Stay with the canitlevers or go with v-brakes?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Stay with the canitlevers or go with v-brakes?

    Hello guys,

    I recently bought a new wheelset because my old rear wheel had cracks at the spoke nipples on the rear wheel -- so I sprung for a new XT hub/ mavic x517 wheel set. The thing with new wheels is that the brake surface for rim brakes seems to have been narrowed down because of the widespread use of v-brakes the have thinner pads (Maybe there are wheels that have the wider braking surface but I never asked the question when doing my research). In order to make sure that the cantilever brake pad does not hit the tire I have had to dial the canitlever pads down and now as they arc to make contact with the rim I am probably only getting about 75% or maybe a bit less of contact with the rim.

    So I am thinking of converting the cantilever to v-brakes. I have found a few sets and what some inputs as to whether one set is worth the price difference.
    Nashbar has a set with SD-7 brakes and AD-3 levers for $50 and with a coupon about $45.
    Pricepoint has a set with SD-7 brakes and SD-7 levers for $70.

    Its looks like from the review here that the SD-7 levers have a lot of adjustability for the feel - I just don't the whether that is worth another $25.

    What are the thoughts on the SD-7 brakes and how do the AD-3 levers stack up to the SD7 levers.

    Thanks

    Ed

  2. #2
    Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
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    A cheaper option would be to look around for some Koolstop pads with canti studs. They may be narrower than what you have (unless that's what you already have). http://www.koolstop.com/brakes/ Look at the MTB pad, Eagle, Eagle 2 and Supra pads. The MTB pad looks nice and narrow, and the text says it comes in a canti stud. A shop with a QBP catalog should be able to check availability for you. You could also try www.thethirdhand.com, www.biketoolsetc.com, or any of the online retailers.

    Personally, I prefer the easy setup and adjustability of v's over cantis, and would make the switch, but I thought I'd let you know about this option, anyway. As for which Avid model, I don't know enough about the lower models to make a recommendation. Personally, I like the leverage adjust feature, but I'm running my Avid levers with the mech discs.

    Kathy :^)
    Last edited by Lucky; 11-05-2004 at 08:35 AM.
    Look where you want to go. This is as true in life as it is in mtbiking.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by eman2
    Nashbar has a set with SD-7 brakes and AD-3 levers for $50 and with a coupon about $45.
    Pricepoint has a set with SD-7 brakes and SD-7 levers for $70.

    Its looks like from the review here that the SD-7 levers have a lot of adjustability for the feel - I just don't the whether that is worth another $25.

    What are the thoughts on the SD-7 brakes and how do the AD-3 levers stack up to the SD7 levers.
    Those all sound like friggin great deals. I paid $75 at Jenson for SD-7 brakes and FR-5 levers and have no regrets. The SD-7 brakes are awesome and I HIGHLY recommend them. I upgraded from cheapy Promax V-brakes and levers and the difference is night and day. Personally, I think the whole adjustiblity thing of the SD-7 levers is cool but overrated... but I don't use them so I really can't say. The AD-3s will still let you adjust reach. I'd jump on the $45 deal (and I think I just may for my other bike)

  4. #4
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    Like Lucky said, you can get different pads for your current set up which should work.
    If you do want to spring for v's, definitely get the speed dial version of the levers. Also, on closeout deals, there's not much difference btw SD5's & 7's, I'd go for the 5's.
    Quote Originally Posted by eman2
    Hello guys,

    I recently bought a new wheelset because my old rear wheel had cracks at the spoke nipples on the rear wheel -- so I sprung for a new XT hub/ mavic x517 wheel set. The thing with new wheels is that the brake surface for rim brakes seems to have been narrowed down because of the widespread use of v-brakes the have thinner pads (Maybe there are wheels that have the wider braking surface but I never asked the question when doing my research). In order to make sure that the cantilever brake pad does not hit the tire I have had to dial the canitlever pads down and now as they arc to make contact with the rim I am probably only getting about 75% or maybe a bit less of contact with the rim.

    So I am thinking of converting the cantilever to v-brakes. I have found a few sets and what some inputs as to whether one set is worth the price difference.
    Nashbar has a set with SD-7 brakes and AD-3 levers for $50 and with a coupon about $45.
    Pricepoint has a set with SD-7 brakes and SD-7 levers for $70.

    Its looks like from the review here that the SD-7 levers have a lot of adjustability for the feel - I just don't the whether that is worth another $25.

    What are the thoughts on the SD-7 brakes and how do the AD-3 levers stack up to the SD7 levers.

    Thanks

    Ed


  5. #5
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    keep the cantis

    I got me sum V brakes, rode 'em awhile, hated 'em, now they're in a box in the garage. all my mtbs have good cantilevers, expertly dialed in. stop as good as Vs, 1-finger lockups When I Want, but only then, With Vs, ya get a little excited and grab sum brake and yer skidding. I see it every time some knucklehead is descending the trail I'm climbing and doesn't see me cause he's lookin at his wheel instead of up ahead like he should be then Oh Wow, Somebody In the Trail, skkiiiiddddd. Sometimes they even fall over clipped in, I love that.

    The issue is not having yer canti pads hanging down past the rim, and also not hitting the tire up top. Ritchey pads are great for narrow sidewalls with fat tires. Those eagle claws someone mentioned are also good. With any pad, what you can do to maximize clearance if file the top edge at an angle where it would tend to hit the tire. You'll see where to do the filing, just a little filing makes the difference sometimes.
    V brakes are great if yer a girl with weak hands or sumthin because their arms are so long you only have to look at them sideways to get enough leverage to lock yer wheel. But longer arms mean you end up with the pads riding really close to the rim all the time so if yer rim is even ever so slightly out of true, or if you get any mud at all on yer rim, the pads rub.
    Cantis are so much more adjustable, you can adjust modulation, strength, pad clearance, all that. with Vs all you an do is toe in the pads and then not very much because the pads are already too close.
    keep the cantis. if fyou need help dialing them in, bontrager's website has a rant about it.

  6. #6
    Evil Genius
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    Skip it all together....

    And go disc. Get the Avid Discs. You can always put them on your next bikes. But I personally have Avis Arch rivals (check out the MTBR review of them) and they friggin' rock. They're boat anchors. You stop NOW. After riding a bike with V's one time, I got a whole new bike because it cost as much for a new bike as to put V's on my old bike. Now it's getting the Mech's.

    Dan

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    I got me sum V brakes, rode 'em awhile, hated 'em, now they're in a box in the garage. all my mtbs have good cantilevers, expertly dialed in. stop as good as Vs, 1-finger lockups When I Want, but only then, With Vs, ya get a little excited and grab sum brake and yer skidding..
    I felt the same way after demoing a bike w/ disc brakes. They stop well, too good, with one finger was locking up the wheels. There was no modulation. For my 130lbs, v-brakes have plenty of stopping power. And the cost of going to disc was a lot of $$$ and extra weight.
    To the defense of more powerful brakes, you do get used to them after riding awhile. With more experience, there's less inclination to "grab a handfull" and not all discs are made equal.

    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    Cantis are so much more adjustable, you can adjust modulation, strength, pad clearance, all that. with Vs all you an do is toe in the pads and then not very much because the pads are already too close.
    keep the cantis. if fyou need help dialing them in, bontrager's website has a rant about it.
    Yes, but V's do not need to be "expertly dialed in" to work well. Especially the parallel push types. Just align the pads and go. You don't have to worry about sweep angles and pads rubbing the tire because it's too wide or the pads diving into the spokes because you angled the pads downward. You can adjust the cable on V's w/o a third hand and 2 wrenches which canti's require. V-s do not stick out to catch heels or the ground when you crash. Many levers have modulation adjusters for those heavy-handers. V's do ride closer, but if you allow your to rims wobble bad enough to hit the pads, go for discs.
    But for $50 the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

  8. #8
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    Definitely go with the V brakes. They are much easier to set up and work much better. As another poster said, once you get used to the stopping power it is very easy to modulate. They are also a lower profile as they don't have arms that stick out as far and rub on your leg. Finally, and most importantly, you won't have to answer questions like, "Dude, why are you still using canti brakes?"

    Chris

  9. #9
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    got a file?

    some rim sidewalls are thinner, other are thicker. i run nothing but cantis. i have V brakes, tried 'em, they're in a box in the garage. better modulation, more pad to rim clearance, and i got a shoe box full of canti pads.
    when your problem comes up here, I fix it by filing the top edge of the pad at like a 45 degree angle so it just misses the tire and the braking surface still makes full contact at the rim. Ritchey canti pads come/came? already profiled like this and are the best I've used for making big fat tires work with thin rims with narrow sidewalls, the most demanding test of one's ability to set up canti brakes.
    Don't pay the $85 fee to ride land you own! Resist!

  10. #10
    Bald and crap since 1973.
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    Nah, honestly I'd agree and just go disc. Pricepoint et al have some fine prices on disc setups, and they're well worth it. I'm average sized, at around 165lbs, and have to say I'd never go back to V or cantis.

  11. #11
    In my mind, I can do it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by eman2
    Hello guys,

    I recently bought a new wheelset because my old rear wheel had cracks at the spoke nipples on the rear wheel -- so I sprung for a new XT hub/ mavic x517 wheel set. The thing with new wheels is that the brake surface for rim brakes seems to have been narrowed down because of the widespread use of v-brakes the have thinner pads (Maybe there are wheels that have the wider braking surface but I never asked the question when doing my research). In order to make sure that the cantilever brake pad does not hit the tire I have had to dial the canitlever pads down and now as they arc to make contact with the rim I am probably only getting about 75% or maybe a bit less of contact with the rim.

    So I am thinking of converting the cantilever to v-brakes. I have found a few sets and what some inputs as to whether one set is worth the price difference.
    Nashbar has a set with SD-7 brakes and AD-3 levers for $50 and with a coupon about $45.
    Pricepoint has a set with SD-7 brakes and SD-7 levers for $70.

    Its looks like from the review here that the SD-7 levers have a lot of adjustability for the feel - I just don't the whether that is worth another $25.

    What are the thoughts on the SD-7 brakes and how do the AD-3 levers stack up to the SD7 levers.

    Thanks

    Ed
    I just did this on my bike. I couldn't get the levers because I have shifter pods so I had to use travel agents. If you can get the SD-7 brakes with the AD-3 levers for $50, thats a darn good price. I spent that on the travel agents alone.

    I like the V's much better than the canti's. They are much easier to pull and they will brake much harder. Yes, they will lock the tires but you just have to get used to them. I wish I could have gone with disk because water and mud mess up the braking surface on rem brakes but I couldn't afford it at the moment.

    Good luck.

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