surface was nice and shiny (looked like new)
    Sand the rims and pads on a brand new bike? I would image just use during a break in period would accomplish the same thing.

    Also, my normal braking tendancy is to apply the front and rear brakes at the same time with the same pressure, I guess this is the correct techique?

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    Try lowering the angle of the straddle wire between the arch and the levers. Also if you do go the V brake route, skip the mini v brakes and install some shimano touring v brakes which are made to work with STI

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    Sand the rims and pads on a brand new bike? I would image just use during a break in period would accomplish the same thing.

    Also, my normal braking tendancy is to apply the front and rear brakes at the same time with the same pressure, I guess this is the correct techique?
    Letting the pads break in on their own is the passive approach, sand paper is the active approach. As for braking forces, you stop more efficiently if you apply a little more to the front then the rear.

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    I had V brakes on the front of my bike and they were far worse than the cantilevers I have now...I don't think it's anything to do with the brake design, I've seen brake judder on disc equipped bikes. It's about resonance and it's creation has many variables. It can be to do with the type of fork, how tight the headset is, the braking surface material and finish, the brake pad angle, wear and material, the way they're set up etc. You can quite easily 'dial it out' by adjusting the variables.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hogdog View Post
    I had V brakes on the front of my bike and they were far worse than the cantilevers I have now...I don't think it's anything to do with the brake design, I've seen brake judder on disc equipped bikes. It's about resonance and it's creation has many variables. It can be to do with the type of fork, how tight the headset is, the braking surface material and finish, the brake pad angle, wear and material, the way they're set up etc. You can quite easily 'dial it out' by adjusting the variables.
    I let the bike shop know about this issue and they would like to see me with the bike in order to take a look and probably make some adjustments. His immediate advice was not to rush into replacing the brakes, just come in so we could have a look!

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    That's good advice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hogdog View Post
    That's good advice
    I have found them to be very honest! I was asking to change out the brakes from the start and he said the shop would not charge anything for the labor, but went on to say the canti-s should be more than adequate!

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    I find cantis to be a bit fiddly to set up properly but once they are they work really well.

  20. #20
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    Break in period...a few adjustments on mine and they work really well..I still get some chatter on hard braking but I think that just comes with the cantis..kind of bugged me at first but no biggie...at least not enough to want to switch them out..

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    I prefer not to switch them unless the mini v's would be a "huge" improvement in the stopping power but I have been told there is not a dramatic difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    I prefer not to switch them unless the mini v's would be a "huge" improvement in the stopping power but I have been told there is not a dramatic difference.
    I switched. I found the difference to be huge, no more chatter and excellent stopping ability. I dont use my cx bike for much racing, mainly comutting, pulling kids in trailer and riding the local mtb singletrack near me, so the mud clearence issue wasn't one for me. I tried all the usually solutions, lowered the straddle cable, toed pads in, kool stop pads etc. After having the lbs try to fix problem I decided I could either spend money on better cantis, or spend less money on mini-vs. I bought decent tektro's and have had no issues at all, super easy to set up and they provide excellent stopping in wet and dry conditons. I swapped out the mtb pads for the road ones as i had new koolstops from the cantis, brakes paired to ultergra brifters.

    IMO much, much better than cantis all around.

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    I had normal V's on the front and although they were more powerful I had to replace them because they were getting clogged with mud and leaves too often for my liking. If clearance isn't an issue then V's are probably better but as to whether they're less susceptible to judder, that's not my experience.

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    Did you consider the TRP mini V's?

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    Plenty of good cantilever setup advise and pictoral examples on this site;
    Black Mountain Cycles: Get the most out of your canti brake...

    One thing I have noticed when switching between several pairs of wheels on same bike, using same brakes is that the condition of the rims make a dramatic on how the brakes work. Keeping the rims clean of lube, grease and tubular glue is important to brake function. I do like to scuff the the brake tracks with sandpaper but follow by cleaning further with scotchbrite pad and acetone. Once they are bedded in, the rims do not necessarily need to be kept spotless clean of dirt. It almost seems that a bit of mud and abrasive dirt on the rims during races can improve the brake feel and performance.

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