Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking Gear Reviews and Roundups





Control Tech Brake Brake System

4.47/5 (17 Reviews)
MSRP : $70.00

Product Description

Control Tech

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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark Turner a Racer from Sioux Lookout, ON, Canada

Date Reviewed: October 5, 2001

Strengths:    Light - 230g with 2 travel agents instead of noodles
Simple - easy to set up & dial in
Strong - these brakes will lock-up both tires
Service - Controtech service rocks. Lots of extras

Weaknesses:    None to report

Bottom Line:   
Light brake with solid performance. With the travel agent, these brakes are still lighter than the competition and have more modulation. After 3 years of use I had to replace springs and bushings ($25). They are all good.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Snakes & Ladders in Thunderbay

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   SRAM

Bike Setup:   Giant NRS - XT/XTR with some other aftermarket stuff

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by john a Racer from ny

Date Reviewed: October 25, 1999


weak & scary

Bottom Line:   
yeee, keep these away from me....

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   

Duration Product Used:   
6 months

Similar Products Used:   
control tech seatpost---scary!xt

Bike Setup:   
schwinn homwgrown race ready

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by John-Bob the bucktooth redneck a Cross-Country Rider from breen bay

Date Reviewed: March 31, 1999

Light easy to install, stiff

Ti hardware
Not compatible with boosters

Bottom Line:   
I first bought the brake for the rear of my bike. I installed it and the sucker felt awful. Seems that there was so much power in the brake I could squeeze the lever all the way to the bar by making the stays flex out. Switched it with my AR 50 for the front and the extra stiffness of the Manitou helps keep this puppy super powerful. I dont like the idea af Ti hardware though, I heard it broke really easy. Oh well. 5 flaming cow pies for surperior power

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
cow pasture

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
LX V-brave
Avid Arch Rival 50

Bike Setup:   
Homegrown Cr-Mo, Manitou SX Ti

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by David a cross-country rider from Bellevue

Date Reviewed: January 3, 1999

Bottom Line:   

I didn't want to go with the Shimano brakes when they first came out because of their price. Instead, I picked these up for about $30 per wheel. After a small problem with installation (same problems with bushing length as listed below), they were perfect. I would give these a try if you like to have a bit of in between braking before lock up. The only problem is with ceramic rims, the soft kool stop pads squeel like crazy and it's tuff to find ceramic pads that fit the brakes. Still, they are great stoppers and I would recommend them to any body who wants a trouble free, light and cheap brake.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Jonathan a cross-country rider from Massachuesetts

Date Reviewed: May 26, 1998

Bottom Line:   

I've got the V-brake version. Had some problems installing it. One of the arms
tended to bind and not move freely under spring power. After trying a hundred
different lubes, i finally found that the bushing on the pivot is slightly too long.
It's the white bushing that is set into the brake arm. I finally fixed it by filing it shorter by something like a quarter of a milimiter. Now it works perfectly.Otherwise, the installation was a snap. The brakes come with Koolstops and work much better than my old LX V's. It feels much more linear and has better
modulation than anything I've tried so far. It doesn't use Shimano's noodle, which make the Control Techs much easier to open for removing the wheels. You don't have to pull hard at the cables to pry off like the Shimanos. Looks pretty snazzy too. Even though the brakes were a little tough to figure out at first, the performance makes up for it.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by DUKE JJ a cross-country rider from Cicily , ALASKA

Date Reviewed: May 14, 1998

Bottom Line:   

A kick ass brake !!!! Ligh as hell, titanium bolts and aluminum arms that have NO FLEX what so ever! Simplicity is the key feature of these brakes, titanium spring-cable hanger that eliminates springs on the posts has a great mud clearence and easiest to maintain. They also have a machinery kinda look with milky polished aluminum - looks awesome. As powerful as most V-brakes these canties work sweet in mud, snow, dust ,rain, never squeak and very easy to clean! 5 chilies to ControlTech for the best C brake out there!

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by three legged wolf a racer from seattle, WA usa

Date Reviewed: January 25, 1998

Bottom Line:   

I am currently using the linear pull control tech brakes. First and foremost these brakes make exceptional cross country racing brakes. They are lighter than most other V brakes and the feel is completely linear, with complete control right up to lock up. Set up is smooth ( except a tolerance issue on the end cap which was off about five thousands of an inch, which was quickly solved with some hand maching with a file. Note: have often have you found parts this tight in this industry?) and simple.
Optimal use, if you want a light, strong, linear feel, simple to maintain brake with normal thick pads to keep from replacing them every other ride in the mud. Or self destructing pivots.
Wrong use. Downhill maniacs and possibly trails riders. The brakes are just not as powerfull as maguras or some of the XTR v brakes. Other disadvantages, quick wheel removal. Otherwise the product is perfoming well in our winter rain (snow) soaked months.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Lisa a cross-country rider from Seattle, WA

Date Reviewed: June 5, 1997

Bottom Line:   

These are the best brakes I have ever tried (Magura, XTR v, Shimano cantis). They lock up incredibly well, and are lighter than the other brakesets mentioned above. I run them front and rear, and nearly threw myself over the first time I grabbed on the front. Initial set up was kind of intimidating, becasue they were like no other brakes I was used to. But this is a good thing, since I was terrible at setting up conventional cantis and these are a snap.I have, however, had a few problems with the small allen key and allen bolts stripping, but I have a stock of these, and it isn't too bad. I have busted three return springs on conventional canti brakes, and find the straddle spring a welcome design. Here in the Pacific Northwest, rain and mud are always a problem, but the brakes perform flawlessly. Good mud clearance. Also, if I ever flatte din a race, it would be really bad, becasue with the Girvin, the brakes cannot release far back enough to pull out the front wheel. But this is more the Girvin's fault than the brakes. Overall, these are a great design. I recently went on a group ride and met the man who designed the brakes. He works at Boeing. He spent a couple of years designing these brakes, and I'd say he did a really great job.

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by T.Lebeuf from cross-country rider

Date Reviewed: March 10, 1997

Bottom Line:   

I bought a Control Tech brake w/the straddle cable spring because they seemed like such a simple,elegant and very lightweight design.Unfortunately the spring would not clear the brake cable hanger boss on my Cannodale Headshok fork.So I put the brake on my son's 24 in. Gary Fisher and the performance is great but probably overkill on my 11 yr. old's bike. Well,he hasn't gone over the bars yet anyway.The spring action is wonderful, they are easy to set up and maintain and are well made.They look cool too.If you have wide rims they may not work too well.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Tom Myers a cross-country rider from USA

Date Reviewed: February 3, 1997

Bottom Line:   

The Control Tech brakes are the simplest brakes known to man, and they are LIGHT! The straddle cable *is* the spring, so there are no springs in the posts - just massive bearings that are super-easy to clean. When you disconnect the 'straddle spring', both brakes flop out, making it super easy to clean or dress your pads. Also, since the spring is now disconnected, you can wiggle the brake back and forth (springless) to see if the posts need cleaning. And the left/right bias is adjusted with setscrews on the straddle spring. Very straightforward.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by scooter a cross-country rider from Bedford, IN USA

Date Reviewed: January 9, 1997

Bottom Line:   

Well, I've got the Control Tech 'Side-Pull Cantilever Brakes', aka V-brakes. After finally getting them on my bike and getting in a number of rides in a number of conditions, I can say I really like 'em. I had some trouble at first because of a rim width problem on my front fork -the bosses were too close together to allow adequate clearance with the pads installed unless the brakes were set outrageously wide ('wing' brakes instead of V brakes :)). I subsequently noticed a review in Mountain Bike Fiction where they had the same problem -they used LX pads instead of the supplied Cool Stops to solve. Well, I didn't go that route -I used the situation as a great excuse to build up a new wheel using a different rim -so I had a Sun CR17A radially laced to a Machine Tech Hub and ended up really happy (and somewhat broke). The Sun being a tad bit slimmer works fine -However I had to break down for vanity's sake and get a rear wheel to match, so this 'brake upgrade' ended up being more of a 'bike upgrade'. OK, so how do they work? They're (like most any V brake) VERY powerful. Moderate single-finger pressure will lock them up. I'm using Kooka Racha V levers and the modulation is excellent -very controllable (See my review on these levers). These are poor man's disc brakes. They work well even in sloppy pudding mud conditions -from a stopping standpoint. Mud clearance on all V brakes is a problem. The plastic bushings will last forever (I've seen them on other machinery -very tough) and require no attention at all. The springs are linear Ti wire type, and are the easist I've ever found to balance. (make sure to locktite the little adjuster set screws. They make no noise at all with the Cool Stop pads, however you make some noise when you launch yourself over the bars with them on the first ride. There is, other than stacking the washers/spacers on one side or the other of the arm, no pad 'clearance' adjustment independant of moving the whole arm (mentioned earlier), which may not be a problem for most. some positives are that they can easily be configured to have the cable pull from either side, and there is no paralleling bit -these things are about as simple as it gets. They come with (mostly) trick Ti hardware and they're cool looking. I paid under $50 each at my local shop and I'd buy them again.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by jeremy a weekend warrior from Sacramento

Date Reviewed: December 20, 1996

Bottom Line:   

These brakes are killer! I switched from Shimano STX canti's w/ stock pads to these cool Control tech. The difference was unimaginable! The control techs stop just as powerful and quickly as any V and yet you don't need new levers and also I picked mine up much cheaper($60 pair). To set up, with correct toe-in and distance took an hour or two. But it was fun. I'd definetly reccommend these to anyone!

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Jim Hendricks a cross-country rider from Puyallup, Washington, USA

Date Reviewed: November 7, 1996

Bottom Line:   

Control Tech centerpull canti's work excellent on Cyclecross Bikes. Easy setup, mega mud clearance, Lots of modulation adjustment (the hanger mounted high or low on the cable). I mounted mine about 2.35 inches above the tire to the anchor bolt This gave a very nice feel at the lever. I especially like the positive spring return feel. Make sure to bend that wire in towards the arms though. My pads seem to last longer to. And no pad squeal. What a concept! One of the other cool things, my brake boss posts we getting beat up, these brakes use a pivot pin which mounts over the post so you have a bigger bearing area. The plastic bearing seems to be fine, even with little maintanence. I've had them about a year on my mountain bike and decided to try them on my cross bike. The look cool to. I've seen the price went down since I bought mine.

Overall Rating:3
Submitted by Russ Tebay a cross-country rider from Leeds West Yorkshire

Date Reviewed: August 27, 1996

Bottom Line:   

If you want good functional brakes that work with little aplomb then the control techs
are for you.

I have thme set up on teh rear of the bike with a set of the very excellent (but not cheap)
Crystal Design PWR Brake II's. They complement the PWR Brakes well with both the rear and
front wheels locking up with a similar amount of effort at the lever.

They are very simple to set up with the torsion spring across the bridge controlling the
position of the brake arms. However, there is no adjustment for spring tension.
and they do squeak where the cable stops enter the brake arms (but this can be
rectified with a dab of copper grease). Pad set up can also be a problem as the pads
are similar to the roady type with a screw on nut and floating washer arrangement which
means that as you tighten them up there's nothing to hold onto and the postion of the pad can
alter and rotate as you tighten it up.

They seem very well made though with ceramic bushings between the brake studs on the frame and the
actual brake arms. And after over 18 months use in the muddy climbs of the North of England they still
look good as new.

Could be better designed (easier to fit new / alter the position of pads) and the squeak is annoying.
But still the 'feel' thing is good and they work well once set up.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Eric a cross-country rider from Seattle

Date Reviewed: July 24, 1996

Bottom Line:   

I just bought a set to replace the Ritchey Logic cantis that came stock on my bike. Mechanically the Control Tech brakes are blessedly simple to install. Just removing the Ritcheys and keeping track of all the parts that flew everywhere took about the same amount of time as installing and setting up the Control Techs. Compared to regular cantilevers, pad setup and toe in was a breeze. One washer and one nut are all you have to keep track of in adjusting pad angle. Pad distance from the rim is set with the straddle rod and an allen wrench. Just very simple to set up and work on.

On the first test ride they squealed for about 4 full-power stops and have been silent ever since. I haven't tried V-brakes, but it's night and day compared to the Ritcheys.

Also, if you have trouble with your current brakes not giving enough clearance when open to let you get your front wheel out, try these. My ritcheys ran into my fork brace before they were open very far and made it a real hassle to squeeze the tire through to remove it. The control techs open much wider.

Only gripes are that the coiled straddle rod creaks with every pull of the lever, and that the plastic bushings don't look like they'll last long.

Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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