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  1. #1
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    V-brake levers on cantaliever brakes?

    I just picked up an older Stuntjumper and it has the original brakes.... no cables, levers etc. I am going to make this my singe speed bike. I have most the parts needed already to keep it affordable. But the only extra levers I have are initially for v-brakes.... what problems will this cause?

  2. #2
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    I'm no expert on brakes but it doesn't seem like there would be a problem. Brake levers simply pull the cable back and forth. Both v-brakes and canti's work on that principle.

  3. #3
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    That's what I am guessing also....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    I'm no expert on brakes but it doesn't seem like there would be a problem. Brake levers simply pull the cable back and forth. Both v-brakes and canti's work on that principle.
    Then explain the reasoning behind the two different types using different levers then. The amount of pull required is different..........

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxr-racer
    Then explain the reasoning behind the two different types using different levers then. The amount of pull required is different..........
    Again, I'm no expert, but couldn't you adjust the pad spacing from the rim to get the proper reach you want? Probably won't get optimal modulation though.

    edit: Here's some google'd info:

    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77743

    It would "work", but it won't give you optimal use of the brakes. Looks like it would give you very little stopping power in your situation.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    Again, I'm no expert, but couldn't you adjust the pad spacing from the rim to get the proper reach you want? Probably won't get optimal modulation though.

    edit: Here's some google'd info:

    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77743

    It would "work", but it won't give you optimal use of the brakes. Looks like it would give you very little stopping power in your situation.
    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    V levers pull more cable than canti-specific levers. You may want to check your levers for two cable anchor points. I have a set of cheap no-name v levers that have two places to anchor the cable - one for use with vbrakes and one for use with canti brakes.

  8. #8
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    Campisi has it right.

    The leverage and travel of brakes is determined by the geometry of the brake itself and the pull ratio built into the levers. These have to match decently for the brakes to work as designed. Unfortunately different brands of similar systems have slightly different geometries, and most importantly different styles require meaningfully different pull ratios.

    Don't be surprised if when you mix systems you have issues with travel and adjustment or with overall stopping power (leverage). Some of the nicer levers have either 2 cable positions or variable ratios so they can work properly with a variety of brakes.
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  9. #9
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    V leavers pull a lot more cable... using them with cantis will have no power... but they will feel VERY firm with canti's...

    do yourself a favor and get the right stoppers to match the leavers... there is a HUGE difference between canti's and V's when it comes to stopping power...

    ebay is your best bet to get by cheap on either end though (cheapest would obviously be finding some cani leavers) but there's a reason V's are still fairly common on bikes if you aren't dealing with mud/wet areas... they work well... so i'd recomend finding some for cheap... heck if you have a local forum you might find some REAL cheap from somone wo upgraded to discs at some point...

    good luck
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  10. #10
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    +1

    You will have no power, but they will feel very firm. I tried it many years ago when V-brakes were first hitting the market.

  11. #11
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    If you decide to get v-brakes instead of cantilever levers, check the action out on the rear seatstays as you clamp down on the brakes. If you see the studs spreading as you apply the brakes, you may need a brace as many frames designed for cantilever brakes are not strong enough to take advantage of the power difference of v-brakes without adding the brace. The brace looks like a horseshoe and it mounted to the brake studs in bewteen the brake arms and the seatstays. They usually come with hardware needed to complete the installation including new studs if necessary. They may be hard to find these days, but if you have a bike shop that has some older product laying around, they may have them.

  12. #12
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    Actionable advice...

    I would pony up the money for canti levers.

    You've been given good answers (yes, they're different) and good solutions (replace them w V's) but to satisfy your low bidget goals, pick up a pair of canti levers and be donw with it.

    Regarding V being "better" than canti's: Not always. There are advantages to canti's over V's and vice versa.

  13. #13
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    ken can you go into a bit more detail of the canit's vs V's... i've got a set of LX canti's with diacomp (SP?) leavers on a '95 speced bike out in the garage... even when comparing to the very low end tektro's on my redline 29er there is no comparison... step it up to the avid sd7 with sd7 leaver (rear stoppers on my monkey running mullet) there is no way i could think of a canti over them...
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  14. #14
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    Keep in mind that cantis require stops for the brake cables in order to function, so if you don't have the ones that came with your bike you might save yourself a lot of hassle by installing v-brakes, as the stops are built in to the brake. I converted a Rockhopper from cantis to Vs, haven't noticed the studs flexing.

    Here's one example of a stop, there's a lot of different types:


  15. #15
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    One other detail in considering going to or keeping Canti brakes is a safety issue, which was partly causitive of the move to V-type brakes on new bikes. (The other reason for the move V-brakes is they're easier to engineer with suspension since they don't require a hanger).

    If the main cable fails (for any reason) the canti will spring apart drawing the yoke (crossover) wire down into the tire. If this happens to the front brake it will cause an extremely unpleasant surprise. An accident of this type led to a significant verdict against one of the bike companies a few years back.

    If you decide to go with the cantis, mount a long bolt on the fork passing under the yoke cable so that in the event of a cable failure, the descending yoke will be caught by the "safety stick". These are mandatory with canti brakes in Europe.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funrover
    I just picked up an older Stuntjumper and it has the original brakes.... the only extra levers I have are initially for v-brakes....
    i say give it a shot what's the worst that can happen? it doesn't work properly?
    You'd still be in the same position as you are now, minus the 'wondering'.
    and hey, if they work, then great!

    also, if i remember my geometry correctly, on cantis, the amount that the lever throw affects the brakes can be adjusted by the length of the cable between the brake arms [shorter=more action]
    correct me if i'm wrong
    Last edited by highdelll; 12-18-2008 at 02:11 PM.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  17. #17
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    http://bicyclewarehouse.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=8490

    for under 30 bucks you can upgrade to v brakes...personally i think they are much better anyway

  18. #18
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    No problem....

    Quote Originally Posted by donalson
    ken can you go into a bit more detail of the canit's vs V's... i've got a set of LX canti's with diacomp (SP?) leavers on a '95 speced bike out in the garage... even when comparing to the very low end tektro's on my redline 29er there is no comparison... step it up to the avid sd7 with sd7 leaver (rear stoppers on my monkey running mullet) there is no way i could think of a canti over them...

    If you've read any of my other advice here, you'll notice a theme:

    1. Fit is the most important determination in finding the "best" bike.
    2. There are very few "best of show" components. Personal preference determines which pedals, seatpost, bars, shoes, shifters, brakes, etc. are "best".

    When I made the comment on canti's, it really depends on where you ride, how you ride and what works best for you. The monumental advantage that canti's have over V-brakes is on clearance between the brake assembly and the tire and rim.

    If you ride in an area where the trails are perpetually muddy, you should really be running discs. But of price is an issue, then you will more than likely obtain better performance from canti's over V's. Canti's will clear more mud and will be less prone to clogging up and stopping your bike from moving.

    Comparing a canti from 1995 to a modern day V-brake isn't a very fair comparison. My high end 1995 60mm Rock Shox with coil, oil and rubber dampeners doesn't perform nearly as well as my 125 mm Marzocchi Marathon Air Fork. I suspect it doesn't perform nearly as well as a low end Tora, although I've never ridden one.

    Modern canti's are pretty powerful. They're used in cyclo-cross from pro racers all the way down to regional competitors. Because there are sponsorship $, world rankins, etc. hinging on cyclo-cross, it means there's technology (money) being applied at some level to canti's.

  19. #19
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    Depends on the cable yoke used

    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    If the main cable fails (for any reason) the canti will spring apart drawing the yoke (crossover) wire down into the tire. If this happens to the front brake it will cause an extremely unpleasant surprise. An accident of this type led to a significant verdict against one of the bike companies a few years back.
    Shimano and Avid have both been using cable yokes that will not cause the wire to go into your tire for the exact reason you describe. Shimano started using them almost 15 years ago.




  20. #20
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    I did it.I used vbrake levers with canti brakes.Couldn"t pull it hard enough to stop the bike.I kept trying till the lever broke.

  21. #21
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    i recently changed my canti's over to xtr v's and could'nt get them adjusted out right. i bet that is my problem,i will shop for v levers. i did'nt know there was a difference. so the advice that you have been given on the levers must be correct *runs to ebay*.

  22. #22
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by retro-newb
    i recently changed my canti's over to xtr v's and could'nt get them adjusted out right. i bet that is my problem,i will shop for v levers. i did'nt know there was a difference. so the advice that you have been given on the levers must be correct *runs to ebay*.
    screw ebay... avid sd7's sell new for $20 on pricepoint
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson
    screw ebay... avid sd7's sell new for $20 on pricepoint
    ahh cool thanks for the tip...oh like the new avatar by the way

  24. #24
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    porc.org pensacola off road cyclists thats their logo
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