a Cross Country Rider
from asheville nc
Date Reviewed: October 10, 2008
Strengths: Massive stopping power, great modulation, lighter than disk system, simple, you'll be the only one in your gang with them, comes from great folks, the list goes on and on and....
Weaknesses: One retraction screw will be out more than the other.
Using these after v-brakes is night and day. No more having to stop to work the cramps out of my hands during rocky, steep switchback descents. Koolstop pads are a slipin replacement. Quality hardware and construction. Somebody had a good idea, figured out how to manifest it, and stuck to it. Good for someone who wants an excellent brake without hassles and doesn't mind using something "different".
Similar Products Used: Stroker, years of v-brakes and cantilever usage
Bike Setup: Fisher hardtail, reba, x-7
from Winston Salem, NC
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2005
Strengths: Lever Feel, Strength, Control, Quiet, Looks. Dude, They just work.... Nuff Said
Weaknesses: Very hard to find a set these days. On this site some folks will find just about anything to gripe about but if they gripe about these brakes then its their bad and not the brakes Umm--Kay???
Incredible lever feel and control from a little to a lotta brake. Scary strong power. No cable drag. Yes these brakes take awhile to dial in but when you do..... I won't rehash prior posts but the wrench from Yakima seems to have hit it right on. Do not be alarmed when all feels good and your adjustment screws are set up unevenly. Longer arm shorter arm deal thats just the way it is.Wanna run any pad you want?? Disassemble your XT or XTR V Brakes and use their pad holders and spacers. Franken Brakes. I run my levers reversed and these brakes make the routing a breeze.Cane Creek customer service is beyond incredible especially since I am near by. It will be great for you too. Dude, just get these brakes..
I bought these brakes after reading the reviews. My bike is an old school hardtail, and I wanted the best rim brakes around. These brakes require you to tweak'm every so often, but it is worth it. They've got great feel, and loads of power. I hooked these daddies up to the love levers and oohh yeah.
You want some of the best rim brakes, look no further. Don't want to work on your bike alot, buy something else.
These brakes are excellent...OK, so they are not a Parallel system...that means you will have to tweak the pad angle once every 10-15 hours on the bike. But if you spend this much cash on cantilevers you are probably not concerned about a little time and effort. The lack of noodle and lack of parallel system results in far less friction, which allows for their excellent feel. The thick aluminium arms give a very stiff brake with superb stopping power. Where I live is very dry, hence I dont use discs, so these are worth the expense for their weight, power and quality....
Bike Setup: cannondale race replica, 19.2lbs!!Built it over last summer with all sram 9.0sl and race face crank,with all carbon fiber seatpost and handlebars.
Paul Yamakawa (wrench at Sagebrush Cycles)
a Cross Country Rider
from Yakima, Washington
Date Reviewed: February 16, 2002
Strengths: LACK OF NOODLE (read very low cabledrag) Clean clean superclean routing on all hardtails, and most double squish bikes.
Weaknesses: Umm.... err... OKay, so suspension bikes where the noodle has to be routed immediately downwards seem to take a bit of cablerouting creativity.
It's hard for me to convey just how much of a difference no noodle makes. Lever feel is increased tenfold without the extra cable friction. If you haven't felt these brakes find someone with them anc give 'em a squeeze. The dragless brakes let the pad communicate directly to your fingertips. I feel like a doofus using the "hey it's what I ride" line inhere because any doofus can claim he knows his stuff. But I've ridden all else, (yes even arch supremes) these work the best.
Cane creek's customer service is INCREDIBLE. My brakes actually were originally Onza Pork Ribs, but canecreek either bought out the patent or just tookover, But when I found a missing bushing after taking them apart, Canecreek took care of the problem very rapidly.
As far as finickeyness of adjustment, It's seemed to me that this has mostly to do with their inherant uneven padwear. Think leverage kids, the longarm's got more power (that's why we've got direct pulls instead of canti's) This is true. What does it mean to you? more or less nothing. if you're the type who milks a set of pads for all they've got, switch them occasionally (if they're koolstops or something that's similarly non-directional). ifnot, By the time one's worn, the other will be close to it's last legs itself anyway.
As far as power and feel goes, I've got Hayes with 8" rotors on my Freeride rig, but for a trailbike, I'm a hold out, I LOVE the directness of a rim brake, where you don't have to translate the trail through your rim, spokes, hub, rotor then caliper before it reaches the lever. It's all about feel, and these brakes let you feel. I love them dearly. I'm trying some of the less expensive ones (dc2's I believe) on my new slalom bike, check there in a month or so.
Favorite Trail: wherever my bike may lead me today.
Duration Product Used: 2 Years
Purchased At: Employee purchased
Similar Products Used: personally I've ridden: Hayes, Shimano disc, Grimeca, avid mech disc, Arch supremes, Arch Rivals, Paul, Marinnovative, XT, XTR, LX, Ahhyes, and does anyone remember canti's? Had a few of thsoe too. Then 8 years worth of working on and testriding whatever ppl in this town ride.
Bike Setup: Kona Hei Hei (Sandvick Ti) with a Bomber atom80 XTR, raceface, and whatever else doesn't break.
a Weekend Warrior
from Sofia, Bulgaria
Date Reviewed: October 28, 2001
Strengths: When cable is cutted, the remaining lenght is stoping in wheel, so the product is much more sure than V-ones
Weaknesses: Samantha, U'r review was ... is ... just best !!!
I'm very glad to see someone is making good review here :))
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 19, 2001
Strengths: The Good: The most powerful non-disc brake on the market to date. A very well made powerful brake that will not fail. Fairly light weight and reasonably priced, cheaper and lighter than Disc Brakes. Put on the right bike or frame, you will be spoiled forever with their stopping power; never to return to the realm of V-style Rim Brakes. Crafted and machined by North America hands in the USA. You can see that a lot of thought went in to these Brakes, Attention was paid to the smallest of details. Exotic, sleek looking. Even the CC lizard and logo is screen painted on to perfection. The Direct 5 brake arms can be reversed if needed, which allows some versatility in setting them up. Excellent product support and superior Customer Service/ Technical Support staff @ Cane Creek. Second to none, the C/S people really go all out to please and help the Customer. A little southern hospitality goes a long way. They really stand behind their products and it is another good reason for me to trust their products.
For the right bike frame, this is the best alternative out there now to Disc Brakes. I still have a pair of Avid Arch Supremes that would be the only serious contender to the CC, Direct 5s. However, Avid no longer makes the Arch Supreme and the newer arch & rim models lack the adjustment options that the AS had and therefore are not quite as good. The Shimano group is OK, but noticeably weaker in comparison to the Cane Creek Direct 5’s. The XTR V Brakes do not deliver the stopping power or precision braking. No contest.
Weaknesses: Now for the Bad news: 1) If you have Ceramic Rims, you will immediately have to change the brake pads. None of the Cane Creek Brake models comes with ceramic pads. This would not be such a big deal, but finding the right size of ceramic pads to fit the Cane Creek Cartridge is very difficult. Shimano ceramic pads do not fit the CC cartridge either. They are too small & slip. Since there is a marketing push toward disc brakes there isn’t the demand for ceramic pads, and the production of the pads have slowed. 2) Setting up the rear brake on some of the full suspension bikes such as an EVO, style or interrupted seat tube frames can be a frustrating and tedious task. If you run your brakes high at the lever and close to the rim, (as I do). You will be making constant adjustments after every ride. The DC5 brakes are finicky. Only certain types of housing must be used for the rear brake with that Evo type frame style (without the traditional seat tube). These are factors for consideration before buying the Cane Creek Direct 5s'. Frame style, rear travel length, coil spring or an air, rear shock, ceramic wheels; and how large or small is the shock's preload knob? Heed these words. At $75 to $95 dollars for each Direct 5 brake, either you will be thanking or cursing the genius at Cane Creek’s R&D Department for inventing the brakes. For me, it has been “ a love hate relationship” from the start. I have two sets of the Cane Creek DC 5’s on two of my own bikes and have been fooling around with them for almost 2 years now. I have also installed them on other full suspension bikes for friends with the same mixed results. I hope someone will read this review and find it useful. Adjustments & Tuning: Any Teflon or Steel inner Cable will work. The housing is the trick here. It cannot be too flexible or too stiff. If it is the Rear Brake Lever, will not return and even stick. The cartridge & brake pad will drag on the rim. The high end, Avid Flat Jacket and Gore-Tex housing with the inner sleeve is too stiff for the rear brake, but the less expensive Avid Straight Jacket cable & housing combo & the Shimano Brake housing works well. So, save your money & go for the less expensive housing for these brakes. I am finding that the rear brake needs constant adjustment. The pads may wear as a result of the cable & housing stretching more under heavy braking, and without the barrier of a seat tube to absorb or block the flexing that wears the housing quicker. The Brake cable Housing gets too flexible, too quickly. The result is the brake housing & cable does not spring back or return after depressing and releasing the brake lever. Additionally, the longer brake arm is the much weaker arm. It is over powered by the shorter brake arm and pulled in the direction of the shorter brake arm causing the pad to drag on the rim and wear. Regardless of how you loosen or tighten & bend the springs, the small adjustment screw of the longer brake arm has to be tightened all the way. If you have the Rear Brake Post/Mount with the 3 holes, you can try out the options. It hasn't worked for me. I have tried everything, including reversing the spacers on the D5's long arm post to give more clearance between the Rim & Pad. If I am lucky, the adjustment will hold for five rides instead of 1-2. I do not see a solution to reversing the brake arms. It would only complicate & compound the cable routing & housing and add to your problem. The general rule is; the most direct brake cable routing is the best routing. I am sticking to that rule. I hate to do it, but I am thinking of putting these brakes on my hard tail and putting the Arch Supremes on the FS bike once I have rebuilt the AS. The other unthinkable alternative is that I beginning to feel forced to go the way of hydraulic, disc brakes so I don’t have to deal with cables & wires, rim & pad wear and the overall lack of supply for ceramic pads.
If you have a full suspension bike with an interrupted seat tube design, it is a 50/50 chance that they may or may not work with your FS frame. How you run your brakes plays a major role. For the right bike or frame these brakes cannot be beat. The Direct 5 Brake is extremely powerful and well made and an inspiration to go faster on the descents. They offer precise slow braking when you need them for ease & control on switchbacks. However, using these the rear brake with my model year K2 FS bike requires constant adjustments. Do not assume that a shop will be able to perfectly set these up for you either. I travel a lot and take the bike with me. In a 2,500-mile radius, I was able to find only one mechanic that miraculously set them up correctly combined with my preference of running the brake lever high. Unfortunately, the one mechanic I found is 1,600 miles away. For my bike there is just too much maintence involved and it's taken alot of time away from riding, and I am going through ceramic brake pads too quickly and they are hard to get and expensive.
I would still recommend these brakes, to anyone who is looking for an alternative to Disc brakes, but with caution. If you have a K2 model year 2000 or 2001 Evo frame or Disco Monkey with the Noleen Coil shock and the NEW larger Preload adjustment knob get the DC 5 brakes, but be very careful how you set them up. If you have an interrupted seat tube or EVO style frame with more than 2.5 inches of travel in the rear and you have ceramic rims; I strongly advise against it. If you have a 1999, 98, 97 FS K2 or Proflex, the older model Specialized FSR 1999, '98, '97, GT I Drive 1999 & 98 models with a coil spring & longer travel and a small preload adjustment knob. Forget these brakes completely, and start saving for a set of Hydraulic Disc Brakes with as few cables to deal with as possible.
Favorite Trail: The trail with running in to too many misquotes, rattlesnakes, Alligators, Bears or Big Foot.
Duration Product Used: 2 Years
Purchased At: Cane Creek
Similar Products Used: Shimano LX, XT & XTR, V Brakes & Avid Arch Supremes.
Bike Setup: K2 1999 RS 4000; (medium) Noleen Coil Rear Shock (small Preload dial) 4.7 inches of rear travel; Cane Creek Direct 5 Brakes w/ Kool Stop Ceramic Pads; Carbon Brake Boosters; Altek Levers; Azonic WF Riser Bar, Sid XC 80 mm, FS, Mavic Crossmax Wheels, All 8 Speed Drive train: 175 mm XTR Cranks & Rings, IG90 Chain, 11-30 Ti Cassette or 12-28 Steel (Alternate), SRAM 9.0 SL RD w/ Half pipes customized (for no accidental shifts) Short SRAM 9.0 SL shifter for FD; RaceFace HS & RF System Stem or alternate - KORE Elite Stem for steeper descents. Geax Warp & Hook combo 2.1Fx2.0R for sandy & hard pack or WTB, Velociraptor Laser Tires, 2.1Fx2.1R (Alternate for Rocks & Roots); Shimano pedals or Time Attack (alternate) Selle Italia, LDY Trans Am Saddle & Thompson Seat Post.